One of the most unfortunate aspects of traditional cube design is that there’s not much room left for fun utility lands after packing your list full of powerful spells and lands that fix your mana.
To find a home for all the outcast lands, I created the “utility land draft.” It’s a small modification to the 8-man draft format that works as follows:
Step 1: Before the draft, lay out the utility lands face up in the center of the table. At the time of writing I use the following set of utility lands.
Flagstones of Trokair
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
Kessig Wolf Run
Vault of the Archangel
Step 2: Booster Draft as usual. After packs 1 and 2, each player takes a single land from the utility land pile. After Pack 3, each player takes two lands from the utility land pile.
This part is fully customizable. My utility land stack is designed around each player selecting 4 total utility lands. Other Cube owners have tailored their list to accommodate as few as 3 or as many as 6 utility lands per drafter.
Step 3: At the end of the draft, put the unchosen lands back in the box. Build your decks as usual.
All told it’s a fun modification to the drafting process that adds a lot of depth to the matches themselves, giving the player more things to do with their mana and more options in terms of sequencing of land drops. For more information, check out this article I wrote for ChannelFireball, or chime in with your thoughts in the Utility Land Draft forum thread.