[500] CCC - Casual Champions Cube


I returned to MtG after a few years break when they announced Return to Ravnica in 2012. I had sold my huge collection long before and didn't know where to start. I did not want to spend a lot of money this time. So a good friend and I decided to invest in a pile of a few hundred cards, we could play with from time to time. We didn't even know what the cube format was then.

But thanks to the internet, our list has evolved an incredible lot. We managed to craft a synergie driven meta, that combines a lot of old classics with the best from modern day magic. It has a low power level, comparable to peasant and there is still a handful of beloved pet cards. And we also get to draft this with a lot more people these days, mostly drafting with between 3 and 8 drafters

Like most cubes, this is still an ongoing project. I'm super thankful for everyone who takes a draft or a look through our list and gives uns any kind of feedback. :)

Update: Allright, it is december 2020, I haven't posted here for two and a half years. Time to update some stuff!

My cube's power level has not risen, if anything I toned it down a little by removing something here and there (I no longer allow FTK/Nekrataal type cards without hoops to jump through for example). I want my players to work a little bit for the sweet sweet value and I am very careful with creature stats (that's part pf why my cube feels pretty "old school"). I still allow relatively strong nuts and bolts cards (Counterspell and Pacifism), but there is a limit (removal needs to have a restriction or cost 3+) and I cut some cards here too (once I cubed StP!).

Now, before I'll say something, here are some generals to my design principles and broader things regarding the cube's structure:

The cube is singleton. No cards are allowed to be functional identical or strictly better than another. I don't allow myself errata or custom cards - with one exception: I completed the amonkhet bicycle lands with 5 custom enemy versions.

I am very careful with the lines I'm drawing. Easy 2-for-1s like 187-creatures need to have some conditions attached (Warfire Javelineer) or require an extra Investment (Aphetto Exterminator). Removal must have a weakness (Pacifism) or have a limited range (any toughness based removal). Creature stats should be humble, only green is allowed to break that rule. In exchange, green gets no removal (no fight cards).

Of currently 500 cards total, every color gets 71, then we have 55 colorless ones.

Every color combination gets 2 gold cards, one flexible hybrid, one narrow hybrid and the same 4 lands and 1 artifact to fix their mana. Here is the example of Gruul:

While the pain lands are just great untapped mana fixers, all the others have further synergistic applications (landfall, loam, discard matters).

I also happen to have this complete cycle:

More to why in the next spoiler!

I am trying to make mono colored decks a real possibility. In addition to a low number of gold cards and quite a few colorless cards and hybrids (some of which are color heavy), each color has a few cards that work best in a mono colored deck:

Another thing that appears in all 5 colors is Morph. I have 3 in white, 4 in blue, 8 in black, 4 in red, 6 in green and one colorless.

There are also a few payoffs, just enough that you can make morph a mechanical theme of your deck.

Now to my archetypes, first the ten color pairs. These build the core and therefor get the biggest support.

{W/U} Blink
This deck gets played quite often. It plays as value oriented midrange creature deck. I have 12 enablers and 24 relevant on-color creatures with EtB effects in my cube to support it. The deck regularly splashes black (recursion is similar to blinking) and sometimes you see bant or jeskai versions as well. There is synergistic overlap with landfall and Demonic Pact. However, here is an example of the basic white/blue version.

{U/B} Ninjutsu
A new and already very popular deck among the drafters of my cube. It packs a lot of evasion and EtB creatures and combines them profitably with the ninja's Ninjutsu ability. I run 22 creatures that cost less than 3 cmc and are difficult to block, to ensure my ninjas come through. Of them I am playing eleven and a Mask of Memory, which is like half a ninja (rewards your evasion without the bounce). Almost all cards of this archetype are flexible enough to show up randomly in other decks, but a dedicated ninja deck doesn't tend to splash anything.

{B/R} Sacrifice
This used to be the deck to beat, but recently I felt like it has gotten a little too weak so I brought back some old favorites (welcome back Fallen Angel and Rukh Egg). While the sacrifice stuff can be paired with aggression and token making, it plays usually as a grindy value oriented midrange/control deck, abusing black's recursion over and over again. To support this, I run 13 sacrifice outlets and 14 cards I classify as payoffs (zulaport cutthroat, threaten-style spells or reuseable recursion). I also try to add as many creatures that would be fine fodder as possible.

{R/G} Madness
My problem child and favorite child at the same time. This aggro decks still would like a little more support, especially in green, but it has been putting up some good results. It can be a very explosive aggro deck, that - while playing it's Jungle Lions - feels more tricky and clever than your average "dumb" aggro deck. You utilize cheap discard outlets with cards that love getting discarded, most of which not even having the actual madness keyword. 17 outlets and 15 payoffs seem to be the right numbers. Sometimes this deck goes temur midrange when it picks up a looter or a Drake Haven early enough, but usually it stays gruul.

{G/W} Tokens
Classic strategy here, create a lot of small dudes (and duderinas) and use anthem effects as well as abilities that trigger with each creature and effects that scale with the number of creatures you control. This version plays midrange-y and prefers a bit of ramp and life gain over pure aggression. I love how every part of this archetype is flexible enough to be of use in different decks. That might also be a reason, that token decks in my cube meld with other themes easily. On-color I run 18 token producers and 14 cards I count as producers. You often see naya or abzan token decks, but the selesnya approach is still the most common and very succesful.

{W/B} Lifegain
This is an aggro deck. It wants to win quick and recklessly. And while it tends to be less explosive than gruul or boros, it can adapt pretty well to a mid or even late game, as the extra life gives it more staying power and it has synergies strong enough. To make this deck not annoying I had to make sure it doesn't play endless games, and it works very well. The 26 lifegain sources are very flexible cards, the 13 payoffs sadly still include some narrow ones. As an aggro deck, splashes are unusual, but once in a while someone drafts a midrange deck with some lifegain synergies.

{B/G} Dredge
This archetype is full of value. It's not like the combo decks we know from constructed, but a grindy midrange deck. You are dredging up your Stinkweed Imp to equip it then with a huge Bonehoard or your getting back your Penumbra Spider with Haunted Crossroads again and again. Currently I run 14 enablers in these colors (aka cards that mill yourself) and 18 cards tagged as payoffs. This archetype likes to splash blue sometimes and can become more combo-like if you pick up a Lab Maniac.

{G/U} Landfall
This was the weakest of my guild decks for quite some time, but I think with the inclusion of the 10 fetch lands and more recently some specific additions, landfall should be good. These landfall decks are not meant to play aggressively, rather they try to crazy with land based ramp and generate dozens of landfall triggers, also by bouncing their own lands. Counting only the respective simic bounce land and fetch land, there are 25 cards, that give you extra landfall triggers and 13 payoffs. The value can be absurd, but the deck can be a little slow. Also, Simic has very little removal options, so this archetype often splashes one or more colors.

{U/R} Spells Matter
This archetype resembles the classic control decks the most from all the two-color themes. The decks usually contain lots of instan or sorcery based removal, card draw and countermagic, complemented by a few payoffs, often capable of winning the game for you. 41 card in the cube are red/blue instants or sorceries, this deck would be interested in, then we have 8 payoffs. Sometimes this deck splashes black, rarely even white, for boardwipes, but usually you find everthing you need in the two main colors.

{R/W} Go Wide Aggro
This right here is a prettystraight forward deck, but it has it's fans and for a reason. Playing a bunch of small dudes and running your opponent over with your army, backed up with team pump and burn magic can be fun. It's like a token deck on speed. Red and white not only have the most 1-drops and 2-drops, they also have 12 payoffs aka cards that synergize well with an aggressive army.

Okay, now there are also 5 themes that appear in a single color.

{W} Equipment
Here we have the newest adiition to the cube, so new that I actually can't say much about it yet. Equipments are really flexible, fun cards, and white has a lot of creatures and keywords that pair well with getting buffed. There are also a few cards that mention equipment/artifacts directly. Both add up to 16 "payoff" cards, alongside 15 relevant pieces of equipment. I expect this deck to play something between aggro and midrange. I expect splashes of all kinds to happen. Here is a list I drafted on cubecobra.

{U} Classic Control
Next we have another one of the less specific archetypes. I try to enable the classic blue decks, which means reactive control decks with card draw, counters and one or two finishers. Some people hate it, but everyone else can enjoy and draft it here. I run 11 counterspells, quite a bit of card advantage/filtering and some finishers like Striped Riverwinder or Teferi's Tutelage. These decks usually splash a color or two, mostly for point and mass removal, but the support for MUC would be there.

{B} Devotion
When I was a kid, Nightmare was my first rare creature card. That's the reason why this archetype was always supported in my cube, which itself has lead to both mono color archetypes getting added and monocolored decks being supported. Mono black still has the biggest explicit devotion support, which gets integrated in black decks that usually fall into the sacrifice/graveyard/control range grindy and evil. 9 cards in black and 3 colorless ones (for every color) play best in mono.

{R} Goblins!
I am not a huge fan of tribal, but I had so many goblins and goblin token producers, that this archetype felt natural. And everyone loves goblins, right? I have 31 cards that are goblins or produce goblin tokens, which is a lot. To make this deck less parasitic, I then only included 6 payoffs. You'll often have so many goblins naturally, you just need ~2 tribal effects to make it a goblin deck. This deck plays pretty aggressively, but I can see it be more midrange-y. As it bleeds kinda nice in the boros/gruul aggro decks, rakdos sarifice and to some degree even izzet spells all kinds of 2-color versions are possible.

{G} Super Ramp
Like the blue deck, the green one is a classic and allows for splashes easily. Sometimes you find yourself in mono green still, since some of the best super ramp cards reward you for a very green mana base (Llanowar Tribe, Vernal Bloom). There are 18 ramp effects in mono green plus lots of stuff to ramp into. The deck mostly plays like you would assume.

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WR Midrange from CubeTutor.com

First picked Rakdos Cackler because of it's easy casting (and the possibility to go safe with RDW in an unfamiliar cube). Ended up picking Shivan dragon a few cards later, and got some good red and white removal. Tried to pick up some cards that you'd be unwilling to block. Quite like that approach for red and white!


This looks good.

R/G stompy from CubeTutor.com

Went into R/G, but was still able to get a deck with some decent grind ability. Really like mask of memory in the format.

Honored hydra is a bit strong for my tastes, and I would rather have that be roar of the wurm.

But yeah, format looks solid. The archetypes don't feel pretentious, the meta non-stifling, there is reasonable card balance, and there is a nice selection of iconic classic cards. Nice job.
Hey, guys, I appreciate the feedback! After all these hours of card selection, testing and improving it's always nice to hear that people like what you have done.

Sweet decks too, although I'm not quite sure how the Gruul deck wants to cast the Judge's Familiar :p

Memory Mask is indeed awesome. And to the Hydra, replacing it with Roar of the Wurm is not an option, because I'm already running both. I really wanted a Roar Variant wo go with Wild Mongrel and Noose Constrictor, and I got it with Amonkhet. While the hydra is pretty strong hard cast, it has been actually fine so far. It can't put 2 threats on the board at once like Roar can, and any pseudo removal like Pacifism, O-Ring or tap down abilities can answer it completely.

Currently I#m working on my gold sections, and I'm more worried if Regisaur Alpha is fine or too much :?
Long time no post. I'm now tinkering (punt not intended) with an artifact theme. This would come in with a raise to 500 cards. I think we could go up 50 cards and have all archetypes stay strong as they are but raise the variance a little more, if done right, and, as I mentioned, still include a whole new archetype. I think I figured a good way out. This is what I'm probably going to add/change:

I was always against too much consitency with tutors, but with the thought of raising the number to 500, and since we allow a few proxies now, I changed my opinion. They allow a deck with a single Wildfire/Living Death/Upheaval/Rise from the Tides etc. to work with less % of the cube in draft pools. These are also card disadvantage and not all too powerful for that reason I think.

The Artifact deck would be supported in {W}{U}{B}{R}

I tested them a little bit:
Scourglass is a great build around fro the artifact and still useful elsewhere as a slightly slower sweeper.
Sphinx is a a snowballing Controlfinisher that's also great payoff in an artifact deck.
Marionet Master seems like the perfekt bridge between artifact synergies and blacks recursion theme. Thanks to Chris Taylor for the suggestion!
Covetous Dragon is a huuuge flying threat and should be easily worth it including a few more artifacts into your deck.

All of these don't require you to go all in and have a deck with 13+ artifacts, what makes them good choices for a cube format.

Colorless payoff:

All of these creatures made a great impression in testing. A deck with 12-15 artifacts seems to have most of the time at least 4 artifacts (or artifact tokens) in play.
Steel Overseer turns every thopter or servo token into a threat easily and is already worth it with one or two other artifact creatures also pumps itself.
Etched Champion is a game winner. Maybe the strongest payoff and on, that makes an artifact deck appealing even when you have only 3 pay off cards maybe.
Lodestone disrupts all the non-brown players much more than youself while being a big colorles beater AND having splicer synergies.
Darksteel Juggernaut also a strong sign post, and indestructable makes him great with Sweepers, Wildfire, and even Devastation.

Cranial Plating is infamous for a reason. in testing this always granted at least +3 power, sometimes even +7, which ends games.
Trading Post is not only a payoff for an artifact heavy deck, it's also a very popular cube card. For a reason I think. Sac-Outlet, Discard-Outlet, Life-Engine, Token-Producer ....

Inspector is a blink target, brings an artifact to the table, and could be decent in aggro and midrange decks of all kinds.
The Shrine is just a strong token card, that is accidently great artifact support too.
Seal of Cleansing is another, now probably necessary Disechant-effect.

Thirst for Knowledge is a good draw spell, extra work with GY strategies and artifact heavy decks.
I originally planned on adding another more regular counter spell, but this seems worth a try. It's an updated Mana Drain version with artifact synergies on top.
Waterfront Bouncer is an engine for Dredge/Threshold AND blink decks, while turning every card into a split card with half unsummon is also just plain nice.

Twilight's Call is the second Living Death our cube deserves, I think.
The Rats are good in aggro decks and probably too in Dredge strategies, where they fuel the yard and can get huge with a bonehoard or something.
Thanks to This board, I decided to go with the Shade as another card, that promotes Black Devotion. Also just a classic.

Messenger is the next best options for our cube for an aggressive one-drop, and red would probably need one more.
Hammer of Purphoros is another Fires effect, creates bodies for the tokens decks, and also artifacts, perfect fit.
Impact is probably the next-best, flexible artifact removal? Not sure, but I would prefer this to be an instant or sorcery.

Wood Elves is a strong EtB ramp creature with beautiful Rebecca Guay art in the portal version.
Brontodon fills the role as the next Naturalize on a strong body.
Genesis is a needed and cool payoff for selfmill/discard strategies while being playable in every midrange/control deck.
Merfolk Branchwalker is a 2-drop dude, that has EtB value, GY value (sometimes), and is great in aggro

First, I would want to add another dual-land cycle, and it should be one, that can enter untapped on turn 1. Leaning towards the Shock lands from Ravnica.

Then there are some new artifacts:

Skirge is a colorless evasive 1-drop, which helps aggro to be aviable, while it's lifelink ability and it's artifact creature type make it interesting for other decks.
Milikin is a decent accelerator, that appears to fuel all the GY synergies
Deal Broker not only offers an interesting mini game after the draft, it's also a pretty good looter.
Pierce Strider is among the best colorless blink targets you can find (yeah, really), also fine as artifact.dec body or aggro curve topper
Aether Searcher has high reputation here, I definitely want to see if he is really as fun and good

Shredder might be the cheap selfmill tool all kinds of Graveyard decks want. Also a colorless regrowth and slow tutor seems like a fine card.
Star Compass And Fellwar Stone are the new mana rocks, with wildfire AND artifact.dec looking for them specifically (even more than all other midrange and control decks), we have to keep the density high, I think.
Conjurer's Closet is the next Blink enabler, I think we need one more at 500 and it's colorless, which allows more blue-non-white or white-non-blue Blink decks. More ways the drafters can go.

After this update I would have more instants/soreries in {U} and {R} , so this guy could replace Steam Augury, which is only a worse FoF.

Skyknight Legionnaire will see plenty of play in my Ravnica Remastered, but in our cube both colors offer better 3-drops. Jor Kadeen is exactly the kind of payoff we need, a single card, that has a strong enough upside to add many artifacts without a lot of parasitic cards, while also a fine card without activation.

They are so flexible. EtB-value for blink effects, extra body for token synergies, and obviously artifact synergies. Also great Tempo/Aggro beaters AND probably good enough for slower decks too.
I'd cut Wingcrafter and Firefist Striker for them probably

A removal spell with just the right power level for our cube, allowing artifact synergies (Restoration Gearsmith and Tradingpost!). Gary likes it too. I think the best idea would be to cut Ultimate Price, which feels like it's almost a 2-mana instant speed that kills everything (not quite, but closer to it than any other 2-mana instant), and it's the least interesting/cool Terror variant imo.

That's it so far, big idea, but I think it could bring our cube to the next level :)


I would probably jam him, at 500 cards, with only a few artifact payoff cards, the theme feels very diluted.

I found myself being drawn more towards the signets with upheavel as the payoff card, but than ended up a fun looking blink/tempo deck instead.

Mask of memory is too good for me to let pass. I do like the idea of making the bedrock of an artifact theme being those sort of smoothing/draws cards, which non-blue colors tend to really want. It creates an opportunity for the artifact theme to really start to snowball off of early picks that people really need for their decks.

I ran coveteous dragon for a long time, and it was never really successful.
Yeah, I probably should give him a test run at least.

Well, the idea was to create a theme, that is worth it even when your deck has only 3 or 4 real payoff cards. I figured a slow, heavy midrange deck would fit best and has also some overlap with wildfire.dec and other themes. It's also a deck, that could jam all the mana rocks AND all the equipment. But time will tell.

I run 69 artifacts and a few cards that produce artifact tokens, I think this should be a good number, but still, zero experience so far.

That's too bad to hear, I have high hopes for the dragon, because he's so darn cool. What do you think, why didn't he work out for you?


Its just kind of slow and clunky, ok, but the power level has to be really down there for the dragon to really be an exciting bomb. Its kind of a clunky artifact ernahm djinn, which is ok, but generally not going to be priortized by drafters or seen as a real payoff. Just compare it with something like sharding sphinx, for example
Well, I'm really careful when it comes to pushed stats on creatures in my cube, especially outside of green. And Covetous Dragon would be among the biggest fliers, so I hope at least a decent pay off? If not, what would be a really strong pay off in that color?

I updated my update-post, now with real {B} artifact support!


Staff member
The strongest payoff for red and artifacts has to be these guys:

You don't run any PW's so I don't expect you consider Daretti, but goblin welder is a very fun card and one that makes you happy you went artifacts. They are pretty much the only two payoffs for red playing artifacts in my cube and they do a decent job of dragging people into that archetype or going to the people who need them.

Otherwise, here are some cool big red creatures that could go into the artifact deck and happen to be red:
The strongest payoff for red and artifacts has to be these guys:

You don't run any PW's so I don't expect you consider Daretti, but goblin welder is a very fun card and one that makes you happy you went artifacts. They are pretty much the only two payoffs for red playing artifacts in my cube and they do a decent job of dragging people into that archetype or going to the people who need them.

Hmmm, I considered Welder, but I feared, that people might think of him too much as a combo card, and that he could be not really that good in a midrange-y deck. Is it good enough to run him with no big cheat targets?


Staff member
Hmmm, I considered Welder, but I feared, that people might think of him too much as a combo card, and that he could be not really that good in a midrange-y deck. Is it good enough to run him with no big cheat targets?

If your playgroup expects it to cheat in big fatties then they may be disappointed but being able to get back a Mindslaver or Triskelion, would be just as good right?

Here is one of your decks that you drafted:

WU/br Robots from CubeTutor.com

I feel like the welder would be pretty good here as a way to bring back Aether Searcher or Sharding Sphinx if they die. Plus you have both Perious Myr and Filigree Familiar, which are great cards to just cycle around with another artifact every second turn to grind out value, which is what every midrange deck wants to do right?
Hmm, that seems pretty interesting. And it could be a good way to make the artifact deck something more than just another midrange deck with some beefy dudes. You made me rethink my whole approach, thanks a lot :p
Update: Allright, it is december 2020 and I finally got around to update this thread!

Since I had not posted here for two and a half years, I updated the opening post massively with all the theme and archetypes that construct my cube. I'm happy about everyone who gives it a read, maybe a draft and of course about every feedback.

In the future I will post more here and also in the other cube blogs, as recently I always only checked cube talk.
Just had a blast drafting with my girlfriend. Since my latest update it happens more often that decks come together, that aren't among the explicitly supported archetypes. Since my first advanced deck back when I was eleven was Dimir Intrigues, this one made my heart leap. I even got the guildmage <3

Yeah, she doesn't pick signets. I went 2-1, but it was extremely close.

After some black good stuff I picked up some blue and Teferi's Tutelage. I followed it up with Codex Shredder and in the last pack I even got the Crab for maximum mill. Shredder and crab are in there mostly to support selfmill/landfall, the tutelage is actually the only card I threw in the cube because I wanted a mill win condition. It worked just like my old "I never attack but mill you"-deck I used to have with 4 copies of Vedalken Entrancer.

Two noteworthy situations:

After winning game one with her white-blue, fish-like tempo deck, my girlfriend boarded Laboratory Maniac in. That led to a very tense final in game 3. I had the tutelage, she had the maniac, she was down to 2 cards, but eot I cracked Codex Shredder to get something back, hoping she wouldn't have a counterspell. I had the choice between Smother and Vapor Snare and decided to go for the kill over the steal to play around Complicate. Iwas very lucky, because she was holding Turn into a Pumpkin and could've just bounced the enchantment eot for the win.

I won game two by Biomantic Mastery + Teferi's Tutelage. A combo to maybe have an eye on. Though it didn't even win directly this time, because there were only 5 creatures on board, but I could very well imagine a simic deck building around this combo.

Oh, and it was the first time I saw Booster Tutor in action. I picked a bunch of signets and Fountain of Ichor, which allowed me to pick a Firebolt and kill two annoying attackers. Then in another game I got a Debtor's Knell, which got forsaked immediately. All in all it was strong and fun for both players, great card.
While I experimented with cube occasionals last year, I realized I was too strict with archetype support. If you accept that even core archetypes will come together only 80% of the time instead of 100%, you open up for much positive variance.

Before, I calculated the needs of my cube based on the number 200, which is the smallest pool of cards we're using. So if I wanted a sacrifice deck on average to have 6 sacrifive outlets to function, I included 6 such cards for every 200 cards in the cube. For a 400 card version of my CCC, that would mean I needed 12 sacrifice outlets playable in that archetypes color. This simple math led to very well supported archetypes.

But what if this was not the ultimate goal?

After my occasionals-experiment, I went back to a regular cube with 500 cards - but I kept the same archetype support numbers. So I basically reduced the explicit support to 80%, leading to more space for build-arounds, subthemes cool goodstuff cards - just an overall superior cube experience. The archetypes are still well enough supported to appear regularly, but all the experimental builds popping up since then have increased the variety. These number I've found seem to be perfect for my cube.

Well, in addition to that, archetype cards and categories get flex points, from 1 to 5, determining how many decks actively want a card. For example, Aven Riftwatcher has two tags: "Lifegain Source" and "Blink Target", which makes it desireable for {W/U} blink and {W/B} lifegain. Despite not being tagged, it could be desireable for the other three archetypes in white. However, here that isn't the case. So he only gets 2/5 flex points. In the end I'll count the flex points for each category. With an average of 2 flex points, you'll get 10% extra, 3 would give 20%, 3.2 would give 22% and so on. As an example, here is the math I did for 500 cards in the category "Blink Target":

"needed number" "Category" "what is actually in the cube"
"Current flex points" ÷ "what is acually in the cube" = "quote for additons"
"needed number" × "result from the quote" = "how many cards needed"

20 Blink Targets 20

Then I added some cards and the flexpoints they brought, which lowered the average sightly.

20 Blink Targets 24

So here I had 20 blink targets, which had so many flex points, that I had to add more cards until the result of the last line of the qotation is closer to the number of blink targets than to any other number.

The simple conclusion would be: My blink targets were desireable for an average 2.79 of archetypes, which led to 4 more copies added

I'm bad at math and maybe I'm just confusing everyone here, but I've found this to be a very good way of rewarding flexible cards. Angel of Vitality (1 flex point) is going to wheel to the lifegain drafter. The blink drafter might have less luck with wheeling Flickerwisp (4 flex points). I think we have to take this into account when determining our numbers.

Note that I've kept the impact small. In the example, 20 cards being interesting for on average almost two other archetypes as well just led to 4 cards added. And if a category doesn't score an average of 2 at the very least, they won't get anything.

Don't worry, my next post here will have no confusing math and many pictures of beautiful cards.
So, after spending days on overwriting my initial post, I now abandoned the pair archetype model and built my cube from scratch, trying to avoid narrow cards and raildrafting completely. So far, I tried my best to support all pair archetypes, as equal as possible in both colors and I forced myself to reach a certain amount of enablers/payoffs. With that mindset, I ended up cubing cards like these:

Well, in drafting these were virtual gold cards, as you wouldn't play them outside of {G/U} landfall/{W/B} lifegain/{R/G} madness. This leads to boring drafts and more similar decks each time. And while I knew this, I was so focused to make certain decks work, that I kinda ignored it.

Now I did two things to ensure more freedom and variety. 1) I abandoned all overaching archetype structures. While I had an eye on the colors pairs having enough overlap, I still just supported the archetypes in the 'natural' colors. That means for example, that landfall is now primarily a green thing that gets just a bit of support in white and blue. 2) While doing this, I almost exclusively added cards, that had a synergistic use in at least two archetypes/themes OR are so goodstuffy, that most decks of their color want them anyway (think removal, mana dorks, value creatures likeHypnotic Specter or Hidden Dragonslayer).

Just drafting my cube on cubecobra is exciting now. I think this step was long overdue, as I started to just go too deep long before. Anyway, this is how my archetypes/themes are supported now

Blink - primarily: {W}{U}, secondary: {B}, tertiary: {G}{R}
Tokens - primarily: {W}, secondary: {G}{R}, tertiary: {B}
Madness - primarily: {R}, secondary: {G}{U}
Landfall - primarily: {G}, secondary: {W}{U}, tertiary: {R}
Lifegain - primarily: {W}{B}, tertiary: {G}
Sacrifice - primarily: {B}, secondary: {R}{W}, tertiary: {U}
Spells matter - primarily: {U}, secondary: {R}, tertiary: {B}
Equipment - primarily: {W}, secondary: {B}{R}, tertiary: {U}
Wildfire - primarily: {R}, tertiary: {B}{G}{U}
Dredge - primarily: {G}, secondary: {U}{B}, tertiary: {R}
Goblins - primarily: {R}, tertiary: {B}
Evasion - primarily: {U}, secondary: {W}{B}
Loam - primarily: {G}, tertiary: {U}{B}{R}
Mill - secondary: {U}
Ramp - primarily: {G}, tertiary: {W}{U}{B}{R}
Morph - secondary: {G}{U}, tertiary: {B}{R}{W}
Devotion - 4 to 5 cards in each color plus 3 colorless

There is also general support for more over overaching theaters

Aggro - primarily: {R}{W}, secondary: {B}{G}, tertiary: {U}
Control - primarily: {U}, secondary: {B}{R}, tertiary: {W}

Oh, and in addition to all of that, I managed to increase the number of both colorless cards (now 55) and hybrids (now 30) by 10 cards each. That not only makes for more options in each pack, it also helps mono color to be a thing. I sticked with the two gold cards per guild I had in my previous incarnation of 500, but now I made sure to have them not support the same deck. They are, however, allowed to be a bit more narrow as sign posts.

If you want to give it a test draft or just check out the new list, you can find it in my updated signature.
Haven't posted here for a while once again, but I've went up in size from 500 to 680. I just want to try to make a great cube with the maximum number of cards that fit my box. Call me crazy, but I think the extra variety is worth the extra work, and I'm fine now with archetypes not being available all the time.

However, after I've then tried to eliminate as many "parasitic" (not playable on their own) cards as possible, my newest mission is to increase the synergy potential. And today is white day. Here are the coming updates:

Most changes happen in the 1-drop slot. Cenn's Tactician was probably a bad idea in the first place with no real soldier tribal deck, while Deftblade Elite looked interesting, but then no longer appealing in packs. Boros Elite and the Foot Soldier were just a little borig, whil being less iconic than Savannah Lions, so I've found more interesting replacements. Topplegeist and the Javelineer are both nice with blink stuff and I'm pretty certain they will play well. Hunted Witness isn't Doomed Traveler, but with lifegain as a larger theme and a lot of equipments/pump abilities, I think the two 1/1s for {W} should do the trick. I'm a little more sceptical on the cat, because I have to pay for the second 1/1, but I wanna try it at least.

Martyr replaces Gather. It's also two bodies in one card, but it gets you a lifegain trigger or two. The second Soltari I cut then to remove unblockable from my cube, and I think Fledgling Griffin is more at home at my power level than Fearless Fledgling. I also hope it and the Felidar are solid enough additions to the landfall theme. Makindi Stampede certainly is, as it's a land, that can be a game wining spell when drawn late or bounced back to hand. Master Skald wasn't necessary as a second Trusty Retriever, and Griffin Guide is a little swingy for my tastes.
One little note: I'll go with Faerie Guidemother instead of Sacred Cat. It's synergistic with fewer themes (blink instead of lifegain and tokens), but just so much more generally useful.

But now, it is Blue day! {U}

Gudul Lurker had to go because of my new no-unblockability policy and it wasn't interesting anyways. It gets replaced by Artificer's Birdy Assistant, who is still a cheap evasive guy for ninjas and equipments and everything, but also a cute artifacts payoff.

I thought a lot about Darkslick Drake vs. Wing Splicer, but I think blue control doesn't need the good stuff-y blocker. Especially now that I have my girl Inga Rune-Eyes in there. Blink and artifacts need the Splicer more, probably, so it's back.

Impulse is a good card. But replacing it with Radical Idea isn't eve that radical, as it works better with both selfmill and madness.

Peek has also been fine, but I honestly think Obsessive Search might have the bigger upside in my cube. Blue has like 14 loot effects, not even counting all the other interesting discard outlets in the cube, so I think most blue deck interested in a cantrip should easily get 2-3 effects without even trying. Also, some players really hate getting peeked.

Spell Snuff gets upgraded to Syncopate.

Cephalid Coliseum didn't even have a chance to prove itself, but I think another cantrip, that works with selfmill and mill is probably better than a blue pain land. Not sure, but this way I don't have to buy a 3€ card.

Teferi's Tutelage got cut more for Drowned Secrets, which recently got added. I just think with two landfall-mill-crabs and secrets, I don't want another mean mill win con. So instead I'll add this nice split card between a looter and an artifact payoff in Mirrodin Besieged. Looking forward to cube with it.
It's black day!

Changeling Outcast is another victim of me trying to reduce uninteractive mechanics. Also, the frog adds some dredge synergies to a solid 1-drop.

Tenacious Dead isn't quite as good a blocker/weapon wielder as the wisp, but I guess it's worth it for the sacrifice synergies? It is one swap I'm not too sure about, but my gut says it's right.

Aether Poisoner is an easy upgrade for the rider, as it works nicely with artifacts/tokens/blink, which are all meant to be a larger part of black now.

Aerialist won the riptide fight club battle against the bat.

Soul Collector is blacks most mediocre morph and makes room for another token/lifegain/sacrifice support card and basically my Zulaport Cutthroat number two.

Capsule and Edict replace my two least liked (by me) removal spells, while adding artifact and dredge synergy potential.

Spacegodzilla is still kinda costy, so I'll instead add the Marionette Master. It seems to be a riptide favorite and I want to have at least one real artifact payoff in that color. Especially if that payoff also works nicely with blink, sacrifice and token themes.

Black is the only color not participating in landfall in my cube, but it does appear in Loam decks with it's selfmill and graveyard effects, so I thought a land, that sacs itself would be a better fit, than one, that wants to be bounced for value. Also, bouncing a trick isn't even that great.
I think the frog is a great add, really unassuming but good synergy. I think tenacious dead is pretty terrible really - the problem is you need to have two mana up all the time if you want to save it otherwise you don't get the effect. If you want that effect maybe sanitarium skeleton?

You'll need to watch bastion of remembrance - being an enchantment means it's fairly uninteractive and can be a bit frustrating to deal with but might give the sac deck a boost if you think it needs it?
I thought of the Skeleton as a engine piece more than as a blocker, but you might be right, since that's a pretty narrow card. Maybe it would be better to include another token producer, that works with sacrifice? Like, one of these?

And I'll keep an eye on the bastion, but I don't expect it to be all too frustrating currently.