Erik's Boredom cube (Low power, budget)

Hello, I'm Erik Twice and I should be writing. But I have a headache and I'm bored. While I wait for it to go away I've decided to draft another cube. One that is cheap and that I can actually build in real life with real cards. Let's say 20 cents per card is 20 cents too much.

Since my cube is very "normal" I would love to try different archetypes or ideas than usual. For example, here's some stuff I would love to try out:

Temur Spells

Sultai Graveyard

Esper Value Reanimator/Blink

I looked around and it seems the colour combinations I want to follow is:


I still haven't thought of a combination for Naya and Mardu so I'm all ears for any weird suggestions you have. There's a chance the whole cube should go into graveyard themes, but I don't have enough experience to really draw it into Mardu and Naya.

Besides budget (not that I might build the cube anyways), I've been taking inspiration from old standard and extended decks. This time I'm going to stay closer to that idea, with a slower environment and a more aggro-combo feel. You can get a lot of old format staples for practically nothing regardless of their rarity because they have been left behind by power creep.

Also, can you run Dragonstorm if you make every fatty in the cube a Dragon? Asking for a friend.
I like the premise of the cube. If you are going for aggro-combo, then Naya could be a landfall shard. The Sultai GY cards could include some land recursion that pulls double duty.

I'd love to see some kind of Mardu control shard (I love those decks). Control decks like Mardu Pyromancer from Modern play with the GY, can have a stormy feel by casting lots of cards in a turn and can use the blink/reanimation of the Esper shard as card advantage. Not sure this is enough of an identity though.

Good luck!
I like the premise of the cube. If you are going for aggro-combo, then Naya could be a landfall shard. The Sultai GY cards could include some land recursion that pulls double duty.

I'd love to see some kind of Mardu control shard (I love those decks). Control decks like Mardu Pyromancer from Modern play with the GY, can have a stormy feel by casting lots of cards in a turn and can use the blink/reanimation of the Esper shard as card advantage. Not sure this is enough of an identity though.

Good luck!
Thank you!

The issue with Naya being the Lands theme is that, well, that's the default theme for the colour isn't it? Something I've noticed, not just with this cube but my other one and Magic in general is that, well, themes are repeated a lot. There's not as much variety in Magic as one might think at first glance because most cards play in the same space. Beyond that, while there's a strong crossover with graveyard themes in green, I'm not sure how much crossover there is with spells and I don't see red or white landfall combining too well with the other archetypes.

I haven't seen Mardu Pyromancer but I'll check it out. I love the current Pyromancer decks in historic and something like that would be fun. I've also thought about Pox or denial as a whole.

I've been thinking about the mana base but I haven't reached a conclusion. Bouncelands are something I want to add. I like that they represent both ramp and card advantage which I think allows for a wider range of playable mana costs at lower power. However, they are slow and most low power manabases are slow as well. I think too many cubes suffer from lands that enter the game tapped because they make aggro and tempo incredibly awkard.
While Aristocrats is a bit cliché and I already use it on my other cube the truth is that it would fit the cube very well. So it might be a good inclusion. Heroic is too similar to spells matter, so I'm not that attracted to it.

So yeah, I need to see what can Naya do that fits the other colours.

My hypothetical cubes that don't pan out have had a problem with Naya as well. My current trend is pulling towards really wide archetypes that split into sub-archetypes.

Berserkers is a decent/default choice. You could also do Heroic/Prowess/Berserkers/Atarka Red-like overlap. I separate this from Temur Spells by having Temur Spells be more value based, with creatures that grow, or getting lasting value from the spells:t:creature ci:urg o:/whenever you (draw|cast)/ o:/\spp counter/ (Example search link)

But, my latest Naya one was "Artifact Aggro":

WR: Classic artifact aggro: equipment synergy, creatures that care that you control artifact, or just buffing artifact creatures.
WG: Mostly Golems / Splicers, but also +1/+1 Counters overlap (with WBG).
RG: High Power: Green/artifact ramp into slightly overcosted strong creatures, equipment to buff power

With a bit of cheating. In an Artifact heavy cube that I've been wanting to make, I had a weird way to link Artifacts and Green, which fits into the above. The idea is to have green have a lot of creature support, but few creatures, needing artifacts to buff their smaller ones, or using the artifact creatures to bring up the numbers.

Hope this helps.
Naya Mana doublers?

Untap lands for lots of mana

Some X spells in red and white

Would fit well with spells Cloud of Faeries, Frantic Search and other untappers. The X spells would try to be able to fit in both your Naya and Mardu sections for RW.
Maybe some kicker spells?

It would be tough to balance as you don't want the top end to just take over. But at the same time, the dual nature of the doublers means there is some amount of risk.
Sorry about the double post, but a fun one that I see from time to time on this forum is Naya pinata.

Or maybe just an enrage dinosaur theme. Beating down with big guys is fun!
First, I want to thank you guys for all the suggestions. I've been thinking about them and even doing some drafts. The problem is as follows:

Spells, Graveyard and grinding value from ETBs are very broad themes. They can go in very different decks and be built in countless ways. But +1/+1 counters or Piñatas are inherently narrow. Too narrow for a broad 3-color archetype. For example, it's unlikely you'll build a control deck with +1/+1 counters. It's sad because I'm already halfway there:

Lands is more versatile in that it can be a control or aggro-loam deck but I'm still unhappy. I can always try to run artifacts in Naya but I dislike going artifact-heavy on a cube again. My main cube is and while the focus is different, I feel "It has been done". I'm also not sure it would have much of an overlap with the other themes.
How about doing the following (random example):

Define the broad theme as a shard/wedge

Sultai: Graveyard

Then define what each guild does
UG: Madness
BG: Lands
UB: Self-mill aggro or control

That way you get the best of both worlds. The challenge comes when one of your guilds comes up twice (Boros in Naya and Mardu). You may have a slight imbalance.
That's the problem Nanonox, I can't really think of a big overaching theme for Naya that isn't best realized as a smaller pair.

I think Lands is probably the closest. But I'm not sure how to draw white into the theme, much less with the budget restrictions. No Loam, Crucible and the like puts a serious damper on the design.
I understand what you mean now.

So like Naya lands: (Just putting some payoffs/enablers, there are other options to tweak power level)

RW: Aggro landfall

Low to the ground aggro deck that gets above average beaters with landfall.

RG: Discard lands

Grind an advantage by discarding lands for value.

or RG: Number of lands

Get lands into play to trigger some sweet payoffs (weird ramp).

WG: Tokens

Use lands to make tokens in a midrange shell.

After that you can have a bunch of enablers to really make the deck tick:

Knight of the White Orchid, Legion's Landing, Fall of the Thran, Tazeem Raptor, Kor Skyfisher, Emancipation Angel, Shepherd of the Flock

Springbloom Druid, Harrow, Tilling Treefolk, Groundskeeper, Sudden Reclamation, The Mending of Dominaria

Devour in Flames, Cleansing Wildfire, Alpine Guide

Borderposts, Mina and Denn Wildborn, Murasa Rootgrazer, Leave // Return, Knight of the Reliquary, Bouncelands

Ancestral Statue, Scaretriller

I have no idea if this is distinct enough for what you have in mind or if it even is something you want to try. But I think you can say lands as a theme and get more specific even within a shard.
I've been thinking about the topic, making drafts and trying to find archetypes only to realize that the answer has been staring in my face the whole time

Naya should be the aggro section of the cube.

1) I'm working with very broad archetypes. Lands, +1/+1 counters and the like are much smaller than "Graveyard" or "Spells". Aggro seems like a dumb description in comparison but it's not very different. I can have a counters subtheme, but it should not be the whole shard.

2) Red and Green are inevitably going to be aggressive in Spells, Red is going to have Sacrifice themes and Green is going to partake in Graveyard themes. The only unifying theme between them is punching the opponent, leaning towards smaller creatures (Sacrifice) or Midrange (Graveyard).

3) The cube needs aggressive, disruptive, fair decks that keep the durdling and value-cheating in check. Since the other color combinations aren't going to do it, Naya should step up to the plate.

So I'm looking at cards like


Either way, the main problem with White lands is that their key pieces require you to be behind the opponent in lands:

Land Tax and Tithe, whcih are too expensive for this cube, work because they are extremely cheap. You can get them to fire most often than not and Tithe fixes your mana even if you don't. But when the cost increaes to two, you start having problems on the play. Problems that get worse if your opponent plays a Bounceland or has a low mana curve.

Consider the following: How likely am I to be behind in lands in a deck palying Seismic Assault? I need at least three lands, probably four. Gift of Estates becomes very awkard at that point. Knight of the White Orchid is anti-synergetic with itself! If you have played Robber of the Rich in standard you probably know how awful much worse he is on the draw.

White's limitations also means you can't play ramp. Key cards like Crucible of Worlds become harder to abuse. It just doesn't work. The main reason to play white in your land-based decks are:

It's a shame because there's a card that seems extremely interesting but that I can't imagine fitting in a deck:

I really like the cube, and I think your plan to make Naya something more universal than lands is a good one! However, I think you're selling White's contributions lands a little short. You're exactly right that White contributes mainly when you're behind on land count, so here are some ways to break that parity. (I'm not endorsing these cards per se, just presenting them as potential resolutions if you ever want to return to lands.)

Granted, most of these cards are artifacts or 5c lands, but they're fairly specific--they're not really 5c cards. If you've tried any of this and had it work well/not work at all, I'd love to hear! I've played with roughly half of these cards and have been contemplating the rest on my own.
Sorry for the double-post, but I remembered something really obvious and something less so!

Duh, Why Didn't I Mention This: Bounce lands reduce how many lands you have in play and are staples around here, so that's another easy way to break parity on land count.

I Forgot Those Existed (And With Good Reason): Sweep is kind of a miserable mechanic. However, White actually got the better end of the bargain here, with a pair of instants that can actually end the game (which I think is how you want to play a Sweep card--causing people to discard a ton late game is bad outside of Kamigawa block [Sink Into Takenuma] and I'd rather play Fight with Fire than Barrel Down Sokenzan)

Incidentally, I'd love to live the combo dream of Charge + Firestorm (or Balance to force them to chump with whatever they have left; this sort of DIY Armageddon feels a lot cleverer to me than the real thing) to win a game by buffing your team enough to survive the massive sweep from Firestorm and swinging in :D
I'm baaack! I'm bored again, which means more working on cubes. Here's the question: If you wanted to make Naya a tokens-based shard, how would you do it? Give me some recommendations :)

Also, I went back to the drawing board to make a clearer structure for spells matter. I also have to face one thing: This thing I'm building is not low-power at all. Mid-power at most.
Selesnya's pretty easy, and I don't think we really need to get into how to make GW Tokens a thing.

That's how you signal that tokens are also in Red. Not only is it some nice potential removal, you can also use to trade up from Elementals/Saprolings to bigger, scarier tokens.
That's an interesting card LadyMapi, never seen it before.

I would actually like some advice for Green token cards that are cheap and interesting. I only know the same high-powered staples of old.

Dom Harvey

If I'm trying to put a theme in three colours rather than two, I'm still going to look at each of the three two-colour pairs with the goal of making them feel different - so maybe WR Tokens wants to go wide with mass pump effects like Rally the Peasants, RG can sacrifice tokens for some payoff, WG has the tie-in with lands mentioned above or +1/+1 counters (maybe stuff like Cryptolith Rite/Song of Freyalise too)

My favourite tokens card (and honestly one of my favourites point blank):

This little guy is such a workhorse - sometimes you just want several bodies on one card, there are interesting decisions over when to cash in the token, and it's strong across power levels because the strength of Lotus Petal depends on what you're trying to ramp into. By the same token, Kozilek's Predator or Eyeless Watcher are good ways to bridge the gap to your finishers

If you don't have a firm anti-PW rule, this Domri is as fair and fun as planeswalkers get for this power level and supports token themes nicely
Ok, here's the new, improved core of Temur:

I doubt Haze of Rage truly works and Mind's Desire seems ambitious but I want to try. I love Storm.