Erik's "The cool side of Magic" cube


I no longer play Magic. I used to, back when Extended existed as a format and Ravnica was just one block instead of three. I was attracted to the creativity of the game, the nifty interactions and the deckbuilding. I spent days building decks for formats I didn't even play and reading about the history of the game.

Alas, I eventually stopped playing and after I discovered Netrunner and Legend of the Five Rings, it's unlikely I'll ever return. I respect the game, but the high level of randomness, matchups and limited options in play prevent it from becoming my game of choice. The extremely high price isn't a minor issue, either.

My goal with my cube is to capture what I like of Magic: The nifty interactions, the history of the game and the fun of building. I'll be playing in mostly small groups (4 players) with people who are serious gamers who have played Magic before but many years ago.


- I want nifty cards. The more interesting and "nostalgic" the better: Recurring Nightmare, Surgvival of the Fittest, Mindslaver, Upheaval, Scroll Rack...You know the drill.
- Powerful enablers will be paired with weaker support cards. Here's the issue: All the "nifty" cards are extremely powerful. And if you pair them with strong support cards, they stop being nifty and become more of a "I win" button. Finding balance will be difficult, but I think it possible.
- No planeswalkers: I don't like Planeswalkers. I think they are poorly designed and dislike the effect they have on the game.
- Moderate preference for old cards: Nothing against newer designs (which are better), but I like the historical angle of Magic quite a bit.
- Small size. I'm aiming to have between 360 and 450 cards.


Since I have no experience, I do not have a well-built cube yet. I have a draft, which I've tweaked to have something to start working on.

I'm happy with the manabase (Duals, Shocklands, Fetches), the relative scarcity of non-green mana acceleration and the overall shape of the cube. When I draft, I get fun, workable decks. There are consistency issues and I often fail to draft a viable archetype but the idea is there.

Since I'm inexperienced, I don't know if this is the right way to do it but my plan was to go through the colour combinations and make changes to support a given archetype. If I do some basic archetypes, it should be easier to support the next.

There are five archetypes I want to start working on because they seem easier than others:

UR Tempo (Small Creatures, disruption, burn)
WB Midrange (Board Control, Reanimation, Enchantments)
WG Lands (Life from the Loam, Knight of the Reliquary,
Rx Sneak Attack (Creatures to ramp/cheat into play, Sneak Attack, Through the Breach)
Ux Storm

I know there's isn't much to this post that can actually be worked on, but I plan to slowly update it as I learn. Thank you!
So I'm, back! I've been too busy and too much into L5R to work on my cube.

Still, I've drafted it on the simulator quite a bit and realized a few things.

1) I had some "cool cards" which simply didn't work well, like Aluren, Phyrexian Altar or Intruder Alarm. I removed or replaced some of these, increasing the number of playables in the set.
2) I didn't have enough creatures. When I drafted on the simulator I often ended up with decks with 8 or less creatures, some of which of questionable value on their own. This meant that decks were very weak to removal, aggro decks would face mostly clean boards and the game would be less interactive. I decided to tweak the numbers a bit to address this issue.
3) Some basic archetpyes lack support. There are few good targets to reanimate, few big creatures or lack of red control options, for example.

So far the colour pair that seems to work best is UG. For example:

UG rampcreatures from

GB also seems to work well. There's clear synergy between the sacrifice theme in black (Recurring Nightmare, Stronghold Assassin, Oversold Cementery) and green's creatures.

SitDown's draft of Staple cube on 10/04/2019 from

In fact, when I draft these are two of the most common archetypes that come on their own. This leads me to think that Green has the least problems of the whole cube and that, of the archetypes listed above, I should focus on the pairs including these colours.

First, these are the cards that support the "Recurring Nightmare/Stronghold Assassin" deck:

I think three "when it ETB, destroy target creature" cards is one too many. I'll probably remove either Nekraatal or Shriekmaw. Unearth is cute and very useful, but given the strenght of the archetype, it should either support other builds or be removed to give its slot to another card. On the other hand, it seems to me there's a lack of interesting ETB effects. These might be found in other colours but I would like to see more interesting targets than the ones currently in use. Dusk Legion Zealot could be a good option, but I'm sure there are other interesting targets that are fun to play with.

I'm very fond of this archetype because all the cards are generally useful and can lend themselves to many colours and decks. I can see midrange UB or BR decks existing just like GB does.

There's a strong Zombie subtheme in black that came up naturally so I decided to support it with Graveborn Muse
Carnophage (0)

Cryptbreaker (0)

Graveborn Muse (0)

Zombie Infestation (0)

Sarcomancy (0)

Carrion Feeder (0)

Gravecrawler (0)

Putrid Imp (0)

Stronghold Assassin (0)


From here, Carnophage and Sarcomancy should go. They are simply not up to par for creature standards, they don't fit any well-developed archetype and feel off. I would see if there are other interesting zombies that could get their slot to keep the numbers up. There must be something of interest here.

General Black support.

Chainer's Edict (0)

Hymn to Tourach (0)

Night's Whisper (0)

Smallpox (0)

Phyrexian Arena (0)

Dark Confidant (0)

Kitesail Freebooter (0)

Nezumi Graverobber (0)

Hypnotic Specter (0)

Midnight Reaper (0)

Phyrexian Negator (0)

Vampire Nighthawk (0)

Doom Whisperer (0)

Dark Ritual (0)

Darkblast (0)

Vampiric Tutor (0)

Duress (0)

Diabolic Edict (0)

Doom Blade (0)

Thoughtseize (0)

Chainer's Edict (0)

Phyrexian Arena (0)


I think there are a couple weak spots in this list, probably one of the "Sacrifice one creature" cards and Darkblast. I would like to see more utility.


Yawgmoth's Bargain (0)

Pestilence (0)

Necromancy (0)

Exhume (0)

Yawgmoth's Will (0)

Tendrils of Agony (0)

Death Cloud (0)

Entomb (0)

Corpse Dance (0)

Reanimate (0)

Dark Ritual (0)

Cabal Ritual (0)

Zombie Infestation (0)


The "Storm/Combo" package works well and doesn't seem to need work but the rest of the build-arounds are not working properly. There are few worthwhile targets for the Reanimation package and Zombie Infestation doesn't have enough support. Death Cloud seems unplayable and might be replaced.


I plan for at least two B/W archetypes. One of them should be creature-based, midrangey and somewhat similar to the Recurring Nightmare deck. The other should be a more controllish deck with enchantments and reanimation. Some key cards I want to work on or consider

Academy Rector (0)

Debtor's Knell (0)

Enduring Renewal (0)

Parallax Wave (0)

Death or Glory (0)

Replenish (0)

Miraculous Recovery (0)

Yawghmoth's Bargain (0)

Magus of the Balance (0)

Magus of the Disk (0)

Volrath's Stronghold (0)

Enlightened Tutor (0)

Stoneforge Mystic (0)

Lingering Souls (0)

Karmic Guide (0)


The main issues here are how to get key cards to the graveyard, the high cost of all key cards and the lack of cheap, supporting cards. Sadly, I'm not experienced enough to solve these issues, so what do you think? What could I do to support a BW control archetype?
I've been doing a very large amount of changes and the cube is in a very rough state right now. In many ways, it could be considered a step back but sometimes you have to go back in order to progress through a better path.

First of all, I've added some fatties because there weren't any. Nothing special, some of them are either placeholders or cool-but-questionable cards like Avatar of Woe. I'm mostly keeping them around so I can see how they fit in the cube and so their slots are accounted for. Still, I'll probably choose some low-level cards for these slots.

Second, I've removed Storm. I love storm, I would love to have storm but it takes a lot of space on the cube and I think I'm going to set it aside for now. I plan to keep some of the cards aside alongside proxy power and just add them up another day if I fancy to. I can picture it coming back because many powerful pieces are already in and it may be possible to support a slow version of it in the future but, for now, I want to promote slower, more "durdly" strategies like Turboland which don't require as many cards. In fact, I added this to see how it works:

Horn seems hard to exploit, but it's worth testing for fun. Given that lands was already a viable GW archetype, having a bit of a controllish build with U or R seems good.

Third: chances are I won't be able to keep a preference for older cards. It's surprising how the game may have over 20K different cards but so many effects are missing or rare. Modern cards are needed to keep a more coherent sent.

I also took out Recurring Nightmare. It was, by far, the best card in the set and by a wide margin. It went into every deck and made them the best. And I wa kind of fine with that until it started bringing back fatties. Ah and I forgot it was literally unkillable because you don't give your opponents priority when cards hit the table. Oversold Cementery will have to do for now.
I did some more changes and now I'm very happy with the direction my cube is going. I would even say it's getting close to finished and I'm going to start proxying cards soon. Anyways, some interesting ideas and changes.


Cradle seems like a dumb autinclusion in any deck, since my cube is turning out heavily creature-based, probably even more than it should. Tolarian Academy was overly strong on the last rounds of testing though the number of cheap artifacts has gone down and it may come back. Bazaar was cute before Loam got a boost. Form of the Dragon is me admitting that red cannot do control or play the slow game beyond a support role. Basking Rootwalla being removed makes me sad, but the truth of the matter is that there are only a couple of good madness cards and I don't think the archetype can work in a high-power environment. Chord of Calling seemed a worse Green Sun's Zenith and Woodfall Primus got removed in favour of non-Land destruction fatties.


I decided to break singleton to make Goblin Welder more viable. Now I run 2x Welder, 1 x Trash for Treasure and it seems you can build a deck around the card without autlosing to a single piece of removal. I also doubled on Bonesplitter, because it's a fair, versatile equipment with some fairly notable benefits, like being fetchable with Trinket Mage in UW lists. I also doubled on Frantic Search but I'm not sure it's really necessary.

Craterhoof Behemoth replaces Woodfall Primus because it's a more interesting card. Massacre Wurm and Gray Merchant try to suppor the WB archetype and the former can fit home in many shells without being overpowering. Thing in the Ice seems useful for control decks and also seems weaker in cube than I thought it would be. Thopter Engineer gives red artifact support because I want to give WR some artifact synergy. Drake Haven is a single card but it makes all the discard outlets in the cube work for more decks and archetypes.


I also revised my multicoloured section, removing some questionable cards like removal in favor of more interesting picks. So, for example, I removed Qasali Pridemage in favour of Glare of Subdual and Terminate in favour of Falkenrath Aristocrat. I'm very happy with the majority of my guilds though I still don't know what to do with Golgari, Orzhov and, to a lesser degree, Boros.

I think my cube will top at 420 cards or so, which I think is a great number. I don't feel the need for many more slots.
At this point, I think my cube is more or less finished and just needs polish and maintenance. There are cards I'm not fond of, cards that are a touch too powerful and archetypes that don't quite work but all the groundwork is done. I think I'll let things cools for some time, do a last revision and then print the proxies at last. I've also found more cards in my collection that are on the cube than I expected so that's a nice bonus to have.

Cards I'm on the fence on:

Some of these cards are very cool but aren't quite there. Some may stay after some touches, others will go away to the jank box.

Finishing touches:

1) Tweak some slots to support minimalistic Storm through Doomsday and Gifts Ungiven. The latter is harder than the former, I still haven't found a pile I like to base the archetype on.
2) Tweak some cards for tribal support. By nature, I ended up with White Humans, Green Elves and Black Zombies. Adaptative Automaton went in because it seems a lot of fun. Perhaps I can throw a bone or two.
3) Fix some of the multicoloured slots, mana curve and number of interactive spells in each colour.
Stasis does need some minor support in order to, well, actually win. It fits into Turboland, but it's true it's an inconsistent lock piece in my card pool. I'm going to see if I can get it working with a Vigilance creature or something of the sort and, if not, I'll cut it.
As I polish my cube I move beyond archetypes and single cards and more into the structure of the cube myself. One of the flaws I've seen is that my mana curves were too low and had too many 1-drops. There were also some overloads at certain converted mana costs in some colours, like 5 in red.


Anger works in the GR Survival deck and in some Reanimation variants so it may come back.
Putrid Imp and Reanimate are replaced by slighty more expensive cards to prevent "Turn 1 discard, Turn 2 reanimate for the win".
The white cards are an attempt to reduce the number of creatures in white, specially those that don't seem to fit archetypes well or have mana curve issues.


I needed a couple versatile red 2-drops and something more middle range. Both Sparksmith and Kranko seem versatile and fun and the fact that they have synergy between them is great.
I like Rix Maadi Reveler, but I'm trying to cut down a bit on card complexity.
Animate Dead is the Reanimate replacement.
Making some more cuts for polish.


Zealous Conscripts has a two card combo with Kiki-Jikki, Mirror Breaker which is not supported and hence I would rather remove it. It's also a red five-drop, which is a busy section and I like Kikki-Jikki more.
Fireblast is being cut after a suggestion from the forum, since it's a fairly narrow card and I'm not supporting monored, most of my decks will be bicolor or close to it.


Archaeomancer replaces Mnemonic Wall to have one more 4 drop and one less 5 drop.
Gobling Dark-Dwellers is a good-stuff card that is also a goblin and works well with the graveyard and red's "spells matter" theme.
Merfolk Looter replaces Il-Kor because it doesn't have Shadow. There's only one card with shadow in the whole cube, though the power level is noticiably lower.
Lodestone Golem is used in cubes as a hatebear, which I welcome. It's also an artifact creature and fits in many decks.
Devil's Play can be cast from the graveyard so it should replace the other Fireballs in my cube.


Stasis is one of my favourite cards but it's not pulling its weight. The main problem is that there are only two cards that can bounce it back. This means it can work very well in the Lands deck but not much else.
Stoneforge is being cut after suggestion, since I have few targets for her.
Chromatic Sphere wasn't doing anything.
Windfall is getting cut until I support Storm.
Berserk is a classic but it's also kind of dumb and I'm not sure it's the best use for the slot. I also dislike it being used as removal.


Roar of the Wurm isn't great, but I'm looking for some graveyard support in green
The spellbombs are a test. They can be fetched, have synergy with Welder and Trading Post and are generally useful cards.
I'm wary of Academy Ruins. I don't want Mindslaver locks to be common because they turn Mindlsaver froma fun minigame you can recover from to a "instantly concede button" whenever you hit 8 mana. But I'm willing to give it a try.
Treetop Village is here because I'm thinking of adding one land per colour. It works in all sorts of green decks and has Life from the Loam/Crucible synergy too which is fun.
Kor Haven and Great Furnance are filler. I'm not sure the former makes for interesting games and Great Furnance, while cute, is probably not worth the slot.
I've and cut and I'm now very happy with my cube. I really think 90% of my card choices are great and, above all, I'm very happy with how decks turn out and how archetypes don't seem heavily locked and have a lot of wiggle room. I've cut mostly two kinds of cards:

1) Narrow cards that were just "nice haves" in specific decks
2) Off-curve creatures

It seems obvious on retrospective, but cutting down iffy "nice haves" and questionable creatures leads to better decks because you see the key cards more often and spend less picks on jank. The issue is not so much that you can't find your Welders, Trade Route synergies or the like, it's that if you pick those you don't have enough bread and butter to go around. So I'm increasing the number of cheap interaction spells and focusing more on versatile cards like spells with Flashback. Drake Haven, for example, has gone from being a cute card that didn't work to being a very reasonable pick that works with a bit of everything.

Some generally useful cards I've added:

I haven't missed most of the cards I cut nor have my experiments paid off beyond, perhaps, Roar of the Wurm and Treetop Village which seem ok. I need to reinforce a bit the artifact creatures subtheme as well as blink but otherwise I'm very happy with everything.

I'm going to finally proxy the whole thing once I clean up a few niggles here and there. Sadly, many of the changes have lead to fewer cards from my leftover collection making it in. But eh, I'll get them over time. It's not like Devil's Play is going to cost me much more than taking the Banefire I have growing mold on my shelf.
I'm 13 cards away from finishing my cube. There are very few cuts I would make at this point and I'm very happy with the cube overall.

Some minor replacements or additions.


I love Impulse but the cuve needs 1cc cantrips more than another 2cc card. Also, the original art either has errata (Visions) or uses a white border (Beatdown).


I own TfK, but it's a far less playable card than Compulsive Research which I actually don't.


I was very unhappy with Recruiter of the Guard because it had two uses:
a) Fetching Goblin Welder (Which Imperial Recruiter can do without adding white)
b) Fetching the card you would have rather drawn and leaving a 1/1 behind. (Which Black's card draw is better at)
That's rather poor to be honest so I'm going to try Ranger of Eos instead. Unlike RG, it's an actual card on its own (3/2) and works better in white. It's also a 4cc card instead of the busy 3cc slot and can fetch XX creatures.


High Market just feels bad in comparison with Phrexian Tower. I also don't think Aristocrats is overly strong at this point, unlike when I first started the cube.


I'm slowly pushing for the artifact subtheme to cover a bit more ground. Note that while WHite may not care any "artifacts matter" cards, they do have a few +1/+1 counters card that work extremely well with artifact creatures.

Mindless Automaton is nostalgic, works well with the +1/+1 counters given by other creatures and doubles as a discard outlet. He's weak but I like him enough to try.
Phyrexian Metamorph seems too strong and I would rather it cost 4 colorless but I'm willing to give a try.
Chronomaton is cute and I want to try it.
Bomat Courier is card draw, versatile and another artifact creature in colours that like them.


I kind of want to support storm, but I'm not sure if I want to dedicate the slots. The cards I would need to add are:


It's not a lot,because I already run most of the support like Memory Jar, Yawghmoth's Will/Mizzix's Mastery, untap land effects and so on. So I could support the deck, I'm just not sure if I want to do it because the most parasitic slots, like High Tide, are already in the tightest colours. I'm also thinking that High Tide is kind of questionable because these deck tend to be triclor and I wonder if Omniscience or Dream Halls would be better since they can also be brought into play with or .

Either way, there's a more serious problem than dedicating slots to parasitic Storm cards, the larger problem is that even with a good draft I ened up with 19-20 card decks which are too short on playables. Alternatively, I end up with a very nice control deck that doesn't need Storm because it didn't get neither nor .

Since I'll build the cube as a proxy first, I've also thought about adding a bunch of powered proxies as a "sideboard" of sorts. So far Iit's far from done, but I'm starting to list it. I think the cuve should be able to convert itself between Powered/Unpowered with some tweaks. And that cube will support storm hehe.
I've realized my cube is far from finished. There are some archetypes and colours that work much better than others.

If you stick to archetypes like Blink, Control or the typical UG deck things are great. There's variety, games are fun and the card choices are interesting. The power level is perfect, with games going long but with plays being exciting. I'm in love with Blink as an archetype and I'm using it as the barometer for power, fun and speed of the rest of the cube.

Quality is a cute below if you move into archetypes such as Reanimator, Wildfire and the like. On one hand, they work. On the other, they are inconsistent and I'm getting tons of "almost there" Wildfire control builds that don't push their weight. Reanimator is needs a bit of variety and a reduced variance on the same three board-clearing fatties (Crater Hellion, Avatar of Woe, Massacre Wurm). Add to that Firestorm and other removal and these decks are touch too nasty for my liking. Massacre Wurm really does not need a life loss clause and I'm probably going to replace it with Massacre Girl.

I'm also not very fond of Craterhoof Behemoth. He pumps small creatures too much with too little effort. +3/+3 is a free Overrun, after all. He's not broken, but he turns out to be too much of a one-sided wrath for my liking.

Lands just doesn't work. It really doesn't. The deck is extremely inconsistent and takes too long to get going. It can't really compete with Aggro and it relies too much on a few cards to fight control. It needs a lot of work.

In general, I think the cube needs more "meat and potatoes", perhaps a couple more equipments and bussiness spells and extended the archetypes that work well into other colours. WR Blink should be a ton of fun, for example and can be contra controllish archetype.


Cards I've liked:

Thraben Inspector is amazing. It reliably draws 2-3 cards per game, it blocks, it attacks. It's an incredibly good design and a much better card that it seems at first glance.
Master Decoy has outperformed. I kind of expected him to be weak since this kind of effects haven't been that great in the limited environments I've played and he's slighty overcosted by modern standards. But he really puts a lot of work when combined with other cards. On his own, he's weak, but when coupled with Waterfront Bouncer, removal or an overgrown Champion of the Parish
I expected to dislike Mentor of the Meek. He didn't work for me at all in Standard and did ugly things to my mana curve. But here it's more common to have 1 spare mana and for games to go long, There's more synergy, too, and he has outperformed expectations.

Reveillark is kind of busted, by the way.
I decided to take a different approach. I took a piece of paper and started to write down, from memory, all cards in Red by converted mana cost. The goal was to include only the cards I'm actually interested in. After all, a card I can't remember or I wasn't overly happy would only come on the list with difficulty.

This left me with about 45 cards, ten less than my previous amount. By checking out other lists carefully and thinking about synergy I managed to get to a fairly happy place. I'm now at 50 cards I'm sure of, with a couple experimental slots:

Red is a disspointingly narrow colour. Wildfire and Goblin Welder help, but it's locked into the same "burn+cheap creatures" role it has alwas been. There's no midrange in its card pool, which makes building a cube challenging. I'm trying to keep spells matter cards viable and include enough interesting picks that white may be interested in blinking red spells.
Red is probably my favorite color in cube, so let me prepare a defense of its midrange capabilities! :) Here are some cards you are not running, which fit well in medium-speed decks:

The issue red has is that very few of its cards fit the traditional definition of midrange: 'uses mana advantage to develop a superior board state'. When it comes to the board, red's typical spell effects are lackluster. Where green benefits from ramp, growth over time, and more, red is left with a stunning variety of ways to deal damage. Aggro routinely uses these on the opposing player as a quick form of reach, while control can use it to deal with early game threats. If you're in red, you will have some of these cards. So, red midrange decks have to be somewhere in the middle. It's about maximising pressure over time, using cards like Quicksmith Rebel (pingers) and a smattering of other long-term value cards, such as Pashalik and Furnace Celebration above. At times it feels like an aggro deck that has shifted from 70% early attacks and 30% reach to 40% early attacks and 60% reach. But it is set apart by its heightened interaction and focus on engines.
Wow, that's a nice post, thank you! You are right that Red's "midrange" must be about keeping the pressure. Putting it that way does remind me of a some cards or strategies that worked a bit like that. Of the cards you mention, the one I like the most is Quicksmith Rebel. I think this kind of effects are interesting and I've actually considered some of them, like Sparksmith, which sadly have fallen off. Some thoughts:

Burning Prophet - I liked this a lot in draft and the scrying is fantastic but I'm not sure I like it more than Abbot or even as much as it.
Magus of the Wheel - I used to have this on the cube alongside the original Wheel of Fortune. The issue is that it always seemed a bit awkard to use, the symmetrical effect is important.
Pashalik Mons- This reminds me of a Dominaria creature with similar stats. I like it, though I don't think there are enough goblins for it to truly shine right now. I took most of them with the last revision.
Volt Charge - This doesn't have many targets, though I may include a +1/+1 subtheme in the future and this might come in. I'm told proliferate can be kind of busted if one goes overboard, though.
Furnace Celebration - I like this effect. It works with any permanent which is interesing, but I'm not sure it's worth the slot when I already run Goblin Bombardment. I'm going to see how many possible decks/targets it has, if there are enough sacrifice outlets it can be superinteresting.
Immolation Shaman - Played this in draft. It's a bit of a 1/3 wall until you clear its path and go for the big win. Sadly, it's somewhat weak to removal and I really wish this were a goblin. Still, it's better than Harsh Mentor.
Wildfire Eternal - Interesting card though it's a bit brutal (4 damage or a free spell that doesn't exile itself is amazing). I was thinking about Dreadhorde Arcanist which works similarly and others cubers here are trying.

But really, thanks a lot. I have quite a few things to think about here! :)
I just want to say that I'm now very happy with the red section of my cube. The only change I want to do is to remove Guttersnipe, Dire Fleet Daredevil or other creature for one non-burn, versatile red spell. Despite my previous comments on Madness, I've actually added two cards with the mechanic, perhaps I'll add another and I hope they work ok. The reason is that I want to keep Red creature percentage under 55%, as I feel I have a few too many creatures and not enoughs pells to support Pyromancer Apprenctice or other "Spells matter" cards.
Thanks for the suggestions Nanonox! I don't know what to make of it but I'll give it a try. I'll also keep my eyes open for cheaper cards.

So, after Red I think the best colour to work on is Black. Black was one of the strongest and most focused colours when I first started the cube but, as I removed cards like Recurring Nightmare and broadened the space, the colour started to lose coherence. Right now, it works, but it works because the "pile of cards" does not because the cube naturally leads itself to it. My goal with Black is to rework it to be smoother and more focused. Some colour combinations are starting to come together:

UBR (Grixis): Discard matters, small-spells control
WBR (Mardu) Aristocrats, Hatebears, big-spells control (Wildfire, Enchantments)
GBR (Jund) The Rock (and other midrange "value" decks)

The other three are less defined and have a small black presence:

UWB (Esper) Most decks split between WB and UW. Control decks have more inter-mixing, but the most common splash is for the UB creatures.
BGU (Sultai) Does not seem to come up, it's either BG or UG. It's too rare for a "Survival of the fittest" deck splash B, for example.
WBG (Azban) This is still underdeveloped. Probably G-centered Artifacts and +1/+1 counters will see some play here.

What I've realized: I want to set the standard of my cube around "value" decks like Aristocrats, The Rock and Blink.

Anyways, enough meaningless theory. Let's start with the cards.
So I ran my list is this is what I got so far:


These are all standard picks.


Oath of Ghouls over Oversold Cemetery because it's older and somewhat more powerful. May revert the change.



Necropotence is surprisingly hard to make good use from in cube and Phyrexian Arena might simply be the same type of card but better, more reliable and less parasitic.



I've seen people trying out Phyrexian Scriptures lately and I can see the appeal. It may also be interesting with the planned artifact subtheme. However, it was pretty bad in Standard back when I played it.





Sticher's Supplier and Cryptbreaker are a bit of a luxury but so far they stay.


Only four 2-drops. I've checked other people's cubes and they all see tm to have an unusually low number of them. I guess there are not that many good cards in the slot.


These are all fairly versatile cards, except Stronghold Assassin which is a personal pick for tokens/recurring aggro.


I like Graveborn Muse as draw and possible pay-off. Redcap is slotted here and not in Red.


Tombstalker is not a 5-drop but it tends to be cast at a similar point in the game.


Marionette Master is surprisingly expensive, but if Disciple of the Vault is an indication, it can deal a lot of damage.

This is a total of 47 cards, so I'm missing 7 or 8 more cards. The creatures are very heavily geared towards recursion/aristocrats strategies and I would like someting more generic or versatile. It always surprises me that some slots are so difficult to fill given how many Magic cards there are, but it makes sense. There are very few creatures that have survived the changes in design, for example, and most of the space in a set is dedicated to draft or remakes of the same basic concepts (burn, removal)
I'm noticing you have a lot of GY payoffs in black (reanimator, recursive creatures, Yawgmoth's Will, Tombstalker, ...), but not many enablers.
I would try adding a few that are generally good such as

And maybe some more spicy ones like

What I've realized: I want to set the standard of my cube around "value" decks like Aristocrats, The Rock and Blink.

With this in mind, I would go with Phyrexian Arena over Necropotence as it is more grindy and has less burst potential.

Also maybe reconsider cards like Animate Dead and Exhume that allow for some of the more broken starts which make the games less about value and more about speed (unless you intend these decks to be a counter to those grindier decks). The 3+ CC options like Necromancy, Diabolic Servitude, Blood for Bones could be value alternatives.

Finally a 2CC creature that I like that I don't see mentioned often is


Even ignoring the other warriors text, it's still a 2CC Ophidian type card that can generate lots of value!
Stinkweed Imp is in my cube right now, but it does not feel as essential as the other cards. Like you say, it fills the graveyard and it sometimes work in control but it feels like such a blunt instrument to force a synergy into existing.

So far I'm very happy about the reanimation spells. They are somewhat fast, but they bring back mid-tier creatures and are best played in controllish builds. Reanimate was too much, though.

Mindblade Render is very nice, though I wonder how often it's going to deal damage to a player twice and hence become better than Dusk Legion Zealot. Thanks!