Jason's 180-card synergy cube

Hi folks,

I've lurked on Riptide for many years, and I've finally registered and created thread to share a cube...and ask for some help.

Jason's 4-Player Synergy Cube (Bar/Travel/Twobert) is my attempt at fusing a synergistic environment with a smaller, 180-card sized cube. Consistent with other smaller and simplistic cubes, it's been designed with a few constraints:
  • No cards that produce counters, tokens, or additional game pieces
  • No cards that reference a non-evergreen keyword that isn't defined
  • No cards that transform or allow modal play of front/back card faces, i.e. no double-faced cards
  • No cards with type planeswalker or with references to planeswalkers
  • No cards with a high monetary value, i.e. "budget," with some exceptions It's become increasingly difficult to maintain this constraint--already broken for multiple cards--so out it goes.
I've maintained a typical, power-motivated 360-card cube for a while, but I'm completely new to 180-card cubes. I also haven't previously designed with too much A+B synergy in mind, but this cube is my attempt at both.

Some of you have probably been down these roads before, and I'd be grateful for any criticism or ideas. This cube hasn't been drafted in person yet, but feel free to give it a draft on Cube Cobra.

I'm looking to build this out further as the cube gets some drafts, but here are a few supported themes.
WU Blink

WB Reanimate

WR Equipment Aggro

WG Self-Bounce

UB Self-Mill

UR Artifact Recursion

UG Top of Library

BR Hellbent/Madness

BG Lands

RG Play From Exile
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Built this RW aggro deck with a light equipment theme. I think Kellan being able to fetch up Grafted Wargear all the time could be pretty nasty! Came up a little short on aggro creatures I think, would've liked to see a few more 2 power 1 drop dudes and 3 power 2 drop dudes if aggro is gonna be a supported archetype, particularly in red. Think this deck could still make it work though.

I think I would have liked to see a little more rainbow fixing here as well, it was a little hard to find fixing in my colors, and having a way to just play something like a Prismatic Vista or something like that probably would help players be able to cast their stuff more consistently. You could also double up on fetches and shocks to help with this.

Overall I think this looks like a fun cube! I like the power level you are going for here and I would love to hear whether or not you're able to make the synergistic decks come together in drafts once you're able to get some in. I think you may want to cut down on some of the generically powerful cards here if you want players to focus on building synergistic decks. Stuff like Bonecrusher Giant provide a lot of power for little investment, so I would keep an eye out for those kinds of cards if synergy is the goal.
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Thanks for the draft! I like how you managed to fit in a light madness theme as well. I think it's going to be a challenge to hit the redundancy that aggro really needs to be successful in a 180-card cube without cutting powerful mid/late game cards and engines. Perhaps by making some room with what you suggested next...

I think you may want to cut down on some of the generically powerful cards here if you want players to focus on building synergistic decks. Stuff like Bonecrusher Giant provide a lot of power for little investment, so I would keep an eye out for those kinds of cards if synergy is the goal.

Granted Bonecrusher Giant is a card that nearly all red decks would enjoy, and that's exactly the problem.
This is a cool cube. I like these synergistic Twoberts designs. I think you've got a great selection of cards. I'll focus on the few things stuck out to me though:

1. I think your gold slots don't necessarily optimize for synergy. Kolaghan's Command, Expressive Iteration, Lightning Helix, Qasali Pridemage are all fantastic, but don't really push a particular archetype. They will get played and play well, but they might also drown out the synergy on raw power. I'd love to see something like Rielle, the Everwise (or whatever you feel like) instead of the Expression. Renegade Rallier instead of the Pridemage. You get the idea, even if the cards I used don't do it for you.

2. You have all the good grindy artifact tools (Chromatic Star and friends), but other than Emry, none of the payoffs. Goblin Welder or Goblin Engineer would cement the archetype in Izzet and add some needed redundancy.

3. On a similar note, I think some of your archetypes could use a little bit more support. For example, your RW equipment deck has one equipment payoff and 3 equipments to fetch. It almost seems more like a subtheme than anything else. Maybe you add a Fervent Champion, Ogre-Head Helm and a Cloudsteel Kirin and call it a day (just random examples, you know what is the best fit for your cube).

4. For a small cube, you have a lot of very similar Black one drops. 5 recursive creatures that essentially do the same thing. I believe you could cut a few to diversify what the color has to offer. This might be true for other slots, but this one really stood out.

I'll try and get a few drafts in when I can. Happy cubing!
This is some great feedback. I think these criticisms pick up on learned tendencies (power over synergy, redundancy over divergence of threat presentation).

I'll tinker with my list, and I especially like the ideas of Rielle, one of the Goblins, and Ogre-Head Helm. (I've never even seen the helm before.) I think there's a bigger problem with my cube where I haven't fully sketched out my archetypes yet. At the same time, though, I'm going to have a tough time supporting everything with my imposed constraints, so I also like your idea of trimming some redundant cards.
Just before the release of MKM (and when isn't it just before the release of something), I've finished a large update to my 180-cube.

A more cohesive theme is running throughout the cube in the form of playing with graveyard and exile zone synergies. Adventures, blinking and reanimating permanents, interacting with the top of the library, cascade, self-mill, delve, flashback, and madness ensure plenty of play with other zones, while enablers and payoffs woven between two and three color combinations lead to more powerful decks than those with generic curves and "good stuff" cards.

There are still some generically powerful cards present, and Kellan + Maul/Grafted Wargear might still be where it's at. Do your best to prove me wrong that power beats synergy, or draft the best The Gitrog Monster or Wild-Magic Sorcerer deck you can. Thanks to everyone who has posted up or drafted my cube!

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