The Story of the Community Cube by Efka Bladukas

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The Story of the Community Cube by Efka Bladukas

What I would like to do today is share a story with you. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anything similar happen before, and I think this story is worth telling. Mostly because I believe in the community spirit of M:tG players, and this story reaffirms it.

I hope it serves as an example of what can be achieved in this hobby through community power and maybe, just maybe, someone else will decide to do the exact same thing and achieve similar, or even greater success. Ladies, gentlemen, magicians: I give you the story of our Community Cube.

stack of mtg cards

About half a year ago, whilst enjoying a frosty pint of Guiness at a local pub and playing some EDH, I was struck with an epiphany. “We need to build a cube“, I exclaimed. To which my EDH partner, Gavin Beale, who organizes casual M:tG Wednesdays at said local pub replied “Huzzah, a gentleman’s agreement.

OK, it wasn’t quite like that, but I think he was very fond of the idea. “And we should make it out of junk rares that are donated by local players. Jank that no one else wants. It will be hilarious.” We laughed at the prospect, and started imagining [card]Skarrg Goliath[/card] bloodrushed onto [card]Sylvan Primordial[/card]. If only we had any idea what was about to happen.

Huzzah Crowd Goes Will Futurama Meme

So we laid out a plan.

  • Rule number one, we would only accept rares or mythic rares.
  • Rule number two, we would avoid cards that are simply not fun or are too good in limited, like [card]Tibalt, the Fiend-blooded[/card] or [card]Pack Rat[/card] (very much a junk rare at the time).
  • Rule number three, the entirety of the cube has to be assembled from cards that were donated for it. We could add cards ourselves, but we would lose ownership of those cards.

At the next FNM I ran, I made an announcement, explaining what our project was and that the goal was to have a cube that could be accessed by the local community at any time. Within the next two hours, we amassed a staggering 260 rares and mythics from various sets. We had [card]Avatar of Woe[/card] and [card]Chronozoa[/card]. We had [card]Wolfir Silverheart[/card] and [card]Rhox Faithmender[/card]. We even had a [card]Pentavus[/card]. It was truly the king of all janky cubes.

Obi Wan Kenobi MTG Banner

That night, I broke rule number one. A card was offered to me that wasn’t a rare or a mythic, but it was offered in good will and that card was good. A local player and all around great chap Graham Baker, who is as wise and learned in the ways of Magic as Obi Wan Kenobi was in the ways of the force, handed me a [card]Path to Exile[/card] and said, “Behold the one cmc Instant. I bestow it onto your cube. Use it well, young designer.” I couldn’t refuse.

Like patient zero in a zombie apocalypse, that card was the precedent for change. After the Path came [card]Scavenging Ooze[/card] and [card]Restoration Angel[/card] promos, donated by store-owner Derek. Someone handed us [card]Liliana of the Dark Realms[/card]. I looked at Gavin and we shared a moment of understanding. I chucked a Venser and a Teferi into the pot. Gav put in an Obzedat, his favorite card. I followed with a Snapcaster later, and so on. An example was set. Donations kept coming in. Big donations. Imagine, an entire box of FTV:20. Yes, with Jace!

Bill and Ted Shocked Suprised Banner

Soon, we abandoned the “only rares and mythics rule”. We added good commons and uncommons like [card]Counterspell[/card] or [card]Lightning Helix[/card]. Then we abandoned the “junk” rule as well.

We balanced it according to color, converted mana cost and type. The cube still numbers 360 cards and all the leftover donations were sold for store credit on singles websites and used to purchase better cards.

Now the cube has close to twenty planeswalkers (still no Tibalt, yes he was offered), full suite of checklands and shocklands, cool archetypes like cawblade, merfolk, splintertwin, etc. And everytime I tell this story, people always ask, “What else do you need?“. The generosity is amazing. Once, and only once, I received a negative reaction when I told this story, but I guess not everyone can be swayed.

omg this awesome deck meme

Out of curiosity I checked the total value of the cube and it was over a £1000. The cube is still being developed and constantly receives changes and updates. We have a goal in sight, as some colors or archetypes could still see a boost in terms of playability. Either way, everytime it’s been played it’s received stellar response, so we are very very close.

Every time we offer the cube to be played, it’s fun to see that anyone can have a go at playing with [card]Jace, the Mindsculptor[/card], or [card]Cryptic Command[/card] or [card]Sword of Light and Shadow[/card]. And it was all thanks to our local players who donated very generously.

I have a million more stories to tell, about everyone who donated and the cool cards they offered but I’ll leave it at that for now. I present to you our cube in it’s entirety. If you have any suggestions, feel free to contact me via social media, but be aware that our card selection is quite limited, as we’re mostly working with donations.

The Green

[deck]Green Sun’s Zenith
Craterhoof Behemoth
Moldgraf Monstrosity
Terra Stomper
Brutalizer Exarch
Primeval Titan
Garruk, Caller of Beasts
Silklash Spider
Acidic Slime
Thragtusk
Wolfir Silverheart
Predatory Rampage
Mitotic Slime
Tree of Redemption
Deadbridge Goliath
Yeva, Nature’s Herald
Vernal Bloom
Elvish Piper
Chameleon Colossus
Garruk Relentless
Master of the Wild Hunt
Birthing Pod
Beast Within
Yavimaya Dryad
Omnath, Locus of Mana
Search for Tomorrow
Borderland Ranger
Reverent Hunter
Renegade Krasis
Scavenging Ooze
Strangleroot Geist
Gyre Sage
Ambush Viper
Wall of Blossoms
Farseek
Quirion Dryad
Mayor of Avabruck
Experiment One
Hunger of the Howlpack
Rancor
Prey Upon
Fyndhorn Elves
Young Wolf
Avacyn’s Pilgrim
Birds of Paradise
Summoner’s Pact[/deck]

The Black
[deck]Mind Shatter
Black Sun’s Zenith
Death Cloud
Rise of the Dark Realms
Griselbrand
Sorin Markov
Mikaeus the Unhallowed
Grave Titan
Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
Visara the Dreadful
Gray Merchant of Asphodel
Unburial Rites
Dread Return
Desecration Demon
Bloodline Keeper
Mutilate
Crypt Ghast
Erebos, God of the Dead
Whip of Erebos
Dismember
Cemetery Reaper
Underworld Connections
Vampire Nighthawk
Lord of the Undead
Hero’s Downfall
Devour Flesh
Victim of Night
Chainer’s Edict
Blood Artist
Doom Blade
Heartless Summoning
Carnival of Souls
Go for the Throat
Animate Dead
Hymn to Tourach
Smallpox
Wight of Precinct Six
Skirsdag High Priest
Gravecrawler
Duress
Diregraf Ghoul
Tragic Slip
Despise
Dark Ritual
Deathrite Shaman
Slaughter Pact[/deck]

The White

[deck]Champion of the Parish
Doomed Traveler
Serra Ascendant
Path to Exile
Swords to Plowshares
Ethereal Armor
Chained to the Rocks
Honor of the Pure
Phalanx Leader
Crusade
Celestial Purge
Precinct Captain
Stoneforge Mystic
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Otherworldly Journey
Fabled Hero
Spear of Heliod
Oblivion Ring
Silverblade Paladin
Fiend Hunter
Lingering Souls
Gideon’s Avenger
Mirran Crusader
Stonehorn Dignitary
Magus of the Disk
Day of Judgment
Emeria Angel
Armageddon
Restoration Angel
Concerted Effort
Ajani Goldmane
Rhox Faithmender
Cathar’s Crusade
Increasing Devotion
Scourglass
Geist-Honored Monk
Archangel of Thune
Stonehewer Giant
Sun Titan
Akroma’s Vengeance
Terminus
Planar Cleansing
Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
Angel of Serenity
Devout Invocation[/deck]

The Blue

[deck]Blue Sun’s Zenith
Temporal Mastery
Sun Quan, Lord of Wu
Frost Titan
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
Body Double
Bribery
Morphling
Bident of Thassa
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
Sakashima’s Student
Chronozoa
Phyrexian Metamorph
Jace, Architect of Thought
Gifts Ungiven
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Rite of Replication
Talrand, Sky Summoner
Venser, Shaper Savant
Clone
Fact or Fiction
Cryptic Command
Ninja of the Deep Hours
Thassa, God of the Sea
Dissipate
Merfolk Sovereign
Tinker
Pestermite
Jace Beleren
Essence Scatter
Negate
Cyclonic Rift
Think Twice
Impulse
Master of the Pearl Trident
Lord of Atlantis
Mana Leak
Counterspell
Snapcaster Mage
Visions of Beyond
Brainstorm
Ponder
Preordain
Vapor Snag
Delver of Secrets[/deck]

The Red

[deck]Ghitu Fire
Devil’s Play
Fireball
Blasphemous Act
Red Sun’s Zenith
Bonfire of the Damned
Magmaquake
Moltensteel Dragon
Ryusei, the Falling Star
Inferno Titan
Torchling
Thundermaw Hellkite
Zealous Conscripts
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Instigator Gang
Koth of the Hammer
Splinter Twin
Awaken the Ancient
Krenko, Mob Boss
Stone Rain
Slagstorm
Kruin Outlaw
Goblin Chieftain
Brimstone Volley
Char
Splatter Thug
Act of Treason
Rift Bolt
Desperate Ravings
Battle Hymn
Reverberate
Firefist Striker
Young Pyromancer
Whipflare
Arc Trail
Ancient Grudge
Pyroclasm
Lightning Mauler
Shock
Faithless Looting
Stromkirk Noble
Slumbering Dragon
Dragonmaster Outcast
Lightning Bolt
Forked Bolt[/deck]

The Colorless

[deck]Azorius Keyrune
Golgari Keyrune
Boros Keyrune
Simic Keyrune
Selesnya Keyrune
Dimir Keyrune
Izzet Keyrune
Rakdos Keyrune
Orzhov Keyrune
Gruul Keyrune
Moonsilver Spear
Thran Dynamo
Gilded Lotus
Ratchet Bomb
Signal Pest
Sphere of the Suns
Sword of War and Peace
Chromatic Lantern
Relic of Progenitus
Sword of Light and Shadow
Lotus Bloom
Fellwar Stone
Bonesplitter
Lashwrithe
Conjurer’s Closet
Batterskull
Sword of Feast and Famine
Decimator Web
Spellskite
Tangle Wire
Mindslaver[/deck]

The Multicolored

[deck]Sphinx’s Revelation
Plumeveil
Supreme Verdict
Grand Arbiter Augustin IV
Venser, the Sojourner
Detention Sphere
Azorius Charm
Triad of Fates
Merciless Eviction
Vizkopa Guildmage
Obzedat, Ghost Council
Vindicate
Tidehollow Sculler
Orzhov Charm
Armed // Dangerous
Polis Crusher
Xenagos, the Reveler
Clan Defiance
Ghor-Clan Rampager
Radha, Heir to Keld
Silent-Blade Oni
Far // Away
Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Glen Elendra Liege
Mind Grind
Nightveil Specter
Ral Zarek
Nivix Guildmage
Izzet Charm
Steam Augury
Counterflux
Mercurial Chemister
Spellbound Dragon
Putrefy
Vraska the Unseen
Deadbridge Chant
Glissa, the Traitor
Dreg Mangler
Gaze of Granite
Varolz, the Scar-Striped
Selesnya Charm
Unflinching Courage
Dryad Militant
Kitchen Finks
Centaur Healer
Collective Blessing
Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage
Carnival Hellsteed
Terminate
Rakdos, Lord of Riots
Tymaret, the Murder King
Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch
Falkenrath Aristocrat
Olivia Voldaren
Fathom Mage
Prophet of Kruphix
Simic Charm
Unexpected Results
Zameck Guildmage
Give // Take
Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker
Ready // Willing
Cruel Ultimatum
Doran, the Siege Tower
Sharuum the Hegemon
Boros Reckoner
Shattering Blow
Figure of Destiny
Boros Charm
Lightning Helix
Gisela, Blade of Goldnight
Assemble the Legion[/deck]

The Lands

[deck]Steam Vents
Stomping Ground
Blood Crypt
Overgrown Tomb
Watery Grave
Hallowed Fountain
Godless Shrine
Sacred Foundry
Breeding Pool
Temple Garden
City of Brass
Mutavault
Vault of the Archangel
Gavony Township
Kessig Wolf Run
Nephalia Drownyard
Desolate Lighthouse
Drowned Catacomb
Sulfur Falls
Glacial Fortress
Sunpetal Grove
Hinterland Harbor
Isolated Chapel
Woodland Cemetery
Rootbound Crag
Dragonskull Summit
Clifftop Retreat
Evolving Wilds
Cavern of Souls[/deck]

 Thanks for reading, I hope that this goes towards inspiring you in some way.

Efka

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