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 Skarrg Goliath bloodrushed onto Sylvan Primordial. 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 Tibalt, the Fiend-blooded or Pack Rat (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 Avatar of Woe and Chronozoa. We had Wolfir Silverheart and Rhox Faithmender. We even had a Pentavus. 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 Path to Exile 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 Scavenging Ooze and Restoration Angel promos, donated by store-owner Derek. Someone handed us Liliana of the Dark Realms. 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 Counterspell or Lightning Helix. 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 Jace, the Mindsculptor, or Cryptic Command or Sword of Light and ShadowAnd 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

Green Sun’s Zenith (0)

Craterhoof Behemoth (0)

Moldgraf Monstrosity (0)

Terra Stomper (0)

Brutalizer Exarch (0)

Primeval Titan (0)

Garruk, Caller of Beasts (0)

Silklash Spider (0)

Acidic Slime (0)

Thragtusk (0)

Wolfir Silverheart (0)

Predatory Rampage (0)

Mitotic Slime (0)

Tree of Redemption (0)

Deadbridge Goliath (0)

Yeva, Nature’s Herald (0)

Vernal Bloom (0)

Elvish Piper (0)

Chameleon Colossus (0)

Garruk Relentless (0)

Master of the Wild Hunt (0)

Birthing Pod (0)

Beast Within (0)

Yavimaya Dryad (0)

Omnath, Locus of Mana (0)

Search for Tomorrow (0)

Borderland Ranger (0)

Reverent Hunter (0)

Renegade Krasis (0)

Scavenging Ooze (0)

Strangleroot Geist (0)

Gyre Sage (0)

Ambush Viper (0)

Wall of Blossoms (0)

Farseek (0)

Quirion Dryad (0)

Mayor of Avabruck (0)

Experiment One (0)

Hunger of the Howlpack (0)

Rancor (0)

Prey Upon (0)

Fyndhorn Elves (0)

Young Wolf (0)

Avacyn’s Pilgrim (0)

Birds of Paradise (0)

Summoner’s Pact (0)

The Black

Mind Shatter (0)

Black Sun’s Zenith (0)

Death Cloud (0)

Rise of the Dark Realms (0)

Griselbrand (0)

Sorin Markov (0)

Mikaeus the Unhallowed (0)

Grave Titan (0)

Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni (0)

Visara the Dreadful (0)

Gray Merchant of Asphodel (0)

Unburial Rites (0)

Dread Return (0)

Desecration Demon (0)

Bloodline Keeper (0)

Mutilate (0)

Crypt Ghast (0)

Erebos, God of the Dead (0)

Whip of Erebos (0)

Dismember (0)

Cemetery Reaper (0)

Underworld Connections (0)

Vampire Nighthawk (0)

Lord of the Undead (0)

Hero’s Downfall (0)

Devour Flesh (0)

Victim of Night (0)

Chainer’s Edict (0)

Blood Artist (0)

Doom Blade (0)

Heartless Summoning (0)

Carnival of Souls (0)

Go for the Throat (0)

Animate Dead (0)

Hymn to Tourach (0)

Smallpox (0)

Wight of Precinct Six (0)

Skirsdag High Priest (0)

Gravecrawler (0)

Duress (0)

Diregraf Ghoul (0)

Tragic Slip (0)

Despise (0)

Dark Ritual (0)

Deathrite Shaman (0)

Slaughter Pact (0)

The White

Champion of the Parish (0)

Doomed Traveler (0)

Serra Ascendant (0)

Path to Exile (0)

Swords to Plowshares (0)

Ethereal Armor (0)

Chained to the Rocks (0)

Honor of the Pure (0)

Phalanx Leader (0)

Crusade (0)

Celestial Purge (0)

Precinct Captain (0)

Stoneforge Mystic (0)

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (0)

Otherworldly Journey (0)

Fabled Hero (0)

Spear of Heliod (0)

Oblivion Ring (0)

Silverblade Paladin (0)

Fiend Hunter (0)

Lingering Souls (0)

Gideon’s Avenger (0)

Mirran Crusader (0)

Stonehorn Dignitary (0)

Magus of the Disk (0)

Day of Judgment (0)

Emeria Angel (0)

Armageddon (0)

Restoration Angel (0)

Concerted Effort (0)

Ajani Goldmane (0)

Rhox Faithmender (0)

Cathar’s Crusade (0)

Increasing Devotion (0)

Scourglass (0)

Geist-Honored Monk (0)

Archangel of Thune (0)

Stonehewer Giant (0)

Sun Titan (0)

Akroma’s Vengeance (0)

Terminus (0)

Planar Cleansing (0)

Elspeth, Sun’s Champion (0)

Angel of Serenity (0)

Devout Invocation (0)

The Blue

Blue Sun’s Zenith (0)

Temporal Mastery (0)

Sun Quan, Lord of Wu (0)

Frost Titan (0)

Tamiyo, the Moon Sage (0)

Body Double (0)

Bribery (0)

Morphling (0)

Bident of Thassa (0)

Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir (0)

Sakashima’s Student (0)

Chronozoa (0)

Phyrexian Metamorph (0)

Jace, Architect of Thought (0)

Gifts Ungiven (0)

Jace, the Mind Sculptor (0)

Rite of Replication (0)

Talrand, Sky Summoner (0)

Venser, Shaper Savant (0)

Clone (0)

Fact or Fiction (0)

Cryptic Command (0)

Ninja of the Deep Hours (0)

Thassa, God of the Sea (0)

Dissipate (0)

Merfolk Sovereign (0)

Tinker (0)

Pestermite (0)

Jace Beleren (0)

Essence Scatter (0)

Negate (0)

Cyclonic Rift (0)

Think Twice (0)

Impulse (0)

Master of the Pearl Trident (0)

Lord of Atlantis (0)

Mana Leak (0)

Counterspell (0)

Snapcaster Mage (0)

Visions of Beyond (0)

Brainstorm (0)

Ponder (0)

Preordain (0)

Vapor Snag (0)

Delver of Secrets (0)

The Red

Ghitu Fire (0)

Devil’s Play (0)

Fireball (0)

Blasphemous Act (0)

Red Sun’s Zenith (0)

Bonfire of the Damned (0)

Magmaquake (0)

Moltensteel Dragon (0)

Ryusei, the Falling Star (0)

Inferno Titan (0)

Torchling (0)

Thundermaw Hellkite (0)

Zealous Conscripts (0)

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker (0)

Instigator Gang (0)

Koth of the Hammer (0)

Splinter Twin (0)

Awaken the Ancient (0)

Krenko, Mob Boss (0)

Stone Rain (0)

Slagstorm (0)

Kruin Outlaw (0)

Goblin Chieftain (0)

Brimstone Volley (0)

Char (0)

Splatter Thug (0)

Act of Treason (0)

Rift Bolt (0)

Desperate Ravings (0)

Battle Hymn (0)

Reverberate (0)

Firefist Striker (0)

Young Pyromancer (0)

Whipflare (0)

Arc Trail (0)

Ancient Grudge (0)

Pyroclasm (0)

Lightning Mauler (0)

Shock (0)

Faithless Looting (0)

Stromkirk Noble (0)

Slumbering Dragon (0)

Dragonmaster Outcast (0)

Lightning Bolt (0)

Forked Bolt (0)

The Colorless

Azorius Keyrune (0)

Golgari Keyrune (0)

Boros Keyrune (0)

Simic Keyrune (0)

Selesnya Keyrune (0)

Dimir Keyrune (0)

Izzet Keyrune (0)

Rakdos Keyrune (0)

Orzhov Keyrune (0)

Gruul Keyrune (0)

Moonsilver Spear (0)

Thran Dynamo (0)

Gilded Lotus (0)

Ratchet Bomb (0)

Signal Pest (0)

Sphere of the Suns (0)

Sword of War and Peace (0)

Chromatic Lantern (0)

Relic of Progenitus (0)

Sword of Light and Shadow (0)

Lotus Bloom (0)

Fellwar Stone (0)

Bonesplitter (0)

Lashwrithe (0)

Conjurer’s Closet (0)

Batterskull (0)

Sword of Feast and Famine (0)

Decimator Web (0)

Spellskite (0)

Tangle Wire (0)

Mindslaver (0)

The Multicolored

Sphinx’s Revelation (0)

Plumeveil (0)

Supreme Verdict (0)

Grand Arbiter Augustin IV (0)

Venser, the Sojourner (0)

Detention Sphere (0)

Azorius Charm (0)

Triad of Fates (0)

Merciless Eviction (0)

Vizkopa Guildmage (0)

Obzedat, Ghost Council (0)

Vindicate (0)

Tidehollow Sculler (0)

Orzhov Charm (0)

Armed // Dangerous (0)

Polis Crusher (0)

Xenagos, the Reveler (0)

Clan Defiance (0)

Ghor-Clan Rampager (0)

Radha, Heir to Keld (0)

Silent-Blade Oni (0)

Far // Away (0)

Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver (0)

Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas (0)

Glen Elendra Liege (0)

Mind Grind (0)

Nightveil Specter (0)

Ral Zarek (0)

Nivix Guildmage (0)

Izzet Charm (0)

Steam Augury (0)

Counterflux (0)

Mercurial Chemister (0)

Spellbound Dragon (0)

Putrefy (0)

Vraska the Unseen (0)

Deadbridge Chant (0)

Glissa, the Traitor (0)

Dreg Mangler (0)

Gaze of Granite (0)

Varolz, the Scar-Striped (0)

Selesnya Charm (0)

Unflinching Courage (0)

Dryad Militant (0)

Kitchen Finks (0)

Centaur Healer (0)

Collective Blessing (0)

Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage (0)

Carnival Hellsteed (0)

Terminate (0)

Rakdos, Lord of Riots (0)

Tymaret, the Murder King (0)

Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch (0)

Falkenrath Aristocrat (0)

Olivia Voldaren (0)

Fathom Mage (0)

Prophet of Kruphix (0)

Simic Charm (0)

Unexpected Results (0)

Zameck Guildmage (0)

Give // Take (0)

Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker (0)

Ready // Willing (0)

Cruel Ultimatum (0)

Doran, the Siege Tower (0)

Sharuum the Hegemon (0)

Boros Reckoner (0)

Shattering Blow (0)

Figure of Destiny (0)

Boros Charm (0)

Lightning Helix (0)

Gisela, Blade of Goldnight (0)

Assemble the Legion (0)

The Lands

Steam Vents (0)

Stomping Ground (0)

Blood Crypt (0)

Overgrown Tomb (0)

Watery Grave (0)

Hallowed Fountain (0)

Godless Shrine (0)

Sacred Foundry (0)

Breeding Pool (0)

Temple Garden (0)

City of Brass (0)

Mutavault (0)

Vault of the Archangel (0)

Gavony Township (0)

Kessig Wolf Run (0)

Nephalia Drownyard (0)

Desolate Lighthouse (0)

Drowned Catacomb (0)

Sulfur Falls (0)

Glacial Fortress (0)

Sunpetal Grove (0)

Hinterland Harbor (0)

Isolated Chapel (0)

Woodland Cemetery (0)

Rootbound Crag (0)

Dragonskull Summit (0)

Clifftop Retreat (0)

Evolving Wilds (0)

Cavern of Souls (0)

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


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