Cube24: What it’s about and why you should care! by Dave Shedden

Cube24: What it’s about and why you should care! by Dave Shedden

Playing cards is fun, right?

Of course it is. That’s why you’re here, reading articles about the ideas and experiences of all these different people who love playing cards as much as you do.

Some games are, admittedly, more fun than others.

At one end of the spectrum, you could be slumped in your chair, watching the Eggs player on the other side of the table cycle through their deck iteratively until you are dead. At the other… you could be playing Cube. Cube is the greatest.

…but what if there were a way to make it even greater?

 A crazy dream

I just want to draft more masterpieces like this one
I just want to draft more masterpieces like this one

One day not so long ago, I decided that what I’d really like to do was spend fully 24 hours drafting and playing the finest format in Magic; however, I knew I’d need to conquer some obstacles to make it happen.

  1. I’d need to find at least seven other people crazy enough to join me in the Cube Pod.
  2. I’d need to find a venue which would not only be available for 24 straight hours, but which would be a comfortable place to spend such a marathon gaming session.
  3. I’d need to find a bloody good reason for doing it, since I and the other players would be writing off a weekend of work, leisure and parental responsibility (in some combination).

Finding a Pod

This part would likely be the least challenging. Cube is more than a gaming experience; it’s more akin to a kind of religious calling. I was pretty sure that the idea of cubing for a solid 24 hours would excite a lot of folk in the MTG community, to the extent that we’d likely have too many interested parties.

Cardboard Crack strip

Hmmm… excitement in the community. Perhaps there was something else buried in this idea…

Finding a Venue

After a little research, it became clear that the costs of hiring an acceptable venue would be too high to qualify as ‘affordable’. Most of the venues which didn’t require paid hire would only be available in traditional hours.

That left only one, tricky option: someone’s own home. With two small kids, mine was out, so I’d need to find someone else with the space and the Cube-mania to take on this zany enterprise.

Luckily, the inimitable James Love jumped at the chance to facilitate. What a guy! *swoon*

That left only one detail: finding a cause big enough to justify such sordid gaming excess.

Finding a Cause

The solution came to me as I mused over the potential community appetite for the event. With so many people likely to be tickled by this idea, I thought, couldn’t we draw on that goodwill?

I’ve arranged Charity Events before in my professional life – and the more I thought about this project, the more it sounded like something that the Magic community could get behind as a fundraiser.

All we’d need to do, I decided, is turn it into a community event.

We could run a live blog, follow some drafts, provide match reports and post pictures of the coolest board states… all shot through with a healthy dose of humour and fun, the essential ingredients of any cube experience.

I pitched the idea to some friends, who made positive noises. That was all the encouragement I needed.


A few weeks later, we had recruited a pod of lunatics to start cracking packs at ‘Love Towers’ (AKA James’ place) on the morning of 5 July. The team agreed to draft long, draft true and go all out to provide entertaining coverage throughout the event, in return for which we hope you’ll chip in a few quid to support our Charity Partner, Children 1st.

With an event in place, all that remained was to launch it to the community – and hope that it caught their collective imagination.

An incredible response

Quite honestly, we weren’t ready for how wholeheartedly the MTG community would get behind us.

MTG players from the grassroots right up to the Pro Tour Historian got involved to spread the word.
MTG players from the grassroots right up to the Pro Tour Historian got involved to spread the word.

Putting together the social media content for this event has been buckets of fun.

Right now, on the Cube24 website, you can read profiles of all the players; mock draft our Cubes on Cube Tutor; and even take part in a huge, hive-mind-powered cube draft arranged by the indefatigable Paul McLachlan, who is drafting the other seven decks in a full pod against a community team which votes on every pick.

We set ourselves a fundraising goal of £500, more in hope than in expectation. Now, with almost a week to go before the event even starts, we’ve already hit that target.

How high can we go to help young people in the toughest circumstances – and why should you chip in?

Why should I donate?

As I wrote at the outset, playing cards is fun, folks – and we know just how much it means to get that little ray of sunlight in our own lives.

Now imagine you lived with the shadow of addiction, or violence hanging over your family; or you were facing an uncertain future in care; or you were a young, lone parent, with no family to turn to and in desperate need of help.

Every pound you give helps to bring some of that same respite and sunlight you enjoy into the life of a young person, who has it much harder than most of us.

  • £20 can pay for a volunteer befriender, to take a child out to have fun and get a break from their difficult life.
  • £35 can pay for a therapeutic support session, to help a child recover from traumatic experiences.
  • £50 can pay for a home visit to a young parent who is isolated and struggling, to offer them support and practical advice.
  • £100 can pay for a young carer, looking after a vulnerable family member, to attend 5 sessions which will help them develop skills and resilience to cope with their difficult situation.
  • £300 can pay for a 17-week programme to help a child with behavioural problems.

Cube Challenges

On top of these amazing reasons to spare a few quid, you can even boost the entertainment value of the event by setting Cube Challenges for our pod.

The concept is simple:

  • If you donate £5, you can pick a drafter and choose a colour that they have to force in one draft.
  • If you donate £10, you can pick a drafter and choose an archetype that they have to force in one draft.
  • If you donate £15, you can pick a drafter and choose a much harder challenge for them of your own devising.

What would be a harder challenge? Well, that’s really up to you, but here are some gleefully malicious examples:

“Paul must win every game by milling, but cannot draft any blue cards.”

“Linsay’s deck may only run one creature”

“Alan is forbidden to block creatures with 1 power”

If you’re one of the brilliant people who already helped us hit £500, feel good about yourself. If you want to join those people, click the button below and let’s see just how many kids we can make a difference to.

Donate Button

Let the games begin

On Saturday, at 8am, drafters will pick up their first packs at Cube24 – and shortly after that, our coverage will start on our website. I hope you’ll join us for 24 hours of shocking first picks, crazy challenges and hilarious board states – plus the chance to watch me and the rest of the pod deteriorate into gibbering wrecks by the final whistle.

All that remains is to thank, who have kindly donated the fee for this article to the event – you guys are fantastic.

The Countdown is on, planeswalkers. I can’t wait.


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