Cubism: Dig Through Time Aaron Paquette December 9, 2016 Cubism I never really gave an introduction about me or why I write about, so this week I’ll be telling you my cube history and why it’s my favourite format and what I plan to do with the future of this series. I originally was introduced to cube around 2006 by a few of the much more experienced players in town, but it wasn’t anything like the typical cubes you see now. They played a 2v2 multiplayer format using similar rules to Two Headed Giant but players didn’t take their turns at the same time. They would sit across from their teammate taking turns ABAB. Each team would start with 25 life, each player could attack whichever opponent they wanted and players could only block for themselves and not for their teammates. Obviously this made evaluating cards very differently then typical magic, turning creatures like Giant Solifuge into one of the best threats in the format (typically one player played control and the other aggro or some sort of combo deck leaving little room for blocking). Burn spells like Flame Rift, Earthquake and the dreaded Firestorm were some of the most feared cards. Multani, Maro-Sorcerer was a real reanimation/Natural Order target since he was always guaranteed to have an absurd P/T and Hexproof made him almost impossible to remove in 2007. Narrow sideboard cards like Pyroblast, Hidden Gibbons and Submerge were also very good due to the fact that we didn’t play with sideboards and the odds of them being good against at least 1 of your opponents was pretty high. A lot of these interactions are obvious now, but back when 2 Headed wasn’t as common, it was always a race to discover the next busted interaction (Pulse Tracker anyone?). What turned me onto the format was being able to see all the most famous cards throughout history confined into someone’s personal draft set. Things like Psychatog, Morphling, Tinker, Balance, Yawgmoths Will, Spiritmonger, Time Vault, Berserk, Channel, and Masticore all in one spot, all at once is surreal the first time you see it. Being a small fish looking into an ocean of cards like this was more than enough to get me hooked. 2v2 cube was what I played for years until the more standard cube format started showing up. I honestly would have a hard time remembering when I decided to make the switch, but if I had to guess, it’d was somewhere between 2009-2010. Being a much more balanced format and honestly the ‘new’ thing to do, was all it took to switch over. After years of experience with both, the traditional ‘1v1’ cube definitely the one I prefer today. Shortly after building my first cube I got a job at Galaxy Comics and Collectibles. Galaxy was a Comic book, Toy and hobby store that did Magic and other TCG’s on the side, but happened to be one of the biggest Magic stores in the city. During my time there I didn’t get to play in many events, so cube turned into most, if not all the Magic I played. I started traveling to Grand Prix’s more often, using them as an excuse to take time off work but mostly to hunt down high end foils for cube and it quickly turned into my favourite thing to do on these trips. The main event was always an afterthought with foils being the main priority of any trip. Hunting down original art foils, rare promos and hard to find cards in all languages was my goal and the cube was my trophy case. Obviously trying to share all the cards I’d track down online, I still have some pictures from Grand Prix weekends. In 2013 Modern Masters was announced, I went crazy and sold my entire “pimped out” cube, trading it in for a stack of money and non-foil versions (due mainly because I thought Magic was going the way of Yu-Gi-Oh and reprinting everything into the ground, Damnation lol). I don’t have many regrets in life, but this was definitely one of them. I spent the early part of 2010 getting into the MTGSalvation cube community but never really went to deep on the site. In 2014 I created a Reddit account for the sole purpose of posting on the r/mtgCube subreddit. In the same year I asked my friend (fellow Mana Base writer) Austen if he wanted to start a Cube podcast and so ‘Cubism’ was born. I thought it was a fitting name, obviously having ‘cube’ in it while also being an art style. Cube was a great way to express what I loved most in Magic, being creative and building something of my own design. We released our first episode April 4th and man was it bad. Austen was sick and coughing through it all, our topic didn’t make much sense for our first episode and we had no idea how to talk without throwing a million ‘uhs’ and ‘likes’ into every sentence (some habits we never did really break). Austen wasn’t as well versed with cube (only playing Magic for a couple years and being a more standard player) (Editor’s note: Then why did I always beat you?) but he made a great co-host. He was definitely the more eccentric one and would always find a way to be on the opposite side of the argument, but he did have a tendency to let how cards performed in standard steer his opinions. It made an interesting dynamic that I could never find with anyone else. Around our 30th episode (September 22nd, 2015), we started to have bigger gaps in our recordings and I had a less consistent co-host. Austen traveled back home to Sioux Lookout and stable internet was a consistent issue. My old friend Drew started to become a more regular co-host when Austen was unavailable and Drew eventually became a more permanent resident. Since then we’ve had issues with releasing content regularly and almost scrapped the project entirely. A couple months ago the content site ‘The Mana Base’ came into the fold and I saw it as another opportunity to start releasing different and more consistent content. And now we’re here. I originally never planned to start writing because I was honestly never very confident at it, but I’m very excited to have the opportunity to give it a shot. So with all that in the past, let’s talk about the future of Cubism and what it holds. I love to take everything I’ve learned with the podcast and be able to turn it into great content for The Mana Base. I want to talk about set reviews, covering archetypes, single card discussion, design philosophy, cube changes, I want to bring back the podcast in some form, do video content and start recording cube content on MTGO whenever they bring it back. I’ve played Magic for half my life and Cube for a decade. It’s the format I like the most and a big reason I still play Magic today. It’s the best way to express myself as a creator, a great excuse for all my friends to get together, a perfect balance of casual and competitive, pretty much everything I want out of Magic. But I do enjoy the design side of it the most. Watching friends draft archetypes and strategies I try and support, getting feedback on what to change or improve or even just getting big stories out of what crazy card interacted with another crazy card is what really sells that for me. I originally wanted this to be my first article, but here we are. Thanks for reading my boring life story and stay tuned for future regular cube content! Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.