Cube is back on Arena and, as you may have noticed, it looks a little different this time around. The new event is called Chromatic Cube and it has an exciting new card pool. Featuring bigger spells and splashier bombs, the Chromatic Cube is like what would happen if someone cast Giant Growth on the usual Arena Cube. There are fewer aggressive cards, and more ramp. There are plenty of expensive cards that can take over the game like Mirari’s Wake and The Immortal Sun. There are fewer synergies than in the Arena Cube, but each two-colour combination still has a theme and a number of cards to support that strategy. Of course, playing more than two colours is a common occurrence. 

The addition of cubes to Arena has been a godsend, and cube season is quickly becoming my favourite time to log on and play. The one downside to the events is their prizing. In order to just break even while playing cube you will need a 66% win rate. Below I will provide a quick guide to the format in order to help you keep cubing without spending all your gold savings.


There are a few things specific to Chromatic Cube to keep in mind while drafting:

– Taking dual lands highly is always important in cube, but this specific format makes it even more necessary. There are approximately four cycles of dual lands in the cube and they are vital for decks playing more than two colours. Of course, two-colour decks will want them for the extra consistency as well. Even more importantly, the five triomes from Ikoria are in the cube and most of them are first-pickable. It is rare for a triome to be passed further than three picks, so make sure to take notice when you do see them.

– You will see a number of three, four, and five-mana artifacts that ramp your mana. Unlike in most draft formats, cards like Gilded Lotus and Firemind Vessel are actually quite good. If you are playing any sort of deck with a high curve then make sure to pick cards like Skyclave Relic higher than you normally would.

– Cheap removal is hard to find in this cube, but also less necessary. Whether or not you take it highly will depend on your deck. Prioritize the spells that will also be relevant against control decks and larger creatures. Vraska’s Contempt and Abrade are more important than Erebos’s Intervention and even Lightning Bolt most of the time.

– Due to the lack of aggressive creatures, planeswalkers are even better than usual. I have lost many games to a battlefield of planeswalkers that were running away with the game. Using defensive creatures and removal to support a deck full of planeswalkers is a great strategy, and pretty much every deck will want a planeswalker or two. The colourless planeswalkers Ugin, the Ineffable and Karn, Scion of Urza are always great. 

– Similarly, expensive permanents like The Immortal Sun and Mirari’s Wake are better than they look. In fact, I believe Mirari’s Wake may be the best card in the cube.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the best archetypes that you’ll be seeing in this event!


5-Colour Good Stuff

It’s all in the name here. This is likely the best deck you can draft when it comes together. Using every colour provides access to cards like Niv-Mizzet Reborn, and Golos, Tireless Pilgrim to dominate late-games. You’ll need to take pretty much every dual land and mana rock you see, but otherwise you can just take the most powerful card from every pack. 


Green-Based Ramp

This deck has overlap with the five-colour deck, but sometimes you don’t need every single colour to overpower opponents. Green mana dorks like Illysian Caryatid are great thanks to the lack of efficient removal, and there are a lot of ways to ramp up two or three mana using cards like Canopy Tactician. Once you have ridiculous amounts of mana, the other colours can come in to play. Powerful x-costed spells like Starnheim Unleashed and Crackle with Power are great game-ending plays. Each other colour has at least one x spell and a variety of expensive bombs. As well, each colour brings its own flavour of removal and support spells. The biggest benefit to playing fewer colours is more consistency and being able to pick powerful cards instead of mana fixing during the draft.


Legendaries Matter

There is an abundance of powerful legendary creatures and planeswalkers in this cube, as well as cards that synergize with them such as Mox Amber and Captain Sisay. As well, Urza’s Ruinous Blast and other legendary sorceries are present. These are great payoffs for going all-in on legendaries. I believe white is the best colour to play in this archetype, and red and green also have a good number of cheap legendaries and synergistic cards. Splashing blue can provide access to cards like Omnath, Locus of Creation and Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath. Black provides legendaries-matter cards such as Arvad the Cursed and Primeval’s Glorious Rebirth. No matter which colours you play, it’ll be easy to have a good time ticking up planeswalkers, casting powerful creatures, and gaining access to effects like the mox and one-sided sweeper.


Red-Based Aggro

I have mentioned that cheap and aggressive decks have been toned down in this cube, but drafting them is still possible. Since most players will be durdling with ramp spells and expensive synergistic cards, curving out can be lethal. Red has all the best aggressive creatures such as Earthshaker Khenra and Robber of the Rich. Cheap burn spells like Lightning Bolt and Abrade also help break through whatever defenses opponents may have and disrupt their mana ramping. Alongside red you can play blue to put together a powerful prowess deck built around Sprite Dragon. Or you can play white to go wide, green to play stompy, or black for some extra reach such as Cut // Ribbons.

No matter what deck you end up playing, the Chromatic Cube is sure to be a good time. Just make sure to dream big and take all the giant bombs your heart desires. If you’re prepared, you’ll even do well enough to buy another round of cube. 


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