Greetings Duelists! With the dueling community counting down the days left until the September 2012 format, it only makes sense that I have spent most of my time Cube Drafting! A few weeks ago the contents of my Cube were posted in an article, and several months ago I posted an article describing what a Cube Draft is. In case you missed either of those articles feel free to check them out here:
Anyway, it seems like Cube Drafting has been all the rage lately and I wanted to take the time before the banlist is actually official and talk about the format in general. Today I wanted to make a list of what I consider the “Top 10 picks” from this format.
So let’s just jump right on into it.
1. Harpie’s Feather Duster
While cards like Chaos Emperor Dragon and Painful Choice may seem stronger on the surface, there is no single card that warps the way in which you have to play like Harpie’s Feather Duster. Since Rochester style drafting is done face-up, selecting Harpie’s not only gives you an immensely powerful spell card – it reveals to your opponents the selection and keeps them from having the card in their arsenal. When you have selected Harpie’s Feather Duster, the entire table is suddenly forced to respect it when they face you. Ignoring the fact that you have Harpie’s in your deck can completely sway the game in your favor, and allow you to devastate them for massive card advantage. On the other hand, if your opponent respects Harpie’s, then you are suddenly able to play without fear of a massive collection of backrows. Opponents will likely set a single spell or trap card until you activate Harpie’s, a gamestate that in cube drafting dramatically favors you. Also, by selecting Harpie’s you enable yourself the opportunity to select powerful trap cards like Torrential Tribute and Bottomless Trap Hole in a higher volume than your opponents because you are more inclined to set multiple backrows, seeing as how you are the one with Harpie’s Feather Duster.
2. Chaos Emperor Dragon – Envoy of the End
No single card in the history of the game can generate the same level of direct damage as Chaos Emperor Dragon. Even though this card requires you to select a variety of Light and Dark monsters, it is impossible to ignore a monster with an attack strength of 3000, that can also inflict the level of damage Chaos Emperor Dragon can. The most important thing to do when you are able to select Emperor Dragon, is draft in such a way that your deck is designed to abuse the effect more so than any other. For example, ditching a card like Dark Nepthys to his effect and then dropping Chaos Emperor Dragon is virtually unbeatable. Then, of course, you have Sangan/Witch of the Black Forest and the ability to search out Yata Garasu for the instant victory. One of the most alarming things you can do with Chaos Emperor Dragon is search it out through the effect of Eclipse Wyvern – yeah, I just said that. It may be restricting in terms of how you have to select monsters – but it is impossible to deny how powerful Chaos Emperor Dragon truly is.
3. Imperial Order
Other than a few select monsters out there, the majority of overly abused Cube cards are in fact spells. From the likes of Harpie’s Feather Duster, Heavy Storm, Delinquent Duo, The Forceful Sentry, Snatch Steal and such, the cards which swing tempo in one direction more than anything are these spells. Imperial Order is already going to trade off one-for-one in terms of card advantage, and the ability to lock the game out of these powerful effects at your discretion is absolutely astounding. In decks built with a plethora of backrows, Imperial Order enables those players to continually protect their monsters with trap cards since they remain safe from cards like Heavy Storm or Harpie’s Feather Duster. A lot of players try and draft decks with a lot of synergy, and spell cards tends to be what enables that. From the Destiny Hero engine to the Lightsworn engine, spell cards not only exist as single tempo swinging entities, they are the backbones to numerous cube draft engines. Imperial Order can single-handedly win you the game. It may not be the funniest approach to walking away victorious, but it still works.
4. Crush Card Virus
I have only lost one cube draft game where I activated Crush Card Virus. Just like every other format this card has been legal in, you can just imagine the ramifications of it in cube. If you are able to put together cards like Destiny Hero – Disk Commander and Sangan, you are suddenly able to generate immense card advantage through your sacrifice outlet, while also ripping the best monsters in the game away from the opponent. A lot of cube drafting is knowing what to play around, and since the decks are unconventional, it is an added bonus to see exactly what an opponent has under the Virus. Then you able to play around what they have. Plus, who doesn’t like activating Crush Card Virus? C’mon now.
5. Graceful Charity
The thing with Graceful Charity is, it is always going to generate some type of beneficial effect on the game. Consistency in these types of formats is fair and away the most important thing. There are very synergic engines, but the inherent nature of playing a day of all ones makes it difficult to see certain combo pieces every game. Graceful Charity allows you to dig into the combo pieces, while ditching anything that is out of place with your hand. Not to mention the potential to bridge into a Dark World deck, and at the same token use Graceful Charity to fuel any other graveyard effects you may have. Cards such as Sinister Serpent, Treeborn Frog, Night Assailiant, Destiny Hero – Disk Commander, Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite and such are all in the cube, and discarding them to Graceful Charity is absolutely incredible.
6. Black Luster Solider – Envoy of the Beginning
I am not as in love with this card as most people are who cube draft. I obviously acknowledge it to be one of the most powerful cards in the history of the game, but some people list it as the absolute best card in the cube. I felt like I had to list it this high out of principle. But unlike Chaos Emperor Dragon, this card requires a considerable amount more set up to generate game shots. Yet, just like the Emperor Dragon – this card dictates how you are able to draft since you need playable Light and Dark monsters. It is obviously worth it, but this format has so much removal – you might find yourself more inclined to pick up a more tempo swinging spell card. Black Luster Solider can certainly warrant attention from an opponent, it will win the game if your opponent has no answers, but I still stand by spell cards being what wins in the cube format.
7. Destiny Hero – Disk Commander
Disk Commander opens yourself up to what I feel is the single best archtype in cube drafting – Disk Commander control. Monster Reborn, Premature Burial and Call of the Haunted are all tremendous recursion cards in the first place, but being able to put them together with Disk Commander is absolutely insane. The draw power those cards can generate with Disk Commander is unmatched by any engine in the cube. Finding the pieces to the Destiny Hero engine can make grabbing Disk Commander as consistent as possible. Plus, when you draft Disk Commander – you are virtually guaranteed to have Limit Reverse and Fear Monger fall into your hands. If you are able to snag one, two or even all three pieces of the premium recursion while fellow drafters concentrate on cards like Black Luster Solider, you can often times find yourself sitting with Disk Commander and every form of legitimate recursion. The end result is an engine that generates card advantage faster than any other, and can comeback from virtually any situation.
8. Heavy Storm
Heavy Storm and Harpie’s Feather Duster go hand and hand as the best forms of backrow removal in the format. Grabbing Heavy Storm has the same effect on an opponent as Harpie’s Feather Duster. So the reasoning behind putting Heavy Storm here extends from the same reasoning I put Harpie’s first.
Raigeki is simply the best form of monster removal the game has ever seen. Dark Hole can often times play a lot like Raigeki, but in a format that is dictated so much by a back and forth battle, a card like Raigeki can just swing the momentum dramatically in your favor. Just like Harpie’s Feather Duster, once you’ve selected Raigeki, your opponents are forced to respect it. They will become unwilling to put a third or fourth monster on the field, fearing out losing so much card advantage to the powerful spell card. Cards like Smashing Ground and Soul Taker are considered premium monster removal, just imagine where Raigeki falls in that.
10. Pot of Greed
Unless you have two cards left in your deck, there is no reason why you wouldn’t want Pot of Greed. While there are other spells which end up having a more influential role on the outcome of the game, Pot of Greed enables you to dig closer to those exact types of spell cards. Imagine activating the Pot and drawing two of the cards listed above as opposed to just one of them. Depending on how well built your deck is, Pot of Greed can simply have a backbreaking effect on an opponent who was trying to limit your options.
Well there you have the Top 10 best picks in the Cube Draft format! If we do not know the banlist by this time next week check back for the cards I would consider to be slotted in at 11-20. If we are lucky enough to know the September 1st banlist… yeah… I think you know what I will be talking about.
On another note, I want to thank everyone who commented on my article last week. If it was a good response, or even a negative one, I appreciate all comments on any article I write. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through the comment section, and a lot of the comments in specific meant a lot to me. Just wanted to let everyone know how much I appreciate it!