Draft Cube

What is a Draft Cube?

A Draft Cube is a sleeved collection of cards (4x of every Common/Uncommon, 1x of every Rare/Mythic) from a set that allows you to create simulated booster packs in order to play *free* Limited (Booster Draft/Sealed) games of those formats long after they've gone out of print!

Miss Innistrad drafts, but don't want to shell out a fortune for a sealed booster box? Build a Draft Cube and you can effectively draft Innistrad for free, forever!

How is that different from a regular cube?

Regular cubes tend to be singleton formats, with cards from a variety of sets, designed to highlight the most famous and powerful cards in Magic.

Draft Cubes seek to simulate actual draft formats (Innistrad, Return to Ravnica, etc) by building randomized booster packs with cards from those sets.

Why build a Draft Cube?

It allows you to *use* your collection, and is a great motivator for future collecting. My personal collection goal is to collect a Draft Cube of every set in Magic, ever!

My wife and I host "Tours of Magic" for our friends every other Saturday, where we have a Draft Cube ready to introduce them to older draft formats they never had a chance to play. It's a great way to share the experience of Magic's rich past and history, especially for players that are hesitant to spend money on Magic cards, but love the game.

How much does it cost?

It depends on the set (for recent sets, it ranges from $60 to $180), although you can always proxy any super-expensive cards and just buy the cheap ones, depending on your collection goals.

If you have a MTG Collection Builder account and you're logged in, you can complete a Draft Cube straight from your collection page. It'll take into account any cards you currently own, from that specific set only.

How do I build a Draft Cube?

First, buy or trade your way into having 4x of every Common, 4x of every Uncommon, and 1x of each Rare and Mythic Rare. Feel free to proxy expensive cards, if desired.

Next, you'll want to sleeve up all the cards you'll be using in the cube, making sure to keep separate piles for each rarity.

(Depending on the number of players playing, how much variability you want to see, and ultimately how many cards you feel like sleeving, you can choose to sleeve only 3x of every Common, and/or 2x of every Uncommon instead. Set aside any cards you don't sleeve; they won't be used in the cube.)

My recommendation:

  • Sleeve 4x of every Common.
  • Sleeve 2x of every Uncommon.
  • Sleeve 1x of every Rare and Mythic.
I've found that this combination reduces the chances of seeing 4x of a particular Uncommon and none of another in a draft, and conserves sleeves. It's nice to have 4x Uncommons on hand, however, for larger groups. You may need to adjust the numbers depending on the format, set and number of players, to ensure that you have enough cards to build the necessary number of booster packs. Each booster pack will require 10 random Commons, 3 random Uncommons, and 1 random Rare or Mythic Rare. Feel free to experiment!

Once you have each card sleeved, and in its own rarity pile, randomize all of the cards within their rarity.

Then store them in your preferred cube storage box, keeping each rarity separate from the other. (Don't forget to have plenty of basic lands! Preferably pre-sleeved.)

How do I use a Draft Cube?

When you're ready to play, count the number of players, and the number of booster packs you'll need per player (3 for Booster Draft, 6 for Sealed). Multiply those numbers, and that's how many booster packs you'll need. So if you have 8 players drafting, you'll need 8x3 = 24 packs.

Then, after ensuring that each rarity group in your Draft Cube is adequately randomized, build each booster pack pile using:

  • 10 random Commons
  • 3 random Uncommons
  • 1 random Rare or Mythic Rare
(Note: The above is true for sets that had standard booster packs. Some older sets had booster packs with fewer cards. Do your research and match accordingly!)

One out of 8 packs should have a Mythic Rare instead of a Rare. You can determine this by rolling a d8 for each pack, or just make sure that 1/8th of them have a Mythic Rare instead of a Rare. In the case of 24 packs, 3 should have a Mythic Rare instead of a Rare.

And you're all set! Have your players pick out each booster pack pile, ensuring they do not accidentally mix them up (optionally, you can use a ribbon or small storage boxes to "seal" each pack), and use them to play Booster Drafts or Sealed as desired.

When you're done playing, have the players separate out their cards by rarity, and re-shuffle them back into the appropriate rarity sections of your Draft Cube.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What if I want to draft a format with multiple sets, like Dragons of Tarkir?

A. Build a Draft Cube for each set in the format, and create booster packs out of each Draft Cube as appropriate.

(In the case of Dragons of Tarkir Booster Draft, you'd need 2x Dragons of Tarkir boosters, and 1x Fate Reforged booster.)

Q. How do you handle special cases, like double-sided cards being public information in Innistrad drafts and being guaranteed in every pack?

A. Like Magic Online, I ignore them and don't sweat it. You still get the great gaming experience and simulate the draft format "close enough". You're always welcome to have those cards start off unsleeved, however, and guarantee one in each pack. However much work you feel like putting into it!

Have any other questions? Feel free to ask via Facebook or my contact link below. I love Draft Cubes!

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