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Rough Drafts: Vintage Cube 2

Hello everyone! It's time for another edition of Rough Drafts! This time we'll once again be playing my all-time favorite limited format, powered cube! In the world of Magic Online, powered cube is called Vintage Cube (formerly known as Holiday Cube), and the format is amazing. If you like powerful cards, broken synergies, and unbeatable combos, the Vintage Cube is the place for you!

On another note, I'm still trying to figure out the best way to make intro videos for limited articles and videos. Last time we had a ranking of my Top 10 Combos in Vintage Cube and it seemed to go over pretty well. This week we'll have another unique take on an intro — a video primer on how to draft Reanimator in Vintage Cube!

Let's get to the videos, then we'll talk briefly about the deck and Cube. A quick reminder. If you enjoy the Rough Drafts series and the other video content on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish Youtube Channel to keep up on all the latest and greatest.

Vintage Cube 1: Intro - How to Reanimate in Vintage Cube

Vintage Cube 2: Drafting

Vintage Cube 2: Round 1

Vintage Cube 2: Round 2

Vintage Cube 2: Finals (Round 3)

Why Reanimator?

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I'm always surprised when I hear pros and streamers downplay Reanimator in Vintage Cube. Many of the most powerful and successful decks I've built in Vintage Cube have been centered on reanimating Griselbrand and/or Iona, Shield of Emeria. For me, the key is to build an actual deck, and not simply trust Reanimate plus Entomb plus Griselbrand will be enough to win the game on its own. Emptying your hand for a turn two Griselbrand isn't game winning in Vintage Cube, especially when the cards you draw into with Griselbrand are far less impactful. However, emptying your hand for a turn two Griselbrand and then drawing into Thoughtseize, Duress, Force of Will, Daze, and/or Spell Pierce is almost always enough to finish off the game. 

To make a playable Reanimator deck, you need three parts: reanimation spells, reanimation targets, and ways to fill your graveyard. However, to make a great Reanimator deck, the secondary pieces are just as important. Here are some cards that I pick much higher when drafting Reanimator than I do in most other strategies. 

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Targeted discard is awesome in Reanimator for two reasons. First, you can fire off a discard spell on turn one, make sure the coast is clear (typically removing either a counterspell or removal spell), and reanimate on turn two. Second, since these spells cost only one mana, we can often reanimate Griselbrand on turn two, draw into discard with Griselbrand's ability, and then immediately play the discard spell to get rid of a Path to Exile or Swords to Plowshares by drawing into the various Moxen. 

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Counterspells work much like discard, and cheap (or free) counterspells are definitely the best for the deck. They can either be used to force through the combo in a counterspell mirror, or we can draw into them off of Griselbrand to protect our reanimated creature from targeted removal. 

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Finally, one-mana tutors are amazing in the deck. The nut draw in Reanimator is a Reanimate and an Entomb. Mystical Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, or Imperial Seal act as additional copies of Reanimate and Entomb, which makes the combo much, much more consistent. Pick tutors highly and pick them often. I'm not sure you can have too many in the deck. 

Most Valuable Card

Apparently everyone (including myself, since I initially passed it for a Thoughtseize) forgot just how busted Pack Rat is in limited. It wasn't that long ago we were playing Return to Ravnica limited and everyone was ranking Pack Rat alongside Umezawa's Jitte on the list of most broken limited cards of all time. Pack Rat might not be as sublime in Vintage Cube since the power level of the format is so much higher, but it's still incredibly strong. 

Over the course of our draft, we had several games where we played a Pack Rat on turn two and it just won the game on its own. It's still an extremely fast clock, attacking for two on turn three, six on turn four, and twelve on turn five (which happens to add up to exactly 20 damage). It's still incredibly resilient, often taking two or three removal spells from our opponent to exterminate it. 

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One of my favorite plays in the entire draft came in the first round. We played a Pack Rat on turn two, and our opponent promptly killed it with a burn spell. So what did we do? Reanimate the Pack Rat of course! While it might seem strange to be excited about reanimating a two-drop, it ended up being a game winning play. We simply spent the next few turns discarding cards to Pack Rat until we eventually had enough rats on the battlefield that even our opponent casting Bribery for our Griselbrand couldn't stop the pack!


Anyway, that's all for today. Leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments. You can reach me on Twitter (or MTGO) @SaffronOlive. 

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