Hello SixPrizes community,
If you read my last article about the Cube and have been anxious to see a card list, today marks the end of your waiting. I have returned with details about the design, drafting process, gameplay, and, of course, the card list.
My Cube consists of more than 360 of the most powerful cards spanning from the Base Set to Dragons Exalted. You may be familiar with many of the cards in the selection already, because some of the most powerful cards Pokémon has to offer have been introduced in the past two years (HeartGold & SoulSilver through Dragons Exalted).
To shed some light on the power and potential of the Cube, here is the list:
(The organization is based on the energy cost of the Pokémon, not necessarily the type.)
pokemon-paradijs.comFirst, I apologize for the lack of card image links, but this was the best way to condense the list for readers to view the entire article. To reconcile, the set abbreviation and number have been provided for each card.
Second, I must stress that this is not the Cube’s final or definitive configuration; this only represents the Cube’s current state. Part of the format’s nature is that the card list is constantly changing with the inclusion of new sets, newly discovered card combinations, and the accessibility to rare or expensive cards. In fact, there are some cards listed above that I am already expecting to replace when I have the opportunity, but I digress.
You may find the card list above useful as a skeleton if you have many of the same cards in your own collection. For those of you who don’t, my advice is to dust off your binder, rummage through your rotated and current format cards, and pull out the fun, powerful ones. Try to give each energy type a few decent attackers and a small supporting cast. As you play a few games, you will be able to use the technique I will describe in a moment to standardize the degree of power.
As I said before, the nature of the Cube is that it is evolving and becoming stronger as more cards are released; that is especially true as I recall what the Cube used to include. I began creating my Cube about two years ago with a relatively small collection. Sounds like a joke, but in those early days, Hitmonchan Base Set and Raichu HS developed into the MVPs of the format. Naturally, I wanted balance between the energy types, so I researched cards that I thought would even the playing field.
Maintaining the balance is actually pretty easy. When one energy type is not performing as well as the others, that indicates the need for some stronger cards for that type. Finding inexpensive cards to match the power level hasn’t been difficult, but does involve researching many sets and shopping around different websites for a decent price. Typically, when searching for a new strong attacker for a specific type, the answer is in the Black & White series. The Pokémon Company has released promo versions of a lot of powerful attackers from the Black & White sets, making those cards more accessible and cheaper.
pokemon-paradijs.comAnother important aspect in regard to the balance of the game is the drafting process. Drafting ensures you and your opponent have an equal opportunity to the cards available in the Cube. There are many styles of drafting to choose from and trial and error has provided me with the most suitable for the Cube.
One technique that seems fair is to draft the commons and uncommons separately from the rares and ultra-rares. In the Cube’s infancy, the consensus was that receiving a booster full of rares by luck was unfair if the opponent had the same chance of getting a booster full of commons. To resolve this issue, the Cube is separated into three stacks before drafting begins: one stack with the commons/uncommons (labeled in blue in the card list), the second with rares/ultra-rares (orange/yellow), and the third with Trainers/Supporters/Special Energy. The Stadium cards are not included in the drafting process and I will elaborate later.
Typically, we draft the Cube between two people, but we have drafted with three or four on many occasions. I would expect that anything more than six players would begin hindering the quality of a 60-card deck. For two players, we use a Solomon draft to divide the cards. For three or more players, we use a Booster draft.
The Solomon drafting process is as follows: Two players roll a dice to see who goes first. Player A (the winner of the dice roll) flips the top four cards of the commons/uncommons stack for both players to see. Player A chooses one card and puts it face down in front of him. Player B then chooses two cards, putting them face down in front of him, and leaving the last card for Player A. Then Player B flips the next four cards, choosing one, then Player A choosing two, and so on. After the stack has been depleted, repeat the process for the rares/ultra-rares, and then again for the Trainers/Supporters.
The Booster draft is as follows: All players sit in a circle and receive a 10-card booster from the commons/uncommons stack. Each player will choose one card and pass the rest of the cards of that booster to the player to their left. Again, choose one card and pass the rest to the left. When each of the boosters has been depleted, create more boosters, reverse the passing direction, and repeat the process until the stack is empty. Use the same process for the rares/ultra-rares and Trainers/Supporters.
Once every card has been drafted, each player may begin constructing a deck using only the cards he/she drafted. Depending on how many cards are in the Cube should determine how many cards should be in each deck. As I said before, I started my Cube with a small collection, so each player constructed 40-card decks with 4 Prize cards. Over time, the Cube developed and increased in size; considering the total number of cards each player drafted, we agreed that playing 60-card decks would unleash greater potential for our decks.
A box to the side contains plenty of basic energy for each player to pull from to complete their deck. The stack of Stadiums and some Special Energy cards are also in the box. Each player may choose only one Stadium card. If a player has drafted either DCE, Rainbow, Special Darkness, Special Metal, or Prism Energy, he/she may collect up to three more of that Energy card. This seems unexpected considering one of the Cube’s noteworthy aspects is the singleton feature, but in order to truly take advantage of the power of those cards, we deemed this modification allowable.
After all, exploiting combos that span multiple generations is one of the most compelling characteristics of the Cube. Occasionally, I see articles on SixPrizes commenting on how the format is missing their long lost Vileplume or Claydol. The Cube’s gameplay incorporates the best from the old and new, yielding a format that is better than what was considered the best. With so many powerful cards in the Cube, you might think everything is overpowered, but I insist there are many checks and balances.
Undoubtedly, there are quite a few vicious combos to be constructed, but your opponent has the opportunity to counter; he/she can hate-draft, build a deck that is equally strong, or plan to deny a potential threat with a specific card. To give an example for the last situation, if your opponent noticed that you drafted a lot of Pokémon with an Ability, he/she may find it beneficial to draft/play Garbodor to prevent a potentially dangerous strategy.
Check and Balances
pokemon-paradijs.comThe best example to showcase the checks and balances of the Cube is the following: Mr. Mime BS combined with Eviolite seems like a virtually, untouchable Pokémon. However, special conditions can Knock Out Mr. Mime’s Poké-Power and Poison can shorten his reign. Espeon DEX can patch up that weakness, and Dark Vileplume TR can purge the risk of Gust of Wind/Pokémon Catcher. The opponent can counter by playing Aerodactyl FO to prevent those evolutions, or even by playing Muk FO to hinder Mr. Mime’s defense. Even a Crobat G can be very effective, but remember, there is only one, so variations of Scoop Up are necessary.
With singleton in mind, you may be concerned with the consistency of evolutions, especially Stage 2s. My last article touched on this subject a bit. There are still plenty of ways to retain consistency because the Cube incorporates the best cards to aid you in evolution; Dark Dragonair TR, Spiritomb AR, and a large number of Trainer/Supporter cards are worth mentioning.
I will concede that your chance of Spiritomb as your starter every game is not so good, but constructing a deck to acquire Spiritomb on turn one is not difficult if you draft the right cards. Even if you do miss some crucial cards in the draft, the situation will demand you to have good deck building skills and, ultimately, improve those skills.
Apart from skill strengthening, the format is to promote fun. Put those old, rotated cards to use. Try to draft and build a merciless combo that never had the opportunity in Modified format. Build your very own Cube and draft with your friends.
If you are excited to try out the Cube, check out my previous article: Format For Your Favorite Cards. And, of course, feel free to ask questions in the comments section below.