This Pauper Cube, originally created by Adam Styborski in 2008, is beloved and frequently cited as one of the more iconic pauper cubes for Magic the Gathering. In the intervening years, The Pauper Cube moved from a multicolor focused cube of all commons (and some technical commons) to a cube of commons that should probably have never been printed to (more often than not) a collection of synergistic cards that encourage repeatable and varied play across each of the different color pairings.
What Makes This Cube Great?
There are many reasons players enjoy the Pauper Cube:
- It’s inexpensive! Magic is 25+ year old game with rare and collectible cards as expensive as you can imagine. However, even the priciest commons come at a cost far lower than many other cards. Building a cube, and keeping it updated, is easy when your upfront investment and maintenance costs are low.
- It’s interactive! Every color gets to play some of the Magic‘s iconic cards. From Lightning Bolt to Counterspell to Savannah Lions to Rancor, many of the cherished cards we fell in love with when learning the game are featured in the cube because they were commons.
- It’s skill-testing! There are obvious archetypes and strategies to use, and there is variety for players that have been around the game longer. If you like maximizing value and discovering interesting synergy between cards, the Pauper Cube is for you.
What Are The Construction Rules For The Cube?
While “only commons” seems like a simple rule, there are a few complications:
- Pauper, as a competitive format, using commons as designated in Magic Online. As such, there are several “commons” online that never received a common printing in paper.
- Some sets and releases, such as Unstable, can never be published through Magic Online and therefore can never become Pauper legal.
The solution here was to include any common legality. In the era of Arena this now has a few caveats, the card must be printed as a standalone card (no conjure) and must have a physical card printing, so no digital exclusives. While the cube breaks the popular ways to define Pauper, it’s because a cube can be whatever you want it to be that this cube takes the widest approach. While this makes a handful of “commons” unexpected for competitive and casual players, it’s also easy to swap or cut those cards from your own take on the cube. That’s what cubes are for.
Where Can I Find The Cube List?
There are many cube and decklist sites out there, but Cube Cobra is the best maintained site in general and is always the most up to date. If you want to create a fork, if you have an account you can simply use the “clone cube” functionality and make your edits.
How Often Is The Cube Updated?
The cube is updated when standard legal sets are released. If supplemental sets have been released in the meantime between these sets, any cards from these sets the committee wants to include will be tied into these updates. You can expect roughly a month from release of a set to the update being released.
How Do I Buy/Build The Cube?
The current list is large enough that it can be difficult. We will endeavor to provide a list each update that can be imported to your prefered online retailer. If you grab the list from one of our third party copies (Cube Cobra or Cube Tutor), we’ve had better luck doing a bulk upload in lots of 50-60 cards at a time.
With the full list as a Google Sheet you can copy the entire list—or just the cards you need—to submit to your favorite online retailer, share it with your local game store’s manager or poll your friends for which cards they can share.
How Many Copies Of Each Basic Land Do I Need?
Since Magic releases a variety of common dual lands (that are included in the cube) I run 40 to 50 copies of each basic land.
It Turns Out the Pauper Cube is for Me! How can I be More Involved?
Many of our conversations and requests for feedback are on our Discord server. Stop in and let us know how the cube is playing for you.
If you’re a little more patient, you can also share feedback or ask questions by emailing us at email@example.com.