In late 2009, I had an idea to create a cube different from those at my local gaming store. Focusing on commons (which was great) and multicolor cards (which was not) led to meeting friends, sharing ideas, and a small community dedicated to crafting cubes.
Ten years later more than 100 patrons and thousands of Magic players support the Pauper Cube through gameplay, a public Discord server, reddit threads, cube-focused websites, and endless conversation and gameplay around the world. From humble beginnings, the Pauper Cube grew into a well-regarded play experience and the excitement of powerful new commons appearing in each set.
Now, another chapter begins. Today there are two announcements, both exciting and sad, to share as the Pauper Cube community moves into a new era.
Announcing The Pauper Cube Committee
From the beginning when it was Eric Klug and others breaking down the good and bad about the first builds of the cube through to today’s Twitter-meets-Discord-and-Patreon sources of feedback, the Pauper Cube has been driven by the leadership and ideas of the community. I’ve made many decisions about cards and themes, only to pivot and change later as others share their perspectives and experiences with them. (Using new information to make a better choice later is awesome.)
I’ve long stopped considering the Pauper Cube mine alone as without the community it would be just an average cube full of pet cards and unbalanced gameplay. What I haven’t done is formalized from-the-community leaders to officially work together on the website, list, updates, and other features.
That changes today. This is the Pauper Cube Committee.
Each had something to share about themselves.
Omniczech is a long time proponent of cube. He enjoys testing the limits of sensible win conditions, white bordered lands and midrange decks. In his spare non-cube related time he works as web developer and full time corgi dad.
Yunra (Martin Ekström) first came in contact with Magic back in Invasion but got scammed out of all his rares and didn’t start playing properly until Hour of Devastation. His favorite parts of Magic is drawing cards and playing big green creatures. For work he spends his days doing software development. He is also a Star Wars fan and spend a little too much money buying Star Wars related products.
Phizzled (Darrell Ford) has been playing Magic since his dad bought two 4th Edition Starter packs in 1995. He prefers midrange Orzhov decks but claims House Dimir as his own. Diabolic Edict is possibly his all time favorite common Magic spell. When he isn’t sorting cards, he is a lawyer and sometimes roller derby referee. He drinks a lot of coffee.
All three are recognizable faces in the community, particularly on Discord and have directly contributed to development of the cube and website.
Omniczech consistently offers feedback and insight from broader cube perspectives and brings deep insight about the competitive Pauper format to bear. He’s also contributed to development of the WordPress site to make printing update lists easy for everyone (including me).
Similarly, Yunra’s addition of a wholesale plugin to use Scryfall for card linking and images on the WordPress site was invaluable for making update content digestible. He also pioneered the Pack One, Pick One bot used in dozens of Discord servers which includes the default of “!paupercube” pulled right from, well, the Pauper Cube.
Phizzled’s love for Magic and willingness to ask any questions, even if it seems outlandish on the surface, has led to deep considerations for how the cube should be shaped. Challenging assumptions and long-held beliefs is vital to evolving any structure, and without looking at how deep sacrifice, flicker, and other themes could go we I would never have added the range of support for them.
All three have been invaluable to the growth and success of the Pauper Cube, and I’m excited to see how they will expand and grow what the community enjoys in the future as, effective starting today, they will integrate community feedback, plan future updates, engage in ongoing discussion, publish changes, and produce content around the cube going forward.
Closing the Pauper Cube Patreon
Bringing in community leaders and putting the future of the Pauper Cube into their hands comes from a personal change on my side: I’ve accepted an opportunity professionally that precludes my ability to work on the Pauper Cube as a personal project. It’s an exciting opportunity for me, and I will share more in the future once I can, but stepping away from the day-to-day of a decade-long community project comes with deep sadness. Being synonymous with the project has been wonderful, even as it grew into something far beyond just me.
But setting aside my effort on the Pauper Cube also means that the Patreon for it is being closed.
I’ve had the joy of sharing the cube with players and fans around the world, due in small part to sending physical copies of the updates around the world. In the United States I have easy access to any Magic card I want, but that isn’t true everywhere else. Sending cube updates to fans who need it was a lot of work, but satisfying and awesome to experience. The breadth of where the game is played in the world opened my eyes to how much Magic there really is.
Ending the current Patreon doesn’t mean the end of potential benefits and ways to support the cube. The Pauper Cube Committee is excited to explore options with the community for support, including a new Patreon or similar contribution systems, so sharing your thoughts and ideas with them is the best place to start.
The Discord Community
While the Patreon is how many of you came to the Discord community, it isn’t the only path in. Closing the current Patreon doesn’t mean closing the Discord server. The Pauper Cube Committee will continue to monitor and support discussions, and the Discord will remain public, open and accessible for anyone interested in talking about their version of the Pauper Cube and beyond.
Ultimately not much changes overnight. The website will be updated to reflect some changes as the Pauper Cube Committee begins to acclimate , and Discord roles will adjust to allow the Committee to enforce community rules and add features (like other bots or integrations as needed).
I plan to be around too, sharing in the excitement and journey, as well as updating my copy of the cube for Throne of Eldraine this fall. But I’ll be just as excited to see what cards are being considered, what ideas come next, and where the Pauper Cube will go in the future.
Thank you for being part of the first ten years of the Pauper Cube. Here’s to what the next ten bring!