Monday, September 16

Boozecube Previews (pics)

So far I've used this blog primarily to post decklists and to talk about my cube endeavors. I expect that most readers are mostly interested in decklists but I would like to talk about cube, cube design, and sometimes just Magic design.

So here it goes.

If you don't already know what boozecube is, it's a format designed by Jay Boosh that makes use of custom cards to incorporate drinking into a game of Magic, a novel idea. I've taken on the daunting task of designing my own Magic set for play alongside drinking. Getting it all right will certainly be a challenge but it'll be a lot of fun too. The set is 142 cards and will be accompanied by 218 normal Magic cards which I have a speadsheet for but it is currently outdated.

The design process is mostly done but the cube needs to be playtested a few times before I can call it version 1.0. Thus, I am going to reveal some previews for it and talk about how I designed them.

(Boozetouch is one of two primary forms of drinking. It's the "poison" of boozecube. Whenever a creature with it deals damage to a player, they drink one increment of beer/wine/whatever you like and the ability accumulates. The other that is also seen on this card is drinking as a cost, in this case for ninjutsu)

A clear allusion to Huntmaster of the Fells, this card was designed to be part of a cycle of ninjas that were originally all Izzet hybrid cards. This one had to evolve to actually make sense as a Magic card. The ideology behind the boozecube features a few slight changes to the original Magic color pie but blue having access to this kind of removal isn't one of them.

As a boros card, it makes a lot more sense. Though, red has no other cards that allow it to make Bottle tokens. That really belongs to white and blue.

The idea behind giving a card like this mountainwalk and plainswalk is that as a 2/2 in a high powered cube it is pretty small. It's ability should actually be something the opponent needs to be afraid of. And it's also a nice way to get through some unblockable boozetouch damage.

Black Out is part of a cycle of cards that were designed as a "tilt cycle." The goal is for these cards to be as tilting as possible. For that goal I decided that a cycle of free spells that are actually high impact (at least, in the right matchup) would be the way to go. Originally, you only had to control one of the basic land type for each card but I wanted to make them at least "fair." That also allowed me to accomplish another goal, which is to incentivize players to stay out of 3+ colors.

Taking a shot appears on only a handful of cards. As you can imagine, it's a powerful ability and thus also very costly as it appears on this cycle.

For this one, I chose -2/-2 to all creatures in order to give black a way to deal with a swarm of creatures. Just killing a creature is something that appears frequently in black and the cycle has to be impactful in order for it to accomplish the goal of tilting opponents.

Betterblossom is a top-down design based off of Shahar Shenhar thinking that Commander's Authority was a playable draft card when preparing for Pro Tour Barcelona (he drafted 3 copies and referred to it as Betterblossom). As it stands, this card may not be good enough for the boozecube but it's always important to work inside jokes into every aspect of life.

I've only been watching Game of Thrones for one season but I like Hodor. I like him enough to design a cards around him. It's designed to be very unique (annihilator on a 4-drop) but at the same time almost no one will ever want to pick Hodor because of his drawback (despite that this is the easiest way to force a shot even if you have to pour it).

Just remember that when you drink, drink to Hodor!

I designed a Planeswalker for each color that fits well into the boozecube's newly arranged color pie. Frank's plus ability is a bit of a cop-out but it works for black because black is the only color that doesn't have much access to boozetouch. Black is the color that often forces your opponent to drink in other ways.

The second ability is something we've seen black do before and while it doesn't tie in with the character all that well it is something I like seeing on a Planeswalker.

We've also seen the ultimate ability before but it's just too perfect when stuck to this character.

Each color has a mythic rare (rarity in the set only matters in regards to power level) that accentuates that color's roles. Green features aggressive cards (paired with red) and cards that interact well with the graveyard (paired with black). Sephiroth pulls those two together nicely. Its ability can work after a bloody combat, after a Dread Return, or after some clever use of Birthing Pod.

(Intoxicate is the infect of boozecube except that in this cube the creature still deals normal combat damage)

If you haven't figured out thus far, I really like designing in cycles. This is part of another cycle of allied colored split cards that feature the fuse mechanic (at an additional cost). The two sides are designed to have synergy together though it may not be immediately obvious, as is the case with Drunken/Bees.

This card may not end up being all that powerful. It's situational but granting intoxicate can be really devastating if timed correctly though.

I think that's enough previews for today but I'd love to hear your feedback or ideas on my endeavor. Tweet at me or post below!


  1. This looks absolutly Hilarious. Is there a list of all the cards to date somewhere? Any thoughts to just making it a play off a central pile for "quick drinking times" instead of a draft?

    1. I'm not going to post the complete set until I'm finished designing it and it goes through a bit of playtesting but I'll probably post more individual cards soon.

      There's always 1v1 draft formats like winston or if you're really in a hurry you could just play free magic with a pile.