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An In-Depth Guide to MTG Arena Chromatic Cube – November 2022

DoggertQBones frequently dominates his Cube queues and he wants you to do the same! Learn the best tips, cards, and archetypes for this Cube so you can have fun and win a bunch!

Hello everyone! I don’t know about you, but I love Cube, so whenever Cube comes to Arena it’s always a great time. Although Arena generally has the standard Arena Cube with some changes, they made a lot of changes to this one to turn it into the Chromatic Cube! This Cube has a much heavier emphasis on going multiple colors which should give each draft and game a much more unique feel compared to the Arena Cube!

Chromatic Cube dropped today and will run through November 15th. Today I’ll go over what I believe are the best archetypes are in the Cube, the key cards, and important notes to keep in mind. Before I continue, you can read Magic’s official article and full list on Chromatic Cube right here.

Event Details

Chromatic Cube is a Phantom event. Cards you draft are not added to your collection.

Dates: November 6, 2022 8AM PT–November 15, 2022 8 AM PT 

Format: Draft Best-of-One and traditional Best-of-Three

Entry: 4,000 gold or 600 gems

Rewards:

Historic individual card rewards (ICRs) grant cards from pack releases on MTG Arena. They do not include cards that were released outside of packs (e.g., cards from Historic Anthologies). Historic uncommon ICRs have a 5% upgrade rate to rare. Historic rare ICRs may upgrade to a mythic rare; each rare is twice as likely to be awarded as each mythic rare.

WinsBEST-OF-ONE (7 WINS OR 3 LOSSES)
7 Wins6,000 gold
2 rare Historic individual card rewards (ICRs)
1 uncommon Historic ICR
6 Wins5,000 gold
2 rare Historic ICRs
1 Historic uncommon ICR
5 Wins4,000 gold
2 rare Historic ICRs
1 uncommon Historic ICR
4 Wins3,000 gold
1 rare Historic ICR
2 uncommon Historic ICRs
3 Wins2,000 gold
1 rare Historic ICR
2 uncommon Historic ICRs
2 Wins1,000 gold
1 rare Historic ICR
2 uncommon Historic ICRs
1 Win500 gold
1 rare Historic ICR
2 uncommon Historic ICRs
0 Wins1 rare Historic ICR
2 uncommon Historic ICRs
WinsBEST-OF-THREE
3 Wins6,000 gold
1 rare Historic ICR
2 uncommon Historic ICRs
2 Wins4,000 gold
1 rare Historic ICR
2 uncommon Historic ICRs
1 Win1 rare Historic ICR
2 uncommon Historic ICRs
0 Wins1 rare Historic ICR
2 uncommon Historic ICR

IMPORTANT NOTES FOR CHROMATIC CUBE

Chromatic Orrery Art by Volkan Baga
Chromatic Orrery Art by Volkan Baga

This is Functionally a Clunkier Arena Cube

So the appeal of Chromatic Cube is that Wizards is actively encouraging a lot of splashing of cards, and to that end, they added significantly more multicolor cards to facilitate this than your typical Arena Cube. Furthermore, they also added multicolor cards that are even 3+ colors to further push this theme. With that, expect this cube to be slower and weaker than the Arena Cube overall.

Aggro is Much Worse

If you look at the card pool, there are not that many aggressive creatures to start your curve. It won’t be impossible to get an Aggro deck together, but it’s going to be way harder than it used to be. You’ll likely be forced into 2 color aggro where aggro decks generally want to be monocolored which is also a detriment to the archetype as a whole. That being said, once people catch wind of how hard it is to draft aggro, it will get easier to draft it as the odds of something else trying to get into it will be much lower.

Take the Hard to Cast Cards Late, Not Early

A big mistake I imagine a lot of players are going to make is taking a restrictively costed card then trying to build around that moving forward. Instead of tunneling yourself into certain colors early, try to find the main open colors then you can work on the splashing from there. Not only will your deck be way better on average, assuming you find the open lanes those good cards should just fall into your lap naturally! 

White Is All Over The Place, But Solid Overall

White is in two camps for the most part: Aggro and Midrange. So even if White seems to be open, you may end up with two different halves of White that don’t work together. In that sense, I think following the signals for White is more important than most of the other colors. If you’re seeing a lot of Midrange cards or strong cards going late, that can be your signal to move into that specific White deck.

The one thing I would warn you of is to not force Mono White Aggro, but keep an eye on the early creatures. If you’re the only one in Mono White, you could get away with a strong deck, but if even one other person is trying for it as well, you’re both likely going to have train wrecks. On the flip side, if you see just powerful mid game White cards, those are extremely safe picks as they are great second color or splash cards.

Blue is Decent, but Weaker Than Last Cube

While I thought Blue was quite strong in the last iteration of Chromatic Cube, they definitely tampered down the power level a lot here. Blue still has super strong cards like Torrential Gearhulk, A-Hullbreaker Horror, and Sublime Epiphany, but has lost counterspells once again, like it did in the last iteration. While they only removed one counterspell going from seven to six, they are either costly, restrictive, or both. That said, if you see a bunch of counterspells, then a Blue deck is a super easy lane as I envision counterspells are still good, but I’m not too excited otherwise. I wouldn’t shy away from Blue, but I’m not looking to hop into it either unless I’m really seeing the Blue flowing.

Black is Still Strong and Relatively Focused

Like the previous iteration of the Chromatic Cube, Black is once again a strong color in Cube. There’s a huge amount of support for the Sacrifice strategy which is one of the best archetypes and the non-sacrifice cards are good in general. The one major difference in this iteration of Chromatic Cube is that it seems that the removal quality definitely got worse, so while Black is still a great splash color for interaction, it isn’t as good as it was. This will push more people either to try and go all in on Black or just pick up a few pieces which should make signals involving Black much more obvious. Similar to Mono White Aggro though, I wouldn’t tunnel on the sacrifice cards unless you’re seeing a lot of them as it’s not an archetype that will easily support two players. That said, I think it’s possible for two people to be in it and both of them get decent decks unlike White, but it’s still not a spot I would want to be in.

Red Is A Great Support Color, But A Weak Main Color

Red is in a super interesting spot as similar to White – the color can feel a bit unfocused and have a lot of weird one offs, but unlike White, a lot of these cards are “archetype glue”. With that, I would very rarely want Red to be my main color (barring it being extremely open), but the multicolor options it gives you seem excellent. While I’m never excited for Boros (as two color aggro decks reliant on cheap creatures rarely work out the way you want), Izzet, Rakdos, and Gruul all seem excellent. Like I said before though, you really want Red for removal, and in Rakdos and Gruul’s case, the best creatures you can get your hands on.

Green Is The Best Color

Without much surprise, Green is once again the best color to draft in Chromatic Cube off the back of a lot of mana fixing in a cube that asks you to splash. The card quality is also quite high so between that and the copious amounts of fixing, Green can make a large variety of archetypes and color combinations viable. Green can easily support two players going hard into it, but realistically, I expect more like 3-4 people per Cube trying to play Green in a given pod, that’s how good it is. While I’m never a proponent for forcing, I would prioritize the mana fixing and dorks extremely highly as they are generally the strongest cards in this cube.

BEST CHROMATIC CUBE ARCHETYPES

Soulherder Art by Seb McKinnon
Soulherder Art by Seb McKinnon

You could look at Wizard’s proposed archetypes to get a general idea of what’s good, but I wouldn’t follow them like gospel. Instead I have the archetypes that seem the most powerful from experience and the current card pool.

AZORIUS BLINK CONTROL

Key Cards

So unlike Arena Cube, going the traditional Control route in Azorius is much more difficult with the lack of Wraths and fewer counterspells. With that, you want to approach it as a more value based deck that’s looking for strong ETB creatures and ways to blink them. 

This won’t necessarily be the easiest archetype to put together as simply getting the good Blink cards isn’t enough, you also need the strong ETB creatures to go along with it. With that, it will always be a bit of a dangerous prospect going into this archetype unless it’s obviously open so always be paying attention to what you’re passing and what isn’t coming back. However, if this comes together, it’s a tough archetype for many decks to beat as the threat quality in other colors is a good deal lower and the removal is pretty clunky.

Another concern for Azorius is your win conditions as there aren’t as many bombs that look to close out games, so cards like Finale of Glory or Starnheim Unleashed go up in value compared to other White decks.

DIMIR CONTROL

Key Cards

So you may have noticed this archetype has a lot more key cards than others, and that’s a really good thing. This isn’t the case that you need all these cards to work, but rather there’s so many good cards in this archetype that you shouldn’t have a problem getting them (assuming it’s open).

I expect this to be one of the best archetypes as there’s a wealth of strong cards to pick up and this is excellent at dismantling clunky decks if you can pair these cards with the good removal from Black and the counterspells from Blue. The one thing to be wary of is that you definitely want some of the cheaper counter magic or cheap Black interaction to make this work as there is a threat of getting run over early, but it’s not super likely to happen in a Cube as slow as this.

Another feature about Dimir that shouldn’t be ignored is that you can easily move into Grixis to support Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh and Nicol Bolas, the Ravager as both are extremely strong and can be solid win condition if you’re lacking in them.

GREEN SOUP

Key Cards

There’s a good reason Green is the best color and it’s green soup. What this means is that you’re a base Green deck just splashing for any card you want to play. You need to prioritize fixing very highly as you’ll generally be able to wheel bombs other people don’t want rather late.

A secondary reason this archetype is so good is that it can easily be a Field of the Dead deck and Field is even better in this Cube than it was in Arena Cube. Not much more to say about this archetype beyond it’s easy to draft and very powerful.

IZZET SPELLS

Key Cards

This archetype is as powerful as it is difficult to put together. Functionally, this deck is entirely based around flashing back a broken spell like Sublime Epiphany or Magma Opus, so getting one (or ideally both) of those cards is the only way this archetype is even viable. That being said, for whatever reason, those cards frequently wheeled in Arena Cube, so it’s not impossible that this trend will continue.

In terms of power level, this is probably the strongest deck in the Cube as playing a Scholar of the Lost Trove or Torrential Gearhulk with a Sublime Epiphany or Magma Opus in the graveyard will generally win the game on the spot or just overloading a Mizzix's Mastery with a lot of spells in yard will likely accomplish the same. You need to draft ways either to ramp or interact in the interim so you don’t get run over by whatever your opponent is doing. Unlike Dimir, splashing for a third color isn’t nearly as good, but you still can if you have the proper fixing.

RAKDOS SACRIFICE

Key Cards

Last iteration of Chromatic Cube, Rakdos was easily one of the strongest archetypes available and I expect that trend to persist. Black has so many good creatures that it’s very easy to fill out your curve, and considering you’re in Black and Red, getting a good amount of solid interaction is trivial. Finally, since there’s extremely few wraths, this is a very hard deck to disrupt.

The easiest way to tell if this is open is if the small Black creatures wheel. If you’re seeing a good amount of them, you can safely dive headfirst into this archetype as no other deck (beyond maybe Orzhov) makes good use of those cards. With that, it makes it really unlikely that someone is suddenly going to cut into this archetype later in the draft compared to the others.

SELESNYA TOKENS

Key Cards

To be honest, I was never a huge fan of Selesnya Tokens in the other iterations of Arena Cube, but a lot of people found success with it. That said, I think even I might dip my toes into the archetype considering how good it looks now. Similar to Rakdos, this archetype benefits greatly from the lack of wrath effects, but unlike Rakdos, if you do get wrathed it’s going to be hard to come back from.

Never the less, the card quality of Selesnya seems very high, and although you’re an archetype with Green in it, it’s unlikely going to be heavily contested barring someone is trying for a White aggro deck. I expect this to be more open than other archetypes on average considering it’s utilizing a lot of cards most players aren’t going to be interested in.

5 COLOR

Key Cards

It may seem weird differentiating Green Soup and 5 Color, but the major contrast is that 5 color doesn’t have to be base Green. Generally, this starts as a Field of the Dead deck that looks to pick up every piece of fixing possible to be an even split of 4+ colors where Green soup will always be inherently base Green. This will always be one of the best archetypes to get into if you decide to do it early. Other people will prioritize synergy cards in their opening packs and you can pick up a lot of lands then cruise into the next packs picking up the random bombs others don’t want. 

Thank you for reading!

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DoggertQBones
DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and coaching! Join our community on
Twitch and Discord.

Articles: 544

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