I struggled with the title of this one because even I don't really know what this is. I certainly know I could use some help on the matter! I have made a collection of cards, a cube or a set if you will, on CubeCobra which had the aim of showcasing what I thought described the colour pie best. I was looking for clean, balanced, and clear examples of the sorts of things each colour should do and have in magic. I wanted well designed cards too in terms of promoting good gameplay. I think I was trying to recapture the magnificence of Alpha but with the added perks of 30 years hindsight. I wanted to take into account power readjustments in the game which is really the only thing Alpha didn't get right - quite understandably. Indeed it is quite the miracle how well the game played at the time!
I wasn't really creating this set/cube/collection to ever build up nor to play with. Mostly it is just a thought experiment I got carried away with. Having spent as much time thinking about it as I have I would now be interested to play with it when it is somewhat more tuned and complete. It may get played, it may get used as a reference point for colour pie and the like, or perhaps the benefits of it have mostly been had already via the thinking about it, regardless of what it ends up being here is what I have presently;
The power level is certainly below that of most cubes but it is still higher over all than what you would expect from most standard sets. Draft and sealed decks coming out of this pool I would expect to beat even recent sets. It does however resemble a core set more than anything else due to the simplicity of the cards I have gravitated towards. I had a lot of wants that are quite hard to fulfil. I was trying to keep mechanics to a minimum but that is quite hard when so many of the best examples of cards have exotic keywords on them. At least it is pretty clear from the keywords that repeated frequently which mechanics would seem like a good idea to make evergreen along with scry (those being cycling, flashback, and kicker). Another desire I had was that every card should be playable but that did feel like a stretch, especially given I wanted to represent some of the draft common dorks you expect so see in every set, your Wind Drakes and Giant Spiders etc. Even giving some of the best, or even uncommon, iterations of such cards is going to be a tough sell.
I think I want the set to be 360 cards and contain two cycles of dual lands and two gold cards per colour pair. I also want some decent colour balance with the kind of low curve you find in constructed decks rather than sets. None of that is set in stone by any means and I am very open to suggestions of cards that should be included. Scry lands and pain lands are my two front runners at present but it sort of feels like shock lands should be in there.
Not much more to say on this myself but I am really interested to see what people think should be added, what should be taken away, and most interestingly what should be done about any gaps. I have also been building a cube made up of cards I have made in parallel to this one with a similar goal in mind. It was also an exercise to see how much design space it felt like there was for playable clean cards. It is not impossible I make it at some stage although it is a much slower process than this one and a lot further behind, tangents aside!
Ultimately I want to get a list of about 360 cards. I might then even experiment with "rarity" in cube and have an even split of common, uncommon, and rare/mythic designated cards. I would then have a 720 card sized cube with 360 unique cards with a 3:2:1 ratio of common to uncommon to rare. This would allow for an over saturation of supporting cards and provide some cool opportunities to probe into cube design when you are not limited by a deficiency of suitable cards in any given area.
The list is just shy of 320 cards at present and I am yet to add the double dual land cycle and second gold cycle which would take it to 350ish. Further to that I want to Over populate it to perhaps 450, at least 400, so that I can then trim it down. As such I would be most appreciative of suggestions on cards to add and cards people would like to see in such a creation. Also interested in what people don't think should be on this list but less pressingly at the moment.