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Cube’s Big Show - The AlphaFrog Invitational!

Posted on Nov 27, 2023

Hi everybody, MTGOTony here!

We have a very special Cube Spotlight treat starting tomorrow on our Twitch channel - plus it will be available for everyone to try in Magic Online for two weeks starting Wednesday, December 6! Speaking of that stream …

Cube’s Big Show - The AlphaFrog Invitational!

This alt-Vintage Cube will be featured on the AlphaFrog Invitational, a weekly series streaming on the official Magic Online Twitch channel starting tomorrow at 1 p.m. Pacific time (21:00 UTC). Every Tuesday for eight episodes, a group of eight Magic celebrities will take on the challenge of this very Cube, with winners returning the next week to face new foes.

Stacked doesn’t begin to describe the lineup of players in Week 1: 

Anuraag Das and Cube creator Gavin Thompson-Exner host each week’s festivities. Tune in to see what craziness ensues in this battle of MTGO titans and who gets to come back and draft again next week! Now to tell you all about what to expect from the Cube, here’s Gavin: 

A Wild AlphaFrog Appears!


Hello, Cube fans! I’m Gavin Thompson-Exner, or AlphaFrog - or possibly better known as that guy who runs the server where LSV Cube drafts! I’ve been playing MTG my whole life, mostly on MTGO. I was a member of the Magic Pro League and played on the Pro Tour for several years. During my time on the Pro Tour, I organized and captained one of the more successful teams, The Sewer Rats. I’m no longer qualified for the PT, which has given me time to focus on my favorite kind of Magic – CUBE!

Let’s dive into how my Cube came to be, how it has evolved, and some of the cool things you can look forward to drafting when it’s on Magic Online!

A Good Origin Story

Like many others, I fell in love with Cube through MTGO. Over the years I’ve drafted pretty much every Cube on there and even challenged myself to be trophy leader a few times. Several years ago, I joined a group of competitive players to organize our own drafts through the MTGO single elim queues, and that group has grown into a huge community of dedicated Cube enthusiasts that include some of the best players in the game! We became known amongst competitive players as the place to practice Cube if you qualified for the MOCS; our group includes several MOCS Cube Draft champions. Without Grands Prix to draft at every weekend, many of that competitive draft crowd have found a place in my group to scratch the itch by drafting Cubes online.

As we grew in numbers, we started drafting even when the Cube wasn’t on MTGO, and so I decided to try my hand at streamlining the Cube as best as I could for our competitive environment. I started by cutting unpopular cards that tend to never be drafted in favor of archetypal cards and combo pieces. I joined Cube groups and pored over Cubes online looking for interesting cards and ideas. With plenty of engaging feedback from the Cube community, I have crafted a Cube that I hope sparks joy!

This is the same Cube featured in many of LSV’s videos and streams, as well as my previous AlphaFrog Invitational shows. If you are one of the many people who have asked me if there’s a way to join in the fun, here is your chance!

AlphaFrog Cube Breakdown

Because my Cube is based entirely on the MTGO Vintage Cube, it will feel familiar. Some of the recent updates to the MTGO Cube were even inspired by my Cube; they are growing together! There are about 10-15 cards different per color group - about 100 changes in all - so let’s talk about the biggest differences in each color. 


White is powerful because its threats are diverse and its removal is cheap and effective. Many cards are versatile and fit into aggro, midrange, and control plans. My Cube features a couple of combos as well.


Blue boasts the best card selection and combo.


Black is distinctive for hand disruption and reanimation, and it has good removal.


Red excels with cheap burn spells and snowballing creatures. It also features artifact synergies like Goblin Welder and Daretti, Scrap Savant.


Green is a versatile support color and home of the Lands combo deck, which uses Fastbond plus either Crucible of Worlds or Ramunap Excavator to do broken things with Zuran Orb, Strip Mine, Wasteland, and more. It’s also the best color to support the Dark Depths/Thespian's Stage combo, with Elvish Reclaimer, Knight of the Reliquary, and Primeval Titan being the most consistent ways to get the pieces into play.

Other highlights in green:


Two multicolor all-stars unique to my Cube are

Artifacts & Lands 

There are some great single-card strategies among the artifacts added to this Cube: 

Finally, I added some of the Restless Creature lands to give more access to that effect, while Lotus Field is there for land combo fans. Try untapping it with Candelabra of Tawnos or Garruk Wildspeaker! 

Additions from The Lost Caverns of Ixalan 

New set, new Cube cards! LCI has a lot of neat things from which to choose: 

Moments of Magic

Here’s a few inspiring combinations people have put together:

The most spectacular play I’ve ever made was to cast Fastbond on turn 1, followed by enough lands to cast Timetwister and Time Walk. I then proceeded to find Time Spiral to shuffle everything back, and with Courser of Kruphix, Timetwister, Regrowth, and Time Walk, played every land in my deck and took extra turns until I was able to win before my opponent got to take a single turn!

Game On!

That pretty much covers things. I hope you enjoy this Cube as much as I do. It’s been a real pleasure to work with so many different drafters to put these ideas together curating the Cube. I look forward to the future of Cube on MTGO. 

Be sure to play in Leagues starting Wednesday, December 6! 

AlphaFrog Cube Full Cardlist

Card Color
Adanto Vanguard White
Adeline, Resplendent Cathar White
Archangel Elspeth White
Armageddon White
Auriok Salvagers White
Balance White
Blade Splicer White
Cathar Commando White
Condemn White
Containment Priest White
Cosmic Rebirth White
Council's Judgment White
Damn White
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite White
Elite Spellbinder White
Elspeth, Sun's Champion White
Enlightened Tutor White
Ephemerate White
Esper Sentinel White
Flickerwisp White
Get Lost White
Giver of Runes White
Heliod, Sun-Crowned White
Hero of Bladehold White
Intrepid Adversary White
Leyline Binding White
Lion Sash White
Loran of the Third Path White
Luminarch Aspirant White
March of Otherworldly Light White
Mikaeus, the Lunarch White
Monastery Mentor White
Mother of Runes White
Mox Pearl White
Oust White
Palace Jailer White
Parallax Wave White
Path to Exile White
Ranger-Captain of Eos White
Recruiter of the Guard White
Regal Bunnicorn White
Reprieve White
Restoration Angel White
Reveillark White
Seasoned Dungeoneer White
Selfless Spirit White
Serra Paragon White
Serra's Emissary White
Skyclave Apparition White
Solitude White
Staff of the Storyteller White
Steel Seraph White
Stoneforge Mystic White
Student of Warfare White
Swift Reconfiguration White
Swords to Plowshares White
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben White
The Wandering Emperor White
Thraben Inspector White
Touch the Spirit Realm White
Unexpectedly Absent White
Usher of the Fallen White
Virtue of Loyalty White
Wall of Omens White
Wedding Announcement White
Winds of Abandon White
Wrath of God White
Agatha's Soul Cauldron Artifact
Brain Freeze Blue
Brainstorm Blue
Brazen Borrower Blue
Bribery Blue
Chart a Course Blue
Chrome Host Seedshark Blue
Consider Blue
Counterspell Blue
Cryptic Command Blue
Daze Blue
Deceiver Exarch Blue
Displacer Kitten Blue
Echo of Eons Blue
Emry, Lurker of the Loch Blue
Faerie Mastermind Blue
Flash Blue
Force of Negation Blue
Force of Will Blue
Frantic Search Blue
Gifts Ungiven Blue
Gitaxian Probe Blue
Hard Evidence Blue
High Tide Blue
Hullbreacher Blue
Hullbreaker Horror Blue
Jace, the Mind Sculptor Blue
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy Blue
Ledger Shredder Blue
Lorien Revealed Blue
Malcolm, Alluring Scoundrel Blue
Mana Drain Blue
Mana Leak Blue
Memory Lapse Blue
Mind's Desire Blue
Miscalculation Blue
Mox Sapphire Blue
Mystic Confluence Blue
Mystical Tutor Blue
Narset, Parter of Veils Blue
Otawara, Soaring City Blue
Pestermite Blue
Phantasmal Image Blue
Ponder Blue
Preordain Blue
Remand Blue
Show and Tell Blue
Snapcaster Mage Blue
Spell Pierce Blue
Spellseeker Blue
Stern Scolding Blue
Subtlety Blue
Teferi, Temporal Pilgrim Blue
Thieving Skydiver Blue
Thirst for Discovery Blue
Time Spiral Blue
Time Walk Blue
Time Warp Blue
Timetwister Blue
Tinker Blue
Tolarian Academy Blue
Treachery Blue
Trinket Mage Blue
True-Name Nemesis Blue
Turnabout Blue
Upheaval Blue
Urza, Lord High Artificer Blue
Vendilion Clique Blue
Venser, Shaper Savant Blue
Aclazotz, Deepest Betrayal Black
Animate Dead Black
Archfiend of the Dross Black
Archon of Cruelty Black
Beseech the Mirror Black
Bitter Triumph Black
Bolas's Citadel Black
Bone Shards Black
Cabal Ritual Black
Collective Brutality Black
Concealing Curtains Black
Corpse Dance Black
Custodi Lich Black
Damnation Black
Dark Confidant Black
Dark Ritual Black
Dauthi Voidwalker Black
Deadly Dispute Black
Deep-Cavern Bat Black
Demonic Tutor Black
Duress Black
Entomb Black
Evolved Sleeper Black
Exhume Black
Fatal Push Black
From the Catacombs Black
Gonti, Lord of Luxury Black
Grave Titan Black
Graveyard Trespasser Black
Grief Black
Griselbrand Black
Hymn to Tourach Black
Imperial Seal Black
Infernal Grasp Black
Inquisition of Kozilek Black
Liliana of the Veil Black
Makeshift Mannequin Black
Mesmeric Fiend Black
Mind Twist Black
Mox Jet Black
Necromancy Black
Night's Whisper Black
Oona's Prowler Black
Ophiomancer Black
Orcish Bowmasters Black
Persist Black
Pile On Black
Ravenous Chupacabra Black
Reanimate Black
Recurring Nightmare Black
Shallow Grave Black
Sheoldred, the Apocalypse Black
Sheoldred's Edict Black
Snuff Out Black
Tendrils of Agony Black
Thoughtseize Black
Tourach, Dread Cantor Black
Toxic Deluge Black
Troll of Khazad-dum Black
Unmarked Grave Black
Vampire Hexmage Black
Vampiric Tutor Black
Virtue of Persistence Black
Woe Strider Black
Yawgmoth's Will Black
Ancestral Recall Blue
Abrade Red
Arc Trail Red
Birgi, God of Storytelling Red
Bitter Reunion Red
Bloodthirsty Adversary Red
Bomat Courier Red
Bonecrusher Giant Red
Bonfire of the Damned Red
Burst Lightning Red
Chain Lightning Red
Chandra, Hope's Beacon Red
Chandra, Torch of Defiance Red
Char Red
Charming Scoundrel Red
Daretti, Scrap Savant Red
Dire Fleet Daredevil Red
Dragon's Rage Channeler Red
Embereth Shieldbreaker Red
Etali, Primal Conqueror Red
Fable of the Mirror-Breaker Red
Faithless Looting Red
Fiery Confluence Red
Fireblast Red
Firebolt Red
Flametongue Kavu Red
Forked Bolt Red
Fury Red
Glorybringer Red
Goblin Engineer Red
Goblin Guide Red
Goblin Rabblemaster Red
Goblin Welder Red
Goldspan Dragon Red
Grim Lavamancer Red
Hellrider Red
Imperial Recruiter Red
Inferno Titan Red
Inti, Seneschal of the Sun Red
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker Red
Laelia, the Blade Reforged Red
Lightning Bolt Red
Magda, Brazen Outlaw Red
Mine Collapse Red
Monastery Swiftspear Red
Mox Ruby Red
Oliphaunt Red
Orcish Lumberjack Red
Phyrexian Dragon Engine Red
Pia and Kiran Nalaar Red
Rabbit Battery Red
Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer Red
Rampaging Raptor Red
Reckless Stormseeker Red
Robber of the Rich Red
Rolling Earthquake Red
Seasoned Pyromancer Red
Seething Song Red
Sneak Attack Red
Splinter Twin Red
Sulfuric Vortex Red
Through the Breach Red
Thundermaw Hellkite Red
Underworld Breach Red
Voldaren Epicure Red
Voldaren Thrillseeker Red
Wheel of Fortune Red
Zealous Conscripts Red
Augur of Autumn Green
Birds of Paradise Green
Boseiju, Who Endures Green
Channel Green
Courser of Kruphix Green
Craterhoof Behemoth Green
Crop Rotation Green
Delighted Halfling Green
Devoted Druid Green
Dryad of the Ilysian Grove Green
Elder Gargaroth Green
Elvish Mystic Green
Elvish Reclaimer Green
Endurance Green
Esika's Chariot Green
Eternal Witness Green
Exploration Green
Fastbond Green
Fauna Shaman Green
Fertile Ground Green
Finale of Devastation Green
Garruk Relentless Green
Garruk Wildspeaker Green
Generous Ent Green
Green Sun's Zenith Green
Haywire Mite Green
Heartbeat of Spring Green
Hexdrinker Green
Ignoble Hierarch Green
Joraga Treespeaker Green
Kogla, the Titan Ape Green
Life from the Loam Green
Llanowar Elves Green
Lotus Cobra Green
Manglehorn Green
Monster Manual Green
Mox Emerald Green
Natural Order Green
Nissa, Ascended Animist Green
Nissa, Who Shakes the World Green
Noble Hierarch Green
Oath of Druids Green
Ojer Kaslem, Deepest Growth Green
Oracle of Mul Daya Green
Pest Infestation Green
Primeval Titan Green
Questing Beast Green
Ramunap Excavator Green
Reclamation Sage Green
Regrowth Green
Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary Green
Sail into the West Green
Sakura-Tribe Elder Green
Scavenging Ooze Green
Sentinel of the Nameless City Green
Survival of the Fittest Green
Sylvan Caryatid Green
Sylvan Library Green
Tireless Tracker Green
Titan of Industry Green
Titania, Protector of Argoth Green
Ulvenwald Oddity Green
Undermountain Adventurer Green
Utopia Sprawl Green
Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider Green
Wall of Roots Green
Woodfall Primus Green
Worldspine Wurm Green
Fractured Identity Azorius
Soulherder Azorius
Spell Queller Azorius
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria Azorius
Teferi, Time Raveler Azorius
Comet, Stellar Pup Boros
Figure of Destiny Boros
Forth Eorlingas! Boros
Otharri, Suns' Glory Boros
Zirda, the Dawnwaker Boros
Baleful Strix Dimir
Fallen Shinobi Dimir
Kaito, Dancing Shadow Dimir
Thief of Sanity Dimir
Abrupt Decay Golgari
Grist, the Hunger Tide Golgari
Life/Death Golgari
Maelstrom Pulse Golgari
Mosswood Dreadknight Golgari
Tear Asunder Golgari
Witherbloom Command Golgari
Escape to the Wilds Gruul
Manamorphose Gruul
Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes Gruul
Wrenn and Six Gruul
Dack Fayden Izzet
Expressive Iteration Izzet
Fire/Ice Izzet
Prismari Command Izzet
Saheeli, Sublime Artificer Izzet
Third Path Iconoclast Izzet
Ashen Rider Orzhov
Lingering Souls Orzhov
Lurrus of the Dream-Den Orzhov
Unburial Rites Orzhov
Vindicate Orzhov
Bloodtithe Harvester Rakdos
Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast Rakdos
Fire Covenant Rakdos
Kolaghan's Command Rakdos
Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger Rakdos
Knight of Autumn Selesnya
Knight of the Reliquary Selesnya
Samwise the Stouthearted Selesnya
Torsten, Founder of Benalia Selesnya
Voice of Resurgence Selesnya
Hydroid Krasis Simic
Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy Simic
Oko, Thief of Crowns Simic
Tamiyo, Collector of Tales Simic
Anduril, Flame of the West Artifact
Basalt Monolith Artifact
Batterskull Artifact
Black Lotus Artifact
Blightsteel Colossus Artifact
Candelabra of Tawnos Artifact
Chromatic Star Artifact
Chrome Mox Artifact
Coveted Jewel Artifact
Crucible of Worlds Artifact
Currency Converter Artifact
Grim Monolith Artifact
Guardian of Ghirapur Artifact
Hangarback Walker Artifact
Helm of Awakening Artifact
Ichor Wellspring Artifact
Kaldra Compleat Artifact
Lightning Greaves Artifact
Lion's Eye Diamond Artifact
Lotus Petal Artifact
Mana Crypt Artifact
Mana Vault Artifact
Memory Jar Artifact
Mind Stone Artifact
Mindslaver Artifact
Mishra's Bauble Artifact
Mox Diamond Artifact
Mox Opal Artifact
Myr Battlesphere Artifact
Mystic Forge Artifact
Palantir of Orthanc Artifact
Pentad Prism Artifact
Phyrexian Revoker Artifact
Portal to Phyrexia Artifact
Reckoner Bankbuster Artifact
Retrofitter Foundry Artifact
Scrapwork Mutt Artifact
Sensei's Divining Top Artifact
Skullclamp Artifact
Smuggler's Copter Artifact
Sol Ring Artifact
Syr Ginger, the Meal Ender Artifact
Talisman of Conviction Artifact
Talisman of Creativity Artifact
Talisman of Curiosity Artifact
Talisman of Dominance Artifact
Talisman of Hierarchy Artifact
Talisman of Impulse Artifact
Talisman of Indulgence Artifact
Talisman of Progress Artifact
Talisman of Resilience Artifact
Talisman of Unity Artifact
The Mightstone and Weakstone Artifact
The One Ring Artifact
Triplicate Titan Artifact
Triskelion Artifact
Umezawa's Jitte Artifact
Walking Ballista Artifact
Winter Orb Artifact
Wurmcoil Engine Artifact
Zuran Orb Artifact
Dismember Colorless
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn Colorless
Karn, Scion of Urza Colorless
Phyrexian Metamorph Colorless
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre Colorless
Ancient Tomb Land
Arid Mesa Land
Ash Barrens Land
Badlands Land
Bayou Land
Blackcleave Cliffs Land
Blood Crypt Land
Bloodstained Mire Land
Blooming Marsh Land
Botanical Sanctum Land
Breeding Pool Land
Celestial Colonnade Land
City of Traitors Land
Concealed Courtyard Land
Copperline Gorge Land
Creeping Tar Pit Land
Dark Depths Land
Darkslick Shores Land
Fiery Islet Land
Flooded Strand Land
Gaea's Cradle Land
Godless Shrine Land
Hallowed Fountain Land
Horizon Canopy Land
Indatha Triome Land
Inspiring Vantage Land
Jetmir's Garden Land
Karakas Land
Ketria Triome Land
Lavaclaw Reaches Land
Library of Alexandria Land
Lotus Field Land
Mana Confluence Land
Marsh Flats Land
Mishra's Workshop Land
Misty Rainforest Land
Nurturing Peatland Land
Overgrown Tomb Land
Plateau Land
Polluted Delta Land
Prismatic Vista Land
Raffine's Tower Land
Raging Ravine Land
Raugrin Triome Land
Razorverge Thicket Land
Restless Bivouac Land
Restless Cottage Land
Restless Spire Land
Restless Vinestalk Land
Sacred Foundry Land
Savai Triome Land
Savannah Land
Scalding Tarn Land
Scrubland Land
Seachrome Coast Land
Shelldock Isle Land
Silent Clearing Land
Spara's Headquarters Land
Spirebluff Canal Land
Steam Vents Land
Stomping Ground Land
Strip Mine Land
Sunbaked Canyon Land
Taiga Land
Temple Garden Land
Thespian's Stage Land
Tropical Island Land
Tundra Land
Underground Sea Land
Urza's Saga Land
Verdant Catacombs Land
Volcanic Island Land
Wasteland Land
Waterlogged Grove Land
Watery Grave Land
Windswept Heath Land
Wooded Foothills Land
Xander's Lounge Land
Zagoth Triome Land
Ziatora's Proving Ground Land
Atraxa, Grand Unifier Multicolor
Ertai Resurrected Multicolor
Golos, Tireless Pilgrim Multicolor
Leovold, Emissary of Trest Multicolor
Omnath, Locus of Creation Multicolor
Prismatic Ending Multicolor
Questing Druid Multicolor