Pauper Jumpstart Cube is a unique format created with a singular goal: to utilize the Jumpstart format as a teaching tool to compartmentalize aspects about Magic: The Gathering, thereby making the game more easily digestible by new players.
If you’ve ever asked, “What’s the best way to learn to play Magic The Gathering?” the Pauper Jumpstart Cube might be a solution.
The Pauper Jumpstart Cube uses the popular Pauper Cube created by Adam Styborski to create a modal format designed to ease new players into the plethora of terms and concepts of Magic: The Gathering while adding a twist to the traditional Jumpstart format. This means that the cube allows lots of repeated use without every playing the same game twice. If you ever wondered, “How do I draft with only two people?” this is a way to have a similar experience without needing a full pod of drafters.
Within Pauper Jumpstart Cube, players will select three packs in order to make a single 40-card deck instead of two. One “Guild-Pack” containing eight multi-colored spells and lands, and two “Mono-Packs” containing 20 spells and lands of a single color. For example, a player could choose these three packs below:
With this combination we’re teaching the player what the term Boros means, why a deck might be referred to as a “Weenie” deck and the terminology of “Going Wide” that players use to refer to a specific board state. These three packs together synergize very well with lots of token creation, cheap creatures, and Convoke mechanics. Within the Boros guild-pack are cards perfect for these like Rally The Peasants and War Flare that pump all those small creatures.
In total, Pauper Jumpstart Cube contains 20 total mono-packs (four packs for each color) along with 10 guild-packs (one for each respective guild) which means a ton of combinations.
This is a tool meant for experienced players who have the desire or opportunity to teach friends or family the game of Magic: The Gathering. As this cube is card-for-card the Pauper Cube, those who already own the cube are 90% of the way to completing it. Not only does the Pauper Jumpstart Cube help players understand what works well synergistically in practice it also informs the player as to what concepts and mechanics do not work well together, again, by in-game experience. This is purposeful, as the goal with this tool is to eventually take off the Jumpstart “training-wheels” and play with the same cards they’re now familiar with in a cube (draft or sealed) format.
How To Play
- Each player chooses a guild-pack.
- Each player chooses two mono-packs.
- Combine all three packs for a total of 48 cards.
- Make eight “cuts” to make a 40-card deck. Set eight “cut” cards aside for sideboarding.
What color packs should I choose?
There are a few ways to approach this. Every guild-pack contains two dual lands in their respective color. These, combined with the two additional “Thriving” lands in each mono-packs gives you lots of options.
Pick two of the same color mono-pack. Ignore the guild-pack.
Example: Red – RDW + Red – Haste make for a mono-red deck that aims to win quickly
Pick mono-packs according to your guild-pack’s two colors.
Example: Azorius Guildpack + White – Prison + Blue – Control: a deck that exceeds at shutting down your opponent to win in the late game.
One of the two mono-packs will not be in the color of your guild-pack.
Example: Golgari Guild-pack + Black – Graveyard + Red – Sacrifice for a black and red deck with a splash of green that excels at gaining value from creatures dying and going to the graveyard.
The addition of guild-packs makes splashing for colors easy. Even if you do choose two mono-packs of the same color, the addition of four available lands of a second color (two Thriving lands in mono-packs + two dual-lands in each guild-pack) makes adding a card or two in a second or third color easy.
Example: You’re playing a White – Flicker + Blue – Bounce pack splashing red with an Izzet Guild-pack so you can use Jilt’s kicker ability.
Building Your Own
Get the entire cardpool list at Cubecobra. Click on “export” for a quick way to download the entire cardpool.
Click here to downlod the theme card PDF Print. These are all standard MTG card sizes, so you can print, cut them out and put them into your packs.
I would recommend printing them at a local print shop or somewhere like Staples (you can select cardstock for more durable prints) and slide them into a sleeve to serve as the traditional Jumpstart Theme Cards.
If you’re interested in creating your own packs, MTG Cardsmith is a great site where you can create custom Magic cards with your own text. Unlike traditional Jumpstart theme cards, with MTG cardsmith you can add information as well as flavor text.
Supplies and Storage
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We utilized Burger Tokens cube packs as they come in various sizes. Unlike other cubepacks like Cubeamajigs these come in a size meant to fit 20-card jumpstart packs and are clear, which lets you see the Jumpstart Pack title card.
– Mono-packs: 22-sleeved Perfect Fit Deckbox
– Guild-packs: 15-sleeed Perfect Fit Deckbox
While you can certainly buy / collect the official MTG tokens needed for your cube we’ve found it’s a little more fun to utilize whiteboard cards and dry erase markers. We love dry erase cards because they’re cheap and fun.
Whether or not you want to sleeve your cube is up to you. The Pauper Jumpstart Cube sits a little over 460 cards, which means you’ll need about 5 packs of 100 sleeves, or a little over $50 in sleeves if you were to buy something like Dragon Shields. For comparison, the cards in the cube are about $90 – $100 in total.
We recommend the Quiver Card Carrying Case (pictured above) as it holds all 30 packs, with room in the zipper for some tokens and nice. The slim form factor of the Quiver makes transport a breeze. The fact that it fits the Pauper Jumpstart Cube as perfectly as it does it frankly amazing.
Also, you may want to check out Gamegenics Dungeon which holds a similar amount of cards, but lacks the additional removable storage of the Dex Supreme.
We recommend having something handy for counters. Regular old dice of any kind will serve you well. Some players like to use spindown d20 dice in order to keep track of life totals, though I prefer a cheap stack of card sized of notepads that can fit in with the cube. As with most accessories, it’s all up to personal preference.
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