Below are my rankings for the 40 best first-pick cards in the Magic Online Legacy Cube. In a format where everything is chosen from the pool of history’s all-time greatest cards, such a list is inevitably going to be controversial. A lot of it is simply splitting hairs between a bunch of absurdly great options.

I’ve chosen to offer forty cards because beyond that the rankings start to get a bit messy. These forty cards can be considered the “bombs” in the sense that they really stand out in power level and cannot be easily replaced. Past them start to come the cards that don’t make or break your deck on their own, but are always a welcome addition—think of cards like Birds of Paradise, Preordain, Volcanic Island, etc. Starting your draft with one of those is totally fine, but these Top 40 cards are what you’re really excited about.

Legacy Cube P1P1 Rankings

40 – Young Pyromancer

39 – Shrine of Burning Rage

38 – Lingering Souls

37 – Sulfuric Vortex

36 – Zealous Conscripts

35 – Bonfire of the Damned

34 – Figure of Destiny

33 – Garruk Relentless

32 – Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir

31 – Winter Orb

30 – Parallax Wave

29 – Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

28 – Batterskull

27 – Ravages of War

26 – Armageddon

25 – Bitterblossom

24 – Umezawa’s Jitte

23 – Primeval Titan

22 – Griselbrand

21 – Swords to Plowshares

20 – Everflowing Chalice

19 – Tamiyo, the Moon Sage

18 – Garruk Wildspeaker

17 – Force of Will

16 – Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary

15 – Vedalken Shackles

14 – Elspeth, Knight-Errant

13 – Counterspell

12 – Ancestral Vision

11 – Compulsive Research

10 – Snapcaster Mage

9 – Cryptic Command

8 – Karn Liberated

7 – Coalition Relic

6 – Recurring Nightmare

5 – Opposition

4 – Control Magic

3 – Upheaval

2 – Treachery

1 – Jace, the Mind Sculptor

You’ll notice that blue cards take up a lot of my top slots, but trust me, it could be far worse. Two years ago in the old MTGO Cube, virtually all of my top 20 slots would’ve been blue or colorless cards! In the Legacy Cube, I’ll still take one of the absolute premium blue cards, but in their absence I look for any excuse to pick a green card.

I’ve found black to be stronger in the Legacy Cube than in many other Cubes. In particular, there’s a ton of support for graveyard decks. Recurring Nightmare is an absolutely absurd card to begin with, and is at its best in this Cube. It’s the best card in any reanimator or graveyard deck, but is also great in virtually any creature deck—you hardly have to go out of your way at all! Combining those factors, it’s one of my favorite cards in the Legacy Cube.

I find planeswalkers to be the real defining cards of Cube gameplay, especially in the Legacy Cube. The best of the 4-mana, mono-colored planeswalkers made my list.

A hallmark of this list is that most of the cards are very difficult to replace. Griselbrand isn’t good in just any deck, but for the “cheat-a-fatty” decks, he’s simply so much better than every other option that he deserves to be picked highly. Armageddon, Ravages of War, and Winter Orb are difficult to use well, but they’re so powerful in certain decks and matchups that seeing them early can make me draft an archetype that I wouldn’t otherwise be particularly interested in.

I find mono-red tricky in Cube. It’s clearly a strong archetype that wins a lot when it comes together well, but I rarely know when I should be drafting it. Should I just first pick Jackal Pup and cross my fingers? Should I wait until I see a pick 7 Sulfuric Vortex and have already missed out a lot of picks? This is the reason that I really like Figure of Destiny and Young Pyromancer. They’re some of the best cards in mono-red, but are great in other archetypes as well, so you aren’t completely boxing yourself in by taking them early.