Cube is back on Magic Online and we’re delving into the UR Tempo deck.

I say “Cube” instead of Modern Cube because for good or ill, this new Cube is very, very similar to the previous Legacy Cubes. It makes Cube slightly less interesting if you’ve played a lot of them, since it ends up feeling like a mediocre Legacy Cube list instead of its own thing. The positive is for new players, where it makes the Cube easy to learn since lessons carry well across most versions. It also makes this video series easier to make and more relevant since these archetypes will work across Cubes with only minor variations.

If you’re used to Cube, you should be familiar with this archetype, which operates like a mono-red aggro deck, but sacrifices a bit of speed for reach and interaction. Both decks will play early aggressive creatures, but how they use them is quite different. The UR deck will try to stick an early threat and protect it with constant tempo (creatures like Aether Adept and Sower of Temptation are key to this) and counterspells.

The goal of this style of deck is to stick an early and/or high quality threats like Goblin Guide or Young Pyromancer, and then just keep up ways to keep the board state in your favour, which can be a variety of different things, like bounce, burn, or counters. The best creatures to be on the lookout for at 2-for-1 threats like Young Pyromancer, Snapcaster Mage, and Vendilion Clique. You can be a little more selective with your creature picks when playing this as you’ll be trying to cover the slight deficit you have in creature threats vs other aggro decks with draw, burn, and counters and higher-than-average creatures. Because of this I personally don’t bother taking mediocre 2-drops over decent burn or counters unless I’m really desperate.

With a higher average quality of threats and a lot more interaction than a normal aggressive deck and with the potential to combo off (this Cube doesn’t include the traditional Splinter Twin of Legacy Cube, but does still have Kiki-Jiki combos) infinitely, your one big disadvantage is that your mana will be much worse than other aggressive decks. You’ll need to pick up premium fixing very high. It’s not that your colour costs are unreasonable, but you definitely have to consider them. You want an aggressive start and trying to lead a Grim Lavamancer into a Searing Blaze into a Vendilion Clique isn’t easy without a lot of good lands.

Next week we’ll dive into the amazing new Modern Masters!