Q1. How did the Life Begins at 20 channel begin?
LB20: Originally, I was getting invested in MTG and like many people I don't do things with half effort. I watched as much content as I could about magic and found cube with Milo's channel. The downside was he was leaving the hobby at the time and with not much other cube content out there I thought, well I edit for a living and I know how to make content, this wouldn't be so hard to create videos. I couldn't have been any more misinformed! There is so much to learn behind the scenes with YouTube alongside the video creation so after time I got to a point where I felt I knew a little bit, but the overall goal was to help newer players, like myself, get into the amazing format that is cube!
GS: Milo was one of my favorite YouTubers for a long time. I’m glad he came back!
LB20: For sure! He's amazing.
Q2. What attracted you to the cube format? what do you like the most about it?
LB20: I think it was Milo's infectious personality that really sold to the format and seeing his holiday cube game videos with the exciting gameplay and amazing cards, I thought that this was for me. I'm not the biggest constructed player but I loved limited and this was the perfect way to create the limited environment I wanted to give other players. Being able to play with the best and most iconic cards throughout Magic wasn't a tough sell!
GS: Cube is an awesome format, and I’ve always wanted to build one myself. It allows you to build a collection in a really fun way.
Q3. Do you think cube is a format that Wizards should recognize and support?
LB20: I think there needs to be more, possibly in terms of just MTGO, where having more cube events would be great. I'm not asking for the same Vintage cube or Modern cube all the time, but possibly different community player's cubes available or pauper and so on. This way it becomes a little more visible and easier to access to players all over the world, rather than hoping you know someone at your LGS that has one. This I think would be the best way to introduce more people to the format. I'd also love to see a cube event held by wizards or scg with commentary and so on which would give the format the much needed publicity as there are so many people that don't know anything about it at all. It is, at least in my biased opinion, the best way to play magic.
GS: If you could build your own cubes on MTGO, I’d be playing them all the time.
LB20: I think community cubes would be cool. They did way back with the cube where no colour acted the way it should.
Q4. With all the demonetizing of YouTube videos going on, where do you see the future of Magic on YouTube?
LB20: The demonetization is frustrating, but having looked further into it, it doesn't mean that no advertisers are going to appear on your videos but potentially (being the key word here) advertisers that suit your content will still. It's not a great atmosphere at the moment and is causing problems, but I can't see it affecting MTG on youtube much, purely because Patreon can and does far more than Ad-Revenue can ever do for MTG creators. The money the big creators brings in through ad revenue, while still noticeable, won't ever be as much as the big gaming or vlogging channels, but the Patreons keep everything going. I don't think we will ever see a 1 million plus subscriber channel with this niche, but as long as we all help one another in terms of promoting content and channels and creating high quality videos it can only benefit the community.
GS: Patreon is pretty amazing in what it can do for content creators.
Q5. If there is one thing you could change about magic, what would it be?
LB20: Hmmm, this is a tough one, for a lot of people I'd imagine it would be reprinting a lot of the reserved list cards, but for me I'd probably say I'd want to improve the print quality of sets. Too many times now since I'd say kaladesh have sets come out with worse and worse card stock or printing defects. Conspiracy 2 was awful for print quality and the most recent standard sets have been bending far too quickly. I get that inflation kicks in for a business with the card and ink and so on, but I'd like my cards to look like they're worth something or have the price is reduced for the packs. I can't believe it's that difficult a fix in all honesty and it's certainly putting me off purchasing cards at this moment in time.
GS: As someone who hasn’t purchased many recent cards, I didn’t realize this was a growing problem. But it comes up all the time now. They just need to fix it. Magic cards have always been such high quality and they need to get back to maintaining that status.
LB20: Indeed, it shouldn't be like this. The double sided cards from ixalan in the light are translucent. At least the early print runs, they may have fixed that now.
Double faced cards are expensive to print compared to regular ones, but yeah, that's unacceptable. I sure hope they fix these issues soon!
I'm sure they will but for Now, bar the couple packs of iconic masters I've pre ordered, I'm sticking to pauper as I don't mind cheap cards being lesser
GS: What do you think of Iconic Masters? The sheer number of important reprints is blowing my mind!
For cube players this is probably the best set of reprints I've seen, plus my upcoming pauper cube have certainly had some great downshifts too
GS: The new cards for pauper are amazing. I think Mind Stone is one of them. Wight of Precinct Six, Virulent Strike, Thrill-Kill Assassin, lots of cube worthy cards! There’s a whole list of Iconic Masters rarity shifts on Epicstream.
LB20: Yup and others I've purchased were Seeker of the Way, Thrill-Kill Assassin and more.
GS: Seeker is amazing for pauper.
LB20: I think pauper is a format I might get more into, cheap and still exciting. But the pauper cube will be my first focus. Ordered so many cards for it!
GS: Yeah I saw your status about it. Looking forward to that!
Anything you'd like to share before we wrap up?
LB20: The only thing I'd add is to the end of question 4. And that's mainly a message to anyone viewing content, whether it's mine or anyone else. Subscribing and commenting is free and makes a huge difference to the creators that make the content for you. Just simply click and hit the bell notification icon, it honestly means a lot to any small or big creator. Definitely don't be afraid to say hi, we don't bite!
GS: That's a great point. As content creators, we like to be reminded that people care :-P
Yup, it does help motivate us all :)
Good luck with your pauper cube and the channel! Cheers!
** Disclaimer: I was compensated in absolutely no form for this interview. It was done purely for the good of the Magic the Gathering community and the goodness of my own heart ;)