A stable, forgiving and smooth update to the old GTS and WRMs, with new technology, no unnecessary customization and fantastic performance.
The new flagship cube from Moyu, obscurely named Huameng YS3M – in keeping with the tradition of not caring a single bit about consistency in cube naming – is a banger. It reminds of the first RS3M with its compact solidity and reliability, but without the clackiness. Gone is the mostly-too-fast flimsiness of the newer WRM versions, and back is the solid plastic and smooth turning of the first WRMs and GTSs, but with the sharper look of the more modern Moyu cubes (and a more traditional colorscheme).
This is not a fast cube: it’s a stable, reliable, forgiving, solid cube that let me get my normal averages within 10 minutes of unboxing it, with some really fast solves coming out of the blue. The base tensioning is rather tight, which is going to be very good for beginners, as it helps them acquire the dexterity that will carry them to good performance once their brains catch up with their fingers. Due to that, however, it requires more force to turn than other cubes I’ve been using recently (chief among them the latest GANs), meaning that dishing out several AO100s without making a pause might lead to some pain.
Corner cutting is as good as we know Moyu can make it, but it is on the snappier side (i.e. you start pushing and nothing happens until it cuts all the way in one snap, in contrast with other cubes that gradually cut from the moment you start pushing). People who are still measuring how many degrees a cube can corner-cut will be able to pat themselves on the shoulder and pretend that 45° is a reasonable angle on which to start your turns (pro tip : it isn’t. If you’re that far back with your turn as you try to cut, the cube ability to let you do it is not going to be the biggest hindrance in your solving).
Roux solvers tend to like Moyu cubes and this one will be no different: slices are great to execute and its smaller size makes it very nice for one-handed solving. And for the CFOP solvers who still believe MU versions of U perms are better, you’ll find here a cube that lets you get away with some inaccuracies that wouldn’t work on many other cubes.
There are no adjustable magnets. And that’s ok. Sometimes engineers have enough testicular fortitude to decide what settings will be good with their cube. And if Yusheng Du has indeed participated to the design and fine tuning of this cube to the extent that it has been advertised, kudos to him for finding magnet settings that work great with this cube. And if it wasn’t him, kudos to the unnamed engineer that made it happen instead! (Note: this is the case for the YS3M BallCore; for the others… I don’t care about the neutered versions of this cube, and neither should you.). The magnets are relatively clicky for a Moyu cube, more in line with the GST3M (not LM) than the older WRMS.
The cube is not very quiet. It shares the loudness of the RS3M but without its signature clackiness. Nothing major, but expect people on the train or at the next table over to look askance at you more than if you were using most Moyu flagships from the past 3 years.
The plastic is solid and reminiscent of the WRM21, without the blockiness of the RS3M. The frosted finish is just one way to make the cube suck for most people until you’ve done half a thousand solves and it finally wears off. If Moyu can realise that 80% of cubers prefer non-frosty surfaces, maybe they’ll stop making their cubes temporarily worse for no reason. The UV version is awesome though : grippy and shiny from the start, it’s a pleasure to use out of the box. Definitely worth the two or three extra coffees in cost.
And on the topic of its multiple version, I have to tip my hat to GAN for making it clear which of their cubes are the real ones, and which are the el-cheapo variants for people who can’t afford to sell their kidneys every time they want to purchase a new cube. Moyu and XMD have not gotten the memo yet, and come out with different versions all at once, sometimes not making it truly clear which version is best (Dear XMD, please don’t call “Standard” the version that has none of the nice stuff from the cube you originally designed). Combine this with the fact that they decided NOT to have customisable magnets, and I can imagine the discussion at Moyu Headquarters:
Engineers & holder of the WR single: "We think we'll have a better cube if we make some of the important choices ourselves and don't give to the user options to mess up the balance of the cube"
Moyu Marketing team : "Sounds great! Now make 4 variants of the cube where you gradually strip them of all the things that make it good"
Engineers : "Can we at least NOT make the plastic frosted?"
Moyu Marketing team : "Nope, we need frosted : parents who buy cubes for their kids think they look great"
P.S. Dear Moyu Marketing team, next time I ask you to send me a preview of one of your product, please disregard the preceding paragraph.
If you need to choose, allow me to help you here : get the UV BallCore version and ignore all the others. If you can’t afford it, buy a Super RS3M, or better yet, go help your dad tidy up the garage next Sunday or your mom shopping for groceries on Saturday and ask them to chip in for the 10$ difference.
For the people who are reading this in the first part of 2023 and are asking themselves what cube to buy, this is definitely one to put on the list. Should you get this instead of a Tornado v3 or a Gan 13? It’s a clear contender for best cube available as of right now, but preferences will vary.
Bas’s quick guide to cubes in April 2023
Other than that, you’ll be able to get your fastest times with any of those cubes and none of them are objectively better than the others. All of them, however, are arguably better than any other cubes available right now.