Essential Magic Articles


Welcome to Drafting

by Jason N

Hello, I’d like to introduce you to what I consider one of Magic’s most exciting and challenging formats, drafting.

For those who are unfamiliar with the format, drafting requires about 8 people to play.  For each of the players there should be three unopened booster packs.  These packs are usually from the same set or block, but you can choose any mix you want.  Most of my experience comes from drafting the Ravnica block.

Once all the players and cards are together the fun starts.  Each player cracks open a pack and takes a look at their 15 cards.  You pick one of the cards from this pack and then pass the rest to the next person in line.  This keeps up until all the cards have been taken.  Then you move onto the other packs.  Once all the cards are taken you get a little time to make a deck with your cards and then have tournament.

You can play a couple of ways.  In most cases, you get to keep whatever uncommons and commons you pick, and basic lands will be loaned from somebody’s collection.  Be sure to check first though.

Make sure you know ahead of time how the rares from the packs will be handled, this can influence how you pick cards.  There are two main ways to deal with them.  

One way to play is to have each person keep whatever rares they end up choosing during the draft.  I don’t really think this is ideal, however, because it encourages people to pick valuable cards from the packs, rather than building a competitive deck.  That isn’t what drafting is about.

My preferred way to play is rare drafting.  In this system all the rares from the packs get pooled after the games and the person who won the tournament gets first pick from then.  Whoever came in second goes next, then third, etc.  Once the person who came in last place picks, it starts over until all the rares are gone.
I like this for two reasons, it makes sure everybody gets at least one decent rare, and it encourages people to give it their all in the draft.  It gives incentive to make good decks, rather than an expensive pile of junk.

Moving on to the actual draft, this might be what your first pack looks like if you are playing Ravnica block, with the rare pooling method.

Life from the Loam
Auratouched Mage
Glass Golem
Twisted Justice
Conclave Equenaut
Boros Signet
Gather Courage
faith's fetters
Golgari Rot Farm
Last Gasp
Seismic Spike
Sewerdreg
Smash
Boros Recruit
Zephyr Spirit

Last edited 10/20/2006 2:00:45 PM Page 1 of 5  Prev  Next  Go to page:

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