Drafing Strategies

Discussion in 'Casual Decks/Variants/Etc' started by Arch_Mage, Jul 5, 2000.

  1. Arch_Mage New Member

    Hey all! Glad to be a new member of the CPA!

    I draft about once a week usually and it seems that I always make it to the top 8. That sounds decent but whats got me bummed is that I cant get any further than that. It's been getting slowly better but all the guys I play with are ranked over 1900! What keeps me going every Friday night is that I feel that if I play someone better than I'm actually doing myself good. I'm learning what cards are a must pick over others and what to expect from across the table. I'm also learning that winning in a draft has a lot to do with the way you play the deck you've made. You need to save your removal cards (Vendetta, Thunderclap, etc) for something that really deserves them for example. I know it will be a very challenging to beat the players that I play amongst but I will be persistant until I do. What I would like from you guys are any strategies that any of you find useful, any cards that are a must pick and why, and or any comments in general about drafting. Comments on how the three sets combine would also be apprectiated. Thanks in advance.
  2. K1 New Member

    Everything I say must be taken with a grain of salt as I have never personally drafted. But I have hung around at the local Neutral Ground alot and watched plenty of booster drafts there, so hopefully I'm not just blowing out my rear end.

    Rule number one, as you probably already know is creatures are god. Dont draft enough creatures and your deader than last weeks roadkill. Which of course, also makes creature removal also important, but as you mentioned, you have to use it wisely. Sources of constant removal/damage are thus always good, such as hammer or kris mage.

    Also, I dont know how draft works around in your area, but draft the cards that will help out your deck, not the cards that seem cool or are rares. While it may seem obvious, nwe players may be tempted to do this. Besides, rare drafting is often frowned upon. One exception to the pick what will help your deck rule is if you see a card that would absolutely ruin you, such as if you were running a mono-black mer thingy and a root cage, go ahead and take it.

    Last thing I can think of is more metagamish, but pay attention not only to the cards you get passed but the cards you DONT get passed. If your getting passed alot of great green and red stuff, but you dont see any blue, black, and white stuff, you can bet someone is playing those, and you can plan your picks somewhat accordingly.

    Oh yeah, and most decks I see are bi-colored. Mono is usually just not viable, and more is kinda diluting each color you play. Its a judgment call for the most part.

    Hope that helps some,
  3. K1 New Member

    PS. Welcome to the CPA :)
  4. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant


    Regarding creature picks, evasion is pretty important (like flying).

    Keep an eye on your mana curve and usually play with 17-18 lands as a general rule.
  5. Mikeymike Captain Hiatus

    Whew, that's a pretty broad question. Also, I don't know what I can tell you that you don't already know. But I do have a few suggestions to keep in mind.

    When your drafting and have your colors picked out, take ANY color hosers that hurt you. For instance you're playing green and a submerge comes your way. Grab it so you don't have to worry about it being played against you.

    The same thing goes for the devastating Story Circle, which is pretty much broken in limited. Even if you're not playing white, if you see it grab it. Chances are when it hits the table it will seal the game.

    Here are some useful cards to draft.
    Cateran Enforcer--He's a 4/3 w/ fear, usually is a 1st to 3rd pick b/c he's serious beatdown.
    Distorting Lens--An underrated late game pick, almost always useful, especially when your playing black or w/ creatures with protection from a color.
    Avatars and Winds--Game breakers
    Rhystic Deluge and/or Study--Both are very helpful in draft, esp the deluge.
    Soothsaying--Chances are you will have tons of mana to abuse this sucker in the late game.
    Calming Verse--All enchantments go bye bye, unless your tapped out. I can't emphasize how important ench. destruction is in draft, they will always have something to annoy you.
    Rethink--A nice draft counter spell.
  6. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    I don`t know if the CPA is the best place to come to talk about draft strategies vs guys with 1900 rankings because, well, none of them have 1900 rankings (except myself, and mine is currently about 1800 because I got spanked at the English Nationals).
    You got most of it right already by the sound of it, if you have any specific questions feel free to ask them either here or on my e-mail.

    I would only offer a few broad words.
    The Avatars and Winds are terrible because they cost too much. In MBC draft you gain valuable card advantage by discarding spare lands to your Undertaker/Bouncer/etc and you have to be certain that it is worth swapping all those effects for a single card. I would probably play with the B/G Avatars and maybe the red one because their ACC condition is reasonable, and possibly the B Wind is worth using as it is a horrendously unfair if it ever gets cast, but otherwise steer well clear unless you have NO good Spellshapers.
    Oh, and never EVER draft Green. I was 3-0 at the English Nationals with a W/B deck then was forced to take green in my second draft and finished on 3-3.
  7. Ura Feline Lord of the Pit

    I used to play DCI tournys alot and had a pretty good rating much like our local pro Gizmo before retiring from the scene and I found that in drafts there a couple of rules to stick by;

    1) Creatures are god, but only the right ones. Things that fly are great as well as other evasion abilities, but you also want to get things with big D if you can, most people pass them up in favor of speed 2/2's and such and then curse when they can't get through your defenses. (I love ribcage spiders from Prophecy. 1/4 for 2G, wow. :D )
    2) Having up to 3 colors in a draft deck is perfectly fine if one is just a touch, like say you draft 4 rystic lightning but nothing else red. Play the lightnings.
    3) Avoid, and I can't stress this enough, avoid getting alot of cards with mana requirments of more than one colored unless its either a), your main color or b), its to good a card to pass up, like latulla or cateram enforcer
    4) Casting costs in general should be kept to an optimal amount of three, usually 2 colorless and 1 of a color. Most people are totally shocked at how far the number three goes in drafts. If its a fast set like tempest reduce the number to 2. Otherwise 3 is just right for things like MBD.
    5) Targeted creature removal like dark ban and terror are awesome, but the red burn is better cause it can hit opponents. If you have to chose between terror and incinerate take the incinerate, there aren't alot of super huge critters worth playing in drafts these days anyhow (except avatar of woe) unless your doing UBD.
    6) Enjoy yourself and laugh alot while drafting, even if you get crap, it disconcerts people and makes them panic. *grins evily* But mostly just enjoy yourself.

    Cheers :)
  8. arhar Member

    I've been drafting more than my wallet liked me to lately, and well, since everything else pretty much got summed up so far, here's a couple of individual card comments (MBC)

    First picks:

    Kyren Negotiations
    Haunted Crossroads
    Belbe's Armor
    Spidersilk Armor

    Cards that make you change colors (i.e. better than first picks)

    Lin Sivvi :)

    Some good cards that are underused, but not first picks

    Silkenfist Order/Fighter - insanely good
    Flowstone Armor
    Insubordination - try playing it on Stinging Barrier or any other wall :)
    Llacolith Rig

    And remember - never EEEEEEVER pass Haunted Crossroads. One of my best draft decks ever I consider what I had last week: Crossroads + Blastoderm + Rusting Golem + more =)))
  9. Duel Has Less Posts Than Spiderman

    Anything that will get creatures through. I learned the hard way that treetop bracers are a good pick when drafting.

    ON the other hand, bounce is an underrated method of creature removal, if you're playing blue. And save the damage cards for when yuo need them, don't use them right away.
  10. galtwish Loudmouth

    The most important thing I ever learned about drafting was from Sigurd Eskeland (sp?):

    Don't draft 1/1s

    unless they have an awesome ability. Bouncer, Drummer, and Kris Mage are great, Spore Frog and Undertaker are good. Tonic Peddler, Seismic Mage and Laccolith Whelp may look playable, but they suck in most situations, just chumping a grey ogre.

    And Giz, Green does not suck, it's just hard to draft properly ;)
    (That's why I rarely pick it)


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