May 7, 2007

Magic: The Gathering Draft Tournament

I drove up to Stanford myself today to participate in a Magic: The Gathering draft tournament. Luna doesn't have any interest in playing, so I went by myself to an event organized by Karen's boyfriend, Sebastian. It was the first time I'd participated in a draft tournament, so I didn't really know what to do. Plus, the expansions we were drafting from were ones I was totally unfamiliar with. I ended up building a blue and white sliver deck which didn't do all that well. I won two out of six games, resulting in 2nd-to-last place.

Basically, in a draft tournament each participant opens a booster pack and selects a card before passing the remaining cards around the table. You then pick a card from the bunch you just received from your neighbor. And you continue this way until you've picked cards from the pack. You repeat this with two more booster packs, resulting in a total of 45 cards in your hand.

I was kind of operating under the assumption that I would need a fair amount of the picked cards to build my deck, so I ended up picking only blue and white, and only cards I felt would be compatible with each other the entire time. But in reality you should end up using only about 25 of your picked cards to build a 40-card deck. After I lost the first round (partially due to mana problems), Sebastian advised me to build a 40-card deck that included 17 lands. I did a little better once I did this.

I should have been more flexible in my drafting and picked cards from many different colors, independently of what I originally started drafting. Because I would have a decent chance of selecting 23 cards from a pair of colors that would be compatible with each other, and would have ended up with stronger cards. Instead, I didn't even incorporate any rares into my deck, and only had one viable strategy at the end. If I had not limited myself to blue and white as cards were passed around, I could have done better.

Plus, the new expansions are more complicated than the old cards. There are things like double-strike, and flanking, and other strange things like cards that can be used as either one or another card. The Time Spiral series also includes things like vanishing and suspend, or other time-based effects that result in cards appearing and disappearing from gameplay over time.

Anyway, there were eleven of us total, and the tournament took about five hours to complete, once you included organization overhead and then the final rare redrafting process at the end. This redrafing is done to prevent people from just taking rares during the draft process so they can keep them, regardless of whether or not they build a good deck.

Posted by josuah at May 7, 2007 7:00 AM UTC+00:00

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Post a comment

July 2013
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31