05/20/2010 LD: "Winchester Draft"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Back when I started, our local store had something called Continuous Draft, which I really loved.  I believe it used to be a former Arena format too.  Each player starts with 3 boosters.  You remove one card from the 45 and keep it.  Great for if you open a power rare or just want to remove a splashy bomb from the draft.  Next, shuffle the cards together into one 88 card pile.  Player 1 turns over the top 4 cards, drafts one, the other player drafts two, and then player 1 gets the last card.  Then Player 2 turns up the next 4 cards and picks first.  You both add lands and make 40 card decks. 

As to why it's called Continuous Draft, you remove the lands and take the 44 cards you just drafted and take them with you to your next opponent!  Essentially, you do a 2-person draft before every match you play, and you can either do a Swiss tournament with many players, or just continue with your cards for a couple weeks Arena-style.  

I imagine Wizards really likes this format because you don't have to keep buying boosters!  Power to the players!  

Hmm... so X is to wInSTON draft,

...as rOcheSTER is to bOoSTER draft?

Seems to me, X should be called Richeston draft.
Ooooh, Winchester.

*Adds to queue of things to try with Cube*
Magic Judge Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Rules Theory and Templating: "They may be crazy, but they're good." --Matt Tabak, Rules Manager*
Nice format. My wife and I draft from time to time, and we usually Winston, but it is indeed a bit luck-dependent and fiddly. Winchester may be just what we want. I do like the way you have some hidden information in Winston... perhaps we'll try a Winchester variation where the bottom card of each pack is face-down, only visible to the player who dealt it out, so there'll be a small number of cards you get to take without the opponent knowing what they are.
Just for the record, the name of the guy is Paulo Vitor, and not Paolo Vitor.
I really like Winston draft.  I'd never really thought about the drawbacks Tom mentions.  Now I'm excited to try Winchester draft as soon as I get a chance.  Thanks Tom!
laurie, I'm not getting it either.  The reasoning for why it is called "winchester" is a complete non-sequitur to me.  Can anyone makes sense of that for me?
laurie, I'm not getting it either.  The reasoning for why it is called "winchester" is a complete non-sequitur to me.  Can anyone makes sense of that for me?



Winchester and Rochester are both names of cities and if you mash together Winston and Rochester, you get Winchester (among other possibilities that don't sound like cities)
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I enjoy winston draft, but it was the most expensive draft format I have ever done (cost/time ratio).  The reason being that after the draft, and 10 minutes of deck building, and 2 quick games we were done.  There was no one else to play.  
Winchester also seems fun, but given that it is quicker, the ratio is further hurt since it doesn't cost any less.   
I haven't tried Winchester, but I don't like how much it seems to encourage hatedrafting. The lack of that was one of the main things that Winston draft was supposed to have over Solomon / Fact or Fiction draft, and if anything this seems worse than Solomon.
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Perfect information gets old fast, although I get why super-Spikes like it.

The solution to the bombs problem is to play Winston with a set where the only bombs take a lot of effort/mana to really pay off. Like my cube. 14.27 words of rules text per card; eat your heart out, R&D!
I just love being among a group of people where you can throw out a term like "perfect information game" and be immediately understood.
Winchester looks okay, but I think I prefer Winston.  Half the fun of Limited is discovering what's  in  your  opponent's  deck. Don't  two  player  draft  regularly  with  new  packs  (too  expensive).  Use  it  with  left  over  prize  packs  from  a tournament  that  you'll  never  get  around to  using  in  a  real  draft,  or  draft  a  cube (Also,  you  can  play  more  than  one  match!).
Billy and I opened one pack each of Scars of Mirrodin, Mirrodin Besieged, and New Phyrexia, and each shuffled all the cards in our respective packs together without looking at them. This done, we each had a stack of 42 cards.



What am I missing here?  Shouldn't those stacks be 45?  Each booster contains 10 commons, 3 uncommons, 1 rare, 1 land, and 1 Tips and Tricks or Token card.  The non-Magic card has a different back and can easily be removed, but how do you remove the lands without looking at the cards?
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As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
Billy and I opened one pack each of Scars of Mirrodin, Mirrodin Besieged, and New Phyrexia, and each shuffled all the cards in our respective packs together without looking at them. This done, we each had a stack of 42 cards.



What am I missing here?  Shouldn't those stacks be 45?  Each booster contains 10 commons, 3 uncommons, 1 rare, 1 land, and 1 Tips and Tricks or Token card.  The non-Magic card has a different back and can easily be removed, but how do you remove the lands without looking at the cards?



the land is always right behind the tips&tricks/token card in the booster, so you just remove the last two cards from the pack. (or if there is a foil in the pack, there will be 2 cards after the tips&tricks card. then the foil is the very last card in the pack and the two cards before it are the land and the tips&tricks.)
my new deck: Bears with Weapons
this doesn't seem quite as fun as winston draft.
I think it's a good thing that there is a bit of a luck factor in winston draft, so the skill gap isn't so huge.

Also, in Winston draft people actually have time to read all the cards. This winchester draft seems like it would only work well if both players know all the cards. But I usually winston draft with my brother, who doesn't play much magic other than that.
my new deck: Bears with Weapons
This format seems a little unbalanced to me.  If players kept passing on a single stack, that stack would just get bigger and bigger right?  Eventually someone would pick it and they might have like 10 more cards than their opponent.  Even if the cards were individually weaker, a wider selection might mean greater ability to sideboard in the matches - it seems like it could get sticky for the guy who drafts a few good cards and then has no flexibility.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
This format seems a little unbalanced to me.  If players kept passing on a single stack, that stack would just get bigger and bigger right?  Eventually someone would pick it and they might have like 10 more cards than their opponent.  Even if the cards were individually weaker, a wider selection might mean greater ability to sideboard in the matches - it seems like it could get sticky for the guy who drafts a few good cards and then has no flexibility.

willpell, Winston is the same way in that regard - sometimes one stack will get huge, but that's usually because it's full of chaff, which tends not to matter too much unless somebody ends up with not enough cards to make a viable deck.
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I would imagine that Winchester gets it a lot worse - in Winston you only add to stacks if you don't take a card, and you don't want to spend much time not taking a card.  With Winchester there are always two stacks and at least one (if you pick the other) gains a card every single turn.  So on average a stack will have four cards, but the average will skew wildly - sometimes you'll get one card and sometimes you'll get seven.  Are seven random dorks better than one strong creature?  Certainly there are times when this is true.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
I've been doing a lot of Fact or Fiction drafting with friends recently, which works well as a two player format. You take or three (or more, I like 7-8 packs rather than 6 for more power in your decks) suffle up with your opponent in a big stack. Player A reveals the top 5 cards and slipts into 2 piles, then Player B takes 1 pile and player A gets the other pile. This is repeated with Player B revealing and spliting the next set of 5 cards, until you got through your entire stack, 5 cards at a time.
I think it should be called Nassif Draft. It was already named to give credit to the creator by his friend. Why change it? Is it a pronunciation problem? (nuh-SEEF) Or is there something else wrong with that name?

What if you created something and your friend named it after you so you could be remembered in some small way by a few people, then someone else (somewhat influential) came along and thought it should be called a "Doohickey" instead because that's what some guy said it reminded him of. Then he got on his soapbox that people often gather around and he started talking about the "Doohickey" and soon no one even knew your name. Wouldn't you hate that guy?

You have too much influence over MTG to go changing things like that so cavalierly. I say call it Nassif Draft and stop vanillafying everything.
There is actually another format already called the Winchester Draft, its similar to what tom writes about but it has soem major differences.  This format needs a different name, and while Nassif draft sounds a bit arrogant, at least it is a distinction between the two
Thanks for sharing. This is great. I look forward to trying this out. I drafted a large stack (~200?) of random cards with my friend, winston draft, and it took forever, but we were on vacation so it didn't matter, and then we built 60 card decks out of it. By the end it was really frustrating waiting for an awful lot of 'nopes' for a single 'fine', if you follow me. I like this, like you said, it eliminates several of the problems with the winston draft. I think this would make for a more balanced game, perfect information maybe, but a balanced set of decks for a fun battle of wits and timing, as opposed to 'I happened to get a deeper pool than you did and you don't happen to have any answers'.
Why not do a combination of Winston + Winchester. You get face down piles like in Winston, but you add a card to each pile in Winchester. You get the faster draft and the imperfect information.