WITHDRAWAL of RtR Draft Event at Local Store.

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Just a few minutes ago I was informed that the "local" (I do use "local very loosely) store putting on the RtR Pre-Release has been asked to WITHDRAW the Draft Event by a WoTC Representative. No reasoning was issued on behalf of the store owner, but this poses several problems for me:

1.) Drafting is an important aspect in Pre-Release Events. It introduces players to the new cards/mechanics BEFORE the Sealed Event.
2.) Additional product is sold (which benefits WoTC), and players alike.
3.) Travel time for me is quite lengthy. Essentially just to go to the pre-release will be a weekend ordeal for my play group.

I am sure this is just as dissapointing to store owners/operators as it is players alike.

I would ask that WoTC please reverse this positioning on Pre-Release Drafts.
This isn't new.  As far as I know, stores have been forbidden from running Drafts at the pre-release since Innistrad.

WoTC doesn't allow drafts to be run at pre-releases any more because stores were using it to "sell" product.  It wasn't run like a traditional pre-release.  Basically, shady stores would take the WoTC's provide prize support that was left over from the Sealed events and sell it to the drafters.  These stores would just run drafts at inflated prices until they were out of product, but didn't actually have to pay for the product (or they paid a reduced price because it was part of the pre-release prize support).  The stores that followed the rules (X number of events of each type, X cost per event, X prizes, etc.) were getting screwed because some stores weren't following this and using the opportunity to game the system.  It greatly impacted the stores that followed the rules because they would lose customers to the other pre-releases that were essentially cheating and treating the pre-release as the set's full release.

As for you specific concerns:

1.)  No it's not.  No event should be run before Sealed, because you don't have to understand the format to get something playable in Sealed.  You need an understanding of the set/cards/format to get a playable Draft deck.  Also, Draft is significantly harder for newer players (a major target of the pre-release structure) because it is much more complex.  Add back Drafts to a pre-release makes it less attractive to new and casual players because they don't do as well, get to see fewer "great" cards (you only see 3 decent rares in Draft, but 6 in Sealed) and is more open to experienced players preying on the weaker ones who are there just for a good time.

Basically, WoTC's goal at the pre-release is to have a "semi-competitive" tournament that is attractive to new/casual players.  A Draft does not accomplish that goal.

2.)  True, but WoTC doesn't want product being sold BEFORE the release.  Pre-releases aren't about getting the product out there, it's about the experience.  WoTC wants the pre-release to be a fairly low stakes tournament where all kinds of players can get a taste of the new set.  If everything was available immediately, they wouldn't need a pre-release at all, and they would lose a lot of hype and excitement around each new set.

3.)  And this is WoTC's fault?  This makes no difference to the pre-release event structure what-so-ever.
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