Looking for draft tips, mainly how to handle the first 3-4 picks of pack 1

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Hello, I'm a long time magic player, but I don't really care to keep up with standard or any constructed tournament scene anymore. I have a bunch of decks, but my friends don't like playing against them because they're too powerful. So I've built some toned down, kinda limited level decks, so to say. Recently, I've been enjoying playing in limited.because much more of the card pool is playable, and it's very pick-up-and-play without having to spend loads of money to keep up with constructed tournaments.

I have played in a few drafts. The last one was New Phyrexia back when I was in college. I recall having a G/W deck with 3 Shrine of Loyal Legions, 4 Suture Priest, 5 Glissa's Scorn, and a Beast within which went all the way around the table and came back to me. Needless to say, I won the draft with relative ease. I'm not expecting such a thing to happen at the local shop I currently go to.

I did play in the prerelease for Gatecrash (twice since I couldn't play the guild I wanted to in the first event). I played Gruul and then Simic, going 3-2 in both events. I'm planing on going to a Gatcrash draft next friday, and I'd like to try out Orzhov, Dimir, or Boros. Granted, that depends on the packs and what cards come my way, and here's where I have my biggest problem in drafting. I'm not sure what to do for the first 3-4 picks. I know the first pack is to look for something bomby, but what do I do if there isn't anything bomby? Do I grab a decent uncommon, or look for a good removal spell? Or what about if I do open a good bomb, like say Rubblehulk? Do I spend the next few picks trying to force myself into the colors of the bomb, and what happens if there isn't anything good in those colors (aka, I'm getting signals that someone else next to me is drafting Gruul)? If it's pick 4-6 in pack 1 and I feel the need to transition into drafting some other guild/deck, how do I go about doing that? Usually, I'll just go into a panic mode in these situations and just start grabbing whatever and end up with a very bad pool to construct a deck with.

Duels of the Planeswalkers deck builds and analysis: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/dotp

 

Another one of my websites: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/

 

I am Blue/White

Hello, I'm a long time magic player, but I don't really care to keep up with standard or any constructed tournament scene anymore. I have a bunch of decks, but my friends don't like playing against them because they're too powerful. So I've built some toned down, kinda limited level decks, so to say. Recently, I've been enjoying playing in limited.because much more of the card pool is playable, and it's very pick-up-and-play without having to spend loads of money to keep up with constructed tournaments.

I have played in a few drafts. The last one was New Phyrexia back when I was in college. I recall having a G/W deck with 3 Shrine of Loyal Legions, 4 Suture Priest, 5 Glissa's Scorn, and a Beast within which went all the way around the table and came back to me. Needless to say, I won the draft with relative ease. I'm not expecting such a thing to happen at the local shop I currently go to.

I did play in the prerelease for Gatecrash (twice since I couldn't play the guild I wanted to in the first event). I played Gruul and then Simic, going 3-2 in both events. I'm planing on going to a Gatcrash draft next friday, and I'd like to try out Orzhov, Dimir, or Boros. Granted, that depends on the packs and what cards come my way, and here's where I have my biggest problem in drafting. I'm not sure what to do for the first 3-4 picks. I know the first pack is to look for something bomby, but what do I do if there isn't anything bomby? Do I grab a decent uncommon, or look for a good removal spell? Or what about if I do open a good bomb, like say Rubblehulk? Do I spend the next few picks trying to force myself into the colors of the bomb, and what happens if there isn't anything good in those colors (aka, I'm getting signals that someone else next to me is drafting Gruul)? If it's pick 4-6 in pack 1 and I feel the need to transition into drafting some other guild/deck, how do I go about doing that? Usually, I'll just go into a panic mode in these situations and just start grabbing whatever and end up with a very bad pool to construct a deck with.



It's a common problem.

My advice (take it as just another guy's opinion) is to pick the strongest card for the first 4-6 picks unless you have very good reason not to.

For example: It isn't necessarily bad to take Rubblehulk, Grisly Spectacle, Madcap Skills and then Kingpin's Pet as your first four picks. You most-likely wont get to use all four of those cards, but you now have four good cards to use as information on what to do next. You might even keep picking solid cards (regardless of guild) all the way through pack one (I do it all the time) and see if you get a nice bomb in pack two picks one and two. After that you really need to hunker down and start getting streamlined. Gates and other fixing will be premium picks for you so that you can include a few powerful cards that you previously "power drafted".

You could give this a try for a few drafts and see how you like the look of the decks (results aren't important, as that's a product of playing as well as the other player's draw and picks).

See if you feel happy with the outcome of the draft.

bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge

You should try to weigh the following factors in making an early pick:

1:  Card power level.  Even if you're more likely to be in the colors for card A than card B, because you opened a bomb in those colors, if card A is a filler common and card B is a strong uncommon, you don't lose much by passing up card A if you end up in its colors, whereas if card A's colors get cut and you end up in card B's colors, it will greatly strengthen your deck.

2:  Whether that card is in the colors of your p1p1:  this obviously isn't the only factor, but it is a factor.  Even if the card is slightly weaker, bombs can give your deck a big advantage.

3:  Converted mana cost:  I've found that taking low mana cost cards early on helps, because you want so many more of them in your deck, and what the few expensive cards you do play should be only the best of the best.  Therefore, I think it's a good idea to take cheap cards over expensive cards unless the expensive card is really strong.

A note on looking at signals:   "signals" are the signs of what colors the people passing to you are in.  If you start getting packs without good green or red cards, you can assume that the guy passing to you is taking all of them, and you shouldn't be in those colors.  I don't think signals are that important in the first few picks for a few reasons:
1:  The person passing to you might not have figured out their colors yet.
2:  Not very many cards have been taken.  For example, if a pack 2 seats from you has (bomb rare), truefire paladin, and wojek halberdiers, the first guy will take the bomb rare, and even if the guy passing to you is in boros, he'll still have to pass you a great boros card 3rd pick.  Signals become more important when there are fewer cards left in the pack.

In later picks, signals become very important, and if you start getting cut off from your colors, you should go into a new color combination.  How do you know what to go into?  Look at what's open.  If you're getting passed good cards in a guild, take them, no matter what that guild is.

About removal:  removal is very important, and you should try to take it highly.  The best removal spells are the ones with the fewest conditions and the lowest cost.  For example, grisly spectacle is strong because it can hit almost any creature at any time, since it's an instant, and it only costs 4 mana.

Why does everyone think I'm phantom lancer? QFT:

Show
139359831 wrote:
I hope all this helps you to see things in a greater light—and understand that Magic: the Gathering was really created by extraterrestials using Richard Garfield as a medium. The game itself reflects the socio-psycho realtivity between living beings, and the science that takes precedence over them—to define reality for them all (like telekinesis, weather, scientific reaction, phenomenon, ingenuity, how the brain works, etc.). I'd also bet there is an entity floating thousands of miles above us, looking down on the current state of game, shaking its fist like... "Wtf are you doing?! You're getting it all screwed up!". Awkward—to be evolved, and yet still subject to the ladder that is the concepts of the game. In this case, misconception, corruption, and deception. With the realities of each color becoming distorted (through oblivious designers), leading the game to reflect a false state of reality that warps the understanding that other people have about those things. For example, people thinking that white could be anything except pure good. This shouldn't be too far off though, I mean...Magic is designed based on reality after all, so that entity (those entities) should be subject to those things. Anyways, I guess when you're busy doing space stuff you can't always be around to ensure quality control. It's no wonder they choose Garfield, they're so much alike; that's exactly what happened to him and Magic.
166199665 wrote:
omg snortng so much febbdelicious /intocixated in rl
    I've removed content from this thread because baiting/trolling is a violation of the Code of Conduct.  You can review the Code of Conduct here www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_...

Please keep your posts polite, respectful, and on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks.
Cato and UA-You have both helped me improve my game at different times. So I want to say it's best just to try and get along or at least not comment on each other's posts!Cato-you are usually the responder, UA is usually the one who wont let it go. Both of you are in the wrong. Just make amends and enjoy magic, it isn't that tough. You would probably all get along in real life. This is the internet, people act strangely for whatever reason.

I have an idea. Cato just ignore UA or whoever else you don't like. UA ignore cato and whoever else you don't like. Problem solved.
Cato and UA-You have both helped me improve my game at different times. So I want to say it's best just to try and get along or at least not comment on each other's posts!Cato-you are usually the responder, UA is usually the one who wont let it go. Both of you are in the wrong. Just make amends and enjoy magic, it isn't that tough. You would probably all get along in real life. This is the internet, people act strangely for whatever reason.

I have an idea. Cato just ignore UA or whoever else you don't like. UA ignore cato and whoever else you don't like. Problem solved.


That's actually the best advice I've heard in a while.

UA, at long last, you're going on my ignore list.  Thank you aspect, you've done a lot for me Smile
*bites into bagel*

Why does everyone think I'm phantom lancer? QFT:

Show
139359831 wrote:
I hope all this helps you to see things in a greater light—and understand that Magic: the Gathering was really created by extraterrestials using Richard Garfield as a medium. The game itself reflects the socio-psycho realtivity between living beings, and the science that takes precedence over them—to define reality for them all (like telekinesis, weather, scientific reaction, phenomenon, ingenuity, how the brain works, etc.). I'd also bet there is an entity floating thousands of miles above us, looking down on the current state of game, shaking its fist like... "Wtf are you doing?! You're getting it all screwed up!". Awkward—to be evolved, and yet still subject to the ladder that is the concepts of the game. In this case, misconception, corruption, and deception. With the realities of each color becoming distorted (through oblivious designers), leading the game to reflect a false state of reality that warps the understanding that other people have about those things. For example, people thinking that white could be anything except pure good. This shouldn't be too far off though, I mean...Magic is designed based on reality after all, so that entity (those entities) should be subject to those things. Anyways, I guess when you're busy doing space stuff you can't always be around to ensure quality control. It's no wonder they choose Garfield, they're so much alike; that's exactly what happened to him and Magic.
166199665 wrote:
omg snortng so much febbdelicious /intocixated in rl
Hello, I'm a long time magic player, but I don't really care to keep up with standard or any constructed tournament scene anymore. I have a bunch of decks, but my friends don't like playing against them because they're too powerful. So I've built some toned down, kinda limited level decks, so to say. Recently, I've been enjoying playing in limited.because much more of the card pool is playable, and it's very pick-up-and-play without having to spend loads of money to keep up with constructed tournaments.

I have played in a few drafts. The last one was New Phyrexia back when I was in college. I recall having a G/W deck with 3 Shrine of Loyal Legions, 4 Suture Priest, 5 Glissa's Scorn, and a Beast within which went all the way around the table and came back to me. Needless to say, I won the draft with relative ease. I'm not expecting such a thing to happen at the local shop I currently go to.

I did play in the prerelease for Gatecrash (twice since I couldn't play the guild I wanted to in the first event). I played Gruul and then Simic, going 3-2 in both events. I'm planing on going to a Gatcrash draft next friday, and I'd like to try out Orzhov, Dimir, or Boros. Granted, that depends on the packs and what cards come my way, and here's where I have my biggest problem in drafting. I'm not sure what to do for the first 3-4 picks. I know the first pack is to look for something bomby, but what do I do if there isn't anything bomby? Do I grab a decent uncommon, or look for a good removal spell? Or what about if I do open a good bomb, like say Rubblehulk? Do I spend the next few picks trying to force myself into the colors of the bomb, and what happens if there isn't anything good in those colors (aka, I'm getting signals that someone else next to me is drafting Gruul)? If it's pick 4-6 in pack 1 and I feel the need to transition into drafting some other guild/deck, how do I go about doing that? Usually, I'll just go into a panic mode in these situations and just start grabbing whatever and end up with a very bad pool to construct a deck with.



I would agree with most here that the first 3-4 picks should be whatever awesomely good cards you can find.  Rares are great...then cards like mugging or arrows or spectacle or pretty much any of the guild mages should be top picks early on, as you won't ever see them table.  

I'm not a premier drafter, as I've just come back from a 7 year vacation from magic myself, but I've got a pre release, and several mtgo drafts done for gatecrash and have been consistantly in the top 4 give or take.  

I would caution you about cards that "commit" to a certain color/guild or playstyle though.  For example.... mugging is single red and can be played in almost any deck.  Massive raid, while still being removal....has double red, and wants to be played in a creature heavy deck.  Take the mugging, and leave the raid early on.

After the first 2-3 picks I look at what I have.  Is there color overlap?  Could I play these guys together?  If so, then I will usually settle into that color/guild and work on getting picks that fit the synergy of the deck, and pass up potentially more powerful cards.  Case and point last night, I drafted gruul when I got a p1p1 defiance and then the 4/4 trampler on pick 2, and a mugging pick 3.  p2p1 There was a fathom mage, a gruul guildmage, and a spectacle.  I went with the mage, as he's still a powerful card, and really helped to cement the deck for me.  

On the other hand, if after 3-4 picks you find that you have...ohh...let's say....obzebat, mugging, and the simic guildmage (just to be difficult) where there is virtually no overlap....then I default to solid removal if I can get it, or the most efficient creature in any color to help me decide the next 2-3 picks.  Once your pack comes back around on pick 8, you can see what colors/strategies are left that others haven't picked up on, and use the "signals" to steer you into an open guild.  

There's no better resource than the current Pro Tour article on "how to draft" each guild, and what cards coming around late indicate no one is drafting that guild.  

Hope that helps 
Thank you all for the advice, this is exactly the sort of stuff I'm looking for. I'll try some of this out on Friday and let you all know how it goes. And btw, is this Pro Tour article on the magicthegathering.com site, or is it on some other website?

Duels of the Planeswalkers deck builds and analysis: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/dotp

 

Another one of my websites: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/

 

I am Blue/White

Thank you all for the advice, this is exactly the sort of stuff I'm looking for. I'll try some of this out on Friday and let you all know how it goes. And btw, is this Pro Tour article on the magicthegathering.com site, or is it on some other website?



Should be here. I say get comfortable with power drafting first. Get a bunch of good cards regardless of color and then make your deck at Pack two. This will imporve your patience for being flexible for later drafts.

bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
Well, I found an article about drafting Boros, but not the rest of the guilds.

www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.a...

There is also this article I found, but that's for the RtR guilds.

www.wizards.com/Magic/magazine/Article.a...

Duels of the Planeswalkers deck builds and analysis: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/dotp

 

Another one of my websites: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/

 

I am Blue/White

Just got to www.wizards.com and click on the magic section.  It is no longer the article of the day, so you'll have to look in the archive, but it shouldn't be hard to find.  They list then in date order.  Just look for the one about pro tour montreal.
I only started any sort of competative format resently but I have had the most luck at draft by far. Cheaper, easier playing skill, and less copy past tragtusk ftw has made this format far more fun  for me.
Someone on youtube calls himself jack the mindsculpter has some good vidoes most are just about drafting in general not the specific pack
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