5 Magic The Gathering Booster Drafting Tips To Improve Your Game
Drafting is one of the most fun and fair formats in magic, because each player gets an equal chance at the same cards, and is one of the only formats that is only based on skill instead of what cards you can afford. Below are 5 easy tips to take your draft game to the next level.
Study the set before you go
Studying the set one of those small details that many players just do not do before they go to a daft, and as a result are caught in the dark once the draft begins. Now studying the set does not mean that you need to memorize every card, and most players certainly do not have them time for that. Unless you are playing at an incredibly competitive level, just looking for general archetypes that draft well and maybe browsing what other players think on Reddit is more than enough to know what is working well for other players.
Be prepared before the draft
Coming to the draft prepared is a small step that provides a massive advantage when it comes to both morale and deck construction. I highly recommend bringing pre-sleeved lands, usually around 15 of each land is plenty, and plenty of sleeves to sleeve the rest of your deck and to replace sleeves as needed. Sleeves are important to for many reasons, including protecting new cards and making shuffling much easier for you, and something I can’t draft without. Besides sleeving, cards, bringing a snack, dice, and anything else you use to play the game should be packed well before you leave for the draft. (Of course much of this does not apply if playing online)
Stick to 2 colors (usually)
One mistake I have seen many new players make is trying to draft too many colors and having a deck with several good cards in four different colors. Many sets do not have the mana fixing to support several colors, and in most sets sticking to two colors is the right amount for most players. Of course some sets are more supportive of more than two colors, such as Khans of Tarkir supporting three colored deck, but a general rule of thumb is to draft as few colors are viable.
One saying you might hear about drafting MTG is the acronym B.R.E.A.D, which stands for Bombs, Removal, Evasion, Aggro, and Duds. Bombs are the big game winning creatures, cards that have a large amount of value when cast, such as Combustible Gearhulk, and should be the first card type you should try to draft. Next is removal, which is just ways to get rid of your opponents cards, and the second type of card to draft. Third is evasion, creatures that are difficult to block (flying, intimidate, trample, etc.) Fourth is agro, creatures that are efficiently costed and are general beaters. Usually around 3-4 mana or so, and have 3+ power or so. The final part of B.R.E.A.D is Duds, the cards that do not do much for your game plan, and should not be included when building a deck when possible.
Don’t commit to a color too early
This might be the important piece of advice, and the hardest to learn and apply to your draft skills. One draft skill that is hard to learn without plenty of practice is reading signals and knowing what opponents are drafting. However, it is fairly easily to see if a certain color is open, as more and more cards in that color are passed. Sometimes it might be better to switch the colors that you are drafting instead of fighting for a color with two or three other players.
However the most important thing to remember that drafting is a format that should be fun to play and takes as much practice as anything else to get better at.
By Gage Dewsbury