As I mentioned earlier, deck building is my favorite part of Magic. There are just so many different ways that cards can interact, it’s incredible. And it’s why drafting is so freaking fun.
You may have figured out by now that when I go to FNM, I draft. At first it was because I knew I didn’t have a standard deck (or the skills) to be remotely competitive in the standard tournament. But now it’s just because I love the process of drafting and the nature of the tournament. Everyone comes in with nothing, has to build a deck from scratch and competes with that. As a result, the playing field is a lot more fair — there are no super powerful, super expensive decks pitted against budget decks. It comes down to the skills of the player: how they draft AND how they play. And I would argue the draft part is probably the more important of the two, simply because it’s easier to play good decks, so if an OK player drafts a good deck they’ll do better than if they draft a crappy deck.
Lately I’ve started gaining more and more confidence in my drafting skills. The last couple FNM drafts I’ve gone to I’ve come out with winning records, which is really exciting. I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m able to think about how the cards I’m picking will interact during a game. I also don’t go in with any expectations; I don’t plan which colors I’m going to run and I’m not afraid to switch colors. (For the record, that’s only happened once… but I didn’t hesitate!) I let the first few picks direct my draft, and from there I just build on whatever colors those led to. Last week I drafted blue and white. I ended up with a very control-based deck with strong defenders and some great creatures. There wasn’t major synergy because it was pick a pack, but everything worked fairly well together. And as I was drafting, I kept in mind that since it was a control deck I needed to draft more defensive cards than normal, but I also needed cards that would get me the win. And while the Gruul deck I mentioned a few weeks ago, I was definitely concentrating on getting powerful creatures and had a much more aggressive strategy.
But the most important (and best) thing to remember is to always read and reread the cards. Just because you think you know what a card does, doesn’t mean it actually does that. And in between packs I usually go through and at least glance at my picks. I usually sort them into creature and non-creature spells, just to give me an idea of what I need to look out for in the next pack.
Obviously I’m not an expert yet, but I am happy with how far I’ve come since my first draft. All I was thinking about then was drafting only two colors.
All for now,