How to Grow Your Locals With Drafting

This article should have at least one section for everyone that can be used to help grow your local scene, improve your game or provide a slightly different look at something you may already know a lot about. Based on feedback from my community the two most popular “formats” for draft are four packs of Crimson Moon’s Fairy Tale (CMF) drafted together or four packs of The Moon Priestess Returns (MPR) drafted together.

I introduced FoW to my local shop about two months ago and the first Friday after they got a couple boxes in we had a four man draft. It was small, it was fun and it was the beginning of something amazing. Other people saw us playing and in time our numbers grew. Most Fridays and Saturdays there is a FoW draft running at my local shop, and last week we had 20 participants Saturday with another 7 or so Friday. We have not held a constructed tournament yet, our first big event is coming next week and we anticipate amazing turnout. I think this pattern can be followed if you’re trying to get your own FoW scene started.

That first little draft had so many people just walk by and ask “what’s this?” or comment “Oooo, that card looks amazing.” Let the game work for you. Small drafts were an amazing way for us to get people playing the game. Scheduling nothing but draft events for the first two months was the perfect way to keep everyone on a fairly level playing field. No one needed a collection: just show up with $15 and have a great time playing for a few hours. It is amazing how many people have slowly drafted their way to constructed decks at our shop.

Sometimes we draft for picks other times we draft with a prize pool. Commonly at my local the smaller Friday night draft is played for picks, a practice where at the end of the draft all the foil cards are pooled together and the players take turns picking them in the order which they placed. 1st place finisher takes a card, then 2nd takes a card and so on. On Saturdays, where we have upwards of 20 drafters, we play with a prize pool. Basically everyone needs five packs to enter, instead of four, with the fifth pack being set aside to be used as part of a prize structure. For example 1st place wins eight packs, 2nd place wins four packs and so on.

Both drafting for picks and prizes have been very successful for us and in both cases there have been some awesome stories. When playing for picks on a Friday night a player finished his play set of Thunder for his constructed deck. Another time a player opened a god pack in his prize pool. My best recommendation is to try everything at least once and see what works for you and your group. I would caution playing for picks with too many people as it can be difficult to “track down” all the foils. I would never dream that any of the people I play with would be dishonest, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that duel stone you left in your sideboard.

Now people are at your shop, drafting and having a great time. Let’s get to the good stuff: how to win. As I said above, our local tends to prefer drafting 4x CMF or 4x MPR packs. I want to shine some light on these two formats then give you some top picks you may or may not have considered. We use the official draft ruler Clockwork Furnace at my shop, so when you start drafting in any format you should consider his ability and how powerful it is to set up your stone deck on the first call. He tends to make splashing that Thunder or Crime and Punishment much easier.

Crimson Moon’s Fairy Tale

The Emperor with New ClothesThis set is painfully fast at times. Some things I have fallen victim to may include: Anyone lucky enough to open Puss in Boots; the musketeer spam knows no bounds. Lora searching for Lora, searching for Lora…..a long stream of 300/300 vampires can be exhausting. Rapunzel. Rapunzel is probably the best card in the set and I would say nearly 100% of games where a player starts the turn with her in play they win on the spot. Be very aware of how strong your opponent’s draft deck may be.

CMF doesn’t have a ton of 800/800 or larger resonators, and most of them are SR or R. This makes the 700/700 cards like Seven Dwarfs and Knight of Loyalty very strong. The absolute all star among 700/700 would be The Emperor with New Clothes. This guy should get picked over almost every other C and U card you can possibly open and he is better than half the R cards too. There are a ton of good playable Addition:Resonator cards in this set and he hoses them all, while also being one of the largest bodies you can get outside of SR.

Other cards to look out for:

  • Romeo, the Despair – A 300/300 for one will can do work. He will keep those pesky Hunter in Black Forest off your butt. The real dream with this card is getting him with Juliet, the Hope. Juliet is a fairly awful card by herself and I have seen her go all the way around the table before. If you’re lucky enough to snag one she turns your Romeos into endless card advantage. Keep your eyes peeled for this combo.
  • Elvish Exorcist – A 500/500 for two will is absolutely fine with no other abilities in draft. In my experience a six person draft table will end up with two Darkness drafters. That means 40% of the time my opponent is likely to have a vampire and I get way more than 500/500 out of this little guy.
  • King’s Servant – This guy is a little smaller, 400/400 for two will, but he plays so well in this set. Having a second go at Slipper of Cinderella, Crucifix or Silver Stake can be crippling and this guy makes it a very real possibility.
  • Jeweled Branch of Horai – This card may not be good enough for your main deck. As I said above, a lot of your opponents are likely to have drafted Darkness or Fire. I almost always try to get one or two of these for my sideboard. Even if I am playing no Light in my main deck, I’ll bring in a single Magic Stone of Light with my branches and use my Draft Rulers ability to get the Light stone out first.
  • Five Challenges – This is another card I always consider very highly. With the new standby rules, the worst case scenario for this card is “pay two void, draw a card next turn.” If I end up with any Moon Night Pouncers to trigger, with any treasury items or if I play Water the card improves.
  • Return to StoriesPurifying FireCrucifix – There are enough viable targets for these cards that you should always consider them as potential removal spells if your deck is lacking in that department at all.
  • Murderous Snowman – Finally my favorite. This card is 900/900 for two will. Nothing competes with this body this early in the game. The tempo loss can hurt, and I would be very cautious about drafting too many three will cards along side him. I cannot tell you the havoc I have caused with this card, he is just too big.

The Moon Priestess Returns

This set is a painful grind to put it lightly. Many games end by a slow trickle of life points at the hand of Yellow Sign, or after a massive board stall when one players library simply runs out, or a single unanswerable Mind Reading Fox attacks for thirteen turns in a row and finally gets the killing blow. Your games will most likely be long and I think it is advisable to play more than twenty cards in a lot of cases.

Shooting StarA top priority is your opponent’s Addition:Resonator spells. There are a number of very powerful Addition:Resonators including Yellow Sign, Glyph of Unkill, Bind of Gravity, Ragonarok, the Divine Sword of Savior and others. In this set there is only one way to destroy an Addition:Resonator after it has resolved: Sinbad, the Windrider Merchant. Even if you’re lucky enough to open the SR Sinbad, you still need to draft some of the card draw effects in the set to trigger him. Considering the frequency you are likely to see Addition:Resonator spells from your opponent and all the hoops you have to jump through to destroy them you should really prepare a backup plan. The best backup plan is to stop these powerful effects from ever coming into play. Using Exceed, the Ancient Magic is going to be a good option. The best option however is Shooting Star. I have been fortunate enough to steal a Ragnorak in one game and redirect a lethal Yellow Sign in another game. Shooting Star is absurdly powerful and in most packs I would pick it over any other card because of the specific role it plays in this format.

Other cards to look out for:

  • Kai, the Frozen Heart – 1200/1200 for three will is enormous. He isn’t necessarily fast acting, but remember a ton of the games in this format are going to go on and on. This gives you plenty of time to shed the counters off of Kai and turn him into the threat he was meant to be. He also happens to be a Water card, so he goes nicely with Shooting Star. Finally, he enables one of the strongest combos in the set with Gherta, the Tear of Passion.
  • Bind of Gravity – A reasonable removal spell in a set where Addition:Resonator hate is at a minimum. However, this card doubles as an offensive powerhouse at times. A trick play you can make would be to add this card to your own powerful resonator, allowing you to spend three will over and over to get repeated attacks with the same guy.
  • Mind Reading Fox – This card is very difficult to interact with, even the R Awakening at the End falls short of killing it. The fox is immune to the menagerie of Addition:Resonators your opponent may throw at you as well.
  • Black Goat – Caution is the name of the game here. Remember this guy, always check your opponents graveyard for any Black Goats. The very cheap activation can really skew combat results or in the worst case kill you outright if you dip too low.

Thanks for reading. I hope drafting can become successful at your local shop and when it does these tips can help you improve your game.

~Ken

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2 thoughts on “How to Grow Your Locals With Drafting

  1. A few pointers.

    1)The best draft format is 3 rounds of beast of 3 Swiss with 1 Pack awarded per a match win. This format works best with 8 man pods.

    2)As a drafter, you are allowed to proxy any ruler that has been printed so long as it is a ruler that has been printed in one of the sets you drafted. You are by no means limited to an “offical draft ruler.”

    3)The recommended drafted packs are: 4 of one set, 2×2 if two sets exist, 1x1x2 if three sets exist with the 2nd being the latest set in the cluster, or 1x1x1x1 if all four sets have been released in the cluster.

    All of this information is listed in the official Floor Rules for force of will.

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    • We used to proxy rulers, and it became very stale quickly. Pretty much everyone used Cain or Abdul. Also, no one would draft pick rulers. Using the Clockwork Furnace made picking a ruler during draft relevant.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Like

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