Sunday, December 19, 2010

Winston Draft

Kamila and I tried a Winston draft for the first time some months ago. Winston draft was described on the Magic official website over 5 years ago, but with the rise of cube recently it became popular for very small drafts (2 people mainly).

The setup for Winston Draft consists of shuffling 3 boosters per player in a big pile and creating 3 face-down small piles (starting with 1 card each). Then, players take turns, each turn consisting of looking at small pile #1, taking it and ending his turn if he wants to, and if not he puts it back and adds a card from the big pile to that small pile. The same is done for piles #2 and #3. When a player takes a pile, he replaces it with a card from the big pile. If a player does not take any of the 3 piles, he draws a card from the big pile.

We found this draft to make much more sense for 2 people than a regular booster draft, that felt the same as splitting 2 colors to each and maybe fighting for the 5th. It does, though, create less cohesive decks, since in the end each player will have taken several cards that he did not want, but his opponent did, just because they were in piles that were favorable to him. This lowers deck quality, but adds excitement enough to be worth it.

While I feel this is a good way to draft for 2-3 people, since players take turns the time taken for the draft is linear on the number of players, meaning it may get awkward for 4-5 players and is prohibitive for more than that.

Here are the lists we ended up with. Tri-color in both decks was mandatory, two-color deck would mean we'd have to use all cards of our biggest colors and also add some artifacts.

WUG Aggro-control

5 Forest
5 Island
7 Plains
Seaside Citadel
Flooded Grove

Arbor Elf
Goldmeadow Harrier
Soul Warden
Essence Warden
Wild Mongrel
Kami of Ancient Law
Surveilling Sprite
Lighthouse Chronologist
Cloud Elemental
Soltari Lancer
Mangara of Corondor
Cloudchaser Kestrel
Guardian of the Guildpact
Conundrum Sphinx
Loxodon Hierarch
Juniper Order Ranger

Mox Diamond
Trip Noose
Mana Leak
Explosive Vegetation
Enshrined Memories

BRG Control

5 Swamp
4 Forest
4 Mountain
Grand Coliseum
Crumbling Necropolis
Strip Mine
Mountain Valley

Cabal Interrogator
Stillmoon Cavalier
Howling Banshee
Golgari Rotwurm
Extractor Demon
Visara the Dreadful
Plated Slagwurm

Glasses of Urza
Innocent Blood
Mesmeric Orb
Chainer's Edict
Fertile Ground
Worn Powerstone
Call of the Herd
Erratic Portal
Icy Manipulator
Defense of the Heart
Night of Souls' Betrayal
Rolling Thunder

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