I’ve been thinking lately about draft formats (ie 8-man, Rochester, Rooster, etc). I’ve never tried to invent a draft format before, but I’ve started putting one together. I think it’s going to be pretty interesting; but then I thought Rakdos would be a bust at the RTR Pre-release, so my opinion only gets you so far.
I call this draft format “Deadpool”. I think the format would work best between 2-3 players. I’m not sure how well 4 players would work.
1. Take your pool of cards (whatever they might be – cube, stack of cracked packs, etc) and shuffle into one large deck without looking at them.
2. Choose someone to draft first.
3. First player draws three cards from the top of the deck. That player puts once face down in front of them. That is the “Deadpool”. They then put one card face up in front of them. That is the “Livepool” (for want of a better name – please email me one). They keep the third card.
4. The second player then draws three cards from the top of the deck. That player may now either:
(a) Put one card face-down on the Deadpool, one card face-up on the Livepool, and keep the third;
(b) Put all three cards face-down on the Deadpool and take the Livepool; or
(c) Put all three cards face-up on the Livepool and swap all their chosen cards face down for the Deadpool. This may only be done once per draft.
5. This continues until both players have a minimum of 45 cards.
The interesting part of this draft is the tension the Deadpool creates. The Deadpool creates an attractive resource that almost always has more cards than either player. When your over card pool your drafting from is of high power value, the Deadpool is extremely attractive. Howeever each player only has one chance to grab the Deadpool, so there is a tension between grabbing the cards early or late.
If you aren’t the first person to grab the Deadpool, you then need to determine if the new Deadpool is better than your current taken cards. All sorts of factors go into this; watching the reaction of your opponent taking the Deadpool, their general skill level in drafting, the cards you know you’ve been feeding both the Deadpool and your opponent.
Various draft strategies might emerge; there’s ‘straight down the line’, where you simply draft as normal, or you might try to draft two separate strategies, one into your hand, one into the Deadpool as a backup, or you might try to fill the Deadpool with as much Chaff as possible while faking that you’re giving up value, to entice your opponent to swap it out. Or you might draft chaff as possible intending on swapping into the larger Deadpool before your opponent.
I’m think it should work, I’d certainly like to try it one day. If you give it a go, let me know, along with any suggestions/improvements you can think of.