The Beginner's Guide to Draft Part 4 - Construction: Hard Hats Required
January 18, 2019
Hello again, fellow gamers! Welcome to the fourth installment of our series on drafting. Today we’re going to take a look at all those delightful cards you’ve drafted and sort them out into a workable deck. No doubt that after reading the previous blog posts, you’re now sitting at a table staring at a pile of cards that in no way resemble a coherent deck. We are going to fix that, but we first need to give the cards a quick sort into two different categories.
Immediately, separate all creatures from everything else. Unless the set is weirdly skewed towards artifacts or spells, most of your damage will be coming from the creatures you chose to draft. Once you’ve separated your creatures, it’s time to organize them according to ‘Converted Mana Cost’, or ‘CMC’ for short. That means you’re going to be looking in the upper-right corner for both coloured and generic mana costs and adding them together to come up with a final number. For a quick example, the card ‘Goblin Banneret’ has a CMC of one. It’s a single red mana to cast it, and that’s all there is to it. A card like ‘Izoni, Thousand-Eyed’ has a CMC of six. Two green, two black and two of any colour. You’ll sometimes come across an ‘X’ in a casting cost. Just remember that ‘X’ always equals zero when calculating CMC.
Now, we’re going to be doing the actual sorting. You want to build a ‘curve’ using the creatures you’ve chosen. A curve is the distribution of all the creature cards you’ve chosen, sorted according to CMC from lowest to highest. The curve comes from having more creatures that have three and four as their CMC, creating a bit of an upside down hill shape. It should look something like this:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
2 3 4 5 6
2 3 4 5
This is what a decent curve looks like. Based on what you saw coming around the table, yours may look a little bit different. Maybe you chose more 4 CMC creatures than shown, or maybe you prioritized choosing a lot of 2s and 3s. You generally want to aim for 16-18 creatures total. With all this said, we still have other spells to figure out! The spells you chose will help with eliminating potential threats, or making yours harder to deal with.
That’s it for this week, players! Next week we’ll delve into the spells you’ve chosen for your draft and how different ones can and will impact your playstyle during a match! Thanks as always for reading and I look forward to seeing you next time!