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Mini Draft Tournament: Gauging Interest


I know another big boy tournament is being planned, and we’re currently doing the Ultimate Mono Matchup Marathon™, but I’d like to judge people’s interest in doing a sort of test-run of a mini draft tournament. I’ve always been a huge fan of drafting in any game, since it adds an entirely new level of strategy beyond just bring the best deck and beat face. In codex it could be quite interesting to see, since it’ll guarantee a variety of match-ups and strategies and also encourage counter picking or going for unique strategies that you think would be good but have a horrible matchup against one of the top tier meta decks you know you’d face a lot of in a tournament.

The format would be something like this:

Players (4-6 total) snake draft specs, then starters (limited or not). I did some mock drafts with me myself and I with different #s of players, and here’s what I think:

4 Players: Pretty easy to get a competitive deck out of it. Only wrinkle to make it more interesting is limiting the starters to 1 of each as well.

5 Players: Decks still look fairly competitive, as you’ll probably get a strong combo of at least two specs that work well together (demon/finesse, peace/past, necro/blood, anarchy/growth, strength/x, etc). You could technically still draft starters here but it may end up invalidating what you drafted… though that would be a good reason to draft flexibly, especially if you’re player 1 or 2 (who would be last to pick starters in a snake).

6 Players: The most you can feasibly have to draft non-repeating specs. Shit definitely would get creative, though most everyone will probably still get a legit two piece combo + something off the wall. Drafting unique starters would suck in this one IMO.

After drafting, we’d just do a little round-robin with everyone playing each other once or something like that.

I foresee drafting being something like this:

Randomize player order, then player 1 starts like this, everyone copying the spreadsheet over, or saying what they want and the original post could be modified accordingly (for cleanliness).

           Specs                                   Starter

           Strengt  Disciple Ninjitsu White

           Anarch  Blood    Fire        Red

           Growth Balance Feral      Green

           Peace    Law        Truth     Blue

           Past       Present Future   Purple

           Demon  Necro    Disease Black

           Finesse  Bashing                Neutral

Player1 Demon Spec 2 Spec 3 Starter

Player2 Spec 1 Spec 2 Spec 3 Starter

Player3 Spec 1 Spec 2 Spec 3 Starter

Player4 Spec 1 Spec 2 Spec 3 Starter

By the time it’s player 4’s turn:

           Specs                                   Starter

           Strengt  Disciple Ninjitsu White

           Anarch  Blood    Fire        Red

           Growth Balance Feral      Green

           Peace    Law        Truth     Blue

           Past       Present Future   Purple

           Demon  Necro    Disease Black

           Finesse  Bashing                Neutral

Player1 Demon Spec 2 Spec 3 Starter

Player2 Blood Spec 2 Spec 3 Starter

Player3 Anarch Spec 2 Spec 3 Starter

Player4 Past Peace Spec 3 Starter

And now it’s player 3’s turn.

Excuse formatting, it’s not translating strike throughs and what nots, I’ll fix it later


I think you almost have to throw out drafting the starters, as it’d be pretty feasible for someone to want to first pick a starter (like Black) and not have a spec in that color make it back to them around the snake. So probably you let people play the starter they want after they’ve selected their whole set of specs.

Besides that, I’m game to do this, even though it pretty explicitly rubs against Sirlin’s ethos of both designing codex and asymmetric game design in general XD


Yeah I think the most feasible way to do it is to draft the starters in order, but they are not limited to one. You could also have neutral be unlimited so nobody gets totally hosed


You gotta run a neutral hero to run the neutral starter though :wink: At least by normal rules, I suppose you could play a modified deck construction ruleset for this where you can play a starter w/o a hero of that color (spells would start to really suck lol… is snapback getting workered if you don’t have a white hero to cast it available at all?)

So is what you’re suggesting like:

Draft Phase 1: Snake until all starters are drafted
Draft Phase 2: Snake until each player has 3 specs. Your first spec choice has to be from one of the starters you chose?


That would be gross.


This sounds like an awesome idea and I’d love to watch it. It does seem to require a pretty wide knowledge of the game, thinking about all the possible interactions with specs, hate drafting and so forth. I can’t say that I’m anywhere near there, and so the draft part is probably not going to be particularly fun for me.


I honestly think it’ll be pretty easy to draft a good spec with 4/5 people without much worry… though who knows, maybe the depth is there, just nobody knows how to swim that deep yet. I wouldn’t let that keep you from participating


I think you could draft starters, as long as they are at the end, like in the OPs proposal. Maybe add a rule which says that if all your legal starters are unavailable, you can duplicate? It probably wouldn’t happen much…


I’d rather not draft starters, honestly. If you need an exception about allowing duplicates in those circumstances, I think you might as well just allow duplicates all the time. That said, I probably won’t be participating because of IRL stuff, so if those who do want to draft starters, that’s fine.


I think it would be possible only with 4 players… There’s 4 players and 7 starters, as the last player to pick you would still have 4 to choose from. Part of the strategy would be diversifying or counter picking (i.e. if you get all the red nobody else is going to pick red starter) to make sure you don’t get screwed. But maybe actual play testing would show that it would really be a painful issue and you just don’t make them limited.


If starter decks would be drafted, I think they should be drafted first, followed by drafting a spec of the same color as your starter, after which any 2 remaining specs could be drafted. That would have the advantage of snaking an even number of times without the risk of someone not being able to pick a starter that matches one of their specs.


another viable option. we could easily do some mock drafts before we actually use the decks we draft.


Well there’s 4 with @FrozenStorm @Nekoatl @holytispon - do we want to attempt a mock draft or two with various rules to see what seems viable?


As I said, this sounds interesting and very much what this game would benefit from for people who are very experienced. I haven’t yet played with or against about half the specs, so I don’t think I’ll be a good partner for this. If you really want to start and don’t have anyone else, I’ll fill in the spot but my knowledge of many of the specs comes from looking at the cards or reading through threads - not ideal.


I’m game to hop on discord sometime or use a spreadsheet to mock draft asynchronous. It’d be fun to see some faces and hear some voices though, if our time zones and schedules allow. I’m US CDT (UTC -5)


@holytispon sorry I kind of misread your post the second time- keep playing and learning!

@FrozenStorm I’m in the same time zone, though I just moved and have a honey do list a billion things long. What’s your Saturday afternoon look like?


Nights are best for me, after daughter is asleep (usually 8 or 830). I feel your situation though, also recently moved and there’s plenty to do :wink:


At least I’m not parent level adult yet, whew


All the best content gets unlocked, but it does take a lot of dedicated time with your guildie to accomplish XD


Personally, I don’t feel a need to go through a mock draft. The procedures we’ve discussed seem fairly straightforward, and the strategy seems too complex to get a feel for so quickly. Also, I’m not sure I can force myself to care about which specs I draft if I’m not going to actually play them.