Welcome to TheWillHallExp
BREAD! THE KEY TO DRAFTING 101
Little intro – My name is Will Hall. I am a serving British Royal Marine Commando and I have been playing MTG competitively for about 5 years now. I started playing with M14 and I made the step up to grinding the preliminary pro tour qualifier (PPTQ) circuit shortly after. I’ve made more top 8s then i can remember and lost almost as many. I finally won one which took me to a regional pro tour qualifier (RPTQ) in which I managed to go undefeated all day. This qualified me for Pro Tour Amonkhet (Pro tour is the old name for mythic championships). I started streaming in 2018, and this year I’m starting to ramp it up as I love sharing the wins and the bad beats I get while playing MTG Arena. I am mythic in constructed and least not forgot I am also the newest member of Team Genji.
I’m going to give you some pointers on drafting to get you on the way to winning those juicy packs on MTG Arena.
For those of you who have never drafted before, let me give you the skinny.
Drafting is in my option the best way to grow your MTG ARENA collection without pumping loads of money into the game.
The goal here it to get a winning record 4-2 4-3 etc. This way you get back what you have put in (gold or gems) so you can do another draft.
When you draft you will keep what you pick for your deck. That will go into your collection after the event your playing in. All copys over four you get of a card will go into a chest/vault, this will build up the more you draft as you will keep getting the same cards you have over four off. Note here uncommon fill your vault quicker then commons. The reason we want to fill out vault … once it’s gets to 100% we can open it. You will be rewarded with 6 wild cards. 1 mythic 2 rare and 3 uncommon. This again is a great extra to building your collection.
How it works, You will open a booster pack and select a card from it. When you’ve selected a card from it you will pass the pack to your left and your rightmost neighbour will pass you your next booster left to you. This continues until the packs in that drafting round are depleted. You will then open a second pack which will go to the right. When this is depleted there will be a third pack which will go left again.
The first time I ever drafted someone told me just use BREAD and you should be fine. Having no idea what they meant I took some bread with me to my first draft. yes i can hear you laughing already, pretty funny now looking back at it. What they didn’t tell me was that BREAD is a mnemonic and so you don’t make the same mistake i did, here i’m going to break it down and explain what each letter means.
B- Bombs, These come in many different shapes which makes a bomb difficult to define. Everyone has a different take on it, but what i call a bomb is that its stats are going to be very big and normally be very hard for your opponent to deal with,
For example Rakdos, the showstopper and Ravager Wurm are great bombs, they hit the battlefield and do something powerful, then leave behind a huge threat which is going to be hard for your opponent to deal with.
R- Removal, This speaks for itself but in limited removal is rare and hard to come by, so finding some in your colours is great. We just spoke about bombs and removal is a good way to get rid of someones bomb so you don’t have to two for one yourself to get it off the battlefield. Two for one means using 2 of your cards to deal with one of there cards. Some removal is better then others tho, like cards that say exile are rated higher than ones that say destroy. Exile means it doesn’t die or go to the graveyard so effects like Afterlife don’t trigger, where destroy they would get the Afterlife trigger, that leaves us cards like sacrifice effects and bounce affects, these tend to be the weaker removal spells but timed right work great, For example sacrifice effects if they have a 10/10 and a 1/1 its not good, but if they only have one creature on the battlefield and you cast it you know which one you will be hitting, bounce cards are obv 1 turn removal to get it out the way for that combat or turn, so are used more for combat tricks!
E- Evasion is a kind of static ability of a creature that improves its chances of damaging the defending player by restricting which creatures can block it. This can come in many different types of evasion abilities:
The main one you will see in Ravnica drafting is Flying
A- Average, This will fill out most your deck these are playable cards but not overly powerful, they fill a gap in other words,
Mana fixing also falls under this as you will be 2 colours maybe 3 and having guildgates in your deck of them colours will help your over all game plan.
D- Dregs, These are the last couple of cards in the draft normally ones not in your colours and if they are you wouldnt play them, sometimes you do get lucky and get one playable thats wheeled the draft tho.
THE NIKE TICK
Ok now we have a idea of what cards we should be drafting we need to have a idea of how to build our deck, As powerful as it would be you dont want all your cards to cost over 5 mana!
We have a thing in MTG called a curve, Think of it like this, you get to play 1 land a turn which means if we have 5 mana cards in our hand we can’t cast them till turn 5 at least and this is only if we can play a land each turn. This is to slow for a game of MTG, you should be aiming to play a 1 or 2 drop in the first turn then a 3 drop then a 4 drop and so on, Obv this is the dream and it doesn’t always go like that, but if you have only 5 drops this will never happen for you fact. So to get round this someone when i first started to play showed me the NIKE TICK, this basically means you will have some 1 or 2 drops, the meat of your deck will be 3 and 4 drop cards tailing off to some 5 6 7 drops. You still want them bombs and powerful cards. These will normally take up slots at the tail end of your draft deck. Below i found a great picture to show what i mean
You can see above the top row is creatures and the bottom row is spells. There all stacked into the different mana costs. 1 mana starting on the left and moving to the right are the mana cost grows.
Once you have done this you should have a rough outline of a NIKE TICK. small at the start then getting fatter in the middle and then flicking off to the tail getting thinner.
So while your drafting if you see your missing a chunk in your tick let’s say 3 drops you should start prioritizing them to fill out your curve.
Follow these steps and should be able to get a positive record in MTG ARENA drafts.
Getting your mana right
So lucky for us MTG Arena does this for us, This doesnt mean its always correct tho, Think of it as a good aid or guide.
A easy way to work this out is count your mana symbols, lets say your green and red (Gruul) you count up 16 green symbols and 8 red ones, this split over your 17 land is about ⅓ should make red mana and the other ⅔ green, working it out to be about 10 forests and 7 mountains, this is without 2 colour lands (guildgates/shocklands) these can be used to splash a 3rd colour or just to make your 2 colour deck even stronger.
Lastly couple of tips for when you draft
- Don’t be scared to change colours if you are getting cut off the colours you started with.
- Don’t get fixed on a colour right away. I try to just pick the best card in the pack for the first 4 picks, by then you will have a small idea what colours are open and you can then move into that colour.
- Have fun, chances are you will lose more then you win at the start. Not from deck building or opening the wrong card but not knowing what other ppl are playing. Which means you running into there combat tricks, this comes with experience or a lot of research, Personally i watch streams with great drafters to learn what they are doing and how they rate cards.
- With the current set to draft Ravnica allegiance we have guilds so try and draft guild colours.
- Guild gates make it very easy to splash a 3rd colour so keep a eye out for one that could be handy later in the draft.
- Riot in draft its normally better to add the +1 +1 counter then give it haste as a rule of thumb.
- I always tell viewers on my stream use your gold first then gems to draft, I only say this as gems cost money, gold you can build up just from grinding. You can do this with gems but it takes a lot more time than gold , this is why i say gold first then gems.
So this is my first go at writing something like this, i hope it makes sense to anyone reading it. I would love your feedback on this, Or just tell me your favourite guild to draft and why.
You can comment below or find me on Twitch at www.twitch.tv/thewillhallexp
Till next time eat biscuits and draft well!