View Full Version : 8Minds 1Draft - Extensive look into the draft experience from 8 players perspective

08-25-2014, 04:57 PM
***Please Note - This was during Set1 only, and now pack sizes and the format have changed. The concepts shared here can still be applied to the current game, but draft is a bit longer now, and there are more cards to play with.

Sorry for the delay - I went George R.R. Martin on this work. Please note that I am writing this in the third person perspective, and don't refer to myself this way normally :)

I couldn't find a better way to slice this, so this will be an interactive read - Please refer to this Document and do your own cuts of the data while reading the below:
Note: The players with links on their names from this spreadsheet link to recordings of their draft/games.

What would it be like to record everything that happens in a draft, and to dissect the picks and deckbuilding and then go look back at how it may have gone differently?
Let’s find out:

8 players sit at a table:

Those 8 players open their first pack and are looking at these rares:
Out of these rares/legendary - It looks like the biggest bombs went to: Nico and Duckling. Funktion and Deck have playable rares, but would require them to get pieces of the puzzle to make them work. The rest of the rares are pretty bad, but Cosmic Transmogrifier is a legendary and it could be interesting to take and play with.

First let’s go around the table by player and see what they picked out of the first pack and why:

Nico first pack picks:
It looks like Nico is going into a Ruby/Sapphire build based on his early picks. He also has a small lean into artifact based deck. The Countermagics, and Heat Waves are a good removal base, and he prioritized an early wendigo and swordsman for late game swing troops.

Bryn first pack picks:
From Bryn's early picks, you can see that he is heavily investing in Blood/Ruby. He gets some nice early game going and a ton of removal in bombsmith/sapper's charge and 2x Ruby Lances.

BKC first pack picks:
BKC's first pack picks seem slightly more spread. While he gets a good first pick diamond troop, he then leans more into Sapphire and Wild picks. He also grabbed two sorrow's which could be huge against certain decks as a sideboard play. Will be interesting to see where he goes second pack, as right now he looks open and flexible.

Knight first pack picks:
Knights picks have him looking well positioned for a Blood/Wild deck. He is basically grabbing strong cards. He could go Shin'hare in future packs, but right now it looks like big bomb troops for his deck, and a bit of early game tempo.

Funk first pack picks:
Funktion starts in Sapphire, and curves into Wild. It looks like he has good ramp, and concubunny x2 to potentially go for a shin'hare deck with cosmic transmogrifier and sapphire for flight.

Deck first pack picks:
Oddly, in Decks first 15 picks, he barely scooped up any troops. Looks like he is focusing on early removal picks in a Murder and 3 Survival of the Fittest and plans to dip into troop picks in future packs. 'Deck's deck' is looking to be Blood/Wild focused so far.

Duck first pack picks:
Duck has dedicated most of his big troop picks to sapphire. While it is hard to say what his secondary shard will be, he is leaning into Blood or Diamond with his late picks.

Gwaer first pack picks:
Gwaer makes an early B-line for Diamond + Wild beats. He actually ends up getting 15 out of 15 playable from both shards.

Now, let’s look at the first rotation of packs in order:

Nico: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKSWVEV0RYcmRlVGc/edit
Bryn: http://i.imgur.com/DRcXR2F.png
BKC: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKeTRQT1lwRFN5MVk/edit
Knight: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKUXpmR1JvRFFJMnM/edit?usp=sharing
Funk: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKXzBGNFBxenpBVTQ/edit
Deck: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKVDRZTWYyNzB6Q28/edit
Duck: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKbUZjQW5PaVpoWkU/edit
Gwaer: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKZFBrbkJNRm4wMzQ/edit

08-25-2014, 04:57 PM
Pack 2:
Then the 8 players open their second pack and are looking at these rares:
The legendary cards in this pack are all bombs. Crown of Primals would destroy if it hit the board in a Ruby based beats deck, and Argus can fit in any deck as a timer card your opponents needs to save removal for. Some decent rares are: Master Theorycrafter - This guy destroys. Also Wraithwood Colossus and Yesterday are both playable in the right decks. The other rares are too fringe to really be worth building around.

Letís go around the table by player and see what they picked out of the second pack and why Ė It is important to note the table is now passing counter-clockwise (Nico passing to Gwaer):

Nico second pack picks:
With the second pack, Nico starts to swing into the Dwarf archetype. He sees the Sword Trainer this rotation that combos nicely with the Daring Swordsman he took earlier, but is secretly hoping the the Pterobot wheels. He ends up with 3 Pterobots from this rotation, and some decent tech for a strong Ruby/Sapphire Dwarf deck.

Bryn second pack picks:
Bryn opens a Argus bomb, and gets passed a pick 3 Theorycrafter! He well secures his path in Blood/Ruby beatdown after his first pack picks that offer him a really strong deck going into pack 3.

BKC second pack picks:
BKC takes his rare, as he is already leaning into Sapphire. He also grabs some decent diamond troops. His deck is starting to round out as a Diamond/Sapphire mid-range flyer deck. With a bit of bounce.

Knight second pack picks:
Knight continues to invest in a Blood/Wild Orc/Mid-range beat down troop deck. He picks up a Roostasaur over the Master Theorycrafter, which is a great synergy card, but he lets a bomb go by. It ends the picks with many strong wild and blood troops, and some rares that may be playable but might not make the deck.

Funk second pack picks:
Funktion does a good deed for humanity and takes the legendary bomb. He likely will not play it. He follows up by getting some great wild/sapphire troops including a bomb wrathwood colossus for a deck he was already planning to ramp with. His Sapphire/Wild deck is starting to look well developed.

Deck second pack picks:
Deck looks to be going Wild/Ruby now. His first pack gave him a murder, but he looks to be moving away from blood now. He gets many Wild bomb troops, and preps for a lower curve, with Ruby Actions to surround the wild troops.

Duck second pack picks:
What is funny about Ducks second pack picks is that they are all common. But don't under-estimate them. He gets a ton of top level removal - including 2 murders and 3 inquistions. Does not look fun to play against at all. Still looks like the path is Blood/Sapphire Artifact, but he will need some troops pack 3.

Gwaer second pack picks:
Gwaer's first 10 picks are awesome. 2 Repels, 2 Nobel Citizenry - etc. He is rounding out his pump wild/diamond deck nicely with threats that are hard to stop past turn 4.

Now, letís look at the second rotation of packs in order:

Nico: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKMnJNZnhnU0xEbmM/edit
Bryn: http://i.imgur.com/EWamOTD.png
BKC: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-5ResSanPODQUpUR0RRUzB0TDQ/edit
Knight: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKZ1ZONGdfcHVELVU/edit?usp=sharing
Funk: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKV1pfTzFCYlg2djA/edit
Deck: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKcnhjSVpNc2FLS2c/edit
Duck: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKdUE2LXhocWlvMEk/edit
Gwaer: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKQTFJZzV6c0xuaU0/edit

08-25-2014, 04:58 PM
Pack 3:
Then the 8 players open their third pack and are looking at these rares:
There are a lot of fun rares here, including a few legendary. I'd list the bombs in this order: Eldritch Dreamer, Princess Victoria, Eye of Creation, Lixil - The other cards are okay, but need to be in the right deck.

Letís go around the table by player and see what they picked out of the third pack and why (passing clockwise again):

Nico third pack picks:
Nico is able to hate draft the one card that could ruin his Pterobot tech, and could potentially play it against his opponents. He is also able to nab more puzzle pieces that will create a strong Sapphire/Ruby Artifact deck. He gets a few actions/combat tricks that he lacked from the prior 2 packs.

Bryn third pack picks:
Bryn gets more Ruby Lances, a Sapper's Charge, and another Brood Creeper. His turn 3 tech is scary, as he rounds out a pressurized Ruby/Blood Deck.

BKC third pack picks:
BKC starts by hating a Burn to the ground, and follows with some decent Diamond Picks - troops and removal. Oddly this pack he gets only 1 sapphire card late, so although we know from prior packs the deck is looking like Sapphire/Diamond, he did more hate drafting and rare drafting this pack than expected. Hopefully he already had the cards he needed.

Knight third pack picks:
Knight keeps the blood/wild rush alive with Wailing Banshee's and Shamed Gladiators. He grabs a few Vine traps for their well valued bodies. He wants to live the rush deck dream.

Funk third pack picks:
Funk gets a ton of mid-game beats for Sapphire and Wild, and even is able to hate a Pterobot in the process. His deck is looking well suited for turn 4 bomb troops, combat pumps, and flight.

Deck third pack picks:
Deck seems to be moving all-in on a Wild troop deck, with Ruby based actions. He gets a first pick Eye of Creation, and a bunch of early game troops/actions.

Duck third pack picks:
Duck gets handed a Cosmic Trans and is already going Blood/Sapphire so grabs it. He follows that up by a string of solid picks, including a buccaneer, another inquisition and an air superiority.

Gwaer third pack picks:
Gwaer opens a Princess Victoria, and follows with 2 Wild Auras and a Experimental War Hulk. He has a wrecking ball crew of turn 5 drops with lifesteal potential and various +2/+2 pumps for them. He could have a solid Dimmid Deck with this much beef.

Now, letís look at the third rotation of packs in order:

Nico: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKaTEyNkRSRUN6aWs/edit
Bryn: http://i.imgur.com/KVWUKHc.png
BKC: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-5ResSanPODU25DRk0zWTBtNlk/edit
Knight: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKWmxSNThkZkI0R1k/edit?usp=sharing
Funk: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKem83TlVmUzVRYUk/edit
Deck: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKYlQ3dzVxOHdKWHc/edit
Duck: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKV1dLNF9OdFR0bWc/edit
Gwaer: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8YKHlYh9nQKLVFOV1hFQ0p3cGM/edit

08-25-2014, 04:59 PM
Interesting Notes about the card pool:

5 Legendary cards
2 Cosmic Transmogrifier
Only 1 - Buccaneer, Turreted Wall, Cerulean Mentalist
0 - Briar Legions (poor Briarpatch Conjuror), Veteran Gladiator
4 of - Boulder Brute, Countermagic, Pterobot, Shamed Gladiator (all to knight), Inquisition (all to Duck), Noble Citizenry, Phoenix Guard Trainer, Sapper's Charge, Survival of the Fittest, Brood Creeper
5 of - Ruby Lance(4 to Bryn),

My dream draft from these packs:
If I could pick anything and go any build, I'd do this:
Crown of Primals Ruby/Sapphire tech with Master TheoryCrafter, Eldritch Dreamer, Splinter of Azathoth, Heat Wave and Argus. Splashing in Artifacts - I'd run all 4 Pterobots, and all 4 Phoenix Guard Trainers, and all 4 Sapper's Charges. Both Gearsmith's.

Deck Builds - and how the tournament went:
The second tab of the spreadsheet has most of the information there for our deck builds and how the tournament went. There is also a sort you can do to see the cards that were played by each player. I was able to win, with many close games. The deck I feared most was Gwaer's Diamond/Wild big beats. Generally mid-range pump vs. artifact decks does well.

What if [X] card was drafted by this person, how would that have changed things?:
It could take a really long time to discuss this, but every small drop in a pond cause a ripple effect. I think I would have avoided artifact completely if I didn't get a second Pterobot, that would have lead me down a different path and may have opened me up to another shard. I would have avoided taking the 2 gearsmith. If I saw any Noble Citizenry's from Gwaer, I most definitely would have done maybe a Diamond/Ruby deck. The possibilities are truly endless.

Big thanks to everyone that helped to make this happen:
Funktion, Gwaer, Deckofmanythings, BKCshah, Theangryduckling, Knightofeffect, and Brynhildr

Questions to the readers:

How would you draft this, if in one of the players shoes?
What is your dream draft from these packs?
How would you build your deck?
Would the tournament have gone differently, if we were paired differently?
What did you take away from reading this, and was it interesting to see how the picks influenced the direction each player went in their draft?
Would you be interested in future break-downs like this of future drafts - Set2, etc.?

For those interested you can find all my ABT's here, and arena stomp decks. I'll use this space to bump with whatever I am brewing for PvE as well. Enjoy and bump this if you can:
The Sharp Compendium: http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=46001

08-25-2014, 05:34 PM
Very cool! :cool:

08-25-2014, 06:15 PM
This is intense. Crazy amount of effort. Bravo.

08-25-2014, 07:54 PM
Yea man. Just amazing effort all around. Let do it again! =P

08-25-2014, 08:05 PM
Great write up nicosharp, you did tons of work, all we did was draft. I had a ton of fun reading it, and drafting with you guys, we should definitely do it again in set 2. =)

08-25-2014, 08:26 PM
This was absolutely fantastic to read and an even better joy to be apart of. Ready for this again in set 2 :) Thank you nico for all the work you put into this and to the others for being involved in this as well!


08-25-2014, 10:15 PM
Amazing! Simply amazing!

Well done Nicosharp and I would LOVE to see one of these done for Set 2. Maybe even do one near release and then another one (maybe try for the same drafters) a month or 2 into the release to see how the players have developed their knowledge of the set.

08-25-2014, 10:46 PM
Looks great, nico! I really enjoyed being a part of this. Maybe we can do it again when set2 comes out? :)

08-25-2014, 10:57 PM
Would be willing to host another for set 2. I think the format worked, and the spreadsheet helped a lot. Welcome suggestions for better analysis/content.

08-25-2014, 11:02 PM
The only way it could have been better is if I won.

08-25-2014, 11:09 PM
The only way it could have been better is if I won.

I think you lost to an amazing chump and burn play. Otherwise, the path should have been clear.

08-25-2014, 11:12 PM
It was a pretty killer play. I will not soon forget it. =)

08-26-2014, 12:17 AM
It was a lot of fun participating in this but wow I can only imagine how long it took to put everything together after the fact. Great job Nico! I'm going to have to read over this at least one or two more times.

08-26-2014, 04:23 AM
Sorry for the delay - I went George R.R. Martin on this work.

Not enough gratuitous sex and violence IMO.

Great job, Nico. Almost makes me want to draft....almost....

08-26-2014, 04:26 AM
Yeah Gwaer after reading everyones draft you were my pick to win it, seemed like you dominated the picks honestly

08-26-2014, 05:06 AM
Not enough gratuitous sex and violence IMO.

Great job, Nico. Almost makes me want to draft....almost....

He didn't kill off nearly enough of the participants, either. Very anticlimactic.

Seriously though, great job everyone and especially nico for putting it all together. That was a really interesting read, and it was cool to see some peoples' thought processes. It's fascinating how some people seemed to dive straight into a deck type from the very first pick and never really looked back (Gwaer seemed to do this, in particular). It could have burned him, but the cards just went his way. Others went more conservative, and built up a focused deck based on the cards they were getting throughout the first pack, and made smart choices from there to end up with a deck pretty much as strong (BKC). And then there was Deck, who focused purely on removal early on, and seemed to be relying on later passes to make sure he had troops (any troops, really - if the board is clear, you can win with anything).

All of these strategies have strengths and weaknesses, and it was really fascinating to see how it played out. It could have easily gone terribly for any of these players (especially the ones who chose their focus super early, or ignored a specific but necessary card type for a long time), but luck was with them and everyone ended up with a pretty strong, playable deck. I'd definitely like to see more of this in the future.

08-26-2014, 10:33 AM
Very cool - great work! Thats a lot of information.

Not to diminish the effort in any way (and maybe Im just lazy), but i would have liked some reflections from the participants on what they considered to be key choices and their reasoning. Passing rares, Bomb vs removal, synergy over individual strength, abandoning or moving into a tribe or shard - that sort of thing.

In any case, very interesting read :)

08-26-2014, 10:40 AM
Not to diminish the effort in any way (and maybe Im just lazy), but i would have liked some reflections from the participants on what they considered to be key choices and their reasoning. Passing rares, Bomb vs removal, synergy over individual strength, abandoning or moving into a tribe or shard - that sort of thing.

There is a lot of depth that can be added. Some of that depth can be gleaned from reading the comments made by the players in the spreadsheet for each of their picks. Other tidbits can be gleaned from watching the videos/stream recordings of each player to hear their thoughts. It's a big dive if you want to learn more, it just requires considerable time investment, and proved very difficult to chop into tidbits and serve up in a few posts.

To add - I personally entered in the data for Gwaer, Funktion, and I believe AngryDuckling. So I may have not captured everything they said, but they do have supporting videos that speak to the picks and why.

08-26-2014, 10:43 AM
Very cool - great work! Thats a lot of information.

Not to diminish the effort in any way (and maybe Im just lazy), but i would have liked some reflections from the participants on what they considered to be key choices and their reasoning. Passing rares, Bomb vs removal, synergy over individual strength, abandoning or moving into a tribe or shard - that sort of thing.

In any case, very interesting read :)

The Spreadsheet ( https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1l2NkKxu77eO96npH9LL-K57CLkeqqaeDg0d4G65Mf1s/edit?pli=1#gid=0 ) has some of that information. I know in my picks, I rationalized most of the picks. For example, my first pick, I took Brood Creeper instead of Mentalist which I consider to be a better card, simply because of the quantity of sapphire would most likely force my neighbors into all fighting into sapphire while hopefully opening up blood for myself.

08-26-2014, 02:49 PM
I saw the spreadsheet, but skipped the videos in my first viewing. I will look into them next time :)

08-30-2014, 08:25 AM
I'd like to recommend a moderator move this to the Strategy subforum so it won't get buried. And Xenavire should add it to the links sticky.

08-30-2014, 09:33 AM
I'd like to recommend a moderator move this to the Strategy subforum so it won't get buried. And Xenavire should add it to the links sticky.

...Thats a great idea, will do. Thanks Yoss!

09-24-2014, 04:08 AM
I love this. I'm a new player trying to learn the set and the archetypes. I am still getting my head around all of the information here, and will continue to do so. I would absolutely love to see more of these to help round out my ongoing education. Many many thanks Nico

09-24-2014, 04:11 AM
Question - where are the videos?

09-24-2014, 06:40 AM
I'm pretty sure I still have copies of my videos of the event. I'll upload them and put a link in this thread.

09-24-2014, 07:31 AM
that'd be ace - thank you

09-24-2014, 08:04 AM
that'd be ace - thank you

If you go to the master spreadsheet (first one linked), and click on a players name, there will be a link. That link from the players name is to the corresponding video. Not everyone has an active video file, but I think 5 out of the 8 still do.

09-24-2014, 08:26 AM

There ya go, enjoy.

09-24-2014, 08:32 AM
I've updated your new video link to your name on the spreadsheet. Thanks Gwaer

09-24-2014, 08:34 AM
I don't have a video unfortunately, but I do have my full pick by pick analysis here: Pick by Pick Analysis (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxgqcuvz4DU2cUUtV0sxX21HWjA/edit?usp=sharing)

09-24-2014, 09:05 AM
Short response, Nice work :-)

09-24-2014, 11:08 AM
Short response, Nice work :-)

Thanks Mokog. I think this is hard to stomach for most. TMI