Hey. I won Utah State Championships...I played really well. Anyway, a Sealed Deck PTQ is comming up Saturday and I really think I'll do well. The only problem is, I've never Rochester drafted (which is what top 8 does) other than on NetDraft a couple times.
I understand limited really well, and I've booster drafted tons of times, so I just need to know what strategies are different, and how to draft as opposed to regular drafting, and any other differences. Thanks!
A few tips:
- Watch what your opponent is drafting. Since you know what he'll play, you can pick some cards higher than normal (for exemple: Landwalking creatures or creatures with certain protection).
- Be nice to your neighbors. Don't hate draft in the first few packs. If you're nice, generally, the other players will be too.
- For the rest, just go on with good picks and do your best. If you know limited, you should fare well.
There are 3 players you have to watch:
Your neighbour to either side and the person across the table from you (who will be your first round opponent). Try to draft a deck to beat that opponent. Cooperation with your neighbours in important (especially the person to your right as he will often get a pick before you).
Conventional Wisdom for rochester drafts in general was that if you had the choice (top player after the sealed CHOOSES who opens the first pack), you would either make your opponent open first or 'wheel' first, since these positions often make colours hard to declare and can end up with weaker decks, while you also get to draft in the 4-5 spot, which is normally smooth sailing at a fairly cooperative table.
That being said, it looks more and more like Odyssey rochester is all about a foothold in green. A lot of people are choosing themselves to open first so they they can give a strong green signal right away and guarantee themselves a good foothold in that colour. Green is the colour that most consistently has multiple quality picks for pack, but be aware that this could tempt other drafters into green. If you have the first pick, declare your intent to go green strongly, but if not, react to the person on your right.
Finally, no matter how things are going, don't get vindictive and stay calm. Everyone gets hate-drafted or hurt by a colour switch now and then, just dont let it hurt your deck more than it has to. If someone takes a card in your colours, there is nothing wrong with returning the gesture as a message, but don't hurt your deck to do it.
Okay, thanks guys. My problem with drafting vs. your first opponent is that won't you lose your semi-finals then? Hmmmm....well, thanks.
You try to draft a deck that can win the table, but your first opponent is the one you should bear most in mind as he is the only one you are guaranteed to play. A solid deck is a solid deck, but registering 1-2 pro black creatures versus a black player or prioriting krosan archer over stalking tiger when facing a blue player will help your percentages a lot.
The general theory is that you cannot concern yourself with winning the table, until you have won the first match.
Similarly, if your playing an aggresive R/G deck and your opponent is playing white, it's perfectly aceptable to hate draft a Red or Green Sphere or a hallowed healer so your opponent doesn't get it. Hate drafting is really an art, you probably shouldn't hate draft more than one or two times an entire draft cause it can really hurt your deck, but occasionaly drafting the best card in the pack over something marginal in your colors is not a hate draft but the 'correct' pick as you would rather have no one play the card against you rather than play the best card in your colors in the pack.
On a different note, some cards and stratagies, work much better in rochester than they do in booster or sealed, for instance, drafting lots of hosers and land walkers and out sideboarding people is a perfectly good stratagy in rochester but it will hurt you in draft. Because you know what your opponent is drafting, if they draft a mirari, you should probably go out of your way to draft something that can kill it that you wouldn't normally draft (Aven Cloudchaser, Ray of Distortion). Just know your information and draft accordingly and you will do fine.