Everyone i talk to, from the scrubbiest scrubs to the local pro's seems to have a different stratagy for oddesy booster draft. Some people swear by Green, while others say they refuse to draft green or blue because they are overdrafted. Also, many people seem to be drafting 'combo' decks that use the recursive creatures to compleatly nullify an opponents stratagy. For instance Scriviner, AEther Burst, and Gravedigger. Or Auramancer, Patriarch's Desire, and Gravedigger. Or Twigwalker Gravedigger, or Elephant Ambush, Scrivener.
I have been recently drafting defensive U/W or aggresive G/B...what have you guys been doing?
I really enjoy booster drafts and have done quite a few with Odessey. I believe Green is just spectacular, and Blue is great also (I love picking up a Concentrate or two), but I tend to draft with more often than not just because it seems to be or has been underdrafted whenever I play. I usually don't go into a draft with a set strategy on what colors I am going to draft, except for the fact that I won't draft black unless I see some extremely good picks. In my opinion just go with the flow of the cards, but be afraid of adding a color for one or two BOMBS.
You HAVE to be flexible in Odyssey draft because of the chaos in the common runs. Even if you are the only player drafting black, you can still go 4-5 packs without seeing a quality black card. Ditto for the other colours. This also makes reactive drafting a bit more difficult.
However, we have been freed from the rigid draft structure that Invasion imposed on us (in terms of colour choices), so you can often start with one colour (dictated either by personal preference or what you open), then draft your other colour reactively. For example, Green pairs up well with all of blue, red, and black, and is alright with white just because of the combined depth of those two colours. So if you think you can stake a claim to green (being the fourth green drafter at the table is usually still ok, being the fifth will ruin you) early, cutting off as many green cards as you can, you can then react to what you are being passed in order to choose your second colour.
Odyssey has lots of fun card interactions but they should not be very highly prioritized because it further randomizes your decks success (ie: you now need specific combinations of cards to win). In general, a draft deck with good cards and good symmetry will do more for you than force drafted combos.
The place that combos have is in card prioritization. For example, if you draft B/W, then between Kirtar's Desire and Patriarch's Desire, Auramancer is a very powerful card, and becomes a progressively higher pick based on how many of these you have.
Another thing you must keep track of is your graveyard strategy. Are you trying to abuse threshold or gain card advantage from flashback. Do you eat cards in the graveyard or not? This will help you prioritize your spells better.
For example,Werebear can range from a 2-4 to a 7-9 pick, based solely on whether or not he can be a mid game 4/4. Therefore, as a U/G drafter you want this card much more than other options. Whereas as a G/R drafter, you want early aggresion, but may well end up using flashback on thing like firebolt and reckless charge (as well as sylvan might) to get those 20 points to the dome. Here, both the acceleration and the 1/1 body may be better off as a better early threat.
This is the hardest part of odyssey draft. You can sometimes draft a deck with all high quality spells and little hope of winning if you are not careful.
I usually end up drafting B/R in online booster drafts. They aren't heavily drafted, and I can usually pick up some good removal spells lie Firebolt and Ghastly Demise. Creatures could be better, with red generally having low P/T commons, and Black having the godawful Cabal Inquisitor and Overeager Apprentice.
I tend to stay away from Green, knowing it will be heavily drafted. I can maybe pick up some Mongrels in the first 3 picks, but after that, I hardly see any Green cards other than Simplify and other crap like that.
Blue and White are highly dependant on what cards I get. If I cant get some Careful Studies, Mystic Zealots and other good creatures, I'm set. But if all I see are Phantom Whelps and Dedicated Martyrs, I'll just choose another color. Nomad Decoy is tight in Draft.
I agree you can't know what you are going to open...but since green and blue are the consensous strongest colors isn't it ok to say, "unless i open a bomb i'm going to stay away from green and blue this draft because the person to my left has a tendancy to draft blue, and everyone drafts green" I'm not saying come in looking for specific combo's or color combinations just that my favorite stratagy in draft is to pick recursive creatures slightly higher than many other people, especially if you drafted "bomb" spells like Roar of the Wurm or Concentrate.
Your chances of being able to recur them and win are greatly increased when you draft the combo cards i.e. recursive creatures, highly. Similarly, if i'm drafting W/U i try to pick up an animal boneyard every once in a while for the potential combo with chamber of manipulation. I'm not advocating it as something that works every time, but drafting 'combo' is certainly a fun and profitable stratgy.
Black Blue can sometimes be very powerful. I can usually get removal and some good threshold cretures with Black and add blue for Looters, Studies, etc. I've won a few with this formula.
Now if you are silly enopugh to pass me R/B I will draft it fast and splash a few blue cards.
Now2 white is rarely drafted much in Odyssey and a friend of mine actually drafted a ww deck with artifacts one night. Though it lacked game defining cards it was fast and nevewr got manascrewed
It all depends what other people are drafting. Green is very popular, so unless everyone steers clear of it (which becomes very obvious very quickly) it will often be difficult to get a good deck.
As BeBe stated, white is under-drafted and I have drafted a reasonable weenie white deck a couple of times, and seemed to be getting ALL of the white cards (Pianna and Divine Sacrament in one draft...). The problem is that white has very few high toughness creatures which are pretty essential imho.
I tend to stay very loose colour wise for the first pack both in order to figure out what those around me are taking, and also because I always hate passing on a 2nd booster bomb because I have already ruled myself out of a colour by deciding too early.
For the first pack I use the BREAD strategy drafting Bombs, Removal, Evasion, Average cards and Dregs in that order. If you see a bomb card, for eg: Vampiric Dragon, Cabal Patriarch, Shower of Coals, Overrun... go with the flow. You pretty much have to take it to deny the others anyway, but by the 3rd pack it isn't too late to splash a colour for a card like one of these.
Removal is the next most important card-type draft, followed (pretty closely imo) by Evasion. For the first couple of packs it is better to get a good Removal card from a colour you aren't currently planning on playing rather than taking picking up a card that is the right colour but that you would never play. For a start you deny the others a good card, and if you see some more good cards from that colour it isn't too late to splash.
By keeping colour loose for the first pack no-one will be able to tell for sure what colours you are drafting, you can be flexible as to your neighbours' drafting, and you can take the best card from your 2nd booster.
You will generally find that you will have some very good cards from 2 or 3 colours (at least one colour will be wiped by the players to your right, probably green...). Then you can consider your options are start to specialise from there.
I have seen one player consistently draft a G/U deck based around attaining threshold with Cephalid Looters (and Brokers), using it with common green creatures like the Springing Tiger, and a combo running as many Scriveners and Aether Bursts as he can get.
All these cards are commons so you will see a lot of them. If you take them aggressively (even forgoing a good rare for an extra aether burst) you can get a tournament winning deck (and get the rares from the prize boosters!).
I watched him once take a scrivener as first pick from his first booster when all the uncommons and the rare were playable. As lots of people seem to take the remaining rares/uncommons if there is nothing good in their colour, he was passed more and more of the cards he wanted. He won.
it's great how morons don't realize that the ()s don't show up when they try to impersonate someone. And it isn't even funny.