The first I learned this weekend are that the Quick Draft format in Magic the Gathering Arena is extremely enjoyable. The second thing I learned this weekend… is that I am pretty horrifically bad at drafting a set I didn’t spend much time playing at all. The third thing I learned is that even if you suck at drafting… it is still a pretty reasonable way to pick up cards for doing other interesting things with. If I am doing my math correctly… I walked away with 45 cards that I picked out during the draft and at least 8 cards that I got from the pack that I won just from participating in the draft. Especially if you are trying to work towards something in particular this seems like a very efficient spending of your gems. Ultimately you are getting over 1200 gems worth of cards for 750 gems if you want to think of it in those terms when you are talking about total number of cards gained through the process.
Granted by drafting you are not putting any points towards your next vault opening and there is no chance of getting wildcards other than through any of the 8 card normal packs you win in the process. I drafted a grand total of three times this weekend and failed miserably in all of them with the best I managed to do ending up with a 3 and 3 before finally washing out. There was one where I did not manage to win a single match but even then I walked away with a handful of gems and all of the cards that I managed to draft in the process. The event however sadly ends in roughly three hours as of the time of making this post. I am hoping that they might do this as a weekly thing and offer up a new set each week for drafting. Surely they have enough information on Ixalan to make this work, or it would be a truly great way to introduce Kaladesh as they have already stated they are going to soon.
Ultimately Arena scratches the Magic itch for me especially if I can ever get reasonable at formats like Draft and be able to craft decent decks. A large part of the issue I have is that I am not really playing a lot of magic, and have been more of a collector for the last several years than someone who actually sits down and plays on a regular basis. I am trying to stoke a bit of a Magic culture at work, but it is really difficult for me to find a time or a place to sit down and play. Sure there are shops I could go to Friday Night Magic at… but I don’t even have a deck that I would feel really comfortable playing in such a location because it feels like I have been out of the game so long. There was a time where I could look at a card and immediately think of all of the possible combos for it… and that time has passed. Largely I need to build back up that muscle memory and the only viable way for me to do it… is by playing lots and lots of Arena. On the positive side… each time I sit down to play it I seem to get completely engrossed in the game and completely lose track of how many matches I have ended up playing.
If you are curious and want to see me fail-drafting you can check out the VOD over on Twitch as I streamed most of it. I accidentally cut off towards the end… but I had honestly forgot I was streaming at that point so you are not getting much in the way of commentary as the progression continued on. Chestnut hung out with me for a bit but that was really the only person I had in the stream and even then I think she was mostly afk cleaning house as she said. When I don’t have people interacting with me I sometimes forget I am actually streaming and you end up with me falling back into silence. Anyways… if you want to see what the format is all about you can at least watch how the draft part works at the beginning. I need to sort out why none of the music I had playing was coming through on the stream. If you want to see someone significantly better at drafting… you should also check out Kodra who was my inspiration to stream the draft (because he did it earlier in the day).