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By: ricklongo, Rick Longo
Sep 13 2016 12:00pm
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So, draft leagues are here. And they're probably here to stay, which means we should probably get used to them.

I was very skeptical when they were announced, for a few reasons. But first let me catch you up if you've been living under a rock: basically, both regular swiss formats of MTGO drafting (6322 and pack-per-win) were converted into draft leagues. You enter them the same way (except, well, they're on the "Leagues" tab), and draft the same way. It's after the drafting portion that the differences begin.

Firstly, the big problem I had: you're not necessarily paired against opponents in the same draft pod. Instead, you'll be paired with another player with exactly the same record as you, from your own pod or not. This means you get a lot less incentive to hate draft as a strategy, or to keep track of what you're passing in order to play around. This obviously sucks, as it takes a way some (admittedly marginal) strategy elements and makes leagues less of a "pure" draft experience.

But of course, leagues offer a big upside as well: you can play at your leisure, time-wise. This means you can draft now, and play games tomorrow (which is great for those with not a lot of free time). And of course, it means you can enter a new match as soon as the one you're in is over.

This last perk is what ended up really selling me on the whole thing - if there's something I hate about drafting is the waiting between rounds, especially if you're playing swiss. I was unsure whether it would be enough to win me over, but right now I'd say it has.

To illustrate it, here's an Eldritch Moon / Shadows over Innistrad draft league I recently played in.

This was a pretty awesome deck - one of my favorite blue-white builds I've had in the format, and also the one deck I made where Lone Rider had its chance to be an absolute all-star. And of course, many legendary creatures made their presence known, which is usually a recipe to make things more interesting.

At this point, though, I'm kinda jaded with the format, so chances are this will be my last article featuring Eldritch Moon and Shadows over Innistrad in a limited environment. To be fair, I think this format is much less fun than triple SOI, even if I really dig the cosmic horror angle they went for. Luckily, we don't have to wait too long until Kaladesh hits, and boy is it looking like a doozy.

I hope you enjoyed this, and see you soon.