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By: TheRegularGangster, TheRegular Gangster
Feb 02 2011 9:57am
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Welcome to the second installment of Welcome to the Hotel Infinite - a series on how to get paid to play MTGO!  Today we'll take a look at all-things-drafting and we'll look ahead to the next section of the series.  I hope you enjoy my perspective on what it takes to go infinite with drafting as your primary focus.

The target audience (those who I feel this article will help the most) for this section of the series are those players who are at odds with drafting, those who feel it isn't profitable.  I'm sure there are some of you out there who don't have credit cards, or the money to re-invest into MTG.  There are also some of us who are just plain cheap.  If you fall into either one of these categories, this is the article for you!

Today I Will Cover:

1)  What Sets to Draft & Why - A Lesson in Expected Value.

2)  Value Drafting - When to Take that Rare or that Playable!

Some limited tips will be included as well  I hope you enjoy!

Drafting to Go Infinite - a Difficult Nuance.

(This section covers the economics of drafting as opposed to limited strategy)

As someone who almost exclusively likes to draft this is tough to admit:  Drafting is not the most profitable thing you can do in the Magic Online environment.  Drafting can be the slot machines of Modo, and for many, that's exactly what drafts are.  There are no big stakes events you can go in to win a ton of product based on drafting alone.  In order to even be able to draft for BIG packs, you'll have to slog through 4-8 rounds of sealed, which will require some luck in your opens, with your draws, and yes, with your mana.  It is my belief that constructed is the best way to go infinite on MTGO.  It is also my belief, that for me (or anyone like me who loves to draft) that grinding out constructed 6-Man queues is not how we'd like to spend our time on Magic Online.  There is a silver lining for the draft junkies:  drafting is far from dead and you can go infinite with a heavy draft diet.  This section will cover what that diet consists of.  This is a long-sighted approach to drafting, as short-term profits are typically more luck based.

What Sets to Draft & What Sets to Avoid:

This may be a tough pill to swallow for those of you who always like to be drafting the most current set on MTGO, but you're going to have a very difficult time making a profit drafting Scars of Mirrodin or Magic 2011 in this environment.   Why?  It's simple economics and the economics are ugly!  It's a well known fact that the two draft queues that fire the most are Magic 2011 4-3-2-2 and Scars of Mirrodin 4-3-2-2.  These sets get drafted & drafted & drafted (and drafted) all week long.  The end result of this is the marketplace getting over-saturated with all the mythics, rares, uncommons, and commons from the current core set and the base set of the newest block.  Cards that should by all means be worth 3 tickets are worth 1 Ticket or less (I'm looking at you Scars of Mirrodin Duals, Ratchet Bomb, Mimic Vat, Memoricide, Grand Architect, Birds of Paradise, and Day of Judgment).  It's a great idea to buy these cards on the marketplace during the low periods when they are over drafted, but you don't want to be the sucker drafting them.  Power uncommons do not exist in these sets (remember vampire nighthawk's journey from 1 to 0.10) and there is never any value in commons (unlike Urza drafting).  When it comes to set-selection, Expected Value (EV) is all that matters.

What is Expected Value?

Expected value is how much average return you receive in a draft - including your packs received for prizes.  The value of the cards in the set determine the expected value.  For instance, the expected value of ZZW drafting will be higher than SoM drafting.  One thing you also have to factor in is the price of the boosters, though this often balances out in prizes received.  Therefore, if my average result is somewhere in between round two or finals of a 4-3-2-2, that means that I average a 2.5 pack return, which is roughly 10 tickets.  This means that I need to pull 4 tickets worth of cards to break even.  It should be noted that you can increase these margins by joining nix-tix events.  Since I need to pull 4 tickets worth of rares, I better be drafting a set that has a lot of money in it!

Different sets offer different EV ratios.  I do not have a specific equation to determine EV (I'll leave that to the mathletes), but you can often figure this out by simply opening your browser to MTGOTraders and searching a set's rares to see how many are worth 2+ tickets.  Uncommons & commons worth 0.25 or over should be noted as well (they add up fast).   Then there are the sets that offer a HUGE bounty, in the form of a card or two worth 25+.  If you go on a run and open a few of them, your account will have some serious padding.  How do you guarantee you open the big money mythics?  You need to stay in the game.


Current EV Scale - What sets are best and Why?!

(From Best EV to Lowest EV - Where there is some room for debate, sets can easily be bracketed).

Bracket One - The Bread Winners:

1)  Urza's Saga-Urza's Saga-Urza's Legacy - (All Queues are 4-3-2-2)

The Power Commons In Urza's Legacy Help Make This Format A Gem To Draft!


Whereas Urza's is very close to ZZW in expected value, I have decided to give the nod to Urzas as being slightly better.  It is the opinion of the author that you cannot go wrong drafting either format.  I have given UUL the nod because of the consistency and the lack of tickets required to draft.  This means you need to pull 2 tickets less from a UUL draft than you do a ZZW draft.  You can do this every urza draft by just taking commons.  Urza's Legacy features multiple commons worth a ticket or more.  Cloud of Faeries, Frantic Search, Snap, and Rancor are plentiful through pack 3, with honourable mentions going to Crop Rotation (0.25) and Unearth (0.2).   Mix this with a wide array of rares that are worth anywhere from 5-25 tickets, and factor that old foils are worth boatloads, and UUL is a super-profitable format.  If you round two, you can easily restock your draft set for 4 tickets, the price of 3-4 commons.  This keeps you going and going as long as the queues are firing, which leaves you plenty of chances to hit a Gaea's Cradle, Goblin Welder, Tolarian Academy, Grim Monolith, Exploration, Show and Tell, Smokestack, Time Spiral, Argothian Enchantress and so on.  The main bonus here is that all the aforementioned rares are exactly that - rares.  There are no mythics in UUL.  This equates to you having as good of a chance of opening a Goblin Welder as a Blessed Reversal.

Urza's drafting also has the bonus of many fellow drafters not knowing card value.  Their lack of knowledge is often your reward as you'll be passed plenty of cards worth 4+ tickets.  On four occasions I have been passed Show and Tell - buy value @ 11.50+.  It's comical that people draft a format because they hear their is a ton of money in it, but they are just too lazy to check to see what that money is . . . don't be one of those people!

You don't have to open Show and Tell to find one in your draft pile!

It cannot go without saying that even the crap rares of Urza's block have good value.  You can often sell crap rares for over 0.80.  I'm always surprised by what bots are paying for such bad rares.  Crawlspace, Defense Grid, and even Blessed Reversal are just a few examples.  To think you'd need to have 5-10 SoM crap rares to even match a crummy Blessed Reversal is kind of overwhelming (and very telling).

It's tough to lose money drafting UUL, and even if you're unfamiliar with the format, you'll learn with practice.  Since the Tempest block drafts ended, the Urza queue has been firing more frequently, as MTGO drafters got a lesson in EV over Christmas break (Tempest block is insanely profitable).

Tip - Draft Blue - Often under drafted and undervalued you can secure insane decks that have a control feel to them with tons of evasion and cycling.  This has the added bonus of setting you up in pack 3, where you'll then find that Snap, Cloud of Faeries, and Frantic Search are at your disposable for both value-drafting and playables (though I think frantic search is awful you can play it in a pinch).  Blue has some hidden removal in this format as well, in the form of Pendrell Flux & Rescind (they kill echo guys).

Also, don't overlook Wizard Mentor in pack 1 - the man is a brick house and combos nicely with numerous cards (Ghitu Slinger, Cackling Fiend, Bone Shredder, Avalanche Riders, Spire Owl, among others)


2)  Zendikar-Zendikar-Worldwake - (All Queues are 4-3-2-2)

What else can you say about ZZW drafts other than this:


With a card worth close to $100, how can you not get excited about drafting a format? 

The fact is that the set offers some HUGE money mythics, with no bigger than Jace, the Mind Sculptor.  It is most definitely an appealing format to draft.  One of the beautiful parts about this format is that many regular rares still feature big price tags, which allows you to collect value while also taking a shot at the big mythics. 

The lack of consistent opens is where ZZW falls behind Urzas, as you can go on some serious dry runs.  This may in fact be the nature of mythic-based sets.  The lack of power commons (and only two power uncommons in the second set) make for many 1-2 ticket card pools. 

Notable ZZW Mythics:

Eldrazi Monument, Lotus Cobra, Avenger of Zendikar, Abyssal Persecutor (has dropped recently) oh and Jace, the Mind Sculptor.

TIP - Never overlook a foil mythic, no matter how unassuming.  Foil mythics have higher than expected values as they are required for set redemption, and therefore are in higher demand than they are in supply.  I am consistently passed foil Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet and foil Obsidian Fireheart among other, constructed-unplayable, foil mythics!

Notable ZZW Rares:

The Zendikar "Fetch Lands", The Worldwake "Man Lands", Bloodghast, Goblin Guide, Stoneforger Mystic, Kalastria Highborn, Basilisk Collar.


Both Sets in ZZW offer value in normal rares, as well as mythics, with some sought-after lands leading the pack.  It is not rare to have one of these passed in your direction!

The Two Uncommons:

Everflowing Chalice (roughly 0.5) and Tectonic Edge (roughly 0.75).

The ZZW Drawback:  (please view the note below for recent changes to MTGO)

Zendikar draft sets are running around 14.5 tickets (plus your two tickets to draft) which means you're looking at an entry fee of over 16 tickets.  This is a big difference from Urzas and can cost you dearly if you go on a bad run.  If you are inexperienced in both ZZW and Urzas, choose Urzas for this reason alone (you'll rarely lose more than 6 tickets in any given UUL draft).

Bracket One - Short Set Insight:

I suspect that the two aforementioned blocks find themselves in Bracket One for one specific reason - that both formats feature "short sets."  In Urza's case, one could argue that the entirely block is comprised of "short sets" since the format is so underdrafted.  In ZZW's case, Worldwake is the short set.  What is a short set?  A short set is an expansion on MTGO that has seen less drafting time than other sets in the same block or beyond.  Alara Reborn was the short set in Alara Block as it was released for the least amount of time before the next block came out (and hence drafted considerably less than Shards of Alara or Conflux).  This is what propelled cards like Maelstrom Pulse (a regular rare) to the heights of 40 tickets during its time in standard.  Playable and broken mythics/rares out of short sets have always had inflated prices due to the lack of supply to meet the demand.  Jace, for instance, is found in a short set.  If Jace was in Zendikar, as opposed to Worldwake, you can rest assured he would be worth considerably less.  These cards tend to explode in value after the next block is released and the masses move on to draft the new format.  Keep this in mind when you are thinking about the next card to hoard or speculating on what cards will go up and down respectively.  Be sure to keep this in mind when you're picking a format to draft.

An Important Note During Draft Editing:  MTGO has recently allowed entry options of 14 tickets to get into ZZW queues.  Whereas this appears to favour the format even more, I suspect it may have an adverse effect in the form of over-drafting.  Today on MTGO the ZZW queue was seeing a lot more action, which means a lot more cards hitting the marketplace.  Still, it is roughly 2.5 tickets cheaper to draft ZZW than it was yesterday, so that should balance out with the slightly lowered card prices that will be sure to follow.  Watch the marketplace, and look at future installments of this series to find updates.

Regardless, opening a pack of Worldwake and not seeing a Jace isn't always the end of world.  Winning the draft with money is also the ultimate goal (the Nulls didn't run, the Avenger did with some other WWK green, the Journey did not).


Bracket Two - "The Middle of the Pack":

3)  Masters Edition IV:

Masters Edition IV sits in its own bracket as it still retains value after the major release rush, and because it is just plain better than the lower three options where EV is concerned.  ME4 also features some decent money rares with the chance to bank lots of money if you're lucky enough to crack a big foil.  ME4 is somewhat tough to evaluate at the moment, as the release is just in our hindsight and prices could are fluctuating.  I suspect that card prices will slowly begin to climb again after release events and that the EV of ME4 will continue to grow.  Again, one of the primary bonuses about drafting ME4 is that there are no mythics - you have as good of a chance as opening a Mishra's Workshop as that Rakalite that you remember cracking so often.

Notables (that should retain value over time):

The Dual Lands, Mishra's Workshop, Library of Alexandria, Demonic Tutor, Sol Ring, Mana Vault, Time Vault, Fastbond

Honourable Mentions:

Maze of Ith, Candelabra of Tawnos, Wheel of Fortune, Armageddon, Balance.

The Un/Commons:

Swords to Plowshares, The Elemental Blasts, Dark Ritual/Counterspell (both recently beat to death by TSE drafting).

It should be noted that for those of us who care about the formats we play, and the quality of draft, that ME4 is a terrible limited format, with limited skill required, and boards that seem hopelessly clogged.  The set lacks the nuances that set-blocks offer and it can be downright painful to draft.  I have personally quit drafting the format as there are greener pastures and more enlightening games to experience.  Perhaps when the card value begins to rise again ME4 will regain some of its appeal.

In closing, ME4 is a big set, and you're going to have to do a lot of boring slogging to break even.  Many rares have dropped, many will never resurface to meaningful value.  Some rares may steadily increase.  As with any classic based drafting format, card value is at the whim of what is going on in collector's heads, and what is otherwise a relatively casual constructive format.  It's a fickle proposition to rely heavily on ME4 drafting with long-term profits in sight.


Bracket Three - Slumming It:

These formats are the beleaguered, the over-drafted, the just plain sets lacking value (ahem RoE).  It's not that I dislike these formats, quite the contrary, it is that these formats are currently so over-saturated that drafting them solely can be Modo-Suicide.  Money never gets passed in bracket three sets!  If you've been waiting three weeks to open 14 tickets, you wouldn't pass it either.  My main qualm with drafting these sets is that you could be spending your time online drafting something much more valuable!  Having said that, I do go to these formats on occasion to stay fresh and for a change of pace.  The lack of short sets/length of time these sets are available to draft is what really kills them.  I will not give much time to the below formats as too much has already been written on the sets in question. 

Why "But I need cards from these sets" Isn't an Excuse!

I'm about to flame the EV of Magic 2011, Scars of Mirrodin, and Rise of the Eldrazi.  Some of you may propose the argument that you require cards out of the aforementioned sets for your redemption aspirations/constructed decks.  This is not a valid excuse.  Why?  It's common sense.  If you can make more money drafting other formats, you should be drafting those formats, cashing in on the bounty you receive from them, and then purchasing the cards you require as opposed to drafting them.  Again, this is not a knock on the limited formats, it is a knock on the expected value of the sets in question.

Onto the sets of Bracket Three:   The Slot Machine Sets of MTGO.  Slots always favour the house!

The Lone Rangers of Bracket Three

4)  Magic 2011

Magic 2011 is significantly ahead of RoE or SoM in value, to the point that I almost could have featured it in Bracket Two.  Almost.  The set definitely features some good money opens in the form of Primeval Titan and Grave Titan, and some solid money opens where Baneslayer Angel, Jace Beleren, and the rest of the titans are concerned.  Demon of Death's Gate and Gaea's Revenge or two other notable mythics.  Sadly for the M11 drafters, there is a major falloff after that.  The Lorwyn planeswalker run, outside of Jace Beleren, have dipped significantly in value.  Where this set takes its biggest beating is everything outside of the mythics:  only Fauna Shaman has solid value at the regular rare spot.  There are no power commons or uncommons to mise some value wherever possible.  Another massive drawback is how big of a set we are dealing with here.  There is plenty of crap to slog through to get to that Primeval Titan.  While better than Scars of Mirrodin or Rise of the Eldrazi, it still isn't recommended to draft M11 if you intend on making long-term profits.

5)  Rise of the Eldrazi

I should start by saying that I have only ever drafted RoE twice in my life.  I was retired at the time that it was released and returned to MTGO when Scars of Mirrodin was released, so I missed the RoE train.  I am familiar with all the cards in the expansion.  Here's what I've learned:  The set lacks any kind of meaningful value whatsoever.  It is only Vengevine & Gideon Jura (60+ tickets combined = worth close to all than the SoM mythics combined) that propel this RoE above Scars of Mirrodin.  Scars is receiving significant more drafting time which says a lot about how bad RoE must be (by the lack of value anywhere else in RoE).  I'd just as soon draft SoM than RoE, but EV slightly favours this set.  You won't make money drafting this format, so if making money and staying in the game without paying is your goal then don't draft RoE.  Period.  

On a positive note, Linvala & Emrakul have recently risen in value due to their play in many Extended decks.

6)  Scars of Mirrodin

There has been a lot of commentary written that Scars of Mirrodin just might not be a very good set.  I'm not here to argue that point or to support it.  The point I would like to make is that entire argument is redundant.  In the current mythic-expansion environment, lead sets will have value due to Standard (the most popular constructed format).  Scars just has to have cards worth money because it comprises such a large part of the Standard environment.  This is less relevant at this point in time due to over-drafting, which brings us to our main point, Scars' main problem. 


There are far more SoM cards being opened than are required for set redemption and to meet the collector's and the constructed player's demand.  Cards like Ratchet Bomb, Mimic Vat, Elspeth Tirel etc. should be worth more, and will be worth more, than they are currently collecting in the marketplace.  This is always the case for the most drafted format on MTGO.  It is a cycle that continuously happens, but people continuously ignore it.  This in turn contributes to the cycle continuously occurring.  It's a Catch-22. 

I'm going to bypass specific SoM card discussion as you are all well aware of SoM cards because you've been overdrafting it ;) 

I would ill-advise against ANY SoM drafting at this point in time if you are looking for value.  Here's what I would consider doing:

I would draft UUL, open something say an Exploration, sell my Exploration for 12, and buy 12 Ratchet Bombs.  I've just turned an Exploration into 12 Ratchet Bombs, which will likely see 3 each in the future.  Perhaps I even won some boosters in my UUL draft or picked up a few more tickets worth of rares.  At the very least I probably drafted some of the power commons alluded to before.  I've likely turned a 12 ticket draft set into 45 tickets (bombs + say 2 boosters + a small amount of other value from my draft) with one lucky Exploration open and some not-so-risky speculation on some of the quality, but beleaguered SoM cards.   

That is what long term drafting is all about.  You draft the formats that bring you the money, you use the money to keep drafting and to make your account multiply in value via intelligent investments based on market trends.  You simply restock your draft sets, keep a few tickets profit for a rainy day, and re-invest the rest.

The Bright Side for Scars of Mirrodin:

There is a bright side for all of you who just keep slogging through the Scars queues:  things will get better for your beleaguered set (and that's not just because they can't get any worse).  MTGO works on a cycle, and eventually, Scars will be forgotten when a new block surfaces just like ZZW is forgotten at this time.  Scars cards will start going up, the cream will rise, and profits can be made both in the marketplace and via drafting.  With the pending Mirrodin Besieged release, and a third set to come, Scars drafting will be a fixture and quite potentially a valuable one.  Whereas there appears to be little money in Mirrodin Besieged, we do not know what the third set will offer.  If the third set serves up a big mythic, it could reach insane value heights, and drafting this block may get a whole lot more interesting. 

TIP - Don't sell any of your SoM rares at this point in time if you can afford not to.  The card value will surely rise in the future provided it is constructed playable.  Looking at Zendikar now we can find a handful of rares that were worth 1 or less that have now reached 3-5 tickets.  The Zendikar mythics have all gained value, and the cycle will repeat itself for the Scars of Mirrodin cards as well.


Section 2:  Value Drafting

I'm sure all of you have been in this situation:

You open a 3.5 ticket rare and a prime piece of removal that fits perfectly into your deck.  So when do you take the rare and when do you take the playable?

If you have the long-term in sight.  The decision is easy - take that rare every single time.

Rare Drafting:

Now that we've been over EV and what sets have the best EV where drafting is concerned, its time to take a look at when you should be cashing in on that EV as opposed to taking a playable for your deck.  Obviously, if you can pair the two (money + playable) you're laughing.  What you need to do for gray area situations is Pick Your Number.  You need to pick a number (ticket value) that you are comfortable taking over a solid playable every single time and stick to your guns.  This means that no matter what pick, no matter what pack, no matter what the playable is, you take the money.  My personal number is anything over 2.5.  I will take 2.5 ticket rares and under when either a)  the other picks are not that appealing or b)  my deck is ridiculously good or c)  my deck is hopelessly bad or d)  I'm feeling exceptionally greedy.  Your number should never be higher than 4.  If the card is good enough to pay for the pack, you need to be taking the value, passing that much money is ill-advised & harmful in the long-term.  As you go through the pick order, your number should continuously & progressively get lower. 

Pick 1: 3 Tickets & Up

Pick 2:  2.5 Tickets & Up

Pick 3:  2 Tickets & Up


Let's take a look at an Urza's Draft where I was met with 2 late value gifts.

This was a Pack 1 third pick Back to Basics (2.5 to bots without difficulty) and a Pack 3 third pick Palinchron (sold for 3 to a bot immediately following the event & somewhat bomby to boot).  In the Palinchron pack I had the added bonus of tabling the Faerie Conclave with the 0.20 valued Crop Rotation (but I opted for the deck playable in the Conclave the second time around).  I gathered 4 tickets worth of commons in pack 3, as well as about 2 tickets worth of crap rares and lesser value commons.  It is good I was smart enough to value draft, as the mana gods were not with me in this particular event.  After quickly dispatching my opponent in game 1, I mulligan'd games 2 & 3 into bad, mana-light hands.  I lost round 1 with what I considered to be a draft-winning deck (pack 3 was VERY good to me).  My bets were hedged and I lost roughly 1 ticket in a round 1 loss with no quality opens in the draft portion.  That's a risk I can stomach.  

There is a nuance to this scheme of value drafting.  You still want to maximize the strength of your deck.  In Urza's block you can simply pick up cards that cycle and serve some purpose when cast.  In other formats you can play a less greedy mana base (something that I have found has improved my results over the years).  Reading signals and finding out what is underdrafted is also critical to the value drafter.  You need to have a discerning eye and a stomach strong enough to make the switch.  At times, you'll see a 5th pick Hideous End in the first pack and then you know you're rolling for the rest of the draft, able to snipe every 50 cent card that comes by your nose and still end up with an over-powered draft pile.  This is something you'll need to feel out on your own, and trends can change fast, but here is what I have noticed is underdrafted throughout the various draft queues.

Urza's Block:

Predominantly blue and white are the underdrafted colours in Urzas block (and they pair nicely together).  Keep your eyes open pack 1 for any late Treetop Rangers or Heat Rays as a good sign that Red or Green are underdrafted.  Black is predominantly overdrafted.

Zendikar Block:

Red seems to have fallen out of everyone's favour in ZZW and red also has many bonuses for going mono-red.  Watch for late Burst Lightnings, Punishing Fires, Inferno Traps, Bladetusk Boars, and Hellfire Mongrels to let you know if red is open.  Green does not receive a lot of love from ZZW drafters either.  Reaching upwards of 30 playables is not unheard of for ZZW green drafters.

And for those of you who still insist on drafting the over-drafted formats . . .

SoM Block:

This is ever-changing, but one truth through all the turbulence is how underdrafted blue is in SoM x3 drafts.  Whereas you may sacrifice some card quality, you will get enough playables, and you may be able to stack up a pile of Neurok Replicas (a very good man indeed).   Infect goes through phases and is often savagely underdrafted (at all queue levels).  As infect is still undervalued by many, you can often afford to value draft and end up with the best deck in the tournament.


It is tough to say what is underdrafted in M11.  I have often found that Black is surprisingly undervalued and that you can mise late Child of Night's and Barony Vampires (11-14th pick) like they are Hunter's Feasts.  Also, people don't seem to like Chandra's Outrage for some reason as I have ended up with 4+ on too many occasions.  Blue and Green also see some hate from time to time, so keep your head up.

I'm not particularly qualified to comment on RoE


Green is always underdrafted.  12th pick Wild Ox and Southern Elephant?  Don't mind if I do.

"TRG, What Level Should I Draft?"

Whenever I've been mentoring anyone, they always ask me whether they should be joining 4-3-2-2, Swiss, or 8-4.  I've always had a tough time answering this question, as I just join every format @ every level available.  Here is my two cents on the subject:

- If you are new to the game or have just came back to the game, play swiss.

- If you have few tickets and are looking to build up your collection through drafting repeatedly, play swiss.

- If you have some confidence in your limited ability and some tickets or cards to fall back on, the 4-3-2-2 queues are a safe bet.

- If you can afford to go through a serious downswing and really trust your limited ability, or are seeking to get better by playing against better players, join 8-4s.  A downswing in an 8-4 is easier to hit than a downswing in 4-3-2-2 or Swiss, and it can knock the legs out from under you in a hurry.

My recommendation is to always 4-3-2-2, as the best draft formats on MTGO are only available @ 4-3-2-2 levels.  You play vs some 8-4 quality players, some Swiss quality players, and a lot in between.  The EV makes up for any downswings that may occur.  The EV makes up for you learning one of these formats and taking a lesson or two in the form of a few round one losses.

A Look Ahead to the Next Installment:

In preparation for the Mirrodin Besieged release, The next installment of Welcome to the Hotel Infinite will take a look at what you should be doing during release events & prereleases.  I also plan on running a feature called "This Week in Value Drafting" to follow up on what I've spoken of here.  I will be sure to provide an update on how the new MTGO Entry Options have changed the MTGO Drafting Environment.

To Close Out This Week . . .

I'll leave you with a few more samples of cards that are worth money that often get passed in Urza and Zendikar draft formats.  Keep those eyes open!

Until Next Time!


Captain of MTGO Clan Frat Broke (Currently Recruiting)

I'm available for commentary on MTGO (account TheRegularGangster) or on these boards.


See, now why couldnt this by Clan Magic Eternal at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 11:24
Clan Magic Eternal's picture

See, now why couldnt this have been the first article. this one is really good, and the only reason i didnt give you a 5 is cause i think you need to target your audience better and drafting is a sure fire way to lose tickets over the long run.

you do show how to mitigate it best, but still. drafting does not equal infinity.

B T Dubs, this is whiffy penguin

TheRegularGangster's picture

Hey Whiffy,

You can definitely go infinite via drafting and collection management alone, but you have to be disciplined in the formats you draft. I have taken 75 tickets (and I'll count the 50-60 tickets that I blew off when I first came back to MTGO as well) and turned it into a massive collection via this draft strategy since mid-November (with an assist from TSE drafting over the holidays). If you're drafting SoM and M11, it is a sure fire way to lose tickets, but if you stick to where the money is, you'll go nuts in no time.

Nice article on difficult topic by unspeakable at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 11:20
unspeakable's picture

Very well done article on an important but difficult topic - how to maximize your winnings on MTGO.

The article was very focused on exactly what it set out to discuss - maximizing your $$ profits while playing MTGO. However, while not to fault the article, there are probably a lot of better ways to simply maximize your income than playing MTGO, and if you are playing MTGO then you are probably also playing to maximize the enjoyment of your free time, which is a whole different aspect. That said, there are parts of the goal of maximizing profit that run contrary to maximizing enjoyment. For example, in a close call between a $2 rare and a powerful card, it may be better to take the powerful card not just because it may increase your chance of winning a pack, but because it is more fun to win than to lose. Also, while UUL may be a good set to draft to maximize your $$, it is very slow to fire and if you don't have all day to wait for a draft, you may want to spend your time playing something else.

Finally, while ROE may not have the best payout, it was an awesome set to draft, and I'm sorry the author missed most of it. There were a number of very intereting archetypes, and the way the various cards worked made the set very fun to play.

Again, I appreciate that the article was focused on what it set out to describe. But one must remember that the big picture of playing MTGO includes a lot of factors other than making $$, and that it's important to maintain perspective. I can make enough money in a couple hours at work to buy a whole playset, so it can be a bit silly spending hours of drafting purely with the goal of squeeking out an extra dollar here and there.

Hey Unspeakable, Thanks for by TheRegularGangster at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 16:27
TheRegularGangster's picture

Hey Unspeakable,

Thanks for the feedback. I'll break down your points and reply to them.

"However, while not to fault the article, there are probably a lot of better ways to simply maximize your income than playing MTGO, and if you are playing MTGO then you are probably also playing to maximize the enjoyment of your free time, which is a whole different aspect."

Well yeah, I have a full time job and make money there etc, but that money isn't intended to be spent on MTG. The focus of this series is about going infinite, so you can maximize your free time and not have to pay to do so. If someone decides that they'd rather pay and have more fun, that is their perogative. This series is focusing on the people who wish to go infinite.

"For example, in a close call between a $2 rare and a powerful card, it may be better to take the powerful card not just because it may increase your chance of winning a pack, but because it is more fun to win than to lose."

This is where "picking your number" comes in. You pick your $$$ number, and stick by it. Also, this has the added bonus of letting you read what is underdrafted. This is more profitable in the long run than taking say a Tomb Hex. It's amazing how much a single card can get lost in a draft deck over the course of 7-9 games.

sealed swiss? by mattlewis at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 11:46
mattlewis's picture

Nice article, looking forward to the next one. This kind of analysis will interest a lot of players. I have learned a ton by paying attention to what Hamtastic has to say about market prices on cards, timing of buys and sells, and this article is just as informative.

I thought sealed swiss might be worth a mention as a way to build a collection. With zero tix to enter, it is a nice way to play on the cheap.

You dropped the ego and by gimlicolby at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 12:35
gimlicolby's picture

You dropped the ego and brought a really good article. Nice job and very informative! The best article of the week so far.

Gordo789's picture

Way to deliver on your promise.

I noticed the top sets you're proposing be drafted are only offered in 4-3-2-2, but isn't 4-3-2-2 the worst EV out of any draft format? Does the quality of the cards more than make up for that pack that wizards is stealing from us?

TheRegularGangster's picture

4-3-2-2 is likely the worst EV but the sets of Urza and Zendikar block more than make up for that (to the point that it isnt even remotely close to any other available format).

Just yesterday I opened Lotus Cobra, was passed stoneforger mystic and lavaclaw reaches. That's money.

Also, I was lucky enough to open pack 1 Sneak Attack, followed by pack 2 Foil Yawgmoth's Will (which was sold at the end of winning the draft for 46). That's better money. It happens if you keep yourself in the game.

My draft of the week will be featured in my next column, though I was so baffled that I didn't grab a screenshot.

Cool, thx for the reply. I'll by Gordo789 at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:15
Gordo789's picture

Cool, thx for the reply. I'll likely draft some ZZW since I didn't play much of it when it was new.

Great Article. I prefer by Blaze Krakaros at Fri, 02/04/2011 - 01:35
Blaze Krakaros's picture

Great Article. I prefer sealed and constructed over draft, but this was very informative. I eagerly await your advice for release.

country hillbilly's picture

But I will give credit when it is due. You did a great job bouncing back from the first two, and I give major kudos for not approaching the target audience with the "holier than thou" attitude.

Kudos bud, great article.

Love it! by Welfare Ninja at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 13:23
Welfare Ninja's picture

I have been looking for a series like this one and really had my hopes up after reading your intro article last week. Man did you deliver on the goods or what! Looking forward to the next version as I am stoked about the new set and am itching to get some sealed going with the pre and release on MTGO!

I knew this would be by greyes3 at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 14:22
greyes3's picture

I knew this would be good.

I've been playing constructed events since I started playing online, and I just can't over the idea that if constructed is better than limited for going infinite, why bother drafting at all?

I think that's like saying by Flaming_Dragon_777 at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 20:04
Flaming_Dragon_777's picture

I think that's like saying "Why play MTG when you could spend the time working and probably earn more money?" I used to be of the same mind until I realised: a) How fun drafting is, b) How easy it is to get passed cards when the rest of the table doesn't know values, and c) How many mistakes MTG players make :p.

Come to the dark side!

good article cept for one by this isnt the n... at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 15:09
this isnt the name i chose's picture

good article cept for one thing-advocating people to play 4322s. 4322s should not be played unless its the only way to draft that format. Under no circumstances should you play a 4322 if a swiss or 8-4 is available. Only the scrubbiest of noobs enter 4322s with other options available.
Unless of course you feel that giving qotc an extra pack for free is worth it.

The Best Formats are 4-3-2-2 by TheRegularGangster at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 16:05
TheRegularGangster's picture

The Best Formats for drafting on MTGO are 4-3-2-2. Urzas, Zendikar are only available in 4-3-2-2, so you have to deal with the prize support to get to the most lucrative cards.

Also, the scrubbiest players are in swiss queues. Yesterday, I decided to take a breather from the ZZW and Urza double queueing and play a swiss SoM for a change of pace. Pack 1, fifth pick galv blast. I won the draft in 6 games flat and it wasn't even remotely fun.

And, lastly, players who aren't good enough to play 8-4s, and join 8-4s because of the extra pack prize support generally go broke in record time, so 4-3-2-2 is a better option for them.

I beg to differ... by DeckWizard at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 16:08
DeckWizard's picture

I am a somewhat highly rated limited player (fluctuating between 1700-1850) who almost exclusively prefers the 4-3-3-2 drafts. I'm too impatient to play swiss, and I always end up double and triple queueing when I'm in swiss because the rounds often go to time. And even though I consider myself an above average drafter, and I can do the EV math, I feel like the negative of going on a bad 8-4 run outweighs the negative of the 4-3-3-2 EV.

Also, I think people are vastly overrating 8-4 players, and underrating swiss players. Because Wizards won't let us see our opponents ratings, I can't prove this, but I know some really good players that only play swiss, and I've beaten people in 8-4s and seen my rating only go up 1-5 points.

good point about swiss players by Gordo789 at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:17
Gordo789's picture

I agree about Swiss players. I don't consider myself a bad player and I almost exclusively play swiss when I have the time because I want to play my games. There are many solid players in swiss queues.

Thanks by TheRegularGangster at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 16:00
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Thanks to everyone for their feedback, I'll address individual comments via replies.

Gangster knows his stuff by grandpoobah at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:30
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I can attest that TheRegularGangster knows his stuff, nice job writing it up. Regarding the EV of 4-3-2-2s, you have to consider that some, like UUL, are nix-tix/nix-pax. So not only does UUL have the most valuable EV, it's also the cheapest to enter. I routinely get 30+ tix worth of cards in a UUL draft, for only a 12 tix entry. On a couple of occasions I've gotten over 50 tix worth of cards; with only 45 cards, that's over a tix/card! The way I look at it, winning matches is something of a crapshoot regardless of how good your deck winds up. Mana screw, the possibility that you get matched against some crazy awesome deck round 1, and other luck factors can hamper playing to win. So I only draft formats where you pretty much can't lose money rare drafting, and just treat any prize packs as gravy. You wind up winning some matches regardless--I probably average 1 prize pack per draft, and so I consider 8 tix worth of cards to be break even. In UUL you can usually get that just from a handful of commons.

Thanks Grandpoobah. Yes, I by TheRegularGangster at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:37
TheRegularGangster's picture

Thanks Grandpoobah.

Yes, I thought of you a fair amount when writing about the rare-drafting segment of this article. I think you probably do it more than anybody I've met on MTGO.

Also, concerning Urzas, people really dont know the value of things. I am going to talk about a draft I had next week, but I'll spoil it here.

Pack 3.

Pick 1 - Bone Shredder (worthless, but awesome)
Pick 2 - Mother of Runes (6 tickets)
Pick 3 - Memory Jar (3.5 tickets)
Pick 4 - Mother of Runes (6 tickets)
Pick 5 - Karmic Guide (3.5 tickets)

I was in UB at the start of the pack, and with those first five picks I quickly jumped to BW (I had cut a path to peace and a pacifism) and won the draft.

Urzas is a sure thing over the long term and sure things = profit.

4-3-2-2's by jake_antonetz at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:48
jake_antonetz's picture

I really wish we could get a solid boycott running against 4-3-2-2's. As long as we continue to let Wizards rob us with this format, they will keep smiling and taking our money. MTGO is horrible EV anyways and 4-3-2-2's are salt in the wound

I'd be interested in a primer by GainsBanding at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 19:25
GainsBanding's picture

I'd be interested in a primer on playing all the different draft formats. Each block has its own quirks and it is hard to evaluate the cards without playing it a bunch of times. But that's a lot of time and money where you're not winning yet because you're still learning the format. Since you seem to know a little about every format, that could be a good article or two.

This is better than many of by Flaming_Dragon_777 at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 20:02
Flaming_Dragon_777's picture

This is better than many of the other "Going Infinite" articles I have seen in my time. I don't want to see too many facts and figures since I have seen them all before (ie why 4-3-2-2 is worse EV than 8-4), but you provide simple explanations to supplement the information and your reasoning. I also really liked the length of this article.

My only slight complaint is that, stripping away the skin, it looks like an article on how to raredraft. I know that's essential to going infinite, but so is raking in the packs by tight play and knowing the format.

I got bored of drafting M11 anyway :p.

Rare-drafting is essential to by TheRegularGangster at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 20:57
TheRegularGangster's picture

Rare-drafting is essential to going infinite on a draft-first diet. There's no two ways around it. It's important to be able to rare-draft and still get results - that's the real key. I can respect the fact that most people reading this article are likely not 1850+ and that's easier said than done.

I have no qualms with writing a primer on draft formats. The only two that I won't do are RoE (not qualified) and Me4 (no interest). An urza primer is something I was already considering. I'll start taking screenshots now.

That urza primer sounds cool. by gimlicolby at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 23:26
gimlicolby's picture

That urza primer sounds cool. I havent jumpoed into a UZUZUL for lack of familiarity.

Great article by ttpshot at Wed, 02/02/2011 - 23:57
ttpshot's picture

Great article. Great for people who look to minimize the loss per draft.
I'm not really sure if I want read more of "I picked this rare and made lots of money" as it doesn't offer much learning experience. I look forward to reading this series, something tells me that this could be the one of the best series of articles on MTGO.

Urza Primer by RoryTheGreat at Thu, 02/03/2011 - 01:21
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I would be very interested in reading an Urza's Primer.

Nice!! by brudoom at Thu, 02/03/2011 - 08:24
brudoom's picture

One of the best articles i have ever seen. Waiting for the next!! Congrats!!

Helped by FunkyEMT at Thu, 02/03/2011 - 09:52
FunkyEMT's picture

This was wonderful and exactly what I was looking for, I want non-standard blocks badly but was afraid drafting UL/UZ was a mistake due to low cost of cards, I'm a new player and knowing I maybe able to make my money back feels great!

Great Article by dangerlinto at Thu, 02/03/2011 - 13:40
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Didn't like your two article but this one was chalk full of content.

PS - Defense Grid is not a "bad" rare.

I'm really at odds with by TheRegularGangster at Thu, 02/03/2011 - 14:28
TheRegularGangster's picture

I'm really at odds with defense grid - I have literally opened 30+ of these things, and its getting old fast. I understand it isn't an awful rare, but where value is concerned it should be worth next to nothing as it was reprinted in a white-bordered core set. Yet, it still retains close to 1 ticket value.

Some other examples from the third set are:

Wheel of Torture
Lurking Skirge
Iron Maiden

They all just seem to fetch more than they should.

I did an UZUZUL last night, by TempleGuard at Thu, 02/03/2011 - 14:41
TempleGuard's picture

I did an UZUZUL last night, and even though I didn't win (I have no idea what I'm doing), I pulled a Smokestack, Rancor, and a Lackey and totally made some profit! Thanks for the article! I would've never tried if I hadn't read this!

That sounds like 12 tickets by TheRegularGangster at Thu, 02/03/2011 - 15:24
TheRegularGangster's picture

That sounds like 12 tickets in cards before your chaffe or your boosters, which is exactly what UUL delivers so often. Your packs are generally "gravy" and the more you play it, the more you learn.

I've decided to run the Urzas primer sometime in the next 10-14 days to help you start collecting more of those packs!

Here's another suggestion. Im by gimlicolby at Thu, 02/03/2011 - 15:51
gimlicolby's picture

Here's another suggestion. Im pretty sure I saw that Tempest Block was going to be nix tixing at the end of February. How about a draft guide before then?

during the christmas events of Tempest block...I pulled all kinds of goodies. The best part was someone passed me a City of Traitors. :-P

I'll top your City of by TheRegularGangster at Thu, 02/03/2011 - 15:52
TheRegularGangster's picture

I'll top your City of Traitors with a passed Foil Manabond (and too many normal ones to count) and a passed Wasteland after opening Intuition ;)

I'm going to do the UUL primer first, but a TSE primer won't be ruled out before they go back into Nix Tix.

I might have you beat. I was by DeckWizard at Thu, 02/03/2011 - 16:18
DeckWizard's picture

I might have you beat. I was once passed a Lion's Eye Diamond (they were ~60) and the very next draft I was passed a Phyrexian Dreadnought (then worth ~30).

I love getting passed money rares. It doesn't happen nearly as much with the new sets, because often the money rares are also limited bombs, so even if you don't know value, you know that you want to add that Titan or Planeswalker to your deck.

That is ridiculous. Bah. by gimlicolby at Thu, 02/03/2011 - 17:27
gimlicolby's picture

That is ridiculous. Bah. Thats why older formats are better for drafting

As someone who's gone by chrism315 at Fri, 02/04/2011 - 01:28
chrism315's picture

As someone who's gone infinite off constructed, I created this account just to say that this is by far the best article I've ever read on this site. Bible of limited grinding on modo.

Reccomend some buyingbots by darknesslwk at Fri, 02/04/2011 - 05:14
darknesslwk's picture

Hello, i read your article and i find it great, however the only problem i have is i cant find bots that want to buy urza cards and it it kind of hard to sell to human players as they only want type 2 cards normally, was hoping some bots could be reccomended. Thank in advance.

@darknesslwk This site is by grandpoobah at Fri, 02/04/2011 - 06:42
grandpoobah's picture

@darknesslwk This site is sponsored by one of the major bots, so we can't really mention or recommend any other bots on here. But PM me or TheRegularGangster in game and we'll point you in the right direction.

Anyway, along the lines of what I said in my last post, tonight I played in 3 more drafts. I spent 36 tix and played in UUL, MI-VI-WL, and UUL again. I rare-drafted my a$$ off, winding up with so-so decks the first two times, but wound up with a really strong deck the third time. The so-so decks lost in really close games, then the good deck clobbered a couple people before losing to mana screw in the finals. I went 0-1, 0-1, and 2-1, winning 3 packs, right on my average of about 1 pack a draft, and the cards I got would have cost about $30, $25, and $17 respectively at the major bots. On the last one, over half of the value came from the commons: I grabbed Rancor, Cloud of Faeries, Frantic Search, Dark Ritual, 2x Crop Rotation, and Priest of Titania--it adds up. So for my 36 tix, I got about 72 tix worth of cards and 3 boosters so I can enter another UUL for free. And I *easily* could have wound up with a lot more boosters; my decks had solid chances of winning despite rare-drafting (I lost 2-1 in close matches when I lost).

This seems reasonably typical for how an evening of drafting goes for me.

Average UUL player by unspeakable at Fri, 02/04/2011 - 15:15
unspeakable's picture

One more comment, relating specifically to UUL drafting, or other "non-type 2" formats like TSE or Masters Editions. In my experience, the majority of the players in these formats have the format (and card values) down cold. Most relatively new players play with the cards they have seen in the stores and are familiar with, and stick with the current main format (these days SOM). Those who play the older formats are typically players who have been playing for a long time, have some nostalgia associated with the cards, and in many cases have heavily focused on drafting these older sets. A lot of anecdotes have been presented about having people passing you $$ cards. Yes, this happens, but in my experience, it's the exception, not the rule.

This is not to say that these are not valuable qeues to play in, if you have the patience to wait for one to fire. They are valuable in part because many players do not get involved with these sets at all. I remember back when ratings were posted, I saw very few players with ratings below 1700 playing these sets. The ratings aren't visible anymore, but you don't see many people playing garbage in these qeues, and unless you are content to just raredraft and trust your luck, you will lose a lot to more experienced players unless you are willing to invest a lot of tiem and money becoming proficient with these sets. Based on the number of times regularganster has played, it sounds like you can expect to have him as an opponent or rightward drafter with relative frequency! If not him, it will be someone with similar skill and focus a fair amount of the time.

A very cynical part of me wonders if this series is being published simply to recruit more fodder for these experienced drafters to tear apart.

Don't be so cynical... by DeckWizard at Fri, 02/04/2011 - 15:43
DeckWizard's picture

While you are right that a lot of us in the classic-based set drafts are experienced and know our pick orders, the same can generally said about every draft queue. The point of this article is to show not only that one can go infinite, but also describe some of the best ways to make this happen, and playing and winning (with a timely rare draft here and there) in the classic queues is likely the best way to do this.

As for your comment about fodder, we all have to start somewhere. I don't know if TRG is in the same boat as I am, but I spent the good part of 2 years in the 1500-1700 range learning the basics of how to draft. Towards the end of a set, I'd usually get my pick orders down and start winning a lot more, but then the sets would rotate and I'd have to learn all over again. It was only after 100+ drafts that I learned how to draft ANY set, and started to pick up how to draft specific sets a lot quicker (and my rating went up accordingly).

While you are correct that the TSE and MVW queues are full of players who know what they are doing, it is mostly because we have done a lot of these events. That shouldn't necessarily discourage you, but instead should motivate you to learn the best strategies for any given format.

Learning curve for slow qeues by unspeakable at Fri, 02/04/2011 - 17:20
unspeakable's picture

Want to emphasize again that I enjoyed the article, and content providied. However, I did want to try and make clear that the UUL and TSE qeues are at least as difficult, and likely more difficult than the other qeues, and one should not enter them expecting to win much (for awhile, at least). There are a couple factors that make these qeues more difficult. First, with the older sets, there are often fewer playables, and if you indulge in too much raredrafting you can easily get a deck that just plain sucks. The main offset for this in UUL are the cycling cards, which you can use as filler, but many people are on to this trick. As a reality check, Urza's saga is known by many old hands as a relatively miserable set to draft, in part because of the heavy dominance by black.

The lack of swiss qeues also makes these more difficult for someone trying to break in. Swiss gives a higher overall payout that 4-3-2-2, and also gives you much more "game" seeing how other decks work. If you keep getting knocked out first round in a 4-3-2-2 qeue, it is going to take you a long time to catch up to others who have been playing this set for a long time.

Another factor is that these qeues are not heavily populated and fire rarely. Unless you have the luxury of extra time, it may be difficult to join one of these qeues when the opportunity arises for a draft. Rather, these qeues are better for someone who has a whole afternoon free to draft, and can play other queues or just generally wait around until a UUL qeue finally fires.

Finally, if the cards in these sets were worth that much, people would just buy the packs and crack them open and make a profit. Supply and demand rules make sure that opened packs are always worth a little less than you paid for them. In order to have any chance of going infinite with these sets, you must be able to reliably win at least a couple packs every draft. My point is that it can be harder to do this in a UUL draft than it is in a SOM draft, for the reasons I've cited above.

This all bums me out, to be honest. I played 20 or so UUU and UUL drafts (at least) and what I found was that the longer I played, the tougher the competition got, relative to other qeues. I really like some of these old cards, and wish it was easier to collect them, but given the high "shark level" in these qeues, and their low rate of fire, they are some of the more difficult queus to work with on MTGO.

UZ 4-3-2-2 by TimEvans at Sun, 02/06/2011 - 09:44
TimEvans's picture

I started doing this bracket shortly after discovering the new entry options .. option?

in any event just like to mention I drafted a deck that netted me 3 packs it was a blue/green 2nd place is ok with me for this event.

I also ripped a Goblin Welder, a show and tell(passed to me), and a time spiral.

In regards to those suggesting 4-3-2-2 is a bad format to draft.. I think thats false. The 4-3-2-2 is for a particular niche of players those who require a little more risk/reward than the swiss game (you can never get ahead in swiss) But who are just not ready for the 8-4 bracket. Alot of folks here don't have huge bankrolls from countless daily or premier event wins and simply. Not to mention that to win or even receive prizes in an 8-4 you need to pray that 2 matchs in a row the magic gods will be kind enough to ditribute you enough lands to actually cast your spells. And even this is only true when your deck is good enough to go the distance.. some people don't have that skill.. so shuffler + skill level is motivation for lots (myself included) to avoid the 8-4. I feel I am skilled enough to play 8-4's I just like that little bit of insurance that 4-3-2-2 offers. I don't care if theres one less pack handed out.. cause theres 2 more people in the prizes which means that the next que should fire 2 people sooner.

UUL Money by Sensei at Sun, 02/06/2011 - 12:28
Sensei's picture

Cloud of Faeries is 2 tix? FML I passed two of them during
Event #: 2043510
Time: 2/1/2011

Then again you were in that pod so you probably scooped them up

I am one of those urza draft by vaarsuvius at Mon, 02/14/2011 - 12:27
vaarsuvius's picture

I am one of those urza draft sharks. I love the format. I almost never pick cloud of fairies, rancors and other 1 tix commons when there is a card left in the pack that makes my main deck. There are also many SB cards as the sets are fulll of color hosers. I pick those over money commons. I win (won) a lot, at some time I think I won 7 out of 10 drafts. I noticed it is getting harder in the past week or two. I found myself buying new urza packs lately. The payout still sucks as you end up with a lot of extra UL packs.

Strategies.. Black is powerful, but not overpowered. I usually win with blue decks, blue white, blue red, or blue black. Green-red is also very good

cycling is very good. Maindeck those runes of protections (not all, but figure out which colors on your own)

money rares.

There are a lot, but stories in this article and in the comments are a bit on the exaggerating side. People tend to remember the good times. It's quite possible to never see a rare worth more than 1 tix, 3 drafts in a row. But late pick money cards do happen. And eternal foils are sweet as for some reason vintage players are big pimps.

random bits:

think of ways to beat echo cards.. the set has some nifty cards to combat echo

cycle cycle cycle

it's all about the enchantments

don't be afraid of playing 3 colours with cycling it's often possible

card value by Tuor0 at Sat, 02/19/2011 - 03:56
Tuor0's picture

Wonderful serie. I am thrilled and challenged to try to go infinite.

One of the biggest challenge I have now is to know at which value I should expect to sell a card. If a card worth X tickets, how many should I expect to get if I sell it to any buying bots for exemple?

Thanks for the answer

I'll cover that in a future by TheRegularGangster at Sat, 02/19/2011 - 14:47
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I'll cover that in a future installment of the series.