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For anyone unfamiliar (just in case) there is a Magic format called "draft" where you sit in a circle, open up a pack, pick a card and pass the rest (3 packs total) then construct your deck from the chosen cards.

Draft strategy is a huge topic that I feel is very open to opinion for specific card picks, although I'd say most people agree on the general strategy (which types of cards to pick, and under which situations to pick them). It's really a huge topic.

A great way to discuss draft strategy is to look at a pack and analyze which card should be taken, the reasons why, and in what order the rest of the cards will most likely be taken.

I would love to list a theoretical pack's contents and discuss strategy, especially first picks. So here's a sample question:

I opened this pack in M14 draft today:

  • Card X
  • Card Y
  • Card Z
  • (11 more...)

I had trouble deciding between Card Y and Card Z. On the one hand, Card Y [blah blah blah], but then again Card Z is [blah blah blah]. What was the "correct" pick here and why?

However, I'm well aware there are many potential problems with this.

  • Although it's quite reasonable to provide a solid, educational answer (not at all limited to the exact situation asked about), it will very likely attracted scores of one-liner opinionated answers
  • The possibilities are nearly limitless and it is easy to come up with questions of this nature
  • It is not a technical question, but about strategy
  • The different draft formats tend to change quickly, so the specific question may diminish in value as time goes on

I've only listed the cons, but discussion about specific draft picks is quite useful, relevant to the game, and can be backed up by reasonable arguments. In many ways it seems to be quite on-topic.

I suppose one or two of these types of questions would be fine, but I don't want to open the flood gates. What do you guys think?

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It's always better to ask questions on the main site and see how it goes. Pre-judging topics on meta isn't enforceable to the users who have close privileges.

To directly answer your question though. I personally don't have any problem with these questions with one exception. Your use of "theoretical" is unclear to me.

I strongly believe in the old saying around here that, You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face.

So a question about a draft you did last night, when you had certain cards would be awesome.

A question that began "So I was wondering what I should do if I had these cards in a draft" would be much less enticing. These sorts of questions are endless and theoretical.

  • In regards to "theoretical", there are draft simulators which are used for practice. It's unlikely you'd remember the entire contents of a pack you actually opened (unless you are playing online and have a screen cap of your pack). I'm from the Stack Overflow world where it's generally better to ask on meta first. I'll give it a go next time I come across an interesting pack that has difficult choices, and see how it goes. Thanks. – Wesley Murch Aug 18 '13 at 18:03
  • What's your take on the "theoretical packs" thing now that I've clarified it a bit? – Wesley Murch Aug 18 '13 at 18:04
  • ...and by the way, do you draft? – Wesley Murch Aug 18 '13 at 19:24
  • @WesleyMurch - not in a long time. I stopped playing Magic about 2001, but was quite active until then. – Pat Ludwig Aug 19 '13 at 22:55
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Go for it!

Here's an example of a question about a Sealed pool.

Here's an example of a question about a specific board state.

We don't have many of these questions on the site, but I'd say both of these actually worked out alright, overall. I think a few other questions of this type wouldn't hurt anything. (Moreover, if they did end up hurting something, the best way to find out is just to try it out.)

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I am likely to flag questions about specific draft picks as 'Too localized'/'opinion based'.

Questions about specific draft picks will likely not help others in the future.

You will likely also get an answer mentioning B.R.E.A.D. which would make your choice obvious or solicit debate.


However, I have a poor imagination and would need to see some concrete specific questions before I make a judgement on an entire category of questions. So, feel free to ask them and after we get a number of them, we would be better able to determine how useful they are to the community.

  • "BREAD" is basically how to draft if you just want to do okay but don't know the specific set. It's not really a substitute for looking at signals or archetypes. BREAD won't tell you whether it's safe to go into Simic on your second pack in DGM draft, for instance. – Alex P Aug 19 '13 at 22:16

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