Hello HTCG creators and players, I’m Xaliz I have played many TCGs for years and am also the creator of Broken Blades. I will be writing a weekly article on HTCG News called, TCG Essentials, for all of you. I hope you can take away new knowledge and ideas away from here every Wednesday.
This week I want to talk about drafting. Drafting can add a whole level of play to a TCG, that mixes the fun of opening booster packs and playing the game. It is a format of play many players enjoy and makes or breaks games for some. This makes it an important thing for game creators to decide if they want to implement it into their games. So what is drafting and how do you implement it into your TCG?
What is a Draft?
Drafting is a format of play where six to eight players get together and open a number of packs normally three or four to build decks. To draft every player will open a pack and pick one card from that pack, then pass the pack to another player usually to their left. This process repeats until all the cards in the pack have been picked, then repeating with the next pack but passing in the opposite direction. After all the packs are gone players build decks out of the cards they drafted, and play each other.
Making it Draftable
You can’t just say well my TCG has packs so it can be drafted. If the cards in your game are unbalanced then drafts won’t be very fun for your players. They will feel as if they didn’t open the right cards so they lost. The goal is to have decks drafted by the same level of player be the same level in power. Making for fun and fair games. Not every card has to be equal, that is why card rarities exist. Stronger cards can be higher rarities that way they show up less often. These cards have to have ways to deal with them at lower rarities though, or again people feel the game is unfair.
An easy way to help with this is keep cards that are answers at lower rarities and cards that are extremely powerful threats at higher rarities. You can sprinkle the best answers in at higher rarities, and powerful threats into lower rarities still, just probably not the games best cards.
That is why games like Magic: the Gathering have “removal” cards in the common and uncommon slot while most of it’s biggest and scariest creatures are rare or higher.
When building a draftable game the uncommon slot is probably the most important. There should be multiple uncommons per pack, and they can be stronger than commons and even sometimes as strong as rares. Players are very unlikely to get multiple of these meaning they can be a very clean answer card or a very powerful aggressive card, allowing for most players to end up with multiple good answers and threats at the end of the draft.
So after this article I hope you have a bit more of an understanding on how to make your game draftable. Here are the major points to remember when you work on the draftablility of your game:
- Maker sure their are lower rarity “Answers”
- Keep Higher value cards at higher rarities
- Most of a drafter’s cards are Common and Uncommon
- Higher Rarity means it should be pulled less often