Each player gets three booster packs, and those are opened without looking and shuffled together. After that, each player is given a set amount of "funds" to use for their cards, whether it be faux money or just a notepad to keep track of it. Generally, the total amount of funds per player is kept at around $120, but more or less can be kept.
After that, the players decide who bids first through random method (such as a die roll). Next, the top card of the pile is flipped over. Going clockwise starting with the first player, the players take turns bidding some of their funds to add the card to their card pool. On their turn for bidding, a player may opt out of the auction of that card, and bidding continues until all but one player opt out of the bid. Then, that player loses that much funds and adds that card to their card pool. This process is repeated until all but one player is out of money; then, that player gets as many cards is needed until they have 45 cards. After that, you then build decks of at least 40 cards, adding as many basic lands (Plains, Islands, Swamps, Mountains or Forests) as you like.
Auction Draft differs from standard Booster Draft in that your opponents know what cards you want, and as such, can try to keep you from getting it. It also allows strategy in how you use your resources to get certain cards.
Wild Magic Auction Draft
A variation of Auction Draft can be played, where each player has three separate abilities they can use during the bidding phase of the draft. They can just use notepads or counters to keep track of the abilities that can be used, but each ability can only be used once.
- Silence: When a player uses this ability, target player cannot bid on the current card.
- Overwhelm: When a player uses this ability, they add the current card to their card pool.
- Research: When a player uses this ability, they can look at the next 5 cards of the card pool.