Winston Draft

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Winston Draft is a casual limited Magic: The Gathering format that forces players to choose between variable stacks of cards. [1] [2] The format was developed by Richard Garfield.

Winston Draft is a two-player draft played with a total of six boosters which are shuffled together with the contents unknown, giving a cardpool of ninety cards. The cards are placed as a stack called the main stack. The top three cards are placed separately on the table face down, as one-card piles. The starting player (decided by dice roll) may look at the first pile. If he or she chooses to take it, the pile is replaced with the top card of the stack. If he doesn't, the top card is added to the pile, creating a two-card pile. If the player did not take the pile, he repeats the process for the second pile, and again for the third pile if the second pile was not taken. If the player does not take the third pile either, he or she must take the top card of the main stack without looking at it.

Both players take turns in this process until all cards are used up. Players then build 40 card decks with any number of basic lands they want to include. The player who went second in the draft may chose who starts in the match.

Winston Draft allows for limited play without a large supply of cards, and can also be repeated with already opened packs. The challenge in Winston draft is to decide whether to pick one powerful card, a larger amount of less powerful card, or betting on the random outcome of the top of the main stack to provide value to the deck you are drafting.

A Lorwyn Winston Draft was one of the formats played at the 2007 Magic Invitational.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wizards of the Coast. (August 11, 2008.) “Casual Formats”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Aaron Forsythe. (March 25, 2005.) “Winston Draft”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.