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  • Writer's pictureMatt Dennis

Affordable Old School Drafting

There is always talk about doing old school drafts, but we have never been able to put it to the test until now. This is for anyone wanting to enjoy old cards in a draft format and what we feel works best on a budget.

Fallen Empires & Chronicles Sealed Boxes

I am talking about Fallen Empires and Chronicles at this point. The Dark is also a possibility if your players want to drop some extra cash but Fallen Empires and Chronicles are easily the most affordable and you can get multiple drafts out of a box of each. Our format for this first draft was 1 pack of Chronicles with 4 packs of Fallen Empires. We discussed and felt that with all the tribal creatures and more non-basic lands in FE it would make decks more interesting. What we failed to consider is how small, slow, and grindy those tribal creatures would be. This caused several stalemate games and by the end we decided that 2 Chronicles and 2 Fallen Empires packs was likely better and would speed the format up with some more powerful cards. We drafted Chronicles first. My deck started out with a Serpent Generator for the simple fact it was colorless and could feed in to any deck plus of course tokens! I followed up with some late picked Ashnod's Altars in hopes I could snag some other token making cards such as Thallids and Night Soils. Unfortunately Thallids got cut pretty hard and my deck turned in to a Homarid fest. I essentially drafted lobster fest, but without the cheddar biscuits.

Even though the Homarids get stronger with the tide, they often got shot by thallids or something before the tide ever rolled in and died as an expensive 1/1. I will say that deep spawn is a house in this format if you can manage to cast them! Deep Spawn worked very well with the existence of Night Soil which made the mill of 2 not so terrible in creating more overwhelming tokens. Despite having some synergy and 2 Deep Spawns I only managed to go 1-2. Turns out Homarids can't beat some pumpable black first strike creatures, a million thallids. or Palladia-Mors! This is another reason we decided in the future we would do 2 Chronicles and 2 Fallen Empires packs, so more people at the table can get there hands on the powerful multicolored cards. Bryce seemed like he was having too much fun crushing me with his....

Thallids and Orcs and Dragons! Oh my.

Thankfully being able to imbibe during the event dulled the crushing defeat my Homarid army and I were given. Win or lose it was a blast to play with old cards that you wouldn't ever normally play in constructed old school. Despite the sets not having been built around a draft format it still turned out great and the group enjoyed it overall. I highly recommend it if you can get a solid group of friends together. Below I will post some more pictures of the other cool decks that were drafted.

We will be doing more drafts in the future to try different pack combinations out. Unfortunately, as I am sure you know, old school drafting is not cheap so you can't just bust out some beta packs to draft without everyone taking out a 2nd mortgage on their home. I am very interested in doing a Chronicles - 2x The Dark - 2x Fallen Empires format since The Dark isn't out of the realm of possibility yet. It may cost a bit more but I just love playing with The Dark more than most sets so I may be a bit biased. Keep an eye out for future draft formats we will try out and even some drafts for Middle School!

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