Building Battle Pack 2, Part 8: Introducing War of the Giants – Round 2
Coming January 17, it’s War of the Giants – Round 2, a new Battle Pack supplement that brings Draft Play to the Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME!
We’ll be talking about the Round 2 card pool, strategy, and set design concepts very soon. But the first thing to do is make sure everybody understands what Draft play is, and how it specifically works with the Round 2 Draft kit. Read on, Duelists!
What is Draft Play?
Drafting in TCG’s is a lot like drafting in sports. If you’ve ever been part of picking teams at school, you know how it works. Everybody lines up, and the team captains pick people for their teams, one at a time.
Drafting a deck works the same way, except everybody is the team captain for their own deck! There’s a pool of cards that are available to everybody, and Duelists take turns choosing which cards will go in their decks.
Battle Pack: Epic Dawn & Battle Pack 2: War of the Giants were designed for Sealed Pack play first and foremost, where you take the cards from your packs, and play with them as is. They also work fine for draft play (see Building Battle Pack 2, Part 4: Fun With Friends, “Method 3: Magnificent Floor of Cards”), but War of the Giants – Round 2 is specifically designed to be used in combination with Battle Pack 2 to create a specialized Draft environment.
War of the Giants – Round 2 is the next stage in this path of the game’s evolution. We wanted to offer more options for playing, and Sealed Play was a stage on that journey. Now that everyone’s got a couple years of Battle Pack Sealed Play under their belts, it’s time to move on to the next step!
What is War of the Giants – Round 2?
This boxed kit contains everything you need to compete in a fun Draft experience with your friends, at your local store, or in a large-scale event. No extra packs required!
Each $20 box contains 6 packs of Battle Pack 2: War of the Giants, plus a new 16-card Round 2 pack containing 1 Ultra Rare, 6 Super Rares, and 9 Common cards. To the 215 cards from Battle Pack 2, these Round 2 packs add an additional 98 cards, bringing the Draft pool of cards you might see in your Duels to 313!
(SPECIAL NOTE: The Ultra Rare cards are not used in the Draft process, nor should they be added to your Draft or Sealed Play deck. They’re collector’s cards that are yours to keep. More about these another day!)
Each Battle Pack 2 pack has 5 cards. You split them into 2 groups of 3 packs each. Add the 6 Supers and 9 Commons from your Round 2 pack, and you get 45 cards total, which you draft in 3 stages.
How Does Round 2 Draft Work, Specificially?
It’s important to draft in 3 stages:
3 packs of Battle Pack 2
THEN the Round 2 Pack
THEN the remaining 3 packs of Battle Pack 2
That’s because the Round 2 packs are designed to round out your card pool, fill in some holes, and allow you to branch off into new strategies.
You won’t get the most enjoyment out of your drafting experience if you open the Round 2 packs first. That would be like drinking your salad dressing instead of putting it on your salad. (Gross!)
Here’s the exact procedure you’ll use (it’s printed on the box, so don’t worry about memorizing this):
1. Each player takes 3 of their Battle Pack 2 packs, and opens them to create a stack of 15 cards.
2. Look at the 15 cards you opened, and pick 1 to keep for your deck. Pass the 14 remaining cards to the player on your left. They choose 1 card from the stack you passed them, keep it for themselves, and pass the remaining 13 cards to the player on THEIR left, and so on.
3. Keep going around the table. Each player takes 1 card to keep, from the cards passed to them, then passes the remaining cards to the person on their left. Keep going in a circle until the last cards are taken.
REMEMBER: All the stacks are being passed simultaneously! As you pass your 14 initial cards to the player on your left, the player to your right is passing you the remaining 14 cards from their packs. All the stacks are going around in a circle at the same time, and you keep drafting cards to add to your pool.
After the first packs are drafted, everyone has 15 cards in their Deck pool.
4. Now, everybody opens their 16-card Round 2 pack. Set aside the Ultra Rare Card, it’s not used in the Draft process.
5. Take the 6 Super Rares & 9 Commons from the Round 2 pack, and choose 1 of them to keep. Add it to the cards you’ve already drafted. Pass the remaining cards to your RIGHT.
6. Keep going around the table, again, but in the opposite direction from the first stage. Each player takes 1 card to keep, then passes the remaining cards to their RIGHT.
At this point, everyone has 30 cards: 15 from Battle Pack 2 packs, and 15 from Round 2 packs.
7. Each player opens their 3 remaining Battle Pack 2 packs to get 15 more cards. Repeat as above, passing to the LEFT again.
8. Once all cards are drafted, each player will have 45 cards in their card pool. (Remember, the Ultra Rare is not used.) Use these 45 cards to build a Deck of at least 40 cards.
What’s that? 40 cards? Yep! As you may recall from a previous article, 40 cards is the suggested number for an optimal experience even when playing Battle Pack 2 sealed pack style. With smaller decks, powerful cards pop up too often, combos are too easy to assemble, and the whole gameplay experience starts to deviate from the core of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME, which is a 40-card deck.
Furthermore, since every single card in your 45-card pool is a card you wanted to be there, there’s not much excess to get rid of. You should be able to form a 40-card deck that fits your play style and that you’re happy to Duel with!
Tournaments will typically be run with 4 or 8 players seated at the same table. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘pod’ (like a pod of dolphins). At large events, 8 player pods will be the norm.
A little math:
With an 8-player pod, you’ll have 2 chances to pull from each stack of cards, except for the stack from the player to your left (or to your right in the middle stage). You’ll start with 15 cards you open, take 1, then 7 other players will take 1 card each. This leaves 7 cards when it comes back to you, and you’ll have a second chance to take from the stack.
With an 8-player pod, a great way to pair up is to Duel against the person sitting 4 chairs away from you. As stacks get passed around, sometimes you can “read” what the person sitting next to you is doing for their strategy, based on observing the cards that are disappearing from stacks as they go in both directions. It’s a lot harder to ‘read’ the person 4 seats away, though, which makes them the ideal opponent for a surprising game that tests both players’ skill on the fly.
Reading people and figuring out who might have which cards can give you a critical strategic advantage, though. Especially if you face people sitting near you in the later rounds.
Sealed vs. Draft
Sealed Play & Draft Play both require you to be resourceful, and let you see a lot of new cards you’re not used to playing with (or against!). They might seem similar on the surface, but are actually very different. And each satisfying in their own way.
Draft Play gives you a ton more chances than Sealed Play when it comes to playing the Deck YOU want to play. You get to customize your Deck so it fits you like a glove, fits YOUR favorite strategies, and fits the way that you enjoy the game.
Sealed Play requires less set-up time, is fairer to newer players, and really forces you to broaden your horizons, because you have to make the most of what you’ve got.
Sealed is tactical. You fight with what you have.
Draft is strategic. You build, then you fight with what you built.
In the end, both are fun, in their own ways. And we suggest that you enjoy both Sealed and Draft play.
There are lots of ways to draft, and we’ll be talking about some of the methods and psychology you can use in future articles. And, of course, we’ll be talking about the specific cards in Round 2 packs, and which cards you might want to be on the lookout for.
(And then there’s those mysterious Ultra Rare cards…)