Building Battle Pack 2, Part 11: Drafting Strats & Tips
First, check out the extremely important news posted today about Draft Play.
Second, let’s talk about Draft strategy!
(If you haven’t read up on War of the Giants: Round 2 yet, check out the other articles in the series.)
Obviously, a big part of your strategy is the drafting itself. What goes into your Deck is just as important as what you do with your Deck. This is what separates Draft Play from regular Sealed Pack Play.
Here are some tips that we’ve put together that help us a lot in our games.
1. Know What You Like
Everybody has a different play style. Figure out what that is. Know in advance what you like to play. If you’re more comfortable with a certain deck building and playing style, you’ll do better with it.
Know what mix of Spells/Traps vs. Monsters works best for you. Know how many high-level Tribute Monsters you like to have in your Deck. Figure all this out in advance, and shoot for that.
Have a game plan before you open your packs!
2. Be Flexible
Having said that, be prepared to deviate from your plan if you see an awesome card you want.
You need to be flexible. If some really good cards are available, grab them.
Let’s say you’re Spell/Trap heavy, and a great Spell/Trap is staring you in the face. What should you do? TAKE IT. You’ll have plenty of time later in the round to even out your monster vs. back row mix, or whatever other balancing you need to do to your card pool.
3. Know the Round 2 Card Pool
War of the Giants: Round 2 is a smaller set than the main Battle Pack 2: War of the Giants set. This is by design. Since you’re Drafting from a mix of BP2 and Round 2 packs, the BP2 card assortment adds an element of uncertainty, while the Round 2 card assortment adds an element of predictability.
In an 8-player Draft pod, there will be a total of 48 Round 2 Super Rare Cards and 72 Round 2 Common Cards. Since the Round 2 set only contains 43 Super Rares and 44 Commons, it is mathematically probable that you will see all of the cards (or nearly all of them – duplicates do happen) from the set.
That means that for any particular card you can think of, there’s probably one floating around the table.
Whether you get it, or one of your opponents gets it, you’ll have to see. But it’s out there.
By comparison, the Battle Pack 2 mix is more uncertain. For example, there are more Rare Cards in the BP2 set than there will be Rare Cards pulled from the BP2 packs in your pod. This means that some cards from the set are just not going to be at the table, in anyone’s Deck.
The only way to see all the set’s rares at a table is if the Mosaic Rares fill in all the gaps, by being Rare Card slot cards that were not included as actual Rares. Since Mosaic Rares can be ANY card in the set, they add another level of unpredictability.
With certain & uncertain parts added to the card pool equation, knowing which cards will be there with high certainty can be a valuable asset.
4. Know Why Cards Are In the Set
In constructed Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG games, many Decks rely on combos of specific themed cards.
This strategy doesn’t work in Sealed, or even Draft, play. We don’t design the sets with heavy combos because there’s no way to assure that those cards will be available to you. And even if they are in your Deck, you’re unlikely to draw them. Remember that there are no search effects in Battle Pack.
It’s very important to realize that cards are in the set because of their mechanics. Any keyword, Type, or Attribute bonuses on them are incidental. Don’t spend too much time stressing over them.
Examples from Battle Pack 2:
Example 1: Exodius the Ultimate Forbidden Lord is in the set because he’s an easy monster to Special Summon as Tribute fodder. His other effects, including his ATK bonus, are largely irrelevant.
Example 2: Botanical Lion’s Plant ATK bonus isn’t that helpful in a set where the biggest Plant-Type monster other than itself is Dandylion (with 300 ATK). Botanical Lion is in the set because it’s a 1900 ATK monster that your opponent can’t steal with Enemy Controller, Magical Arm Shield, etc.
Example 3, and maybe the best example of all: Beast Machine King Barbaros Ür is there because he’s a 3800 ATK monster that doesn’t imbalance the game, because he, by himself, cannot defeat your opponent. His Machine/Beast-Warrior effect is cool if you can pull it off, but don’t dilute your Deck with these types of monsters just in the hope of doing so. With 40 cards in your Deck, odds of drawing Barbaros Ür in the first place are not good. And if you do, he’s easy enough to just Tribute Summon.
The combos that ARE in the set, and are meant to be used in conjunction with other cards, and are balanced around the assumption that you’re gonna pull off the combo, are ALL based around mechanics, not keywords or archetypes.
Here are some examples of realistic, mechanics-based combos you can definitely set up:
Example 1: Release Restraint Wave (from Round 2) destroys all your opponent’s face-down Spells & Traps, but you need to destroy an Equip Card you control to activate it. In addition to all the Equip Spell Cards in BP2 and Round 2, you can also use this with monsters like Vylons, or with monsters equipped to Truckroid.
Bonus: Even if you don’t pull off the combo because you never draw Release Restraint Wave, your Equip Cards are still doing good all by themselves, by making your monsters stronger.
Example 2: Tokens (from Scapegoat, Dandylion, Mecha Phantom Beasts, etc.) are great for cards that require both players to lose a monster, like Mystic Box, Share the Pain, and Different Dimension Gate (all from Round 2). These cards are balanced around both players having to give something up. But if you only give up a token offering (pun intended), that’s no sweat off your back.
Bonus: Even if you don’t pull off the combo by drawing those Spell Cards, your Tokens are still doing good for you by stopping enemy attacks and maybe giving you some monsters to Tribute for your Tribute Summons. And of course, these monster-removal Spells can be used without Tokens. It’s just a little more painful that way.
(Side note: Also remember that Mecha Phantom Beasts cannot be destroyed while you control any Token. It doesn’t have to be a Mecha Phantom Beast Token.)
Example 3: There are a lot of things you can do with battle position changers. Lots of Traps will change monsters’ battle positions, and lots of monsters can adjust their own battle positions, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.
The infamous Goblin Attack forces have high stats but get tired really fast and need a rest after attacking. Use battle position changers to switch them back into Attack Position. (Preferably right after your opponent declares an attack on your “helpless” goblins.)
Labyrinth of Nightmare can pull off all sorts of combos, screwing with your opponent while letting your monsters shine, especially those that can adjust their positions, like goblins or Little-Winguard.
Bonus: Even if you can’t put together these specific combos, all of these cards are useful on their own.
5. Keep in Mind What You’ve Already Picked
Remember that you can look at the cards you’ve already chosen. Keep in mind what you’ve already selected.
6. Battle Outcome Changers are Amazing
Battle outcome changers ARE monster removal. They’re just monster removal that requires battle. Which is going to happen anyway.
Battle outcome changers include:
- Battle Stoppers
- Position Changers
- Equip Cards
- ATK Pumps
You can find out more about battle outcome changer theory in my “The Battle Triad” article, found here.
7. Single Tribute Monsters are there for Their Powerful Effects
One of the new additions that Round 2 brings is a bunch of single-Tribute, Level 5/6 monsters. These were very scarce in the original Battle Pack 2 set.
These monsters have relatively low ATK. This is to prevent them from going toe to toe with the powerful 2-Tribute monsters that are one of the main strategy aspects of War of the Giants. Only with the strongest ATK pumps can 1-Tribute monsters match up with most 2-Tribute monsters.
To make up for the lower ATK target, each of these monsters has a very powerful effect. Don’t treat 1-Tribute monsters as 2-Tributes, because they don’t serve the same role. The big 2-Tribute monsters are your heavy hitters. Your 1-Tribute monsters are Effect Monsters with very strong effects, but that require a little more work to get on the field in exchange.
So don’t overlook a 1-Tribute monster because of its “low” ATK!
Putting It All Together, and Where to Practice
Draft Play is a lot different from constructed or sealed play. The best way to become a top-notch Draft player is to practice! Check with your local store to see if they’re running Battle Pack 2: War of the Giants tournaments. You can also win cool prizes like exclusive Starfoil Cards (Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon, Icarus Attack, Gladiator Beast Gyzarus, Gravekeeper’s Descendant, and more) or a War of the Giants Deck Holder box.
While War of the Giants: Round 2 isn’t out until January 17, you might want to get started early by asking your store to run their BP2 events Draft-Style instead of Sealed-Style.
You can also find BP2 sealed action at Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series events, Yu-Gi-Oh! Extravaganzas, and the World Championship Qualifier. (With a different selection of Starfoil prize cards.)