Pack Order in Booster Drafts to Change

Posted in Feature on October 19, 2010

By Wizards of the Coast

Beginning with Mirrodin Besieged, booster drafts will begin with the most recent set. This is a change from the current drafting order, which adds new sets to the end of the drafting order as they're released.

For example, if you run an event with 2 boosters of Scars of Mirrodin and 1 booster of Mirrodin Besieged, players will open the packs in the order Mirrodin Besieged / Scars of Mirrodin / Scars of Mirrodin. When the set codenamed "Action" is released, the draft order will be "Action" / Mirrodin Besieged / Scars of Mirrodin.

For Magic Online, this change will take effect with Mirrodin Besieged and will apply to Scars of Mirrodin block drafts and to future releases unless otherwise stated. This will not affect older draft formats at this time, though as always, Wizards of the Coast reserves the right to look at our organized play offerings and make changes as necessary.

This change becomes effective with the Mirrodin Besieged Prerelease on January 29, 2011 and will apply to all subsequent draft formats unless otherwise stated. Information about specific programs such as Pro Tours, Grand Prix, Nationals, etc. will be called out in those program FAQ sheets.

FAQ With Magic R&D Director Aaron Forsythe

Q: What's the reasoning behind this change?

Forsythe: This decision came from the challenges of designing small sets to make them relevant in draft. It's always been a challenge because of how subservient they are to what you've drafted in the large set. So we figured we could solve that problem and keep Limited environments more fresh and exciting by just switching the order around.

Q: What do you see as the benefits of the change? What about the drawbacks?

Forsythe: The newer set will have more relevance, because you'll have to evaluate those cards on their own merits rather than on how they fit it in to what you've already drafted. The negative is that you don't get to carry over a lot of earned knowledge when the second set comes out, although good players will see that as a positive. It's going to reward constant adaptation. The only other negative is that change is difficult.

Q: Why did you decide to leave the drafting order of existing formats as it is?

Forsythe: Magic's got a lot of history. I think it's important to let the historical record stand. We could still have weekend events where we try old formats in the new order. But when people want to go back and re-experience something they have fond memories of, we should just let them do that.

Q: Why make this change now?

Forsythe: The current drafting order has been in place since at least Mirage, maybe even Ice Age, but the Magic R&D veterans said they'd never heard anybody question it. After talking with lots of people, drafting the new set first makes so much sense that I'm surprised it hasn't been brought up before.

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