Today we have a special treat from Germany. Although they were late to the party in terms of release date the German publisher of the MLP CCG, Amigo Games, has been the first to release an official set of rules for how to play draft tournaments.
If you do not know what Draft tournaments are, then you are sorely missing out on some serious fun. Draft tournaments are played by participants opening sealed packs of cards, passing them around the table getting one card from each pack that is passed to them, and constructing a deck out of the cards that they pick. It's a fun way to play that levels the playing field and has been popular in Magic: the Gathering as well as several other TCGs for years.
All you need is a handful of other players and 3 sealed booster packs each. Happy Drafting!
These German rules can be seen in the following video by a German player:
In addition here is a German language PDF, straight from Amigo Games:
And here is my translation of the rules for those of you who don't want to watch a video and don't speak German.
My Little Pony Drafting and Play Rules
All participants require 3 sealed booster pack for drafting.
Each player selects and opens one booster pack and sorts all of the problem cards out. The problem cards from each booster are set aside until all three boosters have been drafted. The problem cards are then used as a 4th "imaginary" booster.
Now each player looks at the cards in their current booster, selects one card, and passes it to the next player.
The first booster pack's contents are passed to the right until all cards have been selected.
The second booster is passed to the right.
The third sealed booster is then passed to the left.
Finally the "booster" composed of the separated problem cards are passed to the right.
After drafting, players begin deck building. Deckbuilding in draft tournaments follow special rules, different from standard deck construction.
The deck building requirements for drafting are as follows:
20 Cards in the Draw deck.
5 Cards in the problem Deck.
Unlike in normal deckbuilding, there is no limit on the number of copies of an individual card you may have in either deck. If you selected it in the draft, you can play with it.
B. Match Play
Play commences in a best two out of three game format with a 45 minute time limit on matches.
Games are played until a player reaches 8 points, instead of the usual 15 points.
At the end of each game, players should mark down their points spread (the difference of their and their opponents points), as this is used as a tie breaker later in the tournament. Losers should have a negative total, while winners should have a positive total.
Players can have no more than 8 points at the end of the game, even if they would have gained enough points to have placed them higher.
If the winner somehow has a negative or "0" point spread, then the winner automatically gets +1 as their point spread and the loser automatically gets -1 as their point spread.
Mario and Lisa are playing against each other in a match. They play three games and Lisa ends up as the victor. The games end with the following point totals:
Game 1 – Lisa 8 : Mario 2
Game 2 – Lisa 4 : Mario 8
Game 3 – Lisa 8 : Mario 5
The following is the calculation of the points spread from Lisa's point of view. In the first game Lisa won with a +6 points spread (8 minus 2). In the second game, Mario won, giving Lisa a -4 Points Spread (8 minus 4). In the third game, Lisa won again, with a +3 Points Spread (8 minus 5).
Now all of the point totals are added together to determine the winner of the match.
6-4+3 = +5
Lisa has a total of +5 points for those three games.
This total is marked on her scorebard for the match. When calculating match pairings for subsequent matches it is the second total after match wins, the tie-breaker, used to determine who plays who.
If a player gives up during a game, their opponent wins that game 8-0. Giving the forfeiter -8 points and the winner 8 points. (ie, dont give up).
Presumably, although it is not stated in the original German Document, if a player has a bye round they are counted as a Match victor, but with a +0 tie breaker.
The loser of a game decides if he is to play first or second at the beginning of the next game. This decision must be made before he draws his hand.
If the time runs out while a game is still being played the following occurs:
- If it is during game 2, the winner of the first game wins the match.
- If it is during the first game or the third game the next player to score a point wins the match.
C. Special Rules:
The Mane Characters allowed for play are determined at the beginning of the draft. Players may select any available Mane Character and can either use an actual card or a proxy of some type. When using a proxy, be sure to differentiate between the boosted and non-boosted sides, and write down enough information so that you do not have to consult a copy of the card mid gameplay.
A proxy is typically just a small piece of paper with information and a name written on it used to represent a card that you do not actually have.
The German Document describes an included "Mane Character" sheet. I assume this sheet is determined by the set being used in the draft. Draft organizers without this sheet should just set which characters are available before start. At least one Mane Character of each color should be used. Once more Mane Characters are available this will actually matter, until then just allow the base 6 Mane Characters.
It would probably also be nice to have proxies for the Mane Characters prepared when hosting a draft.
The first Friend card played each turn has their requirement (aka Threshold) reduced by two.
For Example: If a player wants to play "Hoity Toity" as the first friend he plays on his turn, he can do that without regard for it's Power Requirement (normally 2 white).
This only applies to Friend cards. Power Requirements for Resources and Events always apply.
Problems with 2 colored requirements, such as those that require 2 Purple and 2 Yellow, count one of their requirements as being colorless. Which color requirement is colorless is at the discretion of the player confronting the problem at the time and can be switched from turn to turn.
A problem that requires 2 Purple and 2 Yellow to confront normally can be confronted as if it required 2 Purple and 2 Non-Purple, or 2 Yellow and 2 Non-Yellow.
If a player does not draft a starting problem, a random problem from the deck is selected as their starting problem.
Continuous Construction, but not Sideboarding, is allowed.
Continuous Construction is when a player alters his deck by removing or inserting cards from his draft pool in between matches. Sideboarding is when a player does this between games in an individual match.