In this article I’m going to talk about a brand new format that I encourage all seasoned players to try; a draft format that was so exciting it’s first play-through had every single contestant on the edge of the seats (if they weren’t pacing excitedly around the room).
Overview of Ashes Rotisserie Draft
- Players: 4-6 (Can expand to 8 once two more decks are released)
- Duration: Very Long
- Format: Rotisserie Draft
- Difficulty: Expert
- Match style: Round Robin
How to play:
Arrange all printed playable cards and Phoenixborn in a manner that all players can view them (Or, if playing online, make a copy of and use this handy template I created). This should, at the time of Victoria/Leo/Orrick, amount to 90 available cards + 13 PB/uniques. Assign each player a random pick order (1-6, or 1-4 if only 4 players).
Starting with the first player, each player picks a card or Phoenixborn to add to their draft pool (everyone sees which cards are picked and by whom). They cannot pick a card previously chosen. Draft picks happen in a snake, that is, the first round of picks will be ordered by players 1-5, and the 2nd round of picks will be players 5-1. Once all players have drafted 15 cards and/or Phoenixborn, the draft is over.
Note that you may draft multiple Phoenixborn, but in the end you may only play one. Subsequent Phoenixborn picks then are simply alternatives for your deckbuilding, or “hate drafts”.
- You must build a legal 30 card constructed deck.
- You must play a Phoenixborn that you drafted.
- You may include the unique card for the Phoenixborn you are playing as.
- If you did not draft a Phoenixborn, you must play as Dimona (you may not use Rayward Knights if you did not actually draft Dimona).
- You may use any dice you like.
- The deck you build must be used for all matches in the tournament (you may not “sideboard”).
Each player plays every other player in the draft in a round-robin style. The player with the best record at the end of this is the champion.
And that’s it! The excitement of the Ashes Rotisserie Draft comes from being able to see what each other player is picking (“Damn! I wanted that!”, “What?! He picked *that* round one?!””), planning your future picks, and in the end forming a draft deck that you think has a good shot against each other player’s visible deck.
We have done one Rotisserie draft so far, with players Shi Ma, Matt Bauers, Matt Cozza, Jacob Shilling, and Christian Pratt; and to say it was exciting would be an understatement. We did out draft asynchronously using a spreadsheet, and are playing our matches out using TTS over the course of the next week or two. Here is how the draft turned out:
There are 6 sweet decks here, and a lot of exciting picks (See full spreadsheet by clicking here):
Shi – A Saria Raven Burn deck, complete with both Aradel and Vanish counter-picks to protect his Ravens and finishers against their foes.
Matt B – A Luck-14 Variant with Protect and Root Armors to make Flash Archer and Rose Fire Dancer much more annoying than usual
Jacob – A powerful Ally centric Jessa deck… OR a Hypno-Rhino Orrick complete with two of the deck’s most painful enemies (Fear and Choke).
Elliot – Bears, Golems, and Mice – oh my; inside of a Rin package with lots of powerful tricks.
Matt C – A controlling Leo deck that can grind out the end game with Chant of Revenge and powerful Charm/Ceremonial allies.
Christian Pratt – A deceptive Demon/Wraith/Blood Puppet control deck with Regress/Blood chains to slow you down and Abundance to finish you off.
Which deck do you think will be the champion? What picks surprised you, and what would you do differently? Let us know. I’ll come back later to talk about my thought process during the draft, how the draft portion played out, and look at some of the numbers in what happened.