Hello Condemned! Let’s talk drafting. If you’ve played booster draft formats in other games like Magic The Gathering, you’re already very familiar with this format in The Condemned. If you’ve never drafted before, this is the article for you. Booster draft is what is known as a “Limited” format. There are several Limited formats out there, including booster draft, sealed, rochester draft, and others. For all intents and purposes, we will focus on booster draft, but you are encouraged to try coming up with your own formats with your friends! There’s no wrong way to play The Condemned, as long as you’re having fun doing it!

Back when I played Magic consistently, I mainly played Constructed because I didn’t have friends that played Magic, so my only option was Friday Night Magic at the local game store. But I liked draft for a variety of reasons. First among them, it’s an equalizer. Everyone is playing with the same limited pool of cards, meaning you can’t just go out and netdeck your way to victory. Second, there’s a thrill in not knowing what you’re going to be using in the draft, or what your opponents will be using. Third, it forces you to think on your feet and really get to know the game. It’s a fun format, full of all sorts of thrills, and I designed The Condemned around draft and limited formats for this very reason.

Booster draft is a very easy format to get into. Each player needs 2 booster packs. I recommend having at least 4 players, with 6-8 being optimal. If you have more than that, you can split up into different “pods” of around 6-8 players to keep things from getting too big. At most, you should have no more than 12 players in a pod, any more than that and it gets to be too much. Just divide and conquer at that point.

To start a draft, each player opens one of their booster packs. They take a look at the cards in the pack, pick one, and pass the cards to the left. You take the cards from the person on the right, look at them, take one, and pass to the person on the left. You repeat this process for the first booster pack, then do the same for the second, except that you pass to the right. By the time you’re done, everyone should have 30 cards. From these 30 cards, you will want to build a 26 card deck: 1 Condemned, and 25 other cards. If you don’t draft a Condemned, you will instead have a generic 20 life Condemned with no abilities.

Drafting in The Condemned is a lot like drafting in any other card game or fantasy sport. You have to fill in certain card slots with the items that you think you’ll need to combat your opponent’s drafted cards. You need to fill in a certain number of decent threats, some support, and some counters. Remember, you have a 25 cards to play with instead of 30, so your plans need to be built around that. It’s generally a good idea to draft somewhere between 8-11 Weapon cards, just to make sure you have the consistency you need. Armor cards can be good, but only if you can consistently build a full set. Realistically, you would need 2-3 of each armor slot, which takes up a lot of space in your deck. This will make it harder to fill up with other threats and goodstuff.

Your best bet is to look for armor that will buff or support your overall play style. Cards like Nasty Football Cleats or Stitch Plate come in clutch if you’re using Bio Weapons or One Hand Weapons, respectively. Keep an eye out for synergies, but be aware that your opponents will be doing the same. Lastly, look for counter plays. Cards like Evasive Maneuvers, Dodge Roll, or Break Apart are highly useful in denying your opponents the satisfaction of using their super awesome Weapons.

What order should you be grabbing these? That really depends, doesn’t it? Let’s look at an example booster pack:


With this particular booster pack, you have multiple options at your disposal. Spiked Bat is a powerful Melee Weapon, even if it deals one damage to you. The Fletcher AG-22 is a versatile Ranged Weapon, capable of doing lots of damage. Tripoint Shuriken is another solid weapon with a useful reversal mechanic. And Ophid makes your Stitch Plate a little more durable, making it a smidge harder to break. You have lots of removal in this pack, too. The Best Laid Plans is good for dealing with your opponent’s Armor, and Break Apart will remove weapons as well! Blood Magic is a potent Event to finish off your opponent. Do not underestimate the value of this card.

In the case of the above pack, I would probably take the Break Apart, Stitch Plate, or Spiked Bat, depending on how I’m feeling that day. What card would you pick from this pack? Sound off in the comments below! Let’s get a discussion going. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in The Arena!

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