View Full Version : Creating a Limited environment for UFS

08-10-2010, 07:49 PM
I hopped off the UFS train after FFG walked away, and in the time between then and now I started playing Magic a little bit. By far the most fun and interesting thing I found in Magic was drafting... I've done a few (very few) UFS drafts, but they're obviously much much different.

It's a really great system when it works; all you need to get started is a group of willing players and sealed product, and there's never any scrambling beforehand to make sure you have all the cards for your deck. Plus, if the sets you're drafting are well-made, you'll never have someone win games just because they brought a degenerate combo or deck full of rares.

If you have no idea what drafting or "a Limited environment" mean, I'll explain. To start a draft, you need about six to eight people (for Magic, at least) with 3 unopened booster packs each. Everyone opens 1 pack, and chooses 1 card. Then they pass the remaining cards to their left, and picks 1 card from their new pile. Repeat passing and picking until your packs are gone, then open a new one and pass the other way... until that pack is gone, then open the 3rd and last and pass the other way.

Have you ever drafted UFS? How'd it go? I figure it's better to gauge everyone's interest before I start spouting crap about something I honestly barely understand. Mostly, what I'd love to see is a thought-out set of rules for drafting UFS (my two concerns at the moment, having only done very few drafts of very old cards, are how characters are distributed and milling/cycling), and some discussion over what makes a set friendly to drafting/which sets are particularly good for it. Interested?

08-10-2010, 08:02 PM
After the few times we drafted with old sets I would never want to do it again. So many of the cards were just pointlessly underpowered. 4 damage moves with one checks and no meaningfull abilties...ya I'll pass. If you get no chars in your packs you're especially screwed. The thing about magic is that Wizards takes the time to design sets around drafting something UFS doesn't really have the luxury of doing. Always seems to be the scramble to fix the last sets f-ups instead of building sets that function on their own.

Maybe to ensure people have a char the playgroup could have a pile of format legal chars people can randomly pick from a stack before the packs are cracked. Could give you something to build around. As long as the next few sets have a solid list of cards and less filler and some way to make sure people have a character to play with I'd be interested in it.

08-10-2010, 08:59 PM
I love sealed/draft environments. Of course, they work better when the non-draft environment is healthy.

Draft/sealed was the origin of the Universal Fighter card and the Infinity symbol. While a 6 HS 30 Vit char is underpowered right now, it makes sealed possible.

08-10-2010, 10:55 PM
I love drafting and sealed UFS, we do it here almost every time a new set comes out to try out stuff. Then we play 4 man multiplayers or whatever with it. Not to win, but to see what can be done with the cards.

- dut

08-10-2010, 11:01 PM
I don't recall ever drafting UFS, but I LOVE playing in sealed events. I usually do pretty well, just ask anyone in the Green Bay group~

08-10-2010, 11:11 PM
I had fun with drafts.
I didn't really ever have any problems or complaints about the way it was done in UFS.
Even if I drew a bad character, I still managed to win here and there.
However, I'm not a fan of how Magic drafts work because there's always that person that's there to pick all the rare cards over trying to win and then he just dips when distribution is over and done with all of the rares.

08-10-2010, 11:24 PM
The problem of rare drafting can be handled by having really good tournament prizes or, more simply, by having a rare draft at the end.

08-10-2010, 11:26 PM
Sounds bad man.
I think everyone getting six packs is just fine with prizes at the end for winners and then participation promos.
Good participation promos.

08-10-2010, 11:31 PM
The MTG drafts at the store I work at settle the rare card issue by setting them all aside at the end and having people choose from them in order of rank (1st gets 1st pick, 2nd place gets 2nd, etc).

08-11-2010, 12:43 AM
Characters being an important part of a deck kind of shoots drafting in the foot. I do think it might could work if you had a pool of characters for people to pick from before hand (wouldn't necessarily have to be from the set your drafting from even). Some of the sets really didn't lend themselves to draft, whilst others where actually pretty decent. I would love to see draft become viable for UFS.

08-11-2010, 01:48 AM
We have had some amazing success with drafting and other limited formats. We've even solved some of the character problems with the Character Draft. It really provides some guidelines and then some extra choices during pack drafting when a character comes up in your pack.

Here are some of our most successful formats. Some of these can be translated into a truly competitive game and others can be used for some fun changes to your fun games.

DoublePack Draft:
Character Draft - Each player is dealt 3 random characters. (Usually we use the characters from pulled from the previous week's packs, but this is not necessary) Each player selects one character that they do NOT wish to play against and removed it from the draft placing it face down in a pile in the middle. The two remaining characters are passed to the left. The next player selects one of the two and passes the final character to the left. This should leave each player with two characters to draft for. Characters may be drafted from the packs as well if the players choose to do that during that portion of the draft.

Pack Draft - Each player starts with 5 packs. They open the first 2 packs to form the double pack. They select one card from the 20 cards available and places it face down in front of them. Once each player has made their selection, all players pass their remaining pack to the right. This process continues with players selecting a single card from the pack and passing the remaining cards to the right until there remains 10 cards in each pack. When 10 cards are passed in the pack, each player takes the next unopened pack and adds it to the remaining 10 cards to renew the double pack. Players make a selection from these 20 cards and pass the pack back to their left. This process is repeated until all cards are exhausted. Once there are no new packs to be opened at 10 cards, the draft direction does still reverse and cards are selected until none remain.

Once the draft is complete, each player will have 2 characters and 50 cards with which to make a 30-card minimum deck. All rules of UFS apply fully (including resource restriction!) with the exception of when a deck is exhausted, players remove 3 cards rather than 10. (Note: It is 3 rather than 5 because, although the decks are halved in size, your handsize remains the same and drains your deck just as fast.) After the decks are complete, each round happens exactly as a normal UFS tournament. All cards not included in your deck are considered part of your sideboard and may be used according to normal tournament sideboard rules.

3-pack Shuffle-Up:
Each player is given exactly 3 packs. They open the packs and shuffle them face down sight unseen to create their deck. At the start of each game, the top card of the deck is placed where the character should be. This card is representative of the character and has a printed hand size of 6 and vitality of 20. This character has all symbols printed on it and is considered to be every character for the purpose of playing cards and abilities. The symbol chaining rule is ignored during the game and when a deck is exhausted, no cards are removed from the game (Players can still have their decks exhausted from abilities that remove cards from the game or if they play too many cards, and do not have a deck remaining). Play proceeds after this as a standard tournament with these 30 cards as the deck.

Additional Optional Rule - After each round of the tournament, a new set of 3 packs is given to each player.

3-pack Shuffle-Up EVOLUTION:
The rules of the tournament are followed as listed above (Do not use the optional rule). After each round the winner looks at the loser's deck and selects 5 cards to add to his/her own deck. The loser examines the winner's deck and selects 2 cards to add to his/her own deck. Once this is complete the winner selects 3 cards from his/her own deck to give to the loser to maintain 30 cards in each deck. These new 30 card decks are taken to the next round to compete.

Semi-Limited Format: (more fun style)
Players are given 5 packs before the tournament. From those 5 packs they must use a minimum of 30 cards to create a 60 card deck making up the rest with their own collections. Due to the fact that players are making their decks at home, there must be a bit of an honor system in this tournament style. The only special rule besides this is that there can be only one of each card in a deck. If you get a great card in your packs, you may not use another copy from your collection. Players bring their decks to compete at the tournament. No sideboards.

08-11-2010, 11:12 AM
I've always heard of draft being that the participants get a promo character to start off with then draft and no resource restriction. I think that was why the Universal Fighter was made, to just give a general character. The other was taking an extra card and your character having those symbols and being a 6/30

I'd like to see a limited system, I know the people at the gaming club draft a lot with Magic. Mostly just cube draft, which I'll probably build for UFS soonish, but also normal drafts are an easy way to sit down, play some games, especially if you don't have a deck. Just quick and dirty. We were going to do that a lot for Magic, until the guy organizing it basically stole the 2 boxes we were going to use.

08-11-2010, 12:16 PM
Drafting is kind of hard in this game when it's feasible to be passed dead cards that don't match a single symbol with your character, so when we don't use The Universal Fighter at my store; I give everyone simply an extra resource symbol on their character that is permanent, and they decide what it is after they put their deck together.

08-11-2010, 03:52 PM
Not to keep harping my post, but I seriously suggest that people try the double pack draft. It really works well to create some powerful varied decks. Without a doubt you can make a good single symbol deck and a kick-ass dual symbol deck. Try it! I promise you will be impressed with what comes of the draft!

08-12-2010, 08:51 PM
Baranor: Doublepack drafting seems really interesting, and your solution to characters seems pretty solid too. Thanks for the post!

Trips: Maybe after everyone's done drafting, randomly deal a couple Seals to everyone (and draft them), and each player searches their deck for a Seal in addition to their character at the start of the game? It'll even help if there's a degenerate combo floating around, grab some Cessations and make them play fair(er)

Halbard: You should definitely share the cards you put in your Cube :D. How many symbols do you plan to support? The hardest part (in theory?) of building a Cube seems like it'd be trying to balance all 12 symbols, with each card having 3 of its own... generally guiding players to play, say, Order, Void, Fire and Water could simplify things a lot. Or... have 12 mini-cubes for each symbol and you shuffle them together each week before making packs? Options, baby! :D

08-12-2010, 09:36 PM
Building wise is probably going to be haphazard at first, but I plan to be a little like how my friend built his magic, doesn't care the rare numbers, if it's good, put it in.

I'm going to have to decide if I want to put my rares in it. I've only got 4 Power Ups, and like 1 Signature Style. So might be proxies. It'll be a long process, still working it through my head.

08-12-2010, 10:39 PM
Trips: Maybe after everyone's done drafting, randomly deal a couple Seals to everyone (and draft them), and each player searches their deck for a Seal in addition to their character at the start of the game? It'll even help if there's a degenerate combo floating around, grab some Cessations and make them play fair(er)The only problem I see with that is people grabbing just all Cessations and that's it. Having an instant shut-off in an aggro deck is way too broked.