What is Drafting?
Drafting is a fun variant format implemented in many different card games. In a traditional Netrunner booster draft, several players (usually eight) are seated around a table and each player is given four draft packs and a starter pack to draft with. Each player opens a pack, selects a card from it and passes the remaining cards to his or her left. Each player then selects one of the remaining cards from the pack that was just passed to them, and passes the remaining cards to the left again. This continues until all of the cards are depleted. The process is repeated with the rest of the packs, except that the cards are passed to the right in the second and fourth pack. Players complete this process for Corp first, Runner second, and then build decks out of any cards that they selected during the drafting process as well as their starter cards.
Once everyone has finished the drafting and deckbuilding process, players then compete against each other with their draft decks to see who came out on top. Drafting is one of the most skill testing formats because it tests three different types of skills:
- Card Evaluation – Determining card strength at the actual drafting process.
- Deckbuilding – Assembling a deck on the spot with the cards you have drafted.
- Play Skill – The actual games played with the draft decks.
What is Cube Drafting?
Cube Drafting is a special draft variant in which instead of drafting from traditional purchased draft sets, players draft from a special predetermined pool of cards made explicitly for the purposes of draft play. The pool of cards is known as a Cube and usually contains a minimum of 320 cards per side to accommodate an eight-player draft (You can draft with smaller Cubes, they will simply handle less players) as well as customized starter cards for each player.
Cube drafting has all of the fun of regular Netrunner drafting but with some additional advantages:
- Infinite Reusability – Cubes can be drafted any number of times for a different experience each time.
- Fully Customizable – Each Cube can be unique and allows for entirely different drafting experiences.
- Changes Over Time – As new cards are released, you can adapt and change your Cube to the changing environment.
Building a Cube
You can look at the official StimHack Cube lists at the bottom of this article, or you can play with your own unique Cubes. Each Cube can be completely different, with few hard or fast rules. Feel free to take our Cube lists as a starting point to build off of for your own Cubes. The most important thing to keep in mind when building your Cube is that you need to have the Cube be a minimum of about 40 cards per side per player to ensure that there are enough cards to draft (with the starter cards) for everyone to play.
When building your Cube you should keep in mind any goals that you have for the drafting experience. At StimHack our goals for the Cube are:
- Make drafting and deckbuilding decisions difficult and skill rewarding.
- Foster several different playstyles and strategies.
- Develop a unique and varied, but powerful draft environment.
Ways to Draft
There are many different formats that are possible once you have made your Cube. One of the great parts of the Cube is how many ways you can draft it. Regardless of drafting method I recommend always drafting Corp first, and then Runner second. Here are some of our favorite ways to draft the Cube:
Traditional 6 or 8 Person Draft
This is the traditional way to do a Draft. Randomize the Corp Cube, and then deal out 4 ten card “packs” of cards from the Cube to each player. After the packs are dealt out, everyone simultaneously takes 1 pack, looks through it, & selects a card to take as their draft selection. Players will then pass their packs to the player on their left and repeat this process until every card in the pack has been drafted. Players then repeat this process with the next pack, except alternating the direction the packs are passed in (therefore passing left / right / left / right over the course of the draft).
After all 4 Corp packs have been drafted, everyone will repeat the entire process for the Runner Cube. Once all packs have been drafted, you then build a Corp and Runner deck with your drafted cards and the starter cards.
You can see a video of players doing a traditional Cube Draft here.
1v1 Grid Draft
Grid drafting is a crazy 1v1 style of drafting. Randomize your Cube, choose a start player, and then lay out a 3×3 grid like this:
The first player then selects and drafts one row or column from the grid, followed by the second player choosing a row or column (this can mean that the second player could choose a row or column with only 2 cards remaining). Once both players have drafted a row or column, set the unpicked cards aside and create a new 3×3 grid to draft from. Swap which player goes first so that for each grid “pack” the players alternate who picks first (player A, B, A, B, etc). Once each player has picked 14 times, you then change the starting player and repeat the process for Runner.
After grid drafting both Corp and Runner, build decks with your drafted cards and starter cards, and play against your opponent.
• Assemble 14 “packs” of 9 cards from the Runner Cube and the Corp Cube.
• One at a time, for each pack, lay it out in a 3×3 grid face up (just lay them out in order, don’t look at the cards and decide where each one should go).
• The first player takes a row or column.
• The second player takes a remaining row or column. Discard the undrafted cards (which will be 3 or 4 cards per pack).
• Alternate who goes first each pack.
You can see video of myself and mediohxcore grid drafting here.
4 Player Tenchester Drafting
This is a format that works well for 2v2 teams or just fine as 4 player free for all with no teams. Tenchester drafting is similar to Grid Drafting in that player’s have perfect information, but ends up working quite differently.
• Randomize the Cube and make 32 10-card “packs” (for both Corp and Runner).
• If playing 2v2, seat the players A, B, A, B so that a team does not pick twice in a row.
• Lay out the first pack. The first player picks a card, then each player follows in turn. After all players have selected a card, discard the remaining six cards and lay out a new pack.
• The person to the left of the player who picked first is now the first player to pick in the next pack. Continue drafting in the same direction.
• Continue until all packs have been drafted.
Tenchester is very difficult, because you have little margin for error. Almost every pick you make really needs to count, making Tenchester one of the most skill testing draft formats you can play.
Regardless of how you draft your cards, deck construction rules for cube drafting are as follows:
Each player builds his deck using the 40 cards in his draft pile and the cards of the corresponding side from the draft starter (if applicable). Players must use the identity cards provided in the draft starter. These identities have no influence limit. There is also no limit to the number of copies a player can have of a specific card. A player may revise his or her deck between tournament games.
Corp deck size and agenda points: 30-34 cards 14-15 points; 35-39 cards 16-17 points.
All standard Android: Netrunner rules are observed, except that games are played to 6 agenda points, instead of 7.
All standard Android: Netrunner tournament rules are observed in a full draft.
You can currently draft in two seperate places online:
http://shi-kyu.com/ – Allows for grid drafting against AI.
http://meteor.stimhack.com/draftinfo/ – Allows for traditional drafts against human opponents.
The StimHack Cube
The latest Stimhack cube lists can always be found at this forum post.
Each player starts with:
1 x The Shadow
5 x Priority Requisition
2 x Private Contracts
Each player starts with:
1 x The Masque
1 x Force of Nature
1 x Pipeline
1 x Aurora
2 x Armitage Codebusting