Desert draft is exactly like regular Booster Draft, with a crucial twist: players can only play the lands they’ve drafted into their deck!
Some Cubes are meant to support Desert Draft, so they’ll already include all the lands the players will need in the cube list.
For other cubes, simply shuffle about 25-30 of each basic land into the cube. Instead of the usual 15-card packs, deal out 3 18-card packs, then draft as normal. Make sure all players understand the rules!
Desert drafting is a unique experience that will test your players’ ability to navigate bad luck and construct a manabase on the fly. Then, they’ll have to build their decks and play their games to account for what is sure to be a risky manabase in any other context.
It’s not for the faint of heart, since the risk of “train wrecking”, or building a completely nonfunctional deck, is much higher than normal drafts. But it can be a fun way to add the old-school feeling of “scrapping for playables” into a draft.