Getting 8 players together for a Booster Draft can be a challenge. Grid Draft is a great way to play with just two or three players.
How to Play
Arrange 9 random cards from the cube in a 3x3 grid. A player chooses a row or column and takes those three cards, the second player chooses a remaining row or column, which may only contain two cards now. Discard the remaining three or four cards. Lay out a new grid and repeat alternating which player picks first. Draft 18 packs.
For Three Players
Grid Draft is also one of the best formats for 3 players, arguably one of the most challenging number of players to accommodate. Adding another player works the same way with just a few adjustments.
For each pack, the first player takes a row or column, then refill it with three new, random cards. The second player then picks a set of three without refilling. The third player picks, which may be only two cards, and the rest of the cards are discarded before laying out a new pack. Rotate who picks first around the table.
After drafting, play a three player free-for-all game, or a little round robin, and let the third player each round be the arbiter of snacks, drinks, music, or color commentary.
For Four Players
Grid Draft is also a great option for groups of 4 as an alternative to small pod Booster Draft. Do two Grid Drafts in parallel and then organize games however you like.
Typically choices in Grid Drafts are only rows and columns. It’s a reasonable amount of complexity and adds an interesting challenge to optimizing each pick. Some players also allow diagonal sets to be taken, which may be a good option if picks feel too constrained.
Alternative Grid Sizes
Both the number and size of packs is flexible. A set of 9 works well and creates interesting small decisions, but expanding the grid size is an option to make even more complex decisions.