Grid Draft

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.

Angled Picks

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.


Grid Draft was designed by Jason Waddell, creator of Riptide Lab, and first published in his Article on Channel Fireball.

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