Sundered Draft

A small number of players emulate 8-player formats by drafting multiple decks each from sealed packs. Perfect for long playtesting sessions.

How to Play

Deal shuffled cards into 24 piles of 15 each. Place 8 coins, tokens, or other markers in a circle — each player will control 4 of these tokens as if each were “drafters” in a traditional Rochester Draft. Picks are face-up as normal, and the pick order reverses once it reaches the last seat. In this manner, draft 24 face-up packs, rotating the starting drafter in a clockwise manner.

When all cards are drafted, players take their 4 pools and build 40+ card decks from each one.

Playing Games

Using a sheet of paper or a phone note to keep track of W-L records for each deck, play games between the eight decks in a “Top 8 tournament bracket” or a 3-round “FNM bracket”.


Adjusting Number of Players

Three players can draft in this manner by splitting up the eight tokens into groups of 3, 3, and 2.

The “multiple decks per drafter” approach can be applied just as easily to Booster Draft, Quilt Draft, or Rotisserie Draft, which come with the bonus of a decreased cognitive load.

Advantages of Sundered Draft

The two player format with the highest fidelity to a full 8-person pod.

A single draft can generate as many as 11 matches of Magic, making it ideal for people who want to play a lot of Magic together without needing to reshuffle the cube.


The draft itself takes a long time and requires a lot of logistic and mental energy. It may be necessary to split the draft into multiple sessions (perhaps interrupted by food).

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Sunder — Stephen Daniele