Winston Draft

How to Play

Set aside 90 shuffled cards into a reserved pile.

Deal 3 cards from the reserve into 3 face-down piles. The active player peeks at each pile, one at a time, from left to right, until they choose to stop. Then, they take all the cards in the current pile (or, if they didn’t choose to take any pile, they take one random card from the reserve without looking). Deal 3 more cards onto the same piles, and the other drafter becomes the active player.

Repeat until all piles are empty.

Advantages to Winston Draft

The mini-game of choosing piles is its own reward, and can be a refreshing palate cleanser from other two-player draft methods.


Without complete agency over one’s picks, Winston-generated decks can be less focused and less powerful than other formats. It can be hard to playtest cube changes in such a manner. Winchester Draft can yield slightly more powerful decks while preserving the breezy pace of Winston Draft.

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Truth or Tale — Michael Phillippi