• Reading the Rainbow Broad Strokes Episode 5 Listening

    Welcome back folks! Last time we talked about a slew of basic actions to utilize in drafts. Today, we're going to be talking about bantering with our opponents in a draft, and keeping an eye and an ear out to pick up on context clues as we are seeing cards passed about.

    "Ears you say? Why would I need to listen to the cards? Do rares make different sounds when they're shuffled?"

    No, but players make different sounds when they have rares to chose from, and today we're going to talk about how to listen for these context clues, and listen to the banter that occurs during a draft.

    Before we begin though, let me preface this entire article with a very firm and friendly reminder that this is just a game, and to always have fun, and help the others you play with have fun too. I will be talking about reading your opponents, listening to the conversations around you and picking up on context clues, but I am definitely against, stonewalling, being quiet and trying to deny my opponents information. The banter of a draft, is the best part. A draft, is quite akin to competitive family style dining, and if you don't tell everyone how yummy the ravioli is, they'll never ask for it or tell you that the lasagna is to die for! If your drafts are quiet solemn affairs, you're taking them too seriously and should probably start cracking jokes about first picking a common Vixen or hate drafting Moondragon dice so no one else can have them.

    With all of the above said, we can still use the banter, to give us an advantage against our opponents. If we're new to a set, we can pick up good advice from listening to banter, and that info can help us learn what cards to keep an eye out for. The time when this happens most, is when players are building the rainbow. A player will often call out "oh there's only 2 Cheetah dice" or "Wow I can't believe there are 8 Vixen dice, Ugh." Just listening to this sort of banter can tell you what dice players will be looking to pick up and which ones players are going to actively avoid. Be sure to take a look at the rainbow yourself, and toss out a few one liners about the dice. Remember, if you're not giving information, it won't flow back your way either.

    Another great time to begin a good bit of banter, is as the packs are being ripped open. Start a conversation about Super Rares and starter cards. These predictable rarities, can help you get an idea of what versions of cards people may or may not have drafted. Don't actively ask about rarity, but you can say phrases like "OH, looks like you won this draft with your SR Constantine" while pointing to their newly ripped open pack. Quite often players will either grin big, or give you the casual shrug, nothing definitive, but enough that you can start getting a feel for your opponents and start the flow of banter.

    We can also talk about dice count as we're drafting. Say things like "well I drafted all of that character" when you pick up the only three copes of Human Paladin in your DnD draft. Again, we're not giving away anything specific, but we're keeping the flow of information going and letting our opponents know how confident we are in our strategy. While we are giving away these small tidbits of info about what we have drafted, we need to remember to keep our ears open, and listen for others excitement at what they have drafted or disappointment at not yet having gotten the cards they want. Remember, keep your ears on your opponents, one eye on the rainbow and one eye on the cards you're choosing from. Let your lips be spilling banter, and you mind always be calculating the number of cards you have seen and the number still out there. Feel free to start a joke, to lighten the mood, or toss out a bold statement like "Whelp, I got all the cards I need to build my team."

    You may be asking, "But Shadowmeld, won't it seem like I'm taunting people, or bragging?" to which I'll counter, confidence is something you should have in your choices. If you don't have it, play like you do and feel free to admit your mistakes afterward. If you are confident, and straight forward in your play, then your opponents will know that you are being honest and fair. If you give them that same courtesy and respect, you begin to build a stable base of players, and your family style dinner of dice and cards really will start feeling like a family event. You will develop a head of household, a mother hen figure and that one black sheep that keeps wining everything and everyone wants to beat. But if you take the time, keep the communication flowing and have fun with it, everyone will come away happy with what they've drafted, happy with the efforts they've put into their games, and happy to have spent that much time with good friends.

    In the end, Drafting is a great get together, that is more about the social experience than it is about the one on ones. It's like a Dice Masters mixer followed by three rounds of speed dating. It's like inter-mural tennis lessons followed by three scrimmages. It's fun witty banter, followed by casual matches of the best collectable dice game on the market.

    Thanks for following along today, next time we will be taking a look at the War of Light globals, so we can get to know the lay of the land when we start our drafts that week.
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. RJRETRO's Avatar
      RJRETRO -
      I like to say things like "NOOOOOooooooo" every time I get handed a pack.

      Followed by a "...I mean, woo hoo..."

      I'd recommend that as well.
    1. Scorpion0x17's Avatar
      Scorpion0x17 -
      You would hate me, @Shadowmeld .

      I don't banter. It's not a deliberate choice not to. And it's not because I'm "taking it too seriously". I just don't do banter.

      But I listen. And I see. And I take in all those little clues all you neurotypicals give out freely all the time.
    1. Ressless's Avatar
      Ressless -
      Arent DM Drafts always more noisier than other games? MTG is so silent, it felt for me like sitting in a library and reading a book... .
      in Yugioh they say, every card has its soul, so i guess in DM every card has his joy/sad - sound of the players for it... ^^
    1. LastManOnEarth's Avatar
      LastManOnEarth -
      I'll just pretend I'm drafting the wrong set.

      "Who's taking all the Kobolds?"