Can We Please Cut Deckbuilding Time on MTGO Drafts?

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Back when version 3 was the supported client for MTGO, the ten-minute build time for draft decks was pretty much perfect. But version 4, as sub-par as it is in many ways, has a feature that is a genuine improvement: you can build your deck while you draft. You can put one copy of a card in your sideboard and one in your deck, easy. You can drag things to the sideboard and change your mind later without having to unhide every single card you've drafted. It's honestly really nice.

But for some reason, the deckbuilding time has remained at ten minutes. This usually means a wait of about eight minutes, and that's assuming the mana base takes a couple minutes to figure out. It's a waste of time, frankly.

It's not just players that this hurts, either. For every minute a player spends waiting for rounds to start, WOTC loses potential event entries that player may have paid if she had finished her last round just a few minutes earlier. WOTC is working against its own interests here.

Of course, I'm sensitive to the fact that the program needs to account for new players. But what is the point of new player drafts if not to be sensitive to new players' needs? I'm proposing a very simple, very easy, and very positive change to MTGO draft queues:


Cut the build time in half, from ten minutes to five. This will save an aggregated 40 minutes per draft, which is hundreds of total hours of player time saved per day. Thousands per week. Millions of hours a year, maybe? And all it would take is one simple change. Make it happen, WOTC!

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Danny Brown

Danny is a Cube enthusiast and the former Director of Content for Quiet Speculation.

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Posted in Free, MTGO, MTGO Drafts

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8 thoughts on “Can We Please Cut Deckbuilding Time on MTGO Drafts?

  1. I would do the same to ROUNDS Thers no shuffeling no cuting not searching and shuffleing in MODO that would require the same amount of TIME that in paper.

    1. On the other hand, I can shortcut a great many things in paper that MODO makes me click…and click and click… Jeskai Ascendancy triggers, anyone?

  2. This sounds really advanced, actually. Ten minutes seems fine to me and so do the round times. I just don’t get the mtgo-do-everything-at-the-speed-of-light mentality, I guess. Maybe one has to just do it so much or be on the computer all the time. Or maybe I’m too old…I dunno…

  3. No. Just no. MTGO is already a steep barrier to entry for new players. I feel this would turn them away in droves.

    Also, about once every 20+ drafts I go almost to time trying to tweak that perfect, wacko deck for a niche archetype I don’t usually run. Leave it in.

    Oh – and DEFINITELY leave it in until all the crash bugs are fixed. So, forever…

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I have watched my bf have too close and restart the client because his deck submission wasn’t accepted. He then had to scramble to recreate his deck and then resubmit within the allotted time. (I’ve seen the no-submit bug plague a streamer or two.)

      In the 50+ KTK drafts I’ve done, only a couple went to the full 10 minute time limit. The others have started at least a minute or two early and some 3-4 minutes early. I’m pretty happy with these on-demand starts, even if I sometimes wait a few minutes, which gives me time to refill my water, throw on a load of laundry, etc.

      1. And sometimes, I have needed nearly the full time. If the draft didn’t go so well and I struggled to figure out a cohesive deck, I definitely took more than five minutes to plan my strategy.

  4. Is this a real post?

    I may sound very rude, but that’s a very egocentric vision you share here on the frontpage of this website.
    So you personally don’t need 10 minutes so please get rid of it?

    I understand the feeling, sometimes you just want to push the ‘next’ button. But I noticed that sometimes I still need the time to think a lot about certain decisions. I’m talking about decisions you want to focus on after the draft instead of during.

    Just get some empathy with people who don’t draft that often as you or me and give them some time to build a deck. registering your whole pool as deck is ruining the fun and more frequent occurence of this will chase people away, certainly newer people.

    You know what I do? I get a glass of water, go to the toilet, do some small things at home (garbage, dishes, get the socks from under your bed,…). It will be good for your concentration to get away from the screen for some time.

    To the admins, I don’t think these impulsive written articles belong on the front page. they belong in the forum.

  5. I couldn’t agree more, just another example of an ‘article’ being written under the pressure of having to submit one… so sad !

    If this would be a forumpost, i’d answer it with my thoughts on the subject.

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