Drafting on the Solforge Ladder

by vandergus

Kaelari, the wizard behind solforgeladder.com, has blessed us with yet another feature to enhance our Solforge playing experience. His new position with SBE has given him more access to the inner workings of Solforge, and he’s seized the opportunity to create some impressive tie-in’s. I wanted to give a brief overview of one feature that is particularly interesting to me and could be a big help for new players: drafting on the ladder.

First, obviously, you need to create an account on the ladder. Next, you’ll link your ladder account to your in game account. That option is listed in the drop down menu next to your name at the top of the page. Once you are linked, you should see a bunch of additional options appear in that list. You do things like import a list of sharable cards to facilitate trading, bulk scrap cards, bulk open packs, and even start drafts.

solforge-ladder-link-accounts

Player menu before and after linking.

To actually start a draft, click on “In Client Events + Draft” in the drop down menu, which will take you to a page with a list of options. If you are already in the middle of a draft, it should be listed along with your current record. You cannot start a new draft until you finish your current one. If you’re not in a draft, simply click “Join”, then “Draft” when it appears in the upper section.

Solforge Ladder Events Page

The events page where you can join new drafts and see completed ones.

Now you’re drafting! You may notice that some of the cards in your packs are highlighted. Since the Ladder is linked to your account, it can see your collection and it’s actually telling you which cards you don’t have complete sets of. This is a great feature for new players that are using draft to build their collections. Honestly, the packs themselves could benefit from better formatting. I was doing this draft in Chrome and for whatever reason, it was very difficult to get all the cards on the screen at the same time. The images are huge and the pick link is taking up more space than it needs to (update: Kaelari’s already got this one fixed). But this is still a pretty new feature so it may receive some more polish in the future.

Solforge Ladder Drafting

A pack of cards from the draft.

Once you’ve picked a few cards, you’ll notice the table at the bottom of the page. It is a list of the cards currently in your deck along with all of their relavent attributes. Not only does this provide a lot of information about the cards, but it is also sortable. Concerned that you don’t have enough high attack creatures? Sort the “A1” column to get a quick count. When you’re done, open up the official Solforge client and your draft deck will be ready to take into the queues.

Solforge Ladder Draft Table

Sortable table of the cards you’ve picked so far.

Now these are some nice features but the biggest payoff comes in the form of collaboration. For example, if you are really stuck on a pick, you can take the link in the above screenshot and post it in whatever chat or forum you happen to be in. You can get real time advice from other Solforge players on what the best pick is. But the best part of drafting on the Ladder is the ability to review entire drafts. After you’ve completed your picks, you can go back to the drafting page and see your completed drafts. Click on one of the links and it will take you to a page where you can go through, step-by-step, the packs and picks that you made up your draft. (tip: to skip directly to a particular pick, 7 for example, put “/7” at the end of the url.)

solforge-ladder-draft-review

Reviewing the first pick from a completed draft.

If you are a new player trying to get better at draft, you should absolutely take advantage of this feature. Take that url, start a topic in the forums, or reddit, or discord, or wherever and say, “Hey, check out this draft and tell me what you would have done differently.” People will be glad to give you pointers and suggest better picks. It will get you much better feedback than posting a final deck list. Knowing what cards you didn’t pick is just as important as what cards you did pick, and the draft review will give people all the information necessary for critique. If you’re curious to see what a completed draft looks like, here’s the Umbruk draft that I did for this article.

UT Ping the Things

And of course, critique my picks in the comments!