A Beginner’s Guide to Draft
I play quite a lot of draft and get 12 wins a lot of the times. When I’m playing I feel like there are a lot of people in draft who have no idea what they are doing. I want to help these new players and the community and that’s why I’m writing this guide. I think that if you understand the fundamentals of the game and know how to draft a good deck, a lot of you can get 12 wins. I also hope more people start playing draft because I like the game mode a lot but sometimes there’s not a lot of players doing it.
Other Minion Masters Guides:
- Minion Masters: How to Build a Deck
- Minion Masters: All-common Degenerate Master Rank Deck
- Minion Masters: Picking the Right Card in Draft
- Minion Masters: Daily Challenges and Levels Rewards
- Minion Masters: Chat Commands
- What is draft?
- Why play draft?
- Which master is the best for draft?
- How to build a good draft deck
- Some strong and weaker cards for draft
- How to win a draft game
- Excluded cards
- Draft example
- The end
What is draft?
Draft is a game mode in Minions Masters. You pay 750 gold or 55 rubies to enter (if you just started the game you might have some free runs). First you have to pick a master out of 3 choices. Then you choose 1 out of 3 presented cards 10 times. When you have your deck you can queue up for games against other people with draft decks. Your draft is over after you get 12 wins or 3 losses. At the end of a draft you get rewards based on the amount of wins you managed to get.
Why play draft?
If you want to build up your collection, draft is the best option. As I said earlier, you get rewards at the end of draft based on the amount of wins you got. The better you get at draft, the better your rewards will be.
Now you may ask: when is it worth to play draft? Well this depends on your definition on worth. For me there are 2 answers to this question. First if you get 7 wins, you’ll get your 750 gold back and some extra rewards (you get a rare card and a little bit of gold or shards). So if you don’t want to lose gold on draft it’s worth if you get 7 wins or more. Now if you consider the value of the extra rewards in terms of gold I would say draft is worth if you get 5 wins or more. At 5 wins you get 300 gold, around 100 gold or 10 shards and a common card. It depends on how much you value a common card but if you just started Minion Masters I think it’s good to get your collection running. 6 wins is definitely worth because you get a rare card and more gold.
Here is a good table of the rewards for draft:
Draft is also just a lot of fun to play. You can take a break from all the meta decks you face on ladder and just draft your own deck that may not be as good as meta decks but still decent enough to beat other draft decks. Most of the times you don’t have insane combos like in ladder. You get to experience the game at its core because basic mechanics of the game are even more important in draft. Draft decks are usually not that efficient but that’s what makes it fun for me. Trying to make the most out of your deck in duels against other people.
Which master is the best for draft?
In normal Minion Masters there is no best master because you can choose your deck yourself. Every master is good if you build your deck around it. In draft on the other hand this is different. Because you are not guaranteed to get the cards you want and because some perks have more value on their own there are some masters that are better than others in draft. I will rank the masters from best to worst and give some explanation about how they work in draft. The ranking is just my opinion, some may rank some masters higher or lower than I did but I think at least the top 2 and the worst one are pretty clear. The rest of the rankings you don’t have to take as definitive.
S tier: Apep, Settsu
Apep is the draft god in my opinion. The value you get from free cards from perk 1 and 3 is insane for draft. They can also give you more answers if your draft deck is not that good. Also the shield totem from perk 2 can save you a lot of health or can help your master tank minions while your minions kill them. With Apep you can draft almost any kind of deck. Most of the time I try to get a good control deck but you can do anything you want.
Settsu is the other best master for draft. Note that she is unfavored against Apep though because of the shield totem which counters her aggressiveness. That’s why she’s the second best draft master. Her first perk is insane value. Her basic attack deals a lot of damage. She is a 300 hp minion with 40 dps for the first 5 shots and deals 50 damage on impact all for only 2 mana. Also if you manage to get some spells you can go really aggressive on her with the reloads. Perk 3 is an insane win condition because you deal double aoe damage in a line AND stun for 3 seconds on your first shot. With Settsu you can draft aggressive or control decks, depends on what cards you get offered.
A tier: Milloween, King Puff
Milloween is also a really good draft master in my opinion because on perk 1 you get a ranged minion that is worth way more than it’s cost. On perk 2 you get a free spell that can kill stuff like xiao long, snipers or help you finish or minions. Lastly your perk 3 is just a win condition. The 5 stack golem for 3 mana will finish games if you use it well and if you draft some spells they become even stronger. With Milloween you can draft a lot of different decks but try to get some good spells for your golems.
King Puff has the potentional to become insane depending on how many 4-5 mana minions you manage to get. You should try to get as many 4-5 mana minions as you can in the draft for your perk 2. But even if you only manage to get 1 or 2 minions for perk 2, King Puff is still really strong because of his perk 1. You should try to get good at bridge swapping because winning with King Puff depends a lot about how good you use bridge swap. You can use it to stun enemy minions and get value trades, dodge spells, capture the other bridge and much more.
B tier: Ratbo, Mordar, Ravager, Diona
Ratbo can also be a really strong draft master but his perk 1 is not that strong as others. His perk 2 on the other hand can really swing games if used well, make sure to have enough minions on the field though so your dakka deals enough damage to kill big minions. Your perk 3 can also become overwhelming for your opponent depending on their deck. You should aim to draft some horde minions for your dakka and some cheap minions to use your perk 1 and 3 a lot.
Mordar can be good depending on what cards you get offered but a lot of times you won’t get good enough minions to get big swing revives. His perks are straight forward, just put your tombstones out if you are going to play a big minion or a minion that you want to revive. You should focus on getting high cost minions but make sure that you have enough answers for everything because Mordar’s attack is really weak against anything that’s not small hordes so you have to help Mordar a lot with defending.
Ravager is mostly for aggressive decks. You usually want to deal a lot of damage with a big push with first perk, otherwise you are going to have a hard time. Ravager can’t defend against ranged minions so you have to help him with that and you definitely need some ranged minion so you can counter flying ranged minions. Try to draft aggressive cards and push with your Brutus on perk 1 and 3.
Diona is not an easy master to play. You need to get used to using her traps for good value, otherwise your perks are useless. Ruffles will generate some good value over time but you won’t notice it instantly. Use your taunt trap to distract minions or the enemy master when pushing and your crossbow trap to deal face damage or help with pushes or kill snipers/harbingers. You can go for an aggressive deck or a control deck because Diona is also very strong at defending with her traps and bear trap. If you are playing against Diona make sure to track her bear traps so you don’t send a rammer into it.
C tier: Stormbringer
Stormbringer is not so good in draft until perk 3 and usually games are over by then already. His perk 1 is good if you have the advantage and you are pushing but if you are defending your perk 1 actually does nothing. His perk 2 can be good if you get a lot of ranged minions but usually there are not that much ranged minions in draft. If you manage to get his perk 3 though you can really swing the game around. The double attack speed and global range will put a lot of pressure on your opponent. Stormbringer is definitely not the worst draft master but you need a really good deck and ranged minions to take advantage of his perks.
D tier: Volco
Volco is without a doubt the worst draft master. You can’t hit flying units so you will need EVERY ranged minions you can get or you will die. His perk 1 doesn’t give any value on the field because you’re just dealing face damage. Also most of the time you won’t have a low enough mana deck to deal a lot of damage with his perk 1. His perk 2 is actually really good though. You can use it against big pushes or squishy units that need to die. Usually you are behind already though because of your perk 1. Your perk 3 is good but not enough to be a real finisher. Most of the time you won’t have good minions that benefit a lot from rage. If you want to play Volco though, draft a low mana curve and try to get all the ranged minions you get offered. If you get a deck that fits him, you can hit 12 wins but it’s just harder than all the other masters.
How to build a good draft deck
Now this is maybe one of the most important parts of the guide but also the hardest to write. Most of the time what you pick in draft depends on your options and what your deck already has. I will give some guidance for what you want your deck to look like but this is flexible! Ultimately you should just try drafting a lot and after playing for a while you will get a feeling for what your deck needs and what the right pick is.
First of all you want your deck to be around 3.5 to 4 mana on average. It’s important to not have too high of a mana curve so you can answer quickly. Of course if you are Mordar you want a higher mana curve and with Volco lower so again this depends on your situation.
For the first 3 picks or so I would just draft on value. Get the minions that are the strongest in your opinion or that can do the most work. After that you want to complete your deck with some basic stuff. You want at least one tank, something to deal aoe damage, ranged minions (these are important or you will lose to flying minions), a spell or two to interact more with the board and for the rest draft according to what your master needs. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t have one of these things but you are more likely to go far if you have a well-rounded deck.
Also a really valuable tip I want to give for your drafts is the following. If you are doubting between 2 choices, go for the lowest mana cost. It will hurt your deck less and let you cycle faster if it’s a bad card in your deck.
Some strong and weaker cards for draft
Here I will list some of the best and worst cards for draft and explain why. This list is in no particular order and is also not exhaustive and my own opinion. These are just the cards that have helped me win the most… and the least.
These are some cards that you probably want to pick up when you see them. If it doesn’t hurt your deck of course.
Scrat pack is an insane card in my opinion. Just like in ladder it is good in almost every deck. You can capture both bridges for 1 mana, you can choose to capture 1 bridge, you can block 2 cleaver attacks, etc. This cards does a lot for only 1 mana and that’s why it’s one of the best cards in draft and in ladder too.
This one is more of a personal favorite but I REALLY like assassin. He has stealth so he is tricky for your opponent to deal with. His first attack out of stealth deals a whopping 210 damage. This is a good counter to succubus (an annoying card to deal with sometimes) and many other units. He also has 70 dps so he is really good at defending when you let you master tank. If you play assassin well, you will always get value out of it. If your opponent doesn’t answer it, it will deal a lot of damage to the enemy’s master.
Now a lot of people will say that harbinger is overpowered but that’s not why I put him here. He actually can get countered pretty easily be just letting it come closer and letting your master tank while you kill it or just by using small minions to tank his attack while you kill him with ranged units. I put him here though because a lot of people are not good at countering him. Harbinger is a real noob killer and will get you some free wins in draft if your opponent does not deal with it in the right way or does not have enough ranged minions. However if your opponent does have good counters for it and keeps getting value out of killing your harbinger you can just leave it in your hand and try to win the duel without it.
You may be wondering what this is doing here because this card doesn’t see much play in ladder. However in draft it’s one of the most insane cards. This is because there aren’t as much ranged units as on ladder. The strength of dragon pack is that it is flying and combined the dragons have a whopping 150 dps! If your opponent drops a colossus you can just drop these bad boys above his head and they will eat him alive. Be aware though, you should not use this card aggressive. You get value out of this by playing it above melee minions that cross the bridge. The minion will get melted and you still have the dragons that your opponent has to deal with. But if you just play them without killing anything your opponent can just play some ranged units next to his master and your dragons will die quickly without giving you any value except a bit of face damage. You don’t have to underestimate the face damage however. If the dragons are not dealt with they can deal A LOT of damage and definitely Volco and Strombringer should be scared of them if they reach their face.
Beam of DOOM!
Beam of doom is my favourite aoe spell. It can destroy whole pushes in mere seconds, it can kill harbingers and you can also use it to kill minions close to the enemy master tower. You will deal 300 damage plus kill the minion that is annoying you which most of the time is a good play. If you keep using beam to kill a minion at the enemy master tower the damage will begin to stack up and your opponent will be in trouble. Overall a really strong aoe card and a good finisher.
Stun lancers are really good in draft because of the lack of fireballs in every deck. If you play stun lancers at your side of the field to stun lock a big minion or rammer and your opponent doesn’t have a spell to kill the lancers, the minion is basically dead. They can also be split to capture both bridges at once which is also valuable. A good defensive card which will save you from bad situations.
Some other notable cards include: lightning bolt, fireball, screaming scrat, succubus, divine warrior, fire imp, dragon whelp, morgrul the swarmer king and maybe a few others that I missed.
You pay 2 mana to increase your opponent’s hand by 2 mana split across his cards until these are killed. However your opponent can still react with cards until they reach the middle of the bridge. Your opponent can also just play the cards that are not increased in mana and still kill these puffs easily. Most of the time you just throw away 2 mana for nothing.
Mana puff madness
You don’t really get value out of this because your opponent also gets the same amount of puffs. If you want to use this you should play it when your minions are pushing on the enemy side of the field so they can instantly kill the spawned mana puffs. Still you probably won’t get much value out of this and it can backfire.
Even though it’s flying, not really that good. It only has 100 hp so an enemy master’s attack + a ranged minion will kill this before it will deal any damage to the enemy master. Also not that valuable to kill buildings because most of the time buildings are played in the back of the field or the buildings already got their value so there is no need to destroy them anymore. Also buildings are not that strong in draft.
Only has 65 hp, will basically die to everything before it reaches the enemy master. If you want to use it though, send it in a push with other minions. It can be quite scary if not dealt with but if your opponent is smart he will kill it instantly and you will have spent 3 mana for nothing.
Can backfire hard and the value you get out of it if you hit the gamble doesn’t outweigh this. The only use of this is if your minions are at the enemy master tower taking damage and you aim it to hit your minions and the enemy master at the same time so you get value out of it no matter if it’s healing fireball or fireball.
Way too slow. Only works if you have a REALLY fast cycling deck and still at level 5 it gets countered hard by horde minions and dies fast to other damage. Not worth to try to play at the moment.
Can be a risky card. You could benefit from this card if you have a good way to deal with the statue. If you have lightning bolt, stun lancers, etc. you can make this card work but if you don’t have these you don’t want to run the risk of taking massive damage from a frenzied rage living statue. Not necessarily a bad card but will backfire a lot of the times and lose you the game if you don’t use it well.
Way too expensive cleaver. Most of the time you won’t have a lot of voidborne cards in your hand to reduce because in draft you can’t build your deck around it. Can be helpful if you didn’t get a cleaver and don’t have any burst damage in your deck to kill succubus and stuff but most of the time it won’t be worth it to play it.
Honorable mention: Blood imps
Blood imps is actually not that bad value wise but most of the time you will be too greedy in the use of them and you will kill yourself or at least put yourself in a bad spot. They can be useful in combination with red golem though. Those 2 are a good combo. They can also be used to get an advantage in the early game and later on you just don’t use them. Not necessarily a bad card but will back fire if you don’t use them wisely.
There are more cards that are not that valuable or are bad if you put them in the wrong kind of decks but this is just a list of some of the worst.
How to win a draft game
This section is maybe a bit more a beginner guide on how to play Minion Masters duels but the same basics for Minion Masters also apply in draft.
In a duel you want to execute the strategy of your deck. This can be control and keeping the bridges for an experience advantage, you can play an aggressive deck and try to kill your opponent as quickly as possible, you can have minions who take good value trades and build counter pushes, …
At the start of a duel you want to wait until 10 mana to play something. The only exception to this is if you have a scrat pack or something small in hand to take both bridges at once in a cheap way. Then you’re opponent has to take both bridges which can be hard for him to do for the same amount of mana. The other times you want to wait until 10 mana because if you play earlier, your opponent will get the initiative for the first trade. He will be able to play a counter unit, kill your minion that you played and take the bridge all while having a mana advantage already.
So at the start of the game at 10 mana you can play one of your strongest units that also isn’t too expensive (not more than 5 preferably so you have mana left to counter what your opponent plays). Then if your opponent has also played something you want to react to it. Look in your hand if you have a good counter or maybe the minion you played is already good enough to beat it. As you may have noticed a fundamental in the game is knowing how to counter all of the units. If you are new to the game you should try to play a lot and learn which units counter other units. If you counter units, you will get an advantage. You kill their unit and you have a minion with some hp or even full hp left that your opponent still has to answer. Either he has to spend more mana on killing it or he will tank it to the face and take damage to kill it.
This is also an important mechanic. You shouldn’t be afraid of tanking a minion to the face. Sometimes you just don’t have the right cards to counter a unit in your hand and it will cost way too much mana if you fight the minion heads on. That’s why you should let it run over the battlefield until it reaches your master’s tower and starts attacking you. Then it won’t switch target anymore unless pushed away or stunned or some other specific cases and you can kill it easier without spending too much mana. Your master also has an attack and will help with taking down the minion if it’s in their attack range. Take care of your hp however. If you know they have beam of doom don’t let yourself drop too low or you might die because you tanked too much. You need to find the right balance between tanking with your master and trading.
You should also care about your perks. During the match you will get your perks unlocked at specific experience thresholds. At 50, 100 and 150 experience you will get your perk 1,2 and 3. At 400 mana you will get a special perk that’s the same for every master: mana frenzy. This is a mechanic to end the game. All the experience you get from that point on will be converted into mana and you will overpower your opponent quickly. Do note that controlling the bridges gives more mana in mana frenzy. This can also be a way to stall if your opponent reaches mana frenzy before you. You should always be looking at your experience and your opponent’s experience to know when their perks are coming up. Unlocking a perk might be a big swing point in the game and you want to be prepared for it. For example at 50 experience Ravager will spawn a big minion, Brutus, which can be a problem to deal with if you don’t save up a full mana bar to deal with it. Therefor you should always watch both your experience and the enemy.
So at the end of the game you win by reducing the enemy master’s hp to 0 but it’s not that simple to do. There’s probably a thousand some more things that I didn’t tell about how to win games but I don’t want to make this too long. My best tip is to just play the game and get a feel for it but hopefully with this section you are a bit more prepared to win duels.
There are some cards that are excluded from draft because they are too situational or need a deck built around them. Here’s a list of them (during time of writing, patch V1.1):
- Call To Arms
- Dragon nest
- Empowered soul stealer
- Gor’Rakk Brutes
- Lord-Sentinel Thelec
- Nyrvir the Fallen
- Propeller Horde
- Rabid Prowler
- Shars’Rakk Twins
Here I will do an example of a draft with explanation about why I pick my cards. This draft was done on patch V1.1 (bones & bravery battlepass).
First we have to pick a master. Apep is the draft god so I will pick him.
First pick I’ll take lone wolf. It’s a solid card that gives above average value if you use the effect. Toll of the dead is not that good in draft because most of the time it’s an undying skeleton for 1 mana extra and jungle jumble can backfire.
Here I’m not sure to pick xiao long or wizard puff. Xiao is a solid flying creature but not as strong in draft as in ladder due to less spells being played in draft. Wizard puff is also a good choice because it’s a solid ranged unit and can get a lot of value by morphing big units into a little mana puff. Arcane bolt in the current patch is not good enough because the hp limit is too low to get a lot of value. We will apply the rule of taking the lowest cost when in doubt and take xiao long. It’s also a flying unit which can punish the enemy if they don’t have enough ranged units.
This again is a hard pick between shielded crossbow dudes and annihilator. Crossbow guild can be good in draft but most of the time you want cards that instantly give you value to answer the board. Also crossbow guild is better on Stormbringer and not so good with Apep. Shielded crossbow dudes can capture both bridges and counter harbinger. Annihilator is good to cover our aoe needs. We will go for annihilator here because we don’t have aoe yet and apep’s attack is faster if you have 5+ minions in your hand.
We have another chance at wizard puff! Scott is also an option because he has one of the highest dps (93) in the game at the drawback of stopping for a while when he’s at half hp. Scott is a good defensive minion but we have strong enough minions to defend already and we could use wizard puff in case our opponent plays big minions. Stormy could be good but we have annihilator already and we have no way to heal stormy. We will pick wizard puff because we could use its effect when we face big minions and it’s a decent ranged unit.
Here we could pick reboomer or magma turret. Brutish betrayer is not a good card. I will pick reboomer here for some more aoe and because I don’t like to play magma turret. I like minions more because they can walk up to the enemy master and deal damage.
Here morgrul is definitely the go to. An insane value card plus we need some frontline and he can also be split to capture both bridges. Musketeer is only good to counter cleaver and colossus. Shen stormstrike is a decent card but I think morgrul has more value.
I’m going to take fireball here. We have good aoe already but we don’t have spells yet and fireball can help us to interact more with the board and the opponent’s side of the field. Lost legionnaires is also an option here to capture the bridges but I like to have a spell.
Here we have a hard choice which will define our playstyle. We can pick infiltration if we want to go aggressive, shieldguard for if we want more value minions and succubus gives us more control and can help with counter pushes. I will pick succubus here because she is the best ranged unit in my opinion and I want to play more of a control style.
This pick is hard. Beam of doom is an insane spell but will put our mana cost even higher. Battle shi-hou is a good minion but not the best and wall is not really that valuable. If you want to be greedy you can go beam of doom here because it’s an insane spell but because we don’t have a good tank and we have enough aoe already I will go for battle shi-hou to also keep our mana cost decent.
Our last pick is high again but we will have to deal with it. Future past is not reliable in my opinion and double lone wolf is not good in my opinion. Therefore we will go for incubus which can help us counter some ranged units at least. It also buffs apep’s attack speed because it’s a 5+ card.
This is the end result. In terms of value it’s a really insane deck. The only downside is that our mana curve is a bit high because we didn’t get offered low cost minions but that’s how draft goes. Also Apep’s perks give free cost cards which will help to make the deck less heavy. On top of that Apep gets more attack speed for every 5+ cost card in our hand so he will benefit a lot from that. I think this is an ok deck and you can definitely go far with this.
After playing with the deck I’m back. I got one loss because of an error that disconnected me from the game and gave me a loss (you get used to these errors after a while :P). The matches were sometimes a bit harder because of inefficient bridge capture but when playing calm and controlled I always managed to outvalue my opponent with my cards and the value of my perks. I wouldn’t say this was an insane deck because it’s a bit expensive and the lack of bridge capture put me behind in experience most of the time. The power of my cards was good though which is why I always managed to kill my opponent by counter pushing before they got mana frenzy. I focused on the strength of my deck which was outvaluing and taking good trades and got 12 wins with it.