Welcome adventurer! Tis been a minute since we’ve seen brave folk like ye in these parts. I’d say just in time as well. Strange and dangerous types have been springin’ up all over Arbandy, what with the lack of heroes and all. Ye be strong, but I’d wager ye can’t take on all these monsters by yer’self. If I were ye, I’d put together a party of rough and tumble adventurers with all manner of skills and abilities. Perhaps find some hackin’, slashin’ Warriors. But ye also need companions who’ve got a grasp on the arts of castin’ fireballs and turnin’ into bears and such, like Mages and Druids. For more secretive and swashbucklin’ situations, ye might want to seek out some rambunctious Rogues!
A word to the wise though; I heard a tale from the village over the hill that another adventurer, like ye, is puttin’ together a party themselves. If I were ye, I’d move fast; wouldn’t want some other adventurer takin’ all the glory, now, would ye?”
The Gist of It!
Over the course of four rounds, players will draft heroes, weapons, and monsters to recruit and summon in order to complete quests and score XP! Spend gold to recruit your heroes and equip weapons to defeat monsters for gold and points towards becoming the most victorious adventurer in the dungeon. Like with any good drafting game the choice between helping yourself or hindering an opponent is always at play.
In the spirit of avoiding the nitty gritty, I’ll skip through setup for now and get into what a round of Dungeon Draft looks like! You can find the full rules here or in the printed rules when you pick up a copy. I am here to spend some time breaking it down and getting you caught up to speed so you’re ready to dive in as soon as possible!
First Off… What is Drafting?
A drafting game consists of players taking turns making choices from a rotating pool of resources (cards, dice, tiles, etc) to gain an advantage or assemble collections.
In Dungeon Draft specifically, each player starts with a hand of 7 cards. You begin the drafting portion of the round by selecting a single card from the 7 cards in front of you and then passing the remaining 6 cards to the next player. You will then choose another card from the 6 cards that were passed to you, thus passing the remaining 5 cards. So don’t get too attached to what you see in a hand of cards since everyone gets a chance to pick from it before it comes back to you!
This drafting portion continues until all players have chosen 7 cards. These will be the cards that you play with this round, so get your gold ready!
What Types of Cards Am I Drafting?
In Dungeon Draft, there are 4 different types of cards, 1 of which you draft during setup and the other 3 you draft during the rounds of the game. The card types are Quest, Hero, Weapon, and Monster. For a simpler introductory game, you may forego the Quest cards during setup, but this is up to you! Here is a little more info on each type:
At the very beginning of the game, you’ll have secretly chosen a few quests to attempt to complete for a chance at additional recurring effects, attack power, and even XP! Each of these quests has a class requirement needed to complete it and put into play. If the Quest shows 3 blue symbols and 3 purple symbols, then it requires you have 3 Mage cards and 3 Rogue cards in play. Once you do, you may reveal the quest and put into play, likely granting you new abilities to use on each of your turns, attack power to take down monsters, or XP to become the victor!
During the draft portion of the game, one type of card you will see are Heroes . This is signified by the symbol on the top left. Heroes will belong to 1 of 4 different classes: Warrior, Mage, Druid, or Rogue. The classes will matter for completing your quests as well as creating synergies with other cards of matching class, so be sure to consider this when drafting! You will be rewarded for a well-crafted deck.
Another type of card you will draft are Weapons ! Just like Heroes, these will belong to a certain class and add value to your attack power, which ultimately aids you in defeating monsters. The attack power of the weapon is signified by the attack symbol . Sometimes weapons will have effects as well!
The last type of card you will draft are Monsters. Unlike some other games where a monster deck is external to the draft portion, Dungeon Draft lets you choose your battles! Be sure to keep track of your attack power to be confident in what you can fight. The bigger the monster, the better the loot!
After I Draft, How Do I Play My Cards?
Once you are done drafting your 7 cards for the round, you will take turns playing your cards. This is as easy as paying the gold cost at the top left of the card by removing gold from your supply and returning it to the gold pool. Once you have paid the gold cost, the card is played in front of you and stays in play for the rest of the game. There will often be effects on cards that happen when you play them, so make sure you take your time to find cool sequencing combos to ensure the most bang for your buck! Any cards that you drafted that you cannot afford to play will be discarded at the end of your turn.
What about Monsters?
Monsters are cards played, but no gold is necessary! Instead, you play monsters that you drafted for “free” but you must compare your attack power to their attack cost (top left). If you have attack power equal to or greater than the monster’s attack cost, you defeat it and immediately gain any gold, XP, or effect on the card. Unlike gold, attack is not spent so you can keep fighting monsters as many times as you want as long as you have the attack power to defeat them.
I’ve Played All My Cards and Defeated Monsters, Now What?
Once you are all done with playing cards and defeating monsters, you will discard any unplayed cards and gain gold needed for the next round. You always gain a minimum of 5 gold plus gold equal to the amount show on all cards in front of you (previously played and quests). This will be noted by the number on the gold symbol . After you’ve gained your gold, play passes to the next player.
After all players have completed both the draft and play portions of the round outlined above, a new round will begin (4 rounds total). This involves dealing out 7 new cards to each player and repeating the draft and play portion once more. The only thing that changes during the subsequent draft rounds are the order in which the cards are passed. You’ll start the game with Round 1, where you pass cards left. Round 2, you will pass to the right. Round 3, to the left. Round 4, to the right.
After each draft round, the player going first will move clockwise. So if Player 1 went first in Round 1, Player 2 (left of Player 1), will go first in Round 2, and so on.
Ok, We’ve Finished All 4 Rounds. Who Wins?
Now that you have drafted and played cards in 4 rounds of Dungeon Draft, it is time to determine the victor! Each player will add up any XP on Heroes, Weapons, and Quests they have in play as well as any XP tokens they have earned throughout the game (monsters and from effects on cards played earlier). Whoever has the most points wins! In the case there is a tie, whoever has the most cards in play will win! If you tie still? You both win!
Aaaand that’s Dungeon Draft. A super fun, snappy way to get together with friends and pursue quests while recruiting powerful heroes, wielding awesome weapons, and defeating dangerous monsters!
Be sure to follow us on Twitch, check out the Dungeon Draft subreddit, and join our Discord to be notified when we go live with some Dungeon Draft gameplay with folks from the UD team. If you are ready to jump in yourself, pick up your copy today the Upper Deck Webstore now and get to drafting some dungeons!