Last Updated on
Nov 10, 2019: Another round of major updates for mobile devices has been pushed since this article was published. Read more about the changes here.
You may have noticed things look different around here. Well, a lot different!
I’m so excited to share all the changes to Draftsim with you. The user interface has been completely redesigned with a brand new feel for both draft and sealed. This is the result of a lot of hard work over the past few months. But I think the end result is a lot sexier, more fun, and more usable than before, so I really hope you enjoy it.
First of all, thank you so much to developer extraordinaire and volunteer Edgar Kisman for spending several nights and weekends working on this project. His vision was incredible and this whole project wouldn’t have been possible at all without him.
And also thank you to the hundreds of you who helped test out the beta version and gave feedback while it was under development – I love you guys and your help was absolutely essential. I ended up making several changes and even rewriting a bunch of the functionality based on the suggestions you made.
Without further ado, let me walk you through all the changes…
The old interface was functional and simple, but hopefully this new one is a vast improvement. I wanted it to be equally as functional and snappy, but also easier to use and more aesthetically pleasing. We really tried to improve the drafting experience (I can’t wait to tell you about a couple fun new features we added) and to make deckbuilding way better.
Heck, I’ll admit it — I used to use Magic Online to build my pools from Draftsim. Now that’s saying something…
Yes, the minimalism of the previous site was appealing in its own way, but the main thing I wanted to do here was make the site and its functionality better, regardless of aesthetics.
For now, the drafting engine underneath is still the same one from the previous version of the website. So no AI updates, this is just a complete reworking of the front end.
This is where the sexy starts, I really love the effects that Edgar added. Everything fades in nicely and feels really juicy. I imagine this is probably the first thing you noticed about the new design too.
Awww yeahhh look at that carousel with its hover effects…
If you want a full list of sets where you don’t have to scroll through the carousel, there’s a link below the images that you can click on, just like before. No worries, there’s still an All Sets page.
The menu has moved too, to a hamburger menu. If you’re looking for it, just click on the stacked lines in the upper left:
Ok, so let’s choose our favorite set on the homepage and start drafting! What to look at first?
More slick effects
One of the main components of the new design is the sidebar. All the cards that you draft will go here. By clicking on the “picked cards” tab of the sidebar, you can also hide it (or show it again) to change the amount of real estate you have available on the screen.
You’ll also notice that when you hover over one of the cards in the sidebar, you see a tooltip/hover effect that shows you an enlarged version of the card so you can remind yourself what it does.
Dynamic resizing, finally
I don’t know about you, but in the old version I was always using ctrl + mouse wheel to resize the packs to be the right size. Now we have a way to do this on the site directly!
In the desktop version, there is a slider on the bottom that lets you choose six different sizes for the cards. Pick the one that’s most comfortable for your screen size, and the site will remember your choice the next time you draft.
On mobile, there isn’t a slider, but there is a view toggle. This gives you a “big mode” and a “small mode” depending on your familiarity with the set. You can use the big mode if you need to read the cards, and the small mode if you want to draft quickly and can recognize the cards by their art.
I’m definitely open to feedback on this feature, because I want to make sure the mobile experience for the new site is a lot better than the old one.
As I mentioned before, the most dramatic change to the whole interface is the introduction of the sidebar. An issue with the last version of Draftsim is that you would have to constantly scroll up and down to see your picks/deck. Now the workflow is much easier.
I’m hoping this will drastically reduce the amount of scrolling you have to do during the draft. I think it’s really nice to be able to see your pool of drafted cards side-by-side with the pack.
By default the sidebar is open, but you can also hide it if you need more space or are trying to memorize your picks.
Moving cards to your sideboard while drafting
Like the old version of Draftsim, you can still move your picks to your sideboard while you’re drafting.
Just click (or tap) on the card while it’s on the “Main Deck” tab and it will disappear. Click on the “Sideboard” tab to view all the cards that you’ve moved to your sideboard.
Both of these tabs have built in sorting functions that you can use to sort your cards by their color, the converted mana cost, or the order that you drafted them in.
Don’t forget that because the cards in the sidebar are covered up, we also added a handy tooltip to help enlarge the cards for you when you mouseover.
Oh what’s this… new feature!
Those little arrows next to the word “Player” (that’s you) allow you to see the bot picks during the draft. That’s right, you can now peek at the bots while you’re drafting if you want to see what the other players at the table are doing next to you.
I think this can really help you understand the dynamics of the draft as a whole and to understand why you’re seeing specific cards come back (or not come back to you) in a particular draft.
Hey, stop cheating!
One feature that a lot of people love about Draftsim is the suggestions. They not only give you an inside look at how the bots are drafting, but you can use the suggestions to learn a new draft format and to get a feel for the relative power level of the cards.
Instead of having a table of suggestions at the bottom, the suggestions are now overlaid on top of the card. Again, this should help you cut down on scrolling quite a bit.
And there’s a nice glowing aura over the “best pick”.
On mobile, the suggestions display differently depending on whether you’re in “big mode” or “small mode”. Big mode will show the full breakdown with the color breakdown, while small mode only shows the overall suggested pick.
Want to keep drafting? Want to build the deck you just drafted? Want to share your draft log and get help? The choice is yours.
Hmm, what to do next…
If you click “Share Draft”, a dialog will pop up letting you know that the URL for the draft log has been copied to your clipboard. Navigating to that URL will display a pick-by-pick breakdown of your draft:
But for now, let’s move on to building the deck we just drafted.
Deckbuilding Drastically Upgraded
Let’s say you were moving some cards to your sideboard during the drafting process. So you have some cards in your main deck in one tab and your proposed sideboard over in another tab.
When deckbuilding begins, it will automatically start you where you left off during drafting. So if you had 34 cards in your main deck and 11 in your sideboard during the draft, your cards will start off split this way in the deckbuilding screen.
Now the cards are displayed in piles for mana curve, a common best practice for deckbuilding and a much easier way to display your deck. I think this is a big improvement over having them spread out and is closer to the way you would do this process “IRL”.
Don’t worry, you can still see the full text and image of the card as you mouse over it.
So there are two spaces, a “main area” and a sidebar.
The larger area on the left is your workspace where you move cards in and out of your deck. All the cards in your sideboard are over in the sidebar. If you don’t like this configuration, fear not, there’s a way to change it.
The piles of cards automatically resize and change columns based on the number of CMCs (or rarities, or colors) of cards you have.
But if you’d rather have your deck over to the side, you’re in luck!
Switch between “pool mode” and “deck mode” — and sort like a boss
When I was testing out this new look, I received a lot of (conflicting) feedback from people about what they liked better for deckbuilding. “I want to have my deck in only one pile, like Arena.” “It makes way more sense to have the deck laid out by CMC so I can visualize it.” Well then, why not have both?
Meet the lovely “Swap” button that lets you switch seamlessly back and forth between having your deck or your pool in the main workspace/content area of the screen.
Whichever configuration you use last will be saved by the site as your default for the next time you build a deck.
This main area can be sorted by converted mana cost (CMC), color, or rarity. I’ve anticipated that you might want to keep switching back and forth between these various sort option and even continue to swap the deck/pool views throughout the deckbuilding process.
And of course, Draftsim’s awesome autobuild feature is still there, just click the magic wand and the AI will give you a great starting point for your deck. And you can just clear your deck if you want to start over or if you don’t like Draftsim’s suggestions.
Want to restart your draft without having to go all the way back to the homepage? Click the “Restart” button at any time.
The drafting part is more fun anyway…
Just like during drafting, you can shrink and expand the sidebar to give yourself more or less space.
And that’s pretty much it for changes to the draft simulator part of the site. I’d love to hear what you think about all this!
By the Way, the Blog Was Also Upgraded
You may have noticed when reading this post that the blog area looks a little different. With the new “dark mode” version of the site, I wanted to re-theme the blog and reorganize it to look more connected to the remainder of the site.
Where did ___ go?
I know it always takes a while to get used to new interfaces. And it’s hard to rewire your brain and get used to where everything is.
That said, if you have questions about how to do something in the new Draftsim or you have noticed bugs in the new UI (I’ll admit, this is possible!), please let me know. Just leave a comment below or shoot me a note and I’ll try to help you out ASAP.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for using Draftsim and for being such an amazing community. I truly hope you enjoy the new interface.
And again, all credit to Edgar. His design is great, bravo!
Even More Great Limited Content
In other Draftsim news, we’ve launched a new Twitter account called Limited Decklists to share winning (“trophy”) decks and the draft logs from the folks who are crushing the current formats. Make sure to give the new account a follow and to tweet @limiteddecks when you win a draft on Arena or MTGO so we can share your success!
Finally, if you love the new design, please consider helping the site out and donating to my Patreon campaign. All support is appreciated!
Until next time,