At this point, these are for physical card play only, but there is plan for these to be implemented in the digital game in the future. With this short intro, here are Wulven’s official guideline for draft format and brand new melt down format, which they have tested during Origin.
Booster Drafting Explained:
So, during a booster draft, the players will receive a number of boosters equal to the format being used (6-8). To start, each player opens one pack at the same time, removes the Redemption card and hero card (excluding any foils) and places it in the middle, then selects one card from the pack and passes the pack to the left. The card selected does NOT need to be usable in the final deck’s construction. When the player is handed a booster from the person to their right, they again select one card and pass the pack to the left. This is continued until the booster pack is emptied. Once the pack is emptied the players will open their next pack, draft a card, and pass the cards to the right. The 3rd pack will be drafted and passed to the left. The process continues until all boosters are emptied and players have drafted the appropriate number of cards. At this point, the players will construct the best deck possible. The players are allowed to bring a set of their own personal heroes for use with their deck. If a player does not draft the needed cards to construct a deck then they will forfeit the tournament.
Keep in mind you usually want about 4-8 players per draft.
Feel free to draft any foils if you need them for your collection but keep in mind this may make your deck weaker in the actual competition!
The Limited Formats:
6 Pack: During a 6 Pack Draft, the deck limit is reduced to 30 cards minimum (including hero). All Class and Faction restrictions are in place. This is the more basic drafting format.
8 Pack: During an 8 Pack Draft, the deck limit remains at 40 cards minimum (including hero). All Class and Faction restrictions are in place. This is the more advanced drafting format.
Meltdown is Shadow Era’s unique limited format that was both named and created by Kyle Poole himself! During a meltdown game players are provided 4 booster packs which are NOT drafted! Instead, remove the Redemption codes and hero cards (including Foil heroes) from the packs. The remaining cards will then be used to make the best 30 card deck (minimum) possible, regardless of Class or Faction restrictions.
Lastly, players must then pick a hero from one of the 4 heroes they got in their booster packs (plus any applicable foil heroes pulled). Players are not allowed to exchange heroes or bring their own heroes; you must choose one of the heroes you got in one of your packs. For example, you can have a Gravebone using Smite on his enemies or a Boris conjuring Tidal Wave!
Now that you know what the 3 formats are you might be asking “how will I set up a friendly tournament with my friends with meaningful prizes?” Well, rest assured because all the redemptions codes that are sent to the middle during drafting/Meltdown can then be used as a hefty Shadow Crystal prize for the victor(s)! For example, you may want to divide the crystals up progressively between 1, 2 and 3rd place. You can figure it out amongst yourselves but make sure you have defined it before the tournament starts.
Also, as an optional rule for the Meltdown format you can make it so that any foil heroes pulled from the packs can be used as prizes in addition to the redemption codes.
For those of you who cannot wait, GondorianDotCom (design team member) has created online draft simulator.
For 6 pack opening simulation use this link: http://shadowera.gondorian.com/sealeddeck.php?packs=6
For 8 pack opening simulation use this link: http://shadowera.gondorian.com/sealeddeck.php?packs=8
At the bottom, there is link to GDC’s online deck builder so you can simply select hero and tune the deck visually.