Drafting Guide for FFTCG (Updated)


Drafting Guide for FFTCG (Updated)

Today I wanted to give everyone my little run down of Final Fantasy TCG‘s draft format. The limited draft format is a fun way for players to play in a pretty fair environment! The cost of entry is pretty low usually $16-$25 and you get to keep the cards you draft! *AWESOME* I am going to give some of my advice and pointers that can help you out if you have never drafted before.

UPDATE: In the image above is a picture of me on the left winning the Final Fantasy TCG E3 Draft Event in Los Angeles on June 15th 2017. So to give this guide a little more credibility… I actually followed my own advice in the draft where I won!

UPDATE 2 – 8/3/2017: There was some newfound information about how Backups can be played with any CP from Final Fantasy TCG North America. This conflicts with GTS’ current rules, but Final Fantasy TCG North America insists that they will be enforcing the Simplified Sealed Backup rules going forward. This has held true at E3 and SDCC 2017 so I have added the new information in the rules below.

UPDATE 3 – 10/7/2017: I was able to take 2nd in one of the Final Fantasy TCG Draft events at the NA Championships event. My local fellow draft master comrade, Peter Wong, took home 1st in another Draft event so we did NorCal proud… in limited :)

UPDATE 4 – 5/8/2018: Kageyama’s team whipped out a sweet All Star Cube Draft format consisting of 400 cards. You can find the list here in Japanese: http://www.square-enix-shop.com/jp/ff-tcg/events/event20180309_02.html

UPDATE 5 – 12/18/2018: I had to get the facts straight and it is now confirmed as of this date that playing competitive draft events will only have the following rules that are different from standard rules:
4-1. Limited
Special rules are used for tournaments held under the “limited” rules, such as “sealed” and booster
4-1-1. Number of cards in a deck
The number of cards in a “limited” rules deck is 40 or more. There is no upper limit to the number. In
addition, there is no upper limit to the number of cards of the same serial number that can be
4-1-2. Changes to the maximum damage limit
Under the “limited” rules the game ends once a player has inflicted 6 points of damage on their
4-1-3. Booster packs used
Under the limited rules, tournament organizers will prepare sealed booster packs and distribute
these to the participating players. Players will not be allowed to use packs or cards that they have
brought themselves.

UPDATE 6 – 7/30/2019: It seems like 5 pack drafts are the new standard for competitive.

This means the belief of playing backups with any Element CP is incorrect for competitive draft events.

Further official confirmation from RB of SE:

UPDATE 7 – 12/5/2020: I added a section for All-Star Draft rules from the official FFTCG Japan website: http://www.square-enix-shop.com/jp/ff-tcg/rules/index.html

First the official Draft rules from GTS Distribution (USA) are as follows:

This limited format is the most popular and recommended for the Final Fantasy TCG.

  • Requires 4 booster packs per player and 4 players per table. (4 of Opus 1, Opus 2, or 2 of each)
  • Flow of the game:
    1. Each player should open their first booster pack.
    2. Each player should pick the card they wish and add it to their “card pool”.
    3. They should then pass the remainder of the pack in the designated direction.
      • Pack Number/Pass cards to the
        1. Left
        2. Right
        3. Left
        4. Right
    4. Each player should then repeat steps 2-3 until there are no cards left in their booster pack.
    5. Each player should then open the next pack and repeat steps 2-5 until they have no more packs to open.
    6. Players should then build a limited deck using only the cards in their “card pool”.
    7. Players should then play 1 game against each other player in their draft pod of 4 to find an overall winner. *

* Draft can also be used in a small scale Swiss tournament with 8 players and 3 rounds.

In addition to the above rules here are more Limited specific rules:

  • Decks must contain at least 40 cards (40 to 41 cards recommended).
  • Victory is attained by inflicting 6 points of damage instead of the usual 7.
  • Players can have more than three copies of the same card in their deck.
  • Backups can be played using CP of any colour (Unless if there is a specific color required in
    the card’s instructions. Forwards must still have at least 1 CP of their element paid as part
    of their cost).
  • Backups still only produce their element’s CP when dulled.

The official tournament rules for Draft and other formats can be found here.

ALL-STAR DRAFT (Translated from official FFTCG Japan)
An All-Star Draft is a special draft made using cards different from the Booster Draft.

  1. Collect various cards of “FF-TCG” and prepare a card set. At the official event, we will use the set prepared in advance, but you can insert your favorite card when playing individually. It is necessary to prepare the number of participants x 60 or more.
  2. Mix all the cards well and treat 12 randomly selected cards as equivalent to one pack in the booster draft. In that way, prepare 60 cards for 5 packs.
  3. The card draft method and the progress of the game are the same as the booster draft.

Click here for a list of cards used at official events . * This list is current as of “Opus XII” (last updated: 2020/12/01). * The contents of the list are subject to change due to balance adjustment. <Special rule> * This rule is common to shield and booster drafts. 1. Build a deck with 40 or more cards. Any number of 40 or more will do. 2. There is no maximum number of cards that can be placed in the deck. You can put as many as you like. 3. You win if you deal 6 points of damage to your opponent.


I have played the draft format for FFTCG about 6 times now and numerous times in other games like MTG and L5R. There are very key differences if you are coming from MTG. Below I will highlight some takeaways and tips:

  1. Know the cards… knowledge is power. Utilize FFTCG Mognet or look at the card lists from the main site here.
  2. You only get a pool of 48 cards to choose from out of the 4 booster packs used to draft
    • You have to utilize a 40 card deck meaning only 8 cards are free from use
    • Most likely 8-16 of those cards will be outside of your chosen Elements
  3. You do not get Backups or CP generators from outside of your 48 cards
    • Remember to draft some Backups of your Elements
    • 1CP Evokers/Summoners are actually decent in draft
  4. Consider going 3 Elements right from the start
    • Focus on two based on your feel of the Elements passed your way from left and right
    • Splash the last Element
  5. Almost always take the Legendary card from the first pack
    • The Legendary cards are so strong you generally consider building your deck around it
  6. Bomb cards are important to grab as well… here are some I would always go for outside of Legendaries:
    • Burn/Removal: Odin4, Odin7, Seymour, Brynhildr, and Machinist
    • Bounce: Leviathan and Yuna H
    • Dull/Freeze: Shiva R and Snow
    • Battle Tricks/Pumps: Titan, Golem, Belias, the Gigas, and Cuchulainn, the Impure
    • Annoyance: Minwu, Larsa, and all the Cecils
    • Beef: 9000 Power Forwards
    • Zemus – just so good in draft
  7. Keep a mental count of THE 8 BURN cards going into your deck

    • Cards not in your 2-3 Elements of your draft deck
    • Cards usually passed to you at the final 2-3 cards of a booster pack
    • Try not to reach this 8 BURN card limit before the 3rd pack as it will be a recipe for disaster
    • Once you hit the 8 cards that cannot go into your deck, make sure to grab any EX Burst out of Element if available
    • Once you hit the 8, ALWAYS pick Elements of your deck as 4 Element decks tend to fail in draft
  8. Don’t worry about Backup ratios too much in draft (UPDATE 8/3/2017: stuff like Irvine, Tellah, and some other Backups that can do good without its own Element might be something to consider now with the new Backup rules)
    • With cards that drop value such as Weiss, Vanille, and etc you could easily end up swinging games with t1 drops
    • Focus on your two main Elements before worrying about backups, I won drafts without putting a backup down
    • Backups tend to come automatically to you as other cards may be more valuable in the early picks (May not be the case anymore)
  9. Forwards on or above the curve WITH abilities are great in draft
    • 2 CP Forwards should have minimum 5000 Power
    • 3 CP Forwards should have minimum 7000 Power
    • 4 CP Forwards should have minimum 8000 Power
    • 5+ CP Forwards should have minimum 9000 Power
  10. Remember S abilities and Combo reliant cards are extremely hard to pull off in draft so do not grab these trap cards


When getting ready for Draft Day at your LGS, consider the following:

Good luck with your drafts! May you avoid pulling double Legendaries during your draft!

Let me know if you have any draft tips and strategies in a comment below!

About Benny

I was born and raised by the blanketing fog of San Francisco, CA. I love food, tech, and everything else that is synonymous with the words: nerd and geek. My hobbies include playing video games, watching anime, and dining out. Operating computers, setting up home theaters, crafting works of art with BiC round stic pens, and internet spelunking are my professional forte. I am Jack's infinite wealth of random knowledge and skills. Thanks for reading my lofty block of text!

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