Draftable Shards

I have seen this idea discussed elsewhere, but I thought I would make a nice and clear long post discussing the proposal.

As I’m sure we’re all aware, the pandora artifacts have been controversial since their unveiling. While they are interesting and potentially fun, they can often lead to feel bad decisions, where the player feels like they lost to pure RNG. (or won)

I find the artifacts to be interesting and a potentially cool way of making Pandora feel very different from constructed. I don’t think they should be removed completely, but I do think the players should be given some control over them. I believe that the pandora shards should be drafted as part of deck construction.

I propose that after every 10 picks from normal packs, the player be shown a Pandora Pack featuring five pandora shards that they must draft from. Then, when the game begins, instead of each player having random unknown shards being mixed into their deck, the shards they drafted would be, along with the usual two blank shards. The pandora shards still behave in the same way, having an instant symmetrical effect as soon as they’re drawn. I believe that this system will dramatically improve the experience of the Pandora Shards for a variety of reasons…

  1. Each player gets to know the contents of their own deck. Rather than the current feel of having random shards invade my deck, I get to take ownership of my shards, and keep them in mind during gameplay and deck drafting.

  2. If I am punished or rewarded by a shard, then I was punished or rewarded as a result of a player’s decision to include that specific shard in their deck. Rather than pure RNG punishing or rewarding players, leading to feel bad moments, a player’s decision was directly responsible for the punishment or reward.

… I understand the value of randomness and know that random effects can be very fun. But the potential drawbacks of randomness matter too. In the words of Mark Rosewater, “being unable to accomplish something due to factors outside your control makes you feel powerless.” We, as the pandora players, need to feel some measure of control over the random shards. Please “allow players to manipulate the source of the randomness” by including the randomness as part of the draft.

While I believe the benefits of drafted shards dramatically out weight the problems with the idea, there are problems. The most significant of which is that the number of shards would need to be expanded so as to make the shard drafting meaningful and have sufficient variance in available shards.

Let me know what you all think of my proposal.


Hey Ramora, great post and very interesting idea. I can see the value of choosing the artifacts - more strategic depth and putting control in the hands of the players. It would make the players feel they have influenced the outcome and effects that happen. if the game is completely changed by a lucky event people will feel that it was at least somewhat deserved. Plus it still retains some of the mystery, what did the opponent pick?

Another idea I had was to show the artifact cards beforehand so you know what is coming, this adds another layer of strategy, such as saving your small creatures until after the 2 damage to everyone event shows, or saving the punishment for the crystal dragon event. If something goes wrong it was your fault for playing into it.

Both of these suggestions give the player a little more control and because of that if something big happens it will feel deserved, whether it’s good or bad.

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I agree someone needs to be done with the pandora shards, had this happen today https://www.twitch.tv/luuu90/v/73565940 and later on stream also another case where i lose my whole board because of the shard while the game was basically over…

i really like some of the shards, like the charge card or echo are nice and the tea pot also adds an intersting dynamic, but it happens out of nowhere without a reason. So my first idea was to make it so that shards are announced 1 turn before they activate the effect, so that you can play arround it.

but i also really like the idea from Ramora - this way it brings more depth to the deckbuilding and there is a reason why which shards happen

The Pandora shards do need work for sure, the whole point of Pandora is to make a deck from random cards work out and create synergy with what you get, this is already RNG enough, adding shards that completely change the deck for example beats the whole game and makes it into an RNG fest instead of a game.
I love Pandora because of the Deck creation and the stakes of winning and losing, and the shards can give a nice twist to the game as long as they are not game breaking, some of the effects shards have at the moment is game breaking.

Lost many games due to pure RNG killing every monster on my side or changing all my cards for other cards removing all synergy I had created in the deck.

I hope they will listen and fix this.

I really like this idea.

I get that the point of the game mode is to add some unpredictability and excitement into the game. But to be honest, the unpredictability and novelty wears off pretty quick and just becomes a regular game with extra RNG thrown in. And a shard that changes all cards completely negates the whole deckbuilding aspect. It undoes the player’s work. That is just bad card design, no offense to anyone. That shard just simply needs to be replaced with another one.

So ya, i think drafting shards will bring back control to the player while still maintaining the extra feature of playing pandora mode.