Innistrad Limited -- Dominated by Rares, Mana Issues and Muligans

95 posts / 0 new
Last post
Every limited format will have a plurality of wins and loses decided by Rare [Bombs], Mana Issues and Muligans, but it seems that Innistrad is particularly bad in this regard. In fact, I can't even remember the last Innistrad limited match where at least one game wasn't decided by one of these three things. My most recent tournament game wins/loses were as follows:

Round 1
Won based on first turn Stormkirk Noble, second turn Spectral Flight
Won based on fourth turn Stormgeist, no answer from my opponent

Round 2
Loss due to Gavony Township
Loss due to Gavony Township

Round 3
Win due to Charmbreaker / Galvanic Volley combo
Win due to my opponent getting stuck on 2 lands until turn 6

Certainly some of these games might have worked out the same way if they weren't decided by rares or mana issues, but every single one was decided primarily by rares or mana issues. The first Gavony Township game I was in a great position to win, but that Township completely turned the game around for my opponent. If I had to estimate, I'd put mana, muligans and rares as the deciding factors in at least 60% of games.
I wouldn't consider this set dominated by rares at all.  Invisible Stalker, Spider Spawning, Burning Vengeance, Fiend Hunter.  Truthfully, I think the uncommons dominate more.
So what you're saying is that Magic is a game that has elements of luck to it.  Why hasn't anyone else noticed this?!

I rarely get beaten by bombs or mana issues, unless it's an absolute monster of a bomb like Olivia or Stalker + Cleaver.  I think as long as you play with the good removal that is in the set (not so much in DKA though) and don't try to be too greedy with your mana base, you don't have these problems.
I agree with the Commander.
Preparing for the M14 Prerelease - New article up! IN THE TANK - my very own blog for rambling about Magic!
I wouldn't consider this set dominated by rares at all.  Invisible Stalker, Spider Spawning, Burning Vengeance, Fiend Hunter.  Truthfully, I think the uncommons dominate more.



Not to be picky but I think you forgot the two best uncommons of them all Slayer of the Wicked and Falkenrath Noble Laughing
So what you're saying is that Magic is a game that has elements of luck to it.  Why hasn't anyone else noticed this?!

I rarely get beaten by bombs or mana issues, unless it's an absolute monster of a bomb like Olivia or Stalker + Cleaver.  I think as long as you play with the good removal that is in the set (not so much in DKA though) and don't try to be too greedy with your mana base, you don't have these problems.



I rarely get beaten period, but if I do, it's almost always due to mana issues or a bomb on my opponent's side. But if you don't believe me, keep a record. For every loss make a note if any of the following happened:

1) You had to muligan your starting hand, due to having 1, 6 or 7 lands 
2) You missed at least one of your first 3 land drops
3) You drew more lands than spells
4) You opponent played a mythic or rare bomb (that you either couldn't remove, or required more than 1 card to do so)

I would be amazed if anyone has more losses that don't involve at least one of these conditions than those that involve at least one.
Hand of god, I was actually able to win the entire Ravnica draft, a set which I have never drafted before or even seen the cardlist, with this deck:

1 Agent of Masks 1 Angel of Despair 2 Boros Signet 1 Castigate 1 Enemy of the Guildpact 2 Ghost Warden 2 Gobhobbler Rats 1 Grifter's Blade 1 Hellhole Rats 1 Jagged Poppet 5 Mountain 1 Nettling Curse 2 Orzhov Euthanist 1 Orzhov Guildmage 1 Orzhova, the Church of Deals 4 Plains 1 Psychotic Fury 1 Seal of Doom 1 Smash 7 Swamp 1 Thundersong Trumpeter 1 Veteran Armorer 1 Wojek Embermage

The only loss, this: (Shoot, I lost the picture before copying it from my clipboard.) Anyway, it was a loss due to drawing 10 lands and 6 spells over the course of a game, when 1 of my 'spells' was a Boris Signet. My final two wins both involved the Angel of Despair and my record with that card is: 'never lost after playing this card'
yes, you win if you resolve angel of despair. but acting like the rest of your deck didn't do anything is ignoring the fact that, you know, angel of despair costs 7. the rest of your deck was able to maneuver you into a position where angel won. you're just looking at what you won with, not how you actually won.

 
120.6. Some effects replace card draws.
yes, you win if you resolve angel of despair. but acting like the rest of your deck didn't do anything is ignoring the fact that, you know, angel of despair costs 7. the rest of your deck was able to maneuver you into a position where angel won. you're just looking at what you won with, not how you actually won.

 



I didn't need the Angel to win every game, but it won every game where it was played. In some of these games, it was the only card out of the entire deck that would have allowed me to win, in others it is was just the nail in my opponent's coffin, because killing off an opponent's 3/3 and replacing it with a flying 5/5 on my side is a pretty big swing. My point in bringing this up, is that the rare was involved with 3 out of 6 wins and never once removed. Which means that for my opponents, a rare bomb was involved in 3 of their loses. In my only loss I got mana flooded, and two of my opponents mana flooded for loses as well. So now we're looking at 6 out of 7 loses that involve either an unremoved bomb, muligans or mana issues. Including the first set of Innistrad games, we are now up to 12 out of 13.

Which reinforces my central point that the majority of loses involve either mana, muligans or unremoved rare/mythic bombs. Although now that I think about it "The three M's" sounds catchier. Just keep a log of your loses and it will become as clear to you as it is to me. Wins are a little tougher, because you won't always know if one of the three conditions are met, but you could keep a record of those too.
No, saying that the big bomb at cost 7 decides every game is like saying that the shots are all that matter in warfare. There's an infrastructure behind it which means a lot for how much and how fast you can dispatch your win conditions. It's true that very few well-constructed limited decks have no other win conditions than "tempoing out" or "value-grinding out" an opponent, but tempo and value are a crucial part of every deck.
Preparing for the M14 Prerelease - New article up! IN THE TANK - my very own blog for rambling about Magic!
No, saying that the big bomb at cost 7 decides every game is like saying that the shots are all that matter in warfare. There's an infrastructure behind it which means a lot for how much and how fast you can dispatch your win conditions. It's true that very few well-constructed limited decks have no other win conditions than "tempoing out" or "value-grinding out" an opponent, but tempo and value are a crucial part of every deck.



I'd say the 'value-grinding out' win condition accounts for a minimum of 90% of the decks I construct in limited. Which generally means I win if I can play at least as many spells than my opponent. Which is why mana and muligan issues account for so many of my loses. If I do play more spells than my opponent, just about the only thing that can stand in my way is my opponent having a rare/mythic bomb that can singlehandedly reproduce the effects of a number of non-bomb cards.

Realizing that the three Ms (Mana, Muligans, Mythic / Rare Bombs) account for the majority of magic wins/losses is an important part of objective deck design.
Which reinforces my central point that the majority of loses involve either mana, muligans or unremoved rare/mythic bombs. Although now that I think about it "The three M's" sounds catchier. Just keep a log of your loses and it will become as clear to you as it is to me. Wins are a little tougher, because you won't always know if one of the three conditions are met, but you could keep a record of those too.


no, I believe you that every bomb rare/mythic in a limited deck is disproportionately responsible for the actual wins of that deck. that's why BREAD starts with a B. but that doesn't mean that the format is dominated by bombs. everyone gets bombs, just like everyone gets removal, and evasion, and everything else. maybe someone gets a better bomb, but that bomb is one of 40 cards. it may win every game it's played, but even if you draw 20 cards in a game, you still only have a 50/50 shot of even seeing that bomb. and, when you do, you still have to hope you're not already so far gone that it can't save you. for instance, like you said, killing their 3/3 and getting a 5/5 flier is really big. but if they have 4 more 3/3s and you have nothing else, it's not big enough. so, when you look at the single card most responsible for any given win, yes, it's almost always going to be a rare. but that doesn't mean the other 39 cards in that deck weren't important too.

 
120.6. Some effects replace card draws.
Razor's right.

Also, yes; Between two players of a high skill level, luck will be a deciding factor. That doesn't mean your skills aren't important; If you had been less proficient, your opponent would outplay you more and get an advantage that way.
Preparing for the M14 Prerelease - New article up! IN THE TANK - my very own blog for rambling about Magic!
I wouldn't consider this set dominated by rares at all.  Invisible Stalker, Spider Spawning, Burning Vengeance, Fiend Hunter.  Truthfully, I think the uncommons dominate more.



Not to be picky but I think you forgot the two best uncommons of them all Slayer of the Wicked and Falkenrath Noble



I'll admit I forgot Noble but I prefer Fiend Hunter to the slayer.
All your threads are exactly the same. The majority of people here disagree with you in this regard. Please stop making new threads with exactly the same topic.
All your threads are exactly the same. The majority of people here disagree with you in this regard. Please stop making new threads with exactly the same topic.



If you think I am incorrect in this matter, make your own log. Then post the log here and use it to illustrate why you feel that the majority of your game loses did not come down to mana issues, muligans or mythic [bombs]. This type of post amounts to little more than:

"Copernicus, the majority of people disagree with you."
Razor's right.

Also, yes; Between two players of a high skill level, luck will be a deciding factor. That doesn't mean your skills aren't important; If you had been less proficient, your opponent would outplay you more and get an advantage that way.



Perhaps the people online are all high enough in play-skill level and deck construction ability that the remaining deciding factor is luck. A while back I kept track of online wins and losses, and over hundreds of games I found that my limited game win rate was approximately 80%, provided that I wasn't forced to muligan, didn't miss any of my first 3 land drops, and didn't draw more lands than spells over the course of the game. IE, no muligans or mana issues. If I did have muligans or mana issues, the win rate dropped to around 30%. So even though muligans and mana issues didn't happen in the majority of games, they did happen in the majority of my losses. Adding mythic bombs to that mix would surely skew the numbers even further, since muligans and mana issues already account for the majority of losses.

I honestly didn't think this observation would be that controversial, and I had hoped this discussion would focus more on whether Innistrad put more of an importance on the three Ms than other sets. Certainly with the Werewolves in the set, mana issues account for a larger percentage of losses. I've had several early games lost because I got stuck on two lands, which allowed my opponent's werewolves to transform, or late games where I lost because I mana flooded, which allowed my opponent's werewolves to stay transformed. I would say that muligans are roughly as bad in this set as they have been in others, and the bombs roughly as bomby.
Which reinforces my central point that the majority of loses involve either mana, muligans or unremoved rare/mythic bombs. Although now that I think about it "The three M's" sounds catchier. Just keep a log of your loses and it will become as clear to you as it is to me. Wins are a little tougher, because you won't always know if one of the three conditions are met, but you could keep a record of those too.


no, I believe you that every bomb rare/mythic in a limited deck is disproportionately responsible for the actual wins of that deck. that's why BREAD starts with a B. but that doesn't mean that the format is dominated by bombs. everyone gets bombs, just like everyone gets removal, and evasion, and everything else. maybe someone gets a better bomb, but that bomb is one of 40 cards. it may win every game it's played, but even if you draw 20 cards in a game, you still only have a 50/50 shot of even seeing that bomb. and, when you do, you still have to hope you're not already so far gone that it can't save you. for instance, like you said, killing their 3/3 and getting a 5/5 flier is really big. but if they have 4 more 3/3s and you have nothing else, it's not big enough. so, when you look at the single card most responsible for any given win, yes, it's almost always going to be a rare. but that doesn't mean the other 39 cards in that deck weren't important too.

 



Maybe the best way to look at it is 39 cards on each side that roughly cancel out and 1 that doesn't?
All your threads are exactly the same. The majority of people here disagree with you in this regard. Please stop making new threads with exactly the same topic.



If you think I am incorrect in this matter, make your own log. Then post the log here and use it to illustrate why you feel that the majority of your game loses did not come down to mana issues, muligans or mythic [bombs]. This type of post amounts to little more than:

"Copernicus, the majority of people disagree with you."


The fact that you are this arrogant astounds me. And don't imply things from my post that aren't there.

I'm not telling you not to post, nor that your opinions are wrong. But all your threads border on identicality. You complain about mythics and bombs, tell everyone how utterly awesome you are as long as x and y and z don't happen to you, murder statistical analysis and then disagree with everyone when they suggest that you might be incorrect in any way. You have plenty of threads open saying the same thing. Don't le me stop you posting, but how about you start a new thread when you have something new to say.
All your threads are exactly the same. The majority of people here disagree with you in this regard. Please stop making new threads with exactly the same topic.



If you think I am incorrect in this matter, make your own log. Then post the log here and use it to illustrate why you feel that the majority of your game loses did not come down to mana issues, muligans or mythic [bombs]. This type of post amounts to little more than:

"Copernicus, the majority of people disagree with you."


The fact that you are this arrogant astounds me. And don't imply things from my post that aren't there.

I'm not telling you not to post, nor that your opinions are wrong. But all your threads border on identicality. You complain about mythics and bombs, tell everyone how utterly awesome you are as long as x and y and z don't happen to you, murder statistical analysis and then disagree with everyone when they suggest that you might be incorrect in any way. You have plenty of threads open saying the same thing. Don't le me stop you posting, but how about you start a new thread when you have something new to say.



These aren't opinions, they are facts. I kept a record, and the majority of my game loses came in games where I was either mana short, mana flooded, or forced to muligan to 6 cards or less due to having an unplayable starting hand. Since the criteria for mana short, mana flood and muligans were defined objectively prior to keeping these results there is no subjective interpretation. Only a record of which condition was hit in each game, and whether a win or loss was the final outcome. What statistical analysis have you come up with that would suggest that going from an 80% game win rate with no mana issues or muligans, to a 30% win rate with either mana issues or muligans, is not statistically significant?
You are a sample size of one. Of ONE.

Really, if you're across numbers as much as you like to give the impression that you are, this is all I should need to tell you.

At the pre-release, I won a number of games mulliganing to 6, or even 5. I would not be so incredibly confident of my own opinion that I would declare of the set that mulliganing increases the chance of winning games. 
You are a sample size of one. Of ONE.

Really, if you're across numbers as much as you like to give the impression that you are, this is all I should need to tell you.

At the pre-release, I won a number of games mulliganing to 6, or even 5. I would not be so incredibly confident of my own opinion that I would declare of the set that mulliganing increases the chance of winning games. 



The result (of mana or muligan issues being present in the majority of loses) is across hundreds of samples. It is not a sample size of 1, and well outside the possibility of being a statistical fluke. All any individual player needs to do is keep a log for themselves so that they can observe the same results. I can't guarentee it will be as big of a difference as it was in my case (80% win rate without mana/muligans vs 30% with) but I will predict that anyone with an over 50% average game winning percentage is going to see a statistically significant difference between the two results. For my personal results, out of 102 game loses, mana issues or muligans were involved in 71 of them.

Keeping a log for bombs vs no-bombs is a little more difficult, but it can be done in a similar fashion. 
Alright, I'll bite. I don't have the same extensive log that you claim to have, since I concentrate on what I can control instead of just plain luck, but it's something.

I played 12 games of Magic today at the PreRelease. I won 7 and lost 5 (went 3-1 for matches).

Games I lost (in no particular order):
1. Mul to 5. He kept 7. I prolonged death until ~turn 10.
2. Kept a risky hand that was too slow.
3. Lost to Niblis of the Urn. Hardly a bomb, I'd say. He was also attacking with Geralf's Messenger, but had I enough defenders consistently I would've won.
4. Lost to Drogskol Reaver.
5. Lost to his better curve than mine. He mulliganned.

So, 40% of the games I lost were due to your reasons outlined.
More importantly, games I won with my BW tokens deck (no "bombs" except maybe Moorland Haunt):

I mulliganned to 6 in 3 games. I won all 3 of those games because my curve was better than my opponent. Only one of those games did my opponent mulligan.
We both mulliganned to 5 and got stuck on 2 land. I won.
I won because of a single activation from Moorland Haunt (the only time all day I activated it) to block my opponent's alpha strike.
My opponent mulliganned to 6, played Gavony Township, but I flew over him.
No mulligans, I drew 10 lands and 7 spells, dealt with Mikaeus, the UnhallowedNiblis of the Urn, and won the turn before he would have.

So in review, games I won when:
1) I mulliganned: 4/5
1a) Opponent Mulliganned: 3/4
2) Missed 3rd land: 1/1
2a) Opp Missed: 0/0
3) Drew more lands than spells: 1/1
3a) Opp drew: ?/? Didn't track that.
4) Faced a bomb: 2/3
4a) Opp faced my bomb: 0/0
 
Perhaps this is an anamolous 12 games, but I won more when your conditions were stacked against me than when not. This is mostly attributed to mulliganning well, obviously, but to be fair my opponents lost more times when they mulliganned than they won, so perhaps those stats balance out?
However this raises an interesting point: You've talked a lot about tracking your losses, but not about your wins. How many games did you win where you mulliganed (by choice or not)?
My bad, you did post that, I just missed it.

Speaking of anomalies, you know what we all saw less and less of at the top tables of the pre-release? Bombs. Rares. Mythics. The winning player was GW, and their only rare was Gavony Township (granted, that's a good one). However, the overall trend of seeing the bomb-heavy decks fall by the wayside to decks with a very clear game plan (mostly aggressive) is not surprising.  

Anyway, hope this was slightly helpful.
You are a sample size of one. Of ONE.

Really, if you're across numbers as much as you like to give the impression that you are, this is all I should need to tell you.

At the pre-release, I won a number of games mulliganing to 6, or even 5. I would not be so incredibly confident of my own opinion that I would declare of the set that mulliganing increases the chance of winning games. 



The result (of mana or muligan issues being present in the majority of loses) is across hundreds of samples. It is not a sample size of 1, and well outside the possibility of being a statistical fluke. All any individual player needs to do is keep a log for themselves so that they can observe the same results. I can't guarentee it will be as big of a difference as it was in my case (80% win rate without mana/muligans vs 30% with) but I will predict that anyone with an over 50% average game winning percentage is going to see a statistically significant difference between the two results. For my personal results, out of 102 game loses, mana issues or muligans were involved in 71 of them.

Keeping a log for bombs vs no-bombs is a little more difficult, but it can be done in a similar fashion. 


Let me re-iterate: You are a sample size of one. You.

You are the biggest variable. The cards each player receives are normally distributed. Each players play skill is trickier, but you can make the same assumption. Also, your numbers completely ignore deck style, match up, play vs draw, the fact that mulliganing can actually help you. How about you track the number of games you lose when you should mulligan, but don't.

And all your 'facts' are drawn from inferential experiences drawn through a single (and potentially biased) players point of view. You are the biggest variable, and all your data is subject through the filter of your own experience.

But honestly, you're missing the point. My point is that you're threads all say the same thing, and there's no need for it. Regardless of how much we disagree, your threads don't say anything new. It's just the same complaints, over and over again. If you could confine it to one thread, I'd be appreciative.
This is a card game.  Not only that, its a non-symetrical card in a high variance format where the card pools are determined semi-randomly.

Where was the basis to believe that luck wouldn't be an extremely big factor in who wins the game?

What is the point of your observation?  Maybe you're playing the wrong game.
Heavy Rocks
Maybe the best way to look at it is 39 cards on each side that roughly cancel out and 1 that doesn't?


but they do roughly cancel each other out. it's just that they serve a much more visible role. in, say, Innistrad limited, maybe you have your black-red deck with olivia voldaren, and I have my white-green token deck with essence of the wild. either of those is vastly more likely to win the game than any other card in either of those decks. and one may be better than the other, but they serve basically the same function.

 
120.6. Some effects replace card draws.
A while back I kept track of online wins and losses, and over hundreds of games I found that my limited game win rate was approximately 80%, provided that I wasn't forced to muligan, didn't miss any of my first 3 land drops, and didn't draw more lands than spells over the course of the game. IE, no muligans or mana issues. If I did have muligans or mana issues, the win rate dropped to around 30%. So even though muligans and mana issues didn't happen in the majority of games, they did happen in the majority of my losses. Adding mythic bombs to that mix would surely skew the numbers even further, since muligans and mana issues already account for the majority of losses.


So what you're saying is that you won more games when you started with a great hand/draw, and lost more games when you had a bad hand/draw.  That sounds like almost all the Magic games I've ever seen.
Regardless of whether or not your data is accurate, it's just not relevant.  First, it has absolutely nothing to do with bomb rares.  Second, every format is defined to some degree on the luck of what you draw as well as who plays the best cards.  Nothing you have mentioned here is specific to Innistrad or Limited, all of it is true in every game of Magic you play anywhere.
Razor's right.

Also, yes; Between two players of a high skill level, luck will be a deciding factor. That doesn't mean your skills aren't important; If you had been less proficient, your opponent would outplay you more and get an advantage that way.



Perhaps the people online are all high enough in play-skill level and deck construction ability that the remaining deciding factor is luck. A while back I kept track of online wins and losses, and over hundreds of games I found that my limited game win rate was approximately 80%, provided that I wasn't forced to muligan, didn't miss any of my first 3 land drops, and didn't draw more lands than spells over the course of the game. IE, no muligans or mana issues. If I did have muligans or mana issues, the win rate dropped to around 30%. So even though muligans and mana issues didn't happen in the majority of games, they did happen in the majority of my losses. Adding mythic bombs to that mix would surely skew the numbers even further, since muligans and mana issues already account for the majority of losses.

I honestly didn't think this observation would be that controversial, and I had hoped this discussion would focus more on whether Innistrad put more of an importance on the three Ms than other sets. Certainly with the Werewolves in the set, mana issues account for a larger percentage of losses. I've had several early games lost because I got stuck on two lands, which allowed my opponent's werewolves to transform, or late games where I lost because I mana flooded, which allowed my opponent's werewolves to stay transformed. I would say that muligans are roughly as bad in this set as they have been in others, and the bombs roughly as bomby.



I haven't read the last part of this thread because honestly I just want it to end.

YES, people online are leagues better than most people you'll draft with offline. I'm trying to form a playgroup here in Denmark along with some friends, and me and the other "man behind the idea" (who doesn't even draft online, but knows what he's doing - to some extent) are a lot better at drafting than all the other guys who play constructed or haven't played Magic a lot the last years.

I drafted ISD with six of those guys - I got 4 Falkenrath Noble, 3 Victim of Night, 4 Moan of the Unhallowed and a lot of good black filler like Markov Patrician and stuff like that. Oh, and Grimgrin, Corpse-Born and Evil Twin. I didn't play Unburial Rites because without the flashback, it would be like the worst card in my deck. I ran people over with it. Someone ran Infernal Plunges maindeck.

I don't see that happening online.
Preparing for the M14 Prerelease - New article up! IN THE TANK - my very own blog for rambling about Magic!
Alright, I'll bite. I don't have the same extensive log that you claim to have, since I concentrate on what I can control instead of just plain luck, but it's something.

I played 12 games of Magic today at the PreRelease. I won 7 and lost 5 (went 3-1 for matches).

Games I lost (in no particular order):
1. Mul to 5. He kept 7. I prolonged death until ~turn 10.
2. Kept a risky hand that was too slow.
3. Lost to Niblis of the Urn. Hardly a bomb, I'd say. He was also attacking with Geralf's Messenger, but had I enough defenders consistently I would've won.
4. Lost to Drogskol Reaver.
5. Lost to his better curve than mine. He mulliganned.

So, 40% of the games I lost were due to your reasons outlined.
More importantly, games I won with my BW tokens deck (no "bombs" except maybe Moorland Haunt):

I mulliganned to 6 in 3 games. I won all 3 of those games because my curve was better than my opponent. Only one of those games did my opponent mulligan.
We both mulliganned to 5 and got stuck on 2 land. I won.
I won because of a single activation from Moorland Haunt (the only time all day I activated it) to block my opponent's alpha strike.
My opponent mulliganned to 6, played Gavony Township, but I flew over him.
No mulligans, I drew 10 lands and 7 spells, dealt with Mikaeus, the UnhallowedNiblis of the Urn, and won the turn before he would have.

So in review, games I won when:
1) I mulliganned: 4/5
1a) Opponent Mulliganned: 3/4
2) Missed 3rd land: 1/1
2a) Opp Missed: 0/0
3) Drew more lands than spells: 1/1
3a) Opp drew: ?/? Didn't track that.
4) Faced a bomb: 2/3
4a) Opp faced my bomb: 0/0
 
Perhaps this is an anamolous 12 games, but I won more when your conditions were stacked against me than when not. This is mostly attributed to mulliganning well, obviously, but to be fair my opponents lost more times when they mulliganned than they won, so perhaps those stats balance out?
However this raises an interesting point: You've talked a lot about tracking your losses, but not about your wins. How many games did you win where you mulliganed (by choice or not)?
My bad, you did post that, I just missed it.

Speaking of anomalies, you know what we all saw less and less of at the top tables of the pre-release? Bombs. Rares. Mythics. The winning player was GW, and their only rare was Gavony Township (granted, that's a good one). However, the overall trend of seeing the bomb-heavy decks fall by the wayside to decks with a very clear game plan (mostly aggressive) is not surprising.  

Anyway, hope this was slightly helpful.



When I was keeping track of wins and losses due to mana/muligan issues, I kept track of whether I won or lost and the reason for the losses. I didn't track the reasons for wins. From the final numbers the win rate for 'just muliganing' isn't too bad at 66%, which is only a little under the 80% rate for not-muliganing/no mana issues. However, the win rate for muliganing and having mana issues or a second muligan is abysmal, only 11%. Looking back on the numbers, it appears that mana issues accounted for significantly more loses than muligans, and both mana short and mana flood were equally likely to cause loses.
Maybe the best way to look at it is 39 cards on each side that roughly cancel out and 1 that doesn't?


but they do roughly cancel each other out. it's just that they serve a much more visible role. in, say, Innistrad limited, maybe you have your black-red deck with olivia voldaren, and I have my white-green token deck with essence of the wild. either of those is vastly more likely to win the game than any other card in either of those decks. and one may be better than the other, but they serve basically the same function.

 



What I am saying about the non-bombs canceling out is that the vast majority of games that don't involve bombs go to whichever player plays the most cards. I play a 2/2, you play a 2/2, I play a 3/3, you play a 3/3. You play a 4/4, I play removal. The majority of cards are going to deal with each other on a 1 for 1 basis. But if I play a Consecrated Sphinx you had better have a Consecrated Sphinx of your own, another bomb of the same power-level, or removal that can target the Sphinx at instant speed. Anything else and you are almost certainly looking at a loss. Non-bombs can be answered by virtually every card in your opponent's deck, while bombs can only be answered by a handful (if any). If you keep a log of loses to individual cards, you can log at which points the bombs are wins for your opponent. So for example:

Consecrated Sphinx: Loss unless removed during following upkeep.
Elesh Norn: Loss once played by my opponent.
Massacre Wurm: Loss once played by my opponent. 
Olivia Voldaren: Loss unless eliminated before growing to 6/6.
 
Also note that losses to my opponent due to rare/mythic bombs is something I notice online more than off. Offline I once played against an opponent that had the win for 10 straight turns, if only he had unearthed his Kederekt Leviathan. Bombs don't allow incompetant players to win, but they do let all players with a minimum of competency compete at a high level, which is the majority of players that you will find playing online.
A while back I kept track of online wins and losses, and over hundreds of games I found that my limited game win rate was approximately 80%, provided that I wasn't forced to muligan, didn't miss any of my first 3 land drops, and didn't draw more lands than spells over the course of the game. IE, no muligans or mana issues. If I did have muligans or mana issues, the win rate dropped to around 30%. So even though muligans and mana issues didn't happen in the majority of games, they did happen in the majority of my losses. Adding mythic bombs to that mix would surely skew the numbers even further, since muligans and mana issues already account for the majority of losses.


So what you're saying is that you won more games when you started with a great hand/draw, and lost more games when you had a bad hand/draw.  That sounds like almost all the Magic games I've ever seen.
Regardless of whether or not your data is accurate, it's just not relevant.  First, it has absolutely nothing to do with bomb rares.  Second, every format is defined to some degree on the luck of what you draw as well as who plays the best cards.  Nothing you have mentioned here is specific to Innistrad or Limited, all of it is true in every game of Magic you play anywhere.



I wouldn't say that not-muliganing and not having mana-issues constitutes a great hand/draw, as this is what I expect to happen more often than not. A quick calculation reveals that you should have muligan/mana issue free games a minimum of 60% of the time. More than that even, because the hands you are muliganing are the ones most likely to lead to mana flood and mana short, so any hand you keep is less likely to hit the mana conditions.

As for keeping track of bombs vs non-bombs, I did that in a separate log, but the data there is considerably more subjective. In that log I made a record at the end of the game of the card or factor that I felt most contributed to my loss. In that log the individual cards that came up as the deciding factor the most often were the best uncommons in the set. Which were Skinrender and Oxidda Scrapmelter. However collectively rares and mythics came up much more often than the commons and uncommons put together, it was just spread out over a greater number of cards. In that sense I predict the uncommons/rares in this set would follow the same pattern. While cards like Fiend Hunter and Slayer of the Wicked come up much more often than Olivia Voldaren in winning decks due to there being 6 times as many of those cards in each pool, I also suspect that the win rates for decks that run at least one Olivia far exceed the win rates for decks that run at least one Slayer or Hunter.
All your threads are exactly the same. The majority of people here disagree with you in this regard. Please stop making new threads with exactly the same topic.

Imi, I didn't know you looked at the limited boards! I wish it was under better circumstances though.

----

Many limited games can be dominated by rares, which are very bomby, but it is important to note that Innistrad (and now Dark Ascension) are more centered in uncommons. Furthermore, given the amount of removal in the set (its not alot, but there's plenty if you know what you're doing) it is possible to avoid bombs. So far I'm proud to say I never actually lost a round solely against an Olivia, a few games here and there, but I've won 2 out of 3 games where Olivia was involved (and got played) in my matches. This is because white decks have a lot of removal in them. Blue has more answers to things than you can shake a stick at, and redhas at least four ways of distrupting Voldaren. Voldaren with blue? If at first Smite the Monstrous does not succeed, try Fiend Hunter or a Slayer of the Wicked, and if neither of those work (pesky counter spells) a rebuke will work nicely. Gavony Township is a monster bomb, and so is Kessig Wolfrun. The thing is that there are a lot of little answers built into the game to deal with this. There's a few black land destructions that are terrible in a normal deck, but completely sideboardable in Innistrad. There's also Into the Maw of Hell and Ghost Quarter, both of which you have a chance of grabbing in a draft. That's not to say you won't be blown out by them, it just happens. Me? I'm a terrible drafter. I lost on turn five because of an explosive bomby run by my opponent: Pilgrim, Mayor Stromkirk, and it just gets worse from there. It happens. Also you can mulligan down to five or four and be on the play (happened yesterday) and lose against a great deck that uses a lot of uncommons and doesn't even have a rare. Your mana base is also incredibly important, that's why there's a recommended number of lands for limited decks. 16 monocolored, 17 two colored, 18 only if your curve is over the top or if you have far more colors than you should, with minor variations. The reason why this land is planned out this way is because mathematics and chance is a major role in Magic. Because its such a major part players have found out exactly which number allows for the most success. There's always the chance your hand won't play out or your draws will flood you or drought you. There's always the chance that your opponent just has the better deck and you win or lose depending on how their deck plays out in terms of luck.

Innistrad may exacerbate these issues, but its nowhere near as simple as you seem to describe it.

Hey Everyone, if you have a few minutes I'd like to point you to two links that you might find interesting. The first is a plane of my own creation that is still in the works. I am always happy for some assistance in working on it.

The second is a link to the oldest continuously running contest in the You Make the Card forum. It is truly a contest like no other. It is faithfully run by a handful of regulars who are always kind and open to any new comers, please drop by and check it out if you're interested in making cards!

All your threads are exactly the same. The majority of people here disagree with you in this regard. Please stop making new threads with exactly the same topic.

Imi, I didn't know you looked at the limited boards! I wish it was under better circumstances though.

----

Many limited games can be dominated by rares, which are very bomby, but it is important to note that Innistrad (and now Dark Ascension) are more centered in uncommons. Furthermore, given the amount of removal in the set (its not alot, but there's plenty if you know what you're doing) it is possible to avoid bombs. So far I'm proud to say I never actually lost a round solely against an Olivia, a few games here and there, but I've won 2 out of 3 games where Olivia was involved (and got played) in my matches. This is because white decks have a lot of removal in them. Blue has more answers to things than you can shake a stick at, and redhas at least four ways of distrupting Voldaren. Voldaren with blue? If at first Smite the Monstrous does not succeed, try Fiend Hunter or a Slayer of the Wicked, and if neither of those work (pesky counter spells) a rebuke will work nicely. Gavony Township is a monster bomb, and so is Kessig Wolfrun. The thing is that there are a lot of little answers built into the game to deal with this. There's a few black land destructions that are terrible in a normal deck, but completely sideboardable in Innistrad. There's also Into the Maw of Hell and Ghost Quarter, both of which you have a chance of grabbing in a draft. That's not to say you won't be blown out by them, it just happens. Me? I'm a terrible drafter. I lost on turn five because of an explosive bomby run by my opponent: Pilgrim, Mayor Stromkirk, and it just gets worse from there. It happens. Also you can mulligan down to five or four and be on the play (happened yesterday) and lose against a great deck that uses a lot of uncommons and doesn't even have a rare. Your mana base is also incredibly important, that's why there's a recommended number of lands for limited decks. 16 monocolored, 17 two colored, 18 only if your curve is over the top or if you have far more colors than you should, with minor variations. The reason why this land is planned out this way is because mathematics and chance is a major role in Magic. Because its such a major part players have found out exactly which number allows for the most success. There's always the chance your hand won't play out or your draws will flood you or drought you. There's always the chance that your opponent just has the better deck and you win or lose depending on how their deck plays out in terms of luck.

Innistrad may exacerbate these issues, but its nowhere near as simple as you seem to describe it.



It is possible to lose against Olivia even when you've removed her. For example, in one game she prevented me from attacking with two 2/2s the turn she came in, and then killed one of those 2/2s the following turn, making her eligible for Smite the Montrous which I took her out with. However, the difference that she made -- stopping 4 damage, killing off a card and requiring me to use removal, was enough to win the game for my opponent. Based on the final life totals, she was certainly the difference maker. As I illustrated in my previous post, while it may seem like uncommons account for more wins and loses in a set, that is only because there are 3x as many of them as the rares. Collectively rares/mythics are the determining factor in far more games as the commons and uncommons tend to cancel out.

While I realize looking at bombs, mana issues and muligans as the deciding factor in magic games is a simplification, like looking at the quarterback as the deciding factor in football (there are 11 guys on the field!) it is a simplification that is generally helpful. While there is 'more to it than that' looking at a simplification that gets you most of the way there is helpful, it's why simplifications are made in the first place.
Here's another more detailed tournament report from my latest tournament, detailing why mana issues, muligans and bombs are typically the deciding factor in losses:

Game 1: Win, kept a 3 land hand, won primarily with commons, no one common stood out
Game 2: Win, kept a 2 land hand, won primarily because of Sever the Bloodline

___

Game 1: Win, kept a 2 land hand, got mana short, won due to Bloodgift DemonSever the Bloodline and Unburial Rites, BGD was the most important.
Game 2: Loss, muliganed a 1 land hand into a 4 land hand, mana flooded, lost to second casting of spider spawning, could have won if turn 5 Bloodgift Demon stuck around, but it was killed off by Smite the Montrous the following turn.
Game 3: Win, kept a 3 land hand, opponent muliganed to 6, opponent mana short, he nearly came back with Butcher's Cleaver and a bunch of good targets, I won due to the massive card advantage and damage from Bloodgift Demon

____

Game 1: Loss, kept a 2 land hand, got mana short, would have been an easy win otherwise (Started w/ Sever + BGD)
Game 2: Win, mulled a 0 land hand into a 3 land one, opponent was mana short so I got an aggro win (1st turn Diregraf Ghoul, second turn Vampire Interloper, third turn Avacynian Priest)
Game 3: Loss, an exceptionally long game, huge number of key cards at different times. Managed to get mana flooded (made first 12 land drops) after keeping a 4 land hand. Top key cards were Divine Reckoning and Bloodgift Demon on my side, and Geist-Honored Monk on my opponents. I still have an 0-x recond vs Geist-Honored Monk.

So reading this report, we see:

I have a 3-0 record when I don't muligan, get mana flooded or mana shorted. 2-3 in muligan or mana flood games. The difference making cards on my side most often were Bloodgift Demon and Sever the Bloodline (Actually, looking back on it, it would be insane if they weren't) The top card on my opponent's side in the match I lost was Geist-Honored Monk, a card I believe I have yet to defeat, and in the final game my opponent cast the Monk at a point where it was literally the only card in his deck that would have saved him. 
It doesn't matter how many games you report or how much data you have.  None of it changes the fact that what you are describing is not specifically about Innistrad.  Given a reasonably equal skill level, every game of Magic in every format will come down to who gets the better/more relevant cards.  You could say that it's a problem of limited in general that certain rares seem to be "I win" cards, but that's something everybody already knows and just has to live with.
I've followed this thread on the edge of my seat and I can add these three things:

1. It's "losses", not "loses" when you talk about how many "losses" you have
2. It's "mulligans", not "muligans"
3. Of course you're going to lose more games when you start a card or two short or when you have bad luck with mana. Do you have a comparison with other sets that shows that Innistrad is worse in this way than any other block? Also, as another poster pointed out, you are one person. No matter how many games you log, it's possible that your play style or skill level affect how many games you win or lose in each of these situations. I mean, if you're a perfect player - you always make the perfect play - then how are you going to lose? By luck. If Innistrad were truly "dominated" by luck issues as you seem to think, then you wouldn't have an 80% win rate (or whatever it is). You'd have close to a 50% win rate, because it wouldn't matter how much you outplayed your opponent. Whoever got luckier would win most of the time, which would be 50/50 to each of you. 
All your threads are exactly the same. The majority of people here disagree with you in this regard. Please stop making new threads with exactly the same topic.



If you think I am incorrect in this matter, make your own log. Then post the log here and use it to illustrate why you feel that the majority of your game loses did not come down to mana issues, muligans or mythic [bombs]. This type of post amounts to little more than:

"Copernicus, the majority of people disagree with you."


The fact that you are this arrogant astounds me. And don't imply things from my post that aren't there.

I'm not telling you not to post, nor that your opinions are wrong. But all your threads border on identicality. You complain about mythics and bombs, tell everyone how utterly awesome you are as long as x and y and z don't happen to you, murder statistical analysis and then disagree with everyone when they suggest that you might be incorrect in any way. You have plenty of threads open saying the same thing. Don't le me stop you posting, but how about you start a new thread when you have something new to say.



+1
I agree with Imidazoline on that one.
Preparing for the M14 Prerelease - New article up! IN THE TANK - my very own blog for rambling about Magic!
The conclusion that limited in general is dominated by mana issues, muligans and bomb rares/mythics is one I came to after reading back two logs I collected. The first log was a record of the situations that most often led to loses in limited. While mana issues or muligans happened in very few games overall, they happened in the vast majority of loses.  The second log was a record of which card or cards proved to be the turning point in any given loss, if a single card or pair of cards could be identified. Reading back this log, rares and mythics collectively came up far more often than commons and uncommons. In addition, rare and mythic bombs tended to come up multiple times in the same matches -- if an opponent won via Argent Sphinx round 1, and lost round 2 without drawing it, he often won round 3 by drawing it again. With the understanding that mana, muligans and Mythics dominate limited play in general, I had hoped this thread would be a dicussion about whether Innistrad 'upped the ante' on mythic/mana/muligan importance, or if those factors were less important in this format than previous ones, but the discussion quickly got derailed.

Magic is a simple and finite game, so either mana issues, muligans and mythic [bombs] dominate limited play in general, or they don't, and that effect is greater in Innistrad than it has been in previous sets, or it is not. To prove this either way you need evidence, which is traditionally the interpretation of play logs that you have collected. No amount of name calling or agreeing with people who are name calling will change this.

So if you wish to disprove the assertion that mana, muligans and mythic bombs dominate either Innistrad or limited in general, either repeat the logs I originally collected, and show that you come up with different results, or come up with a new way of logging the results that you think will illustrate that mana/muligans/opponent mythics are not present in the majority of loses.

"I think Bobus is wrong +1" type posts add nothing to the discussion.
Magic is a simple and finite game, so either mana issues, muligans and mythic [bombs] dominate limited play in general, or they don't, and that effect is greater in Innistrad than it has been in previous sets, or it is not. To prove this either way you need evidence, which is traditionally the interpretation of play logs that you have collected. No amount of name calling or agreeing with people who are name calling will change this.

So if you wish to disprove the assertion that mana, muligans and mythic bombs dominate either Innistrad or limited in general, either repeat the logs I originally collected, and show that you come up with different results, or come up with a new way of logging the results that you think will illustrate that mana/muligans/opponent mythics are not present in the majority of loses.



Why bother trying to disprove something that hasn't been proven in the first place?

I'll ask again... do you have logs from past blocks that prove that Innistrad is worse in these respects than any other block?

I'll also repeat again... the fact that your losses are mostly due to these issues does not show that the game in general is "dominated" by these issues. If you are winning (as an example) 80% of your games by grinding out your opponents with some commons and uncommons, and you lose 20% of your games mostly due to mana issues, mulligans, and "bombs" then that shows that grinding out wins with commons and uncommons is what dominates the game.

I'll further repeat again... it's "losses", not "loses" and "mulligans, not "muligans".
I agree with Torpesh that just saying that the card that topples the game isn't necessarily the card that has worked the hardest in that game. Cards such as Armored Skaab, Fortress Crab and Avacynian Priest seldomly deal a lot of damage yet they can all be responsible for a win.

I also want to say that my impression is that rares/mythics decide less games in Innistrad than in M12. It might even be true compared to SOM block.

Finally, I want to provide a thought experiment: Take a good deck, with solid commons and uncommons and, say, 3 bomb rares/mythics.

Now, think of a version where the bombs are blacks, and a version where every other nonland but the bombs are blanks. I think I know which deck I'd be most comfortable playing. Even in a deck that has "bombs" as their wincons, their commons and uncommons still keep them alive and in the game until they can drop the bombs on their opponents.
Preparing for the M14 Prerelease - New article up! IN THE TANK - my very own blog for rambling about Magic!