Everyone talks about 60 cards... why not 61?

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With the way the cards are so awesome in duels 2013, why not use 61 cards?

I understand the mentality behind having as few cards as possible, in order to maximize your consitancy... but...

i mean.. One more card without an additional mana seems fine to me... is it a big deal? is there something I'm missing? Or do you have to have 60 cards to be "elite"? lol.
Actually, that doesn't sound like a half-bad idea, at least for the decks that have 25 land.

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It's not a big deal, but generally adding an extra card is just making all the other options slightly less likely.  Why not just cut the weakest link?
I read a good one the other day, "Why not 61? How long before you're justifying 62? 63? 64? 65? If you say 'I'll stick to 61' then why not stick to 60?" It's just... percentages of getting what you need. You want what you need as often as possible.
well, for starters, at 62, you start getting extra mana, which is what I'm trying to prevent.

But 2 beast within's are better than one... right?

Like I said, it's literally one card, and it could be an important one card.

And how can you possibly know what you need in any given duel? I dunno. I'm not trying to say 61 is the way to go, just.. man, it'd make trimming quite a bit easier...
It's not a big deal, but generally adding an extra card is just making all the other options slightly less likely.  Why not just cut the weakest link?



This is exactly why 60 cards is the best.

Yes, it's unfortunate you can't control lands, and so you might want to decrease the chance to draw a land, but the only thing you'd be doing is delaying the inevitable by drawing a card you deemed too bad to be in your deck. Instead of "Swamp, Grave Titan" (just an example), you'd draw "card that deserves no spot in your deck unless you could control the amount of lands, Swamp, Grave Titan". You push back ALL the useful cards coming after it! That you also push back the lands is absolutely useless in the end. You will still draw those lands, just a turn later in return for ALSO drawing your useful cards a turn later.
I've actually been shocked that with THIS many knowledgeable people on here, they seldom have mentioned that in DoTP, 61 cards not only makes sense, but it betters the chances of drawing a good card instead of too much land.

I haven't played as many duels as many of the "experts" on here, but I've played my share, and the vast majority of the time I get too many lands rather than too few.
This is due to the required shoving of a minimum 24 lands in every deck (even ones with ramp).

Since including the 61st card actually slightly decreases the proportion of land in the deck, many times it is statistically the best choice. I'd like to hear the statistical argument against it. (Oh - please don't give me the crap argument of "You get the 61st card instead of the best card in your deck." Please. It's 24 times more likely that instead of the best card, you'll be replacing a land draw.)

People are just SO addicted to the standard, typical "best-play" theories in Magic, they don't even consider changing them when the play a format with different requirements like DotP. 

Now, if the 61st card was of questionable power, then I could see it. But in 2013, the 61st card is almost guaranteed to be a good card, with the better quality cards included to begin with, and the 30 (40!) unlockable cards.
the decision should be situational.

Adding that extra card has a positive effect by reducing the mana ratio (which is good, because they include way too much mana in these decks) -- so it's a simple trade-off really; you just need to figure out if the extra card you're adding is going to be more or less disadvantageous than what the mana thinning is advantageous. That's the tricky part.

Some decks I use 61 cards, others I use 60, based on my judgements of the benefits and trade-offs involved.

in summary, I think it's definitely a viable tactic, but it won't suit all cases, and the decision needs careful consideration in each individual case.
(Oh - please don't give me the crap argument of "You get the 61st card instead of the best card in your deck." Please. It's 24 times more likely that instead of the best card, you'll be replacing a land draw.)



In the case where the 61st card didn't replace a better card, it replaced a land. Which means you draw that land next turn. What did you improve with that? You only drew a card you deemed too bad to be in your build, and now pushed everything back: that land you were going to draw didn't disappear after all, it's still waiting for you.

Regardless whether the 61st card replaces a land or a normal card, you lose advantage.
(Oh - please don't give me the crap argument of "You get the 61st card instead of the best card in your deck." Please. It's 24 times more likely that instead of the best card, you'll be replacing a land draw.)



In the case where the 61st card didn't replace a better card, it replaced a land. Which means you draw that land next turn. What did you improve with that? You only drew a card you deemed too bad to be in your build, and now pushed everything back: that land you were going to draw didn't disappear after all, it's still waiting for you.

Regardless whether the 61st card replaces a land or a normal card, you lose advantage.

Do you know anything about statistics?

Go ahead - show me how you are dictating what card comes up after the 61st card does.

Pro tip -  you can't know.

Once the 61st card comes up, it doesn't change the rest of the deck statistically whatsoever. It in no way mandates a land card is next. 
The next card is just as likely to be any card in the deck. 
Fact: Duels only has basic lands save one deck.

Fact: The difference between 24/60 and 24/61 is a higher chance of drawing a useful card instead of a bland useless land.
  
Fact: Richard Garfield said, if he was to make MtG game all over again, he would remove the lands or decrease their huge impact on the game.

Fact: If there are enough quality cards available, having 37 of them gives you a slightly higher chance of winning than if you had 36. If you can keep the quality of your cards to a certain degree, adding it to the deck along with a mandatory land won't lessen your chances of winning.

Fact: If anything, your 61th card will always make your deck statistically better. I think I may even add some more cards to some other decks.
Whoa, those are some bold facts. I'm not going to argue my point, but I'm gonna argue the Magic Pros' point. You never see them rolling with 60 card decks. And they play Magic for a living. 

Even in the land of Duels, I'm going to defer to the knowledge of the best.  
I agree with Hydramarine and reapersaurus.  61 makes sense when you can't control the # of lands in deck.

@mobiuschickenstrips
The pros use 60 card decks when they can control the number of lands.  If you forced them to play with, say 26 lands I have a hunch that many would increase their deck sizes to above 60.   Take an extreme case where you were forced to play with 40 lands.  I guarantee you then that a 90 card deck would be better than a 60 card deck.

 
While I see pro's point of view, Duels has a different meta than pro scene.

You can't specify your land count and land types for starters. And half of the matches will be determined how much land you draw in a game. Lands that don't do anything special. So, you need your other non-land cards  to finish the job for you.

Yeah, if I had a 250 dollar to spare in order to make a deck, I would stick to the minimum, because every card of mine would have a usefullnes in the deck, including at least 8 special lands. But that's not the case in Duels. Until we get non-basic lands on regular basis that is.
The anti-61 lobby seems to be calling this 61st card a Bad Card, but personally with these decks once I've got my deck down to 61 I can't really call any of them bad cards any more. It's more like there are about 20 cards I definitely want and everything else is pretty much all the same to me, so I just take one of those out.
Honestly, I'm not one to toot my own horn, but all my decks are 60, and I'm hovering in the top 100 of 1v1 ranked play.

Dang, I can't believe I just posted this. I sound like a pompous fool. 
Nobody said anything about 60 cards being a bad thing. I am only arguing that having 1 more non-land card would increase your draw chances like %0.5 or whatever. This is only theorycrafting.

That doesn't make or break champions in Duels. Most of the time, the opponents I face and I have a skill difference of somewhere between 0% and 1000% that numbers above just dont mean anything. Most of the time, it comes down to using your cards right.
I'm not even hating on going 60+ really. I won't do it, of course. But I'd say 80% of my losses have been to the 90 card decks. Maybe even a 61 card deck. I don't remember. I was blinded with rage and sadness at the time.
I mostly play 61. Andarguements about 0,001% chance (or maybe a little more) with 61 instead of 60 are bs.
Usually yoave more lands than you need, so i prefer decreasing land % than increasing by a slim margin your chance of drawing specific card.

Sometimes I play even more cards, because they're so nice. And I usually won (at least I did in 2012).

And frankly, it doesn't really mater 60/61 change in chance of drawing etc. are so minor, that really nbody shuld care nd waste their ime on discussing that

 
Whoa, those are some bold facts. I'm not going to argue my point, but I'm gonna argue the Magic Pros' point. You never see them rolling with 60 card decks. And they play Magic for a living. 

Even in the land of Duels, I'm going to defer to the knowledge of the best.  


You could not have epitomized the example I was talking about better if you'd tried.

Since Type 2 came out, and the advent of the "net deck" with Ice Age and the Necropotence deck, people have been slavishly following the tournament Magic players traditions - complete with the most embarrassing, pathetic tick that some amatuers do, continually fanning their cards annoyingly just to copy some popular tourney stooge.

This particular case, in DotP, it's completely inapplicable since tournement players aren;t mandated to have at least 24 lands in every deck.
If adding the 61st card increases the land ratio efficiency in a DotP deck, it would be silly not to do it, just because tournament players in a completely different structured format don't do it.
Once you cut down to 61 90% of the time the card you would want to cut is a land. The next best thing manaratio wise is to keep the 61st card in, so I do that. Almost all my fecks are 61 as well, but in the end the statistical advantage is close to 0 probably as hydramarine said and other factors are far more important.
Lategame strategy: 60 cards
Early game pressure: 61 cards


It's that simple, as long as we can't affect the land ration in any other way. 
I so wish they would of let us adjust land counts in this game. The Goblin deck definately doesn't need the same amount of land as Garruks. On the subject of 60 or 61 cards, the difference is so miniscule that you will hardly notice it. I prefer to run 60 because I play Paper magic and it's what I'm used too, but at the end of the day I don't think it makes much difference.
For reasons discussed by niv mizzet and reapersaurus, my decks are either 60 or 61, as seems more appropriate for the land/card balance of the deck.
I try to do 60 and most of the time it's not that hard.
But I don't sweat it if I hit 61.

Jace's '13 deck makes me sad because I can't do either....
I've been running 61 since DotP 12 first came out in almost every deck. I have seen almost 0 difference in consistency, except for maybe getting land screwed LESS often.

It's completely viable and IMO better than running 60 cards in this format because of reasons mentioned previously, less land, more good cards, etc.

Honestly I even run 61 in paper a lot now because adding 1 extra card makes almost no difference to consistency and just makes it so you have a better chance of drawing that extra card you really wanted to include in your deck...
If you want to increase your spellratio in paper magic, I'd rather replace a land with a spell than add a 61th card. In dotp that's a different story.
If you want to increase your spellratio in paper magic, I'd rather replace a land with a spell than add a 61th card. In dotp that's a different story.



Sometimes replacing a land just isn't an option, so I typically just roll with 61 now. I know I'm gonna get an earfull for saying this but I used to run 60 exclusively in paper, but ever since switching to 61 I've noticed literally like 0 difference, I play against 60 card decks all the time and I still do just as well if not better than if I ran 60, I've even gotten a couple friends to start running 61 as well.

It makes such a miniscule consistency difference that it really just doesn't matter to me, I'd rather have more chances to draw cards that I need.
Lategame strategy: 60 cards
Early game pressure: 61 cards


It's that simple, as long as we can't affect the land ration in any other way. 




That's probably the best way to break it down.  Atleast a really good guideline that a lot of people here should take note of.  That's why I quoted so it could be posted a second time here.

You're a lose cannon.

 

 

"I played 70 card decks before it was cool to play 70 card decks." -Random M:tG hipster

Since Type 2 came out, and the advent of the "net deck" with Ice Age and the Necropotence deck, people have been slavishly following the tournament Magic players traditions - complete with the most embarrassing, pathetic tick that some amatuers do, continually fanning their cards annoyingly just to copy some popular tourney stooge.



Well, someone's an elitist.

I fan the cards in my hand because I get pent up energy when I play Magic. I'm not copying someone because I think it's cool, nor have I ever cared about what the "pros" do and how it makes them cool.

And you're an amateur, too, unless you're getting paid and sponsored to play in big tournaments (and winning in them).

Let's all just stop and realize how bad our posts make us sound before we post them.


Fact: If anything, your 61th card will always make your deck statistically better. I think I may even add some more cards to some other decks.



This is not true.   In some decks having 61 will be better, i.e. decks with a low mana curve where it is clear that 24 lands is too many (goblins for example).    In most of the decks though 24 land is the right number and in that case adding a 61st card will be incorrect. 
On a completely unrelated note: My friend fans his cards (presumably just because he does, don't think he's copying anyone), and it annoys the crap out of me :P But I guess that just means it's working, eh? :P

Back on topic: Wow! I had no idea this would be such a hot-button topic! To be quite honest, I was also hoping for Brodo to weigh in on this as well, since he seems pretty level-headed about most things.

To be quite honest, I've read every thread here word-for-word and I see a LOT of great points in either direction, but it seems having 61 cards in DotP is either more adventageous than harmful, or at LEAST not a disadvantage at all.

Truth to tell, if given the option, I would trim to 60, but I guarantee I'd most likely be running 20 lands and 40 spells/creatures, just like in paper magic. (That seems logical to me)

Since I can't cut 4 lands, I'd rather increase the 'other' category as much as I can without adding a land. thus 61. Certainly not for all decksthough, of course. Any deck without fetch cards/draw cards, I think I'd try to go 60 with. I don't see the bennefit of reducing your chances to draw a "useful" card in a pinch over another mana. but really, this argument can go either way.

a good scenario would be to have two of the same deck (in DotP 13), trimmed exactly the same, only one deck gets an extra card. what if that card is a 'game-winner'? what if that card is an extra mana-fetcher? would that not be an advantage? Or in all likelyhood, would it not even matter that much, and (given skill, naturally) both decks would compete roughly the same, with that extra card popping up every now and then to break the monotony?
60 cards in deck - 25 lands. Chance to more likely to draw a land by ~ 0,7%        when compared to
61 cards in deck - 25 lands. Chance to less likely to draw a land by ~  0.7%  


60 cards in deck - 25 lands. All cards you REALLY want in deck - more likely to draw a card, which you want 0,7%.
61 cards in deck - 25 lands.  All cards you REALLY want in deck - less likely to draw a card, which you want 0,7%.

Different story if you want to trade land for whatever card.


Difference overall - one match won or lost because of this out of hundreds. Might be streak, but over long time it doesnt matter.


On some decks i have 60, on others 61. Agro decks want less, land/card ratio, control decks with bombs want more land/card ratio. Matter of preference, when you cant control land count.


   
  

  



To be quite honest, I've read every thread here word-for-word and I see a LOT of great points in either direction, but it seems having 61 cards in DotP is either more adventageous than harmful, or at LEAST not a disadvantage at all.

Truth to tell, if given the option, I would trim to 60, but I guarantee I'd most likely be running 20 lands and 40 spells/creatures, just like in paper magic. (That seems logical to me)



Sorry but in most of the decks 61 cards still is a disadvantage.    It is a very small effect but there is no denying that even in DoTP 13 it is still generally not optimal.    Also, 20 lands, 40 spells is going to be a complete disaster in most decks.     Even low curve aggro decks usually can't afford to go that low on land (some exceptions obviously).    You are going to be mana screwed a LOT with only 20 land. 
To be quite honest, I was also hoping for Brodo to weigh in on this as well

Calling me out, I see! I actually weighed in on a quick question prog had in a thread of his own that was talking about mana curves and how many cards to run. I'm a 60 card traditionalist, it's what I do, what I was taught to do, and I'll probably continue doing it. I don't really see any problems with the 61st card though, just that I probably won't do it. I could even see a case being made for 64, but I slightly begin the cringe at that point.


Gegliosch presented it pretty well as a simple point:
Lategame strategy: 60 cards
Early game pressure: 61 cards

It's how the deck wants to operate and the land count should directly tie into how many lands you want to reach and how quickly. For some of these slow decks, getting to 4/5 mana count by laying a land every turn is cruicial and that's why I'll accept their 24 or 25 land count, as those are the correct numbers to reach that kind of mana when we don't have access to many cantrips or fast mana sources. For some of the lower curve fast decks, like goblins, the deck could operate on 23 or 22 lands. As we cannot change the land count, I don't necessarily see it as a bad thing to run the 61st card here just to add another threat and change the land to nonland ratio a wee bit.

Hey, 61-lovers, quick question for you:
If that one card you're adding to the deck is so good, so so game-winning, why is wasn't in your original 60-cards deck? I mean, if the 61st card is so important, why is was cut from the deck?

In the end, the best is up to the player. I'll run 60, but I won't blame you for running 61. It's your game, after all...

WotC doesn't care about flavor. Their forum is the only place where an ORC can kill a troll...

Lost around 120 posts in the forum migration

Post #1000 on Feb 02, 2013

Post #2000 on Sep 04, 2013

Practical reason to have 61 cards: if you're not very good like me you can't work out what the last card to remove should be, and you're worried you might accidentally remove one of the important ones!
Hey, 61-lovers, quick question for you:
If that one card you're adding to the deck is so good, so so game-winning, why is wasn't in your original 60-cards deck? I mean, if the 61st card is so important, why is was cut from the deck?

In the end, the best is up to the player. I'll run 60, but I won't blame you for running 61. It's your game, after all...


Who says there's a 61st card being added and not a 61st card being kept? ;)
Hey, 61-lovers, quick question for you:
If that one card you're adding to the deck is so good, so so game-winning, why is wasn't in your original 60-cards deck? I mean, if the 61st card is so important, why is was cut from the deck?



That's actually not the issue here. The proponents of the 61st card are not adding the 61st card as means to compete against the other NON-LAND cards, but rather, the 61st card is being added to compete with the LAND cards. Some decks have too many land, and as several of the 61st card proponents have said, if they could change the land ratio, they wouldn't be considering having 61 cards. The 61st card here is being used to change the land to non-land ratio, since some decks with a low mana curve often get flooded with lands since the deck was built to have that many. They're forcing us to play decks with 24-25 land, and adding a 61st card is a way to adapt to that, since adding that 61st card won't add another land to the deck.


As for how good that 61st card is, with 30 (soon to be 40 with dlc) unlocks, there's plenty of choices for the 61st card. It's not that the 61st card is nessecarily strictly better or worse than the rest of the deck, since we have a large enough card pool to have some good variation. It's not like people are adding Ember Shot as their 61st card.  

Duels of the Planeswalkers deck builds and analysis: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/dotp

 

Another one of my websites: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/

 

I am Blue/White

@NathanH
You can always ask for help in the deck's discussion thread (like I'm doing right now). Don't be afraid to ask, friend

@Splattercat
I got the joke, but this don't change what I said. If you have to add another to the count card, it's because the card is very good. If the card is very good, there are worst cards inside the deck. If they are worst than the said card, you can cut one of them. On the other hand, if the 61st card is worst than the other cards in the deck, why you want to run it?

P.S.: the only answer I'll accept for that last question is "because I love the card!"

WotC doesn't care about flavor. Their forum is the only place where an ORC can kill a troll...

Lost around 120 posts in the forum migration

Post #1000 on Feb 02, 2013

Post #2000 on Sep 04, 2013

Consistency is all that matters. If you can somehow be consistent with a hundred card deck, then the fact you have a hundred cards is irrelevant.

However, on average, the less cards you have in your deck, the better your odds of drawing useful or needed cards consistently.
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