07/05/2012 PR: "The First Look"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Perilous Research, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.
This is certainly a better use of van Lunen's obsession with min-maxing than building on a budget was, but I still found myself skimming.  This is a good reference piece, but not really interesting reading for its own sake, the way Flores is.  I suppose I'll just be happy that someone is doing good research so I don't have to, and leave it at that.
Indeed, views may be a bit skewed, considering the fiasco that BoaB had turned into, but I'm willing to try and set that aside. This is a fairly different subject within the realm of Magic after all. 

That said, I hope this new article finds its feet quickly and I hope it finds more to stand on. I know this is only the first one, but as is, this is just an expanded version of the Decks of the Week daily activity that goes up every Friday. Does that really warrant a whole article to itself ? I didn't skim the article, I actually read the whole thing, and I really feel like for this subject; less is more. All the extra words don't tell me anything the decks themselves don't.  
I hope this Perilous Research will be as good as Frank Karsten's old Online Tech column. Karsten's metagame analyses were amazing.
I liked this article, but I think it needs more explanations as to why the subtle, but different changes from week to week.  Sometimes he'd just point out a card, then just continue on without any explanation for what he pointed out.  Or at one point he mentioned he thought something was a good choice, but not why.
It's better than he wrote boab, so I'll give him that. But I would have liked to see a mention of cards or strategies that seem well positioned. It doesn't need to be a list, just a mention to get other players wheels turning.
Your analysis on pauper is pretty off. While storm decks make appearances in the daily events going 4-0 and 3-1, the decks to beat in pauper are mono-blue delver and the variety of cloudpost decks (particularly izzit-post). Just about every color has an answer to storm (e.g. echoing decay, echoing truth, suture priest). You might want to focus your new article more on standard and modern and other formats that see a lot of paper play. I might be wrong, but I don't have the impression that pauper is a popular paper format, especially since there are a few slight differences between paper pauper and mtgo pauper (e.g. no hymn to torrah in online pauper).

Will any Online eternal format be covered?

Guess what? Chicken butt.

Nice article Jacob.  A little something for everyone.  I would have liked if you mentioned what to look forward to next week in a little more detail.  Also, it would be interesting to hear your take on cards or decks you'd like to try out in each format -- I'm not saying develop a deck -- but perhaps suggest something that would help against the dominating deck.  That little tid-bit about storm in pauper was a good example. 

It looks like people will get on your back if you try to cover every format each week.  Maybe that will work for standard; block and modern could probably be bi-weekly; pauper, classic, and legacy could probably just be a few weeks after the release of each new set.

I'm looking forward to your next articles!

The article is already dry enough, we don't need to structure it even more.

I think it's definitely a bad idea to ask him to predict good decks or tactics, because 1) having a talking head tell you what's good is a really lame way to decide what to play, and 2) he isn't good at it.  The whole point of the article is to offer metagame analysis, which van Lunen loves to do.  Give him some room to focus on what he's interested in, and he stands a decent chance of turning this article into something readable. 
You might want to focus your new article more on standard and modern and other formats that see a lot of paper play.

Why? This is specifically a Magic Online column.
ricklongo and RicardoLongo on MTGO. Check out my articles at PureMTGO
Nice to see a Magic Online column. I'm a sucker for metagame analysis and predicion of trends. Some notes:

  • It's good to see 4 - 0 decks instead of top 8 decks since that are better predictors of metagame performance.

  • Frank Karsten set a VERY HIGH standard for Online columns, prepare to the challenge.

  • It would be very good to have the win % with statistical significance that William Spaniel and Henry-Theriault used to do on Tcgplayer.com. It is a little bit underwhelming to stary on pure gut feelings and personal speculation without the use of more objective tools.

  • There's no need to keep a merely mechanical and impersonal analysis in the column: that would make it as special as reading the financial column in the newspaper. Add your personal touch in the form of rogue brews you consider cool to share or do some game walkthrougs between the top decks.

If Limited gets in the way of printing good Constructed cards... Screw limited
You might want to focus your new article more on standard and modern and other formats that see a lot of paper play.

Why? This is specifically a Magic Online column.

I was under the impression he was analyzing the online metagame to give paper players an indication of what decks might be trending. If the column is instead focused entirely on mtgo and geared toward mtgo players, a discussion of pauper is appropriate, but in the future I would hope for a more indepth focus on the format rather than simply "delver decks are good, here's a 4-0 delver deck, storm is a good deck to play." If pauper is going to be a format discussed, it certainly doesn't need to be mentioned in every article, but if it is mentioned I would want more than a cursory analysis. My complaints aside, I am very interested in an mtgo focused column and am sure this column will find its footing soon enough.
What a dry listless article... at least with BoaB there were some interesting and sometimes newish ideas for a deck to try out. This article feels like it would have lost nothing if it was just a list of how different decks did and their composition. Not sure if this was a bad idea for a column or just wishywashy execution.
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