skill vs luck

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I was having a debate with a random person last night who was insistent that DOTP was mainly a luck based game with some skill. I argued that I think it is around 70% skill and 30% luck. I think real magic leans even more towards skill but that is a different debate.

So if you had to put a number on it, what % would you tribute to skill and luck?
I've played a few players regularly that are quite a bit better than me, with both you and mobiuschickenstrips coming to mind. I win a lot of games online, but my win % vs. you guys is probably like 15%.

So I'd say it's 85% skill and 15% luck! lol.

EDIT: A large part of the skill element comes before you even play the game. Building the deck properly and knowing your opponent's deck inside out is more than half the battle.
I've played a few players regularly that are quite a bit better than me, with both you and mobiuschickenstrips coming to mind. I win a lot of games online, but my win % vs. you guys is probably like 15%.

So I'd say it's 85% skill and 15% luck! lol.

EDIT: A large part of the skill element comes before you even play the game. Building the deck properly and knowing your opponent's deck inside out is more than half the battle.

To add to what Hakeem928 was saying deck building to is about 50% of any match and that takes no luck just skill. 25% of it is know when to play the best card for the situation. 10% is your opponent skill level ( we can count this as luck ). And the last 15% is card draw.

So about 25 - 15% of this game is luck in my opinion.
 
Let's break it down to what elements belong to skill and luck:

Skill:

Deck building
Timing and other gameplay decisions
Taking mulligans

Luck:

What cards you end up drawing


In dotp, even a 100 card deck is closer to a 60 card version in power than a good and a bad constructed deck are. The importance of timing depends on the deck, but in creature based decks like Goblins and PI, the player really doesn't have to make difficult decisions.

So while there are more skill based aspects of the game, the most important one is still the actual draw, which is entirely based on luck. Even the best players with superior decks can't win against beginners when it's not in the cards.

Therefore I'd say it's about 50% skill and 50% luck, which means you should still win about 70-80% against bad opponents.

I've played a few players regularly that are quite a bit better than me, with both you and mobiuschickenstrips coming to mind. I win a lot of games online, but my win % vs. you guys is probably like 15%.

So I'd say it's 85% skill and 15% luck! lol.

EDIT: A large part of the skill element comes before you even play the game. Building the deck properly and knowing your opponent's deck inside out is more than half the battle.

To add to what Hakeem928 was saying deck building to is about 50% of any match and that takes no luck just skill. 25% of it is know when to play the best card for the situation. 10% is your opponent skill level ( we can count this as luck ). And the last 15% is card draw.

So about 25 - 15% of this game is luck in my opinion.
 



You don't need skill to build a good deck, you can easily copy a skilled deckbuilder. Therefore the deckbuilding part of the equation needs to be removed in order to properly evaluate luck vs skill in the game.
Don't be too smart to have fun
I'm of the opinion the game (DotP) gives people miraculous topdecks if they run 100 card decks or have less skill to compensate(it knows I tell you!), so... 80% luck, 20% skill.

Much less of that in paper so it requires much more skill in my opinion.
Avenger of Zendikar is not game... Got a question as to whether a card without shroud or hexproof is good? Answer is, dies to removal. "Control Slivers"
We should run some tests with 100 card decks to see how the draws are. My opponents do indeed draw much better than their average card quality in such a huge deck.
We should run some tests with 100 card decks to see how the draws are. My opponents do indeed draw much better than their average card quality in such a huge deck.



I've noticed this too.  CONSPIRACY!

Like people who run 90 card Dream Puppets, yet always Archive Trap me the first time I use a fetch land.

We should run some tests with 100 card decks to see how the draws are. My opponents do indeed draw much better than their average card quality in such a huge deck.



I've noticed this too.  CONSPIRACY!

Like people who run 90 card Dream Puppets, yet always Archive Trap me the first time I use a fetch land.




I got stomped on by a 98-card Selesnya deck in 5 turns yesterday. Token production and a T4 Wilt-Leaf Liege, T5 Overrun. Can you believe they hit all that, along with the to cast it. Ah well.
I'm of the opinion the game (DotP) gives people miraculous topdecks if they run 100 card decks or have less skill to compensate(it knows I tell you!), so... 80% luck, 20% skill.

Much less of that in paper so it requires much more skill in my opinion.



I don't know about this...in the last few weeks I've played a bunch of 2HG with random partners in the player matches on xbox - 100 card decks are very frequent there.  So I've seen first hand exactly what they draw with 100 card decks in dozens of games.   Occasionally they'll top deck a good card (and then misplay it - like this morning, casting a topdecked Divine Judgement to kill ... a Soul Warden and a Blood Artist), but the vast majority of the time whatever they've topdecked isn't at all helpful (because there are TONS of bad cards in their decks).  I've been on the opposite side of this too - losing to a 100 card deck that top decked a miracle, but in my experience the 60 card deck usually wins, overwhelmingly so.  
I'm of the opinion the game (DotP) gives people miraculous topdecks if they run 100 card decks or have less skill to compensate(it knows I tell you!), so... 80% luck, 20% skill.

Much less of that in paper so it requires much more skill in my opinion.



I don't know about this...in the last few weeks I've played a bunch of 2HG with random partners in the player matches on xbox - 100 card decks are very frequent there.  So I've seen first hand exactly what they draw with 100 card decks in dozens of games.   Occasionally they'll top deck a good card (and then misplay it - like this morning, casting a topdecked Divine Judgement to kill ... a Soul Warden and a Blood Artist), but the vast majority of the time whatever they've topdecked isn't at all helpful (because there are TONS of bad cards in their decks).  I've been on the opposite side of this too - losing to a 100 card deck that top decked a miracle, but in my experience the 60 card deck usually wins, overwhelmingly so.  


Way to single me out there... I did not claim it was every single game, but it happens more than it should. Also, look at least two others agree with me as I'm sure others will too. Really your just further accentuating the luck factor to me.
Avenger of Zendikar is not game... Got a question as to whether a card without shroud or hexproof is good? Answer is, dies to removal. "Control Slivers"
I wasn't trying to single you out; you just made the first instance of this claim and I responded to it.  I guess I won't quote you in the future?  

All I'm saying is that, in my experience, while 100 card decks get lucky sometimes, I don't think they do so disporportionately.  Any time I've played with a 2HG partner that has a 100 card deck, my draws are always better than theirs over the course of the game, even if they do occasionally get good cards.  Sure sometimes they might top deck a Massacre Worm or Grave Titan, but that's only because there are a ton of good cards in their deck along with the bad.  They're far more likely to top deck Blister Beetle, or Warpath Ghoul, or Plague Wind.  

Luck is certainly a factor - but if you have a well-built 60 card deck, you'll get much better draws than the 100 card deck will.  The whole point of cutting it to 60 cards is to minimize the luck factor and make your draws more predictable.  

Obviously I'm only speaking from my experience, but the lucky 100 card deck draws are few and far between.  Everyone will lose to those decks from time to time but I think it's probably rare overall.
This really depends on what you consider as "skill", as it's an extremely subjective term. I disagree that building decks properly is 'skill', as most people just go on a forum and copy other peoples' builds (myself included for most of the decks apart from my three fave decks CW, BoF and AW where I use my own builds). I think it takes initiative and clever thinking to come up with your own build, especially before a deck has been released/only just been released and I have no doubt those posters are very clever. It's not exactly 'skill' though, as I would see it.

As for playing duels themselves, it's entirely reliant on what deck you're playing and what deck you're playing against. I'm not going to go out there and whine about Goblins and Aggro decks not taking any skill because that's nonsense, of course they do. However, it's a very different game altogether than playing a control deck where your entire survival usually hinges on playing one instant card at the right time on a turn-by-turn basis.

To me skill in DOTP is the ability to make informed decisions and to know when to take risks, as well as knowing the decks inside and out. With that in mind I'd say the game is about 65%-70% skill and 30%-35% luck. Mirror matches are the best way to see this in action as they almost always amount to 'Whoever draws the best cards in the deck first, or in the right order wins'. That's obviously luck, with a tiny bit of 'skill' (deck building) thrown in. At the end of the day no amount of skill will save you from being mana flooded/mana screwed, nor will it help if your opponent draws a god hand or constantly top decks every card they need (it happens).

However, careful decisions will help offset this...for example one of the biggest is not over extending yourself. Obviously if you're against the blue decks you should put everything out because of their stupid weakness of having no sweepers, but I've seen way too many players just put everything they have out whenever they get it ready to be obliterated in one go by a sweeper. There are many other elements of skill and luck obviously, but this is just my opinion on the ratio...

At the end of the day you can win a duel without skill but you can't win without some element, no matter how small, of luck. Think about that.
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This really depends on what you consider as "skill", as it's an extremely subjective term. I disagree that building decks properly is 'skill', as most people just go on a forum and copy other peoples' builds (myself included for most of the decks apart from my three fave decks CW, BoF and AW where I use my own builds). I think it takes initiative and clever thinking to come up with your own build, especially before a deck has been released/only just been released and I have no doubt those posters are very clever. It's not exactly 'skill' though, as I would see it.

As for playing duels themselves, it's entirely reliant on what deck you're playing and what deck you're playing against. I'm not going to go out there and whine about Goblins and Aggro decks not taking any skill because that's nonsense, of course they do. However, it's a very different game altogether than playing a control deck where your entire survival usually hinges on playing one instant card at the right time on a turn-by-turn basis.

To me skill in DOTP is the ability to make informed decisions and to know when to take risks, as well as knowing the decks inside and out. With that in mind I'd say the game is about 65%-70% skill and 30%-35% luck. Mirror matches are the best way to see this in action as they almost always amount to 'Whoever draws the best cards in the deck first, or in the right order wins'. That's obviously luck, with a tiny bit of 'skill' (deck building) thrown in. At the end of the day no amount of skill will save you from being mana flooded/mana screwed, nor will it help if your opponent draws a god hand or constantly top decks every card they need (it happens).

However, careful decisions will help offset this...for example one of the biggest is not over extending yourself. Obviously if you're against the blue decks you should put everything out because of their stupid weakness of having no sweepers, but I've seen way too many players just put everything they have out whenever they get it ready to be obliterated in one go by a sweeper. There are many other elements of skill and luck obviously, but this is just my opinion on the ratio...

At the end of the day you can win a duel without skill but you can't win without some element, no matter how small, of luck. Think about that.



Well, you can obviously copy a successful pro tour deck if you want, but in dotp it's not quite as easy. It's not as easy because we don't have these kinds of events and you still need to judge the suggested decks yourself. Telling apart the good from the average builds takes no less skill/knowledge/experience than building them yourself. Look at the Gruul decklist butchy decided to copy, it's the perfect example that stealing builds is no recipe for success.

Also, if 70% are skill and 30% are luck, why is luck still such a huge factor in mirror matches? Imo a 50% ratio describes your assessment better. Among players of equal skill, the match will be decided by luck. When your opponent has more luck in his draws, you need to outplay him quite a bit to make up for it. It's impossible to break the element of luck down in numbers, but your skill needs to compensate the same advantage your opponent gained through better draws, hence 50/50 seems about right.
This really depends on what you consider as "skill", as it's an extremely subjective term. I disagree that building decks properly is 'skill', as most people just go on a forum and copy other peoples' builds (myself included for most of the decks apart from my three fave decks CW, BoF and AW where I use my own builds). I think it takes initiative and clever thinking to come up with your own build, especially before a deck has been released/only just been released and I have no doubt those posters are very clever. It's not exactly 'skill' though, as I would see it.

As for playing duels themselves, it's entirely reliant on what deck you're playing and what deck you're playing against. I'm not going to go out there and whine about Goblins and Aggro decks not taking any skill because that's nonsense, of course they do. However, it's a very different game altogether than playing a control deck where your entire survival usually hinges on playing one instant card at the right time on a turn-by-turn basis.

To me skill in DOTP is the ability to make informed decisions and to know when to take risks, as well as knowing the decks inside and out. With that in mind I'd say the game is about 65%-70% skill and 30%-35% luck. Mirror matches are the best way to see this in action as they almost always amount to 'Whoever draws the best cards in the deck first, or in the right order wins'. That's obviously luck, with a tiny bit of 'skill' (deck building) thrown in. At the end of the day no amount of skill will save you from being mana flooded/mana screwed, nor will it help if your opponent draws a god hand or constantly top decks every card they need (it happens).

However, careful decisions will help offset this...for example one of the biggest is not over extending yourself. Obviously if you're against the blue decks you should put everything out because of their stupid weakness of having no sweepers, but I've seen way too many players just put everything they have out whenever they get it ready to be obliterated in one go by a sweeper. There are many other elements of skill and luck obviously, but this is just my opinion on the ratio...

At the end of the day you can win a duel without skill but you can't win without some element, no matter how small, of luck. Think about that.



Well, you can obviously copy a successful pro tour deck if you want, but in dotp it's not quite as easy. It's not as easy because we don't have these kinds of events and you still need to judge the suggested decks yourself. Telling apart the good from the average builds takes no less skill/knowledge/experience than building them yourself. Look at the Gruul decklist butchy decided to copy, it's the perfect example that stealing builds is no recipe for success.

Also, if 70% are skill and 30% are luck, why is luck still such a huge factor in mirror matches? Imo a 50% ratio describes your assessment better. Among players of equal skill, the match will be decided by luck. When your opponent has more luck in his draws, you need to outplay him quite a bit to make up for it. It's impossible to break the element of luck down in numbers, but your skill needs to compensate the same advantage your opponent gained through better draws, hence 50/50 seems about right.



If you're talking mirror matches between opponents of equal skill, then it's logically 100% luck, not 50%. And by 'mirror match', both decks must be exactly the same for this to be true.

Think about it; your argument for luck relies on comparisons between players of the same skill level!! We're debating the difference here!

Now that the argument has gone on long enough, I have to ask who here knows the difference between games of complete information and games of incomplete information? To use some basic examples, Chess is a game of complete information; you know everything your opponent may or may not do at all points in the game. Chess is decided by player skill 100% of the time, no exceptions. Backgammon is a game of incomplete information; you know exactly what you opponent may or may not do, but you do not know what he will roll, so your decisions will be imperfect. This imperfect decision-making is the element we call 'luck'.

Now, a skilled player knows that he is making imperfect decisions, and strives to minimize their impact on the final outcome; he makes decisions that give him the highest probability of success, while minimizing his opponent's probability of success. This is the element of skill in games of incomplete information.

Skilled players win this game more than unskilled players, just like any other game of incomplete information. But sometimes the unskilled players gets lucky, plain and simple. I said it should be an 85-15 split earlier, but that was a joke based on the numbers I had assumed in a limited amount of matches vs. two very-worthy opponents. In truth, I feel DotP is closer to 70-30 in the difference between skill and luck.

Take this for what you will.
If you're talking mirror matches between opponents of equal skill, then it's logically 100% luck, not 50%. And by 'mirror match', both decks must be exactly the same for this to be true.



Thanks captain obvious, that's why I said the game will be decided by luck among players of equal skill.
The main question is: If the worse player draws 20% better, do you need 20% more skill, 10% or 40% to compensate? I'd say both weights about equal, so a 20% better draw is compensated by 20% better play. A 70/30 ratio suggests that less than 10% more skill negate 20% better draws. Imo that's unrealistic.

This really depends on what you consider as "skill", as it's an extremely subjective term. I disagree that building decks properly is 'skill', as most people just go on a forum and copy other peoples' builds (myself included for most of the decks apart from my three fave decks CW, BoF and AW where I use my own builds). I think it takes initiative and clever thinking to come up with your own build, especially before a deck has been released/only just been released and I have no doubt those posters are very clever. It's not exactly 'skill' though, as I would see it.

As for playing duels themselves, it's entirely reliant on what deck you're playing and what deck you're playing against. I'm not going to go out there and whine about Goblins and Aggro decks not taking any skill because that's nonsense, of course they do. However, it's a very different game altogether than playing a control deck where your entire survival usually hinges on playing one instant card at the right time on a turn-by-turn basis.

To me skill in DOTP is the ability to make informed decisions and to know when to take risks, as well as knowing the decks inside and out. With that in mind I'd say the game is about 65%-70% skill and 30%-35% luck. Mirror matches are the best way to see this in action as they almost always amount to 'Whoever draws the best cards in the deck first, or in the right order wins'. That's obviously luck, with a tiny bit of 'skill' (deck building) thrown in. At the end of the day no amount of skill will save you from being mana flooded/mana screwed, nor will it help if your opponent draws a god hand or constantly top decks every card they need (it happens).

However, careful decisions will help offset this...for example one of the biggest is not over extending yourself. Obviously if you're against the blue decks you should put everything out because of their stupid weakness of having no sweepers, but I've seen way too many players just put everything they have out whenever they get it ready to be obliterated in one go by a sweeper. There are many other elements of skill and luck obviously, but this is just my opinion on the ratio...

At the end of the day you can win a duel without skill but you can't win without some element, no matter how small, of luck. Think about that.



Well, you can obviously copy a successful pro tour deck if you want, but in dotp it's not quite as easy. It's not as easy because we don't have these kinds of events and you still need to judge the suggested decks yourself. Telling apart the good from the average builds takes no less skill/knowledge/experience than building them yourself. Look at the Gruul decklist butchy decided to copy, it's the perfect example that stealing builds is no recipe for success.

Also, if 70% are skill and 30% are luck, why is luck still such a huge factor in mirror matches? Imo a 50% ratio describes your assessment better. Among players of equal skill, the match will be decided by luck. When your opponent has more luck in his draws, you need to outplay him quite a bit to make up for it. It's impossible to break the element of luck down in numbers, but your skill needs to compensate the same advantage your opponent gained through better draws, hence 50/50 seems about right.



If you're talking mirror matches between opponents of equal skill, then it's logically 100% luck, not 50%. And by 'mirror match', both decks must be exactly the same for this to be true.

Think about it; your argument for luck relies on comparisons between players of the same skill level!! We're debating the difference here!

Now that the argument has gone on long enough, I have to ask who here knows the difference between games of complete information and games of incomplete information? To use some basic examples, Chess is a game of complete information; you know everything your opponent may or may not do at all points in the game. Chess is decided by player skill 100% of the time, no exceptions. Backgammon is a game of incomplete information; you know exactly what you opponent may or may not do, but you do not know what he will roll, so your decisions will be imperfect. This imperfect decision-making is the element we call 'luck'.

Now, a skilled player knows that he is making imperfect decisions, and strives to minimize their impact on the final outcome; he makes decisions that give him the highest probability of success, while minimizing his opponent's probability of success. This is the element of skill in games of incomplete information.

Skilled players win this game more than unskilled players, just like any other game of incomplete information. But sometimes the unskilled players gets lucky, plain and simple. I said it should be an 85-15 split earlier, but that was a joke based on the numbers I had assumed in a limited amount of matches vs. two very-worthy opponents. In truth, I feel DotP is closer to 70-30 in the difference between skill and luck.

Take this for what you will.



lets say that you take a hypothetical sample of 100 games. Let us also say that for those 100 games, you are a very good player, playing against an average competent player. If the game is 70% skill and 30% luck, you would win all 70% of games based on the skill side and 1/2 of 30% of the games based on the luck side. So, against unequal players, if there is a 70/30 skill/luck split, the more skillful player would win roughly 85/100 games. Do you think this is an accurate statistic? Sounds a bit high to me.  
Whenever you win, it's skill.  Whenever your opponent wins, it's luck.  Considering we all win 90% of our games, it's 90% skill, 10% luck.  Glad we could settle that.. next question?
If you're talking mirror matches between opponents of equal skill, then it's logically 100% luck, not 50%. And by 'mirror match', both decks must be exactly the same for this to be true.



Thanks captain obvious, that's why I said the game will be decided by luck among players of equal skill.
The main question is: If the worse player draws 20% better, do you need 20% more skill, 10% or 40% to compensate? I'd say both weights about equal, so a 20% better draw is compensated by 20% better play. A 70/30 ratio suggests that less than 10% more skill negate 20% better draws. Imo that's unrealistic.




This type of insult seems out of character for you.

And I agreed that luck is the deciding factor among players of equal skill. But therefore, amongnst players that aren't equally skilled, skill is usually the deciding factor. And that's what I'm arguing for.

And how do you define draws in terms of '20% better'? To me that's not measurable and, therefore, not worth talking about.

I'd like to hear you respond to the rest of my post where I talk about the theory of skill in games of incomplete information. That could at least evolve into a rational discussion of the issue at hand.
This really depends on what you consider as "skill", as it's an extremely subjective term. I disagree that building decks properly is 'skill', as most people just go on a forum and copy other peoples' builds (myself included f
or most of the decks apart from my three fave decks CW, BoF and AW where I use my own builds). I think it takes initiative and clever thinking to come up with your own build, especially before a deck has been released/only just been released and I have no doubt those posters are very clever. It's not exactly 'skill' though, as I would see it.

As for playing duels themselves, it's entirely reliant on what deck you're playing and what deck you're playing against. I'm not going to go out there and whine about Goblins and Aggro decks not taking any skill because that's nonsense, of course they do. However, it's a very different game altogether than playing a control deck where your entire survival usually hinges on playing one instant card at the right time on a turn-by-turn basis.

To me skill in DOTP is the ability to make informed decisions and to know when to take risks, as well as knowing the decks inside and out. With that in mind I'd say the game is about 65%-70% skill and 30%-35% luck. Mirror matches are the best way to see this in action as they almost always amount to 'Whoever draws the best cards in the deck first, or in the right order wins'. That's obviously luck, with a tiny bit of 'skill' (deck building) thrown in. At the end of the day no amount of skill will save you from being mana flooded/mana screwed, nor will it help if your opponent draws a god hand or constantly top decks every card they need (it happens).

However, careful decisions will help offset this...for example one of the biggest is not over extending yourself. Obviously if you're against the blue decks you should put everything out because of their stupid weakness of having no sweepers, but I've seen way too many players just put everything they have out whenever they get it ready to be obliterated in one go by a sweeper. There are many other elements of skill and luck obviously, but this is just my opinion on the ratio...

At the end of the day you can win a duel without skill but you can't win without some element, no matter how small, of luck. Think about that.



Well, you can obviously copy a successful pro tour deck if you want, but in dotp it's not quite as easy. It's not as easy because we don't have these kinds of events and you still need to judge the suggested decks yourself. Telling apart the good from the average builds takes no less skill/knowledge/experience than building them yourself. Look at the Gruul decklist butchy decided to copy, it's the perfect example that stealing builds is no recipe for success.

Also, if 70% are skill and 30% are luck, why is luck still such a huge factor in mirror matches? Imo a 50% ratio describes your assessment better. Among players of equal skill, the match will be decided by luck. When your opponent has more luck in his draws, you need to outplay him quite a bit to make up for it. It's impossible to break the element of luck down in numbers, but your skill needs to compensate the same advantage your opponent gained through better draws, hence 50/50 seems about right.



If you're talking mirror matches between opponents of equal skill, then it's logically 100% luck, not 50%. And by 'mirror match', both decks must be exactly the same for this to be true.

Think about it; your argument for luck relies on comparisons between players of the same skill level!! We're debating the difference here!

Now that the argument has gone on long enough, I have to ask who here knows the difference between games of complete information and games of incomplete information? To use some basic examples, Chess is a game of complete information; you know everything your opponent may or may not do at all points in the game. Chess is decided by player skill 100% of the time, no exceptions. Backgammon is a game of incomplete information; you know exactly what you opponent may or may not do, but you do not know what he will roll, so your decisions will be imperfect. This imperfect decision-making is the element we call 'luck'.

Now, a skilled player knows that he is making imperfect decisions, and strives to minimize their impact on the final outcome; he makes decisions that give him the highest probability of success, while minimizing his opponent's probability of success. This is the element of skill in games of incomplete information.

Skilled players win this game more than unskilled players, just like any other game of incomplete information. But sometimes the unskilled players gets lucky, plain and simple. I said it should be an 85-15 split earlier, but that was a joke based on the numbers I had assumed in a limited amount of matches vs. two very-worthy opponents. In truth, I feel DotP is closer to 70-30 in the difference between skill and luck.

Take this for what you will.



lets say that you take a hypothetical sample of 100 games. Let us also say that for those 100 games, you are a very good player, playing against an average competent player. If the game is 70% skill and 30% luck, you would win all 70% of games based on the skill side and 1/2 of 30% of the games based on the luck side. So, against unequal players, if there is a 70/30 skill/luck split, the more skillful player would win roughly 85/100 games. Do you think this is an accurate statistic? Sounds a bit high to me.  



How does 70%=85%? You're adding unnecessary Math to further your own opinion.

I estimated a 70/30 split between luck and skill. That means that, of my 100 wins, 70 were skillful and 30 were lucky. It also means that, of my 100 losses, 70 were due to my opponent's skill, and 30 were due to my own bad luck. Read my post on games of incomplete information fully, please. This is not an insult, just a polite request.
I was having a debate with a random person last night who was insistent that DOTP was mainly a luck based game with some skill. I argued that I think it is around 70% skill and 30% luck. I think real magic leans even more towards skill but that is a different debate. So if you had to put a number on it, what % would you tribute to skill and luck?



64 percent of the time, I win all the time. Stop creating threads and get on the box already so we can carve some people up! Lol.
This really depends on what you consider as "skill", as it's an extremely subjective term. I disagree that building decks properly is 'skill', as most people just go on a forum and copy other peoples' builds (myself included for most of the decks apart from my three fave decks CW, BoF and AW where I use my own builds). I think it takes initiative and clever thinking to come up with your own build, especially before a deck has been released/only just been released and I have no doubt those posters are very clever. It's not exactly 'skill' though, as I would see it.

As for playing duels themselves, it's entirely reliant on what deck you're playing and what deck you're playing against. I'm not going to go out there and whine about Goblins and Aggro decks not taking any skill because that's nonsense, of course they do. However, it's a very different game altogether than playing a control deck where your entire survival usually hinges on playing one instant card at the right time on a turn-by-turn basis.

To me skill in DOTP is the ability to make informed decisions and to know when to take risks, as well as knowing the decks inside and out. With that in mind I'd say the game is about 65%-70% skill and 30%-35% luck. Mirror matches are the best way to see this in action as they almost always amount to 'Whoever draws the best cards in the deck first, or in the right order wins'. That's obviously luck, with a tiny bit of 'skill' (deck building) thrown in. At the end of the day no amount of skill will save you from being mana flooded/mana screwed, nor will it help if your opponent draws a god hand or constantly top decks every card they need (it happens).

However, careful decisions will help offset this...for example one of the biggest is not over extending yourself. Obviously if you're against the blue decks you should put everything out because of their stupid weakness of having no sweepers, but I've seen way too many players just put everything they have out whenever they get it ready to be obliterated in one go by a sweeper. There are many other elements of skill and luck obviously, but this is just my opinion on the ratio...

At the end of the day you can win a duel without skill but you can't win without some element, no matter how small, of luck. Think about that.



Also, if 70% are skill and 30% are luck, why is luck still such a huge factor in mirror matches? Imo a 50% ratio describes your assessment better. Among players of equal skill, the match will be decided by luck.



Sorry Geg, I saw '50% ratio' and assumed you meant a 50/50 luck/skill split. Your next sentence actually clarified that luck is the 100% deciding factor where equal skill is concerned, but I missed that interpretation on my first read-through.

My most recent response still holds, except the part about the perceived insult. Let's continue. 
This type of insult seems out of character for you.

And I agreed that luck is the deciding factor among players of equal skill. But therefore, amongnst players that aren't equally skilled, skill is usually the deciding factor. And that's what I'm arguing for.

And how do you define draws in terms of '20% better'? To me that's not measurable and, therefore, not worth talking about.

I'd like to hear you respond to the rest of my post where I talk about the theory of skill in games of incomplete information. That could at least evolve into a rational discussion of the issue at hand.



Come on, you're really taking offence by that? I don't think it's any more insulting than the correction of nonsense I never said. It was meant as a side blow, nothing serious.

It's impossible to break it down in exact numbers, I already said that. However, as we're all talking about ratios, it's not unreasonable to put it that way. If my opponent draws twice as many good cards (+100% luck), is it enough if I make the right decisions 50% more often? I say that's not the case. That's about what the 70/30 ratio suggests though. I need at least double the amount of correct decisions to make up for such a nasty advantage in card quality. Therefore I suggest 50/50: To compensate the doubled card quality you need better decision making in twice as many decisive situations.

Of course that's abstract and not to be taken literally, but it has more substance than taking your win percentage of 70% in random online matches and converting it into a 70/30 skill/luck ratio.

Of course I know the difference between chess and backgammon, I've been a competitive chess player for 20 years. However, the amount of luck involved in decisionmaking is less decisive than the amount of luck involved in simply drawing the cards you need if you ask me and your theory completely neglects the latter.
This type of insult seems out of character for you.

And I agreed that luck is the deciding factor among players of equal skill. But therefore, amongnst players that aren't equally skilled, skill is usually the deciding factor. And that's what I'm arguing for.

And how do you define draws in terms of '20% better'? To me that's not measurable and, therefore, not worth talking about.

I'd like to hear you respond to the rest of my post where I talk about the theory of skill in games of incomplete information. That could at least evolve into a rational discussion of the issue at hand.

However, as we're all talking about ratios, it's not unreasonable to put it that way. If my opponent draws twice as many good cards (+100% luck)



I have an issue with this as the core of your argument. A card is only as good as the player who plays it. What is a good card? To me, a good card is one that is played at the correct time. Consider this example:

In an OD mirror-match, many average players will Murder the first Nantuko Shade they see because they know how powerful it is. I, however, will wait for my opponent to sink all of his mana into it before I Murder it, in order to disrupt his tempo and gain maximum advantage. Same decks, same cards, better play.

And I recanted my bit about the insult, read above.
Are we really still claiming such highs as 70% skill to 30% luck? I'm sorry, but we are talking about a game where you draw cards one by one from a pool of 53+, and that's after your opening 7, which is all luck based so far, right? Now, you do have to play these cards skillfully, know when to drop one or when to wait for a better target, when to bluff and when to try to push through anyway. But you can us all the skill you want, play your cards perfectly, and a single top-decked massacre wurm or damnation will still ruin you. The game is more luck than skill, or surely skill with mediocre cards would outclass god-draws and terrible match-ups. No amount of skill in the world will save Bof players from a turn 4 pellaka wurm, and no amount of skill in the world will save any deck from a turn 2 invisible stalker, turn 3 empyrial armour and turn 4 coronet. With an eel umbra in hand, you know, just in case of a sweeper. Not unless you are lucky enough to have a counter. 
I am Blue/White
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Karsten that is so wrong. If this game was more luck than skill winning more than 3 games in a row would be incredibly hard. When in reality I frequently win 10+ games in a row. I think when you get to the higher level of play luck plays a bigger factor but against the average player skill is a huge factor. Usually by mistakes by my opponent, playing cards at the wrong time it making bad attacks.
Are we really still claiming such highs as 70% skill to 30% luck? I'm sorry, but we are talking about a game where you draw cards one by one from a pool of 53+, and that's after your opening 7, which is all luck based so far, right? Now, you do have to play these cards skillfully, know when to drop one or when to wait for a better target, when to bluff and when to try to push through anyway. But you can us all the skill you want, play your cards perfectly, and a single top-decked massacre wurm or damnation will still ruin you. The game is more luck than skill, or surely skill with mediocre cards would outclass god-draws and terrible match-ups. No amount of skill in the world will save Bof players from a turn 4 pellaka wurm, and no amount of skill in the world will save any deck from a turn 2 invisible stalker, turn 3 empyrial armour and turn 4 coronet. With an eel umbra in hand, you know, just in case of a sweeper. Not unless you are lucky enough to have a counter. 



What's the W/L ratio for GG vs. DP? 95%?

Truth is, you can't say because you don't know who's piloting the decks, nor do you know their composition. The skill/luck ratio is only one factor in the grand scheme of 'who will win this game?'.

Let's look at the factors:

luck vs. skill (overall)
deck 1 vs. deck 2
build of deck 1 vs. build of deck 2 (this is a kind of skill, but not directly skill at being able to properly play the cards you've included)

I stand by my 70/30 ratio. Are there other factors? Yes. Dream Puppets will get stomped by Gobs no matter how great you are, and no matter how bad your opponent is. But that doesn't make him lucky. If player skill didn't matter, then we'd just roll a d20 and decide the winner that way.

But instead we play the cards! May the most-skilled player win!
Karsten that is so wrong. If this game was more luck than skill winning more than 3 games in a row would be incredibly hard. When in reality I frequently win 10+ games in a row. I think when you get to the higher level of play luck plays a bigger factor but against the average player skill is a huge factor. Usually by mistakes by my opponent, playing cards at the wrong time it making bad attacks.


Or you could just be extremely lucky? I attribute DotP more to luck. As I said it is my impression this randomizer is wonky. Now the actual game not so much. You actual shuffle for one. You get to create the deck to do exactly what you want. Not here. Oh no. I'm not complaining though, it is a very good fix. I just know that the games fake randomizer doesn't randomize like it should. At least imo. Take it how you will.
Avenger of Zendikar is not game... Got a question as to whether a card without shroud or hexproof is good? Answer is, dies to removal. "Control Slivers"
Karsten that is so wrong. If this game was more luck than skill winning more than 3 games in a row would be incredibly hard. When in reality I frequently win 10+ games in a row. I think when you get to the higher level of play luck plays a bigger factor but against the average player skill is a huge factor. Usually by mistakes by my opponent, playing cards at the wrong time it making bad attacks.



I'm not saying skill isn't a factor, i'm saying that when luck can completely overwhelm the best player in the world, if he played the worst player in the world, surely it can't be this 70/30 split everybody keeps claiming. Winning ten games in a row against the random people with 100 card decks online is no hard feat, but even those can suddenly stomp over you with a deck you should have the advantage with, with a build that is absolutely terrible. 

Lets put it this way...what happens when the luckiest player in the world plays the best, with identical decks? Luck is the deciding factor in this game, if it is against you, you lose. That makes it far more prominent. The simple fact is, that luck tends to average out, and when it does, that is where the skill decides the game. 

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Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both orderly and rational. I value control, information, and order. I love structure and hierarchy, and will actively use whatever power or knowledge I have to maintain it. At best, I am lawful and insightful; at worst, I am bureaucratic and tyrannical.
My point is if I built 2 identical decks and gave one to a random online and played best out if ten. I would expect to win at least 7 or 8 because I believe skill plays an important part. Also if someone plays a 100 card deck that is a skill difference on their part, nothing to do with luck.
My point is if I built 2 identical decks and gave one to a random online and played best out if ten. I would expect to win at least 7 or 8 because I believe skill plays an important part. Also if someone plays a 100 card deck that is a skill difference on their part, nothing to do with luck.




And my point is that if you gave identical decks to the both the most skillful player in the world, and the luckiest player in the world, who just learned how to play yesterday, the lucky guy would win more than 50% of those games, based on the perfect draws at the perfect times. Not just 'a random online'. And the 100 card deck is not just a skill difference, it's a knowledge difference. They may simply not know, they may be brand new to magic. 
I am Blue/White
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Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both orderly and rational. I value control, information, and order. I love structure and hierarchy, and will actively use whatever power or knowledge I have to maintain it. At best, I am lawful and insightful; at worst, I am bureaucratic and tyrannical.
My point is if I built 2 identical decks and gave one to a random online and played best out if ten. I would expect to win at least 7 or 8 because I believe skill plays an important part. Also if someone plays a 100 card deck that is a skill difference on their part, nothing to do with luck.


But when those 100 card decks rofstomp you it's luck? You can't have your cake and eat it too.
Avenger of Zendikar is not game... Got a question as to whether a card without shroud or hexproof is good? Answer is, dies to removal. "Control Slivers"
My point is if I built 2 identical decks and gave one to a random online and played best out if ten. I would expect to win at least 7 or 8 because I believe skill plays an important part. Also if someone plays a 100 card deck that is a skill difference on their part, nothing to do with luck.




And my point is that if you gave identical decks to the both the most skillful player in the world, and the luckiest player in the world, who just learned how to play yesterday, the lucky guy would win more than 50% of those games, based on the perfect draws at the perfect times. Not just 'a random online'. And the 100 card deck is not just a skill difference, it's a knowledge difference. They may simply not know, they may be brand new to magic. 



This is nonsense, because the skilled player would defeat the player who learned to play yesterday before he could top-deck 'that card'.
My point is if I built 2 identical decks and gave one to a random online and played best out if ten. I would expect to win at least 7 or 8 because I believe skill plays an important part. Also if someone plays a 100 card deck that is a skill difference on their part, nothing to do with luck.


But when those 100 card decks rofstomp you it's luck? You can't have your cake and eat it too.



He actually said it was 'nothing to do with luck'. It's in his post.

Give me a 100-card deck against a n00b playing with 60 cards. I'll beat him often because I can outplay him with the cards I am given, while he makes mistakes with those he has been given.
Nonsense? Oh please, the term 'begginers luck' is there for a reason you know. Luck, in any game which takes on a random element such as drawing cards from a well shuffled deck, will always be king. If the most skillful player in the world gets stuck on 3 lands while the 'newbie' with all the luck draws and plays three Leatherback Baloths on a row, just how is this skilled player stopping him? How about if the 'skillful' player draws and plays his very best and biggest face stomper, only to meet a mind control? He plays another, and lo and behold, look who topdecked another mind control! Skillful player times it perfectly, waits for his beasty to swing, and plays a murder. Wait, what card is this in the lucky guys hand that just started glowing orange? Counterspell? Well I never, lets press x! 

If you think it can't happen to you, you're in denial. Skill is a large part, luck will piss all over it.  
I am Blue/White
I am Blue/White
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both orderly and rational. I value control, information, and order. I love structure and hierarchy, and will actively use whatever power or knowledge I have to maintain it. At best, I am lawful and insightful; at worst, I am bureaucratic and tyrannical.
If this game was more luck than skill to the extent you say you would not have pro players and a hall of fame. Often pro players play the mirror match 6 or 7 times in a tournament and win the majority of those games.
My point is if I built 2 identical decks and gave one to a random online and played best out if ten. I would expect to win at least 7 or 8 because I believe skill plays an important part. Also if someone plays a 100 card deck that is a skill difference on their part, nothing to do with luck.


But when those 100 card decks rofstomp you it's luck? You can't have your cake and eat it too.



He actually said it was 'nothing to do with luck'. It's in his post.

Give me a 100-card deck against a n00b playing with 60 cards. I'll beat him often because I can outplay him with the cards I am given, while he makes mistakes with those he has been given.


And I'm saying 95% of you would attribute those losses to luck not skill. So you just happened to sidestep my point to try one up me. Good job my friend.
Avenger of Zendikar is not game... Got a question as to whether a card without shroud or hexproof is good? Answer is, dies to removal. "Control Slivers"
If this game was more luck than skill to the extent you say you would not have pro players and a hall of fame. Often pro players play the mirror match 6 or 7 times in a tournament and win the majority of those games.


Do you not understand when I say the words Dotp? Not paper. Big differences.
Avenger of Zendikar is not game... Got a question as to whether a card without shroud or hexproof is good? Answer is, dies to removal. "Control Slivers"
But Karstien luck does not favour bad players and beginners it is neutral and both players will get the same amount of luck over a period of time. Luck will account for a small portion of games but the rest where both players draw average, slightly below average or slightly above average are decided by skill and the better player will win.
Tripp, it is not different unless luck makes a special exception for this game. I didn't realise luck on dotp and luck in real life effected the game differently?
If this game was more luck than skill to the extent you say you would not have pro players and a hall of fame. Often pro players play the mirror match 6 or 7 times in a tournament and win the majority of those games.



What extent is this? I've not mentioned an imaginary statistic of any sort, except that the luckiest in the world will win more than half. Pro players play the mirror match, and they win more than half. Skill DOES sway the balance, I have not denied this, only said that luck does it more. If they were truly that skillful, and it mattered so much, they would win ALL their games. 

I am Blue/White
I am Blue/White
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both orderly and rational. I value control, information, and order. I love structure and hierarchy, and will actively use whatever power or knowledge I have to maintain it. At best, I am lawful and insightful; at worst, I am bureaucratic and tyrannical.
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