Do extreme Mana Issue Wins/Losses add anything to Limited?

27 posts / 0 new
Last post
So I was playing along in a tournament where I completely steamrolled my round 1 opponent. To follow that up I managed to get a 40-0 extortion win in the first game of the second match. For the next one I kept a 2 land hand, and hadn't drawn a fourth by the time the 8th turn rolled around, which meant I lost holding both One Thousand Lashes and Grisly Spectacle. For the final one I kept a starting hand that included Basilica Screecher, Daring Skyjek, Gift of Orzhov, Plains and Swamp against an opponent who played 0 removal, and the entire thing ended up like this:



Certainly I would have kept the starting hand had I played it again. So the question becomes, what do these extreme mana issue losses add to the game, if anything? It's not skill-testing, because the deterministic correct choice for keeping the starting hand was made in both cases and it's not fun for either player because the game is so lopsided. Third, while this tournament wasn't for high-stakes (it was Gatecrash Swiss) having matches decided like this in a high-stakes tournament setting seems ridiculous.

So I've gone over the con list for leaving extreme mana issues in , can you think of any pros for keeping it?
A pseudo-pro is, can you think of a better method?  (ie the pro is, I doubt you or I can)

Nice cards btw. I'd be furious if this happened to me.

Oh wait. It does happen to me. And I get furious Smile 
how about you just take the land cards out all together, and everyone just ticks up their mana by one every upkeep?
if you wanted to get fancy, make "switching" colors cost you your mana for the turn.

This would promote games with never flood/screw.  It would, I think, be a much stupider game.   While the variance does let weaker players beat stronger ones, it also lets weaker decks beat better ones (given roughly equal players).  It also forces some constraints in deckbuilding that are pretty important, and establishes aggro vs. control.   It (probably -- I cannot proove this mathematically) allows for a much greater variety of sucessful decks.

Higher variance also keeps weaker players in the game, and helps new players out.  The  learning curve (especially in something like draft) for this game is pretty steep.  

On your original topic - I had a guy at a Standard constructed tourney (I got killed, thanks for asking...) tell me that almost no _2_ land hands were keepable (on initial 7 card draws)... that seemed pretty extreme to me.   


rstnme: "Everything looks good when your opponent passes 4 turns in a row."


On your original topic - I had a guy at a Standard constructed tourney (I got killed, thanks for asking...) tell me that almost no _2_ land hands were keepable (on initial 7 card draws)... that seemed pretty extreme to me.   




Was he playing control?  If so, I completely agree.
Locked.

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
Why is this thread being locked? It is a discussion about whether the game would be better as a whole without extreme mana issues that cause one player (for example) to be held under 4 lands for 7 turns in 2 consecutive games after keeping 2 land hands in each.
how about you just take the land cards out all together, and everyone just ticks up their mana by one every upkeep?
if you wanted to get fancy, make "switching" colors cost you your mana for the turn.

This would promote games with never flood/screw.  It would, I think, be a much stupider game.   While the variance does let weaker players beat stronger ones, it also lets weaker decks beat better ones (given roughly equal players).  It also forces some constraints in deckbuilding that are pretty important, and establishes aggro vs. control.   It (probably -- I cannot proove this mathematically) allows for a much greater variety of sucessful decks.

Higher variance also keeps weaker players in the game, and helps new players out.  The  learning curve (especially in something like draft) for this game is pretty steep.  

On your original topic - I had a guy at a Standard constructed tourney (I got killed, thanks for asking...) tell me that almost no _2_ land hands were keepable (on initial 7 card draws)... that seemed pretty extreme to me.   





Actually, the setup you are describing is fairly close to one that is used in a lot of modern card games. The practical implementation in Limited Magic would be to have a pool of common lands and allow a player (once per round) to exile one of the spells in their hand for a basic land that produced a color present in the card being exiled. This would retain the one-land per turn rule, color wheel and the balancing of cards against their CMCs while simultaneously preventing the situation where players are stuck with a large number of unplayable cards in their hand due to the distribution of lands/spells drawn over the course of the game. The game as a whole would become more skillful, since you would be required to make short and long term decisions regarding the cards being exiled for mana. Unlike the current setup, where such choices are effectively made for you. 

In fact, if Magic were redesigned today I think this is the mechanic they'd use.

I recently read an article about how terrible American made board games are compared to their German counterparts, and the common thread is that American made board games are luck based (ala Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, Life, etc.) While German board games are primarily skill based (ala Carcassone, Power Grid and Settlers of Catan). German board games contain just enough luck to be non-confrontational but are based primarily around deterministic gameplay mechanics.
Why is this thread being locked? It is a discussion about whether the game would be better as a whole without extreme mana issues that cause one player (for example) to be held under 4 lands for 7 turns in 2 consecutive games after keeping 2 land hands in each.


Because I've asked you to stop making threads on this topic. They've become disruptive.

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
Why is this thread being locked? It is a discussion about whether the game would be better as a whole without extreme mana issues that cause one player (for example) to be held under 4 lands for 7 turns in 2 consecutive games after keeping 2 land hands in each.


Because I've asked you to stop making threads on this topic. They've become disruptive.



I don't think anyone involved with this thread is being disruptive. Discussing the pros and cons of the Limited game as designed isn't inherently disruptive, if people chose to make it disruptive you should single out those posts, not the thread as a whole.


In fact, if Magic were redesigned today I think this is the mechanic they'd use.




I don't understand why this is even such a hassle.

All you need to do to fix extreme mana flood/screw or at least greatly reduce their probability is implement partial mulligans. 


In fact, if Magic were redesigned today I think this is the mechanic they'd use.




I don't understand why this is even such a hassle.

All you need to do to fix extreme mana flood/screw or at least greatly reduce their probability is implement partial mulligans. 



Certainly partial mulligans would be an improvement over the current system. I expect the game will eventually reach a point where the Dutch Mulligan (7-6-6-5-5) is the standard mulliganing rule used. But in both lost games that round I started with 2 lands, with both white and black mana represented, yet failed to get to 4 mana over the course of both games. There needs to be a mechanic to address that scenario.
Or you only keep 2 land hands when your curve tops out at 3? This is, and always has been, pretty basic. Especially in an environment and with a deck that would love to have more mana to trigger extort. I don't think you have anyone to blame but yourself; it's not the system's fault you lost.

I found Carmen Sandiego before you were born unless you're Zlehtnoba.

Or you only keep 2 land hands when your curve tops out at 3? This is, and always has been, pretty basic. Especially in an environment and with a deck that would love to have more mana to trigger extort. I don't think you have anyone to blame but yourself; it's not the system's fault you lost.



In a standard 23 spell, 17 land construction, taking a mulligan on 2 land hands gives you only a 31% chance to improve the number of lands in your hand (only a 3 land hand is an improvement) in addition to a 21% chance to make the mana situation worse. On top of a 100% chance to draw 1 less card than you did in your starting hand. So no, 2 land hands with cards to play and all of your colors represented are not mulliganable.
Or you only keep 2 land hands when your curve tops out at 3? This is, and always has been, pretty basic. Especially in an environment and with a deck that would love to have more mana to trigger extort. I don't think you have anyone to blame but yourself; it's not the system's fault you lost.



In a standard 23 spell, 17 land construction, taking a mulligan on 2 land hands gives you only a 31% chance to improve the number of lands in your hand (only a 3 land hand is an improvement) in addition to a 21% chance to make the mana situation worse. On top of a 100% chance to draw 1 less card than you did in your starting hand. So no, 2 land hands with cards to play and all of your colors represented are not mulliganable.



In a perfect shuffle paradigm. Which, this isn't. It's fake math man, get over it.

I found Carmen Sandiego before you were born unless you're Zlehtnoba.

More to the point: you keep hands that don't curve out and don't let you play anything the first couple of turns. I mull for hands that let me play things out. I don't need a statistic to know hands that curve out win more than hands fishing for their third land drop.

I found Carmen Sandiego before you were born unless you're Zlehtnoba.

SB, can you please just stop this?
I think you have to look at Magic the same way professional poker players look at poker.  You can't expect to win every game.  It is over the long run that you will win.  So just see those particular losses and wins to not be a big deal, as there is nothing you can do.  Focus your energy on the losses and wins that were your fault.  Basically, if the mana screw is the only time you are losing, then you are very good, and should be winning alot of matches to more than make up for the variance.

Some variance is good and makes it fun.  Also, it allows newbies to win against pros sometimes and keeps them interested in the game, while still allowing pros to take down the majority of the wins to support their magic playing financially.



 
The first step towards becoming a pro poker player is knowing when to fold. This example is like the poker equivalent of chasing the straight. You don't chase the straight.

I found Carmen Sandiego before you were born unless you're Zlehtnoba.

In a perfect shuffle paradigm. Which, this isn't. It's fake math man, get over it.



The generally accepted strength of a starting hand in relation to the number of lands and spells contained in that hand is min(# lands, # spells) with # spells used as a tie breaker. So for 7 card hands the best number of lands to draw is 3, followed by 4, 2, 5, 1, 6, 0 and 7. For 6 card hands we have 3, 2, 4, 1, 5, 0, 6 and for 5 we have 2, 3, 1, 4, 0, 5.

Straight up a 2 land, 5 spell hand is only beaten by 3 land, 3 spell hand on the mulligan. All of the other 6 card hands are worse, in addition to all of the 5 card hands. So that 31.3% chance to draw a 3 land, 3 spell hand on the mulligan is the only chance to improve the situation. In addition, a 2 land hand that draws a land on it's first draw becomes a 3 land, 5 spell hand, which is better than either a 3 land, 4 spell hand or a 4 land, 3 spell hand you might get from mulliganing into a 3 lander. And for a 2 land, 5 spell hand this happens 45.4% of the time.

So if you take that mulligan on a 2 land hand, you are improving your hand only 14.3% of the time, and hurting it the remaining 85.7% Hence why you do not mulligan 2 land hands. Certainly a 2 lander like the one I had can become unplayable, provided it misses drawing a land for the several turns, but there is no way to say this deterministically. Hence keeping the 2 lander will be the correct choice.
The first step towards becoming a pro poker player is knowing when to fold. This example is like the poker equivalent of chasing the straight. You don't chase the straight.


That's actually a really great analogy.
I think you have to look at Magic the same way professional poker players look at poker.  You can't expect to win every game.  It is over the long run that you will win.  So just see those particular losses and wins to not be a big deal, as there is nothing you can do.  Focus your energy on the losses and wins that were your fault.  Basically, if the mana screw is the only time you are losing, then you are very good, and should be winning alot of matches to more than make up for the variance.

Some variance is good and makes it fun.  Also, it allows newbies to win against pros sometimes and keeps them interested in the game, while still allowing pros to take down the majority of the wins to support their magic playing financially.



That is already the way I look at poker. I used to play with a group of 10-12 friends on a weekly basis, back when Texas Holdem was popular, and I got good enough (after the first 8 or so games) that I won every third game on average. My strategy was not to lose a lot on any given hand, and to get as much money as I could into the pot on the hands I knew I was going to win. As a result I folded more hands than any other player, yet won the game more often.

As for Magic, the vast majority of games that I lose involve me hitting mana issues. Not necessarily as bad as the one in the picture, but either missing one of my first 3 land drops, or flooding such that I draw more lands than spells over the course of the game. And I'm only winning between 67-70% of my matches in Gatecrash. The highest I've ever won was around 80% during M13, where I was going 3-0 nearly as often as I was going 2-1. It just seems like a remarkably low and artificial ceiling, to accept that there are going to be 2-3 unwinnable games in every tournament due to mana issues alone. If there was some mechanism in place to prevent the extreme mana issues from happening it would go a long way towards removing that ceiling.
The first step towards becoming a pro poker player is knowing when to fold. This example is like the poker equivalent of chasing the straight. You don't chase the straight.


That's actually a really great analogy.



I'm not certain that it is. A better analogy is the one from the Rounders movie, which is "Stay in when you've got the best of it and protect your stack when you don't" In addition, folding 2 games in the same match (due to mana or other issues) is a loss. Folding in Poker works because you can fold upwards of 80% of your hands and still come out on top.
Extreme by definition means they don't happen often, so it's fine.

If you have such a big problem with variance, but still want to play Magic, I suggest you try constructed.  While there is still variance in constructed, in my experience, it is less than in limited.

If you enjoy Magic and enjoy Limited, you need to learn to accept that sometimes you won't get to draw the way you would like.  Creating these redundant, unhelpful threads over and over does literally nothing.
Extreme by definition means they don't happen often, so it's fine.

If you have such a big problem with variance, but still want to play Magic, I suggest you try constructed.  While there is still variance in constructed, in my experience, it is less than in limited.

If you enjoy Magic and enjoy Limited, you need to learn to accept that sometimes you won't get to draw the way you would like.  Creating these redundant, unhelpful threads over and over does literally nothing.



This thread is to see if people could come up with any pros for the current system, and so far the only pro I've seen is "it allows inexperienced players to beat pros", which I personally see as a con, but I can see why some people might enjoy it.

I enjoy Limited more than Constructed, I enjoy the aspect of drafting a deck, and I enjoy playing different types of decks without feeling I'm missing out on playing the one best deck, as I typically did when I played Constructed. Just about the only aspect I dislike are the games where I end up playing few spells in relation to my opponent due to mana issues. It also doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to design a mechanic to prevent those games from happening.

For example, if an opponent controls more land than you, and you control less than 4 lands you could be allowed to discard a card to draw the next land in your deck. Further, if you control more then 4 lands and more lands than an opponent, you could be allowed to pay 2 mana and discard a land from your hand to draw a card. The exact mechanics would have to be worked out, but there's certainly something along these lines that would make the game better than it currently is.
The first step towards becoming a pro poker player is knowing when to fold. This example is like the poker equivalent of chasing the straight. You don't chase the straight.


That's actually a really great analogy.



I'm not certain that it is. A better analogy is the one from the Rounders movie, which is "Stay in when you've got the best of it and protect your stack when you don't" In addition, folding 2 games in the same match (due to mana or other issues) is a loss. Folding in Poker works because you can fold upwards of 80% of your hands and still come out on top.



My solution is that you play higher quality opponents so your win rate wouldn't be so artificially high. Let's see you in the Top 8 of a GP or a Pro Tour maybe?

If you played higher quality opponents you would be losing more and not worrying so much about this sort of triviality.

bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
I've played in a GP. I went 10-5 and I found it very stressful. The sealed portion went about as well as it possibly could, but I think I could have done better on the draft portion if I'd had more experience at that point. Perhaps I could have gotten a 11-4 finish instead, but I don't think that would have been enough to top 8. I would like to play a higher quality of opponents, such that winning 2 out of 3 felt like a good win rate and not a bad one, but you can't choose your opponents online.

Also, I don't consider losing 2-3 games per 3 matches due to mana issues a trivial matter. Particularly when they comprise the majority of my overall losses. No matter how well I do in the non-mana issues/non-mulligan games (and I'm winning between 80-85% of those) the ceiling will always be set by the mana issue and mulligan loses. Unless the mechanics of the game are modified so that they happen less frequently.

And I still see no perks for keeping the system as is. This thread is about people defending, or trying to defend the current system.
True, no one's listed the "pros" of the current system. Here are a few:

It adds a level of variance to the game. It's fairly understood you don't see this as a pro though, so I'm expecting you to disregard this.

It adds a skillset to the game. Knowing the risks of mulling versus the risks of keeping a hand is a key element in playing limited.

It benefits deck synergy over best-card strategies. Allowing people multiple opportunities to fish for their bombs while minimizing the drawbacks of pitching a hand ruins the format, particularly one that's about to see Pack Rat re-enter limited. Going 7-6-6 gives you three chances to get 2 lands and the Rat if you manage to crack one. And while the Rat is an extreme case, friendlier mulligan rules will push curves lower as people can feel comfortable risking one-card loss for three chances of fetching anh ideal hand. This gets even crazier if someone's on the draw.

Again, you kept a hand that you could not play, expecting fallacy-based math to benefit your decision. Everyone's kept a two-lander, and everyone's regretted such a decision at some point.

I found Carmen Sandiego before you were born unless you're Zlehtnoba.

Sign In to post comments