Is going 1st really an Advantage in Limited

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I always choose to draw 1st in limited.  It works out very well for me.  Is going 1st really an advantage or just an instictual decision?

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I always choose to draw 1st in limited.  It works out very well for me.  Is going 1st really an advantage or just an instictual decision?



It is an advatnage to go first "in theory" but of course there are situations where you would be better off going second.

At GP Taipei I ran a really crazy Azorius deck and two of my opponents chose to go second after losing game one to it...I had never had anyone choose to go second after losing until that day.

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The play/draw rule evens things out considerably. Prior to implementing that rule the person going first was expected to win the match. As for whether it is an advantage in modern Limited, it varies from set to set. However, I would expect it has to be an advantage in this set, since the average game concludes so quickly. The draw is only an advantage if the game lasts long enough for you to play out all of the cards in your hand. I do not believe that either play or draw was better than the other in M13.
It was better draw first in some formats (Invasion block, old Ravnica). On monday I played in Festival Of Old Limited Sealed and never played first - my deck was very special with Vigor, Numot, the Devastator and Keening Banshee. I aslo draw first few times in Orzhov mirror.
It's an advantage when tempo is more important then card advantage. In gatecrash, RTR and most of the latest draft formats tempo is usually the more important.
It depends fully on the format. In Gatecrash draft it is almost always correct to play first. Hitting all your drops at the right time is the way to win the games.
In many slower formats, including most sealed formats it is often correct to draw instead of play.

Think about how important speed is, how your and your opponent's decks match up and how long you expect the games to go.

And to a degree, use your gut. It's better to make the wrong decision for the right reasons than to make the right decision for the wrong reasons.
Weird, for me Gatecrash was the 1st set where I noticed the odd trend that I win more limited games that I draw 1st on.

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Because it is a fast set, it also punishes you more for missing any of your first 4 land drops, which are easier to hit consistantly on the draw. But provided you hit them on the play, being on the play is much, much better.
I still don't believe this is a "fast" set. I think some decks have very aggressive early wins and skew the statistics.

I won another mixed sealed last night and primarily played Gatecrash brews against my Innistrad brew, and my bevvy of 3-drop 2/3 creatures were able to hold back every single Gatecrash deck, to the point where game one I was stuck on 3 lands for 4 turns and still won, and in game one of match two I was stuck on five plains with a fist full of green cards and still won... yeah, sure, blah blah blah anecdotal evidence blah blah blah... but seriously, I've seen maybe 4-5 blowout games that end on T6 or T5. That's only a tiny fraction of the games I've watched/played; I feel like if this was a "fast" set I'd see that at least 33% of the time.

I think this is more of a set that wants a low-curve to fill out your board, because there are a lot of cheap, efficient creatures in the set. Riding weenies to victory is a tried and true limited strategy, but it doesn't accelerate the format, especially when everyone's doing it.

EDIT:

Alternatively, as I've said in the past, the MTGO play-style versus my paper games just might be that different. There's no way to vet this however.

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

As with every question about Limited, it depends entirely on your deck.
Isn't that a bit of a cop out? If we're talking about the speed of a set, chalking it up to individual decks defeats the purpose of discussing the scope of the set?

As for Dimir, can someone show me the nuts Dimir decks they've played? I keep hearing about these mysterious 3-0 and 4-0 Dimir decks, and have never seen one go better than 2-1 or 3-1, and the 3-1 got paired down continually with noobs.

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

We have to take care no to confuse draft with sealed. Sealed is much slower, especially here in gatecrash because the set isn't that deep on good playables.

I've allready said this but in draft, gatecrash is very fast, or at least it's a format that makes coming back from a slow start very difficult. This is primary due a couple of reasons i think :

- There is a good number of very efficient two-drop creatures.
- Blocking is very difficult because of bloodrush, tricks, battalion, unblockable... blocking being a worse strategy is obviously a disadvantage for the slower deck.
- The mechanics of gatecrash are so that it makes coming back into a game harder than usual. Bloodrush, as said, makes blocking difficult, battalion and evolve snowball, and extort is the ultimate "reach"-mechanic.
This set is faster than every recent set except Zendikar.
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I too had thought that everyone playing 2 drops would cancel out, that all of the early creatures would trade, and you'd be right back to a moderately fast set again. But if that were true then every set would be the same speed once players adapted. The fact of the matter is, Boros, Gruul, Simic and Dimir all employ what would traditionally be referred to as 'win more' mechanics. If you can dump a lot of early creatures with Boros, you also get an upgrade to all of them. If you can get your opponent under 5 life with Gruul, you can use Bloodrush to close out the game a turn earlier. If you can curve out with Simic you are putting a lot of PT on the board very fast. If you can hit your opponent with an evasive creature in Dimir you can copy a spell every turn. Miss this with your respective guild and you will likely be overrun by someone who can.

All of this adds up to a very fast set overall. 
As for Dimir, can someone show me the nuts Dimir decks they've played? I keep hearing about these mysterious 3-0 and 4-0 Dimir decks, and have never seen one go better than 2-1 or 3-1, and the 3-1 got paired down continually with noobs.

I've had a few 3-0 Dimir decks. Most important cards for me have been Devour, Hands, Blockade and the two drops - Oculus and Sprite. Sprite especially has been really important for me as a Cipher target, and does huge amounts of work with Hands.

Isn't that a bit of a cop out? If we're talking about the speed of a set, chalking it up to individual decks defeats the purpose of discussing the scope of the set?

As for Dimir, can someone show me the nuts Dimir decks they've played? I keep hearing about these mysterious 3-0 and 4-0 Dimir decks, and have never seen one go better than 2-1 or 3-1, and the 3-1 got paired down continually with noobs.



From a MtGO draft: Stolen Identity, Consuming Aberration, Soul RansomCall of the Nightwing, triple Cloudfin Raptor, double Hands of Binding, double Deathcult Rogue; also had a Mind Grind that I didn't play. This is way over the top, but you wanted to see one

And for the main topic: in GTC, I always go first even when playing control, because otherwise the other guy can just roll over you with an aggressive start. The only exception might be a four- or five-color deck, but I haven't drafted one of those yet.

Go draft, young man, go draft!

Yeah, it's true of all guilds, but when people avoid it it gets crazy. I've had double Consuming Aberration / double Mind Grind in one Dimir draft previously.