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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:09 am 
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In Magic: the Gathering, both players start with 7 cards. The player who goes first skips his or her draw phase, i.e. the second player plays each turn with one extra card in hand. This balances the drawback of going second a bit, but generally not enough, and virtually everyone chooses to play first if given the option.

Hearthstone adopts the same mechanic with one extra wrinkle: the player going second starts with a "Coin", which is effectively a Lotus Petal. The games are more balanced in Hearthstone as a result - as far as I know, play/draw in Hearthstone has negligible impact on win rates.

Is there any reason for Magic: the Gathering not to adopt the same rule (i.e. player going second starts with a Lotus Petal)? I know Magic is a more complex game, so this could potentially lead to something degenerate. However I am not sure what. The only thing I can think of is that a player going second in Legacy or Vintage is now more likely to storm combo off on turn 1; however because he is still going second, the opponent would be able to cast Thoughtseize or Spell Pierce first. Besides, the opponent is still going first: his Counterspell comes online quicker, he can play Liliana of the Veil before the opponent can play 3-mana spells, and so on.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:34 am 
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Magic has too much weight of history behind it to make such a massive change. Remember, Lotus Petal, being a card, a spell, a permanent, an artifact, a mana source, a sacrifice, and/or a card in your graveyard that you can have access to, all in the first turn, is all in addition to your opening hand. Magic is very deep, and each of those things I just listed can impact the attributes, abilities, and costs of cards. Yes, your opponent gets to go first, but having such powerful stuff available to you, in older formats, would be like setting an a-bomb off on the format. As for newer formats? It'd be easier to design around for sure, and could be interesting.

Personally, I've really been enjoying Magic Arena's take on randomized hands during best-of-1 matches. Apparently the system draws two hands for you, and gives you the most average of hands between both draws. This has been great, because there are way fewer mulligans (which don't then benefit from this averaging effect), and way fewer non-games. I've been playing about 10 matches a day for the last week and a bit, and have only had 3 non-games from my end (games where I simply couldn't draw the right mix of lands and spells and lost because randomness). I've some some games still where mana was an issue, but it wasn't a complete non-game. Most of my games have been real games where my choices in deck-building and deck-playing mattered, regardless of whether I was going first or second.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:15 am 
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Banedon wrote:
Hearthstone adopts the same mechanic with one extra wrinkle: the player going second starts with a "Coin", which is effectively a Lotus Petal. The games are more balanced in Hearthstone as a result - as far as I know, play/draw in Hearthstone has negligible impact on win rates.

This is not accurate. At least in Hearthstone's Arena, going first gives like a noticeable advantage statistically.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:52 pm 
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@Yarium that's why I'm wondering if you can think of anything that's outstandingly broken by having a Lotus Petal on the board at the start of the game. I haven't been able to. If there's something outstandingly broken then yeah, this idea won't work.

@neru Hmm, when I used to play Hearthstone, there was no detectable difference. Googling for it now it seems that the game has changed enough that going first is once again a big advantage. If anything that makes it seem like having a Lotus Petal isn't enough to balance the play/draw aspect ... not a good sign, although it's still frustrating to lose games to B/R reanimator in Legacy because they went off on turn 1 while you're holding all manner of 1-mana hate cards.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:12 pm 
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I couldn't say, but we live in a world where Flash-Hulk was invented. Magic players will always find a way to abuse things, and giving something to them that pretty much fills in the slot for a ton of existing combos will almost undoubtedly cause problems. Someone would find something bonkers to do with it for sure.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:19 am 
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I have a worry that mana accel for P2 could be a breaking thing. I agree with the premise that p2 needs more incentive / compensation, but IMO this goes too far. I’d think something more like the mulligan scry - give p2 a free scry 1 if they don’t mull, a scry 2 if they do.


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