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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:37 am 
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The problem with mana is at it’s core, and it’s also big part of what makes this game fun, I can live with mana flood or screw, as long as I get to play some magic. With the new mulligan rule It’s pretty mich guaranteed that you at least will get to play.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:08 pm 
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I'm now wondering if I can mod my mono white to take advantage of this. It would be a hairy experiment though as at least 5 mana out is desired for Lyra and six if I want to be setting off Resplendents.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:48 pm 
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I'm now wondering if I can mod my mono white to take advantage of this. It would be a hairy experiment though as at least 5 mana out is desired for Lyra and six if I want to be setting off Resplendents.


Then no, you can't. 13 land red looks to keep a 1 lander with a 1 drop and follow up with a spectacled LUTS on turn 2 if they don't draw the second land. Getting past 2-3 mana in play is really hard for the deck unless it sees multiple LUTS, though they only need 2 mana to win so it's no hardship.

I guess a 1 drop centred ww deck with legion's landing might be able to function, but I think it'd be worse than normal ww.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:16 pm 
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CGB said in his vid with 13 lands there is a 90% chance of 1 land in the 7 and 60% of 2. Arena muligans rule makes the 90% quite a bit higher, so a 1 Lander+ will happen is most games. Running 20+ decent 1 drops and luts it can get to the second land and third pretty often in the first 5-6 turns with a lower chance of drawing 4+ lands.
That's all the exploit is really, someone did the math and figured that out. This deck is only possible because of luts 1 mana draw and steam-kin ramp.

Mono white has decent 1-drops, has the landing as ramp, but lacks the card draw. Maybe if that thraben inspector was still around and still, cracking clues was for 2 mana.

Anyway, I don't see anyone surprised by a 19 land deck winning a mythic championship (and that was with real paper cards and no mtga shuffler). I remember somebody arguing about 20 lands being too few.
Maybe mono-blue could go to 13? It also has a curve that tops out at 3, 1 mana draw in obsession, lacking only the ramp...

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:35 pm 
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19 land aggro isn't that crazy. It's low, but I've seen that before. If your average CMC is low enough, it's doable. But 13 land in paper, you're going to mull yourself to death in a good percentage of games trying to get a land in opening hand.

I think you're right about mono white. No card draw is probably too big a deal. I think maybe mono blue could work. Ramp seems less important - I don't recall seeing CGB use steamkin ramp a single time in the games he played in vid.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:17 pm 
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The Shuffler is fine. When necessary, I just bitch on discord and move on.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:50 pm 
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Further thoughts on this:

Calling the shuffler "broken" is hyperbolic/click batey. I went with that for thread title because that was title of CGBs video posted in OP. The addendum I included in 1st line of OP is more honest - its exploitable. Of course you can still play games with same decks you'd run in paper and have fun/win, but you can also game the statistical averages with shuffler to your advantage if so inclined.

Here Some Dood has made 13 land decks from all monocolor options:
mono white
mono black
mono blue
mono green
And we already saw mono red from CGB.

These lists aren't even optimal (he built to his preferred playstyle rather that focusing on the best possible version - for example, in the mono blue vid he talks about running more counterspells with the extra card slots being a Better version of the 13 land deck; he doesn't like that style of play, so he ran other spells instead), but they're proof of concept. They are playable decks. Mono green was pretty weak, and mono red is clearly the best, but the rest of the pack aren't Bad.


Another Dood ran the numbers on over a million games, and shows pretty clear evidence that contrary to the claims made in MTGATracker's Myth of the Evil Shuffler article, it's not so much a myth as it is a real thing that happens. The data gathered does indicate that if you have X lands in your deck and your opening hand contains Y lands, you have Z% chance of flood/screw. This knowledge allows savvy players to mulligan themselves to better Z% rates.

https://www.reddit.com/r/MagicArena/comments/b21u3n/i_analyzed_shuffling_in_a_million_games/

(And this commentary video about the evidence compiled by Another Dood, which I found useful because it linked to the reddit post/source, but couldn't finish the video because I find the voice/commentary style to be a bit irritating in the Angry Pundit sort of way: Desolator Magic: MTG Arena Shuffler PROVEN To Be Rigged/Malfunctional in Large Test)

It's funny because as mentioned in the OP, I noticed similar trends in Duels. Specifically with land flood/screw based on land count in opening hand on Duels. Like, everyone who played Duels knows if your opening hand has 5 lands, you are guaranteed to draw at least 4 more lands in the first 5 draws (but you can break the pattern with a shuffle effect, like Evolving Wilds). Having 2 land opening hands lead to screw more often than it should - but it wasn't quite as consistent as 5 lands = flood draws.

All in all, I don't view this as game breaking. I personally wouldn't care too much about gaming the % in causal play - but in a highly competitive setting like a tournament, I would def use this information for the competitive advantage. And I still think it's hilarious that you can play 13 land decks in Arena. More novelty than dominance, but hilarious none the less.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:29 am 
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The problem is that WotC has already stated that they modify starting hands to improve balance (or some similar stupidity). How they do it, however, was never sufficiently explained. I looked through the million hand data and it's not as useful as the Redditor tries to claim, but it's still potentially damning. He really should have been treating this as a null-hypothesis test, rather than "here's some charts that I think prove my point." The problem with his methodology is that he hasn't actually done what needed to be done: demonstrate to what degree we can reject a properly designed shuffler. That's not to say that it can't be done with the data that he obtained, but rather that it simply wasn't done, yet.

All of that said, until someone actually builds a deck that aims to take advantage of these supposed defects, AND proves that it is more successful than other decks as a result, I'd argue that this whole debate is pretty moot. These 13 land decks, for example, really don't impress me that much. It's ridiculous that they work - so that part is pretty fun - but it's not like they are going dominate the meta or anything.

As for the 'proof' that land flood/starvation is happening more frequently than it should, I'm not really sure what to think about it. We have two different data sets, one which suggested that the shuffler was fine, the other which suggested the shuffler was not fine. The fact that the latter is a larger data set is pretty irrelevant statistically speaking. Based on the conflicting conclusions and the fact that the two data sets should have been drawn from the same population, clearly something is awry (because even at the smaller sample's size, the results should have been consistent). The implication is that there was an error in one of the two methodologies (possibly both).

Note: I am neither passing judgement here, nor am I stating who made the mistake. I am simply stating that someone must have messed up.

edit/aside: btw, a few years ago, someone on this board claimed to have a large amount of evidence that the shuffler in Duels was biased toward tail events (ie. too many no land hands, and too many all land hands). He posted a bunch of results on this site that he had supposedly gathered. I held back from calling him out (mostly to avoid having to explain the mathematics behind how I caught him, and the ensuing argument), but his data was clearly fabricated - you could tell because he built his data around an incorrect land count (the mean of his population was way off of what he claimed it was). He literally must have made a typo when he generated the fake data (either that or his data was WAY more interesting than what he was claiming, literally a 24 land deck performs as a fat tailed 26 or 27 land deck). Long story short: I find it hard to trust people who seem to think huge amounts of data is needed to prove their point. Note: I'm NOT saying this happened in the million game situation, I haven't looked at that data, and I won't, because I'm simply too busy right now.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:53 am 
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Put another way: two people each grab marbles out of a jar. Person one gets mostly blue marbles, person two gets mostly red marbles. One concludes that the jar is mostly blue marbles, the other concludes the jar is mostly red marbles (they each got enough marbles for statistical relevance). My conclusion: they drew from different jars, or one of them is color blind.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:33 pm 
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DJ0045 wrote:
These 13 land decks, for example, really don't impress me that much. It's ridiculous that they work - so that part is pretty fun - but it's not like they are going dominate the meta or anything.


Yeah, and that's why I agree with others who say it's not correct to call the shuffler broken. That you can build 13 land decks that work at all shows that it's exploitable, but that those decks aren't dominant shows it's not broken - at least in any way I would use that word.

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