[Article] 100 Matches with the Best Deck in Magic

@protoaddct
The following card will be printed in Dominaria.

Damping Sphere
{ 2 }
Artifact
If a land is tapped to produce two or more mana, it produces { ◇ } instead of any other type and amount.
Each spell a player casts costs { 1 } more to cast for each other spell that player has cast this turn.

last edited by Aaron Patten

Judging by my recent experience in leagues, this article has apparently caused a huge uptick in both Workshops players and awareness in non-Workshop deck building. I have zero trophies since you've published this and three during the week prior, and I'd call myself a mediocre-at-best player with the deck. I've also found myself and the Vintage streamers I follow running up against the deck much more often. I agree with all of the points in this amazing article, but it is a snapshot of that time and the field has adapted.

@hierarchnoble isn't that the amazing thing with leagues? I swear I have seen more Oath and Dredge in my last 10 league matches than in the 30 before that.

Shops has seemed more prevalent, but I think it's more likely that you are experiencing variance than the format actually adjusting with regards to your win rate. Based on the last challenge, Shops was 35% of the metagame and still had a 60% win rate against the field. I wrote the statistics complement to this article to make the point that it's really hard to gauge metagame dynamics from a sample size of one. Keep your head up, Mike. We all have those nights where we forget to register Time Walk and Tinker in our Blightsteel deck...

Also, it's really hard to actually 5-0 a league. I have a 60+% win percentage, which I'm pretty happy with as I play a wide variety of decks with many being brews. The odds of me 5-0'ing a given league are around 8% or 1/12 leagues. At 20 leagues, I'm running below average with a grand total of 0 trophies... It gets frustrating to be be on the wrong side of variance but that's just how it is. I think the math would say you were running way above average to get 3 trophies in a week, and this current losing spree is a regression towards the mean.

@smmenen said in [Article] 100 Matches with the Best Deck in Magic:

Actually, Max's article is a devastating argument against the case for restricting Misstep. Restricting Misstep will just replace those slots with other cards that are bad against Shops, so restricting Misstep will have no net effect on Shops.

Restricting Misstep won't make Shops weaker in the metagame.

If Missteps get replaced by Pyroblasts, that indeed will have little effect on the blue-vs-blue match, and also on the blue-vs-shops match. However, there can be effects on other matchups that can theoretically have cascading effects.

Misstep differs from Pyroblast in that it has utility against non-blue decks, some of which might match up favorably against shops. For example, Vintage Lands. Restricting Misstep could make a deck like Vintage Lands more playable, which could force shops to devote more sideboard slots to that matchup, which could weaken shops as a whole.

As it stands, shops decks are effectively able to pack hate against Vintage Lands without using up a single slot in their 75. Instead, they are packing the required hate in the 75 of their blue opponents.

@dshin Dedicating SB slots to a specific matchup doesn't necessarily weaken Shops against the field - rather it shifts win rates from one matchup to another. Dedicating slots to the mirror weakens Shops matchups against the field, but that's unlikely at the 20-30% metagame slice.

Also, why do people assume Vintage Lands will beat Shops at a significant rate? People have been repeatedly saying this about Oath, and the data disproves that. And why do people assume that Vintage Lands will increase in play while assuming combo decks like Belcher and DPS (statistically good matchups for Shops) stay suppressed? Doesn't a Misstep restriction make Dark Ritual and Expedition Map better, just like Crop Rotation? And will Shops stay the same or will people change their lists and incorporate more 1 drops, like Skullclamp?

Restricting Misstep thinking it will hurt Shops is a really tenuous position at best.

last edited by Guest

@dshin said in [Article] 100 Matches with the Best Deck in Magic:

@smmenen said in [Article] 100 Matches with the Best Deck in Magic:

Actually, Max's article is a devastating argument against the case for restricting Misstep. Restricting Misstep will just replace those slots with other cards that are bad against Shops, so restricting Misstep will have no net effect on Shops.

Restricting Misstep won't make Shops weaker in the metagame.

If Missteps get replaced by Pyroblasts, that indeed will have little effect on the blue-vs-blue match, and also on the blue-vs-shops match. However, there can be effects on other matchups that can theoretically have cascading effects.

Misstep differs from Pyroblast in that it has utility against non-blue decks, some of which might match up favorably against shops. For example, Vintage Lands. Restricting Misstep could make a deck like Vintage Lands more playable, which could force shops to devote more sideboard slots to that matchup, which could weaken shops as a whole.

As it stands, shops decks are effectively able to pack hate against Vintage Lands without using up a single slot in their 75. Instead, they are packing the required hate in the 75 of their blue opponents.

Vintage.. Lands!? Well, since that deck couldn't be any less playable than it already is, I guess you're right.

The only thing restricting Misstep accomplishes is that even more start playing red in combination with blue than what we already see right now. Color combinations like UWB will get pushed out in the dark.

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