@maxtortion So, I gave your feedback a lot of thought and I tweaked my deck and played again. I played the same person twice. The first time I lost 2-0 and the second time I won 2-0.

My interaction with the player did not show me why I lost the first time and won the second time. I may have had more patience or I simply knew what he was playing.

How do I use this experience to get better?

Leagues are great, but you really do need a 6 or 7 league (at minimum) sample size with the same deck before you can make judgments on it. For example, I played the same person 3x in the same 5 match league...what did i learn from that (going 1-4 overall); That my deck was not good against ritual storm. Does that mean I should scrap the deck? Absolutely not. For me, the best way to use MTGO for testing and personal play improvement is to make MTGO friends, preferably with similar goals in mind, and grind out matches on a mutual schedule. You play 10 matches with your deck of choice vs them on a gauntlet, then you switch. You can take notes, exchange feedback and (hopefully) mutually improve.

For me, leagues are a great way to kill time after the wife and kid pass out on a weeknight. If you catch me in an MTGO league (p3temangus) i'm likely playing hearthstone on my other screen 🙂

@p3temangus Thank you very much. This is great advice. I test once a week with my brother and we are usually fairly serious but it's also good to test against other people.

@moorebrother1 said in MTGO:

@maxtortion So, I gave your feedback a lot of thought and I tweaked my deck and played again. I played the same person twice. The first time I lost 2-0 and the second time I won 2-0.

My interaction with the player did not show me why I lost the first time and won the second time. I may have had more patience or I simply knew what he was playing.

How do I use this experience to get better?

What plays were made that caused you to lose the first match? Did you overcommit into countermagic? Could you have played around something that you didn't play around?

What plays were made that caused you to win the second match?

What cards seemed pivotal in both sides of the matchup?

What cards were most effective to help your opponent win the first match?

What cards were most effective to help you win the second match?

In general, what cards were most scary from your opponent?

What cards do you have that best answers the scary cards /plays from your opponent?

These are the kinds of questions you can ask yourself in order to learn from the matches.

So, I have been giving this a lot of thought and I may be attempting to get something out of MTGO that I just cannot get from it.

I have been playing Magic for 23yrs, and I have been playing Vintage for all of those years.

When I started out Standard and Vintage were not very far apart. You could play Balance, Strip Mine and 4 Necopotence in Standard. I played competitively for a bit but not very serious until 2003.

In 2003, I played very seriously in both Standard and Vintage. I would prep for hours and I would play very hard in Standard and I got very close to some big top 8s but I would burn out around 2006.

I took a big job with IBM and slowed way down on Magic until 2009. I came back to Vintage with a fervor and started to travel to local events in Cleveland and Chicago. I did well, I went to Champs in 2010 and after a 4-0 run got 2 loses and dropped. After that, I had kids and took a break for a bit.

My point with this is that I have gotten very serious again and I wanted to play at a very high level. The way that you do that has changed.

Years ago there were weekly Vintage events, some were even sanctions as a weekly events. Then, there were weekly non-sanctioned proxy events where I could practice and perfect a deck.

Now, I have some friends in the area and my brother to test with but no access to much more than a monthly event locally and a couple of other events about 2-4hrs drive away.

The world has changed and everyone is supposedly on MTGO but I am not finding on MTGO what I found years back.

After speaking with some of you I realize that I may come off as inflammatory but I am not doing it with that intent, and I want to be part of something bigger here.

I bought into this game and I continue to spend way too much money on cardboard because I not only love the game but the interaction.

I guess MTGO can help me with some technical stuff but it is not giving me what I want.

I have to stop and admit that the issue may be me and not the platform.

Thanks for all of the great feedback and tips.

last edited by moorebrother1

You can also be the creator of a vintage meta in your area, it takes work, but it can be done. We also still have semi-regular (monthly-ish) vintage in cleveland, and usually about every other week in person testing.

@garbageaggro Thanks for the advice. I did reach out to some friends and we are going to try for bi-weekly meet up.

I also gave MTGO one more try with the focus on just technical play and I am seeing that the way I play there versus how I play on paper is so different.

Mis-clicks, phase and stack interactions are just a big pain point for me. I will give a rest for a bit and come back to try it again.

Question to everyone who plays both paper and MTGO. Why do my decks play differently on MTGO vs paper?

I took a break from MTGO and played more paper. I am not going to be able play much paper over the next month and a half so I'm giving this another go. I have built a few decks just like I have them on paper and they play very differently in MTGO.

Any explanation or is this just an incorrect perception?

last edited by moorebrother1

@moorebrother1

Either you or the client shuffle poorly.

@gremlin-lord said in MTGO:

@moorebrother1

Either you or the client shuffle poorly.

MTGO is 100% random. When shuffling in paper, it’s not certain that everyone shuffles enough to reach the same level of randomness.

last edited by enderfall

@enderfall

It’s impossible for a computer to generate a random number. It’s based off of the system clock. It’s also impossible to randomize a deck of cards in paper. We can get close to representing the idea of random, but you’re still starting at a specific point and implementing an “equation” to arrive at random. Random isn’t real.

last edited by desolutionist

@desolutionist said in MTGO:

@enderfall

It’s impossible for a computer to generate a random number. It’s based off of the system clock. It’s also impossible to randomize a deck of cards in paper. We can get close to representing the idea of random, but you’re still starting at a specific point and implementing an “equation” to arrive at random. Random isn’t real.

Aren't random numbers generated based on atmospheric noise, for instance, in fact random?

@griselbrother

It depends on whether you believe that we exist in a deterministic system or not.

@griselbrother

“Atmospheric noise”, bro? MTGO can’t even run loops.

@desolutionist so, you’re telling me that a computer program designed to represent randomness, will be more random or less random based on a computer clock and that means it is somehow not random? I don’t care if it’s mathematically not possible to achieve complete randomness, that’s not the point I’m making. I think it’s pretty clear that the important thing to understand is that the way the computer randomizes a deck on MTGO is different than what people do when shuffling. No matter how much shuffling we do on paper, it will never approximate the randomness that MTGO calculates.

@enderfall Worst thing is when people start separating "clumps" while fetching...

Random =/= Equally distributed.

@desolutionist said in MTGO:

@griselbrother

“Atmospheric noise”, bro? MTGO can’t even run loops.

I wasn't talking about MTGO, but whether it's possible or not.

@chubbyrain You nailed it. Random is not an even distribution. When I am playing cards I usually calculate the odds of my opponent having a specific card. Most of the time I am right, but there are occasions when someone will have 3 Lightning Bolts in a row or 2 Mental Missteps in their opening hand.

MTGO - Take 2

I decided to give MTGO another try and I decided to play my current paper deck. I have not tried a league yet but I have some opinions about MTGO that I want to share.

Here are my big lessons from playing MTGO:

Playing MTGO will make your understanding of the rules about MTG better but it will not make you a better paper player.
• I commonly make play mistakes due to mis-clicks or misunderstanding of cards on my screen that I would never make playing paper.
• There are things about the rules that I did not know, and MTGO exploits these. Leovold is beast against Oath on MTGO.
• The random shuffle on MTGO is vastly different from a paper shuffle where players aim for random distribution of cards.

The cost of buying into MTGO vs buying into paper is not worth it if you plan on staying in the game for any pro-longed period of time.
• Buying into the base for Vintage on MTGO is expensive it costs about $600 but optimizing a deck is also very expensive and many players including myself cheat by using sub-par replacements. Example – I needed Hurkyl’s Recall which is about $5 but initially I used Rebuild that is $0.05. This is a huge difference is how these cards work in addition to casting costs. There are several more examples like buying the right fetch lands for your deck versus using what you have already purchased.
• Paper cards mostly keep value and go up versus MTGO cards that lose value over time and rarely go up in value (I know someone will provide some counter example but generally MTGO cards do not go up in value).
• I would rather buy paper cards over digital cards any day and owning cards is a big part of my enjoyment of Magic.

The MTGO meta-game is not a reflection of what is played on paper.
• I keep proxy decks on me for testing and loaning out. These decks are my attempt to reflect the meta-game. I noticed that when a large group of paper players get together you see more quirky and innovative decks just due to the variance of people and the cards that they own.
• A lot of players do not see value in maintaining 2 card bases, and several players play limited events and play in other formats where they accumulate paper cards. If you win at a local event then you usually get store credit and most players grow their collect that way.
• There is generally more combo and aggro played in paper events versus MTGO

There is a small group of players that dominate MTGO. We see their names on mtgotop8.com and rarely see paper players names because most of the data from paper events is not collected in a reliable way.

I noticed that as I got better in MTGO it was not about how good I was at playing my deck but how good was I at beating certain players like guttershark or thepowernine on MTGO. That is not to say that playing against these players does not make you better. This is to say that when I play against my friend Ben Perry, Greg Kraigher, or Chad Teuscher who are all great players and play very different styles and decks I also become a better player and I have more fun.

I have learned a lot about being a better player playing against Kevin Cron and Aaron Katz because all of these guys are great players and no one sees their decks or ranking because we play on paper at a monthly local event that gets between 12-24 people.

I generally do not have any feeling that I am having fun playing MTGO. I often get bored or lose interest in matches. I crave interaction with people, and I like learning about my opponent while I am playing.

All of this as lead to me the conclusion, there is some value in MTGO but it is not nearly as large are people make it out to be. I love playing MTG against people in a face to face play-setting. I tolerate MTGO when I feel an urge to just play cards.

last edited by moorebrother1
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