London Mulligan Coming to MTGO

@smmenen said in London Mulligan Coming to MTGO:


I am and am not looking forward to this.

@smmenen said in London Mulligan Coming to MTGO:

That's pretty insane. It also means it's really incumbent on Vintage players on MTGO to try to make the case, one way or the other. Dredgeapolooza.

Given my experience with WotC, this would be a lost cause. Play how you will but trying to make your case is tilting at windmills. Step outside and, if you're not in the Houston area, take a deep breath. Enjoy things that aren't Magic for a moment.

Is there precedent for them doing such extensive live testing of a rule change?

I think that its good that they are actually going to try to use some empirical evidence for this, although I question how much can really be determined in less than a month.


Closest thing I can think of is the Feldar Guardian banning when they released a new set but didn’t ban Feldar Guardian with the initial B&R announcement despite public outcry. The addendum 2-3 days later cited MTGO league data. Hardly an intentional test, but it is an example of using Magic Online data for decisions like this.

Edit: I think the sample size is going to be much more robust for Legacy.

last edited by Guest


I think its less about the number of games being played, and more about anyones ability to properly adjust to what will be a new metagame. I mean, I can take a Blue/Shops deck and jam in more Dredge hate to the main deck for a few weeks, but its unlikely that my first iterations of these decks are optimal in the slightest.

4-1 in my first league with 0 powders in Dredge. No mulligans to oblivion thanks to this rule. Deck feels much smoother in top deck mode without the powders, and more design space to tailor against the meta.

a heads up to everyone, but on Rich's stream it was discovered that this mulligan change has broken serum powder. if you powder 7 you can also powder the next 7 even if that second 7 doesn't have a powder in it. MTGO is quality software that is well tested.

last edited by BlindTherapy


Tested this in the practice room and its worse than that. You can powder as many 7s as you want if you open with a powder.

@vaughnbros Ooh. What did you replace them with? 👀

last edited by Oestrus


Leylines for now in anticipation of the mirror.

Tried playing Shops with the new rule, and honestly didn't feel much better. Often was bottoming cards that I wanted in my hand, and felt like I still lost a number of games due to mulliganing.

@thecravenone said in London Mulligan Coming to MTGO:

A week before the only Legacy GP of the year, they're going to configure MTGO to play by a different set of rules than real magic. Fucking awesome.

Well at least paper magic and MTGO don't share a B&R list since they are so different.

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5-0 with PO on stream.

The deck has to be rebuilt from the current versions but I think it's much stronger with the London mulligan rule. I played a virtual mirror in the undefeated bracket.

Sylvan PO did win the first challenge. Sylvan library is one of the cards that can be exploited with the new mulligan rule as it lets you recoup the card disadvantage from mulliganing more aggressively. Overall, not much change in established lists in the first challenge with the new rule.

10-0. Got another Trophy on stream. Cut Mentor from the list. It was too slow...🤷

I also ran a twitter poll of the London mulligan as I was curious what people's opinions were (and also wanted to see how perspectives change over time). Sample size is small but it seems the majority of people are still formulating an opinion (which is great as I'm glad people are starting out openminded - and those who had an opinion are probably those that had already played several leagues on MTGO with the new rule active). I plan on repeating the poll this weekend.


Started another Twitter poll if people want to chime in.


I'm not on Twitter so I'll chime in here. In the abstract I like the London mulligan a lot. It feels much better especially when you get two bad openers in a row, and the experience of using it really won me over. Taking the same decks from a few weeks ago and applying the new mulligan rule to them just makes games more pleasant, on average.

Which is why I'm so glad that you were able to demonstrate what happens when people don't play the decks from a few weeks ago. The key point in the Sam Stoddard article about this mulligan rule was that it influenced deck design, and wow is that ever borne out by your Outcome list's evolution. I think that's about as clear an illustration as possible that the London rule is ill-suited for Vintage, if the goal is simply to reduce the frequency of mana-screw without substantially impacting deck design along the way.

@craw_advantage Thanks for taking the time to write up your thoughts. It's similar to what I've experienced - I didn't expect to like it, but I do. It adds more skill and consistency to typical games of Magic.

For Vintage I don't think the London mulligan is incompatible with the format, but the current restricted list is certainly not optimized for London. Vintage is by far the hardest format to fix though given the structural constraints. It's also the format least likely to affect DCI decisions.

@chubbyrain said in London Mulligan Coming to MTGO:

For Vintage I don't think the London mulligan is incompatible with the format, but the current restricted list is certainly not optimized for London.

Something that occurred to me after I posted is that I assigned a certain negative value to "influences deck design" because it was treated as a negative in the original Stoddard article, but that's not really fair--any mulligan rule would influence deck design, including the presence or absence of a mulligan in the first place, and we don't need to anchor our reaction to London to the idea that the deckbuilding trends encouraged by Vancouver are ideal. It occurs to me that there might be some other neat possibilities opened up as well--if mulligans can be an intentional part of your gameplan in combo, can they be part of your gameplan in aggro? Midrange? Could this be Sphinx of Foresight's time to shine at last? So I guess I'm coming around after all, provided that we can also get the appropriate DCI action to go along with it (which unfortunately isn't a given).

The biggest thing for me is that the whole myth/fear of Dredge/Combo taking over the format seems to be debuffed to me by these last couple weeks. People haven't really added so many anti-combo / anti-dredge cards to their main decks to even make that happen either.

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