MTGO August 2016 Power 9 Challenge

For 0-2 drop, about 1 hour. 😄

@desolutionist If I pay to play, I'll lose all the rounds if I have to. I'll get that value somehow.

@Islandswamp If you don't make top 8 and play all rounds approx 6 hours 🙂

Nice to see the results so quickly. Thank you.

I tried to play in this after scrubbing out of GP Indy but updating MTGO on hotel wifi didn't work so well so I literally was about to clicked on join when it fired. 😞 Watched The_Atog_Lord stream for a little bit before going out with friends. One of these days I will play in one of these just usually out doing something on a Saturday.

Lists are up here

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How come the Ratstill deck is considered "BUG"? I dont see any green in it. Is that just due to it playing some of the disruption elements seen in BUG (crucible/wastes/null rods)?

@Minkar It's because I watched a couple replays and I thought it was a deck a couple people ran in the Northeast which included green. It can be easy to make small mistakes like that when trying to figure out so many decks in a short amount of time. I corrected the deckname on the googledoc but forgot to on this post, so thanks for pointing it out.

last edited by diophan

This is the lowest win %age we've seen for Gush decks in some time (perhaps this year?). I'm curious what folks make of it. One of the arguments against being concerned about that metric is that, with large numbers of players, decks tend towards the mean. Yet, a 43.5% win rate is well below the mean.

last edited by Smmenen

Re-Sampling Link

Most of the decks that struggle against Gush are bad against the field overall (based on this data). Most of the decks that are strong against Gush are also good against the field overall (based on this data). This suggests Gush may have a systemic issue in the current metagame, so it either has to reverse the matchup on Shops, Eldrazi, or Dredge or hope that someone else pushes those decks out of the metagame.

To illustrate:
The "expectation" for Gush is actually 46.19% win-rate in this dataset. If you take the observed win% in each matchup and the observed metagame share of each deck and multiply them, you will end up with a 46.19% win-rate. This can be thought of as the expected Round 1 win-rate of Gush decks. (Round 1 because it is against all decks in the event, so no one has dropped out or entered a different bracket)

(Discovered an error and @diophan corrected it, so Gush's Round 1 rate is actually 46% and not 49%)

last edited by ajfirecracker


What is the most prevalent archetype in the field? Gush.
Which archetype won the past two Power 9s? Gush.
What archetype are decks in the format trying to beat? Gush.
What are Gush pilots trying to beat? Gush.
What happens when Gush pilots try to beat Gush while other archetypes also try to beat Gush? The win percentage against the field goes down.

Throw in the fact that most Gush pilots are frankly terrible and it's no mystery why you have tournaments with sub-50% MWP for Gush against the field. I've been on the record before saying that I don't consider MWP against the field as a good indicator for a popular and targeted deck like Gush and this is a major reason why.

last edited by Guest

@ChubbyRain Just because they Gush at the worst possible times does't mean they're terrible! Oh wait,,, maybe it does. Can we use a less offensive term than terrible though? How about uniquely skilled, or sparingly talented? Maybe they love Gush so much they don't want to wait until it's a good time to cast it.

Anyway, the world needs bad players, otherwise I'd have nobody to beat ever.

I think between the NYSE, the Waterbury, and the past couple of P9 events this is what I take away:

White Eldrazi would be the best deck, but its high variance. So somedays it's the best deck and some days it isn't.

TKS Ravager Shops is the best deck. Its winning the biggest tournaments and the decklist doesn't change. It's probably just the best strategy overall because it has the most easily assembled turn 1 lines that just shut the opponent out of the game.

Grixis Therapy would be the best deck but it has an uphill battle against Shops and Eldrazi.

last edited by Guest

@desolutionist I used to crush shops with Grixis, but back then I ran I think four Volcs and a sideboarded mountain, and Pulverize times two. Do you think a similar build could help? I really missed having basic lands in my sideboards in recent weeks. Even when I'm on Oath and I'd normally not care as much, being able to fetch a forest and cast nature's claim all day was so sweet.


I'm just saying that in general, 10sphere.dec beats cantrip.dec. I know there are different things you can do on both sides, but I'm just examining the act of casting Sphere effects against the act of casting Gitaxian Probes and Preordains.

last edited by Guest

Giving this its own post.

Re-Sampling Link

We can simulate the results of the event from a single-elimination perspective (i.e. the statistically likely 1-0s, 2-0s, 3-0s etc) by calculating win-rates conditional on the actual metagame of decks remaining in a given round and decks remaining in each round based on past win-rates. Given a starting proportion of decks, and matchup win-rates (i.e. Shops beats Gush 60% of the time or whatever), we can calculate a round-by-round evolution of a metagame. That is what the linked spreadsheet does.

Choosing 5-0 (round 6 representation) as a cutoff, we get a predicted metagame of:
18.85% Shops
21.45% Gush
26.78% Dredge
8.76% Big Blue
1.93% Blue Control
11.99% Combo
5.07% Oath
4.70% Eldrazi
0.47% Other

This would predict a Top 8 of something like
2 Dredge
1-2 Shops
1-2 Gush
1 Combo
0-1 Big Blue
0-1 Oath or Eldrazi

Note that this is not supposed to be a "solved" metagame. This is the expectation if we ran the same tournament again with the same decks and the same matchup-vs-matchup winrates.

I think this is a pretty good facsimile of the 5-2 or better results.
The actual 5-2 or better results by archetype:
20% Shops (3)
13.33% Dredge (2)
26.67% Gush (4)
20% Combo (3)
6.67% Big Blue (1)
6.67% Blue Control (1)
6.67% Eldrazi (1)

The deviation between the actual 5-2 results and the predicted 5-0 share can largely be attributed to pairings. There is some methodological weakness (i.e. single elimination as opposed to roughly triple elimination with brackets based on current record) but this is likely overshadowed by the effect of pairings. Dredge, based on this, got extremely poor pairings. (i.e. average pairings with exactly the same matchup performance would have resulted in an even stronger Dredge showing) Oath also appears to have unfavorable pairings. Combo decks were the biggest winners in the pairings with a 5-2+ share that far exceeds their predicted 5-0 share. Gush somewhat over-performed their expected result.

Gush's win-rate: For the case where no one drops out of the event, the above figure of 46% is correct. If players drop out as they lose by the 5th round Gush will have experienced a win-rate of 45.73% (i.e. 5-0s and only 5-0s in contention) and by the 7th round a win-rate of 45.70% (i.e. pure single elimination). So the tournament environment definitely gets more hostile to Gush as the rounds progress, but not quite to the level of 43% overall win-rate (the actualized result). This means that Gush pilots got somewhat unlucky to experience their overall result this weekend. Nonetheless, I cannot construct a sampling method that gives Gush a >50% win-rate in the environment of this particular tournament.

One thing worth noting is that due to the nature of Swiss tournaments any given deck will experience the greatest number of live-for-Top-8 rounds at the beginning of the tournament. The pool shrinks exponentially, since every match has a winner and a loser each round eliminates on average half of the contenders from Top 8. To estimate the odds of winning the event or placing very highly you want something that weights the last few rounds as heavily as the early rounds. I don't really want to do more spreadsheet math right now but I would point out Gush's expected win-rate late in the tournament is down in the 43-44% range.

Given that Gush over-performed in the 5-2 region and under-performed overall I believe the only reasonable conclusion is that Gush had a higher variance tournament than other decks. The data support the conclusion that Gush pilots had a wider variety of player skill than the average deck overall.

last edited by ajfirecracker

@Islandswamp I don't think pulverize is a wincon anymore with TKS and hangarback. My decklist has a decent shops matchup, but if Rich's matches are any indication, not the best Eldrazi matchup.

@ajfirecracker Just to double check, you know we factor out mirror matches when calculating winrates, right? If you want the winrate including mirrors it's easy to adjust the formula in the spreadsheet (and I can help if you have any trouble figuring out what's going on).

last edited by diophan

Note: Paul's T8 Mentor deck is not Jeskai.

@diophan said:

@Islandswamp I don't think pulverize is a wincon anymore with TKS and hangarback. My decklist has a decent shops matchup, but if Rich's matches are any indication, not the best Eldrazi matchup.

@ajfirecracker Just to double check, you know we factor out mirror matches when calculating winrates, right? If you want the winrate including mirrors it's easy to adjust the formula in the spreadsheet (and I can help if you have any trouble figuring out what's going on).

I still think l pulverize could do some work, but I agree it isn't the blow out it used to be. Still, that extra basic land in the sideboard is nice against wasteland decks.

@Smmenen gush players been sandbagging matches so gush looks bad and avoids restriction

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