I am a writer for Black Magic Gaming, color commentator for the Mana Drain Vintage League, and current Vintage MTGO streamer at https://www.twitch.tv/vaughnbros
I fundamentally disagree with like 99% of this post. I don’t think it’s worth continuing this. You are way too optimistic about the quality of this data, and value SB cards way too highly.
My most recent event publication is a 5-0 on a 4-color fish deck. That isn’t my most recent 3,4,5 win event, but there is a publication bias now towards 5-0’s and specific types of 5-0’s by Wizards. That brings us to yet another issue with Vintage data...
I’m not solely a dredge pilot. I play every deck in the format.
You will play that maindeck card in your opening 60 in 100% of matches.
You will play that exclusive Dredge hate card in your game 2/3 in ~5% of matches.
The main deck card choice is in your deck ~10-20 times as frequently played as that hate card.
This isn’t that hard, but you seem to want to make it so.
Some decks, like transform boards and Dredge, use most of their SB in every matchup so that is certainly different. But these are atypical from Blue/Shops/others that devote large portions of their SB for 1 or 2 MUs.
The other part of my argument. Leyline vs Crypt vs Cage is again marginal differences. Just like this card vs Pyroblast vs Kambal vs Flusterstorm are only marginally different in power level. Just like me choosing to eat chicken wings vs a fried chicken sandwich. I’m likely to get very similar utility from it.
If you are guaranteed to have X copies of a particular effect the existence of the card is only responsible for the additional marginal value it is providing you. This card might win you a few more games against Storm than a Flusterstorm would, when they Duress you before going off. But could also lose them too, when they just bounce it and go off.
This is dramatically different from the impact of say Bazaar of Baghdad or Mishra’s Workshop that make an entire class of decks possible. Comparing the frequency of Bazaar top 8s to the frequency of Bazaar-hate cards top 8ing is missing the entire context of the results.
On top of this all, top 8s frequency or prevalence in general as a measure of success, as Mikey just pointed out, can be highly inaccurate even for MD cards. Subsetting to just “larger” tournaments doesn’t really fix this, except to exclude the extremely bad decks and censor is on the true prevalence of the card. 3 vs 4 vs 5 wins just makes that censoring more severe. Especially now that most of the “large” tournament data comes from MODO players that are just net decking their entire 75 to whatever deck one of the pro players played that week.
Sideboard cards do not impact top 8 results as much as you are implying that they do. That is what you are missing. I’ve enumerated the reasons. If you want to ignore them and continue to use bad data then who am I to stop you? You clearly have your mind made up.
Your complaints about what and how we discuss are a much bigger derailment than discussing this card in the context of other Vintage cards and Vintage data as now we aren’t even discussing magic or Vintage at all.
You are welcome to ignore posts that you don’t think are on topic/relevant. I do it all the time.
Stephen, there is an important concept when interpreting numbers: Correlation is not causation. What this phrase requires is that you add the context and assumptions to all numbers when attempting to infer things from them.
Top 8 numbers on sideboard cards are highly irrelevant because they are very often not the reason the deck is performing well. This is a classic correlated by not caused reasoning.
Especially when we look at Dredge hate, where nearly every deck has 4-10 hate pieces. You are guaranteed to find something like 32+ Dredge hate cards in every random top 8.
On top of that, we have the top 8 cut point bias. You needed approximately 3 wins to reach a top 8 at NE events for a long time. That means you could often completely tank the Dredge matchup (usually only around 5% of the meta) and still make it to top 8. You chances of dodging Dredge in those 3 critical matchups was .95^3 = .86. That’s on average 86% of those top 8s that didn’t even win a match against a Dredge opponent making their choice of Leyline/Cage/Crypt irrelevant outside of marginal effects on other MUs.
To bring this back to this card, this card could get some top 8s. That won’t suddenly make this card better or more impactful. We can read it and realize it does not hurt near 50% of the metagame. People can put it in their Flusterstorm/MB trap/Pyroblast slots, but let’s not pretend that these other cards you are playing it over aren’t also very powerful.
Storm, this has the same limitations that Cage has that made Cage unplayable in the MD of hate near decks. I’m not sure what your plan is to overcome the lack of pressure on your opponents life total.