This might be a bit of an idiosyncratic criticism, but I listen to most of your podcasts while on multiple hour driving stints, so I was fairly disheartened with your "please have a copy of the set open on your computer" advice. Despite this, I really appreciated your trip down Arabian Nights memory lane as well as the similar "fun" topics at the end of recent podcasts.
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.
@womba said in Math and Max: A statistical analysis of "100 Matches with the Best Deck in Magic":
Additionally, I had MULTIPLE OPPONENTS keep cards like Mental Misstep and Gush in against me, on the draw no less.
Good points added. It's generally not right to keep Misstep in but I figured I would add that Oath pilots should generally keep 1 (possibly 2) in post sideboard due to the importance of stopping Grafdigger's Cage. If they weren't on Oath, they probably have no excuse aside from "I just had so many Pyroblasts and Flusterstorms I didn't have enough cards to take out" in which case, again, no excuse. :-D
It's pretty surreal that the series is almost done. I literally have one chapter left to finish writing, and the other three are under various stages of editing.
That said, I'm still putting the call out there for players to:
share anecdotes or stories that might be used in the main body or in an endnote
identify big tournaments I missed
send photos or graphics we can include
These chapters are dirt cheap - just spare pocket change - so I really hope that folks can help crowd source these answers.
The chapters will need to be reformatted for the book, and so we'll be doing another edit through all of them for the book. But once that's done, and the book is published, it will be too late to add or correct anything. I'm hoping that this book will be a definitively history of the format to be enjoyed by all Magic players for years to come. So PLEASE be sure to help with the items above.
Anyone complaining that I missed something will be immediately directed to this thread in a few months, when the book is finally published.
I had a chance to finish the last part of this one earlier in the week and enjoyed it very much. I tested two of the new creatures in Oath, Azor and Zacama. I complemented Zacama with the Auriok Salvagers set up since he's quite the impressive infinite mana-sink. I also read recently that someone played Zacama in a local event and had some success.
Overall though, I would say he is win-more. He is able to seal the deal in positions where just about any other large creature would be able to do the same, but with few distinct strengths over the others and several weak spots, although when he does win big, it is fun and sensational. We don't always have the luxury of abundant developed board states that can activate him effectively, he's soft to Jace, can be overrun with creature armadas, and there's no way of determining the correct course of action with Oath of Druids on the stack. What I mean by that is that against Workshops, in certain situations for instance involving Tangle Wire, during my upkeep I would have to make a decision about whether to fetch a land, whether that should be a Tropical or Tundra, and then decide if, given limited resources, I should anticipate Auriok Salvagers appearing and produce white mana or Ancient Grudge going into the yard and produce green mana. Orchards and potential future life loss complicate the equation. With Zacama, you have no idea whether he'll actually appear and you can't predict whether you should tap the lands prior to Oathing and if so, which color(s) they should produce. If you don't tap one or two lands if that is all the mana available mana, you might not even be able to activate him once that turn cycle, which is abysmal.
The best thing he did for me was to destroy a Stony Silence before he got Plowshared; at that point I may as well have just Oathed up a Reclamation Sage. I used him once to destroy a Rest in Peace, but the Salvagers plan was superfluous at that point so it was again, win-more.
He was fun to have in play and scored style points, but Inferno Titan outclasses him in nearly every way. Even when I hardcast him on a very developed board and destroyed a Containment Priest and non-disruptive Thorn of Amethyst, it accomplished nothing substantial beyond what an Inferno Titan would do for 66% the price.
Azor on the other hand is surprisingly functional in combo metagames. There are several things that could have been done in design to make him stronger (these sets do have the whiff of "let's scale the power down") but his ability has kept me alive v. Combo decks during that critical post-Oath turn where few creatures other than the obscenely uncastable Griselbrand would. He wants a Tolarian Academy supporting build in order to use the Sphinx Rev ability but even without that he was not horrible. It bears noting that his Silence effect can be reactivated with a Jace bounce + replay, which is sometimes the correct move.
@smmenen I don't have Twitter so I hope it's OK to do this here: Nezahal, Primal Tide and Merfolk Mistbinder. I guess both were off the radar here on TMD.
Continuing about Star Wars, I find it very odd that people complained that the movie subverts their expectations. Do people really want to see trilogies and trilogies of movies where things are predictable everytime? Is that really what Star Wars fandom is all about? I'm not a SW hardcore fan, so I wouldn't know, but I find it oddly funny. I understood when people complained that EP VII was too much alike EP IV (although the original trilogy has a LOT of repeated plots between the three movies). But complaining that a movie did something different is so... weird to me.
Like, do people REALLY have a problem with Rey's parentage? That was such an awesome moment to me. Force Awakens set things up in a way where you were expected to think that she would be someone's lost daughter and kind of a "chosen one". It's so good that The Last Jedi broke this soap opera expectation and understood that the whole universe story can't be about 1 family feud.
I totally agree with Steve that the movie was coined in a way that we had absolutely no idea what would happen after Kylo and Rey killed Snoke and that's awesome. It even kinda bothered me that after that the movie shifted back to the usual Good vs Evil trope. They give hints that maybe in EP IX this manichaeism will be dismantled and I hope it does.
Also, it makes me roll my eyes when people complain about Luke. It seems fans wanted him to be a fully vanilla badass. When the movie presents a character that's a bit complex (come on, this is Star Wars, things aren't even that complex ever) people complain, even though he's the ultimate badass in the movie. The crowd in my theater was shouting and standing up to clap when he pulled his trick against Kylo. So yeah, I don't get any of the criticism, other than the movie being kinda badly written when you compare it to recent fantasy stuff like GoT - but that also makes me giggle because SW was always this naive, so I kinda thought people liked it exactly for that, or at least in spite of it.
Great article, you write very well.
Reminds me of my old T.S. teammates whom I haven't seen in over 4 years. There's almost 0 Vintage in the Iowa area, I've actually been reduced to driving up to MN for the occasional Legacy tourney.