Vintage Challenge - 6/3/2017
@diophan You guys should add a tag called blue-based permission. It will give a more accurate view of the metagame imo. Right now as it stands, there are taxing decks, blue-based permission(win-con doesn't matter, the decks operate under the same principle/concept), dedicated combo and dredge. Blue-based permission builds focus on the principle of either controlling the stack and/or board while dropping a win-con. Some variants focus more on controlling the stack than others(G-Thieves & Matt Murray's Drain/Tendrils build come to mind here). I personally include decks that contain 9+ permission spells that are blue-based into the blue-based permission category. This include any combo variant than runs 9+ permission spells. An example of this would be Murray's drain tendrils deck. It packs a dozen permission spells main deck. Decks that I put into the dedicated combo category contain less than 9. An example of these decks would be outcome decks with a small permission package or ritual-based storm decks. I think when we classify things like this on a broad scale, we get to see the true percentages of pillars in the metagame as well as what is the most dominant. Otherwise we are skewing the perception of data without seeing the big picture.
The tag for that is 'FoW'. Any deck that runs enough blue cards to support Force of Will is also playing other blue permission spells. If you look at the spreadsheet, all the decks that you would label as "blue permission" are already tagged as 'FoW'
It's 58% of the metagame and has a win percentage of 50.3%. Obviously any deck that is over half the metagame is going to have an even win rate because of mirror matches.
@desolutionist Is there a way we can find out the percentage of the FOW tag takes #1, or top 4 or top 8? Like what percentage of tournament wins(dailies & challenges) is the FOW tag #1 and what percentage is it top 4?
Yeah there's a way but no one is recording that data as far as I know. It's all work; we could set up formulas in a spreadsheet but the data entry is still manually typed and is monotonous.
@desolutionist I see. I'm pretty sure the data that is left out of the metagame analysis is extremely important and will tell a big story/widens everyone's eyes. I'll manually go through all the dailies/challenges since 4/24(B&R date).
@desolutionist Here are the numbers. Only bothered with percentages for 1st place finishes . This was every single daily that fired since the B&R change. This is probably the best time-frame to choose from when it comes to analyzing data. Everything before the B&R change is now irrelevant imo. Every daily that fired was publish on the WOTC site, however, not every single daily showed more than just the top 3. For the record, the decks published, are those all the decks that cashed either 4-0 or 3-1? Or do those also include some that didn't cash? I will go back and label the top 3 as "3-1 cashed for prize" and include the rest of the decks if the decks that were published were only decks that had cashed.
40 dailies have fired since the latest vintage B&R changes(this does not include the daily that fired last night-6/7/17 as this information has not been released yet)
1st place finishes by pillar
Keep in mind that blue-based permission is anywhere between 50%-65% of the metagame of a daily, yet it is cashing in 1st place 65% of the time. Taxing is 25%-30% of the metagame of a daily, but is only cashing 1st place 15% of the time. Those are rough percentages when it comes to the metagame presence of a daily, however the 1st place cash percentages are accurate. Pretty crazy to see that comparison imo. I don't see how ravager shops having a 60% win-ratio vs the field matters when they can only cash 1st place 15% of the time. Whichever prominent member of the community that suggested Mishra's Workshop should get restricted on Rich Shay's stream last night is on crack or flat out trolling. Blue-based permission gets to place 1st as frequently as it is played, if not more. It is reversed for shops. Shops needs a buff. :)
Top 3 finishes by pillar(includes 1st place finishes)
Taxing Pillar-Shops(aggro and stax variations), white eldrazi, colorless eldrazi(w/ thorns/spheres), Humans/Spirits. The majority of wins from this pillar were from ravager shops. I would include mono-red bloodmoon and mono-white hatebears variants in this pillar as well, however none of these decks were present in the top 3 of any daily, or on the wotc site at all outside of one vintage challenge.
Blue-based permission-Decks backed by at least 9/10 counterspells main deck with more in the sideboard. Big blue, mentor control, landstill, delver, bug variants, drain tendrils(12 permissions spells maindeck), G-Thieves, oath. Some of these decks can be argued as permission-combo hybrids, however, the backbone of these decks are the permission spells. The majority of wins from the pillar were from Monastery Mentor permission builds.
Dedicated combo-Ritual/DPS storm, heavy artifact Paradoxical Outcome storm and heavy artifact mentor outcome/storm decks(also included lists in this category that had more than 8 permission spells due to the nature of the list), Standstill depths(included even though it had 10 or more permission spells due to the nature of the list), This category also includes heavy artifact based dark ritual based-mentor storm variants. The majority of wins from this pillar came from heavy artifact based PO builds.
Dredge-I categorized all dredge variants in the dredge pillar. This includes traditional dredge as well as the pitch dredge version that packs 8-12 permission spells main deck.
Misc-Elves. This appeared once in the Top 3 from all the dailies since the latest B&R update. It is the only deck that did not fit in the above categories. If there are any suggestions as to how to classify this one, please chime in. For now it is included in the data, however, It is not a deck that can consistently post results in dailies or challenges imo
Some might argue that UR harsh delver w/ Eidolons/scab-clan berserkers belongs in the taxing category, however permission is the backbone of that deck. If we do include UR harsh delver as taxing, It would increase the first place finishes of taxing to no more than 10. It would increase the taxing top 3 finishes to no more than 40. This would also decrease the amount of blue-based permission 1st place finishes to 22. It would decrease the amount of blue-based permission Top 3 finishes to no less than 60.
This was data taken from every single daily that fired since the B&R changes. This does not include the weekly challenges. It looks like blue-based permission is the elephant in the room here, not shops(or the taxing pillar in general).
It seems to me that using the basis of "win-rate vs the field" is not a clear/true indicator of strength when it comes to a pillar/deck. Results speak the loudest. My question to everyone here is, What does it matter if ravager shops can win vs 60%(i'd still like to know how this number exists) of the field when blue-based permission is clearly winning the most dailies and placing in the top 3 most frequently?
@desolutionist To clarify, we took out "tag mirrors" when calculating winrates so it's not necessarily true that winrates will trend towards 50% as the metagame saturation increases. (There was a time when we didn't calculate excluding mirrors.)
@HouseOfCards Although knowing which archetype finished "first" in a daily is interesting, keep in mind that there is no way to infer what the metagame looked like from the data that is published--only 4-0 and 3-1 decks are published.
Also to answer your possibly rhetorical "What does it matter if ravager shops can win vs 60%(i'd still like to know how this number exists) of the field when blue-based permission is clearly winning the most dailies and placing in the top 3 most frequently?" I'd say the reason it matters is that it suggests that you should play ravager shops. I personally started playing shops because of this data. If your goal is to win a tournament you should care what an archetype's winrate is. To take it to an extreme and from a slightly different angle, if FOW is 95% of the field and shops is 5% of the field and FOW wins 70% of tournaments, it would be foolish to play FOW.
Whether winrate or conversion to top X rate is the better metric would be an interesting discussion. Personally I prefer winrate since we already have limited data and conversion to X can be skewed more heavily by the results of just a couple of matches.
Win rate matters because top 4ing isn't supppsed to be looked at in a vacuum. You need to look at top 4 penetrance. If SIGNIFICANTLY more people play blue decks, you can assume that more will top 4 (assuming 50% win rate). Now if a greater proportion of shops players top 4 (proportion, not raw number), then you can argue that despite less total tops, it has a higher penetrance and is this a better deck for the current meta.
@diophan @Naixin That's the thing. The blue permission meta is between 50-65% at any given time, but 65% of the time, they take 1st place. The Taxing meta is 25-30%, but only takes 1st 15% of the time. Taxing has a significant downfall in percentage points in placing compared to the overall percentage of taxing decks played while blue is the opposite, it trends up. That is a huge swing in blue's favor. I don't see a reason to play shops at all if my chances of taking 1st are super low. Might as well play blue like the rest of you guys. Something is wrong with shops if it is struggling vs combo. Shops is meant to keep combo in check, but it doesn't anymore. Shops feels like it is missing something. Also, I don't get how it would be foolish to play the deck with 70% tournament win rate(your example).
@HouseOfCards part of the reason might be that blue decks are inherently packing more land or SB pieces for shops where as shops's win % may be artificially inflated because it stomps random jack so hard. Just speculation as I'm out right now so I can't take a good look at the data.
Anyways my stance has been gush and probe shouldn't have been restricted, but neither should chalice AND golem. Perhaps chalice or golem, but that's another argument xD
@Naixin Shops does indeed stomp random jank hard as hell. I still believe gush/probe had to go for various reasons. Having golem back would not help enough imo. Maybe a little if we could turn 1 it on the play vs combo, but even then they still cast all their rocks for free. Shops would have to lead with resistor into golem to have any substantial impact vs insane t1 plays. Chalice would help for sure vs combo and blue based permission though. Sadly, i don't see either of those coming back. It's funny that you can use 4 chalice in legacy or modern but only 1 in vintage. Cards that are restricted in vintage are usually banned everywhere else.
@HouseOfCards I think combo was shut down hard by chalice which is part of the reason it went away. But instead of combo coming back, blue decks just started packing MD flusterstorm, mindbreak trap, etc to shut it down harder. More decks running MD null rod doesn't help either.
I love playing shops and I sort of like the blue meta because it allowed me to tinker with the right lock pieces for an expected meta. I don't think shops should ever be the "majority" because at its core, it's vintage's hatebear/prison deck.
It's similar IMO to how DnT always has game against the different delver variants in legacy, but will never be the most popular deck simply because the cards are individually shit and require a specific meta to shine. If everyone in vintage started playing 20 lands (or something else that makes a taxing effect less power i.e. landstill), shops would stop being as good.
I think we're only as good as the greedy blue meta is.