Vintage Challenge - 8/12/17





  • @diophan
    Thanks!

    When I get home tonight I plan to take an aggregate of the win rates from the past three challenges and calculate theoretical metagame percentages from a larger sample size than I used last time.

    I have an intuition not enouph people are playing gifts or big blue, but I want to run some real numbers around that.



  • Sorry one more question. What exactly is the difference between big blue and blue control? Are they both mana drain decks? And would I be missing something important if I combined them to get a larger sample size? Thanks.



  • The top 32 looking a little more diverse. Down to 85% from 90% and 88% Misstep or Thorn thanks to a few intrepid souls running 2 or just stacking Defense Grids up.

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  • @walking-dude Both decks are part of the old Mana Drain pillar.

    Blue Control refers to decks like Landstill, UW Stoneblade, Blue Moon, which are trying to play a more fair game.

    Big Blue refers to decks like Grixis Thieves, Tezzerator, Academy Combo, or Gifts that are generally trying to do something broken with Tinker or Yawgmoth's Will.

    Both of these are non-Paradoxical decks.


  • TMD Supporter

    @smmenen Well, people can definitely play what they want more often on MTGO than anywhere else (besides 100% proxy and cockatrice, but for sanctioned, competitive play it's MTGO).

    The other thing is that card availability on MTGO is instantaneous. Let's say I play one of my terrible brews and get frustrated with the results. Then I see how Thiim's awesome MUDrazi deck has been crushing people. So I add my entire deck to my trade binder, get a few hundred tickets, and buy Thiim's deck card for card. That process is as quick as five minutes (if you want to scout the best deal it could take longer).



  • Alright I'm at lunch typing this up from memory since I'm not at a computer, I'll probably follow up with exact numbers later.

    This time instead of a simple goal seek I used as evolutionary approach.

    I calculated win percentages by aggregating the matches from the last 3 vintage challenges and then recalculated win percentages as if all 3 were a single large event. I excluded decks that didn't get 6 instances across three events, so that meant no delver eldrazi or non outcome combo. I left big blue and blue control as separate decks rather than combining them into a drain pillar (may do that tonight).

    I started with each deck shops, dredge, outcome, oath, mentor, big blue, blue control, and other having equal share of the meta. Then based on the win percentages and meta share I calculated each deck's win percentage against the field. For each deck with a below 50% win percentage, I assumed 10% of the people playing that deck would move to a deck that had a >50% chance against the field with the shares being proportional to how much the new deck was beating the field.

    I then repeated this 2000 times to see if a stable meta emerged with a balance of decks that all won about 50% against the final field.

    That's didn't happen, instead the meta settled into an oscillating patter that repeated every 150 iterations or so.

    In this repeating pattern oath and outcome are unplayed. They get forced out of the meta pretty quickly (less than 50 iterations) and never come back.

    The two main pillars are shops and big blue. Shops goes from about 20% to about 57% and back. Big blue goes from around 25% to around 60% and back. These two decks together are never less than 70% of the meta and sometimes make up as much as 80%.

    The mix of the remaining 20%-25% drives where the main two decks are in the cycle and which of them are waxing or waning.

    Of these, other goes from 0% to 5%, blue control goes from around 5% to 15%, and mentor also is in the 5% to 15% range.

    Obviously all this analysis depends on the win percentages being accurate, and we don't actually have the sample size to derive accurate percentage information. So don't take this too seriously. But it gives an interesting picture of how things play out if what we are seeing is actually accurate.

    Also more people need to be playing mana drain.



  • @islandswamp said in Vintage Challenge - 8/12/17:

    @smmenen Well, people can definitely play what they want more often on MTGO than anywhere else (besides 100% proxy and cockatrice, but for sanctioned, competitive play it's MTGO).

    The other thing is that card availability on MTGO is instantaneous. Let's say I play one of my terrible brews and get frustrated with the results. Then I see how Thiim's awesome MUDrazi deck has been crushing people. So I add my entire deck to my trade binder, get a few hundred tickets, and buy Thiim's deck card for card. That process is as quick as five minutes (if you want to scout the best deal it could take longer).

    Sleeving is faster on MTGO also.


  • TMD Supporter

    Awesome job as usual @ChubbyRain and @diophan.


  • TMD Supporter

    @islandswamp said in Vintage Challenge - 8/12/17:

    @smmenen Well, people can definitely play what they want more often on MTGO than anywhere else (besides 100% proxy and cockatrice, but for sanctioned, competitive play it's MTGO).

    The other thing is that card availability on MTGO is instantaneous. Let's say I play one of my terrible brews and get frustrated with the results. Then I see how Thiim's awesome MUDrazi deck has been crushing people. So I add my entire deck to my trade binder, get a few hundred tickets, and buy Thiim's deck card for card. That process is as quick as five minutes (if you want to scout the best deal it could take longer).

    This makes the case for paying attention to MTGO results as a barometer of the health of Vintage stronger, not weaker. Less stickiness in deck selection implies a "truer" representation of metagame composition and health of the format. The fact that Shops are so expensive on paper suggests that their actual metagame representation is artificially suppressed, especially in paper environments, relative to non-Shops strategies. That MTGO has greater substitutability generally makes it all the more remarkable that Shops are dominating.



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