February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement



  • I really can't believe I have to keep doing this. Shops decks are incredibly homogeneous at present. Non-Ravager Shops was 2.6 % of Champs this year. It's about the same in the online metagame. When I looked it up for someone else before the Thorn restriction, it was like 88% Ravager Shops, 11% 'Control' Shops, and 1% Combo Shops, and that percentage has likely been skewed further towards Ravager online. It's not worth it to me to put in the extra work. You want to do this @vaughnbros, you put in the effort.

    And so what if you lump all Force of Will decks together? You see a large metagame share and a near 50% win rate. What does that prove? Absolutely nothing other than that the card is played a lot. Which is pretty much what you get with our metagame breakdown. Or a casual glance at the format. Your argument is unchanged - it's still absurd. I'm done with this topic...



  • @chubbyrain

    Sigh. Yes, its been gone through before so I dont understand why you cant take the criticism and adapt from it. I appreciate the data collection, but just because you collected doesnt give you the right the skew it to whatever message you want and then be completely dismissive of all complaints/conclusions that others make of it. By this aggregation method and what seems to be an ad hoc exclusion criteria, you have basically tailored your data to what seems like a previously decided upon conclusion. This type of analysis is a fairly extreme form of bias, and nearly the exact opposite of the purpose of data (to find an objective truth). You are doing a disservice to all data analyses and science in general with an analysis like this, and your complete disregard for your peers' opinions on the matter. If you didnt want you have a discussion about the data as its concerned towards the Restricted list, maybe dont make a post with that as the focus? I dont know that seems like a pretty easy way to avoid the conversation.



  • @vaughnbros I can take criticism and adapt and have done so in the past, but what you are saying is without merit and literally no one has spoken in agreement with you. So blame me, or @Smmenen, or @Brass-Man, or whoever. Or examine your own position and show some introspection.



  • @chubbyrain I have re-adjusted my position within this argument already and tried to be open to viewing it in different ways. People have also posted in agreement and rec'ed my posts. Apparently not relevant to you though apparently.



  • @vaughnbros I think you're making some unfair assumptions about our classification, which to be fair could be attributed to not knowing how we make them. Sure, Matt and I are primarily blue players. However we both know that there are different types of Shops, Dredge, Eldrazi, and Thalia decks. We've often asked if it's worth splitting these archetypes into Aggro Shops vs. Stax, Pitch vs. Anti-Hate, etc. As far as archetypes are concerned, Stax and distinct subarchetypes of dredge have never been a large enough percentage of the metagame that we felt that separating out the 1 person playing Stax at a tournament has been worth it. Matt and I originally started collecting data to help prepare for tournaments ourselves. We really don't care if a single person had a 45% or 60% winrate.

    When we have access to the decklists, we've used the "Tags" idea that we came up with about a year ago. It was to us a good compromise between breaking archetypes into such small percentages of the metagame that it becomes meaningless and capturing the nuances of different broad brush stroke categories. To be honest, when we don't have decklists it's a pain in the ass to do this sort of nuanced categorization. Matt and I have done almost all this data collection by ourselves, and watching replays for an additional hour so we can check if the shops deck ever casts a smokestack or the dredge deck has a FOW somewhere is often unpalatable, especially if we're trying to convince someone else to do the work because we wanted to have a Saturday off. I also think it says something about the differentiation of blue decks, and not Matt and I, that we can almost immediately tell the difference between Xerox and Oath but need to watch 3 rounds of a shops deck to tell if it eventually casts a non aggro shops card.



  • Alright, I'm going to take a deep breath here and exhale. Let's approach this again.

    I reread every single one of your posts in this thread, Lance. The critique you appear to be making is that our analysis is focusing too much on individual cards rather than the strategic elements that go into them. Hypothetically, decks should be broken down into the schools of Magic: aggro, control, tempo, combo, etc. Lumping decks into an archetype like 'Shops' ignores the strategic distinction. Similarly, decks like Blue are typically strategically 'control, or 'tempo', or 'combo'. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this to be the gist of you position. If so, I would say you are coming at this from a theory-based approach or an academic approach.

    Where we differ is that we want our data collection to be useful. We want people to look at our breakdowns and do something with them. This can be adjusting their main deck or sideboard to contain more Dredge hate or more Shops hate. From that perspective, it frequently doesn't matter what the ultimate strategic goal of a deck is. Cards in Magic don't typically interact with strategies. There isn't a card in Magic that says "counter target aggro spell or destroy target aggro permanent." Cards in Magic interact on different axes: colors, permanent types, hand or graveyard, the stack. So what is useful is a breakdown based on these levels of interaction. While it might certainly be useful to include different cards against a Control Shops deck vs an Aggro Shops deck, it's a moot point when one strategic orientation is much less than the other.

    Another way people use data is to make informed ban and restriction decisions. We know WotC does this although many players seem to make these decisions on a more emotional level. Sobeit. I don't believe we are tailoring our data to specifically favor or disfavor specific restrictions. We are simply trying to aid players in looking at the metagame in a way that lets them evaluate their opinions with regards to the metagame. For instance, people were clamoring for a Paradoxical Outcomes restriction immediately after Gush was restricted. While one could certainly argue that the card is non-interactive, it's a different question of how popular or unpopular a card is and how frequently decks with that card win. When you look at the data, decks with Paradoxical Outcome do not seem overly dominant when you look at metagame share or win percentage.

    I think it's very common in science to do this. Start with the hypothesis: is there a correlation between smoking and cancer? Set up your cohorts and collect data on different groups, and you should end up with a study that answers your question, albeit with the usual statistical limitations, potential biases, and possible confounders. Is what's being done here dissimilar to a cohort study? Does it not make sense to look at Shops decks relative to the field to see if there are metagame or balance concerns with decks that play this card? Note: you could do this with Force of Will or Mental Misstep, but I'd argue that those cards are so prevalent that the statistics here simply do not matter. You either feel these cards belong in the format or you don't at this point. Whether they are 60% of the metagame or 70% really shouldn't affect anyone's position.

    In conclusion, we are approaching the taxonomy of Vintage from two fundamentally different ways. You have a theoretical approach and we have an observational approach that is a bit of a mess based on trying to meet the different needs and perspectives of Vintage players (combined with limitations like our time and the available information). So if you can propose a question or purpose that we can change our classification scheme to provide insight into, we would be happy to do so. However, if you think that what we are doing is theoretically sloppy and inconsistent, and a more rigid approach would be better, we would be happy to share our data with you.



  • @chubbyrain

    Thank you for taking the time to address my comments.

    I think theory vs reality is a spot on difference between classification systems. Id argue that theory (that properly incorporates reality) is more important when discussing DCI action than simply discussing reality.

    What Id suggest for the most objective theoretical restricted list discussion is to aggregate by individual card that is being considered for restriction (although I understand this might be difficult to collect in practice as Ryan brings up). So what Id suggest as an alternative, is to aggregate at the lowest level that is collected/practical and allow individuals to draw their own conclusions from there. I thought the initial reports were especially good because of the low level of aggregation. This provided a level of transparency which I think is lost when we start discussing Workshops as a whole (and not specifically Ravager Shops as a separate deck). Now, again, if thats not possible, Id look into strategical stratifications of aggro/control/combo. From a theoretical restricted list standpoint, these are the most important classifications, imo, though I think they are not perfect by any means and am open to other suggestions (inclusion of tempo: aka Control/aggro? Seems fine to me). An additional alternative is the old Manadrain Pillars classifications (Drains, Shops, Bazaars, Rods, Rituals). While these are pretty horribly outdated, they also allow better historical comparisons and are an established classification system.

    In sum, I think there are a number of ways to slice and dice the data. However, I think there are certain ways of analysis that should be avoided. The first being aggregation on different levels (e.g. Shops for some decks, but Xerox/Paradox/ect. for others is a no no imo). Aggregation on different levels presents a classification bias. It would be similar to seeing an aggregation on "white" by "country of origin" while leaving other races aggregated simply by race. This presents a false level of "diversity" that wouldnt be present if we focused on a single level of aggregation. Id also avoid deleting data. In my general experience analyzing numerous data sources, deletion of data should only be done in extreme situations (basically where it is unavailable). Even messy data (like in this case of Champs occurring simulatniously) still has quite a bit of information that can be gleaned.

    I'd add one more additional suggestion: Present the initial data with little to no conclusions. Then go further on an additional post on your opinions on how to interpret the data. This provides everyone with a much clearer objectivity of the data collection, and separates the data from the opinions of those collecting it.



  • @vaughnbros

    Present the initial data with little to no conclusions

    They DO provide the data with no conclusions. Every time. There's a link to the raw data they collected in every post. You can do analysis there if you want.

    The first being aggregation on different levels (e.g. Shops for some decks, but Xerox/Paradox/ect. for others is a no no imo). Aggregation on different levels presents a classification bias

    This is begging the question. I think that aggro shops and prison shops (such that it exists) are more similar decks than Mentor and Paradox are. You don't. These aren't different levels of classification, they're entirely different classification frameworks. I split these cards this way because I use the same sideboard cards to beat aggro shops and prison shops, but I use different sideboard cards to beat Mentor and Oath. I'm not sure where a drive to split decks up by color would. Different preferences for ink pigments? To me that feels like splitting up decks alphabetically or by artist.

    The fact is nothing in this thread or any other thread has made me think that the data analysis is a useful for us to discuss B&R policy. (I think it's VERY useful for deckbuilding) I have literally never seen someone change their mind on this site after being presented with data. I have seen time and time again people publicly state their opinion about what should change, then react to data being posted with what a suprise! this confirms my opinion! Even when two people had different opinions and look at the same data, they both come out the other side more sure they were correct in the first place. If the data just can't line up with what they're saying, they complain about the validity of the data. I don't want to gang up on @vaughnbros here, because tons of people do this.

    All B&R analysis is post-rationalization

    You're either having fun playing the format, or you're not. Sure there are degrees of enjoyment, but you either believe a change would improve your fun or it wouldn't. If you're not having fun, you find an explanation, whether it's through tournament data or b&r precedent or test results. You find that explanation to make yourself feel justified for not having fun, and try to make a case for a change with it. Maybe your analysis is riddled with errors or maybe it's flawless, but if someone opposes you and there argument is terrible, it doesn't matter. No amount of attacking that argument is going to convince them that they're not actually having fun playing vintage if they are, or that they are having fun if they're not. You just end up with 170 posts of people talking over each other. Note that by the time you get here you've dramatically weakened your position from a WotC perspective - all they cared about is whether or not you were having fun. Once you bring metagame penetration into it, they have their own data and their own analysis methodology (such that it is).

    If I thought for a second that I could ban the subject from the site, I would, but at this time I don't believe it can be done.



  • @brass-man

    Present*, not provide. They are two different things. "Go do your own analysis" is basically as dismissive as you could be.

    I dont think no data is better than some data.

    I dont agree that these discussions should be banned.



  • @vaughnbros of course you don't agree they should be banned. Nobody in this thread wants them banned. The people who them banned are all people who have quit TMD by now.

    edit: And for what it's worth, I'm actually telling you not to do the analysis. Which, admittedly, may be even more dismissive.



  • @brass-man

    The general dismissive tone of a number of posters, like yourself here to me, seems to be a good reason not to come back to a board that is supposed to be about discussion.



  • See, the thing is that it's supposed to be about Vintage discussion, and B&R is very explicitly NOT vintage discussion. It's a conversation about game design - about what similar-to-vintage game would be more fun than vintage.

    I know I've probably been crossing a line in this thread, and being a shittier person than I would typically like to be. I wish that wasn't the case but I'm kind of at my wit's end here.

    I get more complaints about these threads than anything else. Though over the years, they've tended to move from complaints to "Why do you keep using that terrible site?". Some of these statements have come from people who have direct influence over the B&R list.

    I do think I let myself become emotionally invested in this particular thread (which is weird because I haven't even stated what my actual B&R opinions are), that was a mistake.



  • These threads about B&R have become a Quagmire

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    I generally enjoy this site and I am happy to discuss what a good B&R list should look like but that sometimes happens and sometimes it does not. I do not know what value these threads provide.

    It is too similar to politics where one group really cares about one thing and another group really cares about something else and they demonize each other.

    And, there are those of us who are more in the center and kind of care and kind of don't. For what it's worth, I do not care all that much. I enjoy this thread for what it is, people make arguments about about views that they have and some of them are convincing and some are not.


  • TMD Supporter

    @brass-man said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:
    I have literally never seen someone change their mind on this site after being presented with data. I have seen time and time again people publicly state their opinion about what should change, then react to data being posted with what a suprise! this confirms my opinion!

    I don't think this is actually true. I think there have been many occasions in which data presentation has actually shifted people's minds.

    To provide but one example, there was a period a few years ago, where players were calling for the restriction of Dark Petition (along with Gush and Lodestone Golem). When it was pointed out that Dark Petition was under 5% of Top 8s, genuinely some people who were of that opinion shifted their views.

    Data actually matters. While there may be some obstinate people who don't care if a deck is 50% of Top 8s, for most people, if you make the case that a card/deck/engine is above a historical baseline, that is actually a rational argument for restriction.

    Yes, there are many ways to slice up the data. You can organize data by card, deck, archetype, engine or pillar. You can organize data in many different ways. But to say that the organization of data is a post-hoc rationalization I think is unfair to people who collect data, starting with Phil Stanton, them myself, then Matt Elias, then Kevin and myself, and now, Kevin, myself, Matt and Ryan (who in particular, have been doing a tremendous amount of work for the last 2 years).

    This is the kind of behind the scenes work Kevin and I do to prep for our podcast (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1g0IdZTwI35NtlCU6kSAOBUKrKOLVclXZ2usESs9PaZI/edit#gid=0) I've never published that before, because we summarize it in our podcasts. But we don't do that work because we have a predetermined concept of what needs to change. Rather, we let the data guide our opinions.

    The kinds of short-hand heuristics that Matt and Ryan use are well-worn and widely accepted within the Vintage community. It's fine to suggest improvements or even alternatives to their classification approach. But from a hermeneutical perspective, what matters most is that everyone within the hermenuetic circle understands the meaning. And they do. Vintage players know what is meant by Xerox without having to scientifically define it.

    In summary, I think that 1) data matters, and 2) there are many people of good faith whose opinions are shaped by the story the data tells, for and against, restrictions, 3) and it's ok to use conventions or folk taxonomies as long as most people understand the meaning.



  • @smmenen said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    In summary, I think that 1) data matters, and 2) there are many people of good faith whose opinions are shaped by the story the data tells, for and against, restrictions, 3) and it's ok to use conventions or folk taxonomies as long as most people understand the meaning.

    If the format was perfectly, mathmatically balanced ala rock paper scissors, and that was vetted out by the data, it would be bad for the game because people would get bored of it.

    But even in that perfectly balanced format, there are better and worst scenarios. If there were 3 decks and each deck had a win ratio of 100% againt it's good matchup and a 0% against its bad matchup, this would be a worse set up than one where the fabored match was 75%/25%.

    I only point this out because datas correlation to fun and feelings is loose at best. Some of the most broken formats are fun for some. No amount of data will convince me that workshops should not be on the restricted list, because my issue with it has nothing to do with win rate or representation.

    I think data driven discussions are healthy and have a place, but I don't think you can have them in the same thread. I also think BR dicussions are healthy for the forum and important for the player base.


  • TMD Supporter

    @protoaddct said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    @smmenen said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    In summary, I think that 1) data matters, and 2) there are many people of good faith whose opinions are shaped by the story the data tells, for and against, restrictions, 3) and it's ok to use conventions or folk taxonomies as long as most people understand the meaning.

    If the format was perfectly, mathmatically balanced ala rock paper scissors, and that was vetted out by the data, it would be bad for the game because people would get bored of it.

    But even in that perfectly balanced format, there are better and worst scenarios. If there were 3 decks and each deck had a win ratio of 100% againt it's good matchup and a 0% against its bad matchup, this would be a worse set up than one where the fabored match was 75%/25%.

    I only point this out because datas correlation to fun and feelings is loose at best. Some of the most broken formats are fun for some. No amount of data will convince me that workshops should not be on the restricted list, because my issue with it has nothing to do with win rate or representation.

    I think data driven discussions are healthy and have a place, but I don't think you can have them in the same thread. I also think BR dicussions are healthy for the forum and important for the player base.

    Disagree completely.

    No offense, but it sounds like you are not well informed on the role that data plays in this debate.

    There are well established benchmarks for Top 8 metagame penetration and win percentages that trigger restrictions.

    Thirst for Knowledge was restricted when it was in 45% of Top 8 decklists. (http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/vintage/17460_So_Many_Insane_Plays_The_Most_Dominant_Engine_in_Vintage_History_The_MarchApril_Vintage_Metagame_Report.html)

    Treasure Cruise was restricted when it was 35% of Top 8 decklists.

    Dig was restricted when it was 44% of Top 8 decklists.

    And so on.

    The explanation is simple: when a deck become too large a part of the Top 8 metagame, it begins to dominate the format. Note: we don't care about metagame %. A deck could be 80% of the metagame, but 0% of Top 8s and sub 30% win percentage. What matters is win percentage and Top 8 penetration.

    The reason this matters is follows:

    "Fun" is not entirely subjective. The core element to fun is meaningful choice: meaningful deck choice, meaningful game choices, etc. To have fun, players need meaningful choice among decks. This requires a diversity of decks. When a deck is monopolistic or dominant, there is no meaningful deck choice. Therefore, data is integral to B&R discussions. It's the main purpose of them.

    Wizards has said this explicitly on multiple occasions. Most recently, it said "Data from twelve recent Vintage Challenges reinforces this, with 40% of the Top 8 decks being Shops and 30% being Mentor." This, in it's explanation of restricting Thorn and Mentor (https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/august-28-2017-banned-and-restricted-announcement-2017-08-28)

    If the DCI uses Top 8 data to make restrictions, why the hell would the Vintage community separate data and B&R restriction discussion? That makes absolutely no sense.



  • Everytime a B&R discussion erupts in the last few years Workshops is always mentioned, and to be honest from a pure power level and format health its rediculous that this card is unrestricted compared to some cards on the list.
    Workshops is way more powerful than a lot of cards that are already restricted.
    There is a huge difference between restricting cards for powerlevel reasons only (which would be the reason to restrict shops) or also because they promote "unfun" gameplay (i believe cards like chalice of the void fall under that category)
    In a hypothetically world where financial value and emotional attachement to a card or strategy would not be a factor, but just powerlevel and format health, this would not be a debate at all. Workshops has become the to Vintage what Brainstorm is too Legacy. Everybody knows its way too powerful, but most people kind of agree that it defines the format.

    I see two possibilities.
    First try to power down this Strategy so it gets in line with the rest of the format, which means restricting shops.
    Restrict Workshops, unrestrict Lodestone, Thorn of Amethyst. (and then maybe look at some other hugely discussed cards like MM, also unrestrict Gush and Gitaxian Probe, since those two restrictions where an error to restrict in the first place, and only weakend strategies that where not a problem with the cards legal, while not touching the targeted deck at all)

    Second try to power up the rest of the field to compete with the power of shops, that means unrestricting a lot of cards, that are just worse than workshop for sure. Also unrestrict some shops cards again, since we are not really holding back now.
    Unrestrict: Demonic Consultation, Dig Through Time, Gitaxian Probe, Gush, Imperial Seal, Lodestone Golem, Lotus Petal, Merchant Scroll, Monastery Mentor, Ponder, Thorn of Amethyst, Windfall.

    EDIT: reading my own words i realize how crazy those sound, and the second possibility will probably make the format kind of unplayable, with those exact actions. However i still like the "power up the rest of the format" approach



  • @smmenen said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    Disagree completely.

    No offense, but it sounds like you are not well informed on the role that data plays in this debate.

    This debate has been going on for some time and has a much wider breadth than peoples implementation and interpretation of data alone

    The explanation is simple: when a deck become too large a part of the Top 8 metagame, it begins to dominate the format. Note: we don't care about metagame %. A deck could be 80% of the metagame, but 0% of Top 8s and sub 30% win percentage. What matters is win percentage and Top 8 penetration.

    This is not true at all. If a rouge deck has 3 seats in 2 major events and just happens to luck its way into top 8s from favorable pairings, it would have disproportionate representation in said top brackets. I doubt that alone would be enough. Likewise if a deck is completely over represented in a field, mathematically the percentage it would place in top 8 would be larger and its win rate would steer closer and closer to 50%, but once again I doubt that alone would be enough to merit action alone.

    "Fun" is not entirely subjective. The core element to fun is meaningful choice: meaningful deck choice, meaningful game choices, etc. To have fun, players need meaningful choice among decks. This requires a diversity of decks. When a deck is monopolistic or dominant, there is no meaningful deck choice. Therefore, data is integral to B&R discussions. It's the main purpose of them.

    Fun is the closet thing I can think of to a purely subjective thing. My grandmother would mindlessly pump nickels into a slot machine in Atlantic City week after week. No choice, No decision making, basically no agency at all except to decide to do it or not to do it, yet to her it was completely fun, while to me I cannot think of much anything I would want to do less.

    If the DCI uses Top 8 data to make restrictions, why the hell would the Vintage community separate data and B&R restriction discussion? That makes absolutely no sense.

    Because some of us do not agree with this methodology. Data tells us the results of what is, not the results of what could be, and for some of us that is more relevant. I am of the camp that would much rather see a large restricted list that provides more opportunity for viable brewing in the format. My ideal vintage is a format that has as many decks as modern, a price point for some lists with a low end similar to standard, and vintages depth of in game decision making. I think restricting shops would help get us closer to that paradigm, which is what I would like to subjectively see. The data bears out the fact that the format is not what I want it to be more so than anything else.


  • TMD Supporter

    @protoaddct said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    @smmenen said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    Disagree completely.

    No offense, but it sounds like you are not well informed on the role that data plays in this debate.

    This debate has been going on for some time and has a much wider breadth than peoples implementation and interpretation of data alone

    The issue, as you framed it, is whether data analysis has a role in Vintage Restricted list debates. Your position is that it should not. Mine is that it should.

    Your posts reveal a lack of understanding of how data has been used in these debate, by the community and DCI.

    The explanation is simple: when a deck become too large a part of the Top 8 metagame, it begins to dominate the format. Note: we don't care about metagame %. A deck could be 80% of the metagame, but 0% of Top 8s and sub 30% win percentage. What matters is win percentage and Top 8 penetration.

    This is not true at all. If a rouge deck has 3 seats in 2 major events and just happens to luck its way into top 8s from favorable pairings, it would have disproportionate representation in said top brackets. I doubt that alone would be enough.

    Again, you are displaying your ignorance.

    A single Top 8 does not and has never prompted the DCI to restrict a card. When I say "% of Top 8s" we are talking about large samples with many Top 8s included. I simply do not know how this could have escaped you.

    This debate was kick -started by Chubby Rain's post, which aggregated many Top 8s from Vintage Challenges. But the gold standard is work like this: http://themanadrain.com/topic/476/vintage-metagame-report-april-to-june

    In that post, Matt aggregated THIRTY ONE different Top 8s.

    So, No, a "rouge" deck (it's spelled "rogue" by the way) could not luck it's way into a disproportionate share of Top 8s. That's why we NEVER look at a single Top 8 result. We aggregate Top 8s into as many results as we can, and we look and track the result over time. In other words, we try to make sure that the deck is dominate over many months and multiple tournament regions before the DCI takes restriction.

    And yes, the DCI based it's restrictions of Mentor and Thorn on Top 8 data, as I just showed. And it's done this before.

    Likewise if a deck is completely over represented in a field, mathematically the percentage it would place in top 8 would be larger and its win rate would steer closer and closer to 50%, but once again I doubt that alone would be enough to merit action alone.

    Think again: The DCI just took action in Standard because of Win Percentages.

    https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/january-15-2018-banned-and-restricted-announcement-2018-01-15

    Read carefully.

    "Fun" is not entirely subjective. The core element to fun is meaningful choice: meaningful deck choice, meaningful game choices, etc. To have fun, players need meaningful choice among decks. This requires a diversity of decks. When a deck is monopolistic or dominant, there is no meaningful deck choice. Therefore, data is integral to B&R discussions. It's the main purpose of them.

    Fun is the closet thing I can think of to a purely subjective thing.

    I said NOT ENTIRELY. Which means, of course, there is a large subjective element.

    But there is also a large consensus that certain formats are not fun. To wit: Format's dominated by a single deck are not fun. "Meaningful choice" is a necessary element to a fun Magic format, by broad consensus.

    The analog is anti-trust law. To keep markets competitive, the government prosecutes harmful monopolies. In Magic, the DCI bans or restricts cards from dominant decks.

    My grandmother would mindlessly pump nickels into a slot machine in Atlantic City week after week. No choice, No decision making, basically no agency at all except to decide to do it or not to do it, yet to her it was completely fun, while to me I cannot think of much anything I would want to do less.

    Magic is not slots. There are different standards for fun in Magic than slots.

    If the DCI uses Top 8 data to make restrictions, why the hell would the Vintage community separate data and B&R restriction discussion? That makes absolutely no sense.

    Because some of us do not agree with this methodology.

    It doesn't matter whether we agree or not. It's the methodology that the DCI uses, and IMO justifiably so. So, asking ourselves not to speak in the vernacular of the DCI is foolish, and a kind of epistemology of ignorance.

    Data tells us the results of what is, not the results of what could be, and for some of us that is more relevant. I am of the camp that would much rather see a large restricted list that provides more opportunity for viable brewing in the format. My ideal vintage is a format that has as many decks as modern, a price point for some lists with a low end similar to standard, and vintages depth of in game decision making. I think restricting shops would help get us closer to that paradigm, which is what I would like to subjectively see. The data bears out the fact that the format is not what I want it to be more so than anything else.

    So, if the data tells you that, then why are you against using data in B&R list discussion? That seems ridiculous given what you just said. Your posts are incoherent and barely make sense. I'm surprised, because I haven't seen or don't recall this kind of behavior from you before.



  • @smmenen said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    The issue, as you framed it, is whether data analysis has a role in Vintage Restricted list debates. Your position is that it should not. Mine is that it should.

    Your posts reveal a lack of understanding of how data has been used in these debate, by the community and DCI.

    My contention is that the debate cannot be framed as a purely analytical one as well as a purely subjective/feels based one. There is some overlap but by and large the two stances are inherently arguing different things and when they interact they often create a insurmountable barrier.

    The DCI just took action in Standard because of Win Percentages.

    https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/january-15-2018-banned-and-restricted-announcement-2018-01-15

    Read carefully.

    They also decided to ban Rampaging Ferocidon, a card they themselves admit was not specifically the largest offender compared to Hazoret or Bombat. If we were to base the decision purely on win percentages, they would not have made this call, but sided on the side they perceived to be the more fun (or less unfun as it were) course of action. The data they used to make this judgement was in large part because of some sort of future league testing that likely did not have nearly as much of a sample behind it, as well as some healthy assumptions based on what they thought interactions would be with cards not yet released.

    I do not believe that WOTC/DCI make banning decisions on results alone, and things such as player perception, monetary ramifications, and tourney attendance are equally large drivers. Some of those have data sets behind them, and they may not all tell the same story. Player perception is very much more a judgement call than it is a hard science.

    Magic is not slots. There are different standards for fun in Magic than slots.

    You yourself said:

    "Fun" is not entirely subjective. The core element to fun is meaningful choice: meaningful deck choice, meaningful game choices, etc. To have fun, players need meaningful choice among decks. This requires a diversity of decks. When a deck is monopolistic or dominant, there is no meaningful deck choice. Therefore, data is integral to B&R discussions. It's the main purpose of them.

    You did not frame that as pertaining only to magic, you said fun, so i used a parallel gaming example.

    So, if the data tells you that, then why are you against using data in B&R list discussion? That seems ridiculous given what you just said. Your posts are incoherent and barely make sense. I'm surprised, because I haven't seen or don't recall this kind of behavior from you before.

    I am not totally against using it, I am suggesting guardrails on it's usage in discourse that was not intended to be a hard analytical look at a topic. I am against the fact that I have seen no compelling discussion take place on this board or others in recent years that does not eventually get derailed by a straw man argument about data and how it trumps all. If enough players are upset enough that it would affect how much they play, what they play, even if it is based on faulty information, it is still relevant to the decision making process.

    It's like coming into a post about which classical artist was more relevant to a person, Da Vinci or Michelangelo, and having someone walk into that post and say that Da Vinci had more popularly known pieces and is thus the definitive correct answer.

    That you are surprised by my behavior is of no concern to me, because I am not in the market to cater my opinion to conform with expectations you may have. I have been an advocate for the restriction of workshops for some time now, and that is evidenced in some of my other posts. Also displayed in those posts are data driven arguments by people saying I am incorrect to want that, even though my want for it is subjective and based on my perception and assumptions of what the format would be if the card was reduced in numbers, yet not devoid of data based reasoning.

    I truly believe that workshops (and some other cards but most egregiously workshops) is the reason that the format has X amount of viable archetypes and not X+Y. Tournament win percentages and representation will not show you what decks are not viable to bring to an event, just how the things that were there did.


 

WAF/WHF