Proposed New Mulligan Rule for Mythic Championship London

@thecravenone 0.6^6 is 0.046656 or 4.7% with rounding. I'm not sure how you arrived at 5.6 (is this number a percent or just decimal?).

And thank you, I omitted a key word. The 4.7% is the odds of NOT finding a 4-of. I fixed it in original post.

Came here to post this. Seems absurd.

This new mulligan rule without Serum Powder or Scry is better than the current rule with Serum Powder + Scry

New rule: 4.7% chance of miss = 95.3% chance of hit
(should also consider the top card of the deck if you're on the draw, with 6 known misses on the bottom of the deck)
Current rule, with Powder + Scry: 94.2% chance to hit during mulligans, 95.0% chance to hit after scry + draw.

So this new rule would be an upgrade without Powder. With Powder the math gets complicated (you could exile multiple Serum Powder at once) but Powder should eliminate ballpark 2/3 of the mulligans to oblivion. In this case, the miss rate would fall to about 1.5%. My suspicion is that because you always Powder for 7 under the new rule it has a little more impact than that and you get the miss rate down to 1%ish

One source of the mulligan numbers is here: http://www.archive.themanadrain.com/index.php?topic=48196.0

last edited by ajfirecracker

@ajfirecracker I'm not sure of the official language of the rule, but one comment on my Twitter said that you would put the cards back before deciding whether or not to mulligan (and being able to Powder). Which seems like an interesting implementation but would make Powder less strong. If you plug the numbers in for 8 success in the hypergeometric calculator, you get a 0.17% chance of not finding a Bazaar or Powder. The actual math with Powder is too complicated for me but I think you are down in the <1% range.

While dredge is the poster child for "what does this do to opening hands" I think the ability to mulligan aggressively for silver bullets is likewise a little brain melty.

Leylines, major hate pieces, power, force of will...the game would change radically if you could actively go fishing for them and potentially still come away with a keepable hand.

If I had to predict what will happen, I think Serum Powder might get restricted preemptively. I actually think Dredge will be fine from a balance perspective within the Vintage metagame...the failure rate with 1 Powder is going to be slightly lower than it was before with 4 Powders and the old mulligan rule. This gets countered by increased odds of finding hate. Dredge is probably a little better but not oppressively so.

I think in terms of other decks, the average quality of a mulligan goes up considerably and you'll see more broken openers and consistent combo draws. It will affect vintage play significantly.

I think there's a real chance Dredge is oppressive with this new rule.

A build like Pitch Dredge becomes much, much stronger with more cards in hand on average and better ability to filter good cards into its opening hand. Even an alternate plan like Dark Depths becomes much more attractive when you can filter more deeply to find it.

I'm trying to find the MTG Arena angle that's almost certainly behind this, but I'm coming up blank so far.

Was talking about this in the Dredge discord, someone pointed out that you have 7 attempts (7 card hand, 6 card hand, etc. to 1 card hand) so it's only about 2.8% to whiff without any Serum Powder or other enhancers. I think you forgot to count your opening 7 prior to any mulligans.

So this cuts the failure rate in half and frees up 0-4 slots for something else. Seems good.

last edited by ajfirecracker

Its probably easier to leave the mulligan rule as is for eternal formats than have to deal with multiple rounds of bannings/restrictions before they got this right.

While this might true, I think in the long run it's probably not a good thing if different formats follow different basic rules of MTG!

Just curious but how much would this increase odds of Mox/crypt/lotus + Orchard + Oath turn 1? They are all 4+ ofs, can anyone do the math?

I'm trying to find the MTG Arena angle that's almost certainly behind this, but I'm coming up blank so far.

It's because of the e-sports push. They took some criticism at whatever PT it was last year after LSV anticlimactically exited the top eight when he had to mull to four. Non-games like that are bad for the streaming numbers, which is what they're focusing on now.

I'm trying to find the MTG Arena angle that's almost certainly behind this, but I'm coming up blank so far.

It's because of the e-sports push. They took some criticism at whatever PT it was last year after LSV anticlimactically exited the top eight when he had to mull to four. Non-games like that are bad for the streaming numbers, which is what they're focusing on now.

Still, that is probably the only game I remember from that PT...

Dredge opponents can also mulligan to Leyline game 2. So I don’t think this would make Dredge oppressive. Better, sure, maybe better to the point of maindeck graveyard hate, but nothing that is restrictable.

last edited by vaughnbros

Just curious but how much would this increase odds of Mox/crypt/lotus + Orchard + Oath turn 1? They are all 4+ ofs, can anyone do the math?

Assuming 4 Orchard, 4 Oath and 7 Mox/Lotus/Crypt and assuming you mulligan until you have T1 Oath, roughly 32% compared to 15% under the existing mulligan rule.

last edited by boerma

What I find irritating about this rule is that no one asked for it. When the Paris mulligan was created in the 1990’s it was created by players to solve a real problem.

The original mulligan rule was not good and in Type 1 it could be abused by no land decks or very heavy land decks by getting free mulligans.

This new mulligan rule looks like a solution without a problem. Card games have variance and sometimes you lose to variance.

last edited by moorebrother1

If anyone is curious, the odds of failing to finding a 4-of in a 60 card deck with 6 mulligans (as 7 mulligans serves no point) is (1-0.40)^6 = 4.7%

You get seven shots at finding the Bazaar (keeping 7 cards, keeping 6, …, keeping 1), so the probability of failing to find it under the new rule is (1-.4)⁷ = 2.8%. I don’t know exactly how Serum Powders will work under the new rules, but if you just exile seven, I don’t think main deck Dredge hate will be good enough.

I simulated 1000000 games for each option (old/new rule, with/without Serum Powder). These are the percentages of getting T1 Bazaar:

Old rule without Powders: 86.6%
Old rule with Powders: 94.1%
New rule without Powders: 97.2%
New rule with Powders (exiling 7): 99.6%

@moorebrother1

Why do you think Mulligans aren't a problem? How many games are won/lost simply on having bad luck on your 1st/2nd mulligans? Shouldn't that be mitigated?

Reality is if this is going to be a spectator sport then there needs to be less games decided at the mulligan phase.

The coin flip phase is a bigger issue for eternal, but I don't think its that much of a problem for standard formats so we probably won't see much change there.

@vaughnbros this rule change makes it worse for eternal formats not better. Every good vintage deck will have certain hands that are almost unbeatable. That is vintage.

Magic is a card game. Variance is part of playing a card game. I lost to Oath while playing PO because I started with bad hands at SCG Con (mull to 5) but I had a turn one win against Shops and some crazy opens against other decks.

If we try to reduce variance in Vintage we are going to make the format all about hyper efficient mulligans not actually playing cards.

@moorebrother1

Variance is part of the fun, but not variance that players have 0 control over. If we just simply wanted to gamble then we would go to the casino. The fun of playing magic is that its a game of skill. Reducing the random variation is a good thing.

Every good vintage deck will have certain hands that are almost unbeatable. That is vintage.

If that's Vintage then why don't we love a rule change that will maximize what Vintage is?

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