London Hasn’t Fallen

The “London Mulligan” rule by now has been written about as well as talked about, whether in podcasts, livestreams, Youtube videos, or in your local game store, to the point there isn’t even a carcass of where the dead horse used to be. That said, little focus, outside small groups on Facebook, has been on how this rule would/does impact Vintage.

First, a recap of the rule: When a player is choosing to Mulligan, they will shuffle their hand into their library, and then draw a new hand – the difference being instead of drawing 7-X, where X is the number of times the player has chosen to mulligan previously in the game, that player will instead draw 7, and then determine whether or not to keep their hand. At this point, they will place X cards to the bottom of their Library, again where x is the number of times a mulligan has been chosen.

Immediately the implications are obvious. Others have already ran the math on how this impacts the percentage of Dredge opening a hand with Bazaar of Baghdad, and more so with Serum Powder in the mix – this number is greater than 99%. There have been questions on how this rule will impact MUD strategies, since opening with a Mishra’s Workshop is almost always better than opening without one.

The London Mulligan rule WILL Impact Vintage, and it WILL make the average opening hand much stronger. This rule will significantly alter mulligan decisions for players, and will significantly increase the odds of players opening with Bazaar of Baghdad, Mishra’s Workshop, a very fast Outcome start, or a very disruptive Xerox open. This rule drastically increases the average power level of opening hands post-mulligan, and will make decisions to mulligan original 7 card hands much less obvious.

This is not a bad thing, overall. Forced mulligans are exceptionally bad for Magic as a whole, and are bad for Vintage as well. This mulligan rule, if it becomes part of the game as a whole after Magic Fest London, will increase the number of times players mulligan decent 7 card hands in hopes of a more powerful 6 card hand, but there is an opportunity cost to that strategy.

For every Workshop player that mulligans to 6 in hopes of finding a Workshop, there will be a Xerox pilot in the same situation that gets to put their useless Game 1 Mental Missteps to the bottom. The blue player gets the same +1 card to their decision process the Workshop player does in this scenario, and in reality, the Xerox player has a large amount of ways to interact, be it keeping additional lands to beat Sphere effects, or keeping Force of Will + a Lightning Bolt/Swords to Plowshares, that the Xerox Player and Workshop Player both having to mulligan to 6, the odds might actually be better for the Xerox Player (of course, this depends on Play/Draw) in the game.

For every Dredge Player that mulligans to 6 or less to find bazaar, the opponent gets to mulligan to find 1 or more disruption effects. The Dredge Player in game 2 realistically has to have a Bazaar of Baghdad of which they only have 4, and either a colored mana source or a disruptive spell, while the opponent has greater odds of hitting one of their 6+ graveyard specific disruption elements, with a good chance at hitting 2, or hitting a hand that is fast while disruptive. Naturally, everyone is thinking right now “but their Game 1 percentage is greater than 99%!”, and to that the defense is where you really planning to win a game 1 against Dredge anyway?

Overall, regardless the Paris, Vancouver, or London mulligan rule, Magic: The Gathering will thrive both digitally and physically, and Vintage will follow suit. There are a lot of reasons for people to have an opinion either positive or negative about Vintage as a format, but the London mulligan rule, if (or when) it becomes official to the rules of Magic will not break, ruin, destroy, or even hinder Vintage as a format.

@13nova said in London Has(n't) Fallen:

That said, little focus, outside small groups on Facebook, has been on how this rule would/does impact Vintage.

There is this topic on the mana drain. This may interest you if you missed it.

last edited by Cuikui

Yes, and that is focused on the Sky Is Falling approach. This is a counter-point to the negativity that's littering that post.

@13nova said in London Has(n't) Fallen:

Yes, and that is focused on the Sky Is Falling approach. This is a counter-point to the negativity that's littering that post.

I think the reality of the change (if it happens) will be somewhere between your post and the other thread. Yes, everything you say is true. But the negativity in the other post is also rooted in truth. I do tend to think much of the truth though is a bit less negative and a bit more, "Change is coming".
The reality is, we will see certain strategies get a bump up by being able to mulligan more aggressively. Specifically the ever present Shops and the lesser pillar in dredge. I think Oath also gets a bump up as well.

This does not mean those archetypes suddenly become the only ones and push everything else out. It just means the landscape changes a bit. But for a community like the Vintage community where changes come at a glacial pace I can understand how this shake up can be worrisome.

Best suggestion to everybody - dont embrace the coming change. Dont reject the coming change. Simply approach your first few experiences of the change with an open mind - then decide to embrace or reject.

@khahan said in London Has(n't) Fallen:

Best suggestion to everybody - dont embrace the coming change. Dont reject the coming change. Simply approach your first few experiences of the change with an open mind - then decide to embrace or reject.

^SO MUCH this.

Besides whether or not i like this change or think it's healthy, i've mostly been thinking;

"Does it really matter if Dredge has a 95% or 99% to start with Bazaar".

The answer to that for me is 'not really', but it's mostly what comes up when someone mentions the London, even from non-vintage players. People keep saying Dredge will be broken (and only some of them are saying in jest) and i'm just 'not really, they win game 1 anyway and i can more safely mull to hate in game 2 as well'.

Dredge will not be a broken Tier 0 deck just because of London Mulligan.

I think that this is just a different mulligan and i'm excited to try if it becomes a thing, and things are just fine if it doesn't.

@aeonsovarius

Correct. If you were relying on mulligan's to oblivion to beat Dredge then you had a horrible matchup against it in the first place.

@AeonSovarius @vaughnbros

My thought is Game 2 and Game 3 might get WORSE for Dredge, because now the other decks can Mulligan to an effective 7 repetitively in order to disrupt them.

last edited by 13NoVa

@13nova said in London Has(n't) Fallen:

First, a recap of the rule: When a player is choosing to Mulligan, they will shuffle their hand into their library, and then draw a new hand – the difference being instead of drawing 7-X, where X is the number of times the player has chosen to mulligan previously in the game, that player will instead draw 7, and then determine whether or not to keep their hand. At this point, they will place X cards to the bottom of their Library, again where x is the number of times a mulligan has been chosen.

One small nitpick in the process here, you do not actually decide whether you are keeping the hand until after you place the cards you are going to place on the bottom. (This is mainly relevant for how Serum Powder interacts with the new rule).

Official rule used for the test:

103.4. Each player draws a number of cards equal to their starting hand size, which is normally seven. (Some effects can modify a player’s starting hand size.) A player who is dissatisfied with their initial hand may take a mulligan. First, the starting player declares whether they will take a mulligan. Then each other player in turn order does the same. Once each player has made a declaration, all players who decided to take mulligans do so at the same time. To take a mulligan, a player shuffles the cards in their hand back into their library, draws a new hand of cards equal to their starting hand size, then puts a number of those cards onto the bottom of their library in any order equal to the number of times that player has taken a mulligan. Once a player chooses not to take a mulligan, the remaining cards become the player’s opening hand, and that player may not take any further mulligans. This process is then repeated until no player takes a mulligan. A player can’t take a number of mulligans greater their starting hand size.

  • 9
    Posts
  • 1297
    Views