@vaughnbros said in [ELD] Deafening Silence:
I’m not solely a dredge pilot. I play every deck in the format.
I don't think I've ever seen a your name in top 8 that wasn't on a Bazaar deck.
You will play that maindeck card in your opening 60 in 100% of matches.
You will play that exclusive Dredge hate card in your game 2/3 in ~5% of matches.
The main deck card choice is in your deck ~10-20 times as frequently played as that hate card.
This isn’t that hard, but you seem to want to make it so.
Your math here is super misleading, and it reveals two key flaws in your reasoning.
To begin, Frequency of Use (that is, number of times a card is played per tournament) is not the same thing as Significance or Importance. DPS players will cast Dark Rituals many more times than they will cast Yawgmoth's Will or Necropotence or Tendrils of Agony (or nearly equivalent finisher), but those cards are just as strategically significant.
Moreover, if a player plays with 4 "Random Card X" in their sideboard, but a 1 "Random Card Y" in the maindeck, like a Brian Kelly Peek or Sorcerous Spyglass, for example, although the 1 "Random Card Y" may technically be played more (meaning, actually cast) during the course of a tournament, but the 4-of "Random Card X" may actually be far more important in determining whether the pilot makes Top 8.
Thus, again, frequency of use (rather than appearances) is not the same thing as importance or significance, where importance and significance is how and where a card helps a player win matches or games.
But aside from how you are conflating 'frequency' of use in a tournament with strategic importance in a tournament (they are not even close to the same thing), there is an even more fundamental problem, and it's your main blind spot here: there is no such thing as a "sideboard card."
Again, is Pyroblast a sideboard card? Force of Vigor? Stony Silence?
What makes a card more likely to be played in a sideboard v. a maindeck has nothing to do with a card's inherent qualities, and everything to do with the structure or composition of the metagame, and how that card interacts with that structure.
Simply put, cards that are excellent against certain strategies, but weak against most of a metagame are more likely to be used in a sideboard. Whereas cards that are great against a wide range of strategies, but weak against a smaller portion of a given metagame are more likely to be played maindeck.
So, for example, in a metagame that is 70% blue decks, Pyroblast is more likely to be a maindeck card, and if the metagame is only 10% graveyard based, then Tormod's Crypt is more likely to be a sideboard card.
But if the compositional structure of a metagame shifts, so that graveyard strategies are 70% of the metagame, and blue decks are 10%, then then positions of Pyroblasts vis-a-vis Tormod's Crypts between maindeck and sideboards shifts accordingly.
Some decks, like transform boards and Dredge, use most of their SB in every matchup so that is certainly different. But these are atypical from Blue/Shops/others that devote large portions of their SB for 1 or 2 MUs.
The other part of my argument. Leyline vs Crypt vs Cage is again marginal differences. Just like this card vs Pyroblast vs Kambal vs Flusterstorm are only marginally different in power level. Just like me choosing to eat chicken wings vs a fried chicken sandwich. I’m likely to get very similar utility from it.
I could not disagree more with this principle that strategic answers are basically fungible or just different at the margins. The differences between options at a tactical level are actually massive gulfs in any particular event, even if the oscillations between the value or utility of options changes so frequently that in the very long run the differences appear marginal. Optimization per tournament matters. It can be the difference between making Top 8 or not, and winning a tournament or not.
If you are guaranteed to have X copies of a particular effect the existence of the card is only responsible for the additional marginal value it is providing you. This card might win you a few more games against Storm than a Flusterstorm would, when they Duress you before going off. But could also lose them too, when they just bounce it and go off.
Yes, but the card that actually wins you more games in a particular tournament is the optimal card. And tournament results, in the aggregate, are the means by which we observe this, combined with experienced judgment and insight of players in assessing this.
This is dramatically different from the impact of say Bazaar of Baghdad or Mishra’s Workshop that make an entire class of decks possible. Comparing the frequency of Bazaar top 8s to the frequency of Bazaar-hate cards top 8ing is missing the entire context of the results.
No, actually - they are interrelated. That's what makes your original comment that frequency of appearances in a sideboard top 8 is irrelevant so erroneous.
Large scale use of a particular tactic in sideboard of Top 8 decks is indicative of some underlying fact or set of facts, which we then use our judgment to discern.
If there are alot of Workshop or Dredge hate in a sideboard, then that may tell us both about the prevalence and/or power of the Workshop and Dredge strategies. We then use our experience and judgment to know the difference, and whether it is one, both or something else.
In the case of Grafdigger's Cage, part of the reason the card saw so much play wasn't just that was optimal in any particular matchup, but that it was broadly useful and hyper-efficient in a range of matchups. Thus, for example, it could be used against Oath and Dredge. If we see alot of Grafdigger's Cages, then it's a signal to see what role it's playing in the metagame, to try to understand why it's there, and then we can glean new insights about the structure of the format and the dynamics in tournament play.
On top of this all, top 8s frequency or prevalence in general as a measure of success, as Mikey just pointed out, can be highly inaccurate even for MD cards.
That's why we look over time and in the aggregate rather than a single case.
Top 8 appearances of a particular card tells us how good a card is because, in the aggregate, cards help players win games, matches, and thereby tournaments.
If a card is really bad or just suboptimal, over time, it will be weeded out, even if a single player sticks with it. Tournaments are basically simulations of a format, over and over again, and aggregate results give us insight into optimization. It's just a hive mind attacking a problem over and over again.