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Author Topic: Archetype definitions + Categories for MTGPulse    (Read 9431 times)
Dr. Opossum
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« on: 15-09-2015, 11:36:55 PM »

Why this report?

For some time now the council deals with the topic “Archetype definition”. Especially for the meta breakdown, the uploading of decklists on MTGPulse or the statistical analysis of tournaments some kind of uniformity is needed. Even regular tournament participants sometimes have problems to classify their decklists, define and label their decks. To help our players with the classification and maybe also simplify the entrance into the format for new players, we worked on this topic in detail, interviewed proplayers and studied articles.


Term differentiation

Archetype: The following article primarily defines archetypes. Archetypes are the roughest possible classification. In MtG we differentiate between 7 forms of archetypes: 1. Aggro, 2. Control, 3. Combo, 4. Midrange, 5. Aggro-Control, 6. Combo-Control, 7. Aggro-Combo.

Deck name/ Decktype: The decktype (or deck name) is the label of a deck given by the player. Over time some kind of deck names are generally accepted and therefore became very common. Other decktypes derived from other formats like for example Legacy or Vintage. Since the decktype is defined by the player and therefore underlie subjective preferences, it is hard to categorize them. Depending on the player the same deck could have totally different deck names/ decktypes.
Examples: Reanimator, 4C Blood, Captain America or Junk

Category/ Archetype category: The archetype categories or just categories are a kind of classification used on MTGPulse. You will find them on the right side of the screen. The categories are independent of the proper archetype or deck name and are normally given by the admin. These categories should help visitors to orientate on the page and find the appropriate decks swiftly.


Aggro/ Control/ Combo – Triangle

Originally the game Magic: the Gathering assumed 3 main archetypes:



These 3 main archetypes operates on a rock-paper-scissors principle. Aggro beats Control, Control win out over Combo and Combo is superior to Aggro.

Aggro:
Aggressive decks wins through the classical way. They want to get the life total of the opponents to zero. They normally do this through attacking or via damage spells. To this, they are mostly rely on few resources. In aggressive decks you rarely find spells above 4 mana.
Strengths:
Mostly Aggro is not interested in the opponents board. Their plan is it, to bring as many threats as possible to the board or pressure the opponent with rapid loss of life. They are therefore dependent on swiftness and continuity. They rarely remove/ counter the opponents threat and interact sparely with the fellow player. His deck plan is independent of the opponents one.
Weaknesses:
Aggro is lesser dependent on resources than any other deck.  Hence it has to rely completely on swiftness the own spells have to be inexpensive. Quantity stands clearly above quality. As a result Aggro have to choose less efficient but instead cheap spells to not lose on speed. If Aggro is not able to beat the opponent quickly, falls behind on the board because of permanents with a higher quality or meets a deck plan, that is opposed to the aggressive one (e.g. life gain, protection, mass removal), before the resource hand cards is ebbed away, it loses.
Examples for Aggro decks: RDW, White Weenie

Control:
Combo also focus on time. It sees their win options in the late game. Classical Control decks are playing counter, removal and tutors.
Strenghts:
Control gathers resources, restricts the enemies possibilities and tries to protect and seal itself flexibly against threats. The direct way to victory is of secondary importance. The main goal is to stay alive, answer or control threats and to generate card advantage. Only if Control is save or is able to protect, it tries to end the game with some effective finishers.
Weaknesses:
Control decks often are dependent strongly on interacting with the opponent and on enough time. If Control is not able to buy enough time, it will be overrun. When the enemy completely refrain from interactions or use strategies, that Control cannot answer (e.g. counter vs. dredge, removal vs. non-creature plans), it can exploit the card advantage to a lesser extent (“dead” cards). It has to rely on their few and often expensive finishers.
Examples for Control decks: UW Control, Staxx

Combo:
As “Combo” is referred to as a strong synergy between at least two cards, that normally a. directly leads to a win, b. creates a loop, that leads to a win or c. to a substantial advantageous situation towards the opponent. Pure Combo decks play in addition to the Combo parts only cards of the other archetypes, that support their combo (e.g. tutors, deck manipulation, can trips / card draw) or to protect (e.g. discard, counter) it. The main deck plan never uses the classical fight.
Strengths:
The Combo decks mainly contains cards, that support the combo or enables it and can often keep up with the speed of an Aggro deck. Similar like Aggro, they are independent of the opponents deck plan. The Combo player is interested firstly in the oppontent, when he influences, interfere or disrupt their combo. Only for this reason, the Combo player plays some few Control elements. The slots should serve mainly their combo and their supportive spells.
Weaknesses:
Since Combo only relies on their “synergetic play” to win, it has more problems than decks with alternative plans. The synergy, which should lead to a dominance in the game, is also their big weak point.
Additionally Combo needs to handle economically with their Control elements. It only plays their Control cards to protect their combo or to remove a threat, which hinders it. Therefore Combo needs to consider essentially more thorough, which threat is crucial for the match and which ones can be ignored. Normally the Combo decks tries to end the game before the opponent can profit from their cards.
Combo plays cards, that have little impact if looked at alone more often. Often Combo pieces are just a danger in connection with another one. All in all the cards in a Combo deck are mostly “necessary” but rarly “useful”.
Examples for Combo decks: Eggs, TPS, Hightide


The fourth archetype

Over time and with increasing number (and therefore also quality) of cards, a fourth archetypes has evolved, which cannot be integrated into the Aggro/ Control/ Combo - Triangle.



Midrange:
Midrange or Goodstuff is a melting pot for cards from every previous main archetypes. It chooses from the best representatives of his neighbors. Midrange decks only appear in formats with a big card pool. They have to set them apart from the others with quality and flexibility of their occupied slots. However Midrange wins mostly through combat. Play strength and efficiency stands above speed. Therefore Midrange orientates on the classical mana curve, with a focus on turn 3 to 5.
Strengths/ Weaknesses:
Midrange can’t be sorted into the archetype triangle, because it has no distinct strengths or weaknesses. It can slow down Aggro with their Control elements, but also lose games because of the lack of speed. It can answer Combo decks specifically or just don’t draw the specific answer. In the best case Midrange wants to bring advantageous cards to the battlefield, generate card advantage and disrupt the opponents deck plan simultaneously. Each card should be an “allrounder”, which preferably could win the game on its own. This can look quite differently, depending on whether Midrange uses more Control cards or relies on a more aggressive plan.
The slots are not occupied with a specific goal, since Midrange tries to answer all decks as flexible as possible. Therefore it may have the right answer for his opponent or draws them in situations, where their strength cannot be applied efficiently. Midrange relies on answers and get lost in the direct ambition. Hence each card has the additional possibility to win via a beat down plan instead of with value and card advantage. Overall it could be said, that Midrange cannot disrupt and control as well as a Control deck and cannot end the game as effective and precisely as Aggro or Combo decks could do. Therefore it stands as independent archetype between the big 3, because of its play strength and distinct differentiation on par with them.
Examples for Midrange decks: 4c Blood, Grixis Midrange


Combinations

The three main archetypes can be combined and this leads to bipolar deck types: Aggro-Control, Combo-Control, Aggro-Combo.
Here again the special role of Midrange becomes clear, since it stays for its own and is not combinable. Rather it is already a combinational deck, since it uses the best cards of all labels.
The three subtypes, which are built from the 3 main types can be classified as follows:



Like Midrange the combined types does not have obvious strengths or weaknesses. Their problems are mostly dependent on the colors or from the chosen sub strategy.

Important: In the Highlander format often combos are integrated. A deck will get only the label “Combo” if it will distinctly get supported and protected by the appropriate cards or enables it.

Aggro-Combo:
Aggro-Combo combines the aggressive elements with at least one combo. The aggressive deck plan should (like the bigger representatives) lead to a rapid life loss of the opponent. For Aggro-Combo this is mostly an aggressive creature strategy. If this doesn’t work, it can switch to the Combo plan with its typical Combo supporting cards.
Strengths/ Weaknesses:
These decks normally are not interested in the actions the opponent does and purely rely on speed. Since they use the slots in equal shares for Aggro elements and the combo (plus the combo supporting cards), there is no time nor space for interactive cards and answers.
Their main problem is their consistence and card quality. They have to use cheap and inflexible cards to keep their speed up and not to lose sight on their deck plan. Which plan they have to follow is mostly more dependent on the draw than fitted to the situation.
Examples for Aggro-Combo decks: Affinity Combo, Dredge, Pattern Rector

Aggro-Control:
Aggro-Control also relies on speed. But these decks don’t only use cheap aggressive elements, but also chose Control cards, which mostly don’t have a mana cost above 3.
Aggro-Control decks tries to find a balance between Aggro and Control. This could look quite different. For example lists work with small flash or evasion creatures ("Clocks"), which are protected by counter and removal. But also strategies with damage spells and counter backup (CounterBurn) falls in this category.
Strengths/ Weaknesses:
In contrast to Midrange or Aggro-Combo, Aggro-Control has a distinct focused plan. The Aggro part does not consist of flexible allrounders, but of cards that lead to a rapid and continuous life loss. The Control elements are indeed cheap in the first place, but only serves one task: protect and generate card advantage.
Disadvantages are therefore the card quality.
Like each bipolar archetype, Aggro-Control is also less constant than the representatives of the main archetypes, since it has to split the slots to the two types. If it is not able to expand their speed advantage, it loses to the qualitatively better cards of the opponent.
Examples for Aggro-Control decks: Izzet Counterburn, Dimir Tempo

Combo-Control:
Combo-Control is overall named as the strongest archetypes by pro players. Overall the lists differ only a little from pure Combo decks. This combination profits in a better way, because Combo is supported by Control anyway and the connection between these two works very easily.
Strengths/ Weaknesses:
The big difference to pure Combo lists lies in the use of the Control elements. They are not only used to enable the combo or to protect it, but like in Control to stay alive, control the opponent and dominate him. They play much more Control elements than Combo decks and uses them more. Additionally Combo-Control decks are not totally dependent on their combo. Many Control cards also enables a classical Control finishing strategy. It’s effectively an upgrade to Control decks, as long as you don’t have to use 50% of the slots for the combo.
Nevertheless these decks have a speed problem again. Very aggressive and fast decks with a lot of disruption effects are unimpressed by the Control strategy and don’t let them the time to stabilize or do their combo.
Examples for Combo-Control decks: Oath lists, Reanimator, Scapeshift


Why is it so difficult to categorize?

In no other format the categorizing is so difficult like in Highlander. This has many versatile reasons.

1. Highlander is a very small format. Especially the competitive part only consists of a few people at each place. The majority of the community are casual ("kitchen table players").
Casual players work on their decks in another way. They play the cards they like and which they know. They think less about play strength, speed or flexibility of strategies. Therefore now and then they bring up niche decks, but rarely serious tournament decks. Their decks follow a too strict deck plan, which cannot keep up with the meta (Combos, Tribals) or are totally unfocused ("pet cards"). Overall we can call these decks “Goodstuff without good stuff”. Known/ loved /fun counts more than efficiency.
--> Casual-Play

2. The minimum number of cards in Highlander is 100 cards. These are 100 slots, that I are available and have to be filled with cards for my desired deck strategy. Certain archetypes can achieve this easier than others. Aggressive cards can be recognized simply by the mana costs and the potential damage for the opponent.
A combo however might only take two slots, if there are no redundant cards. So I need support (tutors, cantrips, card draw) to enable my combo. This will be done through Control cards. Then the combo has to be protected, etc.
While the Aggro deck consists of many distinct Aggro cards, the Combo deck has one or maybe a few combos, that only represents maybe 5% of the deck. The remaining cards are Control cards. What Combo cards does a deck need to have to be still labeled as Combo? How big has to be the part in the deck? When is the deck a Combo-Control deck?
This thought is often thought of the other way around too. Many players build a deck of a classic archetype and integrate popular combos because of the high number of slots. These combos will be not supported or only with a few cards. The key questions stays the same. Is the deck a x-Combo deck or a x-deck with a combo?
--> many slots/ unfocused


Why are some archetypes played more often than others?

1. Not only casual player rely on their pet cards and are playing them even on bigger events despite low chances of winning. Also competitive Highlander players love to play known and proven decks. They improve them and perfect each slot. But players, that rely on their pet decks don’t bring up new deck strategies. To bring a completely new deck into the format needs 3 big requirements: a. The pilot have to have a good knowledge about the format and a good overview of the card pool. b. The deck has to be seen. That mainly works though tournament placements. The pilot therefore has to bring sufficient play skills to lead his deck to the win (or into the top 8 ) or has to “merchandise” the deck and find a player, who brings the deck to a good placement. c. The deck might take time until it got a shell, which is good enough for a tournament. Since many players lose interest quickly, they abandon this strategy. Because there are only few competitive Highlander players and these also have to fulfill the criteria a. to c., the format rarely sees completely new decks, that promote the appropriate archetype.
--> pet decks

2. It is always difficult to exclude decks from the format completely, because we would like to give the biggest possible deck choice to the players. This does of course do not mean that an outstanding deck should be protected. Nevertheless, you should keep in mind that the biggest strength of combo decks, i.e. the need of only a few cards for a advantageous game situation and a fast win, also is their biggest weakness. Because you kill them, if you take at least one of their key cards completely. A ban against a combo deck is always easier, more obvious and more effective than against any other deck type. Midrange and aggro decks deal with a banning of their favorite card in a much easier way. The opposite is true for unbannings. The right card will possibly create a new combo deck. The right card for midrange and aggro will often have only a small impact. To ban against or for a certain archetype is differently difficult.
At the moment our main “problems” are Midrange with an obvious over presence and the Aggro depletion. Each card, that we ban against Midrange will be replaced easily by one of the many alternatives. Each card that we unban to strengthen Aggro, also benefits our Midrange decks.
--> bannings

3. An additional problem is the available card pool and the new expansions. While in the past WotC wanted to reach limited and constructed formats to an equal share and also considered this in their single card design aspects, they nowadays rely on selling the product as total package. Now they support more these formats, for which stores and suppliers needs booster packages. Grand Prix tournaments, PPTQs and other competitive events more and more are held in Limited or Standard/Modern. Which means formats, that are bound to strong rotation. For the actual PPTQ season store owners only can choose from these formats.
A new edition therefore can be separated for the Highlander format into “viable” and “useless”. Even if the overall power level of the cards has increased, in each edition only few playable cards and even less “broken” cars are included. The new set does not only have to compete with old representatives of that kind of card, but also has to be interesting enough to try out new deck plans.
Since these cards are too strong or useless for WotC's potential target audience, there are maybe only 10 cards per set, which are useful for Highlander. And these 10 cards are uneven distributed between the archetypes. The chances are high; that 2/3 of the 10 cards are good for Midrange. Maybe 3 are good enough for Aggro or Control decks. With a bit of luck there is one card that supports Combo. Obviously this does not explain the depletion of Aggro decks, but it explains the bad basis for the distribution of the archetypes.
--> archetype distribution in the previous and new sets

4. An additional reason for the unequal distribution is obviously the card price. Certain archetypes need colors with single cards that are unaffordable. Because we have talked about the price problem in other topics before, I will not into it at this point.
--> card price


I used the following articles:

http://www.starcitygames.com/article/29240_The-Guide-To-Macro-Archetypes.html

http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/print.php?Article=26620

http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/print.php?Article=7115

http://www.channelfireball.com/home/pvs-playhouse-aggro/

http://mtg-talk.tumblr.com/post/81400613616/kill-bill-explains-the-five-deck-archetypes-of

http://archive.wizards.com/Magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtgcom%2Facademy%2F22

http://mtgbudgetbro.blogspot.de/2013/03/how-not-to-build-a-deck-types-of-decks.html

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Dr. Opossum
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« Reply #1 on: 15-09-2015, 11:39:18 PM »

What could you do?

Originally this report was written for a discussion about “Archetype analysis and Archetype definitions” inside the council forum. Especially the differentiation between the terms was an important point. To have a discussion on the same basis, it is necessary to understand what we mean, when we talk about
Archetype
Deck name/ Decktype
Category/ Archetype category.

Additionally each term is important or less important for a certain purpose. We mainly use them for
Meta breakdowns/ tournament analysis
Decklist uploads on MTGPulse
Tournament reports

For tournament reports and meta breakdowns normally decktypes are used. Therefore we use the name a player has given their deck or which he/ she noted on his/ her decklist or we used common deck names, so that also persons who don’t have the decklist, know what kind of deck it is. Like mentioned in the introduction, decktypes could be very different depending on the player. The need for an individual name for their own deck is occasionally more important for them.

For the statistical tournament analysis we mainly use archetypes. With the help of the archetypes we try to answer questions like “How often is a certain card played in a specific archetype?” or “What is the distribution of archetypes on a tournament?”.

For the integration on MTGPulse we actually don’t use a structured classification. The archetype categories are named after specific decktypes, archetypes or just color combinations. This is where you comes in. You should give us feedback and help us to find an appropriate classification system for MTGPulse. We like to present you 3 suggestions. Feel free to produce new ideas.

That’s how the actual list on MTGPulse looks like:




Suggestion A “after colors/ color code”:
The categories will be renamed after the colors. This leads to 31 categories.
5 colors (W, U, B, G, R) + 10 guilds (UW/ Azorius, WR/ Boros, UB/ Dimir, …) + 5 shards (Grixis, Esper, Bant, …) + 5 clans (Mardu, Jeskai, Abzan, …) + Nephilims (4C w/o W, 4C w/o U, 4C w/o B, …) and 5-Color.
Within these categories the decks are named by the specific uploader.

Advantages:
- Categories are fixed and don’t have to be changed or expended permanently, when a new decktype appears.
- Format unfamiliar and new players can orient themselves on the page.

Disadvantages:
- Certain decktypes are mainly defined by their strategy and less by the color code. These decks will be harder to find.
- Within categories we would be dependent on meaningful deck names.


Suggestions B “after standardized combinations”:
The categories will be renamed according to the scheme “{color code}{archetype}”.
Color codes are the integrated colors like they were described in suggestion A: Mono U, Dimir, Grixis, 4C (w/o U), 5C, usw.
Archetypes are described above. The decks are assigned to one of the 7 archetypes.
As a result we obtain combinations like for example Mono B Aggro, Simic/ UG Aggro-Control, Abzan Midrange, 4C (w/o U) Midrange, 5C Combo, etc.
Since there are 31 color codes with 7 archetypes each, the list would only contain format active combinations with at least 2 representatives. One-Hit-Wonders would be classified in a “Rogue”-section.
Within the categories the decks are named by the specific uploader.

Advantages:
- categories would stay relatively stable and don’t have to be changed or expended compulsory with the appearance of new decktypes.
- format unfamiliar and new players can orient themselves on the page (uniformity)

Disadvantages:
- searching for a specific deck strategy is more difficult.
- within categories we would be dependent on meaningful deck names
- requires regular maintenance by an admin (delete combinations, add new combinations, maybe help players with the “rogue” category to classify their decks)


Suggestion C “Suggestion B + upgrade with specific deckstrategies”
We work with the categories described under B and add known, active and format overlapping key strategies.
Examples: Reanimator, Eggs, TPS, Scapeshift

Advantages:
- format unfamiliar and new players can orient themselves on the page (uniformity)
- format insider can search with uniform combination codes or with a key strategy
- key strategies are maybe known from other formats and draw interest of players from other competitive formats
- within the categories we would be not so much dependent on meaningful deck names

Disadvantages:
- this method leads to a lot of categories, which can “smite” new users
- which deck strategies deserve an own category?
- needs intense maintenance by an admin (delete combinations, add new combinations, maybe help players with the “rogue” category to classify their decks)


Please communicate your ideas and opinions about the topic in the comments. Do you have questions? Or maybe even own suggestions? We would be pleased to receive your feedback.

Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: 16-09-2015, 11:20:31 AM »

A better way to categorize decks than the usual metagame wheel:
http://www.gatheringmagic.com/sculpting-formats-circle-predation/
http://www.gatheringmagic.com/circle-predation-part-2-indepth/
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Vazdru
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« Reply #3 on: 18-09-2015, 02:14:46 PM »

hey Dreamer, thanks for your feedback  - the circle of predation is indeed an interesting approach for classifying magic archetypes
anyhow i guess we will stay with the usual metagame wheel and the 7 archetypes Dr. Opossum listed above
otherwise we would have to work much next weeks to reclassify all decklists on mtgpulse   Wink

I like Suggestion C but my simple approach can actually be found on mtgpulse obviously
there is another criteria - the entry or sample-size - does it matter if we have 180 or 18 reanimator-decks listed? I think so, with 180 i guess a differentiation can be useful while same differentiation can be akward regarding the transparency of the meta (because of the mass of different archetypes)

following improvements I would like to implement till the end of this week

Jeskai is splitted to Jeskai Control and Jeskai Midrange (already done: http://www.mtgpulse.com/events-highlander)
Azorius will be splitted to Azorius Control, Azorius Midrange and Azorius Combo-Control (Helm-Combo)
Dark Bant will be reclassified to Bant or Goodstuff
Goodstuff will be splitted to 4c Goodstuff (w/o X) where X = missing Color and 5c Goodstuff

feel free to comment or help


which answers you can give to following questions:

4C Blood 70 (name? - should be changed to 4c Goodstuff (w/o U)?)
Naya 52 (separation needed? Naya Aggro and Naya Midrange?)
Red Deck Wins 40 (name? - should be changed to R Aggro?)
5C Aggro 31 (name? - should it be changed to 5C Zoo?)
Oath 23 (should it be splitted into different color-combinations rather clans e.g. Sultai Oath?)
Pattern Rector 23 (should it be splitted into different color-combination e.g. Abzan Pattern Combo?)
Sultai 21 (separation needed? Sultai Aggro-Control, Sultai Midrange, Sultai Control?)
White Weenie 18 (name? -should it be changed to W Aggro?)
Twin-Combo Control 18 (should it be splitted into different color-combination e.g. Jeskai Twin Combo?)
Reanimator 18 (should it be splitted into different color-combination e.g. Sultai Reanimator?)
Abzan Rock 18 (name? -should it be changed to Abzan Midrange?)
Gruul Beatz 11 (name? -should it be changed to Gruul Aggro?)
TPS 11 (name? -should it be changed to ANT?)
Staxx 9 (should it be splitted into different color-combination e.g. 5c-Staxx?)
Scapeshift 9 (should it be splitted into different color-combination e.g. Temur-Scapeshift?)
Artifact Control 8 (archetype?)
Bant Tempo 7 (name? -should it be changed to Bant Aggro or Bant AggroControl?)
Mono Black Suicide 6 (name? - should be changed to B Aggro?)
Land Destruction 6 (name? - should it be added to Gruul Aggro?)
Temur Ramp 5 (archetype? should it be added to Temur Midrange?)
Ramp 5 (archetype - should it be added to Color-Combination Midrange?)
Temur Tempo 2 (name? -should it be changed to Temur Aggro or Temur Aggro-Control?)

you can check here which decks are actually listed: http://www.mtgpulse.com/events-highlander
 
« Last Edit: 18-09-2015, 02:17:29 PM by Vazdru » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: 18-09-2015, 06:03:06 PM »

Deck naming works in every other format and It worked in HL aswell.
Why do you try to create pseudo problems? Noone believes this is necessary anyway, please proceed to work on the banlist as this is your main purpose. Deck naming won't do a thing to contribute to this.


Thanks
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Goblin-Diplomaten
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« Reply #5 on: 18-09-2015, 09:57:34 PM »

@W0lf

I guess you didn't read anything in here, it's not about naming your deck. It's about the archetype, so you can still name your deck "Mirri`s Machinery" but you should also write down the correct archetype.
If you still don't understand why this is a problem which should be solved. Try to think of a player who names all his decks "BestDeckEver" and he always types his Decklist to MtGPulse under the archetype of "Goodstuff". Even if he plays a Burndeck or an Esper Controldeck. This would cause a lot of  chaos and noone will ever know which list he has to lookup to get the "Burndeck".
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« Reply #6 on: 19-09-2015, 01:27:15 AM »

Look,

It's pretty simple, the hl councils job is to maintain the ban list and not to reinvent magic archetypes or discuss about the necessity of Karma in this dead forum.
Anyway you are right, I didn't bother reading this at all. The amount of decklists on pulse is manageable for the average mind but if somebody feels the urge to put them in a different order, okay. I just said that the councils main objective is still the banlist and sadly I haven't read anything about this lately. The addition of a non hl player to the council seems to be harmful to its functionality.
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« Reply #7 on: 19-09-2015, 02:20:34 AM »

The lists shouldn't be put in a different order, they should be put in the right order.  Wink

If you want to discuss about the banlist you should just open up a new thread and do it. Just do it. ShiaLaBeouf.gif

So if the councils only "job" is the banlist, isn't our (the players) only "job" to play? So we wouldn't be allowed to judge their decisions and discuss them in this "dead" forum.


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« Reply #8 on: 19-09-2015, 02:21:49 AM »

@W0lf having all the archetypes presented in concise manner is good for everyone playing and interested in the format. Managing deck categories doesnt take so much effort that it would hinder banlist management.

I have no suggestions regarding the archetypes, but anything is better than what it currently looks @ mtgpulse. MTGpulse.com's search engine is also quite bad compared to http://www.tcdecks.net/.
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« Reply #9 on: 21-09-2015, 10:16:50 PM »

Thank you for your ideas and your feedback. Smiley

@Vazdru:

I will write my thoughts to your questions at the appropriate points in your list. The answers orientate on your choice “Option C”. (For A or B they obviously would be different.)

Quote
which answers you can give to following questions:

4C Blood 70 (name? - should be changed to 4c Goodstuff (w/o U)?) -> 4C Midrange (w/o U). Restrict on as few as possible and uniform names. The name “Goodstuff” maybe misled players to sort lists of any archetype into this category.
Naya 52 (separation needed? Naya Aggro and Naya Midrange?) -> Yes, depending on the list Naya Aggro or Naya Midrange. Naya only indicates the color combination. However this would be Option A, including its advantages and disadvantages (see above).
Red Deck Wins 40 (name? - should be changed to R Aggro?) -> Yes, Mono R Aggro. Mono R can be mostly differentiated into 2 builds: a mono red aggro deck based on burn spells (Mono R Burn) or creature heavy lists with burn spell support (RDW). Players not always distinguish between these both descriptions and mix them. Mono R Aggro covers both equally.
5C Aggro 31 (name? - should it be changed to 5C Zoo?) -> No, don’t change. No advantage to add a redundant proper name here.
Oath 23 (should it be splitted into different color-combinations rather clans e.g. Sultai Oath?) -> No, don’t change. Nevertheless the classification is dependent on the build. Lists in which Oath is essential -> Oath. Lists in which Oath is just a nice side option: classify into the appropriate category of the main plan.
Pattern Rector 23 (should it be splitted into different color-combination e.g. Abzan Pattern Combo?) -> No, Pattern Rector is meaningful and known enough.
Sultai 21 (separation needed? Sultai Aggro-Control, Sultai Midrange, Sultai Control?) -> Yes, separate. Sultai only indicates the color combination.
White Weenie 18 (name? -should it be changed to W Aggro?) -> Yes, Mono W Aggro. Uniformity.
Twin-Combo Control 18 (should it be splitted into different color-combination e.g. Jeskai Twin Combo?) -> Jeskai Combo-Control. It should have the term Twin in its deck name, but since Twin-Combo almost always is a side plan in Combo-Control lists, should not have an own category.
Reanimator 18 (should it be splitted into different color-combination e.g. Sultai Reanimator?) -> No, Reanimator is meaningful and known enough.
Abzan Rock 18 (name? -should it be changed to Abzan Midrange?) -> Yes, Abzan Midrange. Uniformity.
Gruul Beatz 11 (name? -should it be changed to Gruul Aggro?) -> Yes, Gruul Aggro. An additional proper name is not necessary.
TPS 11 (name? -should it be changed to ANT?) -> TPS and ANT are two different Storm builds (difference in the mana curve, ANT wins with Ad Nauseam). Every ANT is a TPS but not every TPS is an ANT. -> keep TPS.
Staxx 9 (should it be splitted into different color-combination e.g. 5c-Staxx?) -> Disband Staxx and sort the lists into the appropriate control categories. Staxx should appear in the deck name.
Scapeshift 9 (should it be splitted into different color-combination e.g. Temur-Scapeshift?) -> No, Scapeshift is meaningful and known enough.
Artifact Control 8 (archetype?) -> No. Sort into {color combination} Control.
Bant Tempo 7 (name? -should it be changed to Bant Aggro or Bant AggroControl?) -> Bant Aggro-Control
Mono Black Suicide 6 (name? - should be changed to B Aggro?) -> Mono B Aggro (also covers all mono black aggro lists simultaneously)
Land Destruction 6 (name? - should it be added to Gruul Aggro?) -> No own category. I would put pure land destruction lists into {color combination} Control. Lists, which are using land destruction as additional plan into the appropriate {color combination} {archetype} category.
Temur Ramp 5 (archetype? should it be added to Temur Midrange?) -> Ramp is no own archetype. Ramp lists could be Control or Midrange, depending on the build. -> sort into the appropriate category. (hence on the example of Temur, into Temur Control or Temur Midrange)
Ramp 5 (archetype - should it be added to Color-Combination Midrange?) -> No own archetype. Depending on the list {color combination} Midrange or {color combination} Control.
Temur Tempo 2 (name? -should it be changed to Temur Aggro or Temur Aggro-Control?) -> Temur Aggro-Control
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« Reply #10 on: 22-09-2015, 08:22:58 AM »

My opinion on the categorization in blue.

Quote
which answers you can give to following questions:

4C Blood 70 (name? - should be changed to 4c Goodstuff (w/o U)?) -> 4C Midrange (w/o U). Restrict on as few as possible and uniform names. The name “Goodstuff” maybe misled players to sort lists of any archetype into this category. Should stay 4c Blood. No need to open a category if there is only one deck in it
Naya 52 (separation needed? Naya Aggro and Naya Midrange?) -> Yes, depending on the list Naya Aggro or Naya Midrange. Naya only indicates the color combination. However this would be Option A, including its advantages and disadvantages (see above). Can be split
Red Deck Wins 40 (name? - should be changed to R Aggro?) -> Yes, Mono R Aggro. Mono R can be mostly differentiated into 2 builds: a mono red aggro deck based on burn spells (Mono R Burn) or creature heavy lists with burn spell support (RDW). Players not always distinguish between these both descriptions and mix them. Mono R Aggro covers both equally. Mono R Aggro is fine
5C Aggro 31 (name? - should it be changed to 5C Zoo?) -> No, don’t change. No advantage to add a redundant proper name here. 5c Aggro is fine
Oath 23 (should it be splitted into different color-combinations rather clans e.g. Sultai Oath?) -> No, don’t change. Nevertheless the classification is dependent on the build. Lists in which Oath is essential -> Oath. Lists in which Oath is just a nice side option: classify into the appropriate category of the main plan. Same opinion
Pattern Rector 23 (should it be splitted into different color-combination e.g. Abzan Pattern Combo?) -> No, Pattern Rector is meaningful and known enough. Same opinion. Same thing with 4c Blood
Sultai 21 (separation needed? Sultai Aggro-Control, Sultai Midrange, Sultai Control?) -> Yes, separate. Sultai only indicates the color combination. Seperate only if a good number of decks exist for each category. No need to create milliions of folders with only 2 or 3 entrys
White Weenie 18 (name? -should it be changed to W Aggro?) -> Yes, Mono W Aggro. Uniformity. White Weenie as a name is as old as time itself. I would leave it at that.
Twin-Combo Control 18 (should it be splitted into different color-combination e.g. Jeskai Twin Combo?) -> Jeskai Combo-Control. It should have the term Twin in its deck name, but since Twin-Combo almost always is a side plan in Combo-Control lists, should not have an own category. Ok
Reanimator 18 (should it be splitted into different color-combination e.g. Sultai Reanimator?) -> No, Reanimator is meaningful and known enough. Agree
Abzan Rock 18 (name? -should it be changed to Abzan Midrange?) -> Yes, Abzan Midrange. Uniformity. Depends. Rock is a specific variant of Midrange. But I doubt there are enough Rock decks to warrant an own category
Gruul Beatz 11 (name? -should it be changed to Gruul Aggro?) -> Yes, Gruul Aggro. An additional proper name is not necessary. Fine
TPS 11 (name? -should it be changed to ANT?) -> TPS and ANT are two different Storm builds (difference in the mana curve, ANT wins with Ad Nauseam). Every ANT is a TPS but not every TPS is an ANT. -> keep TPS. Just call it Storm. Sounds better anyway and makes clear what is going on
Staxx 9 (should it be splitted into different color-combination e.g. 5c-Staxx?) -> Disband Staxx and sort the lists into the appropriate control categories. Staxx should appear in the deck name. Clearly no. Because this is where the triangle classification of Aggro/Midrange/Control fails. Staxx = Prison which is an independent strategy in its own right
Scapeshift 9 (should it be splitted into different color-combination e.g. Temur-Scapeshift?) -> No, Scapeshift is meaningful and known enough. Agree
Artifact Control 8 (archetype?) -> No. Sort into {color combination} Control. Depends on the build. Could be labeled Staxx or sorted into Control archetype
Bant Tempo 7 (name? -should it be changed to Bant Aggro or Bant AggroControl?) -> Bant Aggro-Control Agree
Mono Black Suicide 6 (name? - should be changed to B Aggro?) -> Mono B Aggro (also covers all mono black aggro lists simultaneously) Should be named Suicide Black. Same argument as White Weenie
Land Destruction 6 (name? - should it be added to Gruul Aggro?) -> No own category. I would put pure land destruction lists into {color combination} Control. Lists, which are using land destruction as additional plan into the appropriate {color combination} {archetype} category. A heavy land destruction deck should be its own archetype. LD doesn't exist in non-eternal formats anymore and maybe that's why there seems to be the conviction it could be grouped into the triangle scheme. It is a strategy in its own right. Not quite Prison, not quite Control, not quite Midrange. I hope we don't try to categorize things just for categorization's sake
Temur Ramp 5 (archetype? should it be added to Temur Midrange?) -> Ramp is no own archetype. Ramp lists could be Control or Midrange, depending on the build. -> sort into the appropriate category. (hence on the example of Temur, into Temur Control or Temur Midrange) see below
Ramp 5 (archetype - should it be added to Color-Combination Midrange?) -> No own archetype. Depending on the list {color combination} Midrange or {color combination} Control. Disagree. Ramp is its own category and should be treated accordingly. The triangle scheme fails here unfortunately. It would be very confusing to find a deck with Rampant Growth, Kodama's Reach, Kitchen Finks, Bloodbraid Elf, Bonfire of the Damned, Thragtusk, Violent Ultimatum and Terastodon in the Control or Midrange category. That just doesn't fit
Temur Tempo 2 (name? -should it be changed to Temur Aggro or Temur Aggro-Control?) -> Temur Aggro-Control Agree

tldr:
- Don't open broad categories when there are only few decks.
- Don't sort decktypes in otherwise empty categories when they are the only representative
- Ramp is an archetype
- Prison is an archetype
- Land Destruction is an archetype
- Staxx Є Prison
« Last Edit: 22-09-2015, 08:36:34 AM by Maqi » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: 23-09-2015, 12:23:21 AM »

Based on your answers I assume, that you want a mixture of A, B and C? In that case the categories could theoretically stay as they are. The goal was to bring a structure into the classification.

I will write my thoughts to your answers at the appropriate points in the list.


Quote
which answers you can give to following questions:

4C Blood 70 -> 4C Midrange (w/o U). Restrict on as few as possible and uniform names. The name “Goodstuff” maybe misled players to sort lists of any archetype into this category.
Should stay 4c Blood. No need to open a category if there is only one deck in it.
4C Blood is a name, that only occurs in Germany and is additionally only used in the Highlander format. We want to make it easier for new players to get into the format and also reach communities outside of Germany. We don’t do this by persisting on confusing and unknown proper names. You can still name your deck 4C Blood. However 4C Midrange is beginner friendly and covers every 4C Midrange list without blue that might follow.

Pattern Rector 23 -> No, Pattern Rector is meaningful and known enough.
Same opinion. Same thing with 4c Blood
Just no. Pattern Rector wins with exactly this card synergy. 4C Blood is not characterized by any specific card.

Sultai 21 -> Yes, separate. Sultai only indicates the color combination.
Seperate only if a good number of decks exist for each category.
No need to create milliions of folders with only 2 or 3 entrys
Therefore Vazdru suggested the Misc/Rogue category. Sultai is just the color combination. This category will produce approximately 3 Archetype-Categories. If there is a category with only 2-3 entries, they could be sorted into the Misc category and only the categories with enough entries will stay as an independent category.

White Weenie 18 (name? -should it be changed to W Aggro?) -> Yes, Mono W Aggro. Uniformity.
White Weenie as a name is as old as time itself. I would leave it at that.
This is the same like Mono R Aggro. Mono W Aggro eventually will cover future monowhite aggro decks. Additionally here again you underrate the orientation and uniformity.

Abzan Rock 18 (name? -should it be changed to Abzan Midrange?) -> Yes, Abzan Midrange. Uniformity.
Depends. Rock is a specific variant of Midrange. But I doubt there are enough Rock decks to warrant an own category
It is not the point to give each deck with at least 5 entries an own category, because then we would have a steady growing list. Rock is a specific variant of Midrange, therefore it should be categorized into the category Abzan Midrange.

TPS 11 -> TPS and ANT are two different Storm builds (difference in the mana curve, ANT wins with Ad Nauseam). Every ANT is a TPS but not every TPS is an ANT. -> keep TPS.
Just call it Storm. Sounds better anyway and makes clear what is going on
A good argument. The name Storm is more beginner friendly than TPS. I agree.

Staxx 9 -> Disband Staxx and sort the lists into the appropriate control categories. Staxx should appear in the deck name.
Clearly no. Because this is where the triangle classification of Aggro/Midrange/Control fails. Staxx = Prison which is an independent strategy in its own right
Staxx always was one of the first and most clear Control representatives. It perfectly fits into the triangle classification as pure control deck. Please read again the definition in the main post about “Control”. -> classification into the accurate Control categories. Integrate Staxx in the deck name.

Mono Black Suicide 6 (name? - should be changed to B Aggro?) -> Mono B Aggro (also covers all mono black aggro lists simultaneously)
Should be named Suicide Black. Same argument as White Weenie
Same argument as Mono R Aggro and Mono W Aggro. Uniformity. Recognizability. Orientation.

Land Destruction 6 -> No own category. I would put pure land destruction lists into {color combination} Control. Lists, which are using land destruction as additional plan into the appropriate {color combination} {archetype} category.
A heavy land destruction deck should be its own archetype. LD doesn't exist in non-eternal formats anymore and maybe that's why there seems to be the conviction it could be grouped into the triangle scheme. It is a strategy in its own right. Not quite Prison, not quite Control, not quite Midrange. I hope we don't try to categorize things just for categorization's sake
See below why a categorization is only of advantage if it is uniform.

Temur Ramp 5 (archetype? should it be added to Temur Midrange?) -> Ramp is no own archetype. Ramp lists could be Control or Midrange, depending on the build. -> sort into the appropriate category. (hence on the example of Temur, into Temur Control or Temur Midrange) see below
Ramp 5 (archetype - should it be added to Color-Combination Midrange?) -> No own archetype. Depending on the list {color combination} Midrange or {color combination} Control. Disagree. Ramp is its own category and should be treated accordingly. The triangle scheme fails here unfortunately. It would be very confusing to find a deck with Rampant Growth, Kodama's Reach, Kitchen Finks, Bloodbraid Elf, Bonfire of the Damned, Thragtusk, Violent Ultimatum and Terastodon in the Control or Midrange category. That just doesn't fit
I still think that Ramp could be integrated into the Archetype triangle. Anyway I agree with you, that the classification is strongly dependent on the list and many players could find that difficult. Since additionally Ramp uses a card specific deck plan, I would agree to give it an own category.

tldr:
- Don't open broad categories when there are only few decks. -> Therefore a uniform restriction on distinct categories, to be prepared for future variants (4C Midrange (w/o U), Mono W Aggro).
- Don't sort decktypes in otherwise empty categories when they are the only representative -> Therefore gathered in the (by Vazdru suggested) Misc category.
- Ramp is an archetype -> could be adopted on MTGPulse as Archetype-Category, but still is no archetype
- Prison is an archetype -> Prison is a classical Control representative
- Land Destruction is an archetype -> pure Land Destruction: Control; Land Destruction as additional plan: Control-X
- Staxx Є Prison -> correct; Staxx is a variant of the Control deck “Prison”

I think you have not got the point why a structuring should be done. At the moment the lists underlies different patterns. We have categories that are
* named by the colors (e.g. Sultai),
* categories, that are supercategories for multiple decks (e.g. Esper Control),
* categories that are labeled by a specific and structure determining card synergy (e.g. Scapeshift) and
* specific proper names that are not labeled by a certain win option (e.g. Mono B Suicide).
This all could stay this way. Of course we could also just rename certain categories and others stay as “exceptions”. The question is, what do you want to achieve with a renaming then?

A clear and comprehensible structure is for players, independent of the format or of the Country of origin, a significant step towards community support. And MTGPulse is simply one of the most important possibilities to spread the format at the moment. Therefore we should take a clear track and renounce exceptions.
Hence such exceptions only get a proper name, if it
a. ease the orientation noticeably AND
b. their representatives could fall into too many different archetype categories AND
c. is labeled by a specific card synergy.
This is the case for Reanimator, Scapeshift, Pattern Rector and maybe also Ramp. However this is not true for 4C Blood (always Midrange), Mono B Suicide (always Aggro) or Staxx (always Control).
« Last Edit: 23-09-2015, 03:05:46 AM by Dr. Opossum » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: 23-09-2015, 09:48:36 AM »

Quote
Based on your answers I assume, that you want a mixture of A, B and C? In that case the categories could theoretically stay as they are. The goal was to bring a structure into the classification.

Yes, I guess I would want to have a mix of A, B and C. The reason why is, I don't see much merit in structuring the categories on mtgpulse.com too much. To the contrary, I believe it would be worse to implement a completely logical and rigid system there. I would deem this as over-structuring. Let me explain why.

When I - as a hypothetical relatively new player - opened the Highlander tab on mtgpulse.com and the list had only generic names on it, which are formed after the building-block concept [color combination][strategic orientation], I couldn't help myself but get bored a little.

I wouldn't get excited to learn, "Oh gosh, this format has '4c Midrange (w/o U)' in it!” That expression is just lifeless and at the same time reads and sounds awkward.

Every eternal format has its history. Its little quirks and distinctions, like historically derived deck-names for example. That lends identity to a format and makes it feel more alive.

I don’t know if you listened to the LR-podcast, which was recently hosted by Marshal Sutcliffe on channelfireball.com. They had a representative of the Canadian “Viclander”-scene on air. At one point, he mentioned which decks where being played and iirc it was Sutcliffe who said: “You have a deck called ‘Sörensen’, right?”

This deck is basically an UG Aggro-Control deck named after the player who first played it and had some success with it. Fact is, I remember that among other things because of the weird name.

That being said, I recognize that too many unusual names will confuse players. But at the same time I firmly believe that too much polishing and rigid categorization will leave the potential new player with a bland and dull impression of our format.

It basically comes down to weighing “invoking curiosity” against “confusing through disorder”. In the end I think, I wouldn’t click on “4c Midrange w/o U” but I would click on “4c Blood” because the name sounds sharp and exciting.

Moreover, Highlander – because of inherent format specifics – has a large potential for 4c decks but 4 color combinations just don’t have broadly accepted labels (yet). There is this ineffable Nephilim-cycle which could be used as a name giver. But I wouldn’t want to go this route.

Conceptually, “Blood” actually isn’t a bad name for the Colors WBRG. Here is a snippet from my upcoming Blood primer:

Quote
For Red we have the spilled blood in the heat of battle, we have the boiling blood in a fit of rage, blood pressure, impulsivity, heartbeat, the rapid pulse during times of emotional charge.
Black will use blood as a means to power. It will be used in rites of sacrifice. Black will draw unholy runes with blood, you sign a demonic pact with your own blood. In blood lies might. Also black will shed blood when killing.
These two colors have a strong relationship to the concept of blood.
For White, we have to stretch a little farther but we can also find a strong theme going on. Blood to White means “a bond”. You become blood brothers with a companion. Families and dynasties are held together by their bloodline. “To blood somebody” means to initiate somebody. Nobility is tied to royal blood. Blood can mean purity. It can mean ancestry and lineage.
Green will find life in blood. It is a primal substance that flows through the veins of living beings. Blood flows in cycles, as does nature. Think of the rush of blood during a hunt between predator and prey. The concept of evolution. The inheritance of strength. This is what blood means to Green.
Now, Blue, the excluded color, does not have a strong tie to the concept of blood at all. The idiom of “blue-blood” refers to a rather white idea. When conducting a search for blue cards printed with “blood” in its name, there’s only one hit - Curse of the Bloody Tome. And that’s a card printed in the horror themed set Innistrad…

So, why not use “Blood” for this specific 4c combination? It sounds good, is short, has history to it for our format and the name giver deck basically completely occupies the color combination.

Well, that’s that…

Regarding the Prison and LD archetypes: Prison really should not be forced into the Control category because it just plays fundamentally different. The label “Azorius Control” would then contain classic permission decks (Counterspell, Swords to Plowshares, Entreat the Angels) together with UW-Staxx variants (Tangle Wire, Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, Armageddon) for example. That would be oddly out of place.

Land Destruction would then be an actual good fit for the prison category.


Conclusion:

Quote
Hence such exceptions only get a proper name, if it
a. ease the orientation noticeably agree but AND AND/OR
b. their representatives could fall into too many different archetype categories agree but AND AND/OR
c. is labeled by a specific card synergy. agree AND/OR
d. good external incentives exist which don't need to have anything to do with the inherent logic of the categorization system (like invoking curiosity, format history, new labeling where labeling is imperfect, completely new strategy archetype ("false tempo" for example http://www.starcitygames.com/article/29847_The-False-Tempo-Archetype.html) etc.
This is the case for Reanimator, Scapeshift, Pattern Rector and maybe also Ramp agree. However this is not true for 4C Blood (always Midrange) (for my reasoning on 4c Blood see above), Mono B Suicide (always Aggro) or Staxx (always Control disagree, see above).
« Last Edit: 23-09-2015, 10:13:04 AM by Maqi » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: 23-09-2015, 12:56:33 PM »

I agree with Maqi

furthermore i guess if a deck is called White Wheenie, RDW or (5C) Zoo in Legacy, Modern, Standard we can keep that expression for highlander too w/o confusing new players that much
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« Reply #14 on: 03-11-2015, 06:37:08 PM »

Hi everybody,

Let me know when you arrive to a consensus about deck names. You remember that I took the 15+ players events from mtgpulse (plus crawled back from the old HL Grand Prix that didn't appear on mtgpulse) to have the mtgtop8 database : http://mtgtop8.com/format?f=HIGH

If you don't like the archetype names I've chosen, we can of course change that (when you have a consensus about the names, as I said ^^). I know I haven't updated mtgtop8 since 2015, it's mainly because I'm waiting for the webmaster to put Highlander on the main page. As for now you can submit a Highlander event, but can't access the database if you don't have this link. This will be fixed very soon now.

If you like the mtgtop8 rendering, there will be a possibility in the future (but in a little more time...) to become an admin of the "Highlander" part of motgtop8 if you want. But there is one thing that will not be possible, and that you're discussing here : having more than aggro / control / combo. Sorry guys, this won't be possible.

If you're interested, just let me know.
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