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14018 Posts in 1016 Topics- by 444 Members - Latest Member: Dracomnis
Poll
Question: Which mulligan do you prefer?
Spoils Mulligan - 36 (42.4%)
Free Mulligan - 49 (57.6%)
Total Voters: 83

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Author Topic: Community Poll regarding the mulligan    (Read 14564 times)
berlinballz
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« Reply #30 on: 11-03-2014, 12:05:40 PM »

Evaluating the effects of the new mulligan on the Highlander format

Introduction
It‘s been a few months of Highlander play with the changed mulligan-rule. The previous posts prove that tournament results might not be the right way to evaluate whether the drastic mulligan rule change has done and will do the format good or not. It‘s just too easy to say „we don‘t have enough results yet“ (will we ever?).

I (Dethloff Zoo Smiley) have joined forces with Tabris and Tony Tahiti on this matter. The plan was to make an easy-to-read essay that‘s as short as possible. Short text takes time. Everyone here should take a little more I think.

To evaluate we are going to try to stick to the council‘s reasoning for the rule change, our experience of how game play has changed and the metagame we‘ve seen in a lot of tournaments we took part in and the direction decks are taking. We will try to look at the bigger picture instead of single experiences.


Council Reasoning Summary

The council has stated in it‘s reasoning for the rule change that:
(a) the spoiler mulligan might not be needed any longer, as the card pool has recently grown good enough to get playable hands without spoiling
(b) 4-5 Color goodstuff-decklists are too easy to play with the spoiler-mulligan and too dominant in the format
(c) highlander magic should try to stay as close to Magic the Gathering rules as possible and the spoiler mulligan not only tried to fix singleton problems, but general magic „problems“
(d) curving out became too strong, as the spoiler allowed for perfect curves and therefore a player assembling the perfect curve won the game.


Step 1 - The problem of evaluating HL

What is missing and has been missing is a definition of what highlander magic should be. If this definition doesn‘t exist, how can we evaluate anything? Here is our shot:

Highlander is a competitive format of Magic the Gathering. The singleton nature of the 100-card decks, the special mulligan rule and the banned-list shall allow for the biggest possible variety of game situations in 1-1 matches within 60 minutes of play. Of all constructed magic formats HL should allow for the largest pool of playable cards and tier-1 decktypes. The rules should allow for as many different deck-strategies as possible to consistently assemble a starting hand to follow the deck‘s plan.


Step 2 - Looking at the metagame before and after the mulligan-change

Yeah ... this has been tried enough already, so we won‘t.


Step 3 - Questioning the reasoning for the mulligan change

(a) The council was right, it is possible in HL to get good enough hands with the free mulligan to play games. But now: mostly one player does and one doesn‘t. So how many deck strategies still have a shot now at winning a large tournament? Simple answer: Creature based Midrange basically. Aggro has a hard time of consistently being fast enough, control has a hard time of consistently having the right answers (anyone saying control has improved: HOW? Where is it then?) and most Combo is simply dead. How many deck strategies consistently got playable hands before the rule change? All. Now: One.

(b) The council was right, “5-color goodstuff decks” appear not playable anymore with the new mulligan. But “3 to 4-color decks” are playable. And not only are they playable: The new mulligan has made all strategies except midrange so inconsistent, that 4-color goodstuff „greed piles“ can exist with only one philosophy: „No game plan really works, so I will have better topdecks than you. Much respect to Mannheim for finding out this deck works. But seriously? 2 and 1 color midrange decks work because they have the right hate for 4c. But 4c greed is THE metagame deck.

(c) The council was right. We are closer to „normal“ magic rules now. We shuffle a lot more and the mulligan is not so different from the other formats. But the result is, that now we have a metagame with even less strategy variety than the other formats. Because we play each card only once. So regarding the rules, yes, highlander is now closer to the other formats. But where Highlander was the most diverse format before, it is now less diverse than legacy and even standard. So we have moved away from the rest of “healthy” magic in that regard.

(d) The council was right, curving out has been reduced. But this has not improved anything. The result is a great amount of inconsistency for many decks. Which is why a lot of games are much less interactive. One player finds a hand that fits his strategy, one doesn‘t or gets screwed or flooded and the other player wins without much battle. Rarely are games played with both players being able to actually compete. It‘s simply less fun and more shuffling for it.


Step 4 - Where do we go from here? Our conclusion ...

Changing rules is tough. Especially since we just did. Bans won‘t help. But to us it is very apparent that with the spoils mulligan the format was more fun. The new mulligan has not solved the „problems“ and created more. It has erased a great amount of the tier 1 decks from competition. It has made topdecks an even larger factor than curving out was before. Play is one sided most of the time.

Something needs to change again.
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ChristophO
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« Reply #31 on: 11-03-2014, 12:45:32 PM »


Thanks for the thought-out post. I really apreciate it! I have two (bigger) comments i would like to make to your post:

1) This way your proposed definition for the aim of HL magic:
Highlander is a competitive format of Magic the Gathering. The singleton nature of the 100-card decks, the special mulligan rule and the banned-list shall allow for the biggest possible variety of game situations in 1-1 matches within 60 minutes of play. Of all constructed magic formats HL should allow for the largest pool of playable cards and tier-1 decktypes. The rules should allow for as many different deck-strategies as possible to consistently assemble a starting hand to follow the deck‘s plan.

I feel this is a pretty high goal and I would like to point out that HL (as an eternal) format has acess to some pretty broken cards and hosers that invalidate inferior options or reduce some Matchups to the simple question "Did the hoser resolve?". I would also like to point out that simply increasing mandatory deck size would greatly increase playable cards (with unknown/debatable influence on avaible strategies of course) so we need to balance for more than maximizing "playable" cards and I believe that some factors are more important (like Deck size for example).
I also want to stress the following: You ask for the biggest variety of game situations. For me variety also means that a deck will not always play "the same", meaning curving it will not always work out perfectly. With discussions with many other players I know that many players agree with me on this point and that many also disliked the spoils mulligan for this very reason.

2) I am not convinced by your argumentation regarding Step 3 because I feel your voiced concerns are based on a metagame evaluation that I do not share and you have claimed to not have done. As you have said it is tough to do such an evaluation right now because of the lack of data. I think there is no need to repeat my convictions but please also read up on the other players convictions regarding this topic. This is why I would have preferred a questionaire to a poll just so that everybody can challenge his own impressions (by playing) with the impressions of others. So in this regard I thank you for your constructive feedback on this matter!
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Maqi
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« Reply #32 on: 11-03-2014, 12:46:00 PM »

Seriously guys...

(anyone saying control has improved: HOW? Where is it then?)

   Mannheim - Wizard's Well        01.03.2014      1st place      UW Control   
   PKP Highlander February 2014        22.02.2014      1st place      Esper Control   
   Leipziger Highlander Cup I        22.02.2014      1st place      Esper Control   
   ASL Berlin        20.02.2014      1st place      UW Tempo (Aggro Control)   
   PKP Highlander        18.01.2014      1st place      BUG Loam (arguably controllish)   
   PKP Highlander        18.01.2014      2nd place      Esper Control   
   TNM Karlsruhe        07.01.2014      1st place      Izzet Control   
   HL Bielefeld        05.01.2014      1st place      UWRb Control   
   Mannheim        04.01.2014      1st place      UW Control   
                                 
                                 
These are all tournaments since 04.01.2014 listed on mtgpulse. No omissions as far as I can see.

I must say that I was quite astonished to see just how dominant Control is right now while I was looking up the tournament data...
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ChristophO
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« Reply #33 on: 11-03-2014, 12:48:01 PM »


@Maqi:
The monthly tournament in Hamburg was won by creatureless Staxx the last two times (4 round tournaments).
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berlinballz
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« Reply #34 on: 11-03-2014, 02:52:38 PM »

It's hard to discuss anything when you guys' reactions to a structured set of thoughts are nothing more than a) just say "nope, don't think so" or b) just throw results of a random selection of tournaments around that happen to have been posted. If you are not ready to try to think outside of your tiny boxes then fine. Good luck trying to win a larger and relevant tournament with control.
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Nastaboi
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« Reply #35 on: 11-03-2014, 05:10:13 PM »

Knowing when to take a mulligan  decides the games now even more than before.

So play skill matters more now? I wouldn't say it's a bad thing.

Good luck trying to win a larger and relevant tournament with control.

Challenge accepted. Two and half months to Finnish HL Champions. (I finished second with UWb control last year.)
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phyrexianblackmetal
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« Reply #36 on: 11-03-2014, 10:00:55 PM »


It‘s been a few months of Highlander play with the changed mulligan-rule. The previous posts prove that tournament results might not be the right way to evaluate whether the drastic mulligan rule change has done and will do the format good or not. It‘s just too easy to say „we don‘t have enough results yet“ (will we ever?).


I agree with you that tournament results are not the right way to evaluate the impact of the new mulligan, at least not entirely, since its no real indicator for the change in gaming experience (more/less mulligans, screws, floods, random topdeck wins, one-sided games etc.). The problem however is this: What else is there? People's experiences of playing with the new mulligan vary drastically, as everyone considers something else "fun" or "interactive". As such, we get way too much entirely subjective views on the mulligan, based on everyone's personal experience.  All we have right now is one opinion against another, without much hard evidence to back up either one of them (I'm talking about statistics here). Making too hasty of a decision will leave a huge chunk of players disappointed (taking this poll as measure at least 40-60% of the players, depending on the decision) and the debate might start again in the future, so as I see it, at this point, we have two options:

1. We have to statistically prove once and for all whether or not the goals of the Free Mulligan were achieved. For this we need more time, as we will need to analyze the results of more large tournaments. Tournament results should give a good impression of what decks are played and how good they are, and should serve as a good tool for evaluating deck diversity. The problem here is that there are too few large Highlander tournaments. Since the introduction of the new mulligan, we only had 3 with more than 30 players, and the local metas are too different and less competitive to really be taken into consideration as a major factor. 3 tournaments are not enough however to copletely evaluate the impact of the Free Mulligan on the development of the meta. There were many decks in Magic's history that were only relevant for a few tournaments and then faded into obscurity. We need more tournaments to see whether or not a deck has staying power in the format or is just a short-lived trend.

Screws, floods, mulligans, random topdeck wins and one-sided games are not as easy to evaluate objectively. One way we could do it however is by reviewing game footage with and without spoils to statistically evaluate, how much more often they really occur. Thanks to Tabris, we already have a large library of games with a lot of different decks both with and without spoils (The games on Cockatrice might not be optimal, as you can only see one player's hand, but it may still work). Reviewing them could give us some hard numbers on how often these things really occurred then and now, but it also takes time and probably can't be done until the next banning season.

2. We find a third solution that everyone can agree on. Other mulligan options like taking a Free Mulligan in the first and a Spoil Mulligan in the second and third game of a match, a limited Spoil Mulligan that allows only 2 cards to be put back, or the Overdraw might provide a nice compromise. Testing them would be a whole different story though, and changing the mulligan rule this often might confuse newer players.

If there's something that bothers me right now in the Highlander community, it's not that I really prefer one Mulligan or the other, it's this sheer endless debate. I love this format and I really don't want to see the community being torn apart because of this petty conflict.
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Kenshin
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« Reply #37 on: 12-03-2014, 01:54:19 AM »

Berlinballz tries to be quite cunning. He discards facts (tournament finishes) and he discards differing opinions as a sign of being unable to think outside of the box. What you are basically saying is that you have your evaluation (not backed up by hard facts but perceived occurences of events) and it is right and everybody elses opinion is flawed and he who has a different opinion can go suck it.

The post I made earlier is my thought process so far. I play Highlander once a week at a friends house and 1-2 times a month at the tournaments in Mannheim and Karlsruhe. And to be honest despite the small number of players showing up the people that actually show here are possibly the most brutal competition you can imagine. The level of skill involved is higher than almost any ptq top 8 I can imagine. There are several people with PT moneyfinishes and GP Moneyfinishes who have been playing magic and highlander for years. There is not a single "bye" amongst the players most of the time. The ones who can not bolster regular magic successes are very strong highlander players too. I doubt you can say that about the 30 man tournaments. If you win here you either were the luckiest of luckers or (which is usually the case) you have a good deck and play very well with it.
That being said I do not think that maqis post is irrelevant, as you try to convince us.

Maybe there is the occasional troll in this forum but most people present a short version of a very elaborate thought process they talked over with their peers for revision time and again. It is good that you explain the motives of the council so well but that does not make your post less opinionated.
« Last Edit: 12-03-2014, 02:56:01 AM by Kenshin » Logged
berlinballz
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« Reply #38 on: 12-03-2014, 04:15:40 PM »

I had actually analyzed a bunch of the tournament numbers, but decided to not include them, because of the discussion that lead nowhere and because the results are simply not representative, although I wish they were (not even the ones from Mannheim, where the best magic players, with money finishes even, come from and never get tired of telling eachother, you guys are really good, I‘m serious!).

Looking at the so far posted lists proves nothing. Except Hanau, there has not been a tournament where it is safe to assume that there was a great enough variety of deck strategies, top notch players piloting them and enough rounds. Midrange dominated Hanau, so that is my numbers if you need them to listen to me.

If there was a will in the community to seriously evaluate and debate whether the free mulligan is better for highlander magic than the spoils mulligan, we‘d first need a definition of what highlander magic should achieve and then we would have to actually discuss the pros and cons of both mulligan rules. And yeah, it‘s gonna be opinionated and based on personal experience and trying to think in a bigger context and reasoning for it. And it will be theoretical, as any complex process is. Like Highlander magic. And if all you‘re able to do is point to numbers that prove absolutely NOTHING then my belief is that you are not helping anyone except your own feeling of being right.

I play in Berlin on a regular basis, talk to other players about the metagame almost daily and lucked myself to a top 8 finnish in Hanau although I am not from Mannheim.

This is my experiences:

1) Control decks used to clearly win most tournaments in Berlin before the rule change. Now they never win although we have some very good control players and they try.
My opinion: The free mulligan is causing this.

2) There used to be many competitive combo decks and ramp decks. Now they do not exist anymore or lose all the time. People stop playing them, which is sad to see.
My opinion: The free mulligan has caused this.

3) There is one deck strategies I see constantly succeed now and it‘s midrange. 4-color, 2-color and some mono color builds. Essentially they all try to get along with the inconsistency of the mulligan the best. I assume tolarian academy decks are good but even those did nothing in Berlin, although played by good players.
My opinion: The free mulligan is causing this.

4) There is much more shuffling, much more taking mulligans, much more keeping bad hands. Yeah it can be reduced. But not completely. And don‘t tell me that this is, because decks are not built correctly. That is just very ignorant. If you said that, I would have to say that the only reason the hands you are keeping are always good enough is because the people you play magic with suck at playing magic (just an example of how ignorance works, please don‘t get offended).

I still believe in the thoughts I shared earlier, so if we are gonna have a discussion I would be glad if you actually wouldn‘t discard them as a whole because you find one thing like „he didn‘t consider the tournament lists, so now everything he says is wrong, omg“.

I would be very interested in someone proving to me by naming the advantages of the free mulligan, that it is better. I know it‘s closer to the official mulligan. But we are far from original magic and there are a lot of bad effects I see that the new mulligan has caused.

So prove that it has made Highlander better by arguing without showing tournament lists. Again: Statistically they are not significant.
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Maqi
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« Reply #39 on: 12-03-2014, 05:28:17 PM »

So prove that[the free mulligan] has made Highlander better by arguing without showing tournament lists. Again: Statistically they are not significant.

Our tournament data might not be significant in a statistical sense, I'll give you that. Nevertheless those statistics are not nothing. The results mean something and we should keep them in mind when discussing our format. Not doing so would be quite ignorant.

When I read your statement about Control being "dead", I thought to myself: "Hmm, I don't have that feeling. Let's look up mtgpulse and see how the latest tournaments went." As I said, I was surprised that Control had such great success lately.

But it makes sense from a theoretical point of view:

No spoils mulligan => less perfect curves, lesser threat density and lesser disruption density during the early turns => easier to not fall behind for Control and to establish a hold over the course of several turns

Quote
1) Control decks used to clearly win most tournaments in Berlin before the rule change. Now they never win although we have some very good control players and they try.
My opinion: The free mulligan is causing this.

My opinion: Control is not doing well in Berlin in spite of the free mulligan. This might be the product of variance, good players choosing to tinker around and exploring the new mulligan meta or whatever else.

Quote
2) There used to be many competitive combo decks and ramp decks. Now they do not exist anymore or lose all the time. People stop playing them, which is sad to see.
My opinion: The free mulligan has caused this.

I agree partially here. Both Combo and Ramp profited immensely from the spoils mulligan. Combo could shuffle away their Tendrils, their Narcomoebas and Memory's Journeys and whatnot and at the same time dig for acceleration, tutoring or whatever else was missing. The same with Ramp. Have fatties? Ok, then ditch them and dig for mana. Have Mana? Then the other way around.

It is obvious that strategies which rely on specific parts coming together at specific times and in specific quantities fared better with the spoils mulligan.

However, those deck archetypes didn't do very well during the spoils era either. And I believe this was the case because of the presence of very streamlined Aggro-Control strategies aka "The Richter Deck", which would merge cheap and efficient disruption together with a very fast clock.

This deck seems to be gone by now. Maybe there are opportunities for successful Ramp and Combo decks? But you have to brew those! How many HL players brew extensively and brew wild creations? Many that I know have their deck. Or own a rather limited pool with HL cards. They do not brew as much. And  I think it is partially because of this individual deck rigidity that there are not more Combo and Ramp variants.

We have some younger und yet rather unexperienced players coming into HL at the moment. They ask me, what strategies are good and "What HL can I build with these cards? Rather Bant Midrange or UW Control?" They don't come into the format with the crazy Horseshoe Crab/Quicksilver Dagger.dec, you know what I mean...

Soooo, I'm rambling...

Last point:

Quote
So prove that it has made Highlander better

I personally was in the "Pro Spoils" camp when this whole mulligan debate started. But now, that I got to play the Free Mulligan for an extended time period, I'm "Pro Free".

And that is because of the slightly slower, slightly more easened pace that the game has now. And while I admit that I have not yet found a super good Combo or Ramp deck, I really feel that we now have much more deckbuilding options than before.

The lack of constant early pressure, slightly heightened curves and the need for a real endgame within each deck archetype opens up a wider design space than what was allowed in the spoils meta.

Let me reformulate it this way: With spoils, each deck got individually better. But the metagame suppressed options. With free mull, each deck got individually worse. But the meta is more forgiving and therefore more open and allows decks to unfold better.

I hope this made sense to you. This is why "I" think, that the free mulligan made Highlander better.
« Last Edit: 12-03-2014, 05:47:21 PM by Maqi » Logged
phyrexianblackmetal
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« Reply #40 on: 12-03-2014, 05:50:50 PM »

I play in Berlin on a regular basis, talk to other players about the metagame almost daily and lucked myself to a top 8 finnish in Hanau although I am not from Mannheim.

This is my experiences:

1) Control decks used to clearly win most tournaments in Berlin before the rule change. Now they never win although we have some very good control players and they try.
My opinion: The free mulligan is causing this.

2) There used to be many competitive combo decks and ramp decks. Now they do not exist anymore or lose all the time. People stop playing them, which is sad to see.
My opinion: The free mulligan has caused this.

3) There is one deck strategies I see constantly succeed now and it‘s midrange. 4-color, 2-color and some mono color builds. Essentially they all try to get along with the inconsistency of the mulligan the best. I assume tolarian academy decks are good but even those did nothing in Berlin, although played by good players.
My opinion: The free mulligan is causing this.



I'm sorry I have to disagree with you on some of your assessments of the Berlin meta:

1) I see the reduced dominance of control decks in our meta as a good thing. Before the Free Mulligan, control-ish decks were far too dominant and it's actually a breath of fresh air to see something else win now. And that the Free Mulligan caused the control decks to lose more often can't really be true either. After the change, at least 80% of the tournaments in October, November and December here were still won by control (most of the time Tolarian decks, which according to you "did nothing"), and even if something else won, there was still at least one control deck in the top 3. It's only been recently since the control decks haven't won that much anymore, but if that was caused by the Free Mulligan, how is it possible that they still won close to every tournament for three months after the change?

2) I agree with you on that. Especially combo decks seem to have been hit hard by the mulligan change, and when I see a combo deck nowadays, it's usually at the bottom of the table.

3) I can't really argue with that, as there was a slight increase in midrange strategies here recently. But that's not because everything else doesn't work anymore. The only reason I think I was able to win a couple of tournaments lately was because I wasn't paired against hard control decks, as my control matchup is abysmal. If my opponent plays something like Vedalken Shackles or Propaganda, it's usually game over for me, as I have no way of removing them. Additionally, the players that played midrange-ish strategies now are mostly the same ones that already played midrange-ish strategies with spoils and in the three months where control was still winning a lot after the mulligan change.
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berlinballz
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« Reply #41 on: 12-03-2014, 06:01:10 PM »

Thanks for the constructive reply Maqi. I am very interested in finding out, why the perception of the effect on control especially is so different for everyone.

You are right, I also think the metagame hasn‘t fully evolved yet. But for me it really all points to midrange only so far.

I am not a control player myself, but many here are saying that finding the right answers is very tough, while creature/permanent based midrange strategies just consistently create board presence. Very low curve aggro decks lack punch and fattie strategies get stuck with  do nothing hands.

Also what I would like to know is how others are feeling about the perception that the metagame is very topdeck dependant. In my experience a lot of games are solely decided on topdecking better. Questionable keeps and bad top decks make games lopsided. Is no one else experiencing this?

I would like to mention that I still play and succeed. It just was more fun to me before.
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ChristophO
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« Reply #42 on: 12-03-2014, 06:15:25 PM »



Before I write a whole lot I would like to make a small post do show I split up decks into categories and where I see its role in a Meta for the HL format:

1) Aggro: Low mana curve is key. The decks aims to be the agressor (in all matches but the mirror). The played cards are mostly threats and efficient. Aggro has problems against slightly slower, but bigger Aggro and Midrange decks. Combo is beat by racing it.
2) Control: The deck tries to reach an endgame where its sources of card advantage and superior card quality will win out. Many HL control decks can go over the top and have a "combo"  finish which will take awy a few deck slots. (e.g thopter sword or Oath). The deck has problems mostly against the most agressive decks and also can be punished if it fails to find the proper solutions against all the other decks.
3) Midrange: Midrange plays in between Aggro and Control decks by having varied threats of high quality that are tough to deal with so that the deck can play a controling role vs. aggro and an aggro role vs. control. Designing Midrange in such a way that the sweetspot of sitting between the aggro decks and the control decks is hit is tough. Midrange typically lacks options against combo decks.   
4) Aggro-Control: Similiar to the Midrange decks by trying to beat aggro by being slightly bigger and having better quality of creatures. Against Combo, Midrange, and Control efficient answers are being used to push the tempo advantage of Aggro Controls deck to maintain a favorable board position in the best case. This deck often has the problem that its cards are  best when you are ahead but close to dead when behind.
5) Combo: Combo tries to break the normal game of magic by sidestepping the typical game of threats and answers and instead onyl wants to resolve it's game winning card combinations. Depending on the combo there are only limited ways to interact with this deck. Combo decks are especially hurt by the highlander rules because it is tough to create the redundany needed to find the combo pieces (and heave enough of similar pieces).

A side note to the terms goodstuff and ramp. Goodstuff does not clarfiy wether a deck plays aggro-control or midrange or control. Alle three deck types like to play good cards of high quality. This term reads more as a "not aggro" label to me. Ramp is a popular strategy that can be found in Combo, Control, and Midrange decks. Including ramp spells always has the benefit of jumping the curve with the dange of not having the ramp spells when needed (at the beginning of the match) and then lacking the mana to cast the more expensive spells for which the ramp spells were included in a timely manner or drawing "dead" ramp spells in the lategame.

Maybe some of you have slightly different deck type split ups but those are the ones I (and many others roughly) use so I would like to employ them when talking about the perceived meta, result etc. I would like to point out that the differences between Midrange and AggroControl is pretty small in comparison to the differences between the other deck types. Blue including decks with lots of creatures often tend to be aggro control (because counterspells and especially conditional ones are great aggro control tools) while non blue "goodstuff" creatures is often a midrange deck. (It is also useful to think about cards that are only useful in certain deck types but not in others to make classifying a deck easier if one is not able to play against the creator of the deck to get a feel for how the decks wants to be played.

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Players and posters right now focus a lot on what they perceive is "bad" about the free-mulligan but almost nobody is talking about the perceived "bad" stuff of the spoils mulligan. Many posters claimed that all deck types benefited from the spoils mulligan. Simple logical thinking makes everyone understand that the benefit has to be of (an unknown) amount. On general terms the game of magic is sped up because more threats can be deployed within the same amount of turns because seeing more cards for your starting hand will offer more choices. The spoils mulligan makes it very safe to deploy cards that cost 3 mana or less because you can fix your hand it that way. A hand with 3 lands is still fine (especially if you only play 28 or 29). All decktypes that depend on winning with cards that are more expensive (e.g. control and slower midrange decks) do not have this luxury. They still had to draw into their land drops. I have lost many many games under the spoils mulligan with a 3 land hand where i did not draw lands 4 and 5 in the first 4 draws because I could not cast my good spells. People claiming the spoils mulligan fixed bad luck neglected that you still could not fix the 5 draws after your opening hand but that those were immensly important to keep pace against the opponent who curved out perfectly.

My personal playing experience is that games are slower paced now and that good and bad luck from the top can even out over the additional turns one has now. I have a much improved game experience where an actual game takes place. In addition the power difference between mulligan vs. non mulligan starting hands has diminshed because the games take a bit longer and so the difference becomes 15 vs 14 cards instead of 12 vs 11 for example. The number of games I loose simply due to being on the draw have strongly diminished as well. The reason of course being a slower game allowing one to catch up. Playing against T1 Mox + Confidant, T2 Eldric, T3 Thoughtseize + Clique is not an appealing game for me.

The meta that resulted from the spoils mulligan was very centered around the archetypes Aggro, Aggro-Control and Midrange with all 3 of those decks tending to play 3+ colors making for a very stagnant game experience at the big tournaments.

The spoils mulligans was used to put away the weaker cards reducing the varaince of game situation seen by making it so that decks would cast their best cards the most and not the cards they happend to draw (and included in their deck for casting).

The spoils mulligan did not offer enough incentives to build a good mana curve, include enough lands, play good distribution of different card roles. Instead cards were often just picked according to power level and the spolis mulligan would fix it to a large extent.

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1)
I can not comment on this since I am not from Berlin. it is different in Hamburg (and elsewhere) so please keep in mind this might have reasons other than the form of mulligan. I play a LOT of control in HL right now and I like it. Sadly I could not attend the GP this year so i can not proove anything of course just as Control not winning in Berlin prooves nothing.

2)
I (partly) agree. Ramp decks have suffered because they could abuse the spoils in very strong way to find more ramp spells while including more buisnees cards. It is doubtful if working balances can be found for alle the ramp decks. I disagree somewhat on the combo decks. Combo never was a in good and healthy state even with the spoils mulligan. But i believe the slower metagame that I perceive now will offer much better options for Scapeshift/High Tide/and Heartbeat (maybe). I just think not a whole lot of people have tried yet. Maybe you can get MMD Scapeshift list for testing and playing in Berlin which he claims is insane vs. Midrange. Right now I agree that there is a lack of combo decks placing in the tournaments taking place.   

3)
It is not like this in Hamburg. Here There has been a LOT of control and aggro-control. In 2013 we also had one tournament with 5 RDWs right after the mulligan change but now the deck seems to have disappeared.

4)
I agree. Having to shuffle 3 times can be really annoying. For me easily the biggest - against the free-mull.

Regarding the interpretation of GP 13 we already tried to talk about it before right after the GP. it is in one of the Gp threads. I would just like to repeat that Aggro-Control (Izzet) as an anti-deck did fine against midrange and has shown some promise as a working deck in Hamburg as well.   
     
   
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berlinballz
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« Reply #43 on: 12-03-2014, 06:17:14 PM »

@phyrexianblackmetal

I like beating control as much as you, don't get me wrong. But it's disappearing in Berlin. And that is bad for the metagame. I am not talking about the first 3 months either. The metagame is evolving. I am talking about now. And now control and tolarian decks are a no-show in Berlin. UW midrange tempo which won a bunch of times lately is not a control deck, but a midrange deck playing blue. Not all decks that play blue and counterspells are control decks.

Your deck (mono black) is the perfect example of a consistent midrange deck that profits from the new mulligan and that's great. With one color you might have a hard time if a tournament goes more rounds because of some bad matchups, but because of a good amount of cards in the 2-3-4 spot and no mana issues the deck works well now. It's a midrange strategy.

I am just worried that I don't see anything with a really aggressive low curve strategy succeed (except that 5 color beast in Leipzig, even WW wasn't really low) and no control with a higher curve anymore. And games REALLY being less fun to me, because they are topdeck lotteries.

 

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phyrexianblackmetal
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« Reply #44 on: 12-03-2014, 06:23:59 PM »


Also what I would like to know is how others are feeling about the perception that the metagame is very topdeck dependant. In my experience a lot of games are solely decided on topdecking better. Questionable keeps and bad top decks make games lopsided. Is no one else experiencing this?


What the Free Mulligan does is it allows you to come back from a rather sketchy hand more easily. I have won more games keeping a hand with one or five lands than I did with the Spoils Mulligan, and having the right topdeck early on can help you with that, but even then I can't really see how that would have given me an advantage. If I keep such a bad hand, I can relatively safely assume that my opponent has kept something better. If anything, that lucky topdeck has made the game more even in such a situation. As for topdecks later in the game, when both players have kept a relatively equal quality hand, I can't really say that the games are decided by lucky topdecks more than before. It could be that the games are now longer, giving both players more time to have one, which leads to this experience.
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