Changes to Mulligan Rule

Discussion in 'CPA/WOTC Magic Issues' started by Melkor, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. Melkor Well-Known Member

  2. turgy22 Nothing Special

    I would have liked to know what this percentage is and how many of those games would have been interactive had a mulligan not been taken. Also, the term "unfortunate mulligan" strikes me as being redundant. Isn't every mulligan unfortunate?

    As for the change, I don't like it for the following reasons:

    1) It complicates the game setup process and changes a long-standing rule. Things like this tend to drive away people who only play occasionally and don't keep on top of every rule change.
    2) There's a keyword ability involved in setting up the game. For whatever reason, this just doesn't sit right with me.
    3) I don't feel like it will change anything. In most "non-interactive" games I play, neither player takes a mulligan. The lack of interaction is usually a result of a player not taking a mulligan because they have a good hand and they feel the odds favor them drawing that last land they need or the one land in the right color to get rolling. Will this rule encourage players to make better mulligan decisions? I doubt it.
    4) It will ruin Magic forever.

    I guess the Magic developers will always struggle with how to balance fair mulligan practices without inviting abuse. Honestly, I think it's okay that you get hit every now and then by these unfortunate incidents. One of the great things about the game is that, as a result of a little bit of (good or bad) luck, anyone can win any game, regardless of how out-classed they might be. And I think that's still going to happen with this change. As I mentioned earlier, I see this having little effect on anything.
  3. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    It does seem rather silly, and I'm curious as to what these "non-interactive" games looked like. Interactivity is a concept that gets used in a lot of hazy arguments. Since it's Wizards of the Coast, I'm inclined to say that they think of interactivity as bashing creatures into each other. I decide which creatures to attack with and which to hold back, then you make your blocking decisions, then you get to choose which creatures attack and which to hold back and I make the blocking decisions, and so on. We're engaging with each other! Technically, there are lots of other ways to interact in this game, but those other ways are no longer desirable, it seems.

    I know that it was a long time ago, but they changed the mulligan process way more than this.

    I didn't even take note of that fact. I've never really cared about keywords anyway. Some ability that wasn't a keyword before is made into a keyword and some other ability that used to be a keyword loses that status. But so what?

    That's why this change puzzles me. With the exception of some corner cases, it should not influence mulligan decisions. The scrying takes place after mulligans are already done with, so players don't get access to any new information that would help evaluate a hand. They get a single shot at a very minor card filtration, and that's it. I'm not saying that Scry itself is a bad mechanic, but it mainly works well through attrition or in large bursts.

    I really don't see this reducing the percentage of games that are blowouts.
  4. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Do they give out data like that if asked?

    I think Oversoul alluded to this in his answer to your statement, but the only change is the Scry part. Everything before that already happens. And in regards to your second statement, this is only for Pro Tour Origins, not for all of Magic; I imagine to test it out and see how it works there.
  5. Terentius The Instigator

    I use a house rule whenever I host kitchen table Magic that you can peek at (not scry) the top card of your deck after you draw 7 and after each mulligan, for the same reasons described in the article.
  6. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Our house rule is mostly just one free mulligan, then paris, but sometimes if you draw no land or all land you get a free mulligan.
    In tournaments it's important to have consistency of rules, but for casual play the rules have to be a bit "bendy"

    Does anyone see this rule change lowering the amount of blowouts caused by bad opening hand draws and mulligans?
    I don't see it getting worse, but better?
  7. Terentius The Instigator

    Yes, I do this as well.
  8. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Since it was for Pro Tour Origins, maybe there's data about it somewhere?
  9. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I don't think that anyone collects that sort of data, as it's too subjective. Even to get data on mulligan frequency at all would require changes to the way tournaments are run, I think...
  10. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I think WOTC did since they're the ones that made the change because they wanted to "reduce the frequency of non-interactive games" (and yes, it's already mentioned above what exactly that means). And they mentioned "after many tests", so presumably they have some way of relating the mulligans to how games turn out. So while *we* (the players) may not know what all of that is nor may we agree with it if we ever find out what it is (referencing your "subjective" comment), there does seem to be some data collection involved.
  11. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I doubt that. To be clear, the concept of data collection with respect to a popular card game is different from "multiple tests" if that's what you're thinking. Data collection requires observation and recording of real games with real players. Yeah, like everyone else, WotC has access to the videos of features matches, but that's not a representative sample, not even of the particular tournaments in which featured matches are a thing, and most sanctioned events don't even have featured matches anyway. If WotC actually has researchers who watch random tournament matches and take notes, that's another thing, but it seems like we'd hear about that or see it at some point.

    Cryptic. Where's above?
  12. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Okay, before we go any further into this, do you have any knowledge of how exactly WOTC monitors tournaments or might collect data or is all of this speculative and what might "make sense" to you? If it's the latter, then really, you don't know, I don't know, so far no one knows who has posted so far of what really goes on to say what is or is not being done. What happening in your last statement quoted could very well be going on and be alluded to by the "many tests" comment in the article.

    If you *do* have knowledge of what is going on and your statements are indicative of that, then I will concede in that WOTC doesn't know how to relate mulligans to games.

    Sorry, that didn't come out as intended. I meant that none of us knows what it meant by "non-interactive games" of how WOTC is using the term though it was discussed and related by a personal level by some of what that means to that poster.
  13. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Okay, to hopefully quell this heated debate: After helping run 100's of magic tournaments from 20 player Grad Prix Qualifiers to 200+ player Grand Prix's, there is no data collection of mulligans or "blow-outs". Players have never , to my knowledge, reported these things to scorekeepers or judges.
    WotC may have done some data collection on specific events, but not on a lot or would it be a random sample.
    Now, that being said, I am not privy to all that WotC does, nor should my opinion based on anecdotal evidence be used as fact.
    I would say that "tests" most likely means a few monitored events and/or there own in house R&D.
  14. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Thanks Mooseman.
  15. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I think Mooseman's post pretty much sums it up, although he's totally been at a lot more tournaments than I have, probably by an order of magnitude. But I'm not even saying that we know WotC isn't taking a data collection approach to tournaments as a whole just on the basis of what I've seen or what Mooseman has seen. I'm saying that people talk and people write a lot about what happens at tournaments, especially nowadays. And yet we don't see a single instance of a blog post or tournament report in which someone involved is like, "WotC had a few representatives there to select matches each round to observe and record data on the effect of mulligans in the format." I'm not saying that WotC are going into this blindly. They have a lot of information to work with, just not so much of that kind.

    Notably, this doesn't really apply to Magic Online. They could easily do data collection, and quite a lot of it, for Magic Online.

    I agree.
  16. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    That may be true (since I myself don't follow blog/reports/other websites) but the absence of any mentions does not mean it's not happening.
  17. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Remember, lack of evidence is not proof of anything.
    Also, I never thought of MOL. It would be easy to mine that data, just don't know how they store their data, but I'm sure they could if they wanted to.
  18. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    It kind of does. Magic is a huge, popular game and the physical version of the game (not Magic Online) is played almost entirely in places where there is no inherent record of the details of the match. Yeah, some tournaments include records of decklists for everyone in the tournament and sometimes they go even further, but usually that's not the case. To actually collect data on things like mulligans and "interactivity" (whatever the hell that means) requires observation, and observers draw attention. You can send some covert record-takers to some tournaments in some places, but that sort of thing becomes impossible to hide after a while. And WotC would have no reason to hide it anyway. Quite the opposite: it would benefit them to make this public, for ease of coordinating with tournament organizer's, judges, and other people involved in tournaments. Also, they could use it to signal to players that they're watching and can use the data they collect to make the game better, which is a minor thing, but it would still make sense. It is not realistic to presume that WotC employs an international network of secret agents to collect data on Magic games, so they can have the data but the rest of us won't know that they have the data. Besides being incredibly silly, it would require the spies to keep their mouths shut after they move on to some other job or else we'd get scandalous "Covert Magic: the Gathering Tournament Match Data Collection Agent Tells All" articles cropping up. I know about the old saying that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but it's not quite right. If a claim is made and one could reasonably expect to find certain evidence to match it, then failing to find that evidence (or indeed, any evidence) is sufficient to dismiss the claim.
    turgy22 likes this.
  19. turgy22 Nothing Special

    We'll just have to agree to disagree on this point.
    Oversoul likes this.
  20. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    What? There are secret agents? :D

    But your claim to evidence is a lack of blogs or mentions in tournament reports. To me, that's not sufficient. Again, you're making speculations about how this data might be collected yet there's absolutely nothing out there (that anyone's found yet) that says what exactly is being collected. Without that knowledge, you can't say whether or not what is being done.

    Going to the extreme example, the basis for the article could be from a single tournament (let's say a Grand Prix) and from the results of the top 8 matches going forward to the finals (so that's 7 matches, right?). There were 3 mulligans taken and of those, 2 games resulted in a player just watching his opponent play and couldn't get his deck going (kind of like my Commander games with Mooseman). Since that is 66% of non-interactive games with mulligans, WOTC deemed to experiment with this new mulligan rule for Pro Tour Magic Origins.

    Now, is one tourney sufficient enough to cause a mulligan change? Is seven matches? Is 66%? You can argue "no" to one, two, any of those cases. You could argue it's arbitrary. You could argue this information should have been made public and have the players weigh in with their opinions. You could argue... anything. The point is, WOTC collected *some* sort of data to make a decision. Whether that makes sense to you or me doesn't matter. Yes, it would be nice to know the "how" behind the decision, but since we don't know *anything* about the process, you can't just "dismiss the claim".

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