Magic the Gathering: Arena |OT| Now in Open Beta

Starbuck

Member
Oct 26, 2017
202
This might be a dumb question but I unlocked about half of the decks and started crafting my own decks after buying a handful of packs. I’ve noticed that whatever crafted deck I’m playing, white Ajani pridemain life gain counter, blue flyer, red dragon, WB vampire, I play - the other guy I’m playing is using a nearly identical deck. Is this just bad luck or is there an algorithm I don’t know about?
 

Blizzard

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
3,685
This might be a dumb question but I unlocked about half of the decks and started crafting my own decks after buying a handful of packs. I’ve noticed that whatever crafted deck I’m playing, white Ajani pridemain life gain counter, blue flyer, red dragon, WB vampire, I play - the other guy I’m playing is using a nearly identical deck. Is this just bad luck or is there an algorithm I don’t know about?
If you're doing casual play then yes, the system tries to match you against someone with a roughly similar deck / number of rare cards or whatever. I think it also factors in how new you are. In theory if you play an unmodified starter deck and you're new, you should be facing other starter deck people most of the time.

If you really want thrown in the deep end, you can try one of the ranked play options. You may need to enable advanced modes with the switch in the top right.
 

Starbuck

Member
Oct 26, 2017
202
If you're doing casual play then yes, the system tries to match you against someone with a roughly similar deck / number of rare cards or whatever. I think it also factors in how new you are. In theory if you play an unmodified starter deck and you're new, you should be facing other starter deck people most of the time.

If you really want thrown in the deep end, you can try one of the ranked play options. You may need to enable advanced modes with the switch in the top right.
Good to know there’s some algorithms behind the scenes. I thought I was losing my mind constantly playing mirror decks. I’ll probably jump into ranked play. As it stands my causal games come down to whoever gets the better opening hand (which is true for all card games - but with the similar decks it feels worse)
 

Blizzard

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
3,685
Good to know there’s some algorithms behind the scenes. I thought I was losing my mind constantly playing mirror decks. I’ll probably jump into ranked play. As it stands my causal games come down to whoever gets the better opening hand (which is true for all card games - but with the similar decks it feels worse)
The mulligan helps with that, and once you learn decks better you'll gain experience at knowing when to mulligan.

For what it's worth, the "better opening hand" or "who goes first" thing is still an issue in best-of-1 modes in general. The classic Magic style that's called "traditional" in Arena is best-of-3. A few things happen in best-of-3:

1. You have a "sideboard" of 15 cards. Between each game in your best-of-3 series, both players can switch cards out of that sideboard and into their deck. These are situational cards which are great against some decks, but not needed against others.

2. Because you are playing 3 games, luck of the draw should matter a little less, and overall you should have a better chance of winning. In terms of daily win bonuses, winning 2/3 games in a best-of-3 series still gives you 2 "wins".

3. Here's something you probably don't care about yet: As far as I know, the mana fixer is turned off in best-of-3 (I -think- it's still turned on in ranked best-of-1 but I'm not 100% sure). If you didn't know there was a mana fixer, yes, in best-of-1 play the system simulates two opening hands behind the scenes and is "biased" towards giving you the one that more accurately reflects your deck's ratio of lands.


If you have any questions please feel free to ask! I came from Hearthstone and things are pretty complicated in Magic sometimes.
 

Tizoc

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,210
Oman
4 matches in a row where I go 2nd after my opponent


EDIT- 5th match; I go after my opponent
EDIT2- 6th match now, same thing :V
 
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Volimar

Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
10,291
Sometimes I wish I had a way to contact people I just played with on ladder and ask "Does that deck really ever work?" Like the random 120-card mess I just beat.

I've really wanted to see people's decklists from time to time, especially when they beat me with out there decks. Kind of frustrating that they're just lost to the wind, but it is preferential to after match trolling I guess.

The mulligan helps with that, and once you learn decks better you'll gain experience at knowing when to mulligan.

For what it's worth, the "better opening hand" or "who goes first" thing is still an issue in best-of-1 modes in general. The classic Magic style that's called "traditional" in Arena is best-of-3. A few things happen in best-of-3:

1. You have a "sideboard" of 15 cards. Between each game in your best-of-3 series, both players can switch cards out of that sideboard and into their deck. These are situational cards which are great against some decks, but not needed against others.

2. Because you are playing 3 games, luck of the draw should matter a little less, and overall you should have a better chance of winning. In terms of daily win bonuses, winning 2/3 games in a best-of-3 series still gives you 2 "wins".

3. Here's something you probably don't care about yet: As far as I know, the mana fixer is turned off in best-of-3 (I -think- it's still turned on in ranked best-of-1 but I'm not 100% sure). If you didn't know there was a mana fixer, yes, in best-of-1 play the system simulates two opening hands behind the scenes and is "biased" towards giving you the one that more accurately reflects your deck's ratio of lands.


If you have any questions please feel free to ask! I came from Hearthstone and things are pretty complicated in Magic sometimes.

Just wanted to say this is a great post. Nice to see folks looking out for new people.
 

Boogiepop

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,174
Think I'm going to switch from mono red to mono blue as my default. My win ratio with the former for Constructed Event has dipped to being primarily break even or worse with red, whereas every time I've gone with the current blue build I've gotten to the full 7 with a max of 1 loss.
 

Izzy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
204
Any suggestions for a pauper deck?
If you haven't had your fill yet with pauper, I did *okay* with a pretty generic white aggro deck that I copied from somewhere.

Code:
2 Adamant Will (DAR) 2
4 Angel of the Dawn (M19) 7
4 Healer's Hawk (GRN) 14
4 Legion Conquistador (XLN) 20
4 Luminous Bonds (RIX) 12
4 Martyr of Dusk (RIX) 14
24 Plains (XLN) 260
4 Silverbeak Griffin (M19) 285
2 Squire's Devotion (RIX) 25
4 Star-Crowned Stag (M19) 38
4 Territorial Hammerskull (XLN) 41
The Hammerskulls and the Stags are pretty good at letting you keep getting damage in, and there really isn't a lot of sweeps to prevent you from going wide. Though I ran into folks running white ascend decks that would also have been solid. Looking back, I should have traded those Adamant wills for something like a summary judgement. That's pretty much white's best common card in RNA, but it totally slipped my mind. Even arrester's zeal would have been better since the indestructible rarely ever came up and the addendum can get you over the top.

All in all, this pauper event didn't hold my interest. My list wasn't great, but it kept me pretty gold-neutral, which meant I farmed up a decent amount of ICRs. But after about four or five go-rounds it just seemed like a slog when I'm already up to my ears in Uncommon Wildcards. It's weird, the last pauper event felt stressful to the point of frustration b/c I wanted to get the alt-art cards. This one was pretty chill but felt like it was a grind for no real rewards. There's got to be something in-between.
 

Moist_Owlet

Avenger
Dec 26, 2017
1,456
Anyone heard if solo play vs AI is ever coming. I cant believe there is no way to playtest decks. Why does so much of this feel like a step back from the duels of the planeswalkers series?
 

Actinium

Member
Oct 27, 2017
509
California
It would help for tuning decks, if you want to be sure your red matchup is on lock or get a feel for how much work an off meta tech card is doing for you and against you opposite different archetypes, being able to rattle off 20 games against ai is a lot more useful than just running out on the ladder against every random deck in the meta and trying to get a feel from those like 1 in 6 that are specifically against red or where you never draw the tech card. Even if the ai isn't great at decision making it would be consistent and be able to curve out.

Even better if they allowed phantom practice vs ai decks so you could test cards out before you spend resources to craft them.
 

Izzy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
204
Honestly, I’d be happy with a way to play solitaire for a few turns just to see how a new deck draws. Doing that a dozen or so times is good to see how aggressively you may have to mulligan.
 

Tizoc

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,210
Oman
Anyone got a suggestion for a Goblin deck? I'm missing a few Gold wildcards to complete some missing ones, but I'd like to keep a set concept handy.

Also went 0-2 on the current Ravnica Allegiance draft :S I hadn't been getting any meaningful cards during these drafts sadly.
 

Brian Damage

Member
Nov 1, 2017
5,300
UK
It's a spooky time against RDW when all I can draw is Spawns of Mayhem and Midnight Reapers. It's like I'm doing half the work for them.
 

Orb

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,411
USA
Just got back from playing paper Magic for the first time in maybe 10 years? I rummaged through the store's bulk box and built a BW Vampire deck out of commons and uncommons and surprisingly went 2-2 in a Standard Showdown.

I feel the rush again.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,374
Australia
I finally installed the Pokemon TCG and YGO! Duel Links apps on my iPad over the weekend instead of just playing on the PC clients like I usually do and mannnn having them on a tablet is so much better that now I just really want Arena on there too.

Before I was like "yeah, sure, I guess that'd be nice or whatever but I don't know that I'd use it" since my iPad is mostly just for digital comics so I've never really left much space to use it for games or whatever but having your digital children's card games untethered like that makes it so more convenient to just pick up and grind a quest or have a couple quick games for fun.
 

Blizzard

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
3,685
I'm missing so many Ixalan cards, even though I have many (most?) Rivals of Ixalan cards. Are there any Ixalan cards that can't be in packs because they are in standalone products? I know Ravnica Allegiance has a few like that.
 

Serule

Member
Oct 25, 2017
269
Are there any Ixalan cards that can't be in packs because they are in standalone products? I know Ravnica Allegiance has a few like that.
Every set these days (since Kaladesh I think) has two planeswalker preconstructed decks released along with it. They always have a few cards not available in packs.

The cards from Ixalan:
https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/card-preview/ixalan-promos-planeswalker-decks-packaging-and-fnm-tokens-2017-09-01
 

Blizzard

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
3,685
Every set these days (since Kaladesh I think) has two planeswalker preconstructed decks released along with it. They always have a few cards not available in packs.

The cards from Ixalan:
https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/card-preview/ixalan-promos-planeswalker-decks-packaging-and-fnm-tokens-2017-09-01
Thank you kindly, that would do it. I wish you could filter by card number in arena since right now you can't even see which cards are > 259.

Time to waste some common/uncommon wildcards on junk cards to pad my collection! :D


*edit*

Even after doing that I'm missing 26 commons from Ixalan! No dreadmaw, daggertooth, jade guardian, nest robber, firecannon blast, brazen buccaneers, headstrong brute, etc. I guess I just didn't end up picking those in drafts or something?
 

Ultron

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
774
I feel kind of like a monster for playing the Temur Reclamation deck. Sure, it isn't Nexus, but I'm sure it still instill that "well crap" feeling in opponents as Reclamation resolves. I suppose it at least kills pretty quickly, usually.

But Explosion-ing someone for 20 feels so excellent. Or doing it for like 10 when you have Niv Mizzet out.
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,233
I feel kind of like a monster for playing the Temur Reclamation deck. Sure, it isn't Nexus, but I'm sure it still instill that "well crap" feeling in opponents as Reclamation resolves. I suppose it at least kills pretty quickly, usually.

But Explosion-ing someone for 20 feels so excellent. Or doing it for like 10 when you have Niv Mizzet out.
This deck seems like it would be weak to Esper Control. Is it? I might check it out tonight.
 

Ultron

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
774
This deck seems like it would be weak to Esper Control. Is it? I might check it out tonight.
I've only been playing it a few days and I don't think I've played vs Esper yet. Part of that is a lot of my play has just been in BO1 non-ranked, just to get used to the deck and not mess up doing all the Reclamation stuff. *Always add a stop in your end step to make it work correct*

At first read, I think it could do okay vs Esper? If you resolve Reclamation you're all set, of course. It's got maindeck Niv Mizzet, and has the possibility to ramp up to stuff before Esper can really lock things down. Also, Expansion is a nice answer to counterspells and can at least copy Thought Erasures to get a taste of their own medicine. There's some dead cards with the removal, but that's just always gonna happen.

Edit: Pascal Maynard, who played it at the Mythic Championship, mentions it is the favorite game 1 vs Esper, but worse post board against it: https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/temur-reclamation-at-the-mythic-championship/
 
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Orb

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,411
USA
I feel kind of like a monster for playing the Temur Reclamation deck. Sure, it isn't Nexus, but I'm sure it still instill that "well crap" feeling in opponents as Reclamation resolves. I suppose it at least kills pretty quickly, usually.

But Explosion-ing someone for 20 feels so excellent. Or doing it for like 10 when you have Niv Mizzet out.
I'm glad you feel bad for playing this, that's the proper emotion for this degeneracy

Reclamation and gates are the main reason I pretty much only play decks where I can maindeck 4x Mortify
 

Ultron

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
774
I'm glad you feel bad for playing this, that's the proper emotion for this degeneracy

Reclamation and gates are the main reason I pretty much only play decks where I can maindeck 4x Mortify
It certainly reinforces that they really should've made Reclamation read "Untap your lands during each player's untap step" so that you can't float mana beforehand. I also hadn't really realized how quick Explosion scales into being great. For whatever reason I'd always had that card in my head as "well that's too expensive and color restricted to be worth it". But even when you're doing it for X=4 it's really good.
 

Arkanim94

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,951
i hope this meta will finaly make wotc realize that grixis needs a way to deal with enchantment because being unable to play and entire archetype feels pretty shitty.
 

SigmasonicX

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,896
i hope this meta will finaly make wotc realize that grixis needs a way to deal with enchantment because being unable to play and entire archetype feels pretty shitty.
Mark Rosewater has been bringing this up on his Tumblr a couple times the past few months, actually. They're experimenting with giving black enchantment destruction, and he says we'll "most likely" see it on actual cards.
 

fuzzyset

Member
Oct 25, 2017
845
Well I guess I need to recant my previous "Arena makes me not want to play paper" cause I just pre-ordered the Challenger Decks from CoolStuffInc for 90$. Saw a tweet that the "value" of the cards there is like 400$ so it's hard for me to pass that up.
 

Brian Damage

Member
Nov 1, 2017
5,300
UK
Kill 25 creatures? Shouldn't be too hard to grind this one out quickly.

What's that Arena? 8 straight matches of burn or discard decks? No thanks, maybe I'll just give up for tonight.
 

IceMarker

Member
Oct 26, 2017
491
United States
I've been having some luck with a Abzan sacrifice deck, with cards like Poison-Tip Archer, Journey to Eternity, and Vraska Golgari Queen. They have really good synergy with the B/W card base.
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,233
This Temur Reclamation deck is insanely good. I'm really enjoying it. Fits my playstyle very well. Feels a bit slimey but I'll live. And I can play 3 games in the time it took me to play one Esper control game.