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  • posted a message on Maro on Brawl on Arena
    Arena doesn't have four-player, two-player Brawl on MTGO made the format look bad, and Magic doesn't suck anymore.
    Posted in: MTG Arena
  • posted a message on Kid almost beat to death over tos
    He'll get off by pleading insanity.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Banding ability is not in War of the Spark
    Last Active 1 minute ago

    Gone for good, here forever.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Substitute for Edgewalker?
    Earthcraft and Carnival of Souls refund the cost immediately. Cryptolith Rite and Song of Freyalise take a turn, but Earthcraft is $50 and banned in Legacy, so people might not want to play against it. Aluren lets everyone skip mana costs.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Is the Arena Meta same as Standard Meta?
    Goldfish's Arena metagame is user-submitted decks. If you want Phoenix on there, you don't have to win or even play, just submit some Phoenix decks.
    Posted in: MTG Arena
  • posted a message on New Interface: how do I see my wildcards?
    An icon labelled "Craft" appears in the Deck Editor, at the top right of your collection. Click it to go into craft mode, then click the card you want (a confirmation box prevents accidental purchases).

    If that's unhelpful, I'll post pictures.
    Posted in: MTG Arena
  • posted a message on Looking for Wizards official press releases regarding the nuances of Arena (the bo1 vs. bo3 hands, the matchmaking et.)
    I'm not a Wizards employee, I just forgot to add links! Except for the evil shuffler link, all those are posts by Arena developers, mostly Chris Clay (the evil shuffler guy is even a developer now).

    I agree with you about how hard it is to find info, I've just given up expecting it from playing Magic Online. Last year they made a statement about needing to be more transparent and organized on some unused tumblr at the end of a post about something completely different. They have pages they're legally required to keep updated that are often just totally wrong. On Arena, this info isn't only on a forum, it's sometimes buried hundreds of pages into a thread, and the dev tracker isn't that helpful because many of the posts aren't from developers or about development.
    Posted in: MTG Arena
  • posted a message on What year were alpha cards legalized for tournament play?
    From January 26, 1994, the first version of the Official WotC Tournament Rules:
    Decks may be constructed from cards from the Limited (black border) series and from the Unlimited (white border) series. Use of cards from any of the expansion sets (i.e. Arabian Nights, etc) are permitted with the Referee's prior consent. Under no circumstances will cards from the Collector's Edition factory sets be permitted in tournament decks. They are easily distinguished from legal play cards by their square corners. Use of Collector's Edition factory set cards in a tournament deck will be interpreted by the Referee as a Declaration of Forfeiture (see Floor Rules, #9).

    EDIT: Tom Wylie, Wizards Net Rep, in December 1994:
    Alpha cards are not banned in Convocation play. However, Judges should be careful for obvious methods of trying to cheat by using alpha cards. One or two alpha cards can probably slide, but having alpha lands and non-alpha spells (or vice versa) is clearly marking the overall deck.

    While the idea of someone having one or two alphas in their deck isn't all that thrilling, the two alternatives (ban alpha cards, or say that decks have to be 0% or 100% alpha) are even less appealling to us.

    Tom Wylie, March 1995:
    The optional rule for Type I tournaments allows the judge to eliminate this form of marking by requiring that decks be all or no alphas. Yes, playing with an alpha deck means that you can't play with expansion cards, Volcanic Islands, and so on. It is up to the judge of the event to decide whether elminating this form of deck marking is worth forcing people to make this kind of decision. In Type II tournaments, alpha cards are simply banned, since the format exists in part for new players, who should not be at a disadvantage simply because they don't have any alpha lands to mark their deck with.

    May 1999 Rule Summary:
    D.8.2 - If a deck contains Alpha printing cards, it must consist entirely of them. You should also inform the head judge that your deck is so constructed. [Tournament Rules 10/01/96]

    In the year 2000, In the year 2000:
    1999–2000 Tournament Season
    Effective June 1, 2000:
    102. Authorized Cards
    Alpha cards (cards from the first print run of the basic set) may be used in decks containing non-Alpha cards only if all cards are placed in opaque sleeves, and only if the sleeves could not be considered marked.
    If sleeves are not used, Alpha cards may only be used in decks that consist of Alpha cards exclusively.

    Later floor rules and universal tournament rules list the same basic rule under a "marked cards" section.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Legendary creatures questions
    1. Yes. Ragavan will enter during the declare attackers step, and Hero's Blade will trigger and may be attached during the same step.
    2. No. Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit triggers once because she only triggers when nontokens enter, otherwise she would trigger 3 times.
    3. No. After Saheeli's -2 resolves, state-based actions are checked before either player gets priority, and will put one of the Rhyseses (your choice) into your graveyard.
    4. Yes. Artifact Zurgo enters, even if briefly, triggering Anafenza. Corrected by Argus Panoptes below. If you cast a new, nontoken Zurgo, the ability would trigger.
    5. Yes. Beginning of Combat, after the main phase and before declare attackers, is the last chance to bolt Kari Zav before she attacks. The first thing you do during decare attackers is attack, triggering Kari Zev, then players get priority.
    6. Yes. Sensei's bushido-granting ability works even if Sensei dies or the training counter is removed. It has no conditions once it resolves, and isn't linked to another ability that defines what the training does.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Looking for Wizards official press releases regarding the nuances of Arena (the bo1 vs. bo3 hands, the matchmaking et.)
    I don't know about press releases, but here are some forum posts.

    Latest Patch Notes
    Feb 14, 2019 - Major
    -Shuffler changes for "Play."
    Enabled "Smooth Shuffling" for the Play queue.
    Important Note: This is for the "Play" queue only. It does not apply to Ranked Traditional Play, Traditional Ranked, or any other events and/or formats.
    More Information on Smooth Shuffling: We are currently testing changes to the shuffler algorithm to decrease the number of games with extreme examples of "mana flood" or "mana screw" (drawing too many or too few lands). While players may still find themselves in these scenarios, the shuffler changes are intended to mitigate the rarest scenarios, such as drawing 8+ Land cards in a row. As noted above, we are only testing these changes in the "Play" queue, and it does not apply to any Ranked or Traditional formats. We are using this opportunity to gather more data and to fine tune these changes, as well as allow for player feedback. All shuffles are still randomly generated, The difference is we now look deeper into the decks to determine a pool of shuffles to randomly choose from. We are planning to iterate on this fairly rapidly. and will provide more information as these changes develop and solidify.

    For all best of one play queues, we have increased the number of deck shuffles and starting hands we consider to three (up from two).
    For all best of one play queues, we now apply the starting hand approach to mulligan hands as well.
    More Information on Starting Hands: Our goal with this change is to ensure you're still on "even shuffler ground" with your starting hand, even when you mulligan. As with the other shuffler change, we are using this opportunity to gather more data and to fine tune these changes, as well as gather player feedback.

    Feb 20, 2019 - Minor
    -Fixed long matchmaking times
    -Fixed frequent disconnections, being monitored

    Alternate Land Art
    Feb 15, 2019
    Currently, the only way to select which basic land art to use is to import the deck, selecting the set and number of the basic land you want to use.

    I can't speak to specific plans, but we've definitely heard clearly from players that you'd like a better way to accomplish this.

    Deck Builder: Advanced Search Terms
    Feb 14, 2019

    Debunking the Evil Shuffler -Unofficial
    Aug 6, 2018

    Jan 15, 2019
    1. Please play nice here people.

    2. When players report that true variance in the shuffler doesn't feel correct they aren't wrong. This is more than just a math problem, overcoming all of our inherent biases around how variance should work is incredibly difficult. However, while the feels say somethings wrong, all the math has supported everything is correct.

    3. The shuffler and coin flips treat everyone equally. There are no systems in place to adjust either per player.

    4. The only system in place right now to stray from a single randomized shuffler is the bo1 opening hand system, but even there the choice is between two fully randomized decks.

    5. When we do a shuffle we shuffle the full deck, the card you draw is already known on the backend. It is not generated at the time you draw it.

    6. Digital Shufflers are a long solved problem, we're not breaking any new ground here. If you paper experience differs significantly from digital the most logical conclusion is you're not shuffling correctly. Many posts in this thread show this to be true. You need at least 7 riffle shuffles to get to random in paper. This does not mean that playing randomized decks in paper feels better. If your playgroup is fine with playing semi-randomized decks because it feels better than go nuts! Just don't try it at an official event.

    7. At this point in the Open Beta we've had billions of shuffles over hundreds of millions of games. These are massive data sets which show us everything is working correctly. Even so, there are going to be some people who have landed in the far ends of the bell curve of probability. It's why we've had people lose the coin flip 26 times in a row and we've had people win it 26 times in a row. It's why people have draw many many creatures in a row or many many lands in a row. When you look at the math, the size of players taking issue with the shuffler is actually far smaller that one would expect. Each player is sharing their own experience, and if they're an outlier I'm not surprised they think the system is rigged.

    8. We're looking at possible ways to snip off the ends of the bell curve while still maintaining the sanctity of the game, and this is a very very hard problem. The irony is not lost on us that to fix perception of the shuffler we'd need to put systems in place around it, when that's what players are saying we're doing now.

    Since people are asking, and it's no great secret. To shuffle decks in MTG Arena we use Fisher-Yates, pulling numbers from a Merseene Twister (MT199937), which is seeded with 256 cryptographically secure randomized bits. We use the same approach for coin tosses, only we're looking for a 1 or a 2 rather than a whole deck of cards.

    Dec 14, 2018

    In the new world, we start the match-making process by placing players into buckets based on their rank. Tiers don't matter here, just the rank you're at (Bronze, Silver, Etc). You can think of this as a progression of difficulty that you also see in tabletop Magic: from Kitchen Table up through your LGS, to PTQ, to the Pro-Tour. We want MTG Arena to serve all of these tiers of skill, and this is the way we believe best addresses the climb. By bucketing by rank we give players a chance to improve over time, rather than forcing them to start at potentially a pro-tour level of play.

    After we group players together by rank we then sort them based on their W/L record. As far as I can tell no one is worried about this.

    The final metric we look at is MMR. And to be perfectly clear: our matchmaking rating does not force players to a 50% win rate. Stronger players will have a higher win-rate in our system. It is a loose check to see if the two players are within a certain skill range that we deliberately set to be large enough to not require an "equal match". Do great in DOM draft, but then suck it up hard in XLN/RIX and this will pair you with other people in the same boat. We believe this is a fair system where everyone will still have to earn their wins.

    All of these metrics will also expand out based on time in the queue. There will be matches across ranks in some cases, just as at times there are matches with different win/loss records and distant MMRs.

    All of this said, if you believe matchmaking in Limited should always be Swiss, then it's unlikely I've said anything to sway your opinion. If you want to go toe-to-toe with any Magic player in the world, we have Traditional Draft as the place for you to show your skill without climbing up the Ranks. Traditional Draft remains solely based on W/L record. As always we'll be watching how this plays out in reality, as we've only been able to do sims to this point, and continue to make adjustments.

    [I]f you ever wait more than 2-3 minutes something has likely gone wrong. Right now the longest match time we've seen is 100s. There is a chance as the very first people hit a rank they may have to wait longer, but this should even out.

    In looking over everything I realized we didn't mention in the primary post that we now have a window of 60s during which you will be unable to match against the person you just played. We'll watch how this current window works to prevent repeat matches, while still keeping queue times brisk and adjust as needed.

    In this system when you switch decks it will be looking for similarly skilled players to you, that happened to be playing their own decks around your level.

    I can say that when we're assigning deck weights we look at the strength of the card far more than the rarity. Rarity, in general, is an indicator but there are many rares/mythics that have lower values than an uncommon like lightning strike for example.

    There are no plans to show any information on deck strength to players. The goal is for players to build the deck they want to play and find a match that's appropriate. Getting more stats into the Profile tab is something we'd like to see.

    My Account was Hacked!
    Jan 10, 2019
    GDPR changed the way information is collected, and how we use and store PII(Personally Identifiable Information). Initially we collect as little as possible as in the new world we only collect what we absolutely need, and what we collect is usually enough to restore a lost account. Once you've made purchases we have more PII on your account, which we can use to restore it if it was lost for some reason. One of the myriad of reasons we have no trading is it helps make all the work of hacking accounts just not worth it as well.

    Duplicate Protection
    Jan 15, 2019
    No plans to expanded duplicate protection out to uncommons or commons at this time. We've said from the beginning that adding in duplicate protection was going to require some balance changes, we're pretty happy where this has settled. Time, data, and players will really tell us what needs to adjust further.

    January State of the Beta
    Duplicate Protection (Overview)
    Event Reward Changes
    Preseason 2
    Posted in: MTG Arena
  • posted a message on old Magic The Gathering rulebooks
    The Alpha rulebook, a Christmas present from Wizards:

    I have Revised, Fourth, Fifth, and Mirage in front of me, but it may take a few days to scan them. I should have Ice Age somewhere, but I can't find it at the moment, so maybe on that one.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Why does WoTC think 20 Rat colony decks are legal in singleton?
    112.6m. An ability that modifies the rules for deck construction functions before the game begins. Such an ability modifies not just the Comprehensive Rules, but also the Magic: The Gathering Tournament Rules and any other documents that set the deck construction rules for a specific format. However, such an ability can't affect the format legality of a card, including whether it's banned or restricted. The current Magic: The Gathering Tournament Rules can be found at WPN.Wizards.com/en/resources/rules-documents.

    Wizards must see the "one-of" rule as a deck construction rule rather than a matter of card legality. Though the tournament rules don't apply here, they show how Wizards seperates these:

    6.1 Deck Construction Restrictions
    Constructed decks must contain a minimum of sixty cards. There is no maximum deck size. If a player chooses to
    use a sideboard, it may not contain more than fifteen cards.
    Except for cards with the basic supertype or cards with text that specifies otherwise, a player’s combined deck and
    sideboard may not contain more than four of any individual card, based on its English card title.
    6.2 Card Legality
    A card may only be used in a particular format if the card is from a set that is legal in that format or has the same
    name as a card from a set that is legal in that format. Zendikar Expeditions and Masterpiece Series cards may only
    be played in formats where the card is already legal.
    Cards banned in a specific format may not be used in decks for that format. Cards restricted in a specific format
    may only have one copy in a deck, including sideboard.

    Rat Colony is legal in MTGA's Singleton event, so its ability modifies the deck construction rules to allow multiple copies of itself. The MTGA Singleton event has no stated restricted list, so that doesn't come into play.

    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on GP attendance
    For reference:
    List of Grand Prix Events with attendance numbers, somewhat sortable.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Are that many people really spending money on this game?
    I play precons in unranked, and see more precon-based decks than anything else.
    EDIT, response to below: I spent $0 on my account. It's worth $0. It has play value, not monetary value.
    Quote from user_938036 »
    Anyone have any idea when we can draft things other than the coreset for gold or will it always only be the coreset? Either way the fact that it gives gems for winning means I can switch back to Allegiance drafts after a run.
    Friday, February the 1st. https://magic.wizards.com/en/content/all-events-schedule
    The schedule is at magic.wizards.com under EVENTS, and can be filtered to only show Arena. Ranked Draft is the gold option.
    Posted in: MTG Arena
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Final Day: Maelstrom Nexus
    Quote from Sephon19 »
    Ok I've subscribed to this thread 5 times now and have been automatically kicked. What's going on?

    EDIT: I'm sorry, I know this probably don't belong here. Please redirect me somewhere. I'm very confused.
    There's a known display bug with subscriptions. If you click "Subscribe" once, it subscribes but gives no feedback. Click again and the button toggles to "Unsubscribe," but it really unsubscribed. Click "Unsubscribe" and it subscribes again. Basically, it's all messed up, but you can subscribe. If that doesn't help, try Forum Software Feedback and Bug Reports under Community Discussion.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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