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Thread: Mulligans

  1. #91
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    Those are different games that revolve around the player being screwed. Not the same thing as this. Here you c sent always play the cards you're dealt.
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  2. #92
    Senior Member LucasBlitz's Avatar
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    A mulligan sounds like a good idea, my deck is comprimised of basically 3cc-4cc cards but when I draw A Legend Rises, Viska, Braxonian Soldier and 2 Anklebreakers. It's pretty frustrating.

  3. #93
    Regionals Runner Up kentuequi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucasBlitz View Post
    A mulligan sounds like a good idea, my deck is comprimised of basically 3cc-4cc cards but when I draw A Legend Rises, Viska, Braxonian Soldier and 2 Anklebreakers. It's pretty frustrating.
    If you have lots of 3-4cc cards in your deck, you'll likely draw some before T3 ot T4 with this kind of first hand, .
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  4. #94
    Senior Member LucasBlitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kentuequi View Post
    If you have lots of 3-4cc cards in your deck, you'll likely draw some before T3 ot T4 with this kind of first hand, .
    Well yeah eventually I pick up the pace and attempt to win. It's just that getting your best cards as a starting hand can be frustrating :P Which is why a mulligan would be a nice idea, either that or shuffle cards. As in cards that reshuffle your deck all yugioh like to keep the pace of the game

  5. #95
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    I like the mulligan from Hearthstone where both players shuffle whatever they don't want back in their deck. Sometimes you get lucky but often I get something worse. MTG's mulligan can be repeated with 1 card less, but 1 card is very important in SE and could set the player back too much.
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    So basically what we want is a chosen mulligan/exchange (featured in Cardfight vanguard and Hearthstone) and cards that allow shuffling of the deck? Seems fair. I actually wonder why there aren't cards that shuffle the deck already in the game...

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    Senior Member highmystica's Avatar
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    I like the mulligan idea as it was first proposed ... you shuffle your deck and draw a new hand -1 card. As much as I hate hearthstone they can get away with a chosen mulligan because they only allow 2 copies of a given card. I also think the -1 card penalty is perfect, it will shift the advantage slightly more away from whoever had the first turn, which still exists in this game even if they don't get to draw the first hand or get shadow energy.

    If you go first you should suffer a greater penalty for needing a mulligan anyway. There is another game I play that uses mulligans and does it with the same penalty. In terms of game play for the most part it actually makes it harder for the person that takes a mulligan because it weakens them in terms of available cards.

    Another thing about taking a mulligan is that you might draw a hand that equally sucks. Personally, I think it's a cool idea it doesn't skew the balance, and it helps reduce the number of people rage quitting before the match has gone on long enough to get XP.

  8. #98
    Senior Member Alien Fungus's Avatar
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    I agree with Gondorian completely ... 50 card deck sounds right for a mulligan ...
    But this is a card game after all and the luck of the draw is a part of the game

  9. #99
    Senior Member MistahBoweh's Avatar
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    I know this is an old thread, but I wasn't here, so now you get a belated wall 'o text.

    Standard (MtG) mulligans seem bad for this game. I can either build a deck with Bad Santa and such in it and play purposefully to abuse the mulligan mechanic, or I'd never use it at all because late game cards are early game resources and going down one a card just means you'll have less options when saccing. The popularity of Word of the Prophet proves how much the single card hurts. French Mulligans (featured in Hearthstone) would make more sense to me in a game like Shadow Era. It follows a similar idea as using Fleet-Footed Messenger or Forgiveness in that you set aside your late game cards rather than sac them. It helps aggro decks that want to set up the perfect opening, but also control decks who want to save certain cards for their late game strategy. Were I making the call and I had to pick a mull method, I would use a french mulligan, except you can only pick up to half your hand (three cards, like Hearthstone) instead of the full six to shuffle back. And it would be fairly simple to code, since you can just reuse the Word of the Prophet effect and just change the trigger. But the logic behind the benefit is wrong (and I'll get to that, I promise).

    As for player two witnessing the opponent's t1 before mulligans, it's not actually that big of a deal. First of all, the vast majority in this game (at least for the moment) don't have first turn plays anyways. Secondly, seeing your opponent's mulligan decision before your own has been one of the ways for ages that Magic has been mitigating First Turn Advantage. Witnessing the full turn might be a step up from that depending on the meta and matchup, but there is a precedent and it works.

    Now, the issue here (and the reason I wouldn't actually recommend any mulligan option lightly) is that Shadow Era is a hero-based game. The idea of heroes in Shadow Era or WoWTCG or Hearthstone or Hex or whatever the hell the kids are playing these days is that they're functionally a card that is always in your hand. They make you consistent. When you have one, you know that on x turn you always have option y. They're your mulligan.

    Now, you might say, some shadow abilities aren't designed to be popped the turn they come up! And some decks are designed to use their energy for other things! How wrong you are, MistahBoweh!

    You see, that's one of the secret beauties of modern Shadow Era, something I doubt the original designer never intended and something that was set in motion by CalmDown for those of you who remember him even before myself and the others formed the first community Design Team. I direct you to Brian Kibler, the creator of Ascension and SolForge, who stated this better than I ever could.

    I understand the goal of Hero powers. We had them in the WoW TCG as well. One of the big characteristics of the WoW TCG (and similarly of Hearthstone) is the presence of your Hero on the board. In a game like Magic, “you” are very ephemeral – you’re some kind of disembodied head commanding the action rather than in the thick of it yourself. That’s not representative of the experience in WoW. In WoW you play a character who is in the middle of the battle, and you’re directly using your spells and abilities to fight off your enemies. Thats’ why we made the decision to have a Hero card that was in play and represented you in the game. Your Hero card worked basically like other creature cards in the game, attacking and able to be attacked directly. There was a feeling that this wasn’t quite enough to make you feel present in the game, so the decision was made to give each Hero card a power so it could effect the game in a meaningful way even without drawing spell or ability cards.

    This is a very dangerous space. Any ability that you are guaranteed to have access to every game runs the risk of defining the game entirely. Look at the casual Vanguard format in Magic. Even the smallest ability can drastically impact the way games play out, and they become more about the Vanguard power than the individual card choices. This is a big problem, because the entire idea of a collectible game is that the cards themselves are what matters.

    Our solution in WoW TCG was to make the Hero powers single use and generally fairly low impact. Some of them could produce big swings in specific situations, but because they were both fairly narrow in application and only usable once, they only rarely had a major impact on the results of a game*. This led to the Hero powers being mostly a way to get across flavor and make each of them feel unique without compromising game play.

    Optimally, I would have preferred not to have had any Hero powers at all, because even if your goal is to make them all relatively low impact across the board, somewhere along the line you’re going to make a mistake. You always run the risk of making some things better and worse than you’d intended when you’re developing a collectible game, but those errors are magnified drastically when they’re effects that players are guaranteed to have access to every game, and there’s nothing that your opponent can do to interact with them. If you make a card that’s too good, players can bias their choices toward cards that are better against that card. On top of that, players who choose to play that card won’t always draw it, so its impact won’t necessarily be felt in every game. Not so with a Hero power. A Hero power that is better than the others will be felt in every game that’s ever played with that Hero, and it’s much harder for your opponents to make card choices to fight against.

    On top of this, even if you can reach a semblance of balance in a broad sense for the Hero powers, you’re not going to be able to balance for all possible contexts. One decision that was made for WoW TCG (that I also disagreed with, but it was pretty much mandated from on high) is that the different classes start with different health totals, because classes had varying levels of hit points in the game. The argument was made that we could just make the cards and/or Hero powers better for the lower health classes to compensate. The problem with this reasoning is that the same things don’t matter in the same way in different contexts. In a battle between resource-advantage based control decks, a difference of one or two or even five points of starting health could matter very little, while an ability that, say, allows you to draw extra cards can be absolutely game-changing.

    This is the state that Hearthstone lives in. There are nine classes, each with a unique, reusable Hero power. One of these Hero powers, the Warrior’s, is to give you two points of Armor, which essentially prevents the next two damage you’d take. Another, the Warlock’s, allows you to pay two life to draw a card. While these may be “balanced” in the grand scheme of things (though that notion is itself questionable), they are certainly not remotely close to balanced when taken in the context of different potential matchup situations. Against a deck that is trying to kill you as fast as possible, gaining Armor is clearly a powerful effect, and paying two life for a card is clearly a real cost. But in a matchup between decks that are jockeying for resource advantage and winning with individually powerful effects, the Warrior ability is borderline useless while the Warlock ability is absolutely game defining.

    The biggest problem isn’t a lack of balance between the abilities, though, but the fact that the abilities themselves completely overshadow and push out actual cards. Four different classes – Rogue, Druid, Mage, and Paladin – have Hero powers that allow them to essentially invalidate a one health creature. Mage can deal one damage directly, while Rogue and Druid can give their Hero +1 (or, for rogue, sometimes +2) attack, and the Paladin can create 1/1 creatures. This makes any creature card with only one health incredibly difficult to play, because against half of the classes in the game, it will die essentially for free. This is a huge problem for a collectible game. You have guaranteed repeat-use abilities that are almost completely invalidating actual cards that people choose to put into their decks.
    Last edited by MistahBoweh; 11-14-2014 at 02:38 PM.
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  10. #100
    Senior Member MistahBoweh's Avatar
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    So basically, what Shadow Era does is it denotes a specific resource to hero abilities, then gives you other ways to spend that resource based on the choices of the other cards in your deck. So your individual card choices matter. This means that there's a sort of balancer where players can have a consistent effect on turn four or five, or they can have an effect come out often more efficiently resources wise and to greater effect, but in exchange, you have to draw and play the card which grants that ability. What ends up happening during games is that some heroes rely on doing something special every four turns, but most are reactionary effects and many decks (with more in the future, I trust) incorporate other uses for energy. So you'll have your 6 out of 39 starting hand which, assuming you sac three and play the other three and your deck only contains ten different cards (so you have two chances at each of the three cards you played) makes a healthy level of variance even when factoring in your continued draws per turn. And instead of using your hero ability every game, it's more like an extra effect that you have in your hand. You CAN use it, but it's just as likely you'll want to either wait or spend those resources on something else.


    If mulligans made open starts more consistent, making alternate powers much more likely to have access to:

    1. The card choice for the stronger SE spending abilities makes the choice of which specific hero you take within a race/faction combination often meaningless. If you can rely on your better ability with more frequency, then you can plan a strategy around that effect as easily as you would around an overly powerful hero's.

    2. There is no longer as much a gamble in relying on specific card choices, as you are far more likely to get what you want when you want it and have little need for multiple strategic avenues or variability/flexibility. If your opponents are more likely to do the same things every game, then you're more likely to need the exact same cards every game to answer them, which forces you to build the same way they do.

    So in other words, your choice of hero and the choice of individual cards in your deck both become less impactful. As decks become more consistent and the same opening plays become more common, there becomes less need for 1 2 and 3 copies of cards because the opponents you face will be doing the same thing every game that you need to respond to the same way each time, and when you streamline your deck to only the ten 'best' cards and you get the ones you want when you want them, your opponents will be trimming out their flexibility cards for the same reason you did until eventually everyone is playing basically the same decks and same game every time and the majority of variance (read: fun) has been removed from the game. You're playing the same cards everyone else is with little room for tweaking, making the same decisions time after time and games are so far calculated in advance that they come down less to player ability and card choices and more to either who goes first or the rare hands that fall too far off the bell curve to be playable.

    I might be talking in extremes here, and the end result might not be so noticeable (or at least not so quickly). But Shadow Era is designed in such a way that the variance at the flat head of the bell curve is more important than reducing occurrences of the extremes.

    And to the suggestion of increasing the deck minimum to 50? No. First of all, that would increase the duration of control mirror games that often go until decks are empty already and also improve the playability of Millstalker strategies (since now everyone else is as consistent as they are). Secondly, Shadow era is in a very tight range of balance where alternate cost SE cards need to be good enough that they warrant play, drawn infrequently so they can't always be counted on, but drawn enough that choosing how to spend your SE is a tricky decision. If alternate hero abilities are seen any more or less than they currently are, the results could be drastic. In the case of a mulligan, you reduce the odds of drawing an individual card by roughly 25%, then nearly double the chances of getting them by giving players a second starting hand. As stated above and elsewhere in the thread, it would be a simple matter to play cheap mutual draw like Bad Santa in order to get 'free mulligans'. Free mulligans in Magic were a little thing called Squadron Hawk, the defining card that made Cawblade possible. For those of you who know roughly what I'm talking about, Cawblade in 2011-2012 posted the best results in Magic since '98's combo winter simply because of the fact that you got to reshuffle your hand 2-3 of times until you had what you needed in it.

    Basically what I'm saying is that the numbers are good where they are now. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    If you read this entire [two posts], I applaud you. Get yourself a cookie. You've earned it.
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