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Vorpal
06-02-2014, 05:57 PM
The unforgiving resource system in this game is making me really depressed.

I have started keeping track so I don't just remember the bad things and not the good things.

8 of my last 10 drafts I have been knocked out the first round due to horrible, horrible, consistent, resource screw.

It's no good saying 'Oh it gets better in the long term'.

In a sufficiently random resource system with a sufficiently large population, there will be some people who experience routine bad luck

What do you do if you are one of those people? How do you make the game fun?

What's the point in playing if you are doomed to lose over and over and over because the RNG hates you?

There's no point in saying 'well build your deck around it' because in a truly random system, there is always the chance you will draw the wrong cards. I do try to build around it, but building around it is certainly no guarantee of not running into issues.

In my 40 card draft decks, I always put in at least 16 resources, and sometimes 17. I try to avoid low cost cards with dual thresholds, saving those for the higher cost cards. I generally put in lots of low cost cards and only a couple that are cost 4 or higher. None of it seems to matter.

In my last draft, I drafted a pretty good deck. Or at least, I thought it was good. I never got to play it.

First game, despite drawing half my deck, I only drew 1 out of 8 diamond shards (should have gotten 4). I did, however, draw the only 3 double diamond thresholds cards in my deck. Couldn't play any of them, and lost.

Second game, I went through 8 draws without drawing a single resource, and lost again. (My deck was well over half resources at that point).

The chances of that are drawing only 1 resource in 10 is 1%. This isn't happening to me 1 out of 100 games I play, it's happening to me 80 out of 100 games I play.

And this is typical for me. I am *always* getting mana screwed. I would think it was some persistent problem with how I was building my deck, but I've looked, and I'm doing what people recommend. If I'm not, please enlighten me!

A previous game I went 14 draws with a single resource. The game before that, 14 draws with NO resource. The game before that, 2 resources out of 11 draws. And on and on.

And I stress that this is 16-17 resources out of a 40 card deck. Usually split 9/8 to 7 (dual shard decks, because of draft). Sadly, on the rare occasions I am not mana screwed, this seems to be enough to mana flood me every now and then as well.

I mulligan if I get a hand that isn't playable first 2 or 3 turns, but then I just keep getting hands that aren't playable and mulligan down to 4 and auto lose.

If I get an initial hand with resources in it, I draw nothing but resources if I keep it. If I get a hand with lots of low cost cards and few resources in it, I draw nothing but more cards if I keep it.

What else is there for me to do? How can I change? What am I missing about deck building?

I don't even think their shuffler or whatever is broken or something. Given enough people, some people will, with mathematical certainty, experience almost uniform bad luck, due to the nature of the bell curve.

What do you do if you are one of those people?

Xenavire
06-02-2014, 06:10 PM
I have never, EVER gone below 17 resources in draft, and I still get screwed. I have sometimes gone up to 18 and had much better luck (although I got some crazy flood today, back to back 10 resource to 2-3 card floods.)

I suspect your problem is running too few shards. And don't use low drops so much - in draft you should go a little bit higher (like a few 1-2 drops, preferably strong ones, then start seriously at 3/4 cost, and save some slots for 5+ cost bombs.) My win rate is not amazing, but following those guidelines I win much more often than if I follow constructed guidelines (where you focus on curving out perfectly.)

Screw and flood are more common in draft (it is harder to make a balanced deck, and colour fixers and ramp are both rare enough to make things awkward) so you should expect some automatic losses. The rest of the time you need to carefully consider your reserves and balance your resources to be a little higher than 16.

I hope this helps.

Vorpal
06-02-2014, 06:37 PM
Interesting. I will try 18.

I also feel like I could probably do better at mulliganing...I mean, mulliganing if you have no plays for 3 turns seems fairly straightfoward but it's not always that obvious.

Xenavire
06-02-2014, 06:51 PM
Interesting. I will try 18.

I also feel like I could probably do better at mulliganing...I mean, mulliganing if you have no plays for 3 turns seems fairly straightfoward but it's not always that obvious.

Yeah, I made that mistake tonight. 6 resource hand with a Sky'le griffon in-hand (18 shards total in the deck.) My first instinct was to mulligan, but then I though 'I have 33 cards left, and only 12 of them are shards. I could survive a few more shard draws, but most draws should be something I could use.'

Let's just say I couldn't have been more wrong. Approx 2/3 of my draws should have been useful cards. Thems the breaks.

sukebe
06-02-2014, 07:40 PM
I play 18 shards as well in draft. The sole exception to this is when I have nothing but low cost cards, maybe with 1 or 2 five cost cards in which case I will play with 17. Mulliganing is always tough for me but my time in MTG has made it a bit easier. I try to only keep hands where I have 3 shards or 2 shards with 1 or 2 cards I can play. This does not always work out but it has done fairly well for me.

Lawlschool
06-02-2014, 07:43 PM
It's entirely possible that you just have some god-awful luck. If that's the case, I don't think there's much you can do except stay away from Vegas.

More likely though, you might need to do even more fine-tuning for your draft decks. Try taking a screen cap of ever deck, and once the tourney's over reflect on what went right and what went wrong. Did you lose purely because of flood/screw? Or was there something else that caused the loss? Maybe your thresholds weren't balanced, or maybe the cards you were drawing didn't impact the game enough to mitigate what flood/screw you did experience.

You mentioned that you tend to keep your curve low, which might also be a problem. IMO and from what I've seen of successful streamers, you want to focus your curve on the 3 - 5 drops, since those are the slots that will have the most impact on the game. You don't want to be running a lot of 1 or 2 drops unless you're building a really aggressive deck. You also want to generally put in as many (good) troops and as much removal / pseudo-removal as you can, with a few spots left for some support cards like auras. As a general rule for shards, I like to go with a 9/8 split if my thresholds are reasonably balanced, and 10/7 if my thresholds are tilted toward one shard in particular.

Lastly, knowing when to mulligan is probably the most useful and most difficult skill to learn. LLCoolDave has a pretty good explanation of mulligan theory here (http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=35877&p=373342&viewfull=1#post373342). The way I think about it is I ask myself, "What do I need to draw to make this hand work perfectly, and when do I need to draw it?" If the answer is something like "I need any shard by turn 4 and things will be great," I'll probably keep it. If the answer is "I need a Blood shard on my first draw or I'm screwed," I'll probably toss it. The longer you can go without needing to draw anything specific the better.

Vorpal
06-02-2014, 07:56 PM
Thanks for the link and explanation lalwschool that was very helpful.

Trying to fix mana screw by using higher value drops seems a little unintuitive but if it means you can then also use more shards, it kind of makes sense.

I will have to give that a try.

Werlix
06-02-2014, 08:39 PM
What do you do if you are one of those people?

You don't do anything different (as long as you are following the 17/18 resource guideline for draft).

If you've had bad luck in the past there's no reason why you should experience any unusual bad luck in the future.

All you can do is write it off as bad luck and carry on.

Suggesting you need to change something about how you play because you're one of the "unlucky" players reminds me of:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot-hand_fallacy

I had a bad run of luck a little while ago but lately have been going ok. You'll get through it :)

Zomnivore
06-03-2014, 12:31 AM
Shard screw is just part of the random.

I haven't consistently lost to it, but then again... it could happen later.

Cernz
06-03-2014, 12:37 AM
shit happens :) , lost due to mana screw, won due to mana screw... everything is fine ;)

sukebe
06-03-2014, 02:55 AM
shit happens :) , lost due to mana screw, won due to mana screw... everything is fine ;)

Out of all of my games I have yet to draw a single mana :-(

sorry, I had to do it :-)

Mayhem_
06-03-2014, 04:26 AM
I've been in similar situations, the worst one was recently. I played against a new player that had absolutely no clue what he was doing (casting burns on me round 1-2 cause of misclicks). I easily won round 1 and round 2 i got litterally fucked over by mana. I drew 2 in my first hand and no more for the next 9 turns whilst playing 18/40 resources. It was incredibly unfortunate. I did however won round 3 but still.
I decided that i really wanted to avoid similar situations and tried building my draft decks around more consistency. Oracle songs, peaks etc.. and i gotta admit, they helped me a shit-ton in pretty much every situation.

Svenn
06-03-2014, 07:11 AM
If you feel like you're getting screwed over THAT often then I really think there's a good chance you're doing something wrong, whether in deck building or mulligans. Can you post up some sample draft decks that you've done and thought were really good? I'm curious to see if there's anything weird you're doing.

Some guidelines for deck building:
- Minimum of 17 resources (unless you are somehow running a very fast, aggressive deck then MAYBE 16, but that's low).
- Weight your deck heavily around 3-4 drops. I usually run a few 1-2 drops, a few bombs (5+ cost cards), and mostly 3-4 drops.
- Try to avoid too many dual threshold cards (I try not to run more than 3), and if possible stick to dual threshold in only one of your shards.
- Grab resource fixing things (especially Shards of Fate or Adaptable Infusion Device, or Chlorophylia/Howling Brave if you're Wild).
- In limited, you want to be running mostly troops (or things that will get you new troops) with a few actions, and maybe a constant/artifact or two depending on the deck.
- Try to get a little card draw. This can help you get to/through your resources faster and it can give you some card advantage that can sway the game.

Limited play is a slower format than constructed generally as it's harder to make a consistent, fast limited deck. This means you can focus on slightly higher cost cards and it also means you don't have to be as aggressive with mulligans as you would in constructed. For example, if I have 3-4 resources in my opening hand I'll almost always keep it even if I have nothing to drop immediately. Using the above guidelines for deck building you are likely to be able to drop something by turn 3-4 at the very least if you have the resources. You can keep hands with 2 resources if you've got something to drop with those 2 (at the very least it will allow you to delay a little until you get more resources). You can sometimes keep 2 resource hands with no 1-2 drops and be okay depending on your deck. It's a bit risky but it depends on mulligans really. Initial 7 cards I'd be more hesitant to keep that hand, but if I've already dropped to 6 I'm more likely to keep that and hope for the best than to keep dropping cards since it's less and less likely that you'll have even 2 resources.

Using the above, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've truly been resource screwed in about 15-20 drafts. Hell, I even ran a 5 color Midnight Shepherd deck and made it to round 2 without too much issue.

ellysium
06-03-2014, 08:07 AM
always play with 16 resources. yes sometimes you get screwed but not as constant as you make it out to be. 16 resources 9 spells 15 troops. give or take 1 or 2 for synergy.

Xenavire
06-03-2014, 09:26 AM
always play with 16 resources. yes sometimes you get screwed but not as constant as you make it out to be. 16 resources 9 spells 15 troops. give or take 1 or 2 for synergy.

Thats terrible advice. I can be constantly screwed with even 17, if I don't draft a little fixing. 16 is nowhere near enough, and you should only play it if you are playing cheap, fast, and consistent aggro. And thats rare in draft.

Marsden
06-03-2014, 09:33 AM
If I find something is losing consistently to screw first question is: Threshold or Resource?

If I think it's Resource: add a shard or two more; look at the curve; add some card draw if appropriate; consider what hands I've actually been getting stuck with (was there a way they would have been playable even if I'd drawn the extra resources?) and see if it's actually a resource problem.

If I think it's Threshold: add some fixing from what we have available right now; look at those 2+ threshold cards and see if I really need them, have I got my balance wrong or is there a lower threshold card that can replace them?

I've had a few tries out with a 5-shard deck where I've hit an Invicible Lixil on turn 3 thanks to Shard of Fate and Infusion Device.
Screw is definitely not something you can guarantee isn't going to happen, but it is something you can try to work around.

Lawlschool
06-03-2014, 10:08 AM
Trying to fix mana screw by using higher value drops seems a little unintuitive but if it means you can then also use more shards, it kind of makes sense.

That's sorta the idea, but it has more to do with what Svenn is saying about Limited being a slower format than Constructed. Limited games can easily reach 8+ turns, which means you have a good shot at getting high cost troops out. You also want to be running high cost troops because they (usually) have a greater impact on the game than low cost troops. For example, on your 6th draw, would you rather get a Cottontail Ronin or a Boulder Brute? Ronin is a pretty awesome 1 drop, but he's not worth that much late game because it's likely your opponent's troops will outclass it. Boulder Brute, however, is still going to be a troublesome card for your opponent even on your 8th+ turn.

EntropyBall
06-03-2014, 11:34 AM
Try screenshotting a your next draft deck and posting it here along with your opening hands and any mulligans you took. Might be easier for people to identify where you are going wrong.

Turtlewing
06-03-2014, 11:49 AM
One thing to remember is that you need to build every deck with it's own resource base.

Guidelines like "17-18 resources" in a draft deck, are not hard/fast rules. If you find you need more resources run more resources.

Another really important thing to sort out (and usually much harder to give general advice on that total number of shards) is the split of shards between your colors. You don't always want an even split between your colors. Sometimes you'll splash for one or two cards and want 4-5 shards for that color and the rest in your primary. Sometimes your primary color has a lot of double/triple threshold cards so you'll need a split closer to 12/6 than 10/7 or 9/9. Also don't forget your champion power. Make sure you'll have good odds of getting the necessary threshold in time to use it (try to avoid using Dimmind in a deck with the Kraken, for example as the sapphire heavy threshold for the kraken will mean you'll be hard pressed to support Dimmind's 2 diamond threshold in the early turns)

With regards to mulligan, You need to look at hands with one eye to what the hand alone can do for you as is and another to what you'll probably raw into. A hand with no plays until turn 4 might be a good hand if you have some good 4 drops and the shards to play them in hand and your deck might draw into some 1-3 drops. By contrast a hand that can't play any of it's cards due to threshold is almost always a bad had regardless of how amazing those cards are (you might take the gamble if the thresholds are all 1 and you're heavily tilted towards the shard you need, but it's a gamble so don't be mad if it doesn't pay out)

LNQ
06-03-2014, 02:53 PM
I just went down to 24 cards with a 10 sapphire draft deck without drawing sapphire - 1,3% odds of that happening after not mulliganing. Damn!

.. I cope by venting on the forums / chat and moving on. :)

WabukiSensei
06-05-2014, 12:45 AM
Vorpal, I share your plight. We should be friends :(

Zarien
06-05-2014, 08:13 AM
I actually got flooded more often taking the 17-18 resource route. Since then, I've switched to 16 resources and it's been a way smoother drafting experience for me. I'm almost never flooding, though it still happens at times obviously. I'm typically never starving for resources, and I think that really comes more from the fact that there are a lot stronger 3-4 cost creatures this set, and the REALLY good big guys are mostly in the rares/legendaries which are obviously not as rampant in draft.

swigmonkey
06-05-2014, 09:15 AM
If you are getting screwed, its your deck. I won a draft with 15 resources yesterday, and got resource screwed zero times. Mind you my average cost was two, but I was constantly flooded with 5-6 resources. I do a ton of 16 resource games and 17. I rarely get a game to were I lost due to not drawing more resources.

You have to build your deck around your curve. Its as simple as that. If you require 4 resources to get rolling, 18 should be fine and hopefully you are getting card draw/resource boost as well.

A lot of people also confuse resource screw with opponents mill cards. If I would of drawn another resource I here often, while I just milled 3 of them away by turn four.

funktion
06-05-2014, 10:53 AM
I'm joining this thread a bit late, and pretty much am just going to be rehashing what Svenn said.

I've drafted a LOT so far in beta. Not quite as much as some but more than most. For starters I've seen people complain about screw / flood way more than they should be (they aren't actually screwed or flooded). Not to mention the times where they make a pretty massive blunder on turn 3 but then when they lose on turn 8 they blame it on "screw/flood" rather than them taking responsibility for playing poorly.

More often than not it feels like people are just looking for an excuse. I've seen quite a few people just concede when they didn't hit their 3rd resource by turn 4... if you're conceding early on before the game is decided that either: a) your own fault for keeping a terrible hand or b) your own fault for not playing to your outs.

Sure I've been screwed and flooded as well, it is part of RNG, I've also had games go where I didn't draw my 3rd resource till turn 5 or 6 and then proceeded to slam dunk on my opponent. I'm not trying to be dense, but people that are complaining about this are being shortsighted. While you aren't in control of what card you're going to draw turn after turn, you are in control of the cards you put in your deck as well as the way you play them out.

TLDR; what do I do when I seem to have hit a streak of bad luck?
a) step away and go do something else, I'm likely not playing my best and tilting myself further
b) re-que... bad luck happens, I'm ok with that
c) acknowledge that I could have drafted / deckbuilt / played significantly better than I did and that's the real reason I lost

Xenavire
06-05-2014, 11:00 AM
Funny story - just ran into screw with 30 resources (I did recover but it lost me the game.) Only saw 5 shards and a chloro in about 8 turns? With Cerebral fulmination out.

Luck can be very strange sometimes. :p

primer
06-05-2014, 11:09 AM
In 7 games of a draft (2-0 2-0 2-1) I had a opening hand with 7 resources and in another game an opening hand with 0 resources. 1.3% and <0.1% chance of happening yet I see it in a 7 game run.

Having a 0 or 7 shard opening hand has happened multiple times now and I've only drafted maybe 10-15 times. Way more often than the odd suggest.

edit: I always running 17 shards.

nicosharp
06-05-2014, 11:25 AM
TLDR; what do I do when I seem to have hit a streak of bad luck?
a) step away and go do something else, I'm likely not playing my best and tilting myself further
b) re-que... bad luck happens, I'm ok with that
c) acknowledge that I could have drafted / deckbuilt / played significantly better than I did and that's the real reason I lost
It is pretty much 100% c -
I find it funny that people put 0 value on card draw mechanics in a draft, and then proceed to keep a 2 shard hand and top deck all 3cost plus cards and only have 3 cost plus cards in their hand. Then the reverse is they keep two 1 drops and a 5 shard hand, then top deck all shards.

It's bad luck, and its happened to me a few times. Players really need to internalize why this happens. You can only blame the game for so long until you either quit playing it or make adjustments to avoid the same frustrations over and over.

koobiak
06-05-2014, 12:11 PM
I have drafted 10 times and won 3 of them (only knocked out once in first round). I play 17 resources and while I have lost a couple of games to resource screw - so have my opponents and with the best of three mechanic, I can say that resource screw is rarely the reason I get knocked out.

I like the randomness of it all. It adds suspense to the game and if you did any kind of forced spacing of resources, I think games and decks would become too predictable.

primer
06-05-2014, 01:20 PM
I like the randomness of it all. It adds suspense to the game

For me, nothing ruins a match more when either me or my opponent get screwed/flooded. Not fun for anyone, just a waste of a game.

Werlix
06-05-2014, 01:31 PM
I'm joining this thread a bit late, and pretty much am just going to be rehashing what Svenn said.

I've drafted a LOT so far in beta. Not quite as much as some but more than most. For starters I've seen people complain about screw / flood way more than they should be (they aren't actually screwed or flooded). Not to mention the times where they make a pretty massive blunder on turn 3 but then when they lose on turn 8 they blame it on "screw/flood" rather than them taking responsibility for playing poorly.

More often than not it feels like people are just looking for an excuse. I've seen quite a few people just concede when they didn't hit their 3rd resource by turn 4... if you're conceding early on before the game is decided that either: a) your own fault for keeping a terrible hand or b) your own fault for not playing to your outs.


Yep, I get a bit tired of people complaining all the time about screw/flood. Sometimes it definitely happens and it sucks... but sometimes people are just complaining because they lost. And it would help you much more in the long run to analyse why you lost, how you could have built you deck better or played better...

I played a draft last night and my opponent said he got flooded because he drew 9/16 resources. That doesn't even seem like much of a flood for starters... and then he was also playing a 3-shard draft deck with tons of random cards like Stormcall and lots of double-threshold cards like the aforementioned card and Thunderbird, Noble Citizenry etc. I can just see him continuing to build these kinds of decks because it wasn't his fault he lost - it was shard flood, right?

Vorpal
06-06-2014, 08:55 AM
I can just see him continuing to build these kinds of decks because it wasn't his fault he lost - it was shard flood, right?

That's the thing though - it could be!

In fact, with a properly functioning RNG, and a sufficiently large sample population, we know there are people who will consistently get mana screwed. That's the way bell curves work :D

If you flip enough coins there will be one that is tails 90% of the time.

Now in any individual's case, he is probably not this poor lost soul, but just someone who needs to construct his deck better.

Voormas
06-06-2014, 04:15 PM
There is nobody with good reason to believe that they will continue to be this poor lost soul however? Even if a (fair) coin happened to come up tails 90% of the time there is no reason to believe it won't have a fair chance of coming up heads next time

Werlix
06-06-2014, 08:02 PM
There is nobody with good reason to believe that they will continue to be this poor lost soul however? Even if a (fair) coin happened to come up tails 90% of the time there is no reason to believe it won't have a fair chance of coming up heads next time

Yeah that was my point. Of course there will have been unlucky people in the past. But this has no bearing on their future. We don't think along the lines of "Man, my luck has been really bad... I guess I should put 2 more shards in my deck because I'm so unlucky when it comes to drawing shards". That makes no sense.

Werlix
06-06-2014, 08:05 PM
That's the thing though - it could be!

In fact, with a properly functioning RNG, and a sufficiently large sample population, we know there are people who will consistently get mana screwed. That's the way bell curves work :D

If you flip enough coins there will be one that is tails 90% of the time.

Now in any individual's case, he is probably not this poor lost soul, but just someone who needs to construct his deck better.

I see your point, but in the case I was talking about, the player was using a 3-shard draft deck with tons of double threshold cards and also lots of very situational/weak cards like Stormcall. And he drew 9/16 shards and ran out of gas - that's not shard flood, that's bad deck building.

But I agree sometimes you can just flat out lose to shard flood/screw, for sure. My point was that people sometimes default to blaming their losses on shard flood/screw when it's often a mixture of many things including things that the player has complete power over.