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Thread: Muligans in Draft and Sealed

  1. #1

    Muligans in Draft and Sealed

    I am worried that mulligans are too common in draft and sealed. In constructed, you have more control over your deck, so you can include non shard cards to reduce your need to mulligan. So I did some math. My math operates under the assumption that you are using 18 shards in a 40 card deck. I usually mulligan when I have less than or equal to 1 shards or more than or equal to 6. In my ideal world, I would always have 3 shards in my opening hand, but I am pretty happy with 4, but I am too afraid of getting a worse hand with 2 or 5 to mulligan (as the only 6 card hand that would be better in my mind is 3 shards).

    So the math I promised:
    If you mulligan like me, your chance to mulligan is 10.4%.
    If you also mulligan on 2, your chance to mulligan is 32.1%
    If you also mulligan on 5, your chance to mulligan is 21.1%
    If you also mulligan on 2 and 5, your chance to mulligan is 42.7%

    Now if you are drafting then you are expecting to play 6-9 rounds. So you are more likely to see a mulligan than not, regardless of how good of a deck builder you are, unless you get a lot of those non-shard mana helpers. To me this means that mulligans happen too often. There have been a number of suggestions to fix mulligans so I am not even going to bother writing about that. What I want to know is if these numbers sound okay to everyone else, or if you think I am mulliganing too often, or too little.

  2. #2
    If someone is mulliganing 42.7% of the time they are drafting badly. A lot of draft decks can easily stay with 2 or 5 lands, even easier if you go second. In a argo deck a 2 shard hand may be perfect

  3. #3
    Im generally good with 2 shards in my hand and 16 shards in the deck. Perhaps im playing too few since everyone seems to be talking 17-18 shards

  4. #4
    17 is probably the sweet spot. I might use 18 if I'm deep in 2 shards with multiple 2/3 threshold cards in each and I don't have a SOF or AID.

    Also, I generally keep the majority of 2 resource hand I see - especially if I have a couple of 2 cost cards anyway. That gives me 2-3 turns to draw into another resource.
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  5. #5
    17 is definitely without a doubt the sweet spot. I've gone 16 a couple times and 15 once so far, never 18.

    I shouldn't really be giving a whole lot of mulligan advice though maybe because I tend to keep most 1 resource hands depending on how they play out. I know some folks just auto-mull them but often times that's not the right call.

    I will say this though, if you're feeling like you're getting resource screwed chances are the answer isn't to go up to 18 but rather look at the deck you built and try to include more 2 and 3 cost cards next time.
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  6. #6
    I'm actually fairly certain the sweet spot is closer to 18 than 17 in this set. 5 Drops seem to be way too important for most decks and the number of actually playable two drops is surprisingly low in a lot of the archetypes. The curves tend to be just too high to afford missing too many land drops, with too many expensive cards for my liking on most of the decks I end up with. Not out of choice, I just generally tend not to be able to produce a proper curve in this set.

    In any case, I don't see any deck you could build in this set that could play only 15 resources. 16, maybe. I've just noticed that I'm losing more games to not being able to cast my cards than I do to running out of cards to cast at 17 resources, so going up to 18 seems like a natural choice.

    I don't think I've yet to see a deck where I'd want to keep a 1 resource hand in this set. People seem to generally not play enough lands/resources, although things have at least improved in that regard in the last couple of years. Still, I'm fairly certain most of the challenge series top 8 decks could easily have been improved by playing another resource, for instance.

    Generally for limited I'd like to toy around with an implementation of 7->6->6->5->5->4->4 cards in hand in the mulligan chain. There's still a very real cost to taking a mulligan, but the chances of being able to keep a 6 card hand are vastly increased. As it's rather hard to build a limited deck that abuses the mulligan system I feel like this implementation could avoid a lot of the frustration involved in mulligans.

    I'm not sure if anybody has done the math on this yet somewhere, but if you pick reasonable values for having a 7th card in your hand, having a good curve to play out, having a few exceptionally powerful cards in your deck you'd like to draw (which most limited decks do) and getting a proper resource/spell ratio in your hand I'd be surprised if, game theoretically, you should mulligan less than 20% of your 7 card hands. I'd expect the number to be closer to 25%, maybe even slightly above that, intuitively, but I haven't really done the math. With the 7->6->6 system this number might even be around 35% or more, making mulligan decisions more apparently a skill one can excel in. And as there's a sort of safety net to fall back on, you're going to be less frustrated for making the correct decision.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by funktion View Post
    17 is definitely without a doubt the sweet spot. I've gone 16 a couple times and 15 once so far, never 18.

    I shouldn't really be giving a whole lot of mulligan advice though maybe because I tend to keep most 1 resource hands depending on how they play out. I know some folks just auto-mull them but often times that's not the right call.

    I will say this though, if you're feeling like you're getting resource screwed chances are the answer isn't to go up to 18 but rather look at the deck you built and try to include more 2 and 3 cost cards next time.
    Often is a bit of a stretch, what one resource hands are you keeping? Im really struggling to think of any one resource hands that are worth keeping.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by stiii View Post
    Often is a bit of a stretch, what one resource hands are you keeping? Im really struggling to think of any one resource hands that are worth keeping.
    I think I just kept my first one resource hand ever in draft. I was on the draw in monogreen with a Howling Brave in hand and nothing in my hand cost more than 3 with a second one drop.

  9. #9
    I've been drafting a lot and since it appears to be no secret, I use 17.. Always.

    More on that, I always run 9 of one shard and 8 of another or 10 and 7, just depending on the dominant shard or what I'm trying to accomplish.

    I'd rather have more resources than less in an opening hand and I rarely mulligan. Now keep in mind, I find 1-2 drops of crucial importance and I usually have as many of them as 3.

    I tend to try to keep anything 5 or greater shards to about 5 cards and I NEVER use more than 40 cards in a deck.

    Also, I would only run SOF in a 3 or more shard deck.

    EDIT: I typically run 2 shards, rarely mono, rarely more than 2. However, I did make an INSPIRE deck (RSD/RBW), but I wasn't able to play it due to some random alpha trny glitch.. I was sad =/

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    Last edited by joseph5185; 04-22-2014 at 03:19 AM.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by joseph5185 View Post
    Now keep in mind, I find 1-2 drops of crucial importance and I usually have as many of them as 3.
    Hm, I prefer not having a single 1-drop in my deck, unless they do something really critical for my deck (like charge bot/war machinist in dwarves or howling brave/stargazer in green)

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