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 Post subject: Evaluating cards for multiplayer EDH: Animal elements...
AgePosted: 2009-Jan-03 11:30 am 

Joined: 2008-Sep-21 12:45 am
Age: Wyvern
Location: Toulouse
The context: I play daily with a group of casual magic players being the only one with enough cards to create decks. Having discovered EDH some monthes ago I've built 8 decks with the cards I own to allow everyone to play with. (see my sig for the list) We play games in 1vs1vs1, Troll, 5-players with 2 allies and 2 enemies (can't remember the name of this), and even some Emperor games. Duels are quite rare as we are several every day to come and play at lunch.

My concern at the moment is that we've found that some decks are more powerful than others ("ooohh... what a surpriiiise!" :wink: ) but I want to have a clear view of the situation. So I remembered of Anthony Alongi's rating of multiplayer cards (an author that posted numerous articles on mtg.com, some of you may remind him). He had a very interesting rating based upon "animals" (rattlesnake / gorilla / spider / pigeon / plankton / cockroach) to determine the "value" of particular cards played in multiplayer games. This way I should be able to determine the "value" of my decks.
See its particular articles for more details:
Part 1 :http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/aa142
Part 2 : http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/aa143
Part 3 : http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/aa144

So my point today is to ask your help in order to find some more "animal" criteria to evaluate the cards with EDH decks / games in mind. Those new criteria would be added to the one existing to adapt the rating to EDH.
... or someone has already been able to create some ratings that would help me already! :D

Thanks in advance for your help!

_________________
Generals:
Heartless Hidetsugu // Nicol Bolas
Ghost council of Orzhova // Momir Vig
Sygg river cutthroat // Rith the Awakener
Kaerveck the Merciless // Scion of the Ur-Drago
Rafiq of the Many


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 Post subject:
AgePosted: 2009-Jan-03 2:22 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Mar-24 12:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Oakland, CA
Platypus - Occupies a specific, unique place. Does this either by (a) attacking a strategy or resource usually ignored or by (b) attacking a somewhat more commonly attacked resource in an uncommon way.

Examples of high Platypus factor: Brooding Saurian (a), Rain of Gore (a), Ground Seal (b), Guiltfeeder (b)
Examples of medium Platypus factor: Ghostway, Obliterate, Petrified Wood-Kin
Examples of low Platypus factor: Primalcrux, Relic of Progenitus, Dismiss

Dolphin - Has a wide range of uses; almost always makes you happy to have it in hand (assuming you can cast it).

Examples of very high Dolphin factor: Primal Command, Demonic Tutor
Examples of medium high Dolphin factor: Cryptic Command, Myojin of Infinite Rage, Jund Charm
Examples of medium low Dolphin factor: Mortify, Dead // Gone
Examples of very low Dolphin factor: Syphon Soul

Newt - Answers either (a) a common strategy or (b) a frequently used card directly.

Examples of high Newt factor: Wrath of God (a), Withered Wretch (a), Wild Ricochet (b), Word of Seizing (b)
Examples of medium Newt factor: Spirit of the Hearth, Bind
Examples of low Newt factor: Piracy, Smokestack, Fact or Fiction

As for rating the value of cards for EDH, there are already several threads for doing exactly that. Here's one:
http://edh.truespace.ca/EDH_Forum/viewtopic.php?t=1000


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AgePosted: 2009-Jan-03 4:41 pm 

Joined: 2008-Sep-21 12:45 am
Age: Wyvern
Location: Toulouse
intreped wrote:
Platypus - Occupies a specific, unique place. Does this either by (a) attacking a strategy or resource usually ignored or by (b) attacking a somewhat more commonly attacked resource in an uncommon way.

Examples of high Platypus factor: Brooding Saurian (a), Rain of Gore (a), Ground Seal (b), Guiltfeeder (b)
Examples of medium Platypus factor: Ghostway, Obliterate, Petrified Wood-Kin
Examples of low Platypus factor: Primalcrux, Relic of Progenitus, Dismiss

Dolphin - Has a wide range of uses; almost always makes you happy to have it in hand (assuming you can cast it).

Examples of very high Dolphin factor: Primal Command, Demonic Tutor
Examples of medium high Dolphin factor: Cryptic Command, Myojin of Infinite Rage, Jund Charm
Examples of medium low Dolphin factor: Mortify, Dead // Gone
Examples of very low Dolphin factor: Syphon Soul

Newt - Answers either (a) a common strategy or (b) a frequently used card directly.

Examples of high Newt factor: Wrath of God (a), Withered Wretch (a), Wild Ricochet (b), Word of Seizing (b)
Examples of medium Newt factor: Spirit of the Hearth, Bind
Examples of low Newt factor: Piracy, Smokestack, Fact or Fiction

As for rating the value of cards for EDH, there are already several threads for doing exactly that. Here's one:
http://edh.truespace.ca/EDH_Forum/viewtopic.php?t=1000


I really like the animals you came with! :D

"Dolphin" seems like a really nice criteria not covered but the first 6 elements and quite crucial to EDH as being able to be useful at any times is sooo interesting! (compared to "normal" magic where you know that games won't last dozens of turns usually)

"Newt" is a kind of way to determine the number of "answers" you have in your deck... Pretty useful. "Gorilla" does that in a kind of way but don't consider local answers but just global ones...

"Platypus": not sold on this one as a card with high platypus seems to tell you : "I would have been in sideboard for any normal deck... it's just because you have room here that you play me..."

For those that haven't looked at the original elements:
- The rattlesnake element warns players off. It makes coming at you unappetizing, and going after another player more so.
- The gorilla element pounds the board. It's a measure of impact – on life totals, permanents, hands, whatever.
- The spider element surprises opponents by trapping them.
- The pigeon element grows stronger the more opponents there are.
- The plankton element feeds the whole table without much discrimination.
- The cockroach element represents the part of the card that replicates an effect and/or multiply resources.

All these elements are rated from 0 (Nonexistent. Antithesis of element.) to 8 (Ultimate. Best in color for element.)

Thanks for the link as it provides nice feedback on cards and color combinations.
However what I'd like to set up is a database with numerous cards... and the reason why some are better than others and on which criteria it has been determined! :wink: A database in which you could look for cards with high spider or dolphin in your colors... :D

_________________
Generals:
Heartless Hidetsugu // Nicol Bolas
Ghost council of Orzhova // Momir Vig
Sygg river cutthroat // Rith the Awakener
Kaerveck the Merciless // Scion of the Ur-Drago
Rafiq of the Many


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 Post subject:
AgePosted: 2009-Jan-06 2:19 pm 

Joined: 2008-Nov-24 2:16 pm
Age: Dragon
Armadillo - Cards that make attacking you a wasted or overexerting effort.

High - Circles of Protection, Story Circle, Fog Bank
Medium - War Tax, Propaganda, Ghostly Prison, Godhead of Awe, Humility
Low - Koskun Falls, Sun Droplet, Regenerators


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 Post subject:
AgePosted: 2009-Jan-06 3:18 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Mar-24 12:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Oakland, CA
That looks like a small subset of Rattlesnake to me.


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 Post subject:
AgePosted: 2009-Jan-06 4:55 pm 

Joined: 2007-Jun-04 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Gainsville, FL
How about the simplest animal in the Animal kingdom: The Sponge?

The sponge, being a filter feeder, nourishes itself upon whatever happens to pass by, and as it is not a motile creature, I view it as a passive element when translated to a representation of magic cards.

I tend to think of this card as a permanent, rather than a sorcery or an instant, since a sponge just sits there once spawned from buds. Another interesting attribute of the sponge is that it grows in such a way as to maximize the waterflow through itself as if to encourage interaction with outside elements to benefit itself; this could be interpreted in magic cards as having a political element.

For example, I think Spurnmage Advocate is a good example; It can dictate the flow of creature attacks in a direction of your choice by negotiation because it both has the ability to destroy an attacking creature as well as grant the "favor" of returning two cards in a graveyard to another players hand.

Also, I think Counterspell would be a very poor fit for this category, compared to Counterbalance, Decree of Silence, Hesitation, and the very fun Ice Cave.

Similarly, I think Righteous Cause would rank far higher in this category than say, Congregate. Even though Patron of the Kitsune has the same ability as Righteous Cause, it ranks slightly lower as it discourages attacks.

A really high Sponge ranking card would be Dovescape - it sits there, turns spells into food (dove tokens) and "funnels" your opponents' tactics from then on into playing creatures.

I also think the Phelddagrifs rank high in this category - they grant favors to your opponents depending upon their situation, can fly to chump if you need them to and do cute tricks to get you out of a pinch.

Vedalken Shackles has a cute aquatic theme and certainly snags what floats by, so it gets my vote.

_________________
Growing Darkness, taking Dawn; I was me, but now he is gone - Metallica, "Fade to Black"


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 Post subject:
AgePosted: 2009-Jan-07 1:49 am 

Joined: 2008-Sep-21 12:45 am
Age: Wyvern
Location: Toulouse
Perhaps we may sum it up this way:
Sponge : cards that encourage or allow diplomacy with other players.

At first it seemed like plankton to me: but there, you have choices to make (with Spurnmage Advocate or Phelddagrifs in mind) and so more control on the one you "help" contrary to Howling Mine for example that's very high in plankton but don't allow you specific temporary alliances.

A nice idea!

A point that seems forgotten in the existing rating and that is pretty crucial for EDH: tutoring... Demonic tutor / Diabolic tutor / cars with Transmute or even lands or artefact that allow you to search for the right kind of (basic) land should be ranked in an element... but none corresponds so far. What about "Fox" or any other "clever" animal?

_________________
Generals:
Heartless Hidetsugu // Nicol Bolas
Ghost council of Orzhova // Momir Vig
Sygg river cutthroat // Rith the Awakener
Kaerveck the Merciless // Scion of the Ur-Drago
Rafiq of the Many


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 Post subject:
AgePosted: 2009-Jan-07 1:13 pm 
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Joined: 2008-May-04 1:02 am
Age: Dragon
Location: Orlando, FL
Cthulhu: cards that scare the crap out of players
High: Mind Slaver
Medium: Dark Steel Colossus
Low: Planar Portal

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RIP Academy & EDH - June '10


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 Post subject:
AgePosted: 2009-Jan-07 1:33 pm 
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Joined: 2007-Sep-21 8:22 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Harry Potter

Cards that should be badass but in fact just get lucky a lot (but are badass actually and just make you think they got lucky because they're situational but the situation is almost always right)

High: Palinchron
Medium: Gifts Ungiven
Low: Tinker

I'd use this category to rank "broken" cards like Tinker, Palinchron, etc. It doesn't look like you have a category for that attribute.


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 Post subject:
AgePosted: 2009-Jan-07 3:34 pm 

Joined: 2008-Sep-21 12:45 am
Age: Wyvern
Location: Toulouse
urielxvi wrote:
Cthulhu: cards that scare the crap out of players
High: Mind Slaver
Medium: Dark Steel Colossus
Low: Planar Portal


Among the propositions we have so far, you can consider that it's the right opposite to Sponge : the more you frighten players, the less you'll be able to use diplomacy or alliances. :)

_________________
Generals:
Heartless Hidetsugu // Nicol Bolas
Ghost council of Orzhova // Momir Vig
Sygg river cutthroat // Rith the Awakener
Kaerveck the Merciless // Scion of the Ur-Drago
Rafiq of the Many


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 Post subject: In the end...
AgePosted: 2009-Jan-22 2:54 pm 

Joined: 2008-Sep-21 12:45 am
Age: Wyvern
Location: Toulouse
Just to let you know the different criteria I've chosen to evaluate cards for EDH multiplayer:

- Alien : to evaluate the "fear" that a card can inspire to your opponents / the impact the card has on the board or while playing it.
High: Mind Slaver
Medium: Dark Steel Colossus
Low: Planar Portal
(as you may notice it's the exact Cthulhu proposition from urielxvi ! :D But I needed an "animal"...)

- Newt : to evaluate the "answer potential" of the card: the more options you have, the more things you can answer, the higher you will get. Moreover, answering with very original ways common threats ranks the card higher.
High : Austere command / Vindicate
Medium : Catastrophe / Hull breach
Low : Demystify
(gathers both Platypus and Newt suggestions from intreped as I didn't want to use too much criteria but needed some way to evaluate "answers")

- Fox : to evaluate the card quality a card can offer. Both tutoring and card draw are ways of stabilizing your deck which is absolutely needed in EDH.
High : Demonic tutor / Tidings
Medium : Dimir house guard / Krosan verge
Low : Terramorphic expanse

- Remora : to evaluate the synergy between the card and your general. It's the only criteria that refers to the general but I felt I needed one as, for most decks, the main plan is to win due to synergies / abuses between your general and your deck. Cards that are good by themselves may become even deadlier played with the right general.
High : Genesis chamber with Ghost Council of Orzhova
Medium : Urza's armor with Zozu the punisher
Low : Ajani Vengeant with Scion of the Ur-drago (nothing...)

I fill my excel file with those criteria now and evaluate for the different cards of my decks the ratings they should have for the whole 10 "animals"...
I may share it with those that would be interested, hoping that this "work" on over 470 different cards could help other players / deckbuilders. 8)

_________________
Generals:
Heartless Hidetsugu // Nicol Bolas
Ghost council of Orzhova // Momir Vig
Sygg river cutthroat // Rith the Awakener
Kaerveck the Merciless // Scion of the Ur-Drago
Rafiq of the Many


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 Post subject:
AgePosted: 2009-Feb-16 11:13 am 

Joined: 2009-Feb-11 9:58 am
Age: Drake
How about "Robin" for cards that seem much better than they actually are, and therefore serve as distractions, taking precious attention/removal away from real threats. (Taken from the fact that Robins, and many birds in fact, will purposely expose themselves to danger from predators in order to draw said predators away from the nest.) This category also includes cards that people tend to destroy for reasons other than strategic advantage.

Very high Robin Factor: Chandra Nalaar. Not really THAT good (and certainly very controllable by savvy opponents) but will none the less usually draw a ridiculous assault to remove it.

High Robin Factor: Timesifter. Without a LOT of manipulation, this card essentially does nothing by itself except randomize turn order. In many cases it won't actually be giving anyone any extra turns, but man do people aim removal at this thing.

Medium Robin Factor: Fatespinner, Magnetic Web. Fatespinner is inconvenient, but relatively easy to just play around until it dies in the next Wrath. None the less, people will kill it because they find it annoying. Magnetic Web has the same factor: it doesn't actually do very much, but people would rather just destroy it than figure out what it actually does.

Low Robin Factor: Oblivion Stone. While this will certainly draw removal, it's usually because it's actually a threat, not because it's a distraction.

Very Low Robin Factor: Phyrexian Arena. Even though this card is clearly awesome for you, very few people will actually send removal at it.

Robin cards are good for you because they allow you to play your opponents and protect your real threats. Much of a card's Robin value will be determined by your table - some players will always kill Planeswalkers no matter what, making even Ajani Goldmane's Robin factor very high.

A card's Robin factor can also be, in a sense, the amount that the card makes your opponents make sub-optimal plays, not just drawing removal. For example, running out Test of Endurance when you're only at 38 life might still make players attack you instead of your Nicol Bolas, even though attacking Bolas is probably the better play tactically. This makes Test of Endurance have a very high Robin factor, especially if your main plan for victory doesn't include Test, but you just happen to run it because your deck can gain life.

- Johnny

_________________
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 Post subject:
AgePosted: 2009-Feb-17 12:13 am 

Joined: 2006-Jul-14 12:02 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Wherever I may roam
That's a nice idea. It's how I play my Numot deck multiplayer, he's just a Robin flitting around trying to ensure I can do some Tomfoolery with Eye of the Storm a few turns later...


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