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 Post subject: Rule 0 and Quantifying Expectations
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-06 11:25 pm 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Something I've seen pop up in my Twitter feed recently is people discussing how they use Rule 0 pregame to determine an accurate power level, and I thought I'd reach out to you fine people to see where you stand.

How do you use Rule 0 to make your games better matched and choose what deck you play? What kind of questions do you ask in order to accurately gauge the strength of a deck? What kind of ranking system do you use, if any?


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 Post subject: Re: Rule 0 and Quantifying Expectations
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-07 12:56 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I don't play with people outside of my current group much -- but when I do, I'm not sure I often have any discussions on power level with people.

Instead, I tend to start with weaker decks that I have, and if I need to for later games, I can up the power level.

If I'm under-powered and not having much fun because of it, I usually tell myself it's my own fault for not asking anything about power level before playing with new (to me) players :)


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 Post subject: Re: Rule 0 and Quantifying Expectations
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-07 5:02 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I’m in the process right now of joining/modulating a new playgroup, so find this pretty interesting. If we use the 0-6 Kinsey scale for casual/competitive where a 0 is full-on cEDH, the group has been at about a 2, although I think my presence over the past month or so is very slowly moving a few people up on the scale.

I’m also doing the 32 deck challenge, so I’m in a better position than most to be able to just go up and say “Tell me how powerful you think your deck is, and I’ll match it.”

The one other thing I like to keep in mind is that “power level” is kind of a misnomer, as there is one thing that I think should be thought of before everything else. The way I see it, there are three types of decks in EDH (and debatably Magic as a whole): decks that do stuff, decks that react, and decks that try to strike a balance. I think in EDH, there’s a lot of the first and third categories, and knowing how they match up against each other is important. If we’re both playing decks that just act, any power discrepancy is a game-deciding one. If I’m playing an active deck and my opponents are playing a more balanced deck, the difference in style can make a lot of room for the “weaker” of the two decks to still have a fighting chance.


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 Post subject: Re: Rule 0 and Quantifying Expectations
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-07 6:22 am 

Joined: 2019-Jul-18 7:14 am
Age: Drake
I use precons as a baseline. It does require people to know what they do, what they don't do, and what their power level is to do it, but it also allows someone to buy one and have fun without any clue how the format plays out.

All my decks are fair for a person with a precon. I am not interested in games that are hostile to preons. I have also moved to playing all English cards instead of pimp foils in Japanese or Korean. So, for me, it is about accessibility. I think the people who aren't interested in that just need to be really honest with themselves and others. I am not sure how to codify that.


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 Post subject: Re: Rule 0 and Quantifying Expectations
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-07 6:54 am 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-03 3:16 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
I’m in the process right now of joining/modulating a new playgroup, so find this pretty interesting. If we use the 0-6 Kinsey scale for casual/competitive where a 0 is full-on cEDH, the group has been at about a 2, although I think my presence over the past month or so is very slowly moving a few people up on the scale.


So I have never heard of the Kinsey scale with regards to casual/competitive but when I tried to research it, I got a bunch of hetero/homo scales... not sure if this was a joke making fun of someone or if it was a reference to something that actually exists. If you have more data that would be great.

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Shabbaman wrote:
The usual answer is "the social contract", but I guess that is not what you are looking for. Try house rules.


With perfect mana, reasonable removal, disruption, and card advantage, we're back to pitchforks and torches. And it's about to get worse for those who do not enjoy the game as Richard Garfield intended, playing as few win conditions as possible and prompting concession after all hopes (and spells) are lost. - Shaheen Soorani


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 Post subject: Re: Rule 0 and Quantifying Expectations
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-07 7:35 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Basically when I said Kinsey scale I meant the general structure of it. Aka the following description of the gradience between two extremes:

0: 100% in group A
1: Solidly in group A
2: Leaning toward group A
3: Dead middle
4: Leaning toward group B
5: Solidly in group B
6: 100% in group B

Kinsey’s specific application was in regards to sexual preference, but my reference to the scale is entirely in regards to its form, something I use to describe pretty much any spectrum between diametrically opposite extremes.


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 Post subject: Re: Rule 0 and Quantifying Expectations
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-07 10:34 am 

Joined: 2011-Feb-15 7:09 am
Age: Drake
i got into a game tonight where i was advised the decks were 'low power' and that player 4 was on his 3rd game of magic ever.
So on face value i went for my Athreos acolytes desk, which i think is about a 5-6, on the command zone scale.

So i'm playing against Amanitou, Muldrotha and a sliver deck, and two of those decks are basically super-friends decks that are pretty hard to interact with when you're slivers or apostles.

Maybe i failed to ask enough questions up front. It was pretty unbalanced to be honest, and amanitou pwned the table.
There were moments where politics might have changed the outcome, and i really enjoyed seeing two decks i haven't fought much before, but really i felt pretty gullible by the end.

So i guess i don't know the right question to establish power level


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 Post subject: Re: Rule 0 and Quantifying Expectations
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-07 10:58 am 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-03 3:16 am
Age: Elder Dragon
OldVig wrote:
i got into a game tonight where i was advised the decks were 'low power' and that player 4 was on his 3rd game of magic ever.
So on face value i went for my Athreos acolytes desk, which i think is about a 5-6, on the command zone scale.

So i'm playing against Amanitou, Muldrotha and a sliver deck, and two of those decks are basically super-friends decks that are pretty hard to interact with when you're slivers or apostles.

Maybe i failed to ask enough questions up front. It was pretty unbalanced to be honest, and amanitou pwned the table.
There were moments where politics might have changed the outcome, and i really enjoyed seeing two decks i haven't fought much before, but really i felt pretty gullible by the end.

So i guess i don't know the right question to establish power level


I wonder how often that type of thing happens, I know there is a habit of remembering the bad more of then than the good but it seems like that happens a fair amount in many places. I wish there was an accurate way of tracking these types of miscommunications.

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Shabbaman wrote:
The usual answer is "the social contract", but I guess that is not what you are looking for. Try house rules.


With perfect mana, reasonable removal, disruption, and card advantage, we're back to pitchforks and torches. And it's about to get worse for those who do not enjoy the game as Richard Garfield intended, playing as few win conditions as possible and prompting concession after all hopes (and spells) are lost. - Shaheen Soorani


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 Post subject: Re: Rule 0 and Quantifying Expectations
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-07 12:26 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Feb-29 5:57 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Duvall, WA
Just watched that episode, My decks tend between 4-6 range. so I'm either getting blown out by other people or having fun. I don't think I've ever been the blowout guy, just the victim.

Coming from a fairly low power player, there are a lot of groups I've been a part of where these types of conversations would have been immensely valuable to me.

I quit many a playgroup because they felt like they were in the 7-8 range and even my 6 level or so decks weren't holding their own.


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 Post subject: Re: Rule 0 and Quantifying Expectations
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-09 10:50 am 
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Joined: 2013-Jan-28 5:35 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Seattle
I've found that it's really hard to quantify a decks power level down to a 1-10 number unless you're playing a 10. What I have had the best results with for pick up games is just saying something like "this is my Omnath deck, it's got ramp and big stuff. I don't have any infinite combos but I do have a lot of powerful cards and it can have pretty explosive turns and end the game out of nowhere if it's not interacted with." I think that's a lot more helpful for people than just saying "I think it's like a 6 or 7."

It's really been my experience that everyone thinks their deck is a 7, so talking about the specifics has helped me find more balanced games.


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 Post subject: Re: Rule 0 and Quantifying Expectations
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-09 2:09 pm 
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Joined: 2006-May-24 10:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
To me, this is more of a two-axis discussion and not a linear one.

There is "what the deck does" and "when it does it," the latter being a more significant item in determining power. If a deck is in full end game by Turn 3, that's a world of difference than if it's just getting there on Turn 6 or finishing on Turn 9. Personally, I like my games to get to double digit turns, and that's how I build them. YMMV.

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 Post subject: Re: Rule 0 and Quantifying Expectations
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-09 2:26 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Sheldon wrote:
To me, this is more of a two-axis discussion and not a linear one.

There is "what the deck does" and "when it does it," the latter being a more significant item in determining power.

This is a really good point.

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"The President's job - and if someone sufficiently vain and stupid is picked he won't realize this - is not to wield power, but to draw attention away from it." -- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide tot he Galaxy Radio Transcripts predicting the future.


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 Post subject: Re: Rule 0 and Quantifying Expectations
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-09 9:32 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-18 11:59 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I generally sit down and ask any new players what kind of game they're expecting.

One where they tell their friends and family how many times they won tonight, or if they're looking for crazy stories they can tell their friends and family about.

My follow up question is how many games they hope to play before they gotta leave.

I typically bring about 10-14 decks to the shop with me going from $40 Zada to Law and Order themed Ghost Council through Red Zone Kresh and cEDH Momir Vig. I try to match accordingly and play to the deck's strengths.

Two of the best games I've had in recent months:

Xantcha Sleeper Agent meanthings.dec , Sevinne Decent stuff (Note: not goodstuff, just decent), $40 Budget Admiral Pirates and my Ghost Council Deck. Game went about 50 minutes, but Xantcha walked around the table punching everyone into the face. And thanks to an oops involving in Confusion in the Ranks, she even punched her owner a few times.

The other:
Combo Marath, Combo Elsha, Yisan Stacks, and my Narset Super Friends all went at each other llke rabid animals. Eventually ending with infinite Jace The Mindsculptor library exiles on turn 4.

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 Post subject: Re: Rule 0 and Quantifying Expectations
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-10 1:28 am 

Joined: 2011-Mar-08 7:15 am
Age: Wyvern
Swarm wrote:
I've found that it's really hard to quantify a decks power level down to a 1-10 number unless you're playing a 10. What I have had the best results with for pick up games is just saying something like "this is my Omnath deck, it's got ramp and big stuff. I don't have any infinite combos but I do have a lot of powerful cards and it can have pretty explosive turns and end the game out of nowhere if it's not interacted with." I think that's a lot more helpful for people than just saying "I think it's like a 6 or a 7.


This is exactly what I do as well, and it seems to be the most useful for getting people to the same point power-wise. As others have stated, it's an inexact science, but it helps make the games more enjoyable for everyone. 8)

Just my $.02 worth,
Jared


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