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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:33 pm 
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I love how every deck on here lately only loses because of "unlucky" draws. If you keep better hands you won't get color-screwed, and sometimes you just don't draw your answers (it happens).

Variance is a part of this game, but luck is not.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:12 pm 
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I love how every deck on here lately only loses because of "unlucky" draws. If you keep better hands you won't get color-screwed, and sometimes you just don't draw your answers (it happens).

Variance is a part of this game, but luck is not.


What would you call it if you didn't manage to draw a single removal spell when you're running 22? or manage to not draw a white mana source when you run 19? Bad deck design?
Luck is a massive factor in MTG, it's up there with deck design and player skill. My hands were sweet, which is why I kept them, I'm not gonna keep hands where I can't do anything for the whole game but I do intend to draw a plains/Guildgate or some removal over multiple turns, I just didn't - it's got nothing to do with variance, it's by definition unlucky.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:43 pm 
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Stop pretending luck exists and you'll get better at this game. Sometimes your opponent draws a threat and you don't draw the answer. Sometimes you draw seven lands off the top of your deck. It happens and it is out of your control.

The problem with calling these situations "unlucky" is that it doesn't cause you to evaluate what you could have done better. How was your opening keep? Were there alternate lines of play available to you at any point and why did you choose the line you did? My point is that you should always evaluate your own play rather than shrugging losses off as "unlucky" and just moving on because you don't learn anything. Be your own harshest critic. Don't accept a loss without evaluating and understanding it.

If you and I are rolling dice, luck is the only factor because you are unable to impact the outcome. In Magic you get to make all the decisions, so you are able to impact the results. You can't completely control them, though, and you will sometimes just lose despite optimal play. Accept it as a variable of the game, but don't call it unlucky.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:57 pm 
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Hakeem928 wrote:
Stop pretending luck exists and you'll get better at this game. Sometimes your opponent draws a threat and you don't draw the answer. Sometimes you draw seven lands off the top of your deck. It happens and it is out of your control.

The problem with calling these situations "unlucky" is that it doesn't cause you to evaluate what you could have done better. How was your opening keep? Were there alternate lines of play available to you at any point and why did you choose the line you did? My point is that you should always evaluate your own play rather than shrugging losses off as "unlucky" and just moving on because you don't learn anything. Be your own harshest critic. Don't accept a loss without evaluating and understanding it.

If you and I are rolling dice, luck is the only factor because you are unable to impact the outcome. In Magic you get to make all the decisions, so you are able to impact the results. You can't completely control them, though, and you will sometimes just lose despite optimal play. Accept it as a variable of the game, but don't call it unlucky.


The man who actually designed the game disagrees with you. I think I value his opinion more on this topic.

http://archive.wizards.com/Magic/magazi ... eature/119

Regardless, even among Pro Players, luck is regarded not only as a real element of the game, but an important part of the appeal as it acts as a great leveller. An 16 year old amatuer boxer could not have knocked out Mike Tyson in his prime under any circumstances. Anyone with a knowledge of the fundamentals can beat Jon Finkel or Kai Budde at least once, if not more, in a series of 20 games due to random luck. In fact it would be more astonishing if you didn't.

It's why you get in the Hall of Fame for Pro Tour top 8s and not victories, because winning in a knockout format and not a swiss one is seen as generally not as skillful as reaching that stage. No other sport makes Hall of Famers out of perennial quarter finalists, and that's because a big part of Magic is luck.

You're simply wrong, and no important figure in the game would agree with you.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:29 pm 
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I'm not discounting that "luck" exists and if you actually read my post you'll see that I mention the outcome of some games is completely out of your control.

My point was that attributing a loss to "luck" is a bad habit because it doesn't cause you to evaluate your own play for potential improvements. When you say, "I was unlucky", you are simply writing off a game instead of learning from it. Telling yourself that luck doesn't exist makes you accountable for every loss and that makes you a better player.

Anyway, it's clear that you didn't fully digest my post and are just disagreeing because of a perceived slight.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:37 pm 
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Hakeem928 wrote:
Variance is a part of this game, but luck is not.

Stop pretending luck exists and you'll get better at this game.


Not at all. I'm purely taking these comment at face value. Regardless of any other debate, I picked up on this one because I feel you're needlessly being hostile to the guy you're debating with, and I agree with his assesment over yours.

Sometimes you just get screwed. That's bad luck. Magic is a game with a huge element of luck. Accepting that fact is not a bad thing, and most of the top players do. And trying to tell the guy you're debating with to become a better player, a guy you've never met or played, is incredibly patronising.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:42 pm 
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Hakeem928 wrote:
Stop pretending luck exists and you'll get better at this game. Sometimes your opponent draws a threat and you don't draw the answer. Sometimes you draw seven lands off the top of your deck. It happens and it is out of your control.

The problem with calling these situations "unlucky" is that it doesn't cause you to evaluate what you could have done better. How was your opening keep? Were there alternate lines of play available to you at any point and why did you choose the line you did? My point is that you should always evaluate your own play rather than shrugging losses off as "unlucky" and just moving on because you don't learn anything. Be your own harshest critic. Don't accept a loss without evaluating and understanding it.

If you and I are rolling dice, luck is the only factor because you are unable to impact the outcome. In Magic you get to make all the decisions, so you are able to impact the results. You can't completely control them, though, and you will sometimes just lose despite optimal play. Accept it as a variable of the game, but don't call it unlucky.


If we were discussing Chess I'd agree with you (chess being a game solely of strategy and skill - MTG being a game of Strategy, Skill and Luck), however, you're denying the obvious here. What was I supposed to do in those situation?... The fact is, there was nothing I could do... due to bad luck. The odds were in my favor to draw a land or to draw a removal but I just didn't, there was no other factor involved outside of luck. Denying the existence of luck in MTG is absurd.

I would classify my skill level at Magic as above average, I've been playing for years and I, generally, know when to keep a hand and when to mulligan the hand. I did everything I could have done with the deck at the time, I lost due to bad luck. Don't assume because my number of posts is low that I don't know what I'm doing.

I posted the deck because I've had a lot of success with it and figured that people might like to try it out for themselves.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:59 pm 
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All of my posts have included the fact that there will be losses that are out of your control. It's part of Magic.

Calling it "variance" instead is a good way to change your mindset and force yourself to be accountable for each and every loss. If you evaluate the loss as a whole (how was my deck? how was my keep? how was my play?) and ultimately conclude that there was nothing you could have done better, then that's great. You played perfectly. Sometimes you play perfectly and lose anyway.

Is it bad luck? Yeah, okay, it is. But if you didn't evaluate your loss at all and just shrugged it off as "omg T3 Brimaz" then you aren't learning or getting better, you're just making excuses.

Challenge yourself. Refusing to accept luck is just part of that mindset.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:01 pm 
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Hakeem928 wrote:
Challenge yourself. Refusing to accept luck is just part of that mindset.


I disagree. I've seen some people who take Magic really seriously who have that mindset and get completely eaten up by fallow patches as they pin it on themselves, which only leads to further self doubt and a deterioration in their relationship with other players. There's some young kids who tie up all their self-esteem in the game, and that mindset can be very destructive for them.

Accepting at times you did your best, but you just had one of those games is a much healthier way to enjoy the game, and gain confidence as a player, which breeds further success. A turn 3 Brimaz IS unlucky, especially in a game where you're limited to 1 copy per deck. There's nothing wrong with admitting that.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:06 pm 
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It's right there in my post, you know, the part you didn't quote.

"Sometimes you play perfectly and lose anyway".

It's pretty clear that I'm only enabling a problematic poster by interacting with him. Consider that interaction over.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:12 pm 
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Hakeem928 wrote:
It's right there in my post, you know, the part you didn't quote.

"Sometimes you play perfectly and lose anyway".

It's pretty clear that I'm only enabling a problematic poster by interacting with him. Consider that interaction over.


Whatever. I'm sorry that you've made two contradictory statements in a post, and when I take one as the primary emphasis I'm somehow disruptive for disagreeing with you? Is luck a thing or isn't it? Leh1982 disagrees with you and is having difficulty gauging your intention here too. Is he a problematic poster too, because you're having trouble clearly stating your confusing point?

My point was accepting luck is a thing is healthy. You stated people shouldn't. I'm hardly misrepresenting you.

It's pretty clear I'm only upsetting someone with an inability to have his views challenged by interacting with you. Consider that interaction over.


Last edited by Stevolutionary on Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:16 pm 
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Yes there are times where you lose and it seems there was nothing you could do about it but instead of just shrugging your shoulders take a look back and see if there was a point where your could have bought yourself one more turn to find an answer. Just thinking you played perfectly and lost is bad as you will not improve as a player. Nobody, not even the pros, play a game of magic without making a single mistake. It may be as small as playing a land instead of representing a trick or not mulliganing because you thought your turn 3 guard gomozoa would be enough. Every game I lose I will think about how I played it and make a mental note of possible errors for next time. Yes variance exists but the good players minimise the effects by playing around certain cards and maximizing their own chances of drawing that extra card.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:23 pm 
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Monk1410 wrote:
Yes there are times where you lose and it seems there was nothing you could do about it but instead of just shrugging your shoulders take a look back and see if there was a point where your could have bought yourself one more turn to find an answer. Just thinking you played perfectly and list is bad as you will not improve as a player. Nobody, not even the pros, play a game of magic without making a single mistake. It may be as small as playing a land instead of representing a trick or not mulliganing because you thought your turn 3 guard gomozoa would be enough. Every game I lose I will think about how I played it and make a mental note of possible errors for next time. Yes variance exists but the good players minimise the effects by playing around certain cards and maximizing their own chances of drawing that get card.


Sure. I just feel sometimes you get nothing but terrible draws, and accepting there was nothing you could do is equally as important to developing as a player.

There are people out there who will eat themselves up over games that they didn't really have much of a chance in, and it creates a bad feedback loop where they question every decision they make and spiral downhill as a player. For some people, Magic is a huge part of their life, and that can have negative effects on them personally.

There is nothing wrong with accepting bad luck as bad luck in a game that has a large element of chance. For every person who writes off bad play as bad luck, there's one who ascribes bad play to bad luck. I think people need a balanced approach.


Last edited by Stevolutionary on Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:29 pm 
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I agree eating yourself up where you had almost no chance is bad but my advice would be look at your mistakes objectively, take out the emotion and improve next time. As a player if that is not possible call it luck if you want because you will not improve.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:35 pm 
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Monk1410 wrote:
I agree eating yourself up where you had almost no chance is bad but my advice would be look at your mistakes objectively, take out the emotion and improve next time. As a player if that is not possible call it luck if you want because you will not improve.


I think I made it quite clear in all of my posts that it is possible to play your best and still lose. I also think that my point was to not accept a loss without first evaluating and understanding it. Do you think I made those points effectively?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:30 am 
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Yes you did, I just wanted to reiterate your point as it is the same way I think


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:00 am 
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What hakeem is trying to say is that your bad plays decide the game a lot more than your bad luck. But if you don't actually see your bad plays and blame luck for everything then you wont become a better player


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:27 am 
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I don't think anyone is denying that you should evaluate your play at all, that's not the issue here though. It was purely down to bad luck in this case though (not drawing a single white mana source and drawing white cards and not finding removal when over a third of you deck is removal spells is by definition bad luck, is it not?). Had it been down to player error I'd have said "I lost as I didn't 'x' 'y' 'z' when I got the opportunity" or "I missed ... when I should've ..., and as a result lost". However, in the two cases I lost with the deck I didn't find a white mana source and the other I didn't find a removal spell. I played as well as I could but lost as my opponent was playing with their whole hand where I was playing with half a hand (in the case of no white mana) and in the other game I just didn't draw removal while my opponent did so they answered my creatures while I couldn't do anything against their creatures and, as a result, I ended up getting overwhelmed. It's not like they were short games, which is why I put it down to bad luck as I should've drawn a white source or removal in 7+turns, I just didn't, it happens.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:30 am 
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I understand that but keeping a hand without a white source with your list is asking for trouble as your early spells that stabilize are white. I would cut at least one swamp for a plains. Also I would cut cruel sadist and ordeal they are both too slow and inefficient for this deck. Running those cards can make your late game draws bad. I would max out on banisher priest and raise the alarm. It is not always a mistake on the game, it can be an error in deck building


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:11 am 
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I posted the following in the Golgari thread about a Spider Spawning deck I was testing:

"7-2 with this deck tonight; lost to a four-color deck that jammed Inferno Titan on T5 and the other to a greedy keep on my part that resulted in mana-screw. The wins were generally not close."

In the first loss I was tapped out with three X/1s in play, a stocked graveyard, and a good hand. My deck was running super smooth and I was going to Rescue a Pelakka Wurm once I untapped. Inferno Titan resolved, wiped my board, and just completely wrecked me. I thought about adding removal to the deck because I only have one out (Shadowborn Demon) to deal with a bomb like that, but ultimately decided against it because it would hamper the overall consistency of what the deck wants to do. Sometimes you have to accept that there are certain cards/situations that you just autolose to. I don't like to think it was bad luck.

In the second game I admitted that I lost to mana screw but accepted that I probably should have mulliganed a bit more aggressively. Again, I don't like to call it bad luck.

I'm not saying your losses were your fault or that you're bad or anything like that, so I'm sorry if my initial post came across that way. I'm just asking you to think if there is anything you could have done differently whenever you get defeated because losing a lot is how you get better at this game.

I'll stop clogging this thread now. :)

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