Play/Draw rule changing

  • #1
    So, y'all may remember a while back that the Pro Tour experimented with a new play/draw rule for top 8 matches, where instead of rolling a die the player who was higher in the standings after the swiss rounds would simply have the choice to play or draw.

    Courtesy of multiple sources today, including an L5 posting about it on Twitter, that rule will be applied to some other events as well.

    What we (judges) are being told is that this will go into effect now for GPs, will go into effect for PTQs starting April 7, and will be used for qualifiers for the World Cup this summer.
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  • #2
    Not that I will ever be affected, but it's a strange rule that disproportionately rewards the standings. Going first is a tremendous boost for many strategies, especially in fast formats with no free counters (I'm looking at you, Modern).
  • #3
    Well, I *guess* this is a good thing? The better you do the better you continue to do. Rewards skill at that high level of play.
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  • #4
    Quote from makochman
    Not that I will ever be affected, but it's a strange rule that disproportionately rewards the standings. Going first is a tremendous boost for many strategies, especially in fast formats with no free counters (I'm looking at you, Modern).


    It's an attempt to discourage Intentional Draws, which is a great thing.

    Of course, they could/should just discourage them by making draws worth 0 points, but for some reason that never happens.
  • #5
    I don't know if this change is gonna work, but at least this shows that they are trying to minimize the luck factor of the game, and that's a good thing.
  • #6
    Quote from Cyan
    It's an attempt to discourage Intentional Draws, which is a great thing.

    Of course, they could/should just discourage them by making draws worth 0 points, but for some reason that never happens.


    This isn't about that kind of draw this is about Who goes first or second
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  • #7
    I can only imagine how much fun it can be to play a game where you go into it knowing your opponent has a serious advantage on you that you can do nothing about, before you even begin. For top 8 of tournaments, maybe, but this better not get within 10 ft pole range of anything else
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  • #8
    Quote from Frogmaniac
    This isn't about that kind of draw this is about Who goes first or second


    People draw into top 8, this gives people a reason to not want to draw in but attempt to get there by playing as many games as possible.
    Truth has a liberal bias.
  • #9
    Quote from naykos
    I don't know if this change is gonna work, but at least this shows that they are trying to minimize the luck factor of the game, and that's a good thing.


    It doesn't really do that though. Often the difference between someone who goes X-0 in swiss and someone who goes X-1 is that the X-1 player lost one round to variance. Recognition of this fact is a reason why there's a top8 cut in the first place, instead of just swiss rounds.

    Currently, the player who loses one round to variance is only penalized by having less room for error/variance during the rest of the swiss rounds. Once they make top8 they get a clean slate. Now they get penalized in top8 as well.


    If they want to reduce the luck factor, what they should really be doing is addressing the advantage that going first gives you as well as work to minimize the role of variance.

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  • #10
    Quote from clan_iraq
    I can only imagine how much fun it can be to play a game where you go into it knowing your opponent has a serious advantage on you that you can do nothing about, before you even begin. For top 8 of tournaments, maybe, but this better not get within 10 ft pole range of anything else


    That's a pretty knee-jerk reaction. The system promotes skill; by doing better you get more rewards. To allay your outburst, the policy is only rolling out to Top 8's.

    Though, if this is rolling out to GPTs, I just can't *WAIT* to have to go and tell each - and - every - pairing what their standings are. I'm unaware if WER can print standing on a results slip, but I'm not looking forward to using this policy at a GPT; It's often one of the first Comp REL events people attend, and if the Top 8 play-draw works differently from their average play, they'll likely get confused.
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  • #11
    This is a good change I would say. It certainly gives players incentive to win as many matches as possible in the swiss rather than just ID in so they're more likely to get the guaranteed play should they top 8.
  • #12
    Quote from Polendino
    That's a pretty knee-jerk reaction. The system promotes skill; by doing better you get more rewards. To allay your outburst, the policy is only rolling out to Top 8's.

    Though, if this is rolling out to GPTs, I just can't *WAIT* to have to go and tell each - and - every - pairing what their standings are. I'm unaware if WER can print standing on a results slip, but I'm not looking forward to using this policy at a GPT; It's often one of the first Comp REL events people attend, and if the Top 8 play-draw works differently from their average play, they'll likely get confused.


    Best way to handle that is to be clear, and make sure the information is available to those that need it.

    - Post standings before you post pairings in the final round. (so players can strategize in the final round)

    - Post standings after the final round. (more so players can confirm records and placements)

    - Top 8 should be handled with a judge nearby anyways, and it is a single-elim bracket, so the difficulty in discerning who is the higher seed should be very, very quick to resolve.

    PS: An L1 is a wholly-higher level than an RA - saying you're both is redundant.
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  • #13
    Quote from Polendino
    That's a pretty knee-jerk reaction. The system promotes skill; by doing better you get more rewards. To allay your outburst, the policy is only rolling out to Top 8's.

    Though, if this is rolling out to GPTs, I just can't *WAIT* to have to go and tell each - and - every - pairing what their standings are. I'm unaware if WER can print standing on a results slip, but I'm not looking forward to using this policy at a GPT; It's often one of the first Comp REL events people attend, and if the Top 8 play-draw works differently from their average play, they'll likely get confused.

    Is the player in higher standings allowed to decide who goes first in a random manner, ie. by having both players roll dice and giving the high-rolling player the choice?
    Quote from Ninja Caterpie
    I guess OP wants it to be 'keyworded' like "dies" was. What word would you replace ETB with though?

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  • #14
    It depends on the varience of thr standings at the second to last round. With greater variance it seems fair but if a situion like there are two x-0 and two x-1 then they all draw in to auto play first if the quarters 1v8 2v7 3v6 4v5. The remaining four at x-2 just draw in as well since they see that they'll auto be on the draw (for the most part) so they just draw in as well....
  • #15
    this makes the last two rounds of an event before T8 even more interesting because there is something at stake for seeding. it's the same in sports: do you rest your starters or do you go all out for the top seed to guarantee homefield advantage? I like it.
  • #16
    Quote from Polendino
    Rewards skill at that high level of play.


    Does it? Most rankings are determined by tiebreakers.

    Call me 'weird' or 'old school' but I prefer good old CHANCE determining who plays and who draws. Pure chance makes for some of the most fun moments in Magic.
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  • #17
    Quote from Yoite
    It depends on the varience of thr standings at the second to last round. With greater variance it seems fair but if a situion like there are two x-0 and two x-1 then they all draw in to auto play first if the quarters 1v8 2v7 3v6 4v5. The remaining four at x-2 just draw in as well since they see that they'll auto be on the draw (for the most part) so they just draw in as well....



    Never does it work out that perfect, usually there will be a play down, or some one who might not make it on draws do to breakers. Usually X-2s cant draw into a GP or PTQ top 8.
  • #18
    I quite enjoy this change.
    Players are finally able to determine who goes first due to skill, rather then some die roll.
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  • #19
    Any player can say I choose to play first, but I tell you now that the really skilled player will beat his opponents by drawing first!
  • #20
    I'll have to take other people's word on whether this is convenient or not, having to reference rank. Aside from that, I like it. It adds another layer to planning out the game matches. Plus, you can infer a lot from your opp if they choose to draw/play.

    Chance was nice, but in a professional setting, something more systematic is needed.

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  • #21
    Quote from Karric
    Chance was nice, but in a professional setting, something more systematic is needed.


    I agree. I suppose the downside is that the match doesn't really determine who is better between the two competitors, since one will inherently have an advantage depending on performance against other players.
  • #22
    The easiest fix to this all is instead of doing this, don't post standings at all so people can't decide if they can draw and in. Make everyone play for wins. The only people that could draw and in would be X-0s which should only be how many? 1? 2?

    I feel aggro decks will just stay the way it is in a T8. Control sneaks in at 8 spot and has to play second the entire way up the chain? I mean especially later on when rotation happens I don't see control being a thing with how its focused now, let alone it doing anything in a T8 if it reaches it.
    Last edited by ViciousBoston: 3/20/2012 9:34:32 PM
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  • #23
    Um.... yeah, I agree with those who say this excessively rewards those who gets a good start. If they're good, they can trounce anyone whether they go first or second (I'm not a pro, and I've been in far too many games where going first doesn't help me in the slightest). Of course, reversing the situation (in that those in the lower position gets to choose to play/draw) may be revolting to most either. Oh, I wonder...
  • #24
    Im absolutely in favor of this rule, while i have nothing in particular against CFB, they have been drawing their way into top 8s in a way that should be somehow discouraged. I understand they do networks and should be able to scoop if they want to, you can't stop them from doing so, but this rewards playing every game to the last bit even if you are locked for top 8.

    This adds competitiveness to the environment and makes every point count, i'm all in for players being rewarded for consistently good play. And for peoiple saying you can have bad matchups or lose to variance, well guess what, making it even more random in despite of actual play skill isn't helping it. No system can fix that without hurting the game, but this can make for some more interesting final rounds.
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  • #25
    Quote from Karric
    I'll have to take other people's word on whether this is convenient or not, having to reference rank.


    Since it only applies to top 8 matches, and since it's only being used at events which will have judges coordinating and watching the top 8 matches, there's no real difficulty in using this method; we can pretty easily look up who gets to make the choice in each match.
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