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  • posted a message on When is spacing your lands cheating? Question about shuffling
    Quote from deadline
    Let me try to be more rigorous in explaining my perspective. I would specifically like to refute your claim that "a weaved deck will have less impact on the final result than a fully stacked deck." I love examples, so here goes:

    Setup:
    I write a computer program that randomizes a virtual "deck" composed of 20 Mountains and 40 Lightning Bolts.

    Scenario 1:
    1. I stack the 20 Mountains on top of the deck and the program randomizes.
    2. I instruct the program to find the largest land clump in the deck.
    3. I repeat the first two steps 100 000 times, and find the average largest land clump.

    Scenario 2:
    All the same, except the input is a mana-weaved deck.

    I believe that whether the deck was weaved will have zero impact on the final result.

    I am absolutely willing to write this computer program if this would settle the debate. If it would not, I would find it very helpful to understanding your position if you could modify my proposal or write your own experiment that would express concrete, objectively observable results that would support your claim. I truly want to know if GAThraawn and I are wrong, and we have the tools to find out for sure.

    I'm glad you're willing to put effort into this. Personally, I don't have the expertise or resources to create the necessary simulation myself. Just creating the randomization algorithm alone would take weeks of research for me to do.

    I don't know your background with this sort of thing, but the most important thing you should ask yourself when creating a simulation is "Does this accurately describe reality?"
    I can't answer that right now, because you haven't elaborated on what method you plan to use to randomize the virtual deck. Suffice to say, a simple RNG algorithm would not reflect what actually occurs when you shuffle a deck.
    This can be seen by comparing a virtual deck randomized by an RNG algorithm to one that's been given a single iteration of a physical shuffle. You will see that with the virtual deck, any card can end up in any position but with the physical shuffle, there will be certain cards that cannot reach certain positions (eg. the top cards of a single mash shuffle cannot finish at the bottom of the deck).

    For it to be accurate, it needs to mimic common shuffling methods. Good candidates are the mash shuffle and the riffle shuffle, which are specifically mentioned in the MTR.
    Because physical shuffling is iterative, you need to be able to apply the method several times. Ideally, you should be able to record the data after each iteration (see below for why).

    When recording data, too little is poison for good conclusions. You should record as much as reasonably possible! Especially if you're intending to thoroughly investigate the subject.
    In this case, you should not just record the largest land clump, but the entire distribution of land and nonland clumps. That way you will have not just the largest value, but the mean, median, mode, lowest value, and other statistics that relate to the distribution of both halves of the deck.
    Also, you should record the values for each step of the iterative process, so you can compare each iteration to both the original order of the deck, and to the same stage of the sister deck.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on When is spacing your lands cheating? Question about shuffling
    Quote from deadline
    First off, L2's are not gods, they just have a good understanding of the rules and lots of experience judging, as well as running small events. This is a policy question and everyone in this thread has access to the relevant documents. If you still want to give final say to L2's, I should point out that another L2 in this thread has disagreed.

    This exactly. No matter how expert a person is, they can still make mistakes and should not be above reproach.

    Quote from deadline
    These quotations capture what I find to be a problematic understanding of randomization. I am not claiming you can make a deck truly random through physical manipulation. Ask any physicist, and she will say that the only way to do that would be to set up some kind of quantum experiment like a photon reflectivity deal. Everything on a larger scale is deterministic. This is a futile conversation to go down.

    In this thread, we define "sufficiently random" as "a state where no player can have any information regarding the order or position of cards in any portion of the deck" (TR 3.9). Here is my understanding of this passage stated as plainly as possible:

    Scenario 1:
    1. you mana weave a deck
    2. you shuffle it some number of times
    3. you draw two lands in a row off the top
    4. based on the above steps, you predict the chance of seeing a land (let's say you determine it's 37%, just as an example)

    Scenario 2:
    1. you shuffle your deck one hundred times
    2. you draw two lands in a row off the top
    3. based on the above steps, you predict the chance of seeing a land (here, let's say you determine it's 38%)

    If these two percentages are different, I believe you have "information regarding the order or position of cards" in the deck. Specifically, you have statistical "information" about how well-distributed ("position") the lands ("cards") are.

    Hopefully, shuffling one hundred times is not necessary, but it is the responsibility of each player to shuffle until they have obliterated all statistical knowledge they have about the contents of their deck. If I see someone mana weaving, I can be certain they are either wasting tournament time by doing so, or else they will go on to shuffle few enough times that they have statistical knowledge about the contents of their deck. That's insufficient randomization.


    You seem to have misunderstood my point.

    What I've been trying to say is that the benefit from weaving is that a weaved deck will have less impact on the final result than a fully stacked deck.
    That implies that it is harder for one to retain information about the relative position of cards if they weaved first, when compared to if they stacked it in a 20-40 fashion.
    I don't understand how one would obtain percentages like what you've used, but in your examples the margin of error in the first example would be much larger than the margin of error in the second example. Certainly enough to overtake the difference between them.

    Quote from GAThraawn
    Quote from parinoid
    you don't state how 'having reason to believe that a shuffled deck looks different because of weaving' results in 'having information about the relative positions of cards in the deck'.


    Surely this is true by definition? When I shuffle and present a deck (usually using at least 7 riffles, and a few overhand shuffles, so that the deck is sufficiently shuffled), I know nothing about the order of my deck, and have no reason to believe anything about the distribution.

    If you have reason to believe your deck looks different, you have information about the relative position of the cards in it.

    No, it isn't true by definition. Not unless you use a very strict interpretation of what having 'information about the position of cards' is.
    Because the starting order of a deck influences the final result, any change in the initial order will naturally make the final result look different, given exactly identical shuffles.
    While you may not have information on what that difference is, you can be certain that there is a difference.

    The hole in the logic has to do with assuming all reasons and all differences necessitate knowledge about the position or order of cards in the deck. This is a false assumption.

    Furthermore, this is at odds with your previous statement that weaving followed by sufficient randomization will not maintain that pattern at all, which I agree with. If you weave, and then shuffle enough that the order of the deck is randomized to the point that you have no knowledge about the distribution of cards, such as lands and nonlands, the weave had no effect, either positive or negative. But if you weave, then shuffle, and expect to still have reason to believe that your deck looks different as a result of the weave, then you have not shuffled to the point where the deck "does not maintain that pattern at all".

    What if the difference is "The deck looks less like the initial order than if I hadn't weaved."?

    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on "Dueling" in Magic
    Fun fact: DCI originally stood for "Duelist's Convocation International". So it's not like the terminology ever left us. Wink
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on When is spacing your lands cheating? Question about shuffling
    Quote from deadline
    Can't let this die with ignorance having the last word.

    What knowledge or information are you claiming I lack?

    Parinoid has invented a term "represents", as used in the phrase "some configurations more closely resemble (or represent, if you'd prefer) a randomized deck than others." This term is not used in mathematics when discussing random numbers, and this poster has not provided a rigorous definition of it, so it would be dangerous to give it any weight until one is provided.

    Is that so? It's used all the time in statistics, when considering if a sample accurately describes the population it comes from.

    In this case, I'm stating that a deck with the lands interspersed evenly is more representative (ie. is a more typical example or specimen) of a deck that has been randomized through physical manipulation, than a deck where the lands are not interspersed, but all clumped in one section of the deck.
    Note that I'm not claiming that it is the best example, just that it is a better one.

    Furthermore, parinoid has claimed that it is unreasonable to truly randomize a deck in a timely manner, and accepts some lesser amount of shuffling as sufficiently random. However, as has been quoted in this thread, the rules require that you not have any information about the relative positions of any cards in the deck. If you have reason to believe that your shuffled deck looks different because of mana-weaving, you have information about the relative positions of cards in the deck.

    What information do you claim they would have?
    Keep in mind that I've been constantly referring to weaving followed by sufficient randomization, which will not maintain the original pattern at all.

    It kind of plays into my question, but the premise and conclusion in the third sentence don't follow logically, because you don't state how 'having reason to believe that a shuffled deck looks different because of weaving' results in 'having information about the relative positions of cards in the deck'.
    I thought you should know, since you went to the trouble of bolding it and everything.
    So according to parinoid's logic, mana-weaving is always cheating, because, supposedly, true randomization is impossible. Unfortunately, according to this logic, it is also cheating to look at your deck, then shuffle and present it, which nearly every player does before nearly every game.

    That's quite a leap. I fail to see how you've managed to show that a deck that is not truly random cannot meet the criteria of 'sufficiently random'.
    And are you claiming that true randomness is obtainable through physical manipulation? Is that so?

    I personally believe that it IS reasonable to expect good shuffling from players that have good skill with their hands, but of course some players are slower shufflers than others. Players physically incapable of randomizing their deck should notify the Head Judge before a tournament starts and accommodations will be made for them if possible, however it is not the judges' responsibility to make such accommodations.

    Was never in dispute, but good to know.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Referring to choices not made
    In general, the section on linked abilities covers it (706.X). Basically, the abilities are linked and the second only refers to choices made as a result of the first.
    If a choice was never made, then the second.ability has nothing to refer to and simply does
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Killing Wave
    Quote from Thylakaleo
    Listen to what you are saying, and pay close attention.

    The text box may contain italicized text that has no game function.

    Reminder text IS italicized text.

    flavor text is italicized text

    An ability word appears in italics at the beginning of some abilities.

    Does that make clear what italicized texts may also have no game function?

    I hope that this is helpful.

    The text that has no game function is flavor text. Reminder text and ability keywords still have game function.

    In addition to what Thought Criminal said about reminder text and ability text, ability words that appear in italics at the beginning of some abilities also has no game function, it merely exists to highlight a theme in a set or block.
    An example would be phosphorescent feast. The card functions identically, whether or not it has the ability word 'Chroma'. The same is true for all ability words (imprint, threshold, hellbent, heroic, etc.).
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Wishes and DFC's
    Yes, that works. The rules specifically restrict the information the game can obtain under certain circumstances. Outside those circumstances, the game sees all the information on the card.

    In this case, since the rules don't restrict what the game sees when it looks at a DFC outside the game, it sees all the information on that card (in much the same way it sees all the information on a split card anywhere but the stack).

    I suspect it may be an unintended loophole, but the literal interpretation of the current rules would be that you can Living Wish for Elbrus//Withengar because the game will see both sides of the DFC.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Sunforger with new Strive mechanic
    Pretty much, it works within the same rules vein that kicker occupies.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on The zombie and Mutavault
    Quote from Hackworth
    I figured that "with intimidate" didn't need to be said, as we were already talking about blocking a creature with intimidate.


    In which case, you were incorrect. An animated Mutavault cannot normally block artifact creatures with intimidate.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Phyrexian Rebirth Deck - Suggestions wanted!
    Moved to Casual
    Posted in: Casual & Related Formats
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