I don't see any value in splitting Drev and Smash. I think one should commit either one way or the other. No half measures. Once you've decided to make the deck building cost of paying a Stomping Ground, there's no reason not to go all in on Drev. The difference in damage between the two is unlikely to matter. If you're going to play smash instead, you shouldn't keep drev around as a crutch just in case you see enchantments. The whole idea of playing smash is to go RW, and you've lost that if you play 2 drev.

I played RW at scg Columbus and I liked the build. I can't play RW locally because of Leylines, though.

Do you have an easy way, elcon, do determine the EV of opener Vexing Devils in the current meta? I.e., integrate its damage over all decks in your database? I know you've posted that it's worse than Shock if the opposing deck has 4 T1 answers and 8 T2 answers, but this still doesn't convince people for some reason. We need something like: opener VDs average 2, first draw VDs average 1.9, later VDs average 0 given the actual meta game to really try to convince people.

I never liked splits unless they were cards that were both good at the same role, and also sort of good at different roles, and I was also playing a deck with decent selection. That way you could bring one of them in on their secondary role when it was appropriate. When you split, you're really only hoping that you'll see the card that's better in the given situation; you could very well see the worse version. I think splitting is typically overrated.

Do you have an easy way, elcon, do determine the EV of opener Vexing Devils in the current meta? I.e., integrate its damage over all decks in your database? I know you've posted that it's worse than Shock if the opposing deck has 4 T1 answers and 8 T2 answers, but this still doesn't convince people for some reason. We need something like: opener VDs average 2, first draw VDs average 1.9, later VDs average 0 given the actual meta game to really try to convince people.

I would love a comparison of the EV for Devil versus the EV for Nacatl, as I've long thought that Devil is better than Nacatl for Burn (though both are bad). It would help cement the now-popular belief that Nacatl is not worth playing, and also help explain why Devil could appear in winning decks and still not be a valid Burn choice (as many Nacatl-Burn decks have placed highly over the years).

Do you have an easy way, elcon, do determine the EV of opener Vexing Devils in the current meta? I.e., integrate its damage over all decks in your database? I know you've posted that it's worse than Shock if the opposing deck has 4 T1 answers and 8 T2 answers, but this still doesn't convince people for some reason. We need something like: opener VDs average 2, first draw VDs average 1.9, later VDs average 0 given the actual meta game to really try to convince people.

That is a glaring omission to that section of the first post. I'll figure out a way of modeling it more rigorously and add something to the primer about it soon.

The blurb I posted the other day after someone on Reddit asked me about the Elementals and Vexing Devil "back of the envelope"-ish, based on the assumption that Devil will never enter the combat step. That's where I got the worse than Shock number.

Spark Elemental should be relatively easy as well. Hellspark is complicated, but I think I did an acceptable estimate of it on Reddit. I'll add all 3 to the primer.

Do you have an easy way, elcon, do determine the EV of opener Vexing Devils in the current meta? I.e., integrate its damage over all decks in your database? I know you've posted that it's worse than Shock if the opposing deck has 4 T1 answers and 8 T2 answers, but this still doesn't convince people for some reason. We need something like: opener VDs average 2, first draw VDs average 1.9, later VDs average 0 given the actual meta game to really try to convince people.

That is a glaring omission to that section of the first post. I'll figure out a way of modeling it more rigorously and add something to the primer about it soon.

The blurb I posted the other day after someone on Reddit asked me about the Elementals and Vexing Devil "back of the envelope"-ish, based on the assumption that Devil will never enter the combat step. That's where I got the worse than Shock number.

Spark Elemental should be relatively easy as well. Hellspark is complicated, but I think I did an acceptable estimate of it on Reddit. I'll add all 3 to the primer.

Awesome! It doesn't have to be super involved. Something like your back of the envelope calculation, but averaged over the field with their actual number of T1 and T2 answers. You can basically assume its EV is 0 after the first draw step or so since there are so many ways it's not relevant after that.

I glanced back over every deck on the front page of MTGGoldfish and counted how much 1 and 2 CMC removal each deck has. There are a few decks that don't really play any removal at all, like Humans, ETron, Storm, Dredge, and Titanshift. There's us with 8 1CMC removal spells (counting Rift) and 8 more at 2. Mardu Pyromancer is at 6 and 12, UWR is at 7 and 10. Averaging over 15 decks, this comes out to 3.2 1CMC removal spells and 5.1 2CMC removal spells. That's ignoring cases where a creature would be able to block and nullify a creature. When I last visited this, I used 4 1CMC and 8 1+2CMC, and I think that's still reasonable when including creatures but I just wanted to make sure it wasn't way off-base these days. I'll add the next sections to the primer shortly.

Vexing Devil: Vexing Devil gives you a 4/3 that either enters the battlefield or your opponent takes 4 damage and you sacrifice it. Some players see that as "you get a 4/3 or they take 4", but that's ignoring the fact that it will die before you reach the combat step with Vexing Devil, and the reality is "you get nothing or they take 4". Obviously, the best time to play it is on T1 in order to maximize the possibility that they take 4, since your opponent is restricted on mana and hasn't seen many cards that could kill it. Barring very strange circumstances (they wait until your mainphase and save it with boros charm?), you will never see a situation where you get Vexing Devil in play and it survives to the combat step, much less 2 combat steps, because a competent opponent will just make go away by taking 4. Any situation like that is a misplay, and you can't bank on it happening.

You're left with two situations: a) if you're on the draw, your opponent is looking at outs up to 2CMC to kill it, b) if you're on the play, your opponent is looking at 1CMC outs only. On the play, there's a 0.6005 chance that it would survive their turn 1 (which means your opponent takes 4) and the EV of Devil on the play is 2.402 damage. On the draw, there's a 0.3464 chance that it would survive their turn 2 (which means your opponent takes 4) and the EV of Devil on the draw is 1.386. There's a 50:50 probability that you're on the draw/play, so the average is 1.893 damage. It's difficult to assess it on later turns, but if you see Devil in a game then it's more likely that it was in your opener than drawing it later so it's ok to ignore later turns.

There are some matchups where it will be worth 4 quite often on turn 1, such as Humans, ETron, and even Affinity (only a few Galvanic Blasts), but it's bad against any deck that plays Fatal Push or Lightning Bolt and abysmal against UWR.

Spark Elemental: Spark Elemental is a budget Burn creature that can be viewed as if it's a Lightning Bolt that gets countered by removal spells. Like Devil, it will never see the board for more than 1 turn. On turn 1, it will deal 3 if you're on the play and it has a 0.6005 chance of living on the draw. That means that a T1 Spark Elemental is worth 2.4 damage on average without looking at situations where your opponent made a turn 1 play (maybe Serum Visions) and can't stop the damage from Spark Elemental on your turn 1 even if they had outs for it. This means that 2.4 is a lower bound on the expected damage of T1 Spark. On later turns, you might be able to find opportunistic situations where you can tag your opponent for 3, but it's not a guarantee.

Guys, I'm gonna run some Burn starting hands statistics. So I wonder what kind of starting hands we consider as a "goldfish" against an unknown enemy?

I did something like this a while ago that I think it's described in the first post. I assumed all 0s and 4s aren't keeps, assumed all 2s and 3s are keeps, and was looking at kinds of 1s that are keepable (say Guide plus 3 other 1 drops).

Once my study is over (I'm trying to find a way to calculate the "outscale" effect by big creatures such as Goyf, Delve fatties, Eldrazis, and Fish decks ; notably), I'll probably publish it on several platforms, including this thread and r/spikes.

There's a lot of math and technical details in it, for the conclusions about the "Turn 1 Devil" experiment, just jump to the last page. My English might sometimes be lackluster, if you have any remark feel free to contact me, I'll be more than happy to have some feedback.

Have a good read !

Very interesting. I was already planning to weight by meta and use outs from real decks instead of an average one, but you beat me to it!

I'm not surprised that your estimate is a lot higher than mine, since you're only focuses on removal. I think that an estimation that involves creatures will lower it significantly. Eldrazi Tron and Affinity, for instance, some play much removal but they do play creatures that are as big or bigger quickly. There are certainly some decks that will pretty much always take 4, though.

Im in need to ask about some sideboard cards for my local meta, these are the decks i might end up facing : U/W control,EldraTron,boogles,4c DS, and a few more that are creature heavy wich i shoudnt have problems dealing with thanks to searing efects+lavamancer.
I do not own a playset of Eidolon of the great revel because these cards are hard to get, instead im running a playset of shrine of burning rage, any advice is welcome

Once my study is over (I'm trying to find a way to calculate the "outscale" effect by big creatures such as Goyf, Delve fatties, Eldrazis, and Fish decks ; notably), I'll probably publish it on several platforms, including this thread and r/spikes.

There's a lot of math and technical details in it, for the conclusions about the "Turn 1 Devil" experiment, just jump to the last page. My English might sometimes be lackluster, if you have any remark feel free to contact me, I'll be more than happy to have some feedback.

Have a good read !

Very interesting. I was already planning to weight by meta and use outs from real decks instead of an average one, but you beat me to it!

I'm not surprised that your estimate is a lot higher than mine, since you're only focuses on removal. I think that an estimation that involves creatures will lower it significantly. Eldrazi Tron and Affinity, for instance, some play much removal but they do play creatures that are as big or bigger quickly. There are certainly some decks that will pretty much always take 4, though.

I updated how I was doing this calculation to use a number of removal-only outs on turns 1 and 2 based on glancing at the decks on the front page of MTGGoldfish. I also weighted the contributions by the meta fractions from MTGGoldfish, the list of outs and meta fractions are below:

Gx Tron: (8.33%) 1CMC 0.0, 1+2CMC 0.0

Humans: (6.41%) 1CMC 0.0, 1+2CMC 0.0

GDS: (6.57%) 1CMC 4.0, 1+2CMC 6.0

Burn: (6.25%) 1CMC 8.0, 1+2CMC 16.0

Affinity: (5.61%) 1CMC 3.0, 1+2CMC 3.0

UWR: (4.65%) 1CMC 7.0, 1+2CMC 10.0

ETron: (4.17%) 1CMC 0.0, 1+2CMC 0.0

Storm: (3.37%) 1CMC 0.0, 1+2CMC 0.0

Dredge: (3.53%) 1CMC 0.0, 1+2CMC 0.0

Titanshift: (2.88%) 1CMC 2.0, 1+2CMC 2.0

Mardu Pyromancer: (2.56%) 1CMC 6.0, 1+2CMC 10.0

Traverse Shadow: (2.56%) 1CMC 4.0, 1+2CMC 6.0

Hollow One: (2.56%) 1CMC 4.0, 1+2CMC 4.0

Madcap Moon: (2.4%) 1CMC 4.0, 1+2CMC 5.0

UW Control: (2.24%) 1CMC 4.0, 1+2CMC 4.0

I come up with 0.732 probability that Devil deals 4 on the play and 0.640 on the draw, which corresponds to 2.93 and 2.56 damage respectively and averages to 2.745 damage.

Spark Elemental is 1.00 probability on the play and about 0.7 probability on the draw, 3 and 2.11 damage, averaging to 2.55 (ignoring cases where they play something on T1 and can't cast anything on your turn).

Yeah, that sounds about right. Exquisite Firecraft can be used against other decks too, so I guess it's better

I think it can be good as a sideboard card for game two. In some games we get locked out due to life gain effects or counterspells etc., and the Shrine gives us some inevitability for those longer games we may otherwise lose. It also exposes the chance of the opponent having dead cards that deal with artifacts once they have seen it (assuming we took it out again).

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I played RW at scg Columbus and I liked the build. I can't play RW locally because of Leylines, though.

ModernCommanderLegacyI would love a comparison of the EV for Devil versus the EV for Nacatl, as I've long thought that Devil is better than Nacatl for Burn (though both are bad). It would help cement the now-popular belief that Nacatl is not worth playing, and also help explain why Devil could appear in winning decks and still not be a valid Burn choice (as many Nacatl-Burn decks have placed highly over the years).

That is a glaring omission to that section of the first post. I'll figure out a way of modeling it more rigorously and add something to the primer about it soon.

The blurb I posted the other day after someone on Reddit asked me about the Elementals and Vexing Devil "back of the envelope"-ish, based on the assumption that Devil will never enter the combat step. That's where I got the worse than Shock number.

Spark Elemental should be relatively easy as well. Hellspark is complicated, but I think I did an acceptable estimate of it on Reddit. I'll add all 3 to the primer.

ModernCommanderLegacyAwesome! It doesn't have to be super involved. Something like your back of the envelope calculation, but averaged over the field with their actual number of T1 and T2 answers. You can basically assume its EV is 0 after the first draw step or so since there are so many ways it's not relevant after that.

Vexing Devil: Vexing Devil gives you a 4/3 that either enters the battlefield or your opponent takes 4 damage and you sacrifice it. Some players see that as "you get a 4/3 or they take 4", but that's ignoring the fact that it will die before you reach the combat step with Vexing Devil, and the reality is "you get nothing or they take 4". Obviously, the best time to play it is on T1 in order to maximize the possibility that they take 4, since your opponent is restricted on mana and hasn't seen many cards that could kill it. Barring very strange circumstances (they wait until your mainphase and save it with boros charm?), you will never see a situation where you get Vexing Devil in play and it survives to the combat step, much less 2 combat steps, because a competent opponent will just make go away by taking 4. Any situation like that is a misplay, and you can't bank on it happening.You're left with two situations: a) if you're on the draw, your opponent is looking at outs up to 2CMC to kill it, b) if you're on the play, your opponent is looking at 1CMC outs only. On the play, there's a 0.6005 chance that it would survive their turn 1 (which means your opponent takes 4) and the EV of Devil on the play is 2.402 damage. On the draw, there's a 0.3464 chance that it would survive their turn 2 (which means your opponent takes 4) and the EV of Devil on the draw is 1.386. There's a 50:50 probability that you're on the draw/play, so the average is

1.893 damage. It's difficult to assess it on later turns, but if you see Devil in a game then it's more likely that it was in your opener than drawing it later so it's ok to ignore later turns.There are some matchups where it will be worth 4 quite often on turn 1, such as Humans, ETron, and even Affinity (only a few Galvanic Blasts), but it's bad against any deck that plays Fatal Push or Lightning Bolt and abysmal against UWR.

Spark Elemental: Spark Elemental is a budget Burn creature that can be viewed as if it's a Lightning Bolt that gets countered by removal spells. Like Devil, it will never see the board for more than 1 turn. On turn 1, it will deal 3 if you're on the play and it has a 0.6005 chance of living on the draw. That means that a T1 Spark Elemental is worth2.4 damageon average without looking at situations where your opponent made a turn 1 play (maybe Serum Visions) and can't stop the damage from Spark Elemental on your turn 1 even if they had outs for it. This means that 2.4 is a lower bound on the expected damage of T1 Spark. On later turns, you might be able to find opportunistic situations where you can tag your opponent for 3, but it's not a guarantee.ModernCommanderLegacyDnT! I'm a power-load

DnT! Watch me Explode

I did something like this a while ago that I think it's described in the first post. I assumed all 0s and 4s aren't keeps, assumed all 2s and 3s are keeps, and was looking at kinds of 1s that are keepable (say Guide plus 3 other 1 drops).

ModernCommanderLegacyDnT! I'm a power-load

DnT! Watch me Explode

Very interesting. I was already planning to weight by meta and use outs from real decks instead of an average one, but you beat me to it!

I'm not surprised that your estimate is a lot higher than mine, since you're only focuses on removal. I think that an estimation that involves creatures will lower it significantly. Eldrazi Tron and Affinity, for instance, some play much removal but they do play creatures that are as big or bigger quickly. There are certainly some decks that will pretty much always take 4, though.

ModernCommanderLegacyI do not own a playset of Eidolon of the great revel because these cards are hard to get, instead im running a playset of shrine of burning rage, any advice is welcome

DnT! I'm a power-load

DnT! Watch me Explode

I'm not sure what you mean. Do you want to calculate the amount of damage in hand?

ModernCommanderLegacyModern(W/B)BW Tokens(W/B) | (B/R)Rakdos Burn(B/R) | (U/R)Gift Storm(U/R)

I think that's actually a pretty solid find for those running black.

I updated how I was doing this calculation to use a number of removal-only outs on turns 1 and 2 based on glancing at the decks on the front page of MTGGoldfish. I also weighted the contributions by the meta fractions from MTGGoldfish, the list of outs and meta fractions are below:

I come up with 0.732 probability that Devil deals 4 on the play and 0.640 on the draw, which corresponds to 2.93 and 2.56 damage respectively and averages to 2.745 damage.

Spark Elemental is 1.00 probability on the play and about 0.7 probability on the draw, 3 and 2.11 damage, averaging to 2.55 (ignoring cases where they play something on T1 and can't cast anything on your turn).

ModernCommanderLegacy