Card Ratio

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Card Ratio

Valentino
I am pretty sure that one of you guys will jump off the chair when reads this thread :)

Yes, I am going to disclose how my decks are built and I do expect you to do the same.

Short answer:
Big minions (5pp): 20-30%
Small minions: 30-40%
Spells: 20-40%
Others: 10-20%


details below:

Minions:
my range goes from 50% to 70%. It is usually 60%, it goes up when minions are used for combos and goes down when I have cards drawing minions from the discard pile.
Big minions (5 pp) can reach up to a peak of 50% of this amount.


Barriers:
I do not use barriers. I am not the kind of person having this strategy

Spells:
This is more volatile. It ranges from 20% to 40%. The average is 30%, but I do have an exception: an unique deck which is 10% and is very quick.

Items/Auras/Traps
This is usually 10% unless it goes up to 20% if I have a good combo to play. In my exception deck reaches however 40%!

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Re: Card Ratio

Quintivarium
I've been wanting to see ratios other players use.  For some time I've felt I don't use spells well, and being able to compare to the ratios of other players is very handy.

For me at least, there are really two categories of cards that matter: minions & barriers is the first category, and spells, auras, traps, & items form the second.  (Although I think it may be useful to separate spells from this category, I have not yet done so in thinking about decks.)

I guess I think of minions and barriers as exerting control over attack lanes, while I think of other cards as modifying game elements.  (Of course there are exceptions -- rooted, and narrow tunnels function very much like barriers, as do mass collapse and swarm of bats.  And I likely use cards like aetherfish, shimmerfish, and even shimmersquid more like spells.)  Spells may deserve a separate category because they have only an immediate effect, while other cards have a lingering presence, but so fat I have not used this distinction in building decks.

What I have found is that I need at least 60% minions and barriers -- and actually feel better about 70% in this category.  Almost always, when I have more than 40% auras, spells, traps, or items, I find I frequently get hands were I'm desperate for minions.  Even with 30% category 2, I never find I'm desperate for a spell and only rarely for auras, traps, or items.  Most of the time I really want a minion a barrier will do -- but I think I use barriers far more heavily than most players.

How I distribute my 60% to 70% minions and barriers varies greatly from deck to deck.  Sometimes, these cards are all minions, others well over a third are barriers.  The distribution of the auras, spells, traps, and items varies even more -- I could have as many as all my cards in this category belonging to just one of these types, although it is rare for me to want more than 4 item cards.
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Re: Card Ratio

Valentino
I had no doubt you were going to reply my thread :-)

I think we agree on the ratio of minions. Both of us stated 60% - 70% - however I also stated that 50% is possible. How comes?

Perhaps you try to use all the 5 paths you have. I do not have this method because this gives the opponent more options for surprises. That's why I use fire spells to remove opponent's minion and that's why I only need 50% of minions.

How would you use a minion when you already have all 5 paths used? It makes no sense unless the minion to be replaced has low health or...effects are triggered when the new minion gets in play/old minion goes to discard pile.
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Re: Card Ratio

Valentino
Did you also jump off the chair as I forecasted when you read this thread? :-)
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Re: Card Ratio

Quintavarium
Actually, you pre-empted me -- I had visited the forum to ask just the information you volunteered!
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Re: Card Ratio

Quintavarium
In reply to this post by Valentino
I don't necessarily worry about using all 5 lanes, although I am certainly willing to do so, but I judge a deck to be minion/barrier light if I frequently find a need to occupy lanes and have no means to do so (no minions or barriers).  I find it "top heavy" if I frequently want to play two cards (or play one card and spend power to invoke some special), but hold cards that are too costly for this over a span of several rounds.  And I find a deck "too transient" (probably needing more big minions) if it frequently runs out of cards (usually this happens when I need two or three cards to handle one my opponent plays).

I've struggled with direct damage fire spells -- when I take them, I either don't have them when needed or I hold a bunch that are not effective (e.g. my opponent has bunches of zombie mobs or mesmers in play.)
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Re: Card Ratio

Valentino
You run out of cards: cards with more power points are required or you need to extradraw more often

You have too many cards: you should select cards with less pp

You have too many minions: you should design your deck with less minions

You don't have enough minions: add more minions or choose effects which make them survive


Do you apply the rule of the card advantage? each card you have should be ideally able to destroy a card of the opponent requiring more pps.

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Re: Card Ratio

Valentino
How many BIG minions do you use? I have at least 8, usually 12.

Strength = 4
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Re: Card Ratio

Quintivarium
I guess the number of big minions I use depends upon your definition of "big".  If you mean strength at least 4, I typically have from 3 to 8 depending upon the deck.  But getting more than 8 requires playing either ocean or jungle -- and never playing air.

To me, a more useful definition of big minion is cost 5 minions, cost 4 minions able to compete with cost 5 minions in either damage potential or threat to other minions, or lower cost minions able to grow to proportions of cost 5 minions.  I definitely consider pyrohydras, deepsea things, sky hydras, cloud dragons, razor sharks, deepwood ash, and undead giants large minions.  And I would argue that stitched golems and deep spawn should be considered big minions.  By these standards, I probably include anywhere from 8 to 18 in a deck.
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Re: Card Ratio

Quintivarium
In reply to this post by Valentino
I apply a variant of card advantage in a limited fashion.  I try to choose cards (both in play and in deck construction) whose use is likely to have a higher value to me (in terms of power points) than their cost of play (including the cost of a card in hand lost).

Suppose I use a cost 3 flame spike to destroy my opponent's cost 3 aeromancer, in the strict sense of card advantage, I have a neutral transaction.  With my variant, I would value the aeromancer on the board as worth considerably less than my flamespike -- my opponent has already reaped a benefit of the aeromancer's spell draw special, as well a inflicted 2 damage from the aeromancer's quick trait.  What is left on the board plays as little more than a strength 2, health 1 minion with no special characteristics -- something of considerably lower value than most cost 2 minions.

But I find this whole "card advantage" evaluation to be basically worthless in evaluating delayed effects.  Obviously, if I destroy your cost 4 razor shark with a cost 3 flamespike, I have gained a slight advantage.  But what if I play a cost 3 phantasma opposite your cost 4 razor shark.  In one round ( a turn for each player), barring other influences, the phantasma destroys the razor shark.  Moreover, I still have use of the phantasma (until its timer runs out).  So the phantasma might seem an even better play.  But what if you counter my phantsma with a forked lightning (cost 2) in your next round.  Not only have you gained advantage by destroying a cost 3 card with a cost 2 card, but you have negated the card advantage I had hoped to gain.  So how do I count a phantasma in terms of card advantage?  Let me take an even more extreme example.  You play a magma sphere.  I gain card advantage by ignoring it -- after all, 6 rounds later the magma sphere will lose its last health and be destroyed with no action on my part.  Since I would lose 15 health through this "card advantage", God save me from too many such opportunities!
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Re: Card Ratio

Valentino
Please note that there is a specific reason why auras/items/traps should be just 10%...

when you build a combo deck you perhaps have another card (likely to be a minion) which makes you draw an aura/item/trap.

If you have 2 aura/item/trap types you don't know which one you gonna draw i.e. you have a 50% chance to draw your combo. If you only have 1 type...you are sure you are going to draw the card you need to complete the combo.

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Re: Card Ratio

Valentino
In reply to this post by Quintivarium
Agree on the definition of advantage. That should be the difference of power points and damages.

Example: I cast a meteor on a ruby dragon. Advantage is 0. However if the Ruby dragon was going to block my phantasma then my advantage becomes +4.

That's a nice definition...how do we apply that to Aquamancer? :-)
Art
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Re: Card Ratio

Art
I guess I played a little differently,  my minion ratio at most at 55%.  There are exceptions of course.  But i usually keep that in mind when constructing decks.  I can sometimes go as low as 40%.

maybe thats why i have way too many unsuccessful decks.
Art
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Re: Card Ratio

Art
and in terms of big minions, either cost 5 or 4 strength, my 3 most successful decks IMO together has only one big minion.  2 of them have none.
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Re: Card Ratio

Valentino
How do you counter big minions then? spells?
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Re: Card Ratio

Quintavarium
In reply to this post by Valentino
Valentino stated that one reason for having only four cards in a deck that are items (or 4 that are traps or 4 that are auras) is because with only one type of card, one can be certain it will be drawn by cards that also draw items from the deck.  But I have two questions.

1.  Do you never use items (auras, traps) without a minion to draw them?  Only kobo miners actually draw items from your hand (triton pearl divers would draw them from your discard pile, but even counting these, item drawing cards are rare).  Cards drawing traps and auras are also rare.
2.  With aeromancers, mage towers and sea snakes, could one not make the same argument against taking more than 1 type of spell card?
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Re: Card Ratio

Valentino
1.  Do you never use items (auras, traps) without a minion to draw them?  Only kobo miners actually draw items from your hand (triton pearl divers would draw them from your discard pile, but even counting these, item drawing cards are rare).  Cards drawing traps and auras are also rare.

Yes I do, but only when there is no combo in the deck which must happen. A good example is lavapult. I think it's a great card, it costs only 2 pp and it perfectly fits in my power point strategy.
For cases such as kobo I make sure to have blood orb because a combo is necessary.

2.  With aeromancers, mage towers and sea snakes, could one not make the same argument against taking more than 1 type of spell card?

Mage tower is a barrier: I never use barriers
Aeromancer: when spells have similar effects I do not distinguish it (if all of them damage creatures I am not picky). It is a different story if it's a combo deck and I need desperately that card. Example: Uncontinue when I have Chronomancers in the deck.

Sea snake does not draw any further card. I guess you meant another card?

You must always distinguish if you have a combo deck or a swarm deck. Most of our decks are swarm because cards are limited and combos are not that many - yet. However some very good combo decks are already available if you study all cards carefully.
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Re: Card Ratio

Quintavarium
In reply to this post by Valentino
Valentino asked, "That's a nice definition...how do we apply that [advantage] to Aquamancer?"

Of course, herein is the problem (or maybe the beauty that makes Spellcraft a game and not a mathematics problem).  Basically, we have to accurately assign different things a value.  In some cases, it is trivial: I spend 4 power to play a heat seeker card and damage my opponent for 3 points of life.  My opponent spends 4 power points to play a blessed unicorn in a previously empty lane, regaining 3 life and bringing a 3/2 minion into play.  Clearly my opponent has gained an advantage.  In some cases, it is relatively straight forward: my opponent plays a bone dragon.  I play a firebird opposite, followed by a living bomb to destroy the dragon.  My opponent lost a 5 powerpoint creature, and I spent 2 to destroy it.  Of course, I did use up two cards to my opponent's one, but with the power points I saved, I could draw a new card and still be ahead.  And then there are cases (e.g. valuing the destruction of an enemy aquamancer) where it is very difficult.  This valuation is complicated by several factors:

1.  The plethora of card effects -- some very different than others.  How much is a point of life worth?  How do you value a card in hand (vs. in deck)?  What is magic immunity worth?  What is a barrier worth (as opposed to a minion)?  What is inflicting 1 damage to an opposing minion worth?  What is the value of a "when played" effect as opposed to a "tap to obtain" effect?

2.  The fact that these values can be very situation dependent.  For example, if I have 7 cards in my hand, playing two forked lightning to destroy an enemy razor shark is no real loss to me, but when I have two cards in hand, the lost card is noticable.  One point of life may not be worth that much -- but it is if you have only one point left!  Even very subtle things can change a valuation.  Normally I would be very happy to spend one power point to gain 3 life.  But I am far more likely to choose a grizzlies in my deck than I am to choose a blessed unicorn (identical catds except that the unicorn costs one power more and grants 3 life).  Why?  Because the cost 3 grizzlies is far easier to combine with other cards and effects than the cost 4 unicorn.

3.  The value of time.  How much is a minion worth now as opposed to next turn?  At least part of the value of a lost at sea trap is not its ability to destroy a minion, but the ability to delay the play of a big minion by requiring removal of the trap (usually by playing something cheap) first.  When I used to play a burning world/ pyrohydra deck, I found detonation far more useful than volcanic eruption -- even though volcanic eruption could fuel my pyrohydras for several rounds rather than only one.  It was because detonation had an immediate effect while volcanic eruption only applied at the start of my next turn.

4.  The value of countering opportunities.  My opponent plays a triton war machine.  I can either oppose it with an underearth worm or destroy it with a meteor.  The obvious choice (ignoring later plays) is the underearth worm -- it eventually destroys the war machine and leaves me with a big minion in play.  But there are many ways my opponent might thwart that strategy (anything from tideswap to burrowing under to a meteor on my worm).  At least meteor destroys the threat immediately -- although at no advantage to me.

Because of these difficulties, I don't use the idea of advantage very much.
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Re: Card Ratio

Valentino
If you want to make a rigorous criteria I propose to try the follwing:

1) 1 card worths 2 PPs - because you need 2 pp to draw a card

2) 1 life worths 1.33 PP. This is calculated from Heatseeker: 4 pp / 3 damages. If any card exists which provides a higher ratio, then this new value applies. This is not totally correct as the number of Heatseekers in a deck is limited to 4. Maybe we should apply the criteria of 1.5 due to some creatures with quick - but not more than this.

I can be wrong in my estimation

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Re: Card Ratio

Quintivarium
Ah, my friend, you picked the easy ones.  While I don't exactly agree with you valuations, they are very workable.  

But how do I value, say a Ruby Dragon's special ability?  Is it worth a liquefy card?  On the one hand, it is exactly like flamespike in doing 2 damage to an enemy force for 3 power points, except it doesn't cost me a card from hand -- and I can do it infinitely often.  On the other hand, I cannot choose the enemy to which I apply it.  But it can't be prevented by traps like Mesmer.  So is it worth 2 (your value of a card)? Or is it a bit less?  Or is it 2* infinity (the number of potential uses)?  Or should I look instead at the differences between underdark worm (4/4 creature of the same price with no special) and ruby dragon (4/3 creature) to value the ruby dragon special as equivalent to 1 point of health?  But, then, what is 1 point of health worth?  And with any of these assessments, I am assuming the price of cards is an actual reflection of the cards worth.

And evaluating the ruby dragon special is easy in that it is at least comparable to other effects.  An aquamancer special is probably still harder.  And how on earth do I assess the value of removing an enemy accursed aura?  It has already reduced my deck, but retains some value in preventing me from building my deck back.

I like the advantage approach to analyzing situations, but I am stymied by it more often than I find it useful.
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