card statistics

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card statistics

Quintivarium
This post was updated on .
Curious as to what cards and factions are currently (June, 2015) in vogue, I attempted to record every card played in my last 200 PVP games (they spanned about one week).  Uploaded below is a rich text file showing a statistical summary of my findings.     card_frequencies_(rich_text).rtf

I did not count my own decks/cards in the total as that would have introduced a large bias towards the cards I use.  I did count everything I saw in games prematurely terminated by a disconnection – even if it was only the colored power pearl indicating my opponent’s primary faction.  I counted cards discarded as well as those played.  To the best of my ability, I tried to avoid counting cards played twice or stolen from me, although certain powers like that of the triton hunter or pilfer cards forced me to guess at times.  

There are certainly some errors.  I occasionally got caught up in the play of a game and forgot to record cards.  A few times, I could not later read my hasty scrawls.  Sometimes an opponent played and discarded several cards faster than I could note them.  A couple of times, I got interrupted at an inconvenient point in my tallying and may have skipped or overlapped some material.  For the most part, the errors would be random rather than systemic (in the sense of introducing a bias into the data), although it is easier to overlook cards that exert little influence in the game (e.g. it would be easier to miss recording a discarded cave rat than a triton aquamancer that destroys 5 of my most critical cards).  But some apparent errors are not errors at all.  For instance, there are fewer secondary factions than primary factions.  That is because there were times when I did not see the secondary faction.  I may even have encountered decks with no secondary faction.

There are other limitations.  No attempt was made to randomly sample decks – I simply recorded information on those decks I encountered.  Over this relatively short time period, I probably encountered some of the same decks multiple times.  I made no effort to distinguish between decks played by low ranked players (who likely were playing the best cards they had available) and those of high ranked players (who might be playing anything from an untested new idea to a carefully crafted and proven masterpiece).  And the deck I played might impact the cards of my opponents that I actually got to see.  For instance, when I play my blood orb deck (with no minions above either cost or strength 2), I should not expect to see my opponent play darkling slaver!

Despite such limitations, I have numerous interesting observations; doubtless others reading the statistics will discover things I have overlooked.

1.  It is no surprise that ocean and fire are the most commonly occurring factions.  Both have extremely powerful cards and a strong dimension of good support cards that are relatively easy to use.  Both occurred more than twice as often as the least used factions (jungle and forest).  That forest was seldom used comes as no surprise: it has few “take notice” minions and tends to be defensive in nature.  That jungle rarely appeared does surprise me: I do not know whether it is a statistical aberration, whether it has not yet been “discovered” by players, or whether I misjudge its potential popularity.  I know at least one highly ranked player whose decks  are highly influential (widely copied) has not historically used jungle, and, as the last faction unlocked, jungle maybe the last explored by many players.

2.  The most commonly occurring card, the triton aquamancer, is also no surprise.  It is, in my opinion, grotesquely over-powered, a card that often takes control of the game, a member of one of the most popular factions, and a card that supports almost any strategy.  If there was any surprise to me, it was that aquamancer did not occur more often – a fact I attribute to the card being self-limiting – players don’t generally need 3 or 4 copies in play.

3.  Other highly popular cards did surprise me.  Giant voltas, the second most popular minion by a wide margin, is certainly a very useful card, one highly effective against most speed based strategies including quick decks, prism decks, blood orb decks, and mage decks.  But a volta does have significant negative effects unless one designs around those effects.

4.  The extreme emphasis on power generation cards shocked me.  Storm core, captured flame, and shimmer pearl were the 2nd, 3rd, and 7th most popular cards, respectively.  Pyromancers were the most popular fire minion (3rd most popular minion overall) and triton ritual tied with wild growth as the most common aura.  Of the 2285 cards I saw, 241 (over 10%) generate power.  Most of this is not due to fire prism decks, although I’m sure fire prism contributes significantly.  I think this figure strongly highlights a current emphasis on deck speed and aggressive tactics.

5.  Direct damage/removal cards (especially flame spike, fire rain, implode, and taken under) also figured prominently.  This is not a surprise to me.  It was also no surprise to see large number of card calling sunken treasures and brainstorms.

6.  Aside from aquamancers and volta’s, there were no strikingly popular minions.  I was expecting to see a larger proportion of dragons, giants, pyrohydra, giant constrictors, deepwood ash, deep spawn, blood vapour, ancient ghosts, and other powerhouse cards.  All together 1394 cards were minions or barriers  (about 61%).  I know I tend to prefer closer to 70% minions and barriers, but it is entirely possible that the proportion of minions I see played is smaller than the proportion people take in their hand as there are certainly situations in which there would be no point playing a minion.  And certain popular cards (like storm core or sunken treasure) may facilitate getting minions into one’s hand despite smaller proportions.

7.  Fire prism, a very swingy if not overpowered card, appears to have a huge impact on statistics.  Without it, I’m sure pyromancers, triton wave riders, and triton ritual would be relatively rarely seen.  And it inflates the use of captured flame as well as fire faction as a whole.


8.  The overall ration of cost 2 cards to cost 3 cards is about what I would expect (slightly more cost 2 than cost 3) for efficient power point utilization, but, faction by faction, the ratios are way off.  Either players are balancing power point costs through secondary factions, power generating cards distort the ratio of cost 2 to cost 3 cards, or players are placing greater value on abilities of cards than on efficient use of resources.

9.  Not surprisingly, aside from fire prism, the direct damage cards seem to be fire’s biggest draw.  It is interesting the extent to which they are favored over the dangerous ruby dragons, pyrosaurs, lava giants, and pyrohydras.  In some sense, immediate destruction is the best defense against many special powers,but direct destruction can also pack offensive punch as critical blockers are removed.  I strongly suspect that the versatility of these cards is a large part of their appeal.

10.  Forest seems unattractive to most players.  Aside from nobbling tricksters and hunt, the faction appears to be chosen for its ability to enhance minions (particularly minion health).

11.  Nowhere is it more clear that finesse and speed are being chosen over muscle than in the ocean faction statistics.  Even accepting 4 aquamancers as a given (the card is that overpowered), I would have expected a much greater emphasis on sea dragons and dragonfish.  Only deepsea things of ocean’s three mightiest cards was chosen in significant numbers, and even it was much less popular than the inane waverider, let alone voltas, aquamancers, and many of ocean’s support cards.  I was also surprised at the rare occurrence of two of the best defensive cards in the game: liquefy and jellyfish.  Defensive tactics appear immeasurably less important than accelerating offense – something I strongly hope will change with the release of future factions.

12.  The prevalence of underdark worm within this faction runs a bit counter to tendencies to emphasize special powers and quickness over brute strength.  Perhaps the worm’s cheap muscle (it is a common card) makes it attractive to players with limited card selection; perhaps underworld as a faction holds more appeal for its might.

13.  Horrify was used more than twice as much as any other swamp card.  And I was a bit surprised to find relatively little use of bodyswap – although that might be influenced by my tendency to emphasize small minions over large ones.  Amongst minions, bone dragons were popular (justifiably so), and so were undead tritons (also a very effective card).  Blood orb decks appear out of vogue, although I am still very successful with mine.

14.  Energize and overworld elixir were the 2nd and 3rd most popular air cards – largely due to popularity of aquamancer and volta decks where they tended to appear prominently.  The most popular, storm core, reflects the general interest in power generation.

15.  The sample of jungle cards is a bit small to draw meaningful conclusions.  I am shocked that stranglevines were not much more popular – behind aquamancers and fire prism, I consider them the most dangerous spellcraft card.

16.  Although the goblins may have more extensive statistics to work from, the actual player utilization of cards can be used to help identify both cards that may need a tweak to be seen more often, and those that might need to be scaled back.  But beyond specific cards, the statistics also reflect strategic approaches that are heavily used and those that are rarely used.  Future cards might be geared to broadening the range of effective strategies.  For example, at present, between blitz (quick) decks, prism decks, blood orb decks, burning world/rage decks, aquamancer decks, etc., defensive strategies are almost hopeless, and even patient, future building strategies are endangered.

As time goes on, I plan to continue collecting such statistics on and off.  When I obtain substantial new data, I will post updates.  I may collect other data (such as ratings of players who played the cards and who won the match) – although short of setting up a data base (which is beyond my current ambition level), analyzing such data becomes problematic.  In the meantime, I encourage other’s reactions to this data.

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Re: card statistics

SteveGoblin
Excellent stuff.  As always.


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Re: card statistics

Quintivarium
In reply to this post by Quintivarium
Given cards that appear overpowered or underpowered (at least from a usage stand point), it is hard to resist making suggestions to weaken or strengthen certain cards.  I do so here.

Overpowered Cards:  Not all popular cards are overpowered; not all overpowered cards need adjustment.  Those listed below, in my opinion, merit consideration.  Consider the lettered changes to be alternative suggestions, not cumulative suggestions.
1.  Triton Aquamancer.  While this card has been debated before, I will summarize both previous suggestions and offer new ones.
     A.  Raise cost to 3 or even 4.  Which is more effective in most games, an aquamancer or a phantasma?  An aquamancer or an ancient ghost?
     B.  Eliminate elusive trait.  At least then big minions might kill one.
     C.  Charge power points to use the special ability.  Compare to darkling assassins.
     D.  Make target of special power a random enemy minion.  This reduces impact and indestructability of aquamancers.
     E.  Limit special power of assassins to apply only to enemy minions of equal or greater health.  This actually makes defending against and using aquamancers somewhat strategic.

2.  Giant Volta.  I’m not sure this card really needs weakening, but it is a bit problematic in conjunction with energize and overworld elixir, or when paired with pyrohydras and octopi
     A.  Reduce health to 2.  Making the creature more killable will help balance repeated use of a dangerous power.
     B.  Reduce strength to 1.  Makes killing creature via minions more viable.
     C.  Charge a power point to use the special ability.  This probably overcompensates.

3.  Fire prism.  Again, I do not feel the card is truly overpowered, but it is way too influenced by luck.  There are two problems with the card.  There is no limit on the frequency with which it triggers, and the absence of suitable counters to the card.  Especially when combined with multiple triton rituals or multiple hearts of darkness, one prism can easily fire over 5 times a round, easily wiping out every enemy unit within two rounds.  The only cards able to directly stop fire prisms are: melt, absorb, darkling snatchers, pirate raiders, nobbling elders, tentacles from below, pilfer, miasma, mind transfer, and smash.  Of these, smash is far more likely to hit the captured flames which are natural accompaniments to fire prism, Mind transfer and miasma, require clairvoyance to time correctly (and are not always possible to time correctly), pilfer requires a miracle to actually hit prisms.  Raiders, elders, and tentacles are unlikely to survive long enough to hurt.  Only snatchers, melt, and absorb are really viable counters.  All three of these are virtually useless against opponents who do not use items (another luck factor), and all three require favorable timing as prisms typically win games within 2 rounds of being played.  To defeat a prism deck, one basically has to be faster.  This significantly reduces playable strategies and/or requires luck.
     A.  Replace the card.  This is extreme, but less artificial than other solutions.
     B.  Reduce card cost to 2 (or even less).  Change power to “When power is generated by a friendly card, the prism inflicts one health damage to a random enemy and becomes unready.”  Although the prism’s power remains basically the same, the prism’s use and feel change drastically.
     C.  Improve cards that counter prisms.  Add a special power “discard to draw a new card” to cards like melt and absorb that have very limited use.  Change darkling snatcher power to “Steal topmost, highest cost item in opponent’s deck.”
     D.  Introduce auras or items able to destroy auras and items.  These cards would have the effectiveness of nobbling elders, but without the same vulnerability.  And they would endure, rather than being one shot like traps and spells.

4.  Storm core, captured flame, shimmer pearl, and other power generators, as well as sunken treasure and brainstorm.  These cards, I believe are not problems, but are symptomatic of a problem – speed has become too important.
     A.  Tone back cards like aquamancer and fire prism that create “strangle hold” states in which it can repeatedly occur that every card played is immediately destroyed.  At present, the only reliable way to defeat these decks is to be faster than they are.
     B.  Offer future barriers able to defend not just against minion attacks, but to neutralize certain special effects – e.g. a barrier that removes elusive and quick from opposing minions while it is in play, or a barrier that prevents items/auras in its path from functioning.
     C.  Create aura/item immunity.  Create “special power” immunity (protection from undead tritons strength stealing or dactyl’s creature snatching), etc.
     D.  Introduce cards that penalize large discard piles – e.g. an aura to the effect of “the player with the largest discard pile takes one life damage.”  or a spell to the effect of “move the top card in the enemy discard pile into your hand.”

5.  Stranglevines:   OK, my statistics do not indicate that this was even a commonly occurring card, let alone overpowered.  But I used it a fair bit.  (My decks are not in the statistics because I could not include them without bias.)  And I observed two strangle vines wipe out impressive arrays of bone dragons, ruby dragons, shadow dragons, dragonfish, and underdark worms, while my line was held by the likes of savage kobos, toxipedes, razor weeds, and living essences.  Other than the rare aura attacking card (natural order, calm seas, absorb, essence jar, and essence exchange – essence eater is rarely adequate), it takes an unusual deck to handle these vines.
     A.  Reduce the timer by 2.  This does increase the chance the vines “miss” an important target – but that actually increases the value of other back row cards that can “funnel” the vines into desired lanes.
     B.  Increase the cost by one.  The biggest difficulty playing vines is finding the time to deploy them.  Cost 4 prevents a tandem play with jungle’s awesome cost 2 minions or barriers.  Unfortunately, as jungle has no cost 0 or 1 minions or barriers, I fear this might over-compensate.
     C.  Introduce more cards in future factions that neutralize auras – preferably cards that also serve a more general purpose than attacking just auras.
 

Underpowered Cards:  Not all rarely used cards are naturally underpowered.  Some could merely be overlooked.  Others might be very specialized – highly effective but hard to use without a specially designed deck (e.g. catastrophe).  Again, I will make suggestions for those cards whose use probably requires encouragement.
6.  Smoke Elemental:
     A.  Increase health to 2.  Prevent easy kills; compare to sirens.
     B.  Add Power, “Upon destruction, summon a lava imp to its square.”  A small bonus that increases defensive value.

7.  Fire wolf:
     A.  Increase health to 2. Prevent easy kills.
     B.  Change power to “Double tap to do damage to opposing unit equal to number of fire wolves in play.  Costs 1 power.”

8.  Lava Imps:
     A.  Add to existing power, “Gain one power point if destroyed in melee.”
     B.  Increase health to 2.

9.  Ashes:
     A.  Reduce cost to 0, remove damage to opponent, add “and draw a card if hand holds 3 or fewer cards.”
     B.  Redesign as aura, perhaps with a timer, and with effect, “While in play, no cards are sent to the enemy discard pile.  They are destroyed instead.”  This disables rebirth type effects and gives card a lingering influence.

10.  Melt:
     A.  Add “and draw a card if three or fewer cards held”
     B.  Add power, “Discard to draw a new card.”
     C.  Add “or play on barrier to inflict one health damage”.

11.  Lava Bomb:
     A.  Reduce timer.
     B.  Reduce cost to 1 (might be overcompensating).
     C.  Inflict 4 damage when explodes (might also be over compensating).

12.  Deepwood Unicorn:
     A. Eliminate cost to invoke special power.
     B. Add one health

13.  Healing Sap:
     A.  automatically draw a card when used.
     B.  Remove card draw and add to power, “and add one health to highest health friendly minion in play.”

14.  Life Berries:
     A.  Introduce future factions that make strategies adding to one’s own health as viable as those draining opponents health.  An example might be an aura with the power, “If you are healthier than your opponent, drain one life from your opponent.”
     B.  Add to power, “and draw a card if you currently hold 3 or fewer.”

15.  Forest Canopy:
     A.  Add, a card draw:  Even though this makes the card appear “free”, it takes deck space.  If you really want this card, you will want four copies to help draw it early, and the other three copies are really a waste.
     B.  Add a timer, add a cost, and add to power, “and while in play, enemy cards may not use evasive trait”.

16.  Fey Staff:
     A.  Allow the staff to affect barriers as well.
     B.  Introduce changes that make forest a more appealing faction.  Except for the relatively popular trickster/hunt combo and deepwood ash, forest does not have a lot of offensive threats – which I believe decreases its popularity in the present atmosphere.  Owls and ant swarms may have been intended to fill an aggressive role, but owls are too expensive to work well with blitz tactics (and have insufficient punch in the follow-up to their initial deployment) while the ant’s special is just too hard to trigger.

17.  Pirate Raiders:  The special power (stealing the enemy’s highest cost item) has limited appeal (note very moderate popularity of darkling snatcher), but the raider’s special is very hard to trigger – at least if an opponent fears it.
     A.  Give card 1/1 stats at cost 0 – that way it might hit by being paired with attention demanding cards like deepsea thing.
     B.  Reduce stats to 2/1 and add power, “or double tap and spend two power to create an ocean mist spell in hand”.  This does change the character of the card somewhat.

18.  Essence Shift:  I don’t think future factions will have enough auras/items to move around to ever justify this card as designed.
     A.  Allow owner to choose lane where the aura/item is moved.  This adds tactical interest to card, although it power is still pretty limited.
     B.  Modify the power with an addition: “Move selected aura to a random open lane.  Then trigger the aura power if the aura moved has a power normally triggered at the start of the turn.”  This broadens the applicability of the card when present auras already affect the entire board (like inferno or burning world).  It also adds substantial power to the spell and may require increasing its cost.

19.  Ocean Mist:
     A.  Do nothing!  I honestly think this card, as designed, has potential with the right, as yet unfound, combinations.
     B.  Rework card as an item (say mist caller) that could then be repeatedly triggered.

20.  Essence Exchange:  Cards of this ilk are too special purpose, and it causes problems.  In games where they can be used, they are underpriced, but otherwise they are a waste of resources.  While they may be “balanced” overall, they increase the roll of chance – which I already find too prominent in the game.
     A.  Add power, “or discard to draw a new card.”
     B.  Allow card to affect items as well as auras.  This stretches the character (feel) of card, but would also help balance fire prisms.
     C.  Allow card to affect traps as well as auras.  Enemies falling into their own traps does not seem beyond the impact of such magics.  This change adds versatility to handling traps and broadens scope of the card.

21.  Flesh Golems:  This is sort of a rush card in a faction that does not support rush tactics!  I have no good suggestions.  At health 3, I might play it as a cheap blocker, but balance with zombie mobs can become an issue if adjustments are not very careful.

22.  Lich Touch:  An interesting card that really doesn’t work – especially at cost 4.  It does make for some interesting AI decks, but PVP use is not really viable compared to taken under, implosion, and meteor.
     A.  reduce cost to 3.  Or even 2!
     B.  Let card affect both player’s two highest priced cards.

23.  Festerplague:  Festerplague is not really a bad card, but it has tempo issues.  It is hard to find time to play the card, and, once played, its impact is too slow.
     A.  reduce cost
     B.  reduce the timer imposed

24.  Doom Song:  This card will remain worthless as long as life granting tactics remain nonviable.
     A.  Provide, in future factions, sufficient means to shut down rush and stranglehold strategies to the point that defensive and life building strategies become viable.  I don’t know if this is possible or desirable.
     B.  Increase card cost, but make card prevent health being given to creatures as well.

25.  Spell Leech:
     A.  Reduce cost to 0
     B.  Increase cost to 2, but give card 2/3 stats.  Triggering the cards effect is far more undesirable when it starts at strength 2.  Better health gives card enough staying power to actually inhibit opponent actions.

26.  Blown Away:  I think this card is OK as it is, and it will get better with every good cost 0 or cost 1 card created.

27.  Air Pressure:
     A.  Reduce timer.
     B.  Adjust card along lines of lava bomb so sending it to discard automatically triggers it.
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Re: card statistics

markturnergoblin
There are some changes to cards that will come out with ice. Mainly cards that are too weak at the moment.
Some ideas of aquamancer are reduce its attack to zero, this way it could not go head to head with minions as it slowly drains everything in sight. Also another option is that it can only target nearby enomies, forcing her to move about more. I wonder if it cost one to use,it would be a downward spiral versus players putting in 5 cost minions every turn .
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Re: card statistics

Quintivarium
I look forward to upcoming changes.

Regarding aquamancers, for what it is worth, here is my reaction.

First, I know there are issues with trying to weaken a card -- especially one that is popular and long established.  Players who spend gold to buy an awesome card could feel betrayed, and others will take offense that their favorite deck no longer works as well as it once did.  Over correcting is definitely not desirable.

Like you, I am not a big fan of charging to use the power, although I think there is a problem when one aquamancer (with two overworld elixirs) can sustainably use its power three times a round.  This happens frequently.  The problem might be with the elixirs (and with energize), but it is exacerbated by aquamancers.

I am also not a fan of the suggestion to reduce the aquamancers attack to 0.  Unfortunately, as long as aquamancers are elusive and able to cheaply act multiple times a round ( either by multiple copies of the card, or through energize type effects), I don't think strength 0 changes much.  They still either destroy opposing minions, or just run away.  A few strength two opposing cards might force them to run that can presently be endured, but I don't think this is significant.

The idea of limiting aquamancers to nearby cards is interesting.  It provides a little more defensive flexibility while one is simply awaiting the draw of a card like flamespike, flamespider, giant owl, etc.  It also restricts the aquamancer's ability to function when suitable nearby lanes are unavailable.  It also limits the ability of two or more aquamancers to work in devastating tandem.  And finally, it reduces the luck factor.  If both players have aquamancers, the game no longer reduces to an issue of who draws the aquamancer first --  one aquamancer no longer "controls" the entire board.

I would also favor, as an alternative, some organic way to limit the frequency with which the aquamancer's ability can be used.  My suggestion to limit it to enemies whose health is no less than the aquamancer's is probably too extreme even if strategically interesting and not unbalanced. Unfortunately, I don't know a better way to this without it being very artificial.

I also think, it might be viable to change the power to one that automatically occurs at the start of a players turn choosing a random enemy minion.  Then the aquamancer can no longer protect self by failing to attack a stronger opposing force, the aquamancer cannot be triggered multiple times a round, and enemies placed opposite the aquamancer could not be the sure focus of its power.  But I think this change is also far too extreme.

While a good compromize appears difficult, I am glad thought is being given to the aquamancer.

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Re: card statistics

Cog.Bot
In reply to this post by Quintivarium
Quintivarium, this is great data and information and I really love it.

I did a few analyses as well (thanks for posting your data).  I don't have anything beyond what you have, but the data does show a few other things.  Mostly I was trying to answer various questions about what kind of cards are popular now (cost/elusive/etc.).

Q:  How many cards were played in each game?

A:  Average number of cards played per game: 11.6

Q:  How many different types of cards are played by faction?

      faction NumberDifferentCardsPlayed
7  underworld                         41
2        fire                         39
5       ocean                         39
6       swamp                         39
3      forest                         37
1         air                         36
4      jungle                         35

A:  All factions use most of the cards.  Underworld is the most
diverse deck (only 1 card not used), while jungle is the least diverse
deck (probably because it was the least played).


[For following analyses, a line separates numbers that are
(statistically) different from each other.  Note that the analyses I
did were not exactly right (I was violating independence and I relaxed
the multiple comparison issue), so this is mostly a guide, not
scientific truth.]

Q:  What factions are most played?

** Faction by cards played
faction      CardsPlayed
 ocean       488        
 fire        431        
------------------------
 air         352        
 underworld  328        
 swamp       302        
------------------------
 forest      246        
------------------------
 jungle      172        

A:  As Quintivarium showed, ocean and fire are the most popular and
jungle is the least (in this sample).  The only thing this analysis
adds is to show that ocean and fire are equally popular, and
air/underworld/swamp are all equally popular (but less popular than
ocean/fire), and that forest is more popular than jungle.

Q:  What power cost cards do people play?

** Cost by cards played
Power.Cost   CardsPlayed
3            648        
2            636        
------------------------
0            363        
------------------------
1            278        
------------------------
5            221        
------------------------
4            173        

A:  Power cost 3 and 2 are the most popular, while 4 is the least
popular.  Somewhat surprising (to me, at least), 5 cost cards are not
very popular at all.  I know that Quintivarium likes to play low-cost
/ small minion decks, but this is still a bit surprising.

Q:  What types of cards do people play?

** Card.Type by cards played
Card.Type    CardsPlayed
Minion       1130        
------------------------
Spell        552        
------------------------
Item         300        
------------------------
Aura         193        
------------------------
Trap         82          
Barrier      62          

A:  Unsurprisingly, Minions are the most popular, and traps/barriers
are the least.  Spells are quite popular as well.

Q:  What strength do players prefer to play?

** Strength by cards played
Strength     CardsPlayed
NA           1127        
------------------------
2            515        
------------------------
1            262        
3            259        
------------------------
0            81          
4            75          
------------------------
5            0          

A:  NA are cards that have no strength (items, auras, spells).  And
strength 2 minions are the most popular, with strength 0 and 4 minions being
the least popular (there are only 2 strength 5 minions, and neither
was used in this sample).

Q: What health do players prefer to play?

** Health by cards played
Health       CardsPlayed
NA           1127        
------------------------
1            376        
------------------------
2            324        
3            293        
------------------------
4            104        
------------------------
5            53          
------------------------
6            23          
9            12          
7            7          

A:  NA are cards that have no health (items, auras, spells).  And
health 1 minions are the most popular, with health 6, 9, and 7 minions being
the least popular.

Q:  How much do players like playing elusive cards?

** Elusive by cards played
Elusive      CardsPlayed
NA           1100        
------------------------
No           699        
------------------------
Yes          493        

A:  Players prefer non-elusive cards.

Q:  How much do players like playing quick cards?

** Quick by cards played
Quick        CardsPlayed
No           1028        
------------------------
Yes          164        

A:  Players prefer non-quick cards.

Players also prefer non-spell immune cards, non-combat immune cards,
and cards without timers.

You may be asking yourself, "But there are so many more non-elusive /
non-quick / non-spell immune / non-combat immune / non-timer cards!
Would't that make a difference?"  And the answer is yes, it could make
a difference, but it does not.  That is, all the results above hold
even when you take into account the available percentages (e.g., there
are only ~14% quick cards in all of spellcraft, but people still
prefer non-quick minions).



Q:  Quintivarium already showed the most popular cards overall.  But
what are the most popular cards in each faction?  The following table
shows the probability of each card given that one of the factions is
being played.

** Most used cards, in order (percentage)
                Card.Name  Prob freq Card.Faction Card.Type Power.Cost
126               Horrify 84.44   38        SWAMP     Spell          2
249            Storm Core 80.33   49          AIR      Item          0
266    Triton Aquamancers 70.83   51        OCEAN    Minion          2
177    Nobbling Trickster 68.57   24       FOREST    Minion          2
113           Giant Volta 63.89   46        OCEAN    Minion          3
37         Captured Flame 62.34   48         FIRE      Item          0
288           Wild Growth 57.14   20       FOREST      Aura          2
253       Sunken Treasure 50.00   36        OCEAN      Item          2
130                  Hunt 48.57   17       FOREST     Spell          0
100            Flamespike 46.75   36         FIRE     Spell          3
231          Shimmerpearl 45.83   33        OCEAN      Item          0
95              Fire Rain 42.86   33         FIRE     Spell          3
277        Underdark Worm 42.59   23   UNDERWORLD    Minion          5
81               Energise 40.98   25          AIR     Spell          1
268        Triton Hunters 40.28   29        OCEAN    Minion          2
135          Jungle Troll 39.29   11       JUNGLE    Minion          4
155           Lost At Sea 38.89   28        OCEAN      Trap          3
254           Taken Under 38.89   21   UNDERWORLD     Spell          4
273     Triton Waveriders 38.89   28        OCEAN    Minion          3
200           Pyromancers 37.66   29         FIRE    Minion          2
148            Life Force 37.14   13       FOREST     Spell          1
199             Pyrohydra 36.36   28         FIRE    Minion          5
185      Overworld Elixir 36.07   22          AIR      Item          0
8                  Ambush 35.71   10       JUNGLE      Trap          2
129      Hungry Crocodile 35.71   10       JUNGLE    Minion          3
216              Saberine 35.71   10       JUNGLE    Minion          3
30            Bone Dragon 35.56   16        SWAMP    Minion          5
58      Darkling Assassin 35.19   19   UNDERWORLD    Minion          4
94             Fire Prism 35.06   27         FIRE      Item          3
152        Living Essence 34.29   12       FOREST    Minion          4
276        Undead Tritons 33.33   15        SWAMP    Minion          2
3             Aeromancers 32.79   20          AIR    Minion          3
65          Deepsea Thing 31.94   23        OCEAN    Minion          5
289         Wild Strength 31.43   11       FOREST      Aura          2
184              Overload 31.15   19          AIR     Spell          3
165                Miasma 31.11   14        SWAMP     Spell          2
294            Zombie Mob 31.11   14        SWAMP    Minion          1
131               Implode 29.87   23         FIRE     Spell          3
12          Angry Hornets 28.57    8       JUNGLE    Minion          3
87                 Evolve 28.57   10       FOREST     Spell          1
90               Ferocity 28.57    8       JUNGLE     Spell          2
109     Giant Constrictor 28.57    8       JUNGLE    Minion          5
122   Heart Of The Forest 28.57   10       FOREST      Aura          1
159           Magmasphere 28.57   22         FIRE    Minion          3
220           Savage Kobo 28.57    8       JUNGLE    Minion          2
224       Savage Trappers 28.57    8       JUNGLE    Minion          2
17               Archmage 27.87   17          AIR    Minion          4
66              Deepspawn 27.78   15   UNDERWORLD    Minion          3
154                  Lost 27.78   15   UNDERWORLD     Spell          3
271         Triton Ritual 27.78   20        OCEAN      Aura          3
38          Captured Soul 26.67   12        SWAMP      Item          0
171       Murder Of Crows 26.67   12        SWAMP     Spell          1
174            Necromages 26.67   12        SWAMP    Minion          2
99            Flamespider 25.97   20         FIRE    Minion          3
196         Primeval Ooze 25.93   14   UNDERWORLD    Minion          3
118             Grizzlies 25.71    9       FOREST    Minion          3
210               Rebirth 25.71    9       FOREST     Spell          2
291             Wolf Pack 25.71    9       FOREST    Minion          2
191          Poison Darts 25.00    7       JUNGLE      Trap          1
204               Rampage 25.00    7       JUNGLE      Aura          0
27           Blood Vapour 24.44   11        SWAMP    Minion          2
181          Ominous Eggs 24.07   13   UNDERWORLD   Barrier          1
279         Unnatural Gas 24.07   13   UNDERWORLD      Trap          0
32             Brainstorm 22.95   14          AIR     Spell          1
22               Barkskin 22.86    8       FOREST      Aura          0
67           Deepwood Ash 22.86    8       FOREST    Minion          5
115                Gorger 22.22   10        SWAMP    Minion          3
124          Hidden Cache 22.22   12   UNDERWORLD      Item          0
206        Ravenous Ghoul 22.22   10        SWAMP    Minion          2
230           Shadowfiend 22.22   10        SWAMP    Minion          2
128                  Huge 21.43    6       JUNGLE      Aura          3
133         Jungle Dragon 21.43    6       JUNGLE    Minion          5
242             Snake Pit 21.43    6       JUNGLE      Trap          0
194           Power Surge 21.31   13          AIR     Spell          0
96            Fire Shroud 20.78   16         FIRE     Spell          1
56               Dark Fey 20.37   11   UNDERWORLD    Minion          2
229         Shadow Dragon 20.37   11   UNDERWORLD    Minion          5
9           Ancient Ghost 20.00    9        SWAMP    Minion          4
92             Fey Spirit 20.00    7       FOREST    Minion          1
127       Howling Banshee 20.00    9        SWAMP    Minion          3
261             Time Loop 19.67   12          AIR     Spell          0
20     Back To The Depths 19.44   14        OCEAN     Spell          0
188                Pilfer 18.52   10   UNDERWORLD     Spell          1
247            Spore Farm 18.52   10   UNDERWORLD   Barrier          2
201              Pyrosaur 18.18   14         FIRE    Minion          5
110         Giant Octopus 18.06   13        OCEAN    Minion          5
236                  Sink 18.06   13        OCEAN     Spell          1
258           Tide Caller 18.06   13        OCEAN      Item          1
44          Chronomancers 18.03   11          AIR    Minion          2
219 Savage Blood-drinkers 17.86    5       JUNGLE    Minion          3
263              Toxipede 17.86    5       JUNGLE    Minion          2
35        Burrowing Under 16.67    9   UNDERWORLD      Aura          3
60       Darkling Slavers 16.67    9   UNDERWORLD     Spell          5
136           Kobo Miners 16.67    9   UNDERWORLD    Minion          1
166         Mind Transfer 16.67    9   UNDERWORLD     Spell          3
232          Shimmershoal 16.67   12        OCEAN    Minion          0
255       Telepathic Link 16.67    9   UNDERWORLD      Aura          3
5             Aether Fish 16.39   10          AIR    Minion          0
243            Spell Book 16.39   10          AIR      Item          0
250           Storm Fiend 16.39   10          AIR    Minion          3
262               Tornado 16.39   10          AIR      Aura          3
98              Firebirds 15.58   12         FIRE    Minion          1
29               Bodyswap 15.56    7        SWAMP     Spell          4
116         Grave Robbers 15.56    7        SWAMP    Minion          2
226      Screaming Skulls 15.56    7        SWAMP    Minion          3
280       Vampire Consort 15.56    7        SWAMP    Minion          4
14       Aquallid Hunters 15.28   11        OCEAN    Minion          3
31            Brain Hound 14.81    8   UNDERWORLD    Minion          2
61     Darkling Snatchers 14.81    8   UNDERWORLD    Minion          2
107      Forked Lightning 14.75    9          AIR     Spell          2
235            Silverhawk 14.75    9          AIR    Minion          2
10            Ancient Oak 14.29    5       FOREST    Minion          5
21               Backfire 14.29    4       JUNGLE      Trap          1
54                 Dactyl 14.29    4       JUNGLE    Minion          4
55       Dactyl Hatchling 14.29    4       JUNGLE    Minion          2
69        Deepwood Spider 14.29    5       FOREST    Minion          4
76              Dragonfly 14.29    5       FOREST    Minion          3
88     Faerie Enchantress 14.29    5       FOREST    Minion          2
103             Flowering 14.29    5       FOREST      Aura          3
106         Forest Dragon 14.29    5       FOREST    Minion          5
108            Gargantula 14.29    4       JUNGLE    Minion          4
125      Horde Of Animals 14.29    5       FOREST    Minion          0
151           Living Bomb 14.29   11         FIRE     Spell          1
156       Lost Spellstone 14.29    4       JUNGLE      Item          0
213                Rooted 14.29    5       FOREST      Aura          2
240                 Smash 14.29    4       JUNGLE      Trap          0
233          Shimmersquid 13.89   10        OCEAN    Minion          2
24               Betrayal 13.33    6        SWAMP     Spell          3
49          Cloud Of Bats 13.33    6        SWAMP     Spell          2
212            Rise Again 13.33    6        SWAMP     Spell          2
275          Undead Giant 13.33    6        SWAMP    Minion          4
117          Gravity Well 13.11    8          AIR      Aura          3
144     Lavaworm Ravagers 12.99   10         FIRE    Minion          3
164                Meteor 12.99   10         FIRE     Spell          5
7        Albino Cave Slug 12.96    7   UNDERWORLD    Minion          2
172        Narrow Tunnels 12.96    7   UNDERWORLD      Aura          2
15         Aquallid Mages 12.50    9        OCEAN    Minion          2
227            Sea Dragon 12.50    9        OCEAN    Minion          5
34          Burning World 11.69    9         FIRE      Aura          3
121         Heart Of Fire 11.69    9         FIRE      Item          2
43            Chronochime 11.48    7          AIR     Spell          0
47           Cloud Dragon 11.48    7          AIR    Minion          5
149       Lightning Golem 11.48    7          AIR    Minion          3
239             Sky Hydra 11.48    7          AIR    Minion          5
13              Ant Swarm 11.43    4       FOREST    Minion          2
42        Chanting Druids 11.43    4       FOREST    Minion          2
111             Giant Owl 11.43    4       FOREST    Minion          4
153           Living Maze 11.43    4       FOREST   Barrier          2
284          Wall Of Webs 11.43    4       FOREST   Barrier          0
2                Accursed 11.11    5        SWAMP      Aura          3
26              Blood Orb 11.11    5        SWAMP      Item          3
41                Cave-in 11.11    6   UNDERWORLD     Spell          2
57           Dark Secrets 11.11    5        SWAMP      Item          1
78            Dreamfeeder 11.11    6   UNDERWORLD    Minion          2
138    Kobo Tunnelrunners 11.11    6   UNDERWORLD    Minion          1
192           Post Mortem 11.11    5        SWAMP     Spell          0
218              Safehole 11.11    6   UNDERWORLD      Aura          2
267       Triton Assassin 11.11    8        OCEAN    Minion          4
270    Triton Pearldivers 11.11    8        OCEAN    Minion          1
50           Colossal Egg 10.71    3       JUNGLE   Barrier          3
145     Law Of The Jungle 10.71    3       JUNGLE      Aura          2
160                Mantid 10.71    3       JUNGLE    Minion          3
209             Razorweed 10.71    3       JUNGLE   Barrier          2
222         Savage Shaman 10.71    3       JUNGLE    Minion          2
252         Stranglevines 10.71    3       JUNGLE      Aura          3
48              Cloud Fey  9.84    6          AIR    Minion          1
193            Power Dive  9.84    6          AIR     Spell          0
11         Ancient Turtle  9.72    7        OCEAN    Minion          5
40              Cave Rats  9.26    5   UNDERWORLD    Minion          0
137         Kobo Summoner  9.26    5   UNDERWORLD    Minion          2
161         Mass Collapse  9.26    5   UNDERWORLD     Spell          2
187             Phantasma  9.26    5   UNDERWORLD    Minion          3
141            Lava Giant  9.09    7         FIRE    Minion          4
214           Ruby Dragon  9.09    7         FIRE    Minion          5
62    Death Is Inevitable  8.89    4        SWAMP     Spell          2
63                  Decay  8.89    4        SWAMP     Spell          2
86         Eternal Knight  8.89    4        SWAMP    Minion          4
238         Skeleton Crew  8.89    4        SWAMP    Minion          2
248        Stitched Golem  8.89    4        SWAMP    Minion          3
282         Waiting Grave  8.89    4        SWAMP      Trap          3
25        Blessed Unicorn  8.57    3       FOREST    Minion          4
68           Deepwood Fey  8.57    3       FOREST    Minion          1
114         Glade Faeries  8.57    3       FOREST    Minion          2
265          Tree Of Life  8.57    3       FOREST   Barrier          2
102                Floods  8.33    6        OCEAN      Aura          3
104              Fluidity  8.33    6        OCEAN     Spell          1
150               Liquify  8.33    6        OCEAN     Spell          1
203         Rainbow Pearl  8.33    6        OCEAN      Item          2
16           Arcane Thief  8.20    5          AIR    Minion          0
19          Astral Armour  8.20    5          AIR     Spell          2
157            Mage Tower  8.20    5          AIR   Barrier          2
198                Pulser  8.20    5          AIR    Minion          0
246           Spell Storm  8.20    5          AIR     Spell          1
167     Mindvenom Spiders  7.41    4   UNDERWORLD    Minion          2
283   Wall Of Stalagmites  7.41    4   UNDERWORLD   Barrier          2
182              Overflow  6.94    5        OCEAN      Aura          3
259             Tideshift  6.94    5        OCEAN     Spell          0
272     Triton Warmachine  6.94    5        OCEAN    Minion          4
285       Water Elemental  6.94    5        OCEAN    Minion          3
170             Mortality  6.67    3        SWAMP      Aura          1
292     Wraith Soulhunter  6.67    3        SWAMP    Minion          4
251             Stormship  6.56    4          AIR    Minion          4
260            Time Eater  6.56    4          AIR    Minion          5
46            Cinderlings  6.49    5         FIRE    Minion          3
89       Feral Elementals  6.49    5         FIRE    Minion          3
195        Primeval Flame  6.49    5         FIRE   Barrier          3
202                  Rage  6.49    5         FIRE      Aura          3
211           Reemergence  5.71    2       FOREST     Spell          1
79     Drifting Jellyfish  5.56    4        OCEAN   Barrier          2
23          Berserk Djinn  5.19    4         FIRE    Minion          3
72             Detonation  5.19    4         FIRE     Spell          3
123            Heatseeker  5.19    4         FIRE     Spell          4
168          Molten Golem  5.19    4         FIRE    Minion          3
274            Uncontinue  4.92    3          AIR     Spell          2
290              Wildmage  4.92    3          AIR    Minion          3
101          Flesh Golems  4.44    2        SWAMP    Minion          1
120     Heart Of Darkness  4.44    2        SWAMP      Item          1
175            Necropolis  4.44    2        SWAMP   Barrier          2
36              Calm Seas  4.17    3        OCEAN     Spell          3
51         Crushing Waves  4.17    3        OCEAN     Spell          4
112          Giant Urchin  4.17    3        OCEAN    Minion          2
207          Razor Sharks  4.17    3        OCEAN    Minion          4
269    Triton Illusionist  4.17    3        OCEAN    Minion          2
33          Burning Blood  3.90    3         FIRE      Aura          1
45              Cinderbox  3.90    3         FIRE      Trap          0
140       Lava Elementals  3.90    3         FIRE    Minion          2
215        Ruby Hatchling  3.90    3         FIRE    Minion          3
59       Darkling Schemer  3.70    2   UNDERWORLD    Minion          1
71               Delusion  3.70    2   UNDERWORLD     Spell          2
163                Mesmer  3.70    2   UNDERWORLD      Trap          2
197        Psychic Vortex  3.70    2   UNDERWORLD      Aura          1
257   Tentacle From Below  3.70    2   UNDERWORLD    Minion          2
80           Drums Of War  3.57    1       JUNGLE      Item          2
85            Essence Jar  3.57    1       JUNGLE      Trap          0
186           Pack Attack  3.57    1       JUNGLE      Aura          0
208            Razorsaurs  3.57    1       JUNGLE    Minion          3
221         Savage Riders  3.57    1       JUNGLE    Minion          4
223          Savage Spite  3.57    1       JUNGLE     Spell          3
264              Trapvine  3.57    1       JUNGLE   Barrier          4
158        Magic Missiles  3.28    2          AIR     Spell          2
1                  Absorb  2.86    1       FOREST     Spell          3
70       Deepwood Unicorn  2.86    1       FOREST    Minion          4
147          Life Berries  2.86    1       FOREST     Spell          0
173         Natural Order  2.86    1       FOREST     Spell          1
178       Nobbling Warden  2.86    1       FOREST    Minion          2
132               Inferno  2.60    2         FIRE      Aura          3
143              Lavapult  2.60    2         FIRE      Item          2
234          Siege Cannon  2.60    2         FIRE      Item          2
281     Volcanic Eruption  2.60    2         FIRE      Aura          3
74               Doomsong  2.22    1        SWAMP      Aura          0
77      Dreadmarsh Plague  2.22    1        SWAMP      Aura          0
64        Deeper Darkness  1.85    1   UNDERWORLD   Barrier          2
83          Essence Eater  1.85    1   UNDERWORLD    Minion          5
278     Underworld Elixir  1.85    1   UNDERWORLD      Item          2
293          Wrong Tunnel  1.85    1   UNDERWORLD     Spell          0
73              Doomcloud  1.64    1          AIR    Minion          3
179             Null Wand  1.64    1          AIR      Item          1
256              Temporal  1.64    1          AIR    Minion          3
190        Pirate Raiders  1.39    1        OCEAN    Minion          2
228            Sea Snakes  1.39    1        OCEAN    Minion          3
237                Sirens  1.39    1        OCEAN    Minion          3
287             Whirlpool  1.39    1        OCEAN      Aura          2
18                  Ashes  1.30    1         FIRE     Spell          1
97              Fire Wolf  1.30    1         FIRE    Minion          2
142             Lava Imps  1.30    1         FIRE    Minion          1
162                  Melt  1.30    1         FIRE     Spell          0
4                Aerovore  0.00    0          AIR    Minion          4
6            Air Pressure  0.00    0          AIR      Aura          2
28             Blown Away  0.00    0          AIR     Spell          1
39            Catastrophe  0.00    0         FIRE     Spell          3
52                   Cull  0.00    0        SWAMP     Spell          0
53            Cursed Idol  0.00    0       JUNGLE      Item          2
75             Dragonfish  0.00    0        OCEAN    Minion          5
82          Essence Drift  0.00    0        OCEAN     Spell          0
84       Essence Exchange  0.00    0   UNDERWORLD     Spell          2
91           Festerplague  0.00    0        SWAMP     Spell          3
93              Fey Staff  0.00    0       FOREST      Item          2
105         Forest Canopy  0.00    0       FOREST      Aura          0
119           Healing Sap  0.00    0       FOREST     Spell          0
134          Jungle Juice  0.00    0       JUNGLE      Item          2
139            Lava Bombs  0.00    0         FIRE      Item          2
146            Lich Touch  0.00    0        SWAMP     Spell          4
169          Mortal Wound  0.00    0       JUNGLE      Aura          2
176        Nobbling Elder  0.00    0       FOREST    Minion          2
180            Ocean Mist  0.00    0        OCEAN     Spell          0
183      Overgrown Forest  0.00    0       FOREST   Barrier          2
189               Piranha  0.00    0       JUNGLE    Minion          2
205               Ravager  0.00    0       JUNGLE    Minion          5
217     Sacrificial Blade  0.00    0       JUNGLE      Item          2
225            Scavengers  0.00    0       JUNGLE      Trap          2
241      Smoke Elementals  0.00    0         FIRE    Minion          3
244           Spell Leech  0.00    0          AIR    Minion          1
245             Spell Net  0.00    0          AIR      Trap          3
286        Whirling Djinn  0.00    0          AIR    Minion          3

A:  What is interesting about this table is that they show something a
bit different from raw frequencies.  Namely, that while Triton
Aquamancers are very popular (you have a 71% chance of seeing them if
your opponent is playing ocean), but Horrify and Storm Core are
actually more popular in their factions.  [this is not quite true, but it is close]

I'll be happy to update this with more data as people / Quintivarium
collect more.
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Re: card statistics

Cog.Bot
In reply to this post by Quintivarium
I have only a few comments on what cards are over-powered.  I agree that aquamancer is a bit overpowered, but also a bit difficult to fix.

Giant Volta:  I don't think it is overpowered, but I think the issue is mostly energize + elixir.  And while that deck is quite strong, I don't think the goblins should change volta to compensate for that deck.

Fire Prism:  I also agree that prism decks are usually very strong, but again, I don't think they should be changed much (perhaps a shorter timer).  I also notice that both the energize/volta/aquamancer deck and the fire prism both rely on items and there are several (imperfect) defenses to them (I share all the concerns you've voiced before about this as well), but I honestly think that's just part of the CCG issue.

Speed decks are quite popular now.  I honestly think the #1 cause of the issue is brainstorm; before brainstorm arrived, they were more hit and miss.  I don't have any real issue with speed decks either -- forest has some very good defenses agains them (and items and auras).

I think stranglevines are about right now.  They are expensive, they don't last forever, and they have multiple counters.

I found your comments on under-powered cards great!  My favorite was forest canopy and it also inhibiting elusive, making that card a much stronger card.  My second favorite comment was your idea on spell leech.

My main thought on most of the other cards was that the game is currently unfinished and I hope that additional factions improve those cards (e.g., essence shift and essence exchange with ice and pirate raiders with mountain).

As always, I love your comments and thanks for making great consistent comments on the forum!
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Re: card statistics

Quintivarium
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Your statistics are also very interesting.  There is one that needs to be used with a great deal of caution however: the number of cards played per game.  I counted every game played -- including some that disconnected before a card was even played (I can tell primary faction by color of gems).  I also counted discarded cards.  I did not count obviously recalled cards: eg if I saw lost at sea followed by triton hunter followed by lost at sea, I generally only counted lost at sea once.  If a player played pilfer or telepathic link, followed by a card from a faction they did not natively have, I did not count the card as I am using the data to identify deck composition.  And finally, there were cards that did not get recorded, either because they were played to rapidly for me to keep up or because I got wrapped up in the game and forgot to mark them.  The number of cards played (or probably, even more, the number of turns per game) would be very interesting, but my data does not address it well.

I do now have about another 90 games recorded.  It is clear that, especially some of the unpopular cards can change in proportion pretty easily.  And I am getting a better sampling of jungle (which I find to be a strong faction).  I am also now linking primary and secondary factions (my data does capture this, although not my initial way of reporting it).  I will hold back on updates to the data until I get around another 200 games or I decide I have gone far enough with the project.  Otherwise I will overload the forum with too much, too similar data.
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Re: card statistics

Cog.Bot
Quintivarium wrote
Your statistics are also very interesting.  There is one that needs to be used with a great deal of caution however: the number of cards played per game.  I counted every game played -- including some that disconnected before a card was even played (I can tell primary faction by color of gems).  I also counted discarded cards.  I did not count obviously recalled cards: eg if I saw lost at sea followed by triton hunter followed by lost at sea, I generally only counted lost at sea once.  If a player played pilfer or telepathic link, followed by a card from a faction they did not natively have, I did not count the card as I am using the data to identify deck composition.  And finally, there were cards that did not get recorded, either because they were played to rapidly for me to keep up or because I got wrapped up in the game and forgot to mark them.  The number of cards played (or probably, even more, the number of turns per game) would be very interesting, but my data does not address it well.
Yes, I thought that may be the case.  I thought about normalizing the probability given number of cards, but for a variety of reasons it just didn't make a ton of sense.  I'm now very glad I didn't do that.
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Re: card statistics

Quintivarium
Despite the imprecisions, I think most of the data is still meaningful.  I am holding off on statistical analyses until I get a larger sample.  There are just occasional places (like number of cards played) where a systematic bias will mask the truth.  Random errors should wash out.

If you are interested, probably 50% of the matches were played with a fire/ocean deck featuring only one copy of each card.  Thus I had big minions like dragons and pyrohydra (but only one of each) as well as smaller minions and a mixture of spells, barriers, items, traps, and auras.

When I repeatedly encountered a player, or when I encountered someone I knew was too good a player for that deck, I used a mixture of other decks in my repetoire, some based on size and power, some on quickness, some on gimmicks.  Unfortunately, I did not track what deck I used, and I did not really consider how my cards might impact the opposing cards I get to see.
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Re: card statistics

Cog.Bot
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Apologies, but I noticed an error and re-did my analyses.  A few interesting differences.  I would delete the earlier one but I seem to be unable to do so.

Q:  How many cards were played in each game?

A:  Average num of cards played per game [Do not take this number seriously]: 11.6

Q:  How many different types of cards are played by faction?

      faction NumberDifferentCardsPlayed
7  underworld                         41
2        fire                         39
5       ocean                         39
6       swamp                         39
3      forest                         37
1         air                         36
4      jungle                         35

A:  All factions use most of the cards.  Underworld is the most
diverse deck (only 1 card not used), while jungle is the least diverse
deck (probably because it was the least played).


[For following analyses, I have the CardsPlayed (the number of cards
played in the sample), Observed% (the percentage of cards that fall
into that group overall), and Expected% (the percentage of cards that
fall into that group across all the Spellcraft cards).  A line
separates numbers that are (statistically) different from each other.
Note that the analyses I did were not exactly right (I was violating
independence and I relaxed the multiple comparison issue), so this is
mostly a guide, not scientific truth.]

Q:  What factions are most played?

** Faction by cards played (sum)
faction       CardsPlayed  Oberved%      Expected%    
 ocean        488          21            14.3        
 fire         431          18.6          14.3        
----------------------------------------------------
 air          352          15.2          14.3        
 underworld   328          14.1          14.3        
 swamp        302          13            14.3        
----------------------------------------------------
 forest       246          10.6          14.3        
----------------------------------------------------
 jungle       172          7.4           14.3        

A:  As Quintivarium showed, ocean and fire are the most popular and
jungle is the least (in this sample).  The only thing this analysis
adds is to show that ocean and fire are equally popular, and
air/underworld/swamp are all equally popular (but less popular than
ocean/fire), and that forest is more popular than jungle.

Q:  What power cost cards do people play?

** Cost by cards played
Power.Cost    CardsPlayed  Oberved%      Expected%    
3             648          27.9          24.5        
----------------------------------------------------
2             636          27.4          31          
----------------------------------------------------
0             363          15.7          13.9        
----------------------------------------------------
1             278          12            13.3        
----------------------------------------------------
5             221          9.5           7.8          
----------------------------------------------------
4             173          7.5           9.5          

A:  Power cost 3 and 2 are the most popular, while 4 is the least
popular.  Somewhat surprising (to me, at least), 5 cost cards are not
very popular at all.  I know that Quintivarium likes to play low-cost
/ small minion decks, but this is still a bit surprising.

Q:  What types of cards do people play?

** Card.Type by cards played
Card.Type     CardsPlayed  Oberved%      Expected%    
Minion        1130         48.7          47.3        
Spell         552          23.8          22.8        
----------------------------------------------------
Item          300          12.9          8.8          
----------------------------------------------------
Aura          193          8.3           11.6        
Trap          82           3.5           4.4          
----------------------------------------------------
Barrier       62           2.7           5.1          

A: Unsurprisingly, Minions are the most popular, tied with spells.
Barriers are the least popular.

Q:  What strength do players prefer to play?

** Strength by cards played
Strength      CardsPlayed  Oberved%      Expected%    
NA            1127        
2             515          22.2          21.1        
1             262          11.3          10.5        
----------------------------------------------------
3             259          11.2          12.6        
0             81           3.5           4.8          
----------------------------------------------------
4             75           3.2           2.7          
----------------------------------------------------
5             0            0             0.7          

A: NA are cards that have no strength (items, auras, spells).  And
strength 2 and 1 minions are the most popular, with strength 0 and 4
minions being the least popular (there are only 2 strength 5 minions,
and neither was used in this sample).

Q: What health do players prefer to play?

** Health by cards played
Health        CardsPlayed  Oberved%      Expected%    
NA            1127        
1             376          16.2          15.6        
----------------------------------------------------
2             324          14            17          
----------------------------------------------------
3             293          12.6          9.9          
4             104          4.5           4.1          
5             53           2.3           2.7          
6             23           1             1.4          
9             12           0.5           1            
7             7            0.3           0.7          

A: NA are cards that have no health (items, auras, spells).  And
health 1 minions are the most popular, with health 6, 9, and 7 minions
being the least popular.  Note that this analysis looks pretty close
to expected throughout -- the more of a specific health there is in
all of spellcraft, the more likely it is to be played.

Q:  How much do players like playing elusive cards?

** Elusive by cards played
Elusive       CardsPlayed  Oberved%      Expected%    
No            699          58.6          63.6        
----------------------------------------------------
Yes           493          41.4          36.4        

A:  Players prefer non-elusive cards, but not by much given their
base-rates.

Q:  How much do players prefer rare cards over common cards?

** Rare by cards played
Rarity        CardsPlayed  Oberved%      Expected%    
Common        958          41.3          38.1        
Uncommon      713          30.7          28.6        
----------------------------------------------------
Rare          532          22.9          28.6        
----------------------------------------------------
Special       116          5             4.8          

A: Whoops!  Common and uncommon cards are more popular than rare
cards!  What is interesting here is that rare cards are the least seen
(compared to their baserate)!  This suggests one of two things: (1)
There isn't much difference in power/preference between different
rarities; or (2) These players were a bit lower level and therefore
didn't have as many rare cards.

Q:  How much do players like playing quick cards?

** Quick by cards played
Quick         CardsPlayed  Oberved%      Expected%    
No            1028         86.2          87.7        
Yes           164          13.8          12.3        

A:  Numerically, players prefer non-quick cards.  BUT this analysis
suggests that they do not prefer non-quick cards beyond what would be
expected given the overall number of quick/non-quick cards in all of
spellcraft.  In other words, players don't really have a preference
for quick or non-quick cards.

Players also prefer non-spell immune cards, non-combat immune cards,
and cards without timers, though not by much over base-rates.

You may be asking yourself, "But there are so many more non-elusive /
non-quick / non-spell immune / non-combat immune / non-timer cards!
Wouldn't that make a difference?"  And the answer is yes, it can make
a difference, and for some analyses it does.  Look at the total number
of quick cards in all of spellcraft: there are ~12% quick cards.  Now
look at how many cards played were actually quick:  ~14%.  These
numbers are quite similar and suggests that the availability of quick
cards greatly influence how often quick cards are played.

And if you go back and look at a lot of the analyses here, you see
something very interesting:  Even though there are lots of lines
showing differences, the observed / expected numbers are quite
similar.  The evidence is not strong, but there are some things in
this data that really suggest that players are choosing cards close to
the proportions available to them.
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Re: card statistics

Cog.Bot
In reply to this post by Quintivarium
Quintivarium wrote
When I repeatedly encountered a player, or when I encountered someone I knew was too good a player for that deck, I used a mixture of other decks in my repetoire, some based on size and power, some on quickness, some on gimmicks.  Unfortunately, I did not track what deck I used, and I did not really consider how my cards might impact the opposing cards I get to see.
I don't think it matters that much, really.  Every deck will impact cards played, but because of the large number of decks it would be hard to get at it.

Thanks again!
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Re: card statistics

Quintivarium
In reply to this post by Cog.Bot
"A: Whoops!  Common and uncommon cards are more popular than rare
cards!  What is interesting here is that rare cards are the least seen
(compared to their baserate)!  This suggests one of two things: (1)
There isn't much difference in power/preference between different
rarities; or (2) These players were a bit lower level and therefore
didn't have as many rare cards."

While I did not specifically record anything like player rating, just from memory I can say very few matches (probably under 5%) were against players ranked higher than me -- and several of those were quick disconnects).  Probably close to half my opponents were rated 150 or below, and the vast majority under 300.  Rating alone does not necessarily indicate extensiveness of card holdings, but it probably correlates with card holdings.  Even intermediate rated players often have to fill in a deck with less preferred, but available cards.  This should be mitigated by the fact that less preferred cards are less likely to be played -- even if in a deck.  But I would guess there is a fair amount of usage because a player did not own a preferred card.  Not proof -- just intuition.
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Re: card statistics

Quintivarium
In reply to this post by Quintivarium
I have more extensive data (based on about 650 games and over 7500 cards played).  I will probably quit counting at this point (although I might recollect data in 6 months to see if tendencies have changed).  I also added a table showing the frequency of each primary faction/secondary faction pair, data not originally provided.  You may find my new data here.  card_frequencies_(rich_text).rtf

There are clearly inconsistencies in this data.  While attempting to tabulate, I frequently got interrupted and may have lost my place.  In counting numbers of factions played in two different ways, I clearly at times recorded one twice, or, more likely, missed recording one.  As these errors are random (and should exhibit no systematic bias), I did not take time to recount everything as that would be a very tedious, multi-hour task.

Most of the comments made with the original post remain valid, although aquamancers and voltas began to appear less frequently, and I encountered far fewer fire prism decks.  Despite this, power generation cards remain by far the most popular.  Direct removal/damage cards (e.g. taken under, meteor, and especially flame spike) are probably second, and card drawing (sunken treasure, brainstorm) effects are also popular.  Fire appears to be most popular, followed by ocean.  Forest appears least popular, with the other 4 factions fairly even.

Only 4 cards were never encountered (catastrophe, nobbling elder, essence exchange, and mortal wound).  Interestingly, I used two of these cards (catastrophe and essence exchange) against opponents in highly successful decks (but I did not my own cards in the stats as that would hugely bias the results towards cards I tend to play).

By the way, due to randomness, these sampled frequencies will differ from the actual frequencies with which the cards are used.  However, there should be some statistical consistencies (card frequencies are approximately binomially distributed).  For cards that appeared 10 or more times, the actual frequency  should be within a range of 2 times the square root of the frequency with which the card appeared in my sample unless the data I obtained is amongst the 5% of most unlikely samples possible.  Thus a card that appeared 100 times in my sample most likely would occur between 80 and 120 times had my sample perfectly represented population proportions.  (Take 100 + or minus 2 * sqrt of 100).

Because of the randomness, be careful about conclusions like "Fire is more popular than ocean as a faction."  Statistically, it is not unreasonable to obtain data such as what I collected even if ocean were in fact more popular.  It is safe to say, "Ocean is more popular than underworld." as there is sufficient distance between the sampled frequencies in this case to be confident that the difference was not random.