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Prerelease follow-up

February 3, 2010

Okay, it’s time to follow-up where I left you last time. So, my 7 card hand on the play was this:

Island, Island, Halimar Depths, Quest for the Gravelord, Ruthless Cullblade, Giant Scorpion, Hagra Crocodile

I kept that. This might rise some eyebrows among you dear readers and I, myself wouldn’t keep that hand a year ago or so. But during the last year I have got more experience when it comes to mulliganing and it’s because that experience I kept that hand. It’s all about evaluating the risk/reward, hear me out.

The reasoning for keeping that hand is this. Granted, that hand does absolutely nothing unless I get a swamp and that pretty soon. But the hand does have a Halimar Depths, which greatly increases my chances of hitting a black source. Since at that point, almost every 1/3 cards in my deck is a black source, the odds of 1 of the 3 cards I have on top is a black source seems pretty likely. But then comes the second part of the reasoning. If I’m willing to take the risk of not getting a black source quickly, is the hand good enough to justify that? And did think so and still do. Can I land a swamp on turn 2, I got a great curve on the play. Frankly, it’s more or less the ideal hand in that case (considering what my deck can produce). (However, if the rest of the hand was sketchy aswell the risk of completely choke on your mana isn’t worth it by a long shot.)

Then it’s also comparing with what the average 6 card hand would look like, which I don’t think would be much more exciting. Sure 3 spells and 3 lands would be cool, but certainly at least 1 of those would be something that would cost 4 or more or one of them is a quest (which require you to have something else going on at the same time). With that in mind, the need of hitting a black source in the top 3 doesn’t seem to bad, does it?

So I kept, played Halimar Depths on turn 1 and didn’t hit a black source in my 5 first draw phases. Frown. But the fact that it didn’t work out doesn’t mean I was necessary wrong in keeping that hand. When I got home I did the math for real and I calculated it to in little under 70% of the times I would have got there. So, if I got to go back and make that choice again, I would have kept that hand again. Still, I think it is a close call. Say one of the spell I had in my hand was a another Island or the chance of hitting a black source in the top 3 would be around 50% instead of 70%, I most likely would ship it. Without the Halimar Depth I definitely wouldn’t keep that either.

Another thing that I didn’t really think about was what Christoffer pointed out in my last post, what happens if you wait a turn or 2 with the Depths? It might be the correct to slow roll the Depths a turn, but after that I don’t think it’s worth it anymore since you would lose your curve completely. And if you mess up the curve too much, probably just mulliganing in the first place would be better then.

Do you agree or not with my reasoning?

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