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World Deck Development thread

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Re: World Deck Development thread

Postby freddyjsg » 26 Apr 2013, 13:54

The mirrodin decks are looking good, but the issue of banned cards sure is complicated. I vote for banning only the combo piece (Ravager, Disciple of Vault, etc.), but the artifact lands not. Either way a while ago i was testing an innistrad world, but i dont know how to make good challenges. I dont know if you can help me to test them. Here is the world folder
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Re: World Deck Development thread

Postby serrasmurf » 23 May 2013, 14:50

I currently have no time to work on and finish the ravnica world.
but maybe someone (one of the devs?) is willing to add the best block constructed decks from the pro tour from last weekend (those that are playable for AI).
opponents names could be the name of some pro players, reformed:
Luis Scotch Fargo
Kai Buddha

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Re: World Deck Development thread

Postby chops » 07 Jul 2013, 14:53

The new AI vs. AI feature allows us to compare how well the computer plays different decks. I've been looking for a project using a Python implementation of Microsoft's TrueSkill system, so I ran a bunch of AI vs. AI games with the Ravnica world decks. Here's the result:

(49 Isperia 3)
38 Niv-Mizzet 3
37 Aurelia 3
35 Borborygmos 3
33 Sisters of Stone Death 3
(31 Ghost Counsel 3)
30 Lyzolda 3
29 Aurelia 2
26 Tolsmir 2
26 Der Rattenfanger von Hameln 2
25 Teysa 2
25 Lyzolda 2
25 Savra 3
25 Zegana 3
25 Trostani 2
24 Kraj 3
(23 Azorius2012 1)
23 Ulasht 2
23 Selesnya2012 1
(23 Isperia 2)
22 Szadek 2
(22 Azorius2006 1)
(21 Ghost Counsel 2)
21 Borborygmos 2
21 Orzhov2006 1
21 Agrus 2
20 Sus Antigoon 2
18 Boros2013 1
18 Jarad 2
18 Token 2
17 Izzet2012 1
17 Simic2013 1
17 Boros2005 1
16 Gruul2006 1
14 Caprio 2
14 Bep van Klaveren 3
14 Golgari2005 1
11 Selesnya2005 1
10 Rakdos the Defiler 2

(The number before each deck name is the TrueSkill level of each deck. The decks in parentheses are have cards that cause the game to crash, so I only have a few games' worth of data.)

Playing these decks against each other isn't quite the same as playing them against Quest mode decks, but I hope it provides some insights. Let me know if you want me to test a new deck against the ones I've done already.
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Re: World Deck Development thread

Postby serrasmurf » 25 Mar 2014, 14:42

Welcome to Zendikar!

Our travel brochure is in dire need of a new destination. Other worlds I see being developed in the forums are unfortunately not yet finished, I just had to build a new world.

Due to time constraints it had to be a little one and a bit straightforward. Rise of Eldrazi just happened to be one of my favourite sets, so Zendikar Plane it is. I hope you’ll enjoy the view, Zendikar has great landscapes. But also great treasures awaits you as it is the plane where you can pick up the one and only Jace, the Mind Sculptor, fetches, manlands, Stoneforge Mystic and Eldrazi monsters!

I chose not to include M10 or M11 cards, as these are not part of the Zendikar Plane. I did include some cards that are not part of the Zendikar Plane. The AI decks have some “alien” cards that combo really well with cards from Zendikar. You gotta spice up a small world a little bit :D . Flavourwise you could say that the combo is so strong that the other spell is pulled through the multiverse :) Additionally this plane is all about visitors en treasure hunters who bring their garbage and anomalies.

I accounted for the AI playbility of cards that I put in all AI deck’s, by checking AI "status" in Forge and playtesting. In the end I used some cards that are not deemed fit for use according to Forge but work fine in my decks (not optimal but very acceptable). These cards might deserve another status in Forge.
These cards are:
Sneak Attack
Lotus Cobra
Khalni Gem
Teetering Peaks
Harabaz Druid
Vampire Lacerator
Confusion in the Ranks
Mul Daya Channelers

There are 4 cards where the AI has issues in using them correctly but are usable according to Forge. Maybe some adjustments can be made into the way the AI uses them:

Pyromancer Ascension: It is active (has enough quest counters), the AI plays an instant or sorcery, Pyromancer Ascension and the ability goes on the stack. The ability is however optional ("may") and the AI chooses not to use it. (or can’t)
Sphinx-Bone Wand has a similar problem.
Jace, the Mind Sculptor: the AI doens't play Jace very well
Under pressure it is often better to brainstorm or to return a creature to hand. But often it just ticks up loyalty and looks at my topcard, which it can judge properly of course.
This would be fine if the goal is to finish me off, but when loyalty has ticked up to 12+ the AI doesnt pull the trigger. Finally the AI doesn’t activate Gigantomancer at times it would be very beneficial to him (or her).

Any feedback about this new world is more than welcome. Specially about the appropriate power level of the decks. If you have trouble fighting through the (early) decks, you can try to start off with a Gideon Jura and a Day of Judgement in your starting pool. They’re good against a lot of the creature decks. You should be able to outplay the control decks. Make sure you have some enchantment removal in your sideboard… Gideon is also one of the cards the AI can’t and doesn’t use. Other powerful options in that category are Abyssal Persecutor, Sarkhan the Mad, Everflowing Chalice and Arbor Elf.

Someone ran an AI test in which all the Ravnica decks played against eachother, it would be very nice if such a test is still possible so I can better set the power levels of the decks.

When I finished my icons I noticed I made them all .PNG files instead of .JPG
It works fine, so I didn’t change them.

I would appreciate it if one of the devs could check the world and add it to Fridays release! Please let me know if anythings needs fixing.

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Re: World Deck Development thread

Postby chops » 25 Mar 2014, 15:40

I'm glad you liked my AI-vs-AI tests! I was just starting to learn Python at that point, so that project took me a while. For one thing, I didn't know how to scrape data from the logs yet, so I was inputting it by hand. I'd be happy to work up a similar analysis for your world, but it'll take some time.

Nice work on Zendikar!
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Re: World Deck Development thread

Postby Sloth » 28 Mar 2014, 15:08

serrasmurf wrote:I would appreciate it if one of the devs could check the world and add it to Fridays release! Please let me know if anythings needs fixing.
I've added your Zendikar world, thanks serrasmurf (sorry it didn't make it into the beta). I haven't tested much yet, but i didn't see anything that the AI couldn't handle.
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Re: World Deck Development thread

Postby Xyx » 29 Mar 2014, 17:05

Feedback on Zendikar! 30 matches, 2 challenges.

tl;dr: Good job!

Foreword | Open
Before I start... I don't like the idea of non-Zendikar cards in Zendikar at all. I guess I'm a purist. I'll try to keep an open mind, though. And after running into a few of those cards... nope, still not a fan.
Also not a fan of opponents that are clearly from outside the Magic universe, like Robocop, Axis, Borg... This is known as "breaking the fourth wall", but here it's not done for a proper reason. Might as well just use the deck name in that case (like "UG Landfall" or "UW Levelers").

I noticed that the world definition in worlds.txt still has Chaos Orb and Falling Star as the banned cards. These cards aren't in Forge anyway and likely never will be, but I remember something about world formats being overridden by custom bannings (I'm not entirely clear on the how and what). Was that on purpose?


The quest | Open
Parameters: Freshly deleted quest.preferences, empty all-prices.txt, Medium difficulty, non-Fantasy, no traveling, 40-card deck.

I build RDW, which is what I usually do at the start of a quest. I have Goblin Guide and some pingers. My plan is to eventually switch into UW Control with Jace and Gideon and Day of Judgment and whatnot. I buy some more semi-playables to fill out my crappy deck, including a Basilisk Collar in case I ever find a Stoneforge Mystic. Basilisk Collar isn't that good in RDW but I need filler. I sell all of my green and black cards and most of my blue and white cards, a pattern that I keep repeating every time I win a booster. I also sell Chandra Ablaze, which isn't even good enough for crappy Sealed RDW.

I decide to duel each opponent at least once. I just pick first one that I haven't dueled yet.

Match 1: NDE. The AI goes Wall of Omens, Kor Firewalker, Worship. Did I mention I was playing mono-red? I check my decklist: yup, zero outs. My opponent is even playing a 63-card deck so I couldn't even deck him. I decide to play out the game on the off-chance the AI decides to accidentally kill itself, but alas. No way I'm ever playing against that deck again! I can't even remember what Zendikar has in the way of decent enchantment removal. So, my first duel is an auto-loss. Tilting! Don't get me wrong; it's a really cool combo, just out of place.

At least the store has restocked a Forked Bolt.

Match 2: Kozilek. I certainly hope this "Easy" opponent is a bit easier than the last one. Nope: Terra Stompers, Gigantomancers and Ulamog's Crushers! Argh! I miraculously manage to win 2/0 nonetheless because the AI doesn't want to sac Eldrazi spawn to save its Gigantomancers from my Cunning Sparkmage. 1/1.

I buy a second Goblin Guide!

Match 3: Robocop. Levelers. Looks like a better deck than mine, but quite beatable with the AI piloting it. I run into a bug that causes Forge to stop updating the UI. I still manage to win 2/0. 2/1

I buy some RDW filler, don't remember what.

Match 4: Lambik (I think... some kind of U/G landfall brew). Turns out the bug from the last game has persisted, making this game almost unplayable. When I try to refresh my layout, everything vanishes. I am forced to scoop the match to restart Forge. Shame. Looked like I was winning. The loss doesn't appear to go on my record, though.

I buy more random 2/1s for 2.

Match 5: Borg. A bunch of levelers. I let the AI invest some mana and then ping them mercilessly. Game 2 I have a slow draw and the AI uses Training Grounds to make a 5/5 Zulaport Enforcer before I even deal it any damage. I draw a million lands so I can't really deal with the 5/5, but I still win the race by topdecking Smoldering Spires.

I buy Claws of Valakut.

Match 6: Lambik again. The AI tries to race Goblin Guides with landfall critters that I can easily burn on my own turns.

I'm starting to look into that UW Control thing I was planning and purchase a Domestication, Wall of Omens and Dawnglare Invoker accordingly. I also note an Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre for sale, but I don't know if it's playable and I can't really afford it anyway.

Match 7: Miffy. Turn 1 Kraken Hatchling. Hm. Turn 2 Kraken Hatchling. Hmmm. Still, Pilgrim's Eye wearing Claws of Valakut flies over FTW. Also, my Goblin Ruinblaster is starting to look awful; none of my opponents have any nonbasics that aren't fetchlands. Game 2 the AI hits me with an 8/15 Kor Spirit Dancer on its 5th turn. Treacherous Instinct FTW.

Don't think I won or bought anything of note here.

Match 8: Axis. I spot a changeling when I attack with Goblin Guide. Hmph. Game 2 I get wrecked by a horde of Haada Freeblades, Kazandu Blademasters and a Kabira Evangel. Game 3 RDW does what RDW does.

Ooh, Burst Lightning for sale. And an Oust and a Dread Statuary (always get the good colorless cards!) I consider Scalding Tarn but Searing Blaze is my only landfall card and I'd rather save up so I can buy a planeswalker when it comes along.

Match 9, no new opponents. Not wanting to risk Miffy's or Axis's nut draws, I go with Borg. The AI decides not to keep a final blocker back for Dread Statuary (manlands > AI).

Ooh, a third Goblin Guide! And Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs. A bit high on the curve but I bet the AI is going to give me loads of ogres! Get in mah deck! Good thing I've been saving up. I cut Hellkite Charger, which I've never cast anyway.

Match 10, choice of Borg (pushover), Axis (risky) and NDE (hell no!); Borg. The AI tries to race but RDW races so much better.

Ooh, won a Linvala, Keeper of Silence. A keeper indeed! Plus Sea Gate Oracle, Smite and Plated Geopede. Also, two Wall of Omens for sale. Of course I can only buy one because a Spell Store bug always prevents me from buying doubles. I finally cut the Goblin Ruinblaster because I can't ever kick it. Am I the only one playing with nonbasics? Turns out that later opponents will present some targets.

Match 11, Lambik over Miffy/Borg. Again endless durdling with Adventuring Gear and whatnot, but no creatures. Does this deck have enough creatures? Not that every deck needs to be good, mind you. It's nice to have some pushovers to farm credits. Game 2 it casts Vessel of Endless Rest when it's at 1.

Whenever I get to choose a booster, my priority is Rise of the Eldrazi (Gideon) > Worldwake (Jace) > Zendikar (Day of Judgment). Not much luck thus far.

Match 12, I have reached Medium difficulty and my only Easy option is NDE (still hell no!) so I go with Drana. Drana leads with an Island, which isn't what I expected. Game 1 she doesn't do much. Game 2 she decides to race with Creeping Tar Pit, which of course fails horribly.

I win a Demystify and immediately click Sell Card, but then remember NDE and decide to hang on to it just in case. It's only worth 1 credit anyway. I contemplate putting Basilisk Collar back in the deck considering I have some pingers but figure that it doesn't kill players.

Match 13, "& Allies" (presumably a better version of Axis). I hope it's not white. Turns out to be U/G. Turntimber Ranger is nasty but the rest I can deal with.

I win Lodestone Golem. I wonder how good that is and I intend to find out! Also, more awesome nonbasics (red really has the best ones). Out come Battle-Rattle Shaman and Claws of Valakut (only 9 Mountains left in the deck anyway).

Match 14, the ominously named Luis Scotch Vollgas (with flavor suggesting a Channel/Fireball combo, but it turns out to be UW Control. Maybe I can get some pointers! I take care not to overextend into Day of Judgment, and rightly so. Game 2 I mull to 5 in search of a 1- or 2-drop. I get off to the slowest start ever while my opponent plays Wall of Omens after Wall of Omens. Not a good sign, but maybe he´ll wrath them away. Trusty Dread Statuary gets in for serious damage but then eats a Tectonic Edge. *sniff* Kazuul gets Canceled; kinda saw that coming but I didn't want to take infinite damage from Celestial Colonnade. AI wastes infinite point removal on my crappy dudes but I eventually manage to slip past his walls FTW.

I win another Kazuul. Hmm... I haven't even seen the other one in action. Also, another Searing Blaze! Also Felidar Sovereign, but that's 600 credits and I don't see "planeswalker" written on it.

Match 15, Ulamog. I hope it's not another ramp deck. Another mull to 5 in search of something that attacks before turn 4. No luck. Also, opponent leads with Perimiter Captain. Oh joy. On my 5th turn I play my first creature; Cunning Sparkmage. Fortunately, the AI is too busy attacking me with Stirring Wildwood to deploy crazy threats. Turns out it can't race Lodestone Golem. Game 2 the AI goes Wall of Omens, Wall of Omens, Perimiter Captain, Perimiter Captain. Feeds them to my Lodestone Golem without even bothering to block with its walls. I guess it wants to keep Wall of Omens because that's a 2-drop.

I don't win or buy anything of note.

Match 16, Drana over LSV/Allies. Casts Gatekeeper of Malakir unkicked (gets Lust for Warred), misses third land drop, dies horribly. Tries to win Game 2 by racing with Creeping Tar Pit.

I win another Lodestone Golem. The first one has performed rather admirably, so in it goes. (I also win a Near-Death Experience. Now I just need to find a Worship!) I buy Tuk-Tuk the Explorer (mostly for shits and giggles) and some white allies (since no planeswalker or Day of Judgment is forthcoming).

Match 17, Kai Buddha, with no idea what to expect. Turns out to be Pyromaster's Ascension! Interesting. Wait... Intuition!? Bah. Giving me the choice of Sphinx-Bone Wand and Cast Through Time. I give him the wand. Dunno if that's right but Cast Through Time is crazy. Lodestone Golem FTW.

I win a third Searing Blaze and assorted UW mediocrity. I buy another Plated Geopede. Also Tectonic Edge since I'm seeing actual manlands in the Medium decks. Maybe I should put Goblin Ruinblaster back in. Kazuul comes out (never having been resolved). My curve now stops at 4. Deck's shaping up; I hardly know what to cut anymore.

Match 18, Nissa, I guess with elves. Nope, turn 1 Scythe Tiger! And sundry other critters. But I have the nut draw and kill her in four turns. Game 2, turn 1 Joraga Warcaller, not so scary, but I draw a bunch of lands and die anyway. Game 3 she gets outclassed again.

I win a lot of good green cards (again!) which I am priced into selling. Still no planeswalkers.

Match 19, Walls'r'us. And not just walls; also lifegain. A nightmare. Never playing against that opponent again, though.

The Spell Store is particularly atrocious today.

Match 20, Drana (easy pickings) over Ulamog/LSV (both problematic).

I win Stoneforge Mystic! Finally something good. I also buy a Flame Slash.

Looks like I made the big league; two hard opponents and LSV (not my favorite medium opponent). I haven't been "pre-sideboarding" yet but perhaps now's the time. I build the grindiest deck I canl Luminarch Ascenscion and only creatures with 4+ power (to punch through walls and shrug off Domestication).

Match 21, LSV (medium). Lodestone Golems and Luminarch Ascension FTW.

I win a Wrexial and the fourth Searing Blaze. Nothing good on sale.

Match 22, LSV (hard). Let's try that again, Mr Vollgas. I bait a Cancel with a random Pilgrim's Eye, slam Luminarch Ascension and proceed to make angels. Game 2 he slams double Luminarch Ascension but I keep up some pressure with Lodestone Golem (which he refuses to chump with his Wall of Omens) and kill him before he makes angels.

I win some durdle stuff (It That Betrays, foil Sphinx of Magosi). The store is full of junk (again). I switch back to RDW.

Match 23, Slayer. RDW > Vampires.

I win Basilisk Collar. Iona's on sale, think I'll pass. I do pick up a Domestication and Sphinx of Jwar Isle, though.

Match 24, Tuktuk. The mirror. The AI doesn't realize that Tuktuk is better on defense so we trade blows; he hits me for 1, I hit him for 5. What's that, Sulfuric Vortex? Bah, more out-of-place stuff. Oh well, he's at 5, I'm at 16, gg. Game 2 he kills himself with Sulfuric Vortex again.

I win another Near-Death Experience, still not interested. Also a Quest for the Goblin Lord, which I hang on to for now. I buy Staggershock and Calcite Snapper.

Match 25, The Shrike (Dominaria apparently borders on Hyperion). Uh-oh, Cunning Sparkmage + Basilisk Collar! Good thing I have a lot of burn. Game 2 I can't draw a third land for what seems forever but burn > weenies.

I win Kor Firewalker. Store has nothing good.

Match 26, JC. WTF, Tropical Island? Hmm. Oh well, Searing Blaze > Lotus Cobra. Game 2 Jace shows up. On the wrong side of the table. Where were you when I needed you, Jace? 4-mana fateseal isn't that good, though.

I win Staggershock. Good, I need grindy stuff. I buy a second Flame Slash and Sphinx of Jwar Isle, though that UW deck is starting to look like a pipe dream an awful lot.

Match 27, RiGa. RDW > mana dorks.

I win Wall of Omens and buy Lightmine Field (I bet the AI will stumble right into that). My white's pretty good by now, but my blue's still kinda terrible without Jace.

Match 28, Marego. Game 1 he kills all my dudes, empties my hand, but Dread Statuary FTW. Game 2 I get milled out by triple Mindcrank while I flood with creature removal. Game 3 I burn him out.

I buy another Lightmine Field. Some day I might even use it, I keep telling myself.

No new opponents. My record's a comfortable 26-1. I guess it's time to look at the challengers. I see RiGa and Kai Buddha. Both used to be good match-ups, but I wonder what sort of cheaty stuff they will get in challenge mode (I would be disappointed if they didn't, mind you).

Challenge 1, Kai Buddha. We both get Pyromancer's Ascension (as expected). He starts at 30, which is awkward. I get lucky and draw a third Forked Bolt. Burn time! I burn him down to 3 but then get stuck with a bunch of Searing Blazes. He casts Rite of Replication, I kill him. Game 2 he kills all my dudes and drops Cast Through Time. Uh-oh. I'm once again stuck with infinite Searing Blazes that I can't cast. He's not in a hurry to cast his rebounding spells for some reason, so once again I get Pyromaster's Ascension online before he does. Eventually I attack him with a Goblin Guide that he doesn't insta-kill. He kicks Rite of Replication on it and cracks back for 10 (no lands on top, of course). I untap and unload my Searing Blazes FTW.

Whoo, challenge 1 down! I win some random red stuff and a Domestication. I decide to tweak my deck a little for the expected mana dork/ramp fest; Lodestone Golems and Plated Geopedes out, Cunning Sparkmages, Kazuuls and Traitorous Instincts in. Hope I guessed right...

Challenge 2, RiGa. Ah, Beastmaster Ascension. Good thing my opener is triple Goblin Guide, then! However, I can't draw a third land and die while he chumps my 7/7 goblins. Game 2 the Curse of Whatsitsname that I started with is gone. This time I draw lands, but game 3 I just can't keep up with a mass of Vengevines.

Hmm... my burn plan was good in that it burned his dorks but bad in that I couldn't keep up with the the Vengevines. Didn't help that I kept giving him lands with my Goblin Guides but that's what you get when you run Goblin Guide. I wonder how things would have played out if I had drawn those Cunning Sparkmages instead of useless Traitorous Instincts. I should have realized he'd be on the Beastmaster Ascension swarm plan rather than ramping into fat. I wish I could have sideboarded. Oh well, win some, lose some.

Looks like I'm not getting a rematch; no challengers left. Also no new opponents, so I guess this is it! I'm ending on a loss, but my tour of Zendikar is complete. The Jace/Gideon plan failed miserably but good ol' RDW didn't let me down. I don't consider myself a typical RDW player but I just like the way it stomps on things (except NDE and Vengevine, that is).

Thoughts on the world | Open
Good job! I obviously had a lot of fun or I wouldn't have stuck with it for 30 matches. I had some pretty tight games, but as my record shows it was just the right level of frustration (except NDE, of course).
I still think non-Zendikar cards don't belong in Zendikar. The offending decks were very cool but I just didn't like the idea of having to half-expect/half-dread stuff I wasn't prepared to deal with (as was painfully obvious in my very first game). Those decks would be great for the Main World, though.

The opponents were varied, well-themed, fun and on the whole well-balanced in terms of difficulty (NDE excepted, of course). I don't expect to beat the challenges on the first try anyway.

The NDE thing... I had it especially rough because I was on RDW, but I still wonder if it's beatable with other decks. Are you sure it's supposed to be "easy"? I don't think I could have beaten it with any of the RWU decks I had at my disposal at the end of the quest. At least not without additional helpings of Demystify, which I would never maindeck otherwise (except for the RiGa challenge).

I've been building a bunch of quest worlds (which I will upload "soon") and one of the things I try to do is make sure every card in the block (or set, as is the case), no matter how bad, is in at least one deck. I think that's the best way to "fully experience" the block. This leads to a lot of really bad decks but that is what the Easy difficulty is for. Did you ensure this kind of 100% coverage?

Did I miss anything? Any opponents I haven't seen? Any other challenges?

Was this feedback of use? I had fun writing it, at least.

Any feedback on my feedback? Match reports unnecessary? RDW a bad choice? UW Control dreams overly ambitious? Shouldn't have sold that Chandra? Should have run those Basilisk Collars? Should have bought that Iona?
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Re: World Deck Development thread

Postby serrasmurf » 30 Mar 2014, 11:51

Hi XyX,
Thanks for this! Building a world takes quite some time and getting this kind of feedback afterwards is very cool. Glad you enjoyed it.

I actually agree with most of your suggestions, however, I had my reasons. Regarding the cards I used outside of Zendikar. I’m a bit of a purist too, hence I don’t use M10/11 cards. The reason I did include some cards in decks is that it makes the deck building much more fun. In a small world most decks build themselves due to the synergy put there by Wizards. Looking for a few “guest” cards makes the deck building more fun and thus less effort. The same goes for including the out of place characters, their just for fun, though most have a (subtle) connection to the spirit of the deck they play. Additionally in Zendikar there is not an abundance of suitable and cool legends to pilot these decks. When building a world with a minimum of 2 blocks this all is less necessary.

The decks: I play tested the most with a control-deck, with lots of removal. Hence my grading of the opponents decks might be biased. The NDE deck looks very strong, but if you kill all the creatures then there is not much left. The AI can’t handle combo decks very well. Still medium might be more appropriate. You can check the Excelfile to see if you’ve played against all opponent. Specially Lemmings is a fun deck to play against (though has a few guest cards).

It wasn’t my goal to use every card of the block in my decks. I’d like to keep some cards and synergies to discover for the quest player. I do use some structure. I started with all the themes and combo cards I wanted to build a deck with. I then tried to build some solid decks around them. Last step is to make all weak decks a bit weaker by reducing synergy and adding a lot of vanilla singletons. For the Ravnica world my structure was to build only guild decks, and every guild has one deck in every level. Still have to finish that world as I didn’t update the decks with dragons maze and the world can some cool and strong 3/ 4 color decks.

I’m curious to your worlds, which ones are you working on?

My next world will be an older one. I was thinking about the brothers war, that means Urza block and Antiquities. Problem is that Urza is full of broken cards. The other issue is that all of the old stuff happens on Dominaria and is part of the Weatherlight Saga, so it’s not easy to grab a few old sets and make it feel like a separate world. Would also like to make a world with Tempest block. But maybe I wait until some of the devs have thought up some extra features for Quest and build something new. Love to make a commander world, a duel-decks world or something else with new features/ restrictions.
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Re: World Deck Development thread

Postby serrasmurf » 30 Mar 2014, 18:52

I used the block constructed pro tour decks as a basis for the hard decks.
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Re: World Deck Development thread

Postby Xyx » 30 Mar 2014, 19:29

It's probably easiest if I just show you what I've been doing. I built six worlds, one each for Beta, Arabian Nights, Antiquities, Legends, The Dark and Fallen Empires. They're small worlds for small sets (especially compared to multi-set blocks) but that's still over a hundred opponents in total.

All 60-card Vintage legal decks, meant for default settings (Medium difficulty, non-Fantasy, fresh quest.preferences, empty all-prices.txt). You're expected to stick to Vintage legal decks yourself (60 cards, no more than one of each restricted card) and you're not supposed to travel either.

I used formulas for the Easy and Medium decks. Every card is in one of the Easy decks. I divided all the cards into themes (back then the color pie was still centered around themes) and built a crappy deck for each theme. The Medium opponents generally have optimized versions of the Easy decks. The Hard opponents don't care about theme and are simply the best I could do. I didn't optimize for the AI. Instead, I hope to one day teach the AI how to use the cards better. You'll get some lucky wins in the meantime.

Challenges were tricky. I didn't make a whole lot of those. They're quite unlike regular matches and more like the encounters from Duels of the Planeswalkers; crazy stuff like 60 Plague Rats. Some are tricky puzzles where the AI gets some pretty cheaty stuff, but all of the challenges are quite doable once you figure them out.

I experimented with the storylines and did a lot of research. I haven't gotten around to a story for every world yet, but direction I take, I want to keep things consistent. Eventually, all worlds should be either "preset story" or "generic duels".

These are the worlds:

Aerona (Limited Edition Beta)
Aerona is the main continent on which the earliest Magic takes place. I haven't come up with a storyline yet. Opponents are divided into the classic color pie themes such as Life, Death, Air & Water, Earth & Fire, Order and Chaos. (The way it was before MaRo redefined the colors as sitcom characters.) The Hard opponents have three-color decks (which is easy thanks to duals). Pretty much every deck has at least one piece of Power in it since that's how we roll in Beta land (but they're all Vintage legal so no double Black Lotus or anything). There are six challenges; one for each color and a colorless one.

Rabiah (Arabian Nights, rhymes with "hiya" according to MaRo)
This quest has some actual story to it. You are assumed to be a hero trying to liberate the land from five evil tyrants. There's a challenge for each of them and you can consider the quest "done" when you pass all the challenges. Your duel opponents represent the dangers you face along the way. Arabian Nights is a very small and flavorful set with a lot of cool cards and no real color pie adherence; Green is the removal color and Red has no burn.

Terisiaire during the Brothers' War (Antiquities)
It is a time of artifice and the Urza-Mishra conflict and you are assumed to be an artificer on Urza's side. Your opponents are important characters (Drafna, Ashnod, etcetera) that have come to either teach you, test you or stop you. There are no challenges (yet). The opposing decks are all mono-colored but since half the set is colorless that still leaves some variety (not a whole lot; Antiquities is a really tiny set). Watch out for Green; it don't like artifice!

Terisiaire during the time of legends (Legends, what else?)
It is a time of legends, and that's all the story I got. They like to duel, though, these legends. A lot. No challenges. The Hard opponents are generally the decks without legends since color fixing was not a thing in Legends. Legends, being a much larger set than the preceding two, with lots of very crappy cards (interspersed with a few really good ones), offers some interesting deckbuilding challenges.

Terisiaire during the time of The Dark (The Dark, of course)
The Brothers' War has ended in disaster and the land is headed for nuclear winter (as per Ice Age; coming "soon"). Magic is feared. Good cards are not feared, though, because there aren't any. Small set, bad cards, sparse removal, quite difficult to build decent decks. There are two challenges, one of which is the infamous Leviathan.

Sarpadia (Fallen Empires)
This set was appropriately named and very flavorful even though nowadays it is mostly remembered for its shortage of decent cards. Sarpadia was home to many lands and factions. The Order of the Ebon Hand fought the Thrull Rebellion in the Western Swamps, the elves fought the thallids in Havenwood, Vodalia (the merfolk empire) fought the homarids under the waves of the Voda Sea, the dwarves (whose empire has been forgotten) fought orc and goblin tribes in the Crimson Mountains, and the great empire of Icatia fought pretty much all of them and had some civil war issues with the Farrelite Cult. There's a deck for every region (Easy), a deck for every faction (Medium) and a few "optimized" decks (Hard, as far as Fallen Empires allows). There's one challenge built around Icatian Town. I couldn't find any other suitable gimmick cards.

I've been playing since The Dark and building these worlds was a nostalgic journey and an adventure in itself. Wizards printed some pretty atrocious cards back in the day. I hate bad cards, but I love to see them become "playable" in the context of their sets.

I plan to work on either Ice Age (with Alliances and I guess Cold Snap) or Homelands next. Ice Age is first in line but Homelands is really interesting; full of flavor and bad cards.

Thoughts? Anyone care to try a quest?

Bonus feature: Xyxworld
This is a collection of all the "casual" decks I personally built and played over the past few years. It's not meant as a serious quest world. Disclaimer: May contain Power (but it's all quite beatable because the AI is not as smart as I am). Check out those decks in the Deck Editor if you're looking for a cool deck idea; there's some seriously awesome stuff in there if I say so myself.
Xyx's Quest
The contents of this zip file should go into the Forge\res\quest\world folder.
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Re: World Deck Development thread

Postby mastroego » 30 Mar 2014, 22:11

Xyx?!? :shock:
I mean, Xyx?
Like, Smarter Beholders Xyx?!

If it's you, glad to meet you again pal! We worked together on a couple of BG2 projects, back then...
I went by the username Littiz, maybe you remember.

What can I say, great minds play alike and all that :D
Good to see you again, if indeed it's you!
Looking forward to play your worlds!
Are you doing some AI for forge? You'd certainly fit the part :wink:

And great news about the Zendikar world too, of course. Great news with Forge lately!
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Re: World Deck Development thread

Postby Xyx » 27 Apr 2014, 09:17

I'm starting on a Theros world now that the block is complete. Anyone else already working on that?
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Re: World Deck Development thread

Postby Xyx » 08 May 2014, 22:33

The Theros world is coming along nicely.

I divided deckbuilding into various categories:
  1. Decks built around a theme; one deck for each of the gods, several decks for the various poleis, a deck for each of the bigger tribes and a few other minor themes. Vorthos decks, I suppose. I stuck to a 3:2:1 Common:Uncommon:Rare distribution where possible, so the decks are obviously not very good. That's good because the world needs Easy decks.
  2. Various official precons. Wizards released five Intro Packs for each set. They're all pretty crappy, so most likely Easy or Medium. The Theros Intro Packs have some non-Block cards and I'm not sure what to do with that. The purist in me wants to drop these decks.
  3. Decks built around a certain mechanic, including constellation, devotion, heroic, inspired and scry. Tribute and monstrous aren't really build-around-me mechanics. Johnny decks, I guess. These are slightly better because I don't restrict their access to Rares/Mythics, but I don't allow any cards that do not directly support the theme. I expect these decks to make up the majority of the Medium segment.
  4. Competitive Block Constructed decks lifted from various forums. I'll eventually build a few of these decks myself. These are competitive decks (clearly Spike territory), and as such I expect them to provide the Hard and Very Hard decks (depending on how the AI handles them).
(If you're wondering where the Timmy decks are... well, so am I. I can't really think of a formula for building those.)

I'm trying to get every card in the block into at least one deck. That's tricky for about 5% of the cards because they don't have a clear theme and aren't particularly good, so they're unlikely to end up in any of the Vorthos/Johnny/Spike decks naturally. Worst Fears is one such example.

If anyone has any cool up-to-date Block legal decks, then point me to them and I'll try to find a spot for them. :)
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Re: World Deck Development thread

Postby Corwin72 » 09 May 2014, 14:21

Xyx, I am really looking forward to your Theros world. Would you mind posting your current build so that we/I can take a look and see if there is anything that we would recommend changing?
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Re: World Deck Development thread

Postby Sloth » 09 May 2014, 16:42

Xyx wrote:The Theros world is coming along nicely.
If you want to have your world released as part of the official download, be sure to only include decks that the AI can play well. Netdecks and precons will need at least a few tweaks.
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