A far more likely explanation is that they analyze the format and find a deck with a way above average win-rate and then look deeper. If most top-tier Modern decks have 51%-55% MWP and suddenly a highly played deck has a 60% MWP, that's a red flag. It obviously takes a few months of data to reach any level of significance on this, as well as to confirm it's a trend and not a brief spike. This is a significantly more probable explanation for Wizards bans than them arbitrarily picking a deck to ban that they don't like and then concocting a numeric explanation to justify their ban decision.cfusionpm wrote: ↑1 year agoThis is where I have my biggest issue. How do we ever show this is the case before WOTC acts? Other than just guessing and hoping? This is literally based on numbers we do not have access to. This means A) Things can break these rules and not be banned, or B) Things can be banned without breaking these rules. And we would never know one way or another unless they make the conscious choice to selectively share with us the numbers they decide best support whatever decision they already made.gkourou wrote: ↑1 year agoWizards doing whatever they want, whenever they want is a "fake news" story in my opinion.
Time after time, they have showed they are doing what they are doing, because of specific reasons and their line of thinking is consistent and well argumentated(most of the times).
1) Win rates/number of 5-0 league results in relation to others. If any deck is having above 54% at a long period of time, and at the same times if it has only good matchups vs the ten(10) most played decks, they are considering a change.
IE: They make the decision first, and find the numbers to support. As opposed to looking at the numbers and then choosing to act. I'd love for them to provide clarity on this, or see instanced of that clarity if written about in the past.
I will also note we have successfully predicted multiple bans (and No Changes) using either these numbers or proxies for these numbers. In KCI's case, I and a few Redditors worked together to get a giant MWP project together in late 2018/early 2019 which showed KCI was way above other decks in terms of overall performance. We felt it was in ban territory based on these metrics and, sure enough, Wizards pulled that trigger in January 2019. We also correctly called for an anti-Bridgevine ban in June/July based on just one month of MTGO performance and a single GP (right deck, wrong card), and then again I called for the Hogaak emergency ban after analyzing the PT and GP win-rates from a few events in late July/early August. We repeated this again with an anti-Urza ban (the Oko ban was super obvious and it's not worth celebrating that prediction), and then AGAIN with OUaT by looking at consistent over-performance in MTGO Challenges/PTQs/Premiers.
From my experience with you on the forums over the years, you strike me as someone who values data, numbers, clear communication, and clear benchmarks. Probably moreso than I do because you're actually in education and I'm just a government grunt. I think both of us, you especially, would like 100% data transparency so we can much more easily predict bans to avoid bad financial/emotional investments. I think in your case, this still returns to the hurt of the Twin ban and your reasonable aversion to investing in top performing decks that might be banned. But acknowledging Wizards won't release the perfect dataset, we are still successfully using the data we have to predict these decisions.
To be totally clear, everything I am saying applies specifically to a) Ban decisions and b) Ban decisions IN MODERN. I claim zero expertise or predictive reliability with any other format, Legacy or Pioneer included. I just know we have correctly analyzed Modern in probably 80%+ of cases and maybe even 90% plus; I'd have to go back and check my predictive track record. We can use the data we have to predict these decisions, even if it's not as perfect or accurate as we'd probably like.
What makes it a conspiracy theory is your fixation on this explanation and dismissal of a much more plausible explanation. Here is how I read your explanation (correct me if I'm wrong), and how I believe others in this thread view it:cfusionpm wrote: ↑1 year agoThis is not a conspiracy theory, just an observation based on their actions, and following the logic of this supposed process.
Again, I don't want to send a negative tone anyway, just that we realize that format management is not their top priority; making new cards is. They will only act if they have a reason to. And they do not act until there is reasonable public outcry.
Your explanation: Wizards decides to ban something based on public outcry or an internal agenda. They then dig up/torture/misrepresent the stats to make a public numeric justification to appease the masses or fulfill their own agenda.
My explanation: Wizards gathers data over a period of time and finds outlying performances/popularity. The public has already noticed this and is already making an outcry. Wizards sees if the deck is violating any other criteria and/or violating the performance measures in a big way, and then acts if needed.
Your explanation mostly makes sense in the Twin ban, as I have argued and agreed with multiple times. But it doesn't make sense in basically every other ban, and certainly every other ban since Twin. By contrast, my explanation aligns more or less with every other ban rationale they've ever printed in Modern, and also aligns with all public R&D communication we've seen. GK has already laid this out above and I imagine it's his explanation as well. This makes the second explanation significantly more likely than your explanation for the vast majority of Modern decisions. Your insistence on the first position comes off as conspiracy-theorizing because it just doesn't have a lot of evidence, whether of intent (i.e. we can't find examples of hidden Modern agendas or suspicious social media claims that suggest bad actors), or of result (i.e. we somehow still predict most changes, suggesting it's much more predictable than you claim).