It's been a while since you've really heard from us, and that makes a lot of sense- since it's been a while since we've really had any time to do much aside from school/ work. A lot has happened in the last year or so- Bram quit Magic, Matt defended his thesis, and I (Steven) wrapped up my second last (but first most hectic) year of University. All that stuff didn't leave a ton of time for Tiny Leaders- ban list testing fell to the wayside, set updates were sparse -or in the case of Eldritch Moon, missing- and we basically let things stagnate.
Now, I'm sure some of you are convinced we've entirely given up- I'm here to tell you that's entirely not the case, we're busy folks and the testing we've done in the past takes a lot of time: True-Name Nemesis alone took more than 200 games to gather enough data on to make a decision. This is where we're looking to find some ways to bring in outside help; I'm fine with the amount of time it takes to sift through the data and make a firm decision on things, but there's no way I'm going to be able to enjoy playing Magic if all the time I'm spending on the game is testing repetitive matches for raw data numbers.
I'm not entirely sure yet as to what form this community testing initiative is going to take, but what I can ask you all to do is to submit tournament results and deck lists- along with your feedback. If there's a card we see popping up in every 1st or 2nd place deck in every event, we'd have something to go on when it comes to what to test sooner rather than later.
If you do want to help us do large quantity testing, I will be working on a spreadsheet guideline for recording matches; for now, follow these guidelines when testing problematic cards:
- Note who won.
- Note who was playing what deck.
- Note whether the problem card was drawn in the opening hand, or at any other point in the game.
- Note the number of mulligans.
- Note if the problem card was cast.
- Note if the game is pre-sideboard or post-sideboard.
- Play an even amount of pre-sideboard and post-sideboard games, since both are relevant data sets.
- Have both players play both decks an even amount of times, this will help level any skill differences present.
- Record your pre-sideboard and post-sideboard deck lists.
- Try to not test more than one problematic card at a time.
On the topic of problematic cards- our current list (in no particular order) includes:
- Gaea's Cradle
- Crucible of Worlds
- Ezuri, Renegade Leader
- Isochron Scepter
- Channel (Possible Unban)
- Survival of the Fittest (Possible Unban)
- Imperial Seal (Possible Unban)
If you do find a problem and want to test out a ban or unban in your play group, talk with them- test out unbanning or banning things. I would rather see you try to make your own fun than leave the format, so do it!