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A question about MTG statistics:

There are several MTG statistics websites (e.g. AetherHub, MTGArenaPro), which do a great job to provide specific statistics about how good individual cards and decks are doing. However, there are some more general metrics I am interested in and can't find anywhere. Namely:

  • Winrate when starting first/second, for BO1 & BO3
  • How many turns doesan average game take (histogram, if possible)
  • Polarity of the meta (Originally used in Hearthstone, it is a measure of rock-paper-scissors of the metagame. Here, polarity=0 would mean that for any two tier 1 decks the winrate of one against another would be approximately 50%, whereas polarity=1 would mean that for any two tier 1 decks the winrate of one against another would be approximately 100%)

If you know of a website that computes any of these three, please tell me. I am not sure why I can't find them anywhere. Maybe it is somehow unethical to ask these questions? If this is the case, tell me as well

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Wizards of the Coast deliberately obscures this data.

Several years ago, some fans created a website that used bots to automatically crawl Magic the Gathering Online's matches to construct a table containing the meta percentages and the win/loss rates of each deck. However, Wizards later changed how MtGO's systems worked with the specific goal of preventing this, much to the disappointment of the MtG competitive scene. They stated that this was done in order to slow down the process of "solving" the meta.

To quote the article they posted announcing this:

As stewards of Magic, we in R&D feel that this action is necessary to prevent data mining that contributes to Constructed formats growing stale before their time. At its essence, Magic is best when it's a game of exploration and puzzle-solving: this is why providing new formats and new experiences are so important. By gathering large sets of data from Magic Online events, a given format too-rapidly changes from exciting exploration to cold statistical analysis. While the analysis may be fascinating, it generally makes for far less compelling gameplay. This leads to reduced enthusiasm about the analyzed format, which in turn ultimately hurts not just Magic content creators worldwide, but the game as a whole.

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  • I have also heard such rumors. If you happen to have links to any sources (e.g. blog posts), it would be great to read. – Aleksejs Fomins Apr 7 at 16:03
  • @AleksejsFomins Added a link to the relevant WotC article and a relevant quote from it. – nick012000 Apr 8 at 2:22
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Winrate when going first and second: this is clearly going to depend on the format, and since all the commonly-played formats are changing over time, this data will never remain up-to-date. Wizards does not publish the data, so it's up to players to find as much information as they can.

There is nonetheless some data available:

Play or draw?

The Trouble with Toss-Ups: Going First in Standard (in particular this image)

You can find your own winrates by using a deck tracker, such as this.

How many turns does an average game take: not aware of any statistics of this sort, and it's clearly going to be extremely matchup dependent.

Polarity of the meta: If we knew the win rates of every deck against every other deck, we'd be on easy street. Unfortunately we don't, and besides individual card choices or sideboard plans can have a huge impact on win rate.

This source is the closest I'm aware of.

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  • Thanks a lot. Minor comments: (1) 2013 article old and using 1000 data points divided over 3 rounds is probably undersampling. (2) 2019 article very good. Not sure why untapped.gg don't keep this table updated on their website, if they already have it computed (3) Matchup dependent or not, it would be interesting to compare different game modes and expansions in how long they take (4) This link is cool. I'll write to them and encourage them to add some metrics, see if I succeed :) – Aleksejs Fomins Apr 4 at 22:45

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