Last week, you may recall, was something of a “rich get richer” sort of statistics update, with Mantis seeming to inch its way closer dominance (and, with a “we’re watching Mantis” post from the L5R Design Team, galloping towards a nerfing. But a funny thing happened on the way to the banhammer … Mantis and the other top clans took a step back. Ish.
In the four Kotei last weekend, Mantis ‘only’ put 4 players in the cut out of 18. Phoenix only put 2 players in the cut out of 20. Scorpion ‘only’ put 3 players in out of 16. That means that the three Clans with above-average rates of making the cut all took hits in that department last weekend.
At the same time Crab, Crane, Lion, Spider, and Unicorn all improved their relative odds of making the cut. Some only by a smidge (effectively going up only in relative terms only because the overall average went down), but others by quite a bit – Spider jumped from a 0.49 to a 0.72 relative chance of making the cut on the back of a 6-for-22 weekend. That’s still pretty bad for Spider, but not catastrophically bad.
Those ups and downs contributed to a fairly huge swing in the overall balance figure, from 0.35 to 0.24. That’s as good as any of the Ivory Arc environments (don’t ask me what that means in statistical terms, except that smaller is more balanced).
Why do I say “ish” in terms of environmental analysis? I must return to something I noted last weekend – Mantis’s dominance was never singular anyway. It has just drawn more attention because of the crazy number of wins. And that’s where the more things change, the more they stay the same. Prior to last weekend, only three Clans had won more than one 20F Arc Kotei – Mantis, Scorpion, and Crane. Last weekend, three Clans won Kotei – Mantis (a non-Shika rush deck), Scorpion, and Crane.
Also, if I pop away from my data for a moment, let me also anecdotally note that anti-Shika Mantis meta was alive and well at the South Carolina Kotei, where I was doing my part to demonstrate that just because you’re playing the best deck in the format doesn’t mean you’ll do well. Which, being an anecdote, is fairly meaningless, but there it is.
So, while I know there’s been some gnashing of teeth about Mantis, I must still (with one proviso) refrain from supporting some sort of nerf-hammer being dropped on them. They are pretty clearly the best Clan in the format (as they were in TNO Ivory Strict). They make the cut better than anyone else. They win way more than anyone else. But they aren’t as much better than their closest peers as we’d usually see for nerfing a deck/Clan. And it isn’t clear that taking the Mantis out of the picture would result in a more balanced environment, since it might just unleash the other high-level decks. My one proviso, which I’ve said before, is that if the Design Team looks ahead to Thunderous Acclaim and doesn’t see something that’s going to disrupt Mantis’s place at the top, then they should go ahead and do something now. Mantis has been on top for two environments in a row now. If Thunderous Acclaim gets added in and the same decks from the same Clan are dominant at GenCon, it’s going to result in a lot of unhappy players. And AEG can’t really afford that right now.
P.S. Dragon is still awful. Help!
|Players||% of Field||Made Cut||Won||% Made Cut||Relative Chance of Making Cut|
Make the Cut Rankings
1: Mantis – 30%
2: Phoenix – 27%
3: Scorpion – 23%
4: Unicorn – 20%
AVERAGE (per clan) – 20%
5: Crane – 20%
6: Lion – 19%
7: Crab – 15%
8: Spider – 14%
9: Dragon – 11%