Going First vs Second

  • #1 (Beta Patch 3749)

    So far my experience of this game is that going second is far better in multiple ways (from arena and low level ranked play).

    When you get to go second you get to choose which cards to mulligan out of four cards instead of three giving you a huge amount more control over how you curve out, and what proportion of the card in your opening hand are useful early game.

    In addition to that you get the coin, which smooths out your mana making your already more consistent opener curve out even better still.

    On the flip side aggro decks do seem to go reasonably on the play, but when you only draw three cards there is very little you can do to ensure you are actually going to be the aggressor early.

    How is the game balanced? Am I making poor mulligan choices? In MTG it's somewhat hard to tell whether it's better to play or draw initially (since with a 7 card opener and different mulligan rules the margins are smaller). Is there a way to build a deck to mitigate the loss when on the play?

  • #2 (Beta Patch 3749)

    I really do think second is strictly better. Even faster aggro decks can play a 1 or 2 power guy. They get an extra point or two of damage at the most, still losing in card advantage, and not having the coin. Comparing it to Magic, being at 30 life lowers the effectiveness of fast aggro decks, even though minions are stronger in general. I think overall, at least currently, the draw is better.

  • #3 (Beta Patch 3749)

    Eh, at master ranked it really is less about whether you go first or not and more about the mana curve of your deck and how well you can board clear. Turn 2 might have a slight advantage but it isn't as drastic as people would like to believe, if it is even there at all.

  • #4 (Beta Patch 3749)

    I feel like 2nd has an advantage but it's not such an awful advantage that the person who goes 2nd will always win.

  • #5 (Beta Patch 3749)

    I think some people that lost to an early combo and got depressed when to check on the forums, where they saw others in the same situation and the whole "OMG I want to be second and get COIN" thing went on... when in reality, for all of the matches I have seen, it is not SUCH a great advantage, yes it might be a slight advantage but it is totally situational and not as bad as people make it sound...

  • #6 (Beta Patch 3749)

    Its definitely not the case where if you go second you win, but i think it gives a larger advantage to the game than a game such as Magic.

  • #7 (Beta Patch 3749)

    As I said, it was not high level constructed play I was talking about (I am only plat 2 atm) it was arena and beginner decks.

    I am glad to hear once you get a better deck it becomes less pronounced. Any advantage like this needs to be balanced. I have won games because the coin gave me combo early, I have won games by getting my Pint-sized Summoner to stick turn 1, before they can really deal with it.

    I would guess in arena the win ratio for the draw would be around 53-55% (across all games played by everyone). Does that seem about right?

  • #8 (Beta Patch 3749)

    I got to say I think The game is balanced fairly good in terms of first or 2nd.

    The coin and extra card really help whoever goes second by a lot at the start of the game, but as the game progresses whoever when first has the advantage before of always being one mana ahead of the other player. That extra mana lets them deal with what the 2nd turn player did his last turn and still make his own decisions the same turn.

    One thing I think that the game could use those is to start at 2 mana instead of one for both players. While there are some 1 mana cards, the majority of matches seem to consist of both players skipping turn one, even computers.

  • #9 (Beta Patch 3749)

    Quote from UnskilledLuck »

    I would guess in arena the win ratio for the draw would be around 53-55% (across all games played by everyone). Does that seem about right?

    None of us work for blizzard, and if we did we wouldn't basically tell you by answering that question. But they would know, so no doubt they will balance it.

    I think the only advantage of going 2nd which is too big is that the coin counts as playing a card (for things like rogue combos, questing adventurer, knife juggler etc.)

  • #10 (Beta Patch 3749)

    As a 3Star master player, and 114 wins (still in positive gold) arena player, I'd much rather go second). Even without the coin completely, I'd debate over wanting first or second just because a 4 card mulligan is far superior to 3 card mulligan.

    I personally see the 4card mulligan as a larger issue than the coin. 

  • #11 (Beta Patch 3749)

    Quote from TianZi »

    As a 3Star master player, and 114 wins (still in positive gold) arena player, I'd much rather go second). Even without the coin completely, I'd debate over wanting first or second just because a 4 card mulligan is far superior to 3 card mulligan.

    I personally see the 4card mulligan as a larger issue than the coin. 


    I was going to say something about this. This is why I like going second more than first and practically the only reason that matters.

  • #12 (Beta Patch 3749)

    I think they should remove the 4 card advantage of going 2nd. Coin is not that big of an issue, but having 4 cards, and being able to replace 4 cards instead of 3 is a a huge advantage.

  • #13 (Beta Patch 3749)

    There is a Blue post about this. Blizzard gave hard proof that it is VERY even. The only classes that have a significant advantage going second are Priest and Rogue. Why Priest? I have no idea. Rogue is obvious. I agree with Rapidwhale though, it depends on the mana curve and your starting hand. If you have a very aggressive deck and you go second, you get a nice boost to 2 mana for one turn, but your opponent can react with 2 mana next turn, and you only get a 2 drop the next turn. It's actually really well balanced in my opinion. I like most of what they did with the coin.

    The main problem I see with it is the fact that Ringleader is just way too hard to remove as some classes, which is why Rogue has a ~55% win rate going second. Priest pretty much HAS to 2 for 1 that, and that's IF you have Shadow Word: Pain and are willing to use it on a 2/3 vanilla. Even if you do have it, you still need to have something to deal with the 2/1, which could, in most cases, be Acolyte of Pain or something low-mana cost that gains value from healing. If you have both of those in your starting hand, you can stabilize from just the ringleader. We aren't even counting anything else they play like Backstabbing anything you play, other creatures like Novice Engineer, etc.

    Anyways, enough of me ranting about my Priest problems.

    TL;DR: Going second has a slight advantage if I remember the Blue post correctly, and that slight chance is less than a percent of matches if memory serves. That statistic bars Priest and Rogue, who each have a ~55% win ratio when going second.

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  • #14 (Beta Patch 3749)

    Reasons I could think of for priests is a 7/7 on turn 2:

    Turn 1: Tank draenei 0/4
    Turn 2: Shield, Inner fire -> 7/7
    Mindcontroling big players on turn 8, because they can damage your opponent right away.

    It is still only a small margine of advantage, though.

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  • #15 (Beta Patch 3749)

    Quote from MSW112 »

    Reasons I could think of for priests is a 7/7 on turn 2:

    Turn 1: Tank draenei 0/4
    Turn 2: Shield, Inner fire -> 7/7
    Mindcontroling big players on turn 8, because they can damage your opponent right away.

    It is still only a small margine of advantage, though.

    Going second in this case doesn't matter. You can do this going first. Inner Fire + Power Word: Shield is 2 mana and the 0/4 is 1 mana. That also seems like an oddly specific hand to make a 5% difference. That's so easily stoppable by Ironbeak that it's not even funny either. I mean sure, you get 7 damage in, but then you are successfully 3 for 0'ing yourself, since all it does is leave you with a 0/4 with no abilities and they can just ignore it, or kill it if they are worried of another Inner Fire. If you go second with that, you used 3 of your (at the time) 5 cards in hand on that combo. I appreciate the idea, but it's definitely not the reason why Priest has an advantage.

    Just to satisfy my curiosity, anyone else have an idea as to why Priest would also be winning 55% of the time going second?

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  • #16 (Beta Patch 3749)

    if you made deck right and you have good mana draw it doesn't matter if you first or second, only gimmicky broken rogue double or triple defias spawn on turn 1 with coin and 2x shadowstep benefits too high.

  • #17 (Beta Patch 3749)

    it would be very nice if bliz will count such statistics in game win% when you start 1st and 2nd.

     

  • #18 (Beta Patch 3749)

    Here’s what we’re seeing so far since we added The Coin:
    Across all leagues – 4.4% better to go first, on average
    (i.e. 52.2% of the time, Player 1 wins)
    Master League Only – 0.7% better to go first, on average
    (i.e. 50.4% of the time, Player 1 wins)

    Now some classes are actually slightly better going second, in Master League only(Priest and Rogue win 51.5% of the time when going 2nd in this league), but this is much better than where we used to be, where winning the coin flip had such a strong correlation with winning the game.

     

    (from http://www.hearthpwn.com/news/138-the-coin-an-inside-look-blue-tweets)

     

  • #19 (Beta Patch 3749)

    I really prefer having the coin way over being the first to start, and no I do not play rogue.

  • #20 (Beta Patch 3749)

    I personally prefer going second for the extra chance to re-roll a card, to optiimise the early game, but overall, it really does not make a difference in my opinion, as long as you're not playing with/against a defias rogue.

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