I saw some discussion about high-variance decks in the Titan Hyper Fast Advance thread and I’m here to put a stop to it. (No disrespect to any posters there, this is a subtle error.)

The classic discussion of variance goes something like this. I can bring a very consistent deck to a tournament, say Kate. All my opening hands give me a 60% chance to win. Alternatively, I could bring a swingy deck like Siphon Maxx, where half my opening hands are nuts with Knight, Siphons, etc, and have 90% chance to win; and the other half are garbage and have 30% chance to win. For a 9 round tournament, it’s unlikely that Kate will carry me to the top via variance, but Maxx might. So I should bring Maxx and hope for good hands.

The problem with this is that the win rate of each deck is the same! They both have a 60% chance of winning any given round. Suppose the prestige works out so that you need 8 of 9 wins to take down the tournament. Then both decks have exactly the same percentage to win: P(Binomial(.6, 9) >= 8).

For more discussion, e.g. (a) you are uncertain about your deck’s win percentage, and (b) you are uncertain about the metagame, check out this article by Frank Karsten.