[Official] State of Modern Thread (B&R 01/13/2020)

Aazadan
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Post by Aazadan » 2 months ago

gkourou wrote:
2 months ago
Just want to step in here and say I am not too sure about it. What if Smuggler's Copter is just too good, just because the power level is low to the ground, while the card itself is very pushed and that it's colourless(it would be fine if it was not, probably)? I mean, in Standard it was banned, because answers to Smuggler's Copter were literally none.
In Pioneer, we do have Fatal Push, Abrade, Kolaghan's Command, Thoughtseize, Hero's Downfall, Murderous Rider, Settle The Wreckage, Wear//Tear and so many other cards to counter, bounce, etc. I think Pioneer, although it could use some more answers, it's fine at the front(we will see about Oko though).

The reason that Copter is fine in Modern, is not that Modern has more answers. I strongly think it's that Modern's power level is obnoxious. Why would Copter be strong in a format, where the goal of half of the decks is to:
Turn 3 Urza you, Turn 3 Karn you, Turn 3 Karn, TGC you, Turn 3 Titan you, Turn 3-4 DS with TBR you, T2-3 TKS you?
This is suffocating enough. There is no way a Copter copes with this. Modern's power level is so big, and it even needs more answers.

Pioneer is essentially a reset button. Modern has gone too far. There is no clear solution to solve it. Let people enjoy their T3/4 decks, and let the one who draws the more powerful opener win the game.
The big difference between Modern and Pioneer/Standard is that those formats were lacking a sufficient quantity of two drops to create variety. In Modern we don't really have that limitation. I think that once Pioneer gets a sufficient quantity of two drops, such that every deck has options, then Smugglers Copter is suddenly a lot less egregious in that format. Remember, Pioneer has less cards now than Modern did when Modern started. It's even smaller than 8 year Extended. As such, the cards it can play that meet the power level the format demands are much more limited.

I'm almost 100% positive that if Copter cost 1U to cast instead of 2, it wouldn't need a ban.

Edit: One other thought on these recent bans. We've now seen both playable green cantrips banned in Pioneer with Oath of Nissa and Once Upon a Time being removed. I think that had green cantrips shown themselves to be at a level where Wizards would be comfortable with them in the format, they may have been willing to revisit Ponder/Preordain at some point, or maybe print new cards (Once Upon a Time being rather similar in power level to Ponder). I think that at this point though, we can pretty safely rule out Wizards being willing to revisit cantrips for a while, meaning those cards likely aren't coming off the Modern banlist.

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Post by idSurge » 2 months ago

Oath of Nissa, in a world where Creatures, Planeswalkers, and Lands are the most powerful things to be doing, was always going to be a risk, but I agree with a few folks on twitter. It died because of the sin's of 3 mana Planeswalkers.

OuaT: Is just a travesty of a card. Free, in the age of the London Mulligan? Way too strong.

This is why I'm all for the ban approach they have taken. We 'know' these cards are too strong, so let it be proven out, and just remove them. 2019 has impacted every format, and not for the better, remove the cards that are an issue, so we can get back to actually playing Magic.
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Post by Amalgam » 2 months ago

gkourou wrote:
2 months ago
It's all about the experience one wants.

If what you basically want is stack based interaction, super powerful cantrips, card selection and play cards from your hand, Legacy is great for you. Is it blue dominated? It is. Is it diverse? It is not. Can you play several tier 1 aggro decks or toolbox decks? No, you can't. But that kind of experience
is there.

If you want insanely powerful, unfair, game ending, T3-4 plays(T3 Titans, T2-3 Seers, T3-4 Urzas, T3-4 game-winning DS's, T3 Karn/K,TGC, T4 Ulamog), and linear game of play, and you are OK/fine with not having to interact with one another, but enjoying doing the most powerful thing, there is Modern for you. If you don't care about the natural curve of cmc's, there is Modern for you also.
I am not bashing Modern here. I chose Amulet Titan to be that kind of deck for me. It's really fine.
Just don't try playing Modern if you want a Snap-CC-Bolt kind of deck.

If you want a more natural game of play, a more interactive experience, natural cmc curves, if you don't want a fully linear experience, there is Pioneer for you. If you want a longer and more fair game also, there is Pioneer for you. I know I want to play Esper Dragons, or Grixis Dragons/Control(which I am buying into) and I know I can do that in Pioneer. I can not do that in Modern. I also know I won't lose to T3 Karn, or T3 Titan, die to uninteractive Valakut, or Dredge triggers and all that stuff, the game will also go longer, and be more fair.

The last time this happened in Modern(I am talking Grixis Control), was 2015: Back then Chapin introduced the T1 Thought Scour → T2 Gurmag Angler, hold up denial thing. And it was great.
You give pioneer way too much credit on how much interaction is played. All the top decks can be considered ' wolf in sheep's clothing'. They really look like they interact but it's really just A bunch of solitaire based decks. Now that we have banned 3 more cards we are just going to move onto the next tier 1 deck which again doesn't care what your opponent does and doesn't actually have any meaningful interaction with your opponent.
Pioneer isn't even worth looking at till it has it's very foundation fixed by many needed answers and interactive cards printed into it. I dont know about you', but I don't trust wizards will achieve this with their current track record
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Post by idSurge » 2 months ago

Amalgam wrote:
2 months ago
Pioneer isnt even worth looking at till its has it's very foundation fixed by many many needed answers and interactive cards printed into it. I dont know about you but I don't trust wizards will achieve this with their current track record
I think it was worth the look, the look just revealed the fundamental flaw's in how Magic is being developed these last several (5? 10?) years.

What a stroke of luck, that Arena came out in beta as Dominaria and Guild's came together to form a fantastic Standard experience.

And it was luck, because they have proven to be unable to keep things going. WAR and Throne failed utterly.
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Post by Aazadan » 2 months ago

idSurge wrote:
2 months ago
OuaT: Is just a travesty of a card. Free, in the age of the London Mulligan? Way too strong.
Actually, I think it's the reverse. The London Mulligan is what makes the card potentially ok. If this card were available without the London Mulligan, those who played it would have a much bigger advantage during a mulligan than those who don't. As is, it's still strong but not nearly as strong as it would be otherwise.

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Post by idSurge » 2 months ago

It would be more important to use, but less powerful over all? Either way, the combination of 2 bad things just makes them both more powerful. :p
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Post by Aazadan » 2 months ago

idSurge wrote:
2 months ago
It would be more important to use, but less powerful over all? Either way, the combination of 2 bad things just makes them both more powerful. :p
No, without the London Mulligan it would be much more powerful, and consequently more important to use.

The card is still very, very good. So much so that I think it's still a reasonable question as to if it's too good (I'm on the side that it's fine). Now, imagine if it were even better positioned?

I've been playing some green cantrip shells. 4 Oath+4 Once Upon A Time. A general deck skeleton is 45 Oath hits, 35 Time hits. Which basically means you get: 8 cantrips, 7 others, 45 land+creature+walker, 35 land+creature. Usually you're looking at wanting around 21 lands in this shell leaving you with 14 creatures plus another 10 creature+walker.

It's incredibly strong and consistent, but I'm not sure about being ban worthy yet. Largely on the back of removal slots being limited and not having ways to cantrip into them. Though I will say, this shell into Magus of the Moon plus walkers is really stupid.

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Post by Tzoulis » 2 months ago

gkourou wrote:
2 months ago
It's all about the experience one wants.

If what you basically want is stack based interaction, super powerful cantrips, card selection and play cards from your hand, Legacy is great for you. Is it blue dominated? It is. Is it diverse? It is not. Can you play several tier 1 aggro decks or toolbox decks? No, you can't. But that kind of experience
is there.

If you want insanely powerful, unfair, game ending, T3-4 plays(T3 Titans, T2-3 Seers, T3-4 Urzas, T3-4 game-winning DS's, T3 Karn/K,TGC, T4 Ulamog), and linear game of play, and you are OK/fine with not having to interact with one another, but enjoying doing the most powerful thing, there is Modern for you. If you don't care about the natural curve of cmc's, there is Modern for you also.
I am not bashing Modern here. I chose Amulet Titan to be that kind of deck for me. It's really fine.
Just don't try playing Modern if you want a Snap-CC-Bolt kind of deck.

If you want a more natural game of play, a more interactive experience, natural cmc curves, if you don't want a fully linear experience, there is Pioneer for you. If you want a longer and more fair game also, there is Pioneer for you. I know I want to play Esper Dragons, or Grixis Dragons/Control(which I am buying into) and I know I can do that in Pioneer. I can not do that in Modern. I also know I won't lose to T3 Karn, or T3 Titan, die to uninteractive Valakut, or Dredge triggers and all that stuff, the game will also go longer, and be more fair.

The last time this happened in Modern(I am talking Grixis Control), was 2015: Back then Chapin introduced the T1 Thought Scour → T2 Gurmag Angler, hold up denial thing. And it was great.
Casually ignoring the T1-T2 decks of legacy and the adage of: "Force of Will Check". Also ignoring the Wasteland/Port and Depths decks.

Also, casually ignoring UW Control/Miracles being good for a large stretch of 2018 and early 2019, and now Bant Control/Stoneblade. You praise T2 Angler and Denial in 2015, but ignore how relevant and actually competitive they are now.

Snap-Bolt-Cryptic has as much right to be top as much right Jund has to be the marquee midrange deck. Again ignoring that at the moment Snap-Path-Cryptic is stronger.

Lastly, casually ignoring the %$#% that the format was till yesterday with a hyper efficient, low to the ground aggro deck and a smattering of big mana/ramp decks. You have no data that the format allows control/midrange decks. To the contrary, it's openly hostile to them, far more than Modern. In modern Control decks have positive matchups against big mana decks, they don't in Pioneer.

I'm not sure you're seeing Modern and Pioneer objectively or half critically. That's especially prevalent in your stance of Pioneer. You may have a jaded view, which is understandable, but don't fluff up its past years or other formats to compensate.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 months ago

I know he's not your favorite writer, but Josh Silvestri has some good points in this article that we have been talking about here.
https://www.channelfireball.com/all-str ... 1564439045

And people can say what they want to justify the bans in Pioneer, but you are not convincing me that a single soul knew Leyline of Abundance would be the first card banned. Sorry.
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Post by gkourou » 2 months ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 months ago
I know he's not your favorite writer, but Josh Silvestri has some good points in this article that we have been talking about here.
https://www.channelfireball.com/all-str ... 1564439045

And people can say what they want to justify the bans in Pioneer, but you are not convincing me that a single soul knew Leyline of Abundance would be the first card banned. Sorry.
Yes, this article was indeed entertaining and thought provoking.

I enjoyed the part where he says the following the most:
Magic is about creatures. You can state whatever your personal preference is, but we had periods when Magic is about creature combat and periods when Magic has been about other stuff, and Magic tends to do a lot better when it's more about creature combat.
We are already seeing in Pioneer that creatures matter, and in a format where normal creatures are the norm, this is healthy.
On the other hand, we can see a format like Modern, or other older formats, or even weird Standard formats(like Copycat decks), where things become oppressive and we start to have problems. This is the reason why Jund can not compete in Modern for example. Fatal Push with fetchlands is a borderline broken combination for example, or Lightning Bolt is just a too-good of a card to have. But Modern has largely made Lightning Bolt irrelevant, or at least up to a degree. Thus, various Snap-Bolt decks, or Jund(as well as all midrange and control decks in Modern) can not cope with the big mana world we are living in, because they are utter dogs to big mana decks, like Tron, E-Tron, Valakut, etc. and because push/bolts/decays etc are being rendered useless, It's also a dog to the deck to beat, which is the Urza deck. This whole thing creates weird scenarios where Magic is not at it's best.

On the other hand, I played several Standard and/or Pioneer matches those days where I (Grixis Control) or other people got to use multiple removals on the opponent's fair creature deck.

Magic needs more of that; Modern needs more of that.

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Post by Bearscape » 2 months ago

Creature combat is the best part of magic as a game compared to other similar games. There's a reason we devote 6 phases to it. It's the part where the most decisions and interaction takes place, it's the most skill intensive part of magic. Good magic formats are about creature combat.

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Post by DarthDrac » 2 months ago

Bearscape wrote:
2 months ago
Creature combat is the best part of magic as a game compared to other similar games. There's a reason we devote 6 phases to it. It's the part where the most decisions and interaction takes place, it's the most skill intensive part of magic. Good magic formats are about creature combat.
Creature combat is unoriginal and the least interesting part of Magic. Magic is unique because of stack interaction and the land system. There is an old meme that players start with green then gradually move to black or blue as these colours have more depth, there is little depth to can my creatures kill you, can your creatures kill me...

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Post by Bearscape » 2 months ago

Can't say much more than that's just straight up incorrect. Plenty of card games have stack interaction (hint: Heartstone is not the only other cardgame), all card games have resource systems (and MtG's outdated land system is its biggest weak point). If you think that putting everything sideways is the depth of magic's combat system then I can understand why you don't appreciate it.

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Post by Ym1r » 2 months ago

DarthDrac wrote:
2 months ago
Bearscape wrote:
2 months ago
Creature combat is the best part of magic as a game compared to other similar games. There's a reason we devote 6 phases to it. It's the part where the most decisions and interaction takes place, it's the most skill intensive part of magic. Good magic formats are about creature combat.
Creature combat is unoriginal and the least interesting part of Magic. Magic is unique because of stack interaction and the land system. There is an old meme that players start with green then gradually move to black or blue as these colours have more depth, there is little depth to can my creatures kill you, can your creatures kill me...
Not that there haven't been times that I also thought that, particularly because I am a dedicated control player and I like to think that I play "the difficult decks" because that's generally what control players do.

However your statement is outright incorrect. The "the RDW decks are for n00bs" is just the annoyed voice of midrange/control players who lost to a fast start or didn't draw their life-gain cards or drew one too many counters.

Yes it is true that aggressive decks tend to have a lower entry level, but mastering the aggro archetype and winning with it is equally hard. Oftentimes aggro players will say similar things like "duh control is easy, you just T4 sweeper and that's that". If that's what you think of control decks then you don't understand how control plays. And if you think turning things sideways is all there is to aggro decks and Magic's combat system then you clearly don't understand the depth of the combat system.

Go try to figure out combat in hardened scales affinity or even normal affinity with a ravager on board. Or the correct sequence of creatures in a Humans deck. Navigate an aggro vs aggro MU properly. there is a ton of depth in the combat system, much like in every other aspect of magic.

Edit: And something I wanted to add and forgot. Magic HAS to be about combat, otherwise each and every U/B/whatever control deck is just pure garbage. When Magic is not about combat (e.g. Modern) control struggles. So for all the control players out there who like to play creature-less control decks like me, do think that if creatures are bad, your deck is also probably bad.
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Post by DarthDrac » 2 months ago

Ym1r wrote:
2 months ago
Go try to figure out combat in hardened scales affinity or even normal affinity with a ravager on board. Or the correct sequence of creatures in a Humans deck. Navigate an aggro vs aggro MU properly. there is a ton of depth in the combat system, much like in every other aspect of magic.
I've played against both flavours of Affinity and Humans in Modern, yes there is complexity there, but the calculation is still very much can they kill me. Sometimes the Affinity kill is with infect, or sacking a Hangerback and pumping the tokens, or simply shooting face with Ballista, with Humans it's watching for them Vialing in Thalia's Lieutenant. Mostly surviving is dependent on either being able to stop the +1/+1 counters (something like Blightbeetle), having a flying blocker, or naming Blinkmoth/Human with Plague Engineer.

I was to an extent being flippant, but I started playing Magic in 97, when answers and spells in general were much stronger than critters. I like creatures like Hushbringer or the aforementioned beetle and engineer, because they hose certain creature strategies. I'd reprint Suppression Field in the same Standard as War of the Spark to hose Planeswalkers, just a little...

I play Green Tron or CrabVine in Modern, both are linear decks aiming to cheat mana costs, I know that, Tron for the most part wins with Planeswalkers and CrabVine with a critical mass of creatures. Prior to the Faithless Looting ban I played Hogaak and before that Hollow One, were it not for the Looting ban I'd probably still be playing Hollow One rather than the Crab. Those might be the decks I play, but a pat of me misses the catch all nature of Counterspell, though I'll admit the recent Drown in the Loch looks like a decent answer.

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Post by Aazadan » 2 months ago

The calculation for aggro decks is the same as control decks. It's all about making your clock faster than your opponents clock.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 2 months ago

Bearscape wrote:
2 months ago
Can't say much more than that's just straight up incorrect. Plenty of card games have stack interaction (hint: Heartstone is not the only other cardgame), all card games have resource systems (and MtG's outdated land system is its biggest weak point). If you think that putting everything sideways is the depth of magic's combat system then I can understand why you don't appreciate it.
I plan on responding to JS's article and some of the points around it. Before I do, out of curiosity, can you point me to some examples of card games that have a) creature (or equivalent) combat, b) stack-based (or equivalent) interaction, c) creatures but NO stack based interaction, d) stack-based interaction but NO creatures? Anyone can answer this too, if they feel like they have some examples.
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Post by idSurge » 2 months ago

Bearscape wrote:
2 months ago
Creature combat is the best part of magic as a game compared to other similar games. There's a reason we devote 6 phases to it. It's the part where the most decisions and interaction takes place, it's the most skill intensive part of magic. Good magic formats are about creature combat.
Nope.

There are many people who want very little to do with creatures. We use them because they are the only way to remain competitive.
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Post by Ym1r » 2 months ago

idSurge wrote:
2 months ago
Bearscape wrote:
2 months ago
Creature combat is the best part of magic as a game compared to other similar games. There's a reason we devote 6 phases to it. It's the part where the most decisions and interaction takes place, it's the most skill intensive part of magic. Good magic formats are about creature combat.
Nope.

There are many people who want very little to do with creatures. We use them because they are the only way to remain competitive.
Creature combat being core to the game doesn't mean that you necessarily play with them. If you like creatures you play aggro/midrange decks, and if you don't like creatures you play decks that kill creatures (control) or ignore them (combo), but either way, creatures ARE central to the game.

It is true that good magic formats are about creature combat, because it means that decks that revolve around winning with or beating creatures ARE viable. I said it before and I will say it again, I love creature less controls. Creature combat is what makes my creatureless decks enjoyable, because I get to do stuff to creatures. Otherwise what would my control deck do?
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Post by idSurge » 2 months ago

Ym1r wrote:
2 months ago
idSurge wrote:
2 months ago
Bearscape wrote:
2 months ago
Creature combat is the best part of magic as a game compared to other similar games. There's a reason we devote 6 phases to it. It's the part where the most decisions and interaction takes place, it's the most skill intensive part of magic. Good magic formats are about creature combat.
Nope.

There are many people who want very little to do with creatures. We use them because they are the only way to remain competitive.
Creature combat being core to the game doesn't mean that you necessarily play with them. If you like creatures you play aggro/midrange decks, and if you don't like creatures you play decks that kill creatures (control) or ignore them (combo), but either way, creatures ARE central to the game.

It is true that good magic formats are about creature combat, because it means that decks that revolve around winning with or beating creatures ARE viable. I said it before and I will say it again, I love creature less controls. Creature combat is what makes my creatureless decks enjoyable, because I get to do stuff to creatures. Otherwise what would my control deck do?
Thats a really good distinction actually. I appreciate that.
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Post by True-Name Nemesis » 2 months ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
2 months ago
Bearscape wrote:
2 months ago
Can't say much more than that's just straight up incorrect. Plenty of card games have stack interaction (hint: Heartstone is not the only other cardgame), all card games have resource systems (and MtG's outdated land system is its biggest weak point). If you think that putting everything sideways is the depth of magic's combat system then I can understand why you don't appreciate it.
I plan on responding to JS's article and some of the points around it. Before I do, out of curiosity, can you point me to some examples of card games that have a) creature (or equivalent) combat, b) stack-based (or equivalent) interaction, c) creatures but NO stack based interaction, d) stack-based interaction but NO creatures? Anyone can answer this too, if they feel like they have some examples.
Final Fantasy TCG is very focused on combat, and has stack-based interaction too, although being a Final Fantasy game with a rich cast of characters throughout decades of history, gameplay pretty much has to revolve around the battlefield. They have their own version of instants and a lot of cards have activated abilities so the instants in the game are focused around bounce, damage to units, kill spells and combat tricks, as far as I know, no counters. The 'stack' in FFTCG works pretty much the same as in Magic.

Combat works the similarly. You can only choose to attack the player. 1 damage to player if unblocked (deal 7 to win). Main difference in combat being units attack 1 at a time.

They also have a pretty alright resource system where any card can be discarded to generate 2 'mana' of the discarded card's 'colour'. They also have cards called backups that tap for 1 'mana' so you're not constantly throwing cards away from hand to cast spells.

Like it can be entirely possible to cast a 6-cost card on turn 1 by discarding 3 cards but you would be resource-starved the following turns because you didn't spend some time developing your resources. And you could just lose if they spend 1 mana on a summon (instant) that bounces it back to your hand.

The game was designed by a former Magic pro from the earlier days. https://archive.wizards.com/sideboard/a ... geyama,,en

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Post by drmarkb » 2 months ago

The idea that people prefer creature based Mtg fails to distinguish between eras and formats. People play Legacy to play Brainstorm, combo and Prison cards. Even the creatures are prison pieces unless they are part of gamewinning combos and cheated out, and if they are not they tend to be backed up by some pretty serious mana denial. Few who play Legacy do so to play "fair mtg". Legacy will be here long, long after Modern dies.

Kitchen table players and commander players may prefer creatures: the gathering, standard players too, no dobt, but Legacy and Vintage players do not.
The number of Nic Fit and similar players playing Legacy is tiny, and Goblins don't seem very fair when they are Porting and Wastelanding your lands. Legacy does just fine and has so few decks that win over a number of combats. One or two combats maybe.

Modern does not need more fair decks, it needs more prison cards and selected tutoring to find them so that the unfair decks get hosed more easily. Trouble is removal is actually good in Modern, and selection is awful, so the decent answers just don't work that well. If they are permanents they are often easily answered and lots of unfair decks have multiple ways of winning.

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Post by The Fluff » 2 months ago

I see this is just a never ending debate, since people have different preferences / playstyle. And this is what makes mtg the fun game that it is, plenty of different decks to play against.

My only modern deck right now is full of spells, and only 10 or so creatures. But the creatures are the win cons, because I like to win with creatures.
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Post by Aazadan » 2 months ago

drmarkb wrote:
2 months ago
The number of Nic Fit and similar players playing Legacy is tiny, and Goblins don't seem very fair when they are Porting and Wastelanding your lands. Legacy does just fine and has so few decks that win over a number of combats. One or two combats maybe.
Goblins is a control deck. Like you said, creatures often interact in that format in ways other than just being able to hit the opponent.

Believe it or not, Nic Fit is basically a tempo deck. It plays a game of disruption+big clock. It doesn't do much on the stack, but it's very proactive.

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drmarkb
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Post by drmarkb » 2 months ago

I often describe nic fit as a disruption deck too.
It interacts with combo via a lot of discard, board wipes and ramps to big monsters who often have clauses stuck on to stop stuff. Add in toolboxing to Teeg, you have a disrupting deck.
It has to be interactive, you interact with your opponent or combo to a win in Legacy. Problem is people don't see Humility, for example as an interactive card, but when you play it, the thing nerfs dudes, until it gets removed, as it does against Nic Fit, for example. That is interacting to me. Show and Tell into Emrakul is not interactive until the opponent shows in Humility or Karakas or something to copy the Emmy.
Nowadays some people even define counterspell as not interactive, because their critter did not get to turn sideways.

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