[Official] State of Modern Thread (B&R 07/13/2020)

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

Ym1r wrote:
2 years ago
In a way, kinda glad we don't get to see coverage of the awful GPs with the Gaak
If we had coverage, and the ability to clip it and meme it up on Twitter, I am willing to bet it would have been banned.
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

I guess I'm glad I can't make Vegas this year? With how awful Hogaak is for Modern, I wonder how badly it will affect attendance to what is usually the most hyped Magic event of the year.

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

This event had sub 1000 in the GP. Not sure if that's normal for the area.
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Post by iTaLenTZ » 2 years ago

Hogaak is a terrible mistake and one that should have consequences for people in office. If Hogaak was a new Standard card then we would still have this awful Modern format but at least in the knowledge they don't specifically test new sets for Modern. The fact that Modern Horizons is specifically made for Modern makes the Hogaak blunder more painful and also accountable.

I have great respect for everything Rosewater and Forsythe have done for MTG over the past decades but there comes a time of change. Vintage, Legacy, Modern and Standard have all been in a decline for a couple of years now. Too many design mistakes have been made. I really believe its time for them to retire and give other people a change at taking over. They have passed their peak and if they continue like this people will only remember them as the fools who got completely out of touch with MTG and ruined the game rather than their excellent work and dedication to the game in more than a decade. All good things end.

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

I dont know that that is true.

Dom/Guild's Standard will probably be seen as one of the best periods in Standard. War of the Spark was an unfortunate design mistake. Passive's on Planeswalkers is just too much.

Horizon's is certainly going to be looked at in a postmortem.

Hogaak - Busted
W6 - Probably busted. Its doing bad things to Legacy from what I've been told.
Urza - Super powered.
Forces - Still doing more for those who abuse, than those trying to stem the bleeding.

Modern itself, has been in an unhealthy state for nearly a year, and I frankly dont care to debate it. The last time it was good, UWR and Jund fooled themselves into playing Jace and BBE.

Hogaak, Phoenix/Dredge, KCI, you have to literally go back a year, to when we played Spirits/Humans, to see when Modern playable at all.

Vintage..well whatever.

Its not about the cards, its about the management after the cards hit the wild. They will never have the grasp on Modern that they need to keep it safe, so all they can do is clean up when an error is made.

EDIT: BTW

Birmingham Modern 16–18 August 2019 - Attendance 911
Birmingham Legacy 10-13 May 2018 - Attendance 1200
Birmingham Standard 10-13 May 2018 - Attendance 1169

Just saying. :?
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Post by iTaLenTZ » 2 years ago

Too many cards have been banned in Standard the past few years.

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Post by Ym1r » 2 years ago

I mean, let's not start bashing MH1 just for Hogaak now.

I think overgeneralizations like "Aaron and MaRo are not capable any more", or that the design team is incompetent, or that they have no grasp of formats or whatever are plainly false.

The game is bigger than it has ever been, with a great digital client, and an increasing playerbase. The design team is innovating, avoiding a stale, repeatable card design. They are bound to make some mistakes, but still, they are doing an amazing job.

Yes Hogaak was a blunder, and yes, it had a negative impact in modern. It will be banned, this thing has more or less been addressed, and admitted by the designers themselves. But we forget that we are talking about a team that designs THOUSANDS of new cards A YEAR! What do you expect? They are not robots. They have also proven that they take player feedback seriously, as is noted by the recent developments in Organized Play. The same goes for the development of Arena.

So let's not be greedy or senseless. And when it comes to modern, some people in this forum have been saying that modern is not in a great place since basically the Twin ban. However the format is here and flourishing, with good numbers, and the only exception is currently with Hogaak. When Hogaak goes, we are definitely NOT going back to a year ago because we have several tens of cards from MH1 and WAR that make an impact to the format. So let's not make wild claims, backed only by bitterness or the will to do "hot takes". The data driven, calm approach has shown that it gives results when it comes to feedback.
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Post by iTaLenTZ » 2 years ago

idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
Birmingham Modern 16–18 August 2019 - Attendance 911
Birmingham Legacy 10-13 May 2018 - Attendance 1200
Birmingham Standard 10-13 May 2018 - Attendance 1169
WOW that is really bad. Hilarious to see that Modern has 75% of Legacy's attendance. Modern GP's always tend to have around 2000 people attending.

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

I also bet Hogaak is a Maro card. He always gets the most busted design's through. :p

I believe both are more than capable at remaining in the head of Magic, however when it comes to Modern in particular (and probably legacy/vintage) I HIGHLY doubt they have the depth of understanding, or share a similar perspective on goals and desires towards the format, than the grinders and specialists do.
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Post by True-Name Nemesis » 2 years ago

Attendance numbers don't mean much unless we know what the cap for the event is. I've attended Modern GPs that were capped at the low 1000s, let's not assume all Modern GPs are 2000 player main events.

900 out of 1000 is very different from 900 out of 2000.

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

Very true, just an observation as I was looking over the last year or so of Top 8 results to find when the format was not tilted.
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Post by Ym1r » 2 years ago

idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
I also bet Hogaak is a Maro card. He always gets the most busted design's through. :p

I believe both are more than capable at remaining in the head of Magic, however when it comes to Modern in particular (and probably legacy/vintage) I HIGHLY doubt they have the depth of understanding, or share a similar perspective on goals and desires towards the format, than the grinders and specialists do.
Well MaRo was in the design team but not as a lead. He also was NOT part of the development team. (source: https://mtg.gamepedia.com/Modern_Horizons ) So unlikely that MaRo designed the card. More likely the meme is real and it was Tom Ross, or someone else from the development team who designed Hogaak.
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

I just can't imagine how anyone in design looked at Modern and said, "Hey, you know what Modern needs more of? Graveyard abuse."

Alternatively, I can't imagine how someone might have looked at Death's Shadow and said "You know, instead of 1 mana, let's make this free. And instead of variable P/T, let's just make it an 8/8. And for good measure, it should have Trample."

Just blows my mind that these same people think Stone-f**king-forge is too good.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

Ym1r wrote:
2 years ago
Now that it's out of my system, the Soulherder deck looks super sick. Gonna try to get my hands on it.
The Soulherder deck does look sick. I haven't been able to find a deck list that I like that much, as most of them look like they fold to many of the #2, #3, and so on decks. I wanna be able to beat something!
cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
I guess I'm glad I can't make Vegas this year? With how awful Hogaak is for Modern, I wonder how badly it will affect attendance to what is usually the most hyped Magic event of the year.
I live in Southern California (not super Southern, lol) and I will always make the 3 hour trip to the GP in Vegas. As for other places in California like the Bay Area (6+ hours), I will rarely go. I also go to Los Angeles of course, but you Vegas is always special (and I don't even do all the ancillary things others do in Vegas, I guess other than eat with old friends and new friends).

I think a lot of us come together as a community, not just because of Vegas and competition, but because we're looking for familiar faces.

[mention]idSurge[/mention] - those attendance numbers make me sad. Legacy absolutely should not have a higher attendance than Modern. I don't think Standard should either, but that is open for interpretation and discussion (terrible Standards vs. the life blood of Magic and qualifying for the Mythic Championship).
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Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Amulet Titan, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
I guess I'm glad I can't make Vegas this year? With how awful Hogaak is for Modern, I wonder how badly it will affect attendance to what is usually the most hyped Magic event of the year.
I live in Southern California (not super Southern, lol) and I will always make the 3 hour trip to the GP in Vegas. As for other places in California like the Bay Area (6+ hours), I will rarely go. I also go to Los Angeles of course, but you Vegas is always special (and I don't even do all the ancillary things others do in Vegas, I guess other than eat with old friends and new friends).

I think a lot of us come together as a community, not just because of Vegas and competition, but because we're looking for familiar faces.
Oh I would absolutely make the trek if I could. But my teaching schedule simply won't allow it. If I could make it though, I would be playing Commander casually in the back tables rather than waste any money on any constructed Modern events. It's just not worth it at this point; especially if you're not playing Hogaak.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
Oh I would absolutely make the trek if I could. But my teaching schedule simply won't allow it. If I could make it though, I would be playing Commander casually in the back tables rather than waste any money on any constructed Modern events. It's just not worth it at this point; especially if you're not playing Hogaak.
No, I know that. The timing of your first day this year starting when the GP is about to start is a poor combination. I myself am in a related field and am having to basically lose pay for 3 days.

While it puts a strain on my finances, I'll be fine after a couple of months.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Amulet Titan, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
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Post by Wraithpk » 2 years ago

Unlike some of you guys, I really don't blame WotC for having a card in MH1 that ended up needing to be banned. Let's be honest for a moment: when you're designing a set aiming for Modern power level, the odds of a card slipping through that needs to be banned is far higher than in a Standard set. Would you rather they printed a strong set with lots of new Modern playables but a card or two that needed to get banned, or a set aimed lower where only a few cards ended up being playable?

Now that's not to say that all the decisions they made with MH1 were correct. I think making it a premium priced product was a mistake. I also think they're still off on where they're putting the power in the answers vs. threats dichotomy. The egregious thing to me about Hogaak isn't really Hogaak himself, it's that apparenty they decided that cards like Counterspell or Containment Priest, which are cards that players have been asking for in Modern for a long time, were too powerful to print in the set. A 2 mana unconditional counter, and a bear that hates on graveyards were too powerful, but a 0 mana 8/8 trampler that recurs from the graveyard was not. Really just goes to show that their design philosophy is still pretty far away from being balanced.
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

Wraithpk wrote:
2 years ago
Unlike some of you guys, I really don't blame WotC for having a card in MH1 that ended up needing to be banned. Let's be honest for a moment: when you're designing a set aiming for Modern power level, the odds of a card slipping through that needs to be banned is far higher than in a Standard set. Would you rather they printed a strong set with lots of new Modern playables but a card or two that needed to get banned, or a set aimed lower where only a few cards ended up being playable?

Now that's not to say that all the decisions they made with MH1 were correct. I think making it a premium priced product was a mistake. I also think they're still off on where they're putting the power in the answers vs. threats dichotomy. The egregious thing to me about Hogaak isn't really Hogaak himself, it's that apparenty they decided that cards like Counterspell or Containment Priest, which are cards that players have been asking for in Modern for a long time, were too powerful to print in the set. A 2 mana unconditional counter, and a bear that hates on graveyards were too powerful, but a 0 mana 8/8 trampler that recurs from the graveyard was not. Really just goes to show that their design philosophy is still pretty far away from being balanced.
I know that for me personally, it's not just that they printed stupid, busted, strong cards, it's the stark contrast between them printing busted cards left and right and the absolute utmost conservatism they show with the laughable management of the banlist. The lack of understanding that allowed these mistakes to be printed is the same lack of understanding that holds safe and innocuous cards hostage on a list they have no place remaining on.

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Post by drmarkb » 2 years ago

Those Legacy numbers would have been MUCH higher had they done it on the weekend; Legacy players have jobs. People in the UK are often a little starved of Legacy, and make it their one big event- Modern events are everywhere, including big ones. We can travel to the MKM Legacy events, but that is expensive by comparison. By and large Legacy is held as special by its enthusiastic community- so a big GP turnout is always likely. Large Modern events are more frequent, and less special. It is worth noting too the difference in dates for the UK GPs. August is our school holidays and our number one month for family holidays, and mid May is just not. I have not done a GP in over over a decade- because the one I would make an effort for- Legacy- has been during the working week and I can't get holidays. Modern I would perhaps play with some enthusiasm- if it were a weekend in May- but I am happier playing locally at far less expense and going on holiday in August. I used to win prizes of hotel and travel with minimal entry twenty years ago- you can see how the GPs are less attractive. As a seller of cards, I see a lot of people not being able to afford cards post GP- people do spend a lot on them, but there is less incentive for grinders, pro wannabes etc., and the prizes now don't really hold a candle to twenty years ago. Hell, even the coverage has got worse! I don't think the format effect is easy to discern from the other extraneous factors.

I do think that Modern Horizons as a semi premium set would have been a huge boost- as it was it was more than double the price of a standard booster at LGSs. The premium price was something that I felt bred ill-feeling at a time when feeling was not exactly rosey. A movie franchise can pay the price for the sins of its predecessors, and long term I think there is a lot of ill will towards WOTC and Modern;I don't think the busted Hoogy format is responsible for ill will- more a confluence of many factors that are hard to disentangle.
The European Modern PPTQ replacements were interesting- in South Wales and West of England the attendances were awful- low double figures awful from what I could see-10-15 people. There were mitigating factors- qualifying for an £45 event 300 miles away is not exactly a major prize, and the events were held in July/Aug- again the school holidays, plus they were announced late. Still, with a variety of prices and prize structures the attendances were still dire, but again, how much is that Modern and how much the lack of interesting pathway......?

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Post by Ym1r » 2 years ago

cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
I know that for me personally, it's not just that they printed stupid, busted, strong cards, it's the stark contrast between them printing busted cards left and right and the absolute utmost conservatism they show with the laughable management of the banlist. The lack of understanding that allowed these mistakes to be printed is the same lack of understanding that holds safe and innocuous cards hostage on a list they have no place remaining on.
You, as a teacher (granted I don't know your specialization), should understand that this type of language use does not make your position stronger. Using a series of adjectives to exaggerate a point doesn't make the point necessarily any more relevant, or the argument any more convincing.

I don't disagree that they have demonstrated restrain when it comes to the banlist. However, saying that they have shown "absolute utmost conservatism" is plainly wrong. This can be shown because they have made claims like "Jace has a grave with his name on it on modern" and yet, they rolled back on that and they unbanned him. They kept this even amidst continuous flack from a good chunk of the pro community telling then that it's a total mistake to unban Jace. Of course, as many people said here (me and you included I believe), Jace would be, and is fine. BUT, that shows that they dare take the step and unban a card that would come with a risk. If it was too powerful, and they needed to reban it, it would be a financial disaster for a lot of people, unlike say, GGT.

They are neither absolutely, nor utmost-y conservative. They are, however, careful. Maybe you can argue, and I would agree, too careful. However, even this stance could be explained. You don't want to unban cards too fast. You also don't want to unban cards in completely new environment, which is what we have now for modern, a new environment with two sets that had heavy impact.

In addition, calling cards "innocuous" and "hostages" is also a bit of an exaggeration. Especially over-dramatizing the situation by saying hostages. It's not like cards suffer being in the banlist. Not even players suffer. A banlist is just a rule-set. Yes rule-set should be revised and updated, and the same holds true for the banlist. And again I AGREE, SFM should be unbanned. But let's not overstate the situation, because it simply doesn't make the argument any more convincing. There are better ways to go about suggesting things to Wizard's, and we know them, and they have proven much more useful than using dramatic buzzwords.
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Post by metalmusic_4 » 2 years ago

Wraithpk wrote:
2 years ago
Unlike some of you guys, I really don't blame WotC for having a card in MH1 that ended up needing to be banned. Let's be honest for a moment: when you're designing a set aiming for Modern power level, the odds of a card slipping through that needs to be banned is far higher than in a Standard set. Would you rather they printed a strong set with lots of new Modern playables but a card or two that needed to get banned, or a set aimed lower where only a few cards ended up being playable?

Now that's not to say that all the decisions they made with MH1 were correct. I think making it a premium priced product was a mistake. I also think they're still off on where they're putting the power in the answers vs. threats dichotomy. The egregious thing to me about Hogaak isn't really Hogaak himself, it's that apparenty they decided that cards like Counterspell or Containment Priest, which are cards that players have been asking for in Modern for a long time, were too powerful to print in the set. A 2 mana unconditional counter, and a bear that hates on graveyards were too powerful, but a 0 mana 8/8 trampler that recurs from the graveyard was not. Really just goes to show that their design philosophy is still pretty far away from being balanced.
I expected something to need a ban eventually from the moment they announced the set, and I believe that is ok if you are aiming for a high power level to begin with. However th hogaak deck with bridge was more powerful than I expected and requiring 2 bans so quickly was worse than I had hoped. After hogaak is gone, it will be an entirely new format and there may be entirely new decks or other required bans that aren't even on our radar right now. We don't know anything about what to expect in sept.

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Post by TheAnnihilator » 2 years ago

I must say, if Stoneforge and/or Twin come off the banlist because Hogaak poured garbage all over the format, I'd consider that an absolute win and never talk bad about Hogaak or Modern Horizons ever again (except the lack of Counterspell, I mean that was a complete joke in all honesty). I'm betting on some unban to go along with the Gaak ban -- probably SFM, but I pray it's both. :)

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

SCG Day 2 (Blah Blah Team Event Blah Blah). The Classic results are not posted yet.

Modern

Hogaak – 13
Four-Color Urza – 5
Mono-Red Phoenix – 3
Azorius Control – 3
Humans – 2
Mono-Green Tron – 2
Infect – 2
Whir Prison – 1
Grixis Urza – 1
Mardu Death's Shadow – 1
Dredge – 1
Esper Control – 1
Jund – 1
Burn – 1
Jeskai Phoenix – 1
Charge Tron – 1
Devoted Devastation – 1
Eldrazi Tron – 1
Four-Color Saheeli – 1
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

Ym1r wrote:
2 years ago
There are better ways to go about suggesting things to Wizard's, and we know them, and they have proven much more useful than using dramatic buzzwords.
I have long since given up completely trying to make sense of what they do, or assume they care whatsoever about what players actually want out of the banned list in terms of unbans. They have routinely ignored polls of thousands of players that both MTGS and Reddit did every B&R cycle, and continue to do whatever they want, whenever they want, for whatever reasons they want. I hold no delusions that this will ever change, whether there is a reasonable argument, well-articulated over thousands of words, or degenerate, idiotic memes, or dramatic buzz words. None of it actually matters and nothing changes what WOTC will or won't do.

So at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what my position is, or whether it is strong in the eyes of WOTC, because no position any of us make holds any strength in influencing their unban decisions. I learned this long ago when I used to spend thousands of words articulating why certain unbans would be good, beneficial, with minimal risk, etc. Felt like a big waste of time for someone who doesn't get paid to write, so I don't bother anymore. No one here is going to change their minds and WOTC isn't listening.

I don't mean this to come off so extra-downer, just that these thought experiments and discussions should be treated as such. Not as any meaningful impact of real change within what WOTC does. There is value in discussion, but only so much.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 2 years ago

Re: MH1 power level
I'm fine with bans resulting from overpowered cards. I'm less fine with Wizards missing a card they should have tested in Modern decks for a Modern product. Someone should have caught Hogaak and adjusted at least one of the many broken elements of that card. I share some of Chapin's concerns in a recent SCG article, in which he was worried about MH1 cards outpacing Standard cards and redefining the format in such a way that new Standard cards can't affect it. That said, if there's anything I can rely on, it's Wizards printing overpowered Standard cards that still sneak into Modern. I expect this will continue beyond MH1. This is an area where we will largely benefit from continued design/development issues.

Re: Hogaak
lol ban

More seriously, I don't necessarily fault Wizards for banning Bridge instead of Hogaak. I'll do a full review for a later post-Hogaak summer debrief, but I'm confident the vast majority of Twitter and article personalities thought Bridge was a good enough ban. I know there are some people here and elsewhere who will swear up and down that they KNEW the Bridge ban was wrong, and some of those people are at least on record saying it early. But that doesn't make Wizards idiots for banning the wrong card; it was at least an open issue that people disagreed on, with most of the people I read thinking the ban was fine. That's not a problem.

The problem was not correcting the obvious error as soon as it became clear they went wrong. Between MC4, GP Bar, MTGO, and then GP Minn, there was no good reason to burn the rest of Modern summer to the ground. "Consumer confidence" is already in flames right now and an emergency ban doesn't increase ban mania anymore than its already increased this year. I don't know how many players would have been screwed out of a deck at GP Birm/GP LV, but if the %$#% GP Minn/GP Birm attendance figures are any indication (obviously, MANY caveats go into attendance analysis), I'm sure the economic costs would've been a wash. It's absurd to me that Wizards is worried about maintaining their reputation as format managers (i.e. preserving banlist schedules) when every other element of their format management is so clearly in question this year. I don't view this as sinister or anything like that. It's just traditional mismanagement over a complicated game with competing factors. Unfortunately, in this case, the fixes were very clear and Wizards has created lasting format issues as a result. In a year where the overwhelming online narrative (remember: anyone who Googles Modern is going to see these issues on Reddit/articles/Twitter/Twitch) was a format having Looting issues, now we can't even diagnose that for many more months. All the GP that were supposed to show a healthy Modern with MH1/WAR/M20, or prove a broken Modern, ended up being broken for the wrong reasons. Now we have one more GP this year, so it will be hard to validate or silence the criticisms before 2020. If Modern truly does have problems, they will persist undiagnosed for months.

Re: Unbans
I continue to believe that bans are largely predictable and Wizards has done a fine job at riding out ban mania these last years and only banning predictable, objective problems. But unbans are completely unpredictable and I have no idea what drives these decisions. I believe Wizards does listen to feedback regarding bans (they've literally said this in their updates). But unbans? Who knows.
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