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

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Post by Depian » 2 years ago

I think both Green Sun's Zenith and Punishing Fire could be the most safe cards to discuss regarding unbans but right now the format needs to settle a bit after the last changes before any action is taken

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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
Green Sun's Zenith seems pretty safe.
I'm already content with sfm, but won't be complaining if they decide to free gsz as well.
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

gkourou wrote:
2 years ago
I am sorry if my pre ps post loses its significance. I dont think we should be discussing any unbans, but even if we do, i wanted to say that all of those years many people said "just unban sfm". There is nothing ludicrous at least in there, even if we could discuss some of them.
Well we obviously aren't going to see anything else freed for quite a long time, but let's not confuse that with the fact there are still several cards that could, and probably should, come off the list.

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Post by Pistallion » 2 years ago

GSZ imo is in a similar boat with Faithless Looting. Its an enabler for combo that can also compliment non linear strategy. If we we don't want looting, then we don't GSZ. It kind of depends on what criteria we want for cards coming off the banned list. If we want less non-games of Magic, then we also don't want Punishing Fire. There,s just no need for it.

With Karn TGC and other cards being printed recently, Pod honestly looks fine. I feel like Pod and Twin would just create two more tier 1-1.5 decks that would exist but not warp anything. Honestly think Twin is in the same vein as SFM and that its just a mediocre card nowadays and if you are serious about winning a big tourney, then you wouldn't play either.

After Pod and Twin, we then get into a very dangerous territory imo
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Post by NZB2323 » 2 years ago

Pistallion wrote:
2 years ago
GSZ imo is in a similar boat with Faithless Looting. Its an enabler for combo that can also compliment non linear strategy. If we we don't want looting, then we don't GSZ. It kind of depends on what criteria we want for cards coming off the banned list. If we want less non-games of Magic, then we also don't want Punishing Fire. There,s just no need for it.

With Karn TGC and other cards being printed recently, Pod honestly looks fine. I feel like Pod and Twin would just create two more tier 1-1.5 decks that would exist but not warp anything. Honestly think Twin is in the same vein as SFM and that its just a mediocre card nowadays and if you are serious about winning a big tourney, then you wouldn't play either.

After Pod and Twin, we then get into a very dangerous territory imo
With all the Twin hate printed in Modern Horizons I thought for sure they would unban Twin. SFM would easily be played in Pod though, so I don't see them unbanning SFM anytime soon.
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Post by True-Name Nemesis » 2 years ago

What combo does GSZ enable that's so scary? It doesn't make devoted druid faster, it does make it a touch more consistent by helping it to avoid the 'infinite mana with nothing to do' scenario. Elves is lacking the combo elements that it's Legacy counterpart has access to, and gets destroyed by plague engineer. GSZ is not suddenly going to make elves into a combo deck in Modern.

There could be a case for Amulet Titan or Valakut wanting it but the extra mana vs summoner's pact can be significant.

I can't see the parallel with faithless looting unless there's some other obscure green creature combo in Modern that I'm missing?

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Post by Depian » 2 years ago

Pistallion wrote:
2 years ago
GSZ imo is in a similar boat with Faithless Looting. Its an enabler for combo that can also compliment non linear strategy. If we we don't want looting, then we don't GSZ.
It can only fetch green creatures so it can never fetch something like Vizier of Remedies, it would enable a toolbox element for green decks fetching Scavenging Ooze, Reclamation Sage, Collector Ouphe and such. T1 GSZ into Dryad Arbor is nasty, but not gamebreaking IMO.
The only combo card I can think of is Primeval Titan, it would be easier to deploy them with GSZ but that requires 7 mana so I think we would be able to manage that

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Post by Arkmer » 2 years ago

[mention]True-Name Nemesis[/mention]
I'd add a reference to the cards GSZ is competing with: Chord of Calling, Finale of Devastation, Eladamri's Calling, and Collected Company.

I think those are covering all the tutor comparisons. The only "abuse" I can think of is the overly coveted T1 GSZ for Dryad Arbor, but in every other scenario the only advantage is that it reshuffles or saves a single mana.

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Post by Pistallion » 2 years ago

I'm under the assumption that GSZ would make Elves a really good combo deck. I've seen stats on it before, might have been this site, I cant remember. But it showed Elves as very powerful with GSZ. GSZ in Devoted Druid combo deck would be good but yeah its basically a marginally better [insert tutor card] in a medium power level deck in the first place. I just don't think we'd want GSZ due to a linear combo deck like Elves.

Found it: http://modernnexus.com/green-suns-zenit ... onclusion/
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Post by tronix » 2 years ago

well, havent been able to play as much as of late but trying to keep up with everything that has been going on...

first i gotta say i am pleased with the b&r announcement. probably the first time in recent memory where wotc has gone beyond my expectations, though i will say i can empathize with those who effectively lost decks or had a good portion of their collection lose much of its value. its kind of ironic looking back on the oft repeated sentiment of 'mh1 will fix it' only to realize hogaak probably instigated more, what id consider, positive change than anything else.

not much in terms of results so far to determine where the format/meta will ultimately end up, but it is clear that SFM is being put through its paces in nearly every archetype or deck that can play white. such an exaggerated response is to be expected given the nature of the card; its casting cost isnt prohibitive and most of the power of the card + equipment package is self contained. synergy and surrounding support will obviously make the card perform better, but as it is with most powerful effects/interactions finding the better/best shells will involve minimizing said support to get the bulk of the power while still effectively doing other things.

as for the ongoing discussion on how 'good' sfm is my opinion hasnt changed from before the unban; which is that the card would be a boon to various archetypes within the 'fair' end of the spectrum and while maybe not revolutionizing the format pushing (most/all) fair decks to play the card, it would see plenty of play. this is notably different than the opinion i know a couple members here and at mtgsalv held where the notion of an unban was spoken of dismissively as if it was something that needed to happen, but of little to no benefit or influence on the format itself. moreso as an obstacle needed to be overcome before getting to the 'real' cards on the ban list.

that said, i dont think its particularly useful to only look at sfm in a positive light. the card is clearly not the powerhouse that it is in legacy, or even as it was in its standard environment. even briefly watching legacy games with SFM would show how much the existence of brainstorm enhances what you can do with the card, especially in conjunction with the format itself being less creature/removal laden and more permission floating around (making the activated effect better since it circumvents countermagic). the absence of jitte is also a huge difference.

ive only been able to play sfm myself in 7 matches, inserted into a generic UW stoneblade shell. ive already encountered the use cases where the equipment is naturally drawn, or multiple SFM's are drawn with a heavy diminishing return. there is also a higher density of creature removal floating around meaning equipment can be easily stranded in hand where, without the activation at instant speed and 'cheating' the mana cost, they are very mediocre cards.

one of the more innocuous benefits of sfm is how it plays with other instant speed effects. in few games did i find myself using the activation right away, but having the option available while holding up other interaction meant it was easier to capitalize on tempo positive plays when the opponent stumbled or let up on pressure.

re: the next possible unbans

i dont think its a stretch to say that preordain is likely a no-go to ever happen. though i will say i think the comparison between it, lootings, and stirrings was always a bit absurd. lootings in particular played a unique role in facilitating GY interactions, and the benefits to be had were more akin to mox opal or other similar narrow but highly synergistic enablers. in that regard i dont think the ban of lootings in any way indicates stirrings is closer to a similar fate.

personally ive rated the next plausible unbans as something like twin = GSZ > pod >= punishing fire. GSZ can and likely would facilitate combo-esque shenannigans, but also some rather fair midrangy toolbox stuff - an archetype which has historically been struggling since pods ban. its limited to creatures, which modern is particularly well suited to adapt to, probably better than any format in the game
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Post by True-Name Nemesis » 2 years ago

Arkmer wrote:
2 years ago
True-Name Nemesis
I'd add a reference to the cards GSZ is competing with: Chord of Calling, Finale of Devastation, Eladamri's Calling, and Collected Company.

I think those are covering all the tutor comparisons. The only "abuse" I can think of is the overly coveted T1 GSZ for Dryad Arbor, but in every other scenario the only advantage is that it reshuffles or saves a single mana.
I'd be pretty hard-pressed to say GSZ is a strict upgrade over those cards in the decks that they're currently played in. There's different aspects to them like instant speed, no colour restriction, fetch from graveyard etc, and these effects are actually important.

T1 GSZ for Dryad Arbor is I don't know how to put it, but I've done it many times in Legacy myself and it's just an above average start?

Elves is pretty unplayable right now due to W6 and Plague Engineer. Elves in Modern have never really been about comboing rather than assembling a critical mass for an alpha strike. So I can't really see any negatives in giving them a shot in the arm.

Edit:

I went to look at the related articles in the GSZ test series of articles
Pistallion wrote:
2 years ago
I'm under the assumption that GSZ would make Elves a really good combo deck. I've seen stats on it before, might have been this site, I cant remember. But it showed Elves as very powerful with GSZ. GSZ in Devoted Druid combo deck would be good but yeah its basically a marginally better [insert tutor card] in a medium power level deck in the first place. I just don't think we'd want GSZ due to a linear combo deck like Elves.

Found it: http://modernnexus.com/green-suns-zenit ... onclusion/
This was mentioned in the test setup. http://modernnexus.com/green-suns-zenit ... tal-setup/
In his evaluation, he was playing our test games as if it were Legacy Elves vs Miracles. This makes logical sense, but Legacy Elves is a combo deck. It plays no lords or reasonably sized creatures, and is all about finding Craterhoof Behemoth and crashing in for 20. Modern Elves is beatdown to the bone. It can have combos in it, but the deck mostly revolves around Elvish Archdruid and Ezuri, Renegade Leader.
It'd more likely be a streamlined critical-mass aggro deck rather than a combo deck. My personal view is the same seeing as how Modern lacks the combo enablers like wirewood symbiote and friends. This testing was also done in a time where Modern was less hostile to tribal. So I can't really see how Elves becomes a consistent Tier 1 combo deck with GSZ.

A Tier 1.5-2 aggro/combo is a more realistic evaluation for it.
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Post by Pistallion » 2 years ago

My stance is that GSZ will enable combo style decks more than toolbox midrangy decks. "Maverick" style decks dont really work in Modern. So basically Elves and Devoted Druid combo would become better. People say stuff like "those decks could use a buff as tool box deck never have been that good in Modern," but at the end of the day we are just adding more linear strategies into the meta, which I thought we didnt want to happen especially after the Looting ban.
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Post by iTaLenTZ » 2 years ago

Bearscape wrote:
2 years ago
Veil of Summer really hid under the afermath of WAR and MH1 and is I think going to be the most influential new card from M20 for eternal formats. Hitting discard, removal and countermagic all at once against the colors that care most about card advantage is absurd. The floor of just cycling it after your opponent played any black or blue spell also makes it rarely dead. I'm almost exclusively a blue player so I am very biased, but I think the card is too much and a poor design in a similar fashion to Teferi Time Raveler.
I think the power of Veil of Summer needs to catch up with a lot of people. I am very concerned about what this card will do to eternal formats. In Modern the only way to meaningfully interact with the big mana decks like Valakut, Green Tron, Amulet Titan is to either taking the key cards out of their hand or counterspells. Only Black and Blue have to the tools to interact with those decks. Red, White and Green have absolutely nothing.

And now we have a card that counters any sort of meaningful interaction/interruption to their gameplan removing the only weakness those decks had for just 1 mana that also cantrips. Its absurd.

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Post by Pistallion » 2 years ago

Veil of Summer is amazing (its literally cryptic command for 1 mana sometimes), but it def better in Legacy, especially Storm.

The problem is that it gets worse the longer the game goes on, as the optimal time to play it is vs a turn 1 discard spell, which sometimes you cant even cast due to being on the draw. I think only 1 or 2 copies at most are best
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Post by True-Name Nemesis » 2 years ago

Pistallion wrote:
2 years ago
My stance is that GSZ will enable combo style decks more than toolbox midrangy decks. "Maverick" style decks dont really work in Modern. So basically Elves and Devoted Druid combo would become better. People say stuff like "those decks could use a buff as tool box deck never have been that good in Modern," but at the end of the day we are just adding more linear strategies into the meta, which I thought we didnt want to happen especially after the Looting ban.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by adding more linear strategies?

Elves and Devoted Druid combo already exist in Modern, what's being added? Or do you mean you want less top-tier linear strategies?

Elves is almost unplayable right now and Druid Combo is in an ok spot.

With GSZ, Elves likely becomes playable and Druid becomes a bit more consistent.

I'm also not sure what relation having more viable linear strategies has with Faithless Looting being banned. FL wasn't banned for empowering linear strategies, just that those graveyard decks were simply too dominant for the past 9 or so months.

Is there a legitimate concern of having a tier 0 and multiple tier 1 GSZ decks?

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Post by Pistallion » 2 years ago

Adding more power to linear strategies is something that is bad for Modern, that's what I'm saying. I believe that adding Twin and/or Pod is a lot different than adding GSZ for example, because those cards don't enable decks that want to ignore the opponent, where GSZ does (in the case for Elves). I dont have a problem of adding more tier one decks.
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Post by tronix » 2 years ago

eh i think we here and elsewhere in the community need to push back against the notion that anything qualifying as 'linear' and or 'unfair' makes them the bad guys. id rather not disqualify a card like GSZ based on something as ambiguous as a fear of 'empowing linear strategies'.

yes i do believe that the ban on lootings can be somewhat loosely connected to a seemingly growing sentiment among modern players that games are over too fast with little in the ways of engaging gameplay. however i believe that the 'linear', 'unfair', and 'degenerate' shouldnt be outright demonized and are absolutely an essential component of a balanced format; especially a non-rotating one looking to encapsulate what such a large card pool spanning over a decade of sets has to offer. its for this reason i can only roll my eyes at all those comments following the lootings ban along the lines of 'stirrings and mox opal better watch out!'. yes such highly synergistic enablers that scale particularly well should be held under scrutiny, but their very existence doesnt make them problematic

as True-Name Nemesis pointed out though the conditions surrounding the lootings ban and what a card such as GSZ might offer cant be compared, or at least the comparison doesnt tell us very much. lootings was facilitating a class of decks that was not only difficult to interact with, but also more often than not employed a gameplan looking to circumvent or ignore interaction as best as possible. if GSZ did become a part of any combo-styled deck it would most likely be through assembling creatures, which can broken up with the most common form of interaction in the format (and game in general) - creature removal. the devoted vizier combo is often brought up, where both pieces are susceptible to basically all types of removal seeing play; and GSZ only gets devoted druid. similarly elves, which has barely scrapped by as a tier 2 deck, can be picked apart with removal.

so if GSZ did boost or promote 'linear' creature combos, the nature of such decks leaves them soft to the 'fair' decks heavy on interaction; and therefore more likely to be predators of other decks trying to avoid interaction. there is also the possibility of GSZ helping green midrange shells. maybe its not in the form of legacy maverick, but seeing as how the green midrange toolbox archetype is all but absent in the competitive ring id consider any potential aid worth considering.
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Post by Zorakkiller » 2 years ago

how is gsz enabling more combo decks? gsz is much less combo focused than all the other creature tutors in modern. I would put my money on gsz making decks less linear and more interactive as it helps find answer cards such as gaddock teeg. elves in modern is not like elves in legacy, let's be real elves isn't even good in modern and already has finale of devastation which isn't too far off from gsz. i cant help but feel this is just more unban fearmongering similar to when Jace and bbe got unbanned.

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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

tronix wrote:
2 years ago
its for this reason i can only roll my eyes at all those comments following the lootings ban along the lines of 'stirrings and mox opal better watch out!'. yes such highly synergistic enablers that scale particularly well should be held under scrutiny, but their very existence doesnt make them problematic
I can't speak for others, but my view specifically is that those two cards both do things that have historically been things WOTC does not want in the format: fast mana and efficient card advantage/draw. I definitely believe they are living on borrowed time because the 'drawbacks' to these cards are no longer meaningful or limiting anymore. Especially when about a dozen or so different decks rely on them for fast mana/card draw.

The thing is though, individual problematic cards don't get banned until there is a deck (or decks) strong enough to abuse them in such a way to get WOTC's attention. Cards can be as broken and degenerate as ever, so long as they aren't a sizable portion of the metagame, causing logistics issues, or winning some arbitrary, but undefined, percentage of time before turn 4. As soon as a Stirrings or Opal deck does that, my guess is the card in that deck is gone.

As just a peak into the new yonder of Modern shows that Tron and Whirza appear to be the two best decks... so... I guess we just wait and see if that remains true. Tron is growing exceedingly resilient (especially with London Mull) and Whirza has been described by many as simply a "better Twin" because it "can combo a turn faster thanks to Opal, and has a better, more robust plan B." I haven't played with the deck myself, but from the other side of the table, it does look extremely powerful. If I wasn't worried about an Opal ban and money was no object, I would be playing this deck, no question.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

Zorakkiller wrote:
2 years ago
how is gsz enabling more combo decks? gsz is much less combo focused than all the other creature tutors in modern. I would put my money on gsz making decks less linear and more interactive as it helps find answer cards such as gaddock teeg. elves in modern is not like elves in legacy, let's be real elves isn't even good in modern and already has finale of devastation which isn't too far off from gsz. i cant help but feel this is just more unban fearmongering similar to when Jace and bbe got unbanned.
Exactly. Collected Company gets the cut for Green Sun's Zenith in Elves. The main problem with Elves is that it either doesn't quite finish off the opponent or removal into removal into Plague Engineer sucks. Green Sun's Zenith is also a lot less powerful when Dryad Arbor doesn't make Gaea's Cradle give more mana the next turn (as in Legacy) and when Deathrite Shaman is banned. Green Sun's Zenith can add some consistency to Titanshift and possibly Bogles or Infect, but that doesn't seem like anything to fear.

Anyway, I do kind of agree that we should not really be looking to any unbans in the near future. When Faithless Looting was legal, I literally felt like another 4-5 cards could come off. Now that Faithless Looting is gone, I have to reevaluate things. Things are a lot less powerful right now, even if Modern didn't necessarily slow down much. As of now with Looting banned, I only personally feel SUPER safe unbanning maybe another 2-3 cards. But the unban of Stoneforge Mystic has people a bit less unconfident with Wizards now, so you can hardly blame people for considering other seemingly safe unbans.

*I do find it a bit odd the way that Wizards went on unbannings, unbanning Jace, the Mind Sculptor first, then Stoneforge Mystic, and leaving Preordain to rot away. They have convinced us that Preordain was the problem all along in Storm, Infect, and Twin. It is to the point that no one really wants to even talk about a slightly better cantrip in Modern and with Looting banned, no one can really use that superior card as an "excuse." It is to the point that Modern players new to Legacy are using Thoughtseizes on Preordain when there are Stoneforge Mystics and Jace, the Mind Sculptors in the opponents' hands without a second thought. Hey, if the card is banned, there must be a reason it is superior to the Kor and Jace! :explode:
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Post by tronix » 2 years ago

cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
I can't speak for others, but my view specifically is that those two cards both do things that have historically been things WOTC does not want in the format: fast mana and efficient card advantage/draw. I definitely believe they are living on borrowed time because the 'drawbacks' to these cards are no longer meaningful or limiting anymore. Especially when about a dozen or so different decks rely on them for fast mana/card draw.

The thing is though, individual problematic cards don't get banned until there is a deck (or decks) strong enough to abuse them in such a way to get WOTC's attention. Cards can be as broken and degenerate as ever, so long as they aren't a sizable portion of the metagame, causing logistics issues, or winning some arbitrary, but undefined, percentage of time before turn 4. As soon as a Stirrings or Opal deck does that, my guess is the card in that deck is gone.
right, but i think any number of cards could become problematic with time and a good percentage of cards played scale in efficacy as more effects, interactions, and mechanics enter the card pool. cards such as opal and stirrings dont hold a monopoly on these things, theyve just happened to be in the spotlight at various points in recent history. for example consider the relatively short time lootings was actually considered as strong as it ended up being (less than 2 years). compare that to mox opal, which has been abused to great effect in affinity since the inception of the format. admittedly the card seems to have dodged bans throughout the years like neo from the matrix, however if its ban is so inevitable its certainly not rushing to that point. so i question what reason there is to dwell on it or continue mentioning it outside of fear mongering resultant from the ban mania culture. its as if people are taking the lootings ban as some sign wizards looking to cull anything 'unfair', which i just dont think is the case. the alternative just has the format 'racing to the bottom' as some like to put it, because strong enablers must exist for the 'unfair' and 'degenerate' decks to operate and such decks should always be featured in modern.
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
*I do find it a bit odd the way that Wizards went on unbannings, unbanning Jace, the Mind Sculptor first, then Stoneforge Mystic, and leaving Preordain to rot away. They have convinced us that Preordain was the problem all along in Storm, Infect, and Twin. It is to the point that no one really wants to even talk about a slightly better cantrip in Modern and with Looting banned, no one can really use that superior card as an "excuse." It is to the point that Modern players new to Legacy are using Thoughtseizes on Preordain when there are Stoneforge Mystics and Jace, the Mind Sculptors in the opponents' hands without a second thought. Hey, if the card is banned, there must be a reason it is superior to the Kor and Jace!
i used to be a stronger proponent of preordain, but now my position is more 'eh, yeah sure cause im biased and would be playing it, but its probably not very beneficial'.

i think there is just too much uncertainty surrounding a card like preordain. such innocuous cards have proven to be immensely powerful, and blue selection spells in particular are open to use in basically every strategy or archetype in color. perhaps somewhere down the line, but modern has recently (relatively) seen how xerox decks can easily overwhelm strategies lacking that level of consistency and dig. as such its perhaps one of the last cards id be campaigning for atm.

edit: there is also the fact that twins release and preordains have typically been considered mutually exclusive. ill grant that its a premise built on a layer of assumptions about what each card should do; the type of assumptions i believe players in general should be more open to challenging. however if we do take this exclusivity as a given then i believe twin as a card has more to offer modern (its tempo and a+b combo elements that have only become further removed from 'blue control' as time goes on). preordain however doesnt seem suited to target a type of play pattern, archetype, deck, etc; which makes arguing for/justifying its unban at any particular point difficult
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Post by Wraithpk » 2 years ago

iTaLenTZ wrote:
2 years ago

I think the power of Veil of Summer needs to catch up with a lot of people. I am very concerned about what this card will do to eternal formats. In Modern the only way to meaningfully interact with the big mana decks like Valakut, Green Tron, Amulet Titan is to either taking the key cards out of their hand or counterspells. Only Black and Blue have to the tools to interact with those decks. Red, White and Green have absolutely nothing.

And now we have a card that counters any sort of meaningful interaction/interruption to their gameplan removing the only weakness those decks had for just 1 mana that also cantrips. Its absurd.
I hadn't really been keeping up with M20 spoilers, so the first time I read Veil of Summer like a few weeks ago I did a spit take. Like, WotC is afraid of printing Counterspell into Standard and even Modern, but they printed a 1 mana cantripping Counterspell for green decks? The card is absolutely absurd. It would be a pretty good card even without the cantrip effect.
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago

Green Sun's Zenith can add some consistency to Titanshift and possibly Bogles or Infect, but that doesn't seem like anything to fear.
Bogles wouldn't play GSZ. GSZ in that deck would just be a 2 mana Bogle, and there are already a ton of 2 mana Hexproof creatures with better stats or abilities that they don't play.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

tronix wrote:
2 years ago
i used to be a stronger proponent of preordain, but now my position is more 'eh, yeah sure cause im biased and would be playing it, but its probably not very beneficial'.

i think there is just too much uncertainty surrounding a card like preordain. such innocuous cards have proven to be immensely powerful, and blue selection spells in particular are open to use in basically every strategy or archetype in color. perhaps somewhere down the line, but modern has recently (relatively) seen how xerox decks can easily overwhelm strategies lacking that level of consistency and dig. as such its perhaps one of the last cards id be campaigning for atm.

edit: there is also the fact that twins release and preordains have typically been considered mutually exclusive. ill grant that its a premise built on a layer of assumptions about what each card should do; the type of assumptions i believe players in general should be more open to challenging. however if we do take this exclusivity as a given then i believe twin as a card has more to offer modern (its tempo and a+b combo elements that have only become further removed from 'blue control' as time goes on). preordain however doesnt seem suited to target a type of play pattern, archetype, deck, etc; which makes arguing for/justifying its unban at any particular point difficult
But think about it - does Preordain come with more risk than Jace, the Mind Sculptor? If Modern slows down, Jace, the Mind Sculptor is KING. If Modern became a Midrange slugfest, I'd rather be on the side of going over that with Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Midrange beats Aggro, bigger Midrange beats smaller Midrange, Control beats bigger Midrange, and the controlliest Control beats Control AND Midrange. Jace is an amazing tool! He is easily the best planeswalker ever printed and honestly, most cards just don't compare. The only reason he was okay to unban is that Modern is too quick for him to matter much. That could change.

A few years ago, the 3 cards that were brought up to possibly unban were Preordain, Stoneforge Mystic, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor in that order. Yes, a lot has changed. But I honestly don't know what has changed that makes Preordain a riskier card than Jace. I really don't. You go ahead and try to Preordain to something that beats Jace because there's not much.
Wraithpk wrote:
2 years ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago

Green Sun's Zenith can add some consistency to Titanshift and possibly Bogles or Infect, but that doesn't seem like anything to fear.
Bogles wouldn't play GSZ. GSZ in that deck would just be a 2 mana Bogle, and there are already a ton of 2 mana Hexproof creatures with better stats or abilities that they don't play.
As a former Bogles player, I wouldn't play it myself. But since I saw it brought up in the conversation, occasionally but rarely by Bogles' players themselves, I figured I'd mention it. I don't think it would be in Infect either, as Blighted Agent and Inkmoth Nexus are too strong to move away from. I do see it in Titanshift though, as Sakura Tribe-Elder on 3 mana or Prime Time on 7 mana seems solid. :)
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

deimos035
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Post by deimos035 » 2 years ago

On a different note - how is Ancient Stirrings problematic, being relevant in basically 2 decks currently? Is Tron or Scales so oppresive? I don't think so. Unless future sets provide more stuff to break Stirrings, the same way graveyard cards have broken looting, I cannot understand this ban-frenzy regarding stirrings. Same thing with Opal - artifact decks are not dominating to warrant a ban and the ban discussion for opal follows the same argument as Stirrings and basically any other card - there are no broken strategies/decks that use the card. Can the community focus on something real instead of imagining things?

As for GSZ, I would love to see it unbanned (esp that I'm a huge elf lover), not sure about Pod or Twin, but they're time will come I guess, given the current powerlevel of the format. Good riddance on Hogaak though, even though I didn't get to play it.

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Ym1r
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Post by Ym1r » 2 years ago

Just my 5 cents on the topic of Preordain and why it won't be unabanned ever, and also why Ancient Stirrings is fine for now, but maybe not later.

A lot of discussion is being done over the Faithless looting ban and what it means for the two cards mentioned above. I believe, however, the knowledge we gathered with the looting ban in relation to modern policy already existed, we just hadn't realized. The Faithless looting ban is, in my opinion, very similar to the Gitaxian Probe ban. Why was Probe banned? And why have we never looked back at this ban?

"Gitaxian Probe increased the number of third-turn kills in a few ways, but particularly by giving perfect information (and a card) to decks that often have to make strategic decisions about going "all-in." This hurt the ability of reactive decks to effectively bluff or for the aggressive deck to miss-sequence their turn. Ultimately, the card did too much for too little cost."

The text in bold is, I believe, the main reason for the banning of Probe, and the point of comparison with Looting. The fact that both cards, allowed a specific strategy to be so overly successful, that other decks had to ability to play the game, or to put up a fight. Probe was great because literally, whatever combo you played, it allowed you to execute it safely because you could acquire perfect information, without being a card down, and at the cost of no mana. Looting was great, because whichever GY strategy you chose to play, looting was basically a "draw four cards" with 1 mana card. Ultimately (as per the above justification), both cards did too much for too little cost, and enabled a particular kind of strategy (all in combo and GY decks), to have a significant advantage over any other kind of deck.

Now, is Ancient Stirrings doing this, and would Preordain do that? Well, for the former, there was a point when Ancient Stirrings was becoming quite dominant. It was actually doing what Probe and Looting were doing, enabling colorless strategies to a point that was overly efficient compared to anything else in the format. It was that point when we read that Ancient Stirrings is on the watchlist. Since then, colorless decks have moved on, even to the point of not playing G any more. Currently the card exists only in 2 decks (GTron and Hardened Scales), of which only 1 is true Tier 1. As such, the card is currently safe. Would Modern become a green-colorless slugfest, Ancient Stirrings will be the first thing to go, based on the previous bans, and I am certain that we will have the same justification.

Now, would Preordain enable such a situation? It is unclear. Preordain would fit straight into every blue control and every blue combo deck. Is this a bad thing? Opt and SV already do that. Well, yes, that's a matter of fact. The question is, would then any of these two strategies become so significantly better that pushed things out of the format or wrap the format around them? I will say that it is likely, and it's a risk that there is no reason to take. SV and Opt are properly powerful in Modern, doing what they are supposed to do, without excessive power. Why risk making blue combo so much better by introducing a card that can fit any strategy? All the unbans so far have been target unbans that enable new archetypes. Preordain doesn't enable any new archetype, but it makes already viable archetypes significantly better. As such, and because there is the risk of Preordain becoming the new Probe, or Looting, I don't see any reason to ever have it unbanned. It would be completely inconsistent with what we have seen so far, and very risky.

TL;DR: Looting was banned for similar reasons as Probe. If Ancient Stirrings is ever to go, it will go on the same grounds of making a specific strategy overly powerful in comparison to other strategies (not deck, strategy). Preordain will not and should not be unbanned for the same reason.
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