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

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pierreb
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Post by pierreb » 1 year ago

ZephyrScarlet wrote:
1 year ago
Again, you can literally look at your opponent's hand to see if he does or does not have it or if he has more urgent issues going on that you can nail. I fail to see how this is "bad always", although you could've saved me this post if you just RTFC,
The point is, if they don't have it, you wasted a card and mana for a peek effect, but without the cantrip. It's also a dead card in numerous matchups. People are not loading up their SB with needle and spy glasses because SB slots are precious and the card is a bit too weak. Most of the time, it will be at best a 2-of in SB. That means you might draw it too late and they will already have gained momentum and board advantage off their PW.

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Post by Mtgthewary » 1 year ago

ZephyrScarlet wrote:
1 year ago
Mtgthewary wrote:
1 year ago
So you waste a turn paying 2 mana and calling planeswalker with spyglass, and if you are lucky he had it in hand, so he doesn't need to play it. Seems really bad. You waste something, he doesn't. Other possibility he played it and allready used it, bevore you spyglass. Again bad. It's not a solution. Or you use it and he doesn't have his walker in hand... Or he plays another one. Bad bad bad allways
??? Something tells me you haven't even stopped to read what the card actually does and jumped straight ahead to the bashing. In hindsight, with your post history that seems to be the case every time. Just so you know, none of your scenarios will happen, because Spyglass lets you look at your opponent's hand before naming something. So it should go like this:
Mtgthewary wrote:
1 year ago
you waste a turn paying 2 mana and calling planeswalker with spyglass, and if you are lucky he had it in hand, so he doesn't need to play it. Seems really bad. You waste something, he doesn't.
You look at their hand, see if there's a planeswalker that needs a nip in the bud, then name it. No luck involved. If there isn't a planeswalker you can either name something he does have in hand or preemptively name a walker that gives you problems. You don't "waste" anything since you've laid a proactive hate piece that makes a card in their hand literally unplayable, and can disable up to three more copies of the same card. How is wasting a draw step in a blank card bad? Furthermore, how is being on the play and naming Wrenn and Six when the opponent just had one that they hoped resolving since they kept a two lander?
Mtgthewary wrote:
1 year ago
Other possibility he played it and allready used it, bevore you spyglass. Again bad. It's not a solution.
It is a solution in the sense that you just blocked all future activations of that walker. Oko not being able to steal whatever you drop to pressure him, or not being able to elk your hatepieces / threats suddenly looks a lot less menacing. Would you rather let it run rampant? Trophy it so you give your opponent a land and then just plays another one and goes off again?
Mtgthewary wrote:
1 year ago
Or you use it and he doesn't have his walker in hand... Or he plays another one. Bad bad bad allways
Again, you can literally look at your opponent's hand to see if he does or does not have it or if he has more urgent issues going on that you can nail. I fail to see how this is "bad always", although you could've saved me this post if you just RTFC,
It's allways bad, sorry to say. Try to beat this decks and use 4 of them just for fun. What you think will happen? Oko as example is a beast and if it could be so easy stopping it, we had not this problems everywhere. As a reminder l, like you sayed allready... Needle and spyglass is available so think about why it doesn't work. Because they are 5428 different possibility which can go wrong and normally will go wrong. You need a clear answer which is not bad. Spyglass is a bad one in all most every situation. Do you agree we have a walker problem? If yes, it is allready proofed spyglass doesn't helped

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
I know there are many users here and in other online venues that like to point out issues with Modern, whether its alleged lack of interactivity, alleged high variance, alleged price points, etc. Out of curiosity, what is a current example of a good Magic format and why? From what I'm seeing online, vocal elements of the online community as a whole (Twitch, Twitter, Reddit, forums, articles, etc.) has been notably negative to Magic as a whole this year with a few exceptions. One exception was a short period of Standard this year that was relatively healthy and open. Another was praise for SFM's unbanning, although that was certainly tempered with complaints about how long it took and the state of Modern generally. But between initial complaints about MH1, constant ban suggestions, a deplorable fall 2019 Standard, MH1's negative impact on Legacy, WAR's negative impact on even Vintage (not to mention Standard), questionable decisions with MTG Arena/Historic/Pioneer/etc., I'm struggling to find positive 2019 Magic moments. At least, struggling to find positive moments that the community at large remembers more than the negative ones.

What are some positive 2019 Magic/Modern moments we can look for as a reference point? What dynamics are driving the negative narratives we're seeing this year? I don't want to go so far as to say the negative narratives are in a majority, but at least to me, they've felt louder than in previous times. At the risk of bringing too much social commentary and politics into the picture, Magic has felt very tribal this year like much of America's political discourse, and not in a Goblins/Merfolk kind of way. What's going on with our game?
Currently? I would hope Legacy and Pauper would be decent formats I would think.

Deconstruct WHY people think highly of Guilds/Dom Standard, or Jace/BBE Unban Modern, or SFM Unban Modern, and you will start to see trends. Or maybe WHY people got excited for Pioneer and the immediate response was to build Control/Midrange decks.

My hypothesis would be this.

The majority of players want 'slightly unfair' Magic. They want the game to support the trinity of Aggro/Midrange/Control, while also having room for Tempo/Combo/Burn. Thats 'modern' (little m) players of Magic. The ones which will be caught in the Pioneer demographic.

There are some who yearn for older design. Old School/Vintage/Legacy, where things like land kill, prison, stasis, and Turn 1 kills are possible, but those are either an extreme minority, or are looked upon so poorly by the majority of modern (little m) players, that IF those strategies get too strong, it leads to dissatisfaction.

So go back to the deconstruction. Why are those formats or periods favored? Why do people persist in saying an earlier version of Modern (big M) was better?

Because those types are decks are better supported. You CAN play those other archetypes, all of them, and see success, but the big 3 in some version must exist, and must police the format as a trinity.

If Infect is too good, the format sucks.
If Control is too good, the format sucks.
If Aggro is too good, the format sucks.
If Midrange is too good, the format sucks.

We need a balance.

TLDR Hypothesis: Unless Midrange (Jund/Junk in Modern BG Mid in Dom/Guilds Standard) Aggro (Burn/Affinity in Modern or White/Red Weenie or UR Drakes in Dom/Guilds Standard) Control (Twin/UW or UW/Esper/UWR Control in Dom/Guilds Standard) are all seeing meaningful success, and play, a format is unhealthy, and dissatisfaction with the format will grow.

That doesn't mean Tempo (Mono Blue in Dom/Guilds Standard) or Combo Cannot or Should Not exist. However they should never be the best thing going in a format. Aggro/Midrange/Control, need to form the pillars of a format for it to be perceived as healthy, and there should be diversity also WITHIN the pillars of the format.

Yes, this means that outside of periods of testing (Jace unban, SFM unban) Modern has been 'unhealthy' for a very long period of time, near 4 years.
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Post by iTaLenTZ » 1 year ago

I believe Jund not being a police deck is a problem. They got a 2 mana OP walker and the deck is still nowhere to be seen. Instead of a PW that pushes other midrange decks out of existence like what happened in Legacy with D&T, Elves and all other forms of creature based decks, they should have reprinted Sinkhole into Modern.

Sinkhole is a very strong card vs ramp like Amulet, Tron and Valakut and punishes Urza for playing few lands. Turn 1 Thoughtseize, turn 2 Sinkhole, turn 3 Liliana isn't fun to play against for other midrange decks but so is W6. By giving Jund a good card vs the uninteractive topdecks Jund can again fulfill their roll as a police deck. Even if it read: 1B Sorcery, destroy target nonbasic land, it would be good enough and could see play it many decks to shift the meta.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Oh, and just as when it came out, I will reiterate that the London Mulligan is one of the worst updates to the rules this game will see.
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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

iTaLenTZ wrote:
1 year ago
I believe Jund not being a police deck is a problem. They got a 2 mana OP walker and the deck is still nowhere to be seen. Instead of a PW that pushes other midrange decks out of existence like what happened in Legacy with D&T, Elves and all other forms of creature based decks, they should have reprinted Sinkhole into Modern.

Sinkhole is a very strong card vs ramp like Amulet, Tron and Valakut and punishes Urza for playing few lands. Turn 1 Thoughtseize, turn 2 Sinkhole, turn 3 Liliana isn't fun to play against for other midrange decks but so is W6. By giving Jund a good card vs the uninteractive topdecks Jund can again fulfill their roll as a police deck. Even if it read: 1B Sorcery, destroy target nonbasic land, it would be good enough and could see play it many decks to shift the meta.
Aside from the fact that Sinkhole is both a color pie break and an extremely powerful card, it will do nothing to rein in Urza/Amulet/Tron etc. They all play ways to bring multiple lands in a turn or don't need many lands to begin with. Such a spell will hurt fair decks like other midrange or control.

I played against the Karn/Ponza deck (with maindeck coatings etc.) with my PO Urza list and it got trounced (5-6 games, both pre- and post-board). The deck runs so much air that it can easily stall and targeted LD against fetchlands is bad. When a deck like PO Urza is built with so many cantrips/selection and card advantage going long against it is suicide.

Also, we've been down this road before: Why does Jund must be the police deck?
What's wrong with Shadow decks being the top fair deck?
Or UWx control?

Why is Jund such a sacred cow?

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
What's wrong with Shadow decks being the top fair deck?
Or UWx control?
Because calling Shadow fair, is nearly as much a stretch as calling Phoenix (pre FL ban) a 'fair midrange deck'.

Because UW alone, is not enough. Its the Control member, but needs its proper aggro and midrange pillars to ALSO exist. Its not enough to have one, if you only have one, your format is not healthy.
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Post by Bearscape » 1 year ago

pierreb wrote:
1 year ago
I agree with bearscape, except I think Urza is also a mistake. Basically, anything that turns artifacts into moxes is a mistake given the number of zero-costs artifacts ans how easy it is to recur them from the GY. Sure, Emry is the most efficient one, but other wise we'd see scrap trawler and the like.

I cannot phantom what Wizards was thinking when they put gilded goose and oko in the same standard set. Even in standard, that results in an endless stream of 3/3 starting on turn 3. In modern, with free eggs on turn 1 (mishra's bauble for example), it starts churning 3/3 on turn 2.

Basically, Urza Whirr is the best mid-range deck (makes endless 3/3 from turn 2 or 3), with a combo (thopter sword) and a big mana toolbox (urza + free artifacts + whirr). Oh, and it incidentally can gain ton of life off food tokens, so screw you burn and aggro. It attacks on too many angles.

And yet GDS beat it, so I guess it's okay? TBH, the games were hairline close. A single counter or removal difference every game would have resulted in GDS getting ejected.
I'd argue Urza, on its own, is a card up to Modern powerlevel. As a 4-drop, it needs a lot of text to see play. The design makes sense; you want him in an artifact deck so that when he is cast you can actually use his Mind's Desire ability off the ramp he provides. However, when combined with design mistakes likes Arcum's Astrolabe, Paradoxical Outcome and Mox Opal you indeed get a 5-color deck that can take whatever angle it wants.

Actually the more I think about it I'd retract my statement that Hogaak was the only bad design from MH1, Astrolabe is absurd for how innocent it looks. It's better fixing than shocklands can provide, on a colorless 1 mana artifact that cantrips. Oko is a different story on its own, but that it goes into the Whirza deck is another testament to Astrolabe's absurd fixing

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

Bearscape wrote:
1 year ago
pierreb wrote:
1 year ago
I agree with bearscape, except I think Urza is also a mistake. Basically, anything that turns artifacts into moxes is a mistake given the number of zero-costs artifacts ans how easy it is to recur them from the GY. Sure, Emry is the most efficient one, but other wise we'd see scrap trawler and the like.

I cannot phantom what Wizards was thinking when they put gilded goose and oko in the same standard set. Even in standard, that results in an endless stream of 3/3 starting on turn 3. In modern, with free eggs on turn 1 (mishra's bauble for example), it starts churning 3/3 on turn 2.

Basically, Urza Whirr is the best mid-range deck (makes endless 3/3 from turn 2 or 3), with a combo (thopter sword) and a big mana toolbox (urza + free artifacts + whirr). Oh, and it incidentally can gain ton of life off food tokens, so screw you burn and aggro. It attacks on too many angles.

And yet GDS beat it, so I guess it's okay? TBH, the games were hairline close. A single counter or removal difference every game would have resulted in GDS getting ejected.
I'd argue Urza, on its own, is a card up to Modern powerlevel. As a 4-drop, it needs a lot of text to see play. The design makes sense; you want him in an artifact deck so that when he is cast you can actually use his Mind's Desire ability off the ramp he provides. However, when combined with design mistakes likes Arcum's Astrolabe, Paradoxical Outcome and Mox Opal you indeed get a 5-color deck that can take whatever angle it wants.

Actually the more I think about it I'd retract my statement that Hogaak was the only bad design from MH1, Astrolabe is absurd for how innocent it looks. It's better fixing than shocklands can provide, on a colorless 1 mana artifact that cantrips. Oko is a different story on its own, but that it goes into the Whirza deck is another testament to Astrolabe's absurd fixing
But Arcum's Astrolabe, Paradoxical Outcome, and Mox Opal are all right on their own. It's the combination of Urza with those cards.

There are quite a few cards that are pretty pushed from these new sets, including Arcum's Astrolabe (which is sort of a fixed Deathrite Shaman), Narset, Parter of Veils, Karn TGC, Teferi, Time Raveler, and now Oko, Thief of Crowns among others. Even Wrenn and Six is a very pushed card, but is appropriate for Modern in my opinion. I'm not so sure about Legacy though.

I bought 4 Oko, Thief of Crowns. I spent less for them than I did for Wrenn and Six and 2 of them for less than I paid for Urza ($30 each). But this card is really truly an abomination of a card. It never should have been printed. It is silly what this deck can be splashed in. For Standard, it certainly is not the only problem, even with Field of the Dead currently banned. But Vintage, Legacy, and Modern. I put 4 in my SB for Sultai Crab Vine. My opponent in Round 6 of the MCQ had 4 in HIS sideboard for UR Thing/Kiln Fiend. This card just has too many problems and even a slight fix may have not been enough. It's kind of sad that a card that people have paid $20-60 for can actually get banned in multiple formats at some near date, but what about the state of Magic and formats. I guess those complaining about Simic not getting love finally got their card...
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Post by iTaLenTZ » 1 year ago

Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
Aside from the fact that Sinkhole is both a color pie break and an extremely powerful card, it will do nothing to rein in Urza/Amulet/Tron etc. They all play ways to bring multiple lands in a turn or don't need many lands to begin with. Such a spell will hurt fair decks like other midrange or control.
Sinkhole doesn't see play in Legacy for years now. I believe a card like Sinkhole is adequate for Modern. I would even welcome Wasteland (if W6 got banned)

I am afraid Modern will become the dump yard of Pioneer and Standard. Everything that is toxic, degenerated and broken will be dumped onto the Modern players to keep those cards at least legal in a (still) popular eternal format so people can still play those cards somewhere. In Standard its almost certain brOko will eat a ban. The card is obviously too strong for Pioneer and Modern as well but because they want to keep selling packs and make sure brOko retains a certain price tag they will keep him legal in Modern. Same is true for Once Upon a Time, the most played card in Standard. I see dark times ahead.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

iTaLenTZ wrote:
1 year ago
I am afraid Modern will become the dump yard of Pioneer and Standard. Everything that is toxic, degenerated and broken will be dumped onto the Modern players to keep those cards at least legal in a (still) popular eternal format so people can still play those cards somewhere. In Standard its almost certain brOko will eat a ban. The card is obviously too strong for Pioneer and Modern as well but because they want to keep selling packs and make sure brOko retains a certain price tag they will keep him legal in Modern. Same is true for Once Upon a Time, the most played card in Standard. I see dark times ahead.
I feel like that ship sailed long ago. They let Phoenix and Dredge wreck half this year, and then let Hogaak and Urza wreck the other half, including knowingly letting Hogaak ruin multiple big GPs. Modern just doesn't actually matter to them in terms of health. As long as people keep shelling out the cash for Modern Masters, Ultimate Masters, and not Modern Horizons, they see it as an absolute win; health be damned. But now that they have a new cash cow they can milk (Pioneer), then the need for Modern to be popular dwindles by the day.

If Pioneer does nothing else, it will shine the glaring light on the fact that many Modern players hate how much of a garbage fire of unregulated degeneracy it usually is. Maybe this means Modern fades into irrelevance as players leave in droves (and big paper event support drops), or maybe it means they will aggressively unban things like Twin and Pod because who even cares anymore? Either way, I think it is absolutely hilarious that a team was put together to SPECIFICALLY ADDRESS NOT MAKING STUPID BUSTED THINGS, and then that team continually made stupid busted things. Things that are considerably better and more powerful than several banned cards.

Dark times aren't ahead, we've already been in them. Pioneer, and the current state of design just tells us that light is not coming any time soon (if ever).

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

Lord Seth wrote:
1 year ago
drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
Oko would not be an issue in Standard if they printed cards that actually punished planeswalkers rather than going one for one at 3 mana after they have had an activation out of them. Spyglass effects would be fine if the things cantripped -like Tsabo's Web.
I don't think that's required. Spyglass and Needle saw play in Standard and did just fine against planeswalkers without a cantrip. Had Spyglass been legal, I doubt Aetherworks Marvel would have needed banning and it's possible Smuggler's Copter might have dodged banning as well. Spyglass is a great answer to planeswalkers.

The big problem is that it can't do a thing against planeswalkers' passive effects. Obviously a Nissa or Teferi is a lot worse if you can't activate it, but it means you're spending 2 mana and a card to weaken an opponent's planeswalker rather than effectively destorying it.
I am not an expert on Standard, and will bow to other's opinions on what is/would be enough to remove the Oko menace as it is printed. if the card read "name a card etc- that card loses all abilities that are not mana abilities" then planeswalker passives would be switched off.
However, for Modern, which of course, does have more answers to planeswalkers, maindecking multiple Spyglass/Needle effects etc. effects would require some cantripping or other bonus, as the card would be a bust too often outside of decks that can tutor it effectively. We don't know if the card Oko will be an issue in Modern, of course.
Legacy is different again- you can maindeck needle effects in very specific decks- T depths used to, and Karn decks have access to that effect early doors. Pioneer I am not sure on.

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Post by Wraithpk » 1 year ago

I've been watching a ton of Pioneer content over the last week, and I feel pretty confident that Oko needs to be banned. People were freaking out about Treasure Cruise, DTT, DRS, Marvel, and Copy Cat, but Oko has consistently looked like the most broken thing in the format to me.
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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
Simto wrote:
1 year ago
I've been having a ton of fun playing Modern FNM's here, but I'm pretty lucky that my local game store has a very friendly competitive level and people do a lot of homebrewing, so you're always playing against a lot of different stuff.
There's of course a couple of guys playing the top decks, but they're pretty few and far between. Guess I'm just the lucky one, or maybe people are just too negative, who knows.
I've said a number of times that Tier 2 decks bashing into each other is the best experience Modern has to offer. That is an extremely lucky place to be. My store has been overrun with 31 flavors of Urza decks, and it's pretty awful.

Edit: I know single events don't define things.... but holy Urza.

thisisfine.jpg
If anything that's more of a hit on toolbox/prison elements of Whir and the idiocy that is Oko's +1 that can deal with anything, rather than Mox/Outcome.

The Simic Urza build is a mix of a control deck (Cryptic, Explosives, Oko) and artifact synergies with a combo finish (sounds familiar?). This deck relies mostly on the egregious mistake that is Oko to combat the normal hate and it hast mostly the same weaknesses as Whirza, Stony/RiP and big mana.

Oko and Goose create artifacts which helps with reducing the effective number of artifacts you need to run for Opal, so you run controlling cards like Cryptic. It's ingenious as it is a completely new way of deck building. Still, %$#% Oko, should never have been printed as is.
drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
One mana white enchantment making all creatures lose abilities and an Enlightened tutor to get it and we don't have the issue of Emry or Urza.
But they would never print it because of their own warped philosophy of answers must not be hateful.
As much as better and generalized answers are needed, cards like the one you mention would invalidate 50%+ of magic. That's why you'll never see them not because of their philosophy.

Their philosophy has lead them to designing for 4 colors (White's a joke, SB cards don't count as an identity) or refuse to focus on the stack interaction of blue's color pie. Over correcting to such obnoxious and overpowered cards like Humility or Tabernacle is bad design.

Oko is such a bad design and if anything, this weekend's SCG is a testament to that, along with the mess that is Standard,
Humility and Tabernacle don't feel overpowered in Legacy or even close to it. Neither get much play, certainly not together for obvious reasons. Taby is RL anyway, but its use in Legacy shows it to be little more than a great essential card in Lands and a solid option in a few fringe stax lists (it doesn't even make Depths lists that can tutor for it). It is one of those cards that will never see the light of day again in any form as giving your opponent's creatures triggers is a bit of a no no.A white card making creatures lose all abilities is, however, obviously much weaker than Humility that also makes them 1/1s, This sort of card should be on the table to police degeneracy- how many cards have got banned due to critter interactions- Twin, Pod etc. Frankly if a one mana white enchantment removing abilities (whilst retaining their power/toughnesss) and a Tutor to get it to the top of the library (thus casting it turn 2 having spent two cards on it) invalidates 50% of magic then they haven't designed magic well in the first place. They have a philosophy of the game being about combat, walkers and creatures, and don't print enough hate for them. 50% of magic should not be about creature abilities to me- it should be about blues' stack, whites' prison enchantments and weenies etc, black's discard and life for cards etc., but ultimately all this stuff ends up reflected on creatures, and that is the issue.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Wraithpk wrote:
1 year ago
I've been watching a ton of Pioneer content over the last week, and I feel pretty confident that Oko needs to be banned. People were freaking out about Treasure Cruise, DTT, DRS, Marvel, and Copy Cat, but Oko has consistently looked like the most broken thing in the format to me.
When you can't casually and easily run 8-12 fetchlands, TC, DTT, and DRS are all pretty tame and reasonable.

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Post by Wraithpk » 1 year ago

Ehhh, DTT has seemed fine to me so far. The decks playing it right now can't really play it before like turn 5 or 6, and it takes them several turns to reload for another one. I think that's a fair usage of that card.

I could see TC needing to go if Phoenix becomes dominant, but that deck cares way more about a sheer volume of cards and the 1 cmc, so DTT would be a lot worse in the deck.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

Agreed on Oko. I just finished telling friends in our group chat that Oko should be banned in every format - Standard and Pioneer 100%. Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise are cards just waiting to get banned because of their power level, but I'll have to reserve some judgment for when I actually play against them and with them in Pioneer.

Deathrite Shaman seems fine. I just sold 64 to a vendor in Phoenix. I doubt it will even be that good in Pioneer. It is not an early mana dork with an upside without non-Fabled Passage fetchlands.
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Post by metalmusic_4 » 1 year ago

Is anyone afraid of a bridge from below unban now that faithless looting is banned? Hogaak was the problem and deserved a ban, but bridge no longer has its combo with hogaak and the faithless looting ban weakens it further. I think it should be unbanned and the format won't even notice.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

metalmusic_4 wrote:
1 year ago
Is anyone afraid of a bridge from below unban now that faithless looting is banned? Hogaak was the problem and deserved a ban, but bridge no longer has its combo with hogaak and the faithless looting ban weakens it further. I think it should be unbanned and the format won't even notice.
I think most people wouldn't care, but feel like we're better off without it. I personally don't understand this reasoning, but it's just a card that most players are not a fan of, even if it is far less busted than 100 other Modern cards.

IMO, it's similar to a Daybreak Coronet or Time Warp ban - nobody would miss the cards, even if they should NOT be banned. And there are way more fans of those cards than Bridge from Below. ;)
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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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ktkenshinx
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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

Lots of interesting theories about why Magic/Modern/Wizards have generated such polarizing (read: negative) discussion and press this year. I think most of the criticisms I'm seeing in this thread go back to a criticism I wrote back in 2016 about Wizards' inconsistent and opaque characterizations of Modern. If Wizards can't even agree on what the format represents and what kind of strategies it will promote, or at least if they can't articulate it publicly, players can't have reasonable expectations for the format's trajectory. It's the kind of unclear and imprecise atmosphere that gives rise to players regurgitating equally unclear/imprecise terms like "toxic" and "degenerate" to describe a dozen different things they don't like. Throughout 2019, Wizards hasn't set an example regarding definitions, terminology, or explaining their vision. Players are meeting them exactly where Wizards is setting the bar.

Here's another great example of this: their insane response to the Oko ban calls.
Reddit post -
Twitter -

First Hogaak, now Oko, At least with Hogaak, I could understand that the MC was already in the books and Wizards "only" had to sacrifice 3 major GP to adhere to an artificial schedule. But now they are actively sacrificing the upcoming MC to Oko for the same reasons. Or, rather, for unknown reasons. Because the problem with this announcement is not that they aren't banning Oko until after the MC. That might be defensible. Probably not, but maybe it is.

The problem is that they aren't saying anything more on this topic and aren't explaining their rationale in any way. Any kind of justification would be better than silence. In a year where Wizards has pushed Magic product to new heights, their communication across multiple departments appears to have reached new lows. This is probably because only enfranchised players care about this communication, and it's not like most of us are leaving the game because Wizards can't get its PR together. Most casual players, which likely represent most players in the game, couldn't care less if Forsythe or R&D members publish an explanation on the official mothership about their stance against emergency bans.

Obviously, we all know this approach will create long-term issues for Wizards. But right now, the costs probably feel very remote to a company that is doing just fine. Especially with Arena's success and other recent sales figures. That means the cycle will continue and we'll keep seeing Wizards not caring about consistent communication with their spike core. We'll get more Arena mishaps and backtracks, more bans, more broken cards, more Play Design failures, more new formats/tournament schedules, more throttled data, and more abrupt changes. Those are bad enough but it will be worse without any regular communication to help us understand what is happening. And that means players will continue to use memes and one-liners and pithy Twitch jabs to describe game elements. If Wizards isn't giving us anything to work with, we can't have informed discussions about the game and we can't make informed decisions about where Magic/Wizards is going.
Over-Extended/Modern Since 2010

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Wraithpk
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Post by Wraithpk » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
Agreed on Oko. I just finished telling friends in our group chat that Oko should be banned in every format - Standard and Pioneer 100%. Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise are cards just waiting to get banned because of their power level, but I'll have to reserve some judgment for when I actually play against them and with them in Pioneer.

Deathrite Shaman seems fine. I just sold 64 to a vendor in Phoenix. I doubt it will even be that good in Pioneer. It is not an early mana dork with an upside without non-Fabled Passage fetchlands.
I think we all have to remember that power level is contextual. TC was busted in Modern. DTT probably was too, but we never really found out because it got banned mostly for what TC did. Both of those cards were fine in Standard, though. The main difference between those formats was how fast you could fuel your graveyard. And that Standard environment had fetchlands in it. To me, even though this card pool is bigger than THS/KTK Standard, it feels like you're filling your graveyard at about the same speed, if not slower. Fetchlands are a big deal. The Atarka Red deck used to run Become Immense because you could fill your yard so quick with fetchlands. Early talk I've seen from people trying to replicate that is that Become Immense just isn't doable without fetches. They can't fill their graveyard fast enough to make the BI + TBR combo work fast enough.

The two decks I've seen that are successfully filling their yards quick enough to make these cards powerful are UR Phoenix and Jeskai Ascendancy Combo. We'll just have to see if those two are too good and end up getting TC banned, just like UR Delver and JAC did in Modern. I really hope they don't ax DTT along with TC again if the DTT decks aren't looking problematic, though. Both UR Phoenix and JAC really care about mana efficiency and sheer volume of cards, so TC is much much better than DTT in those decks. It's possible that both decks could be sufficiently worse if they had to run DTT instead, if TC turns out to make them too good.

Also, agreed on DRS. It's impossible to use it to accelerate into 3 drops on turn 2 unless your opponent mills a land or something, and that's huge for the card's power level in the format. It's still a good graveyard hate piece, but it's contending with Scavenging Ooze for that niche, and Scooze also happens to be possibly the best green 2-drop in the format, so you're probably playing Scooze anyway. It's still a flexible card that might find its place in the format, but I think it's unquestionably weaker here than in the older formats.
metalmusic_4 wrote:
1 year ago
Is anyone afraid of a bridge from below unban now that faithless looting is banned? Hogaak was the problem and deserved a ban, but bridge no longer has its combo with hogaak and the faithless looting ban weakens it further. I think it should be unbanned and the format won't even notice.
Nah. I don't think Bridge would do all that much, but there's just no upside to unbanning it. If it's actually playable, it's probably doing something negative for the format, and if it's not playable then it doesn't really matter if it's banned or not. I kinda doubt it ever gets unbanned.
Modern
ubr Grixis Shadow ubr
uwg Bant Stoneblade uwg
gbr Jund gbr

Pioneer
urIzzet Phoenixur
rMono-Red Aggror
uwAzorius Controluw

Commander
bg Meren of Clan Nel Toth bg

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FoodChainGoblins
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

I was not of the opinion at the time and it took me a while to see it, but I think that a ban on Dig Through Time was inevitable anyway. (and I'm not speaking solely based on its ban in Legacy) This is one of those bans that it took me a while to see, but I think it was a correct ban. In fact, I now agree with many of Wizards' bans. I don't agree with the timing of a lot of them. With Dig Through Time, it would have been nice to see if it needed a ban itself or not. I know people here have showed me statistics of Dig Through Time in decks like RUG Scapeshift and UR Twin lists, which is something I did not see at the time (I literally saw just Pod, UR Delver, Burn, Amulet, Affinity, and budget choices that got slaughtered).
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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Wraithpk
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Post by Wraithpk » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
I was not of the opinion at the time and it took me a while to see it, but I think that a ban on Dig Through Time was inevitable anyway. (and I'm not speaking solely based on its ban in Legacy) This is one of those bans that it took me a while to see, but I think it was a correct ban. In fact, I now agree with many of Wizards' bans. I don't agree with the timing of a lot of them. With Dig Through Time, it would have been nice to see if it needed a ban itself or not. I know people here have showed me statistics of Dig Through Time in decks like RUG Scapeshift and UR Twin lists, which is something I did not see at the time (I literally saw just Pod, UR Delver, Burn, Amulet, Affinity, and budget choices that got slaughtered).
Maybe, but we'll never really know for sure, and that's why I hate the timing of that ban.
Modern
ubr Grixis Shadow ubr
uwg Bant Stoneblade uwg
gbr Jund gbr

Pioneer
urIzzet Phoenixur
rMono-Red Aggror
uwAzorius Controluw

Commander
bg Meren of Clan Nel Toth bg

metalmusic_4
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Post by metalmusic_4 » 1 year ago

Wraithpk wrote:
1 year ago
metalmusic_4 wrote:
1 year ago
Is anyone afraid of a bridge from below unban now that faithless looting is banned? Hogaak was the problem and deserved a ban, but bridge no longer has its combo with hogaak and the faithless looting ban weakens it further. I think it should be unbanned and the format won't even notice.
Nah. I don't think Bridge would do all that much, but there's just no upside to unbanning it. If it's actually playable, it's probably doing something negative for the format, and if it's not playable then it doesn't really matter if it's banned or not. I kinda doubt it ever gets unbanned.
This is the kind of general response i keep seeing about a bridge from below unban. I'm not attacking anyone, but I disagree with this logic. It was this kind of thinking that kept SFM and other cards banned for years unnessesarily. If it's not busted let people play with it. I see no sense in banning a card that is not over powered. I really see this the same way I saw the BBE ban, banned for the sins of a different card. BBE was unbanned and fine, so would be bridge.

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Post by Bearscape » 1 year ago

BBE and SFM are inherently fair cards though. Bridge from Below on the other hand is inherently unfair; by design it is made to circumvent magic's resource system. Hell, if you play it for its mana cost it literally does nothing. There's a good chance Bridge from Below would be a fine unban but I am sure as hell happy if it would stay banned.

Preference in magic gameplay vastly varies between players but I feel comfortable saying the vast majority of players dislike it when they walk away from a magic game feeling like they didn't get to play magic; either by dying before they got to interact or their deck not being able to interact with the opponent's strategy. Bridge from Below almost exclusively creates one-sided games like this, and although there are graveyard aficionados who love nothing more than to see whether they drew more Nature's Claims than their opponent drew Rest in Peaces, for the majority of players, Bridge from Below staying banned is a good thing.

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