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

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Post by True-Name Nemesis » 1 year ago

pretty crazy announcement!

Did not expect W6 to go in Legacy, always seemed like WoTC gave cards a longer leash in Legacy.

Disappointed but not surprised with nothing for Modern.

Even more surprised and slightly disappointed that OUAT is still legal in Pioneer.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
There's just no longer a centralized place to discuss anything, and that makes it much harder for WotC to message, and for players to discuss things. Even deck innovation is way down, largely due to the fragmented communities which empathize tuning existing decks rather than discuss anything new.
Twitter is really the best way to get a more holistic view I find.

Anyway this accompanying article for the ban announcement is worrying.

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2019-11-18

They dont seem to grasp where their failures actually are. Its beyond 'we pushed oko' and its more telling if you read between the lines that Planeswalkers are busted.

In the end though its more than that.

1. The game has existed for 20+ years based on a fairly stable version of the color pie.
2. The game needs variance, to keep it fresh and replayable. (F.I.R.E)
3. People want to play what 'their' colors support.

The answer seems simple to me.

Reinforce the archetypes that we all know instinctively exist, reinforce the color pie, and remove the London Mulligan, while either providing more answers to Walkers, or powering them down considerably.
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Post by WizardMN » 1 year ago

True-Name Nemesis wrote:
1 year ago
Even more surprised and slightly disappointed that OUAT is still legal in Pioneer
This isn't to say anything will actually happen, but the Pioneer announcement is this afternoon. So, wait until then to be surprised/disappointed :)

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
Twitter is really the best way to get a more holistic view I find.
And what's that saying when Twitter of all places is where you're trying to carry out nuanced discussion on a format or discuss more theoretical topics?

On the subject of easy communication, I want to relate this to data. It's no secret that WotC has done everything they can to keep as much data from players as possible. They do this in order to make formats get solved slower, and to prevent people from determining a best deck. They are focused mainly on the perception of game balance rather than actual game balance (this is common in game development, true balance is near impossible to achieve). When the community gets fragmented though, obtaining even data from other players gets much, much harder. This actually leads to less balance, because it eliminates the ability for players to brainstorm to find format solutions to anything that is perceived to be a problem.

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Post by iTaLenTZ » 1 year ago

W6 should have been banned months ago in Legacy. I play the format quite a lot and know how busted the card is. Pioneer is later this night.

"Since their adoption of Wrenn and Six, Temur Delver variants have become dominant in Legacy. In Magic Online league play over recent weeks, Temur Delver has maintained a 56.5% win rate and earned over three times as many 5-0 finishes as the next deck. Most importantly, it has a favorable matchup against each of the other ten most-played decks.

While a strong card in general, Wrenn and Six is especially powerful in Legacy because of its interaction with Wasteland and the historic prevalence of metagame-defining 1-toughness creatures like Mother of Runes; Thalia, Guardian of Thraben; and Young Pyromancer. Prior to the addition of Wrenn and Six to Temur Delver decks, the Legacy metagame was generally looking healthy. In order to weaken Temur Delver decks and bring the metagame into a better balance again, Wrenn and Six is banned in Legacy."

The keywords here are "Since their adoption". The interaction with Wasteland was not discovered last weekend and the fact W6 shuts down entire creature based decks like D&T is also nothing new. All this time they let Wrenn stay legal despite knowing very well he was warping the format around him just to sell MH packs. They need to apologies and explain why, if these were the numbers, did it take %$#% 6 months to ban W6.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Same reason no ban hit Modern. They let problems fester in Modern/Legacy/Vintage, far longer.

I think the whole 'brainstorm solutions' is a thing of the past.

Players have become so much better at iteration, at just grinding out reps, that the solutions if not found quickly, just don't exist.

I remain convinced that any format without the 5 or so macro archetypes remains unhealthy, and only a card away in many cases from imploding.
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Post by pierreb » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
They dont seem to grasp where their failures actually are. Its beyond 'we pushed oko' and its more telling if you read between the lines that Planeswalkers are busted.
If you read on the line instead, you will find that they explicitly state that pushed, high-loyalty, 3-mana planeswalkers are busted.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

And they kept on printing them. There is no indication that they intend to stop.

"Three-mana planeswalkers are riskier space than we were giving them credit for, even when we were giving them a lot of credit. We've seen some that occupy fun and healthy roles (Domri, Anarch of Bolas and Gideon Blackblade spring to mind), but we've also seen several invalidating large swaths of cards. For example, Teferi, Time Raveler invalidates most instants and Oko, Thief of Crowns invalidates most permanents more expensive than himself. We'll likely continue making three-mana planeswalkers, but sparingly, carefully, and with the question "if this planeswalker is strong, what could it push out of the environment?" at the forefront of the conversation."

Walkers are a problematic card type, and remain bad for the game (not story, not marking, but GAME) of Magic.
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
Same reason no ban hit Modern. They let problems fester in Modern/Legacy/Vintage, far longer.

I think the whole 'brainstorm solutions' is a thing of the past.

Players have become so much better at iteration, at just grinding out reps, that the solutions if not found quickly, just don't exist.

I remain convinced that any format without the 5 or so macro archetypes remains unhealthy, and only a card away in many cases from imploding.
I don't believe this for an instant. I think it's the opposite, while pro play and comments are getting more accessible, the average players ability to follow trends and discussions in each deck has gotten more fragmented. There's a lot less innovation out there among random players and a lot more from people who follow the 5-0 decks or pro's. But, deck building and deck playing are very different skill sets, and 5-0's reward the second, where people simply outplay their opponents with the tools they have. Not the first category where people figure out better tools. Unless someone is one of those rare combinations like Sam Black who can do both, you're seeing a lot less actual innovation out there.

To give some examples to back this up. UB Death's Shadow becoming a thing in Legacy. The now multiple instances of banning cards improving the decks that ate the bans in Modern (Death's Shadow and Hogaak most come to mind). If anything, I think there's ample evidence that the hive mind is getting worse at finding solutions via deck construction, even if they are getting better at finding strong lines of play.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

There are very rare exceptions, but those are not 'answers' so much as new brew's to fill a void. When a 'best deck' ends up coming around, the answers simply dont exist, they would be found.
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
There are very rare exceptions, but those are not 'answers' so much as new brew's to fill a void. When a 'best deck' ends up coming around, the answers simply dont exist, they would be found.
Not really. We have never seen answers found quickly to best decks. We have occasionally seen answers found, sometimes via new cards and sometimes with enough refining of a deck. But, Modern even post MH is still a format where answers are relatively weak compared to threats. As such, the strongest answers tend to come from varying your threat package, which in turn usually results in using some sort of new brew to answer the opposing threats.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Thats what I am saying, I think we are in agreement.

"I think the whole 'brainstorm solutions' is a thing of the past.

Players have become so much better at iteration, at just grinding out reps, that the solutions if not found quickly, just don't exist."

The problem is, new brews are not the answer, they (outside of very rare cases) are the result of simply new cards creating a new deck. This concept of community found answers to a current meta problem, simply does not hold under inspection.
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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

no bans for modern. I guess they would let Urza to stick around for awhile.
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Post by Yawgmoth » 1 year ago

Counterspell lacks a close replacement in modern and as a result Control is significantly weaker than other archetypes. I understand that this may have been a conscious decision by game designers to keep threats and responses on par with each other. This made sense when modern first started. People also used to play Faeries competitively and Bitterblossom was banned when modern started. Things have changed. The inevitable power creep over the past 8 years has significantly outpaced the responses available in the format.

Counterspell is to Control what Lightning Bolt is to Burn. If you banned Lightning Bolt then Burn would be much weaker. You could use Shock or conditional burn spells like Skewer the Critics but it just is not as strong as it would otherwise be.

I really think the potential gains would far outweigh the risks associated with making Counterspell modern legal. The UU casting cost keeps Counterspell from showing up in any deck that splashes blue which is important to keep it from being OP. It wold allow UX Control as an archetype to really stand on its own which seems like a no brainer to me. It would punish decks like Tron which are in need of policing but would still struggle against more value oriented/grindy midrange decks which don't run out of steam (thus keeping control from becoming oppressive).

As mentioned above, you can't win with a deck filled with 36 counterspells and cantrips. Additionally, effects like Cavern of Souls and Chalice of the Void allows creature decks to protect themselves. It just requires them to play more cautiously.

Let's hope Modern Horizons II has counterspell!

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

People thinking Counterspell will have any meaningful impact on Modern sound a lot like people who thought Stoneforge Mystic would have any meaningful impact on Modern. Those cards are/were good in formats that simply don't exist today; and surely don't exist in the brutally fast and efficient Modern format.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Counterspell, before ban's to thing's like Daze in Pauper, saw near zero play in any format in which it was legal.

Are we going to imply that it would actually be good in Modern? Mana Leak is Counterspell early, and by the late game, Counterspell is a 1 for 1 at best, in a format that laughs at things like card advantage and '1 for 1' removal.

I saw a thing today that had ETron as one of the top decks in the format. Thats not a format thats in any way in a good place, but Modern is not a priority, and has had no large meaningful (to Wizards) events, so no bans.
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Post by Yawgmoth » 1 year ago

I could be very wrong but I think Counterspell would have a meaningful impact on Modern. Not a complete game changer but meaningful (also a realistic request). I'm trying to think of ways to balance the format without going ban crazy.

Alternatively, what about another "Force" card? Same as Force of Negation except it only targets permanent types of spells (creature/pw/artifact/enchantment). Making new cards seems less good than adding in old cards.

Control just seems laughably bad and that's seems like a bad feature of any format. Control should be a perennial archetype.

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Post by Arkmer » 1 year ago

Control loses out on cards oddly enough, not counters. The speed of Counterspell would be nice, but like I said earlier it's great against Tron for that reason. Aggro decks couldn't care less if you counter their stuff or remove it; infact, they might prefer you counter it so it changes their math sooner than later. Between grave interactions and things like Light Up the Stage, control is often in a tough spot drawing costly card draw and deck filter to get the right answers to the problem it faces. I think this is a big reason we went through the discussion about formats devolving into linear vs prison. Control just cannot keep up unless it makes an entire category irrelevant.

That doesn't mean I think control is worthless... Esper is still a decent deck. The amount of modal spells in it makes getting the correct cards much easier because everything doubles as something. Kaya's Guile is a huge boon as it hinders grave decks and aggro decks. I honestly don't think I would play Counterspell in my last Esper list; it just doesn't serve as many purposes as I need it to, in fact my sideboard options were looking to prison the Urza deck specifically.

Counterspell is good against Tron. Of that I am certain, but you can replace it with Ceremonious Rejection, Negate, and FoN. All those will get you past the T3 Karn and after that it's all the same. You may suffer game 1, but beyond that it's not a big boon.

Control's issue is that it, as a whole, moves too slow. Opponents are often doing 2-4 things a turn while Control does 1-2 at most in order to hold up mana for counters. Counterspell improves the ability to hold up mana, but doesn't improve the ability to do more.

Regardless, I'd like to see it in Modern as well.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

True-Name Nemesis wrote:
1 year ago
pretty crazy announcement!

Did not expect W6 to go in Legacy, always seemed like WoTC gave cards a longer leash in Legacy.

Disappointed but not surprised with nothing for Modern.

Even more surprised and slightly disappointed that OUAT is still legal in Pioneer.
Yes, I actually think that this announcement was very good. (probably one of the few non-Eye, non-Hogaak, ban announcements I've agreed with) The only thing missing is Modern, but others have told me that with no important events coming up, it is not necessary. During Modern season, something will have to go.

But the thing that really gets me, and I know I keep harping on it (for that I'm sorry), is that WotC did all of these great bans today, yet it took years, YEARS for Stoneforge Mystic to get unbanned. It doesn't make sense at all to me. With the length of time it took for Stoneforge Mystic, I would have thought all these bans would have taken 6 years minimum with the Standard cards rotating 5 years before they ended up getting banned.

On another note, Counterspell is fine in Modern. You can't really compare it to other powerful cards in Modern. It just doesn't line up as one of the top cards. Now UW Control is already kind of annoying with baby Teferi and Narset, but I still don't see Counterspell doing much, other than the occasional UW Control player lucking out a tournament (a former local LGS player won a Classic on UW Miracles a few weeks ago in Atlanta...or was it Richmond?). Preordain is fine. Everyone is so paranoid of these such cards and go right along with WotC's decision to not ban stuff like Urza, High Lord Artificer. That does not make sense in my opinion. That's favoritism. Lotus Box's Simic Whirza, appropriately nicknamed Okurza is just an insane deck. I am starting to even believe that Amulet is not okay as well, but is stopped by the high ceiling of how to play the deck. I've played versions of the deck for years and now had trouble playing the newer version. I guess the tool box and the differing SB cards made it tough?
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
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Modern - Amulet Titan, Elementals, Yawmoth Chord, Uroza
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 Aazadan » 1 year ago

Arkmer wrote:
1 year ago
Control loses out on cards oddly enough, not counters. The speed of Counterspell would be nice, but like I said earlier it's great against Tron for that reason. Aggro decks couldn't care less if you counter their stuff or remove it; infact, they might prefer you counter it so it changes their math sooner than later. Between grave interactions and things like Light Up the Stage, control is often in a tough spot drawing costly card draw and deck filter to get the right answers to the problem it faces. I think this is a big reason we went through the discussion about formats devolving into linear vs prison. Control just cannot keep up unless it makes an entire category irrelevant.
Here's the problem as I see it. For many, many years now WotC has been reducing the amount of raw card advantage available and instead increasing card selection. Something like Anticipate is more likely to appear in a set than something like Narset, Parter of Veils. That's not to say we haven't seen any card advantage, there has been some, and some has been playable but not at nearly the rate of threats.

By the same token, removal has mostly stayed within the realm of 1 for 1 removal, even using something like Fatal Push on a 3 drop often represents a loss for the person casting Fatal Push as the 3 drop although being worse on tempo likely also provided some additional benefit, such as what Seasoned Pyromancer does.

Thus, the old model of making a bunch of 1 for 1 trades, trading off answers for threats, and then trying to make it up with card advantage, no longer exists. Instead, you trade the removal for the threat, and then try to make up the threats additional bonuses through using the excess mana on card advantage.

When someone plays a 3 mana 2 for 1, it's no longer enough to just stop it. You need an answer that is a 2 mana 2 for 1 to justify ever going deep on answers. If you can't do that, then you instead need to be playing a 3 mana 2 for 1 of your own.

Considering this, I'm in the camp that if brought into the format I think that Counterspell would see play, but it would not be a 4 of in even dedicated control decks.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

It would replace Logic Knot/Negate/Veto.

Thats it.
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Post by metalmusic_4 » 1 year ago

I'm watching oko's price almost hourly because I'm going to pick some up for use in other formats. His price is actually ticking up since his banning, he is now up almost $3. Do you guys think we will have enough demand in other formats to keep his price this high like field of the dead has proven it has?

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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

Was tempted to buy Oko for use in modern, and possibly pioneer. However, the card's power level is at the the "can be banned" level. So I'm not buying any until february... will wait first for the dust to settle down. I have the terrible feeling that WoTC did not ban him in modern, not yet at least... because they want people to spend money buying more booster packs this holiday season. Take what i said with a grain of salt.
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Post by Arkmer » 1 year ago

I don't think Oko will be banned in Pioneer during the "every Monday ban fest", might be awhile but I do think he will eventually get the axe. He's likely fine in Modern if this is how they want to do things.

Crazy to think that his banning is bringing his price up instead of down though. His price must really have been in full on "predicted ban" mode, now that it's happened people might be trying to pick him up for use in other formats? Since there was already zero demand in Standard the ban signal opened the gates for demand in other formats.

That's all I can really guess at.
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Post by pierreb » 1 year ago

Well, oko is good in modern, is good in the urza deck which is near the top in modern and Wizards, by taking no action and not saying a single word on modern (and promoting the competing pioneer format) sends a signal that it's fine to buy to play in modern.

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