This thread moved fast yesterday. In fact, all of MTG social media seems like it's moving fast these days. It's hard for old data dinosaurs to keep up. A few high level things to touch on topics I saw over the last 3 pages in the thread.
Re: Urza and GP Columbus T16/T64
There's tons of Sultai Whirza across these brackets (T64 here: https://www.channelfireball.com/all-str ... eck-lists/
). There's 2 in the T8 with one missing on breakers as GK noted, 5 in the T16, 6 in the T32, and 10 in the T64. That's the kind of increasing conversion rate we see in undispusted best decks that probably have bannable pieces. For reference, Urza was 13.7% of Day 1, 14.3% of day 2, 15.6% of T62, 18.8% of T32, 31.2% of T16, and 25% of T8 (but almost 37% of T8 with Wu missing on breakers). This elevates GP Columbus from a yellow flag event to an orange flag event in my books, and now we have two orange flags if we count the ugly SCG Atlanta.
Re: speed of bannings
MTG Goldfish published the article yesterday about the pace of bannings, which a few users were in dialogue with here. I do agree that Standard does need these sorts of frequent bannings to stay afloat in the face of Wizards' horrendous design/dev/testing failures. The fundamental problem is at the design/dev/testing level, but when it comes to Standard, we should be criticizing those decisions alongside asking for bans. Did Standard need 4 bans in the last 3 months? Yes. Does Wizards need to understand those bans are because they have failed at the most foundational part of making Magic cards? Also yes, and between the two, the latter is more important. That said, I strongly disagree with the statements or suggestions that the rate of bans in other formats should also increase. If Standard gets solved with just a handful of sets, it's almost certainly going to stay solved and no amount of internal technology or metagame adaptation will save it. There just aren't enough tools to use. But if a larger format appears solved, it is critical Wizards allows that format time to breathe and evolve. Historically, this has meant 3-4 month banning periods with enough large event data to prove the case. There is no reason this should change, even if an increasingly frantic public wants the rate of change to match the rate of Magic's social media output.
Re: Modern vs. Pioneer
There was an interesting Reddit thread on this topic, which dovetailed with some of the discussion here, so I think it's important to revisit this critical new format. Again, I have been an ardent Modern supporter for years and have fought back against basically all forms of doomsaying in all places. At the same time, I take my conclusions where the evidence points me. In that regard, the evidence points overwhelmingly to a gradual but noticeable Modern decline in favor of Pioneer. As a few users including myself have pointed out in this thread, Arena is the way of MTG's future. Anything Wizards bets on in Arena is something they are going to bet on across all formats. We've heard them talk about Commander, Pauper, and Standard in an Arena context. We've heard them talk about Historic as a bridging format. We've heard them talk about Limited. And we've heard them talk about Pioneer as the Arena end-goal. Modern, Legacy, and Vintage are conspicuously absent from this discussion, and that should be deeply alarming to anyone who has long-term goals in those formats. All three of these formats are going to see an even bigger drop in the not so distant future. Modern will be the hardest hit because, as we have discussed before, its biggest selling points have nothing to do with its card pool. In fact, the card pool is very controvserial for many players. Its selling points are 1) lack of rotation and 2) diversity of viable decks. As long as Pioneer meets that demand, it will absolutely win out in a big way by the end of 2020. I expect the 2021 Modern event calendar to look very sparse relative to surging Pioneer demand. No amount of bans will fix this. The only thing that would change this tide is Modern coming to Arena, which simply won't happen.
(If I forgot to address a point or post directed at me, please @ me again)