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

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cfusionpm
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
This really underscores some of the problems in top-tier Modern. The traditional non-linear decks make up only about 15% of that Tier 1 and Tier 2 metagame. Urza makes up about 25% and linear decks make up an alarming 60%. That's a horrible breakdown.
This is also using the distinction that GDS is a non-linear deck. While it may be able to play a non-linear game in games 2 and 3, it is very much successful because of its ability to strip removal with discard, clear blockers with removal, land a fatty, protect the fatty, and combo kill with TBR. It tries to do this pretty much every game every time, and there aren't really any backup plans, especially game 1. While a few cards come in here and there for the "grindy matchups," and can make for a wonderfully interactive back and forth, it is certainly the exception and not the rule, in my experience. It can swing either way, to be honest, but based on the way most of my games play out, I would definitely lean towards linear more often than not. London Mulligan pushes that direction even more.

Interpretations aside, this already looks awful with GDS in. If you remove GDS, you are taking away nearly half of that "non-linear" chunk.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

And again, I cannot stress this enough.

How can you even begin to fix this?

1. 8 or so Bans.
2. 1 or 2 Unbans.
3. ???

What possible answers to this can even be printed? If a mana base didnt cost $4000 I would play Legacy, but the only thing that makes that format work are unreal level's of cantrips, wasteland, and multiple free counterspells.

Anyone ready for that level of selection and answers to come to Modern via Standard? I highly doubt it.
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

True-Name Nemesis wrote:
1 year ago
That is exactly how good answers should be. Low-cost, relevant against a lot of things but not everything. Bolt, Decay, path and Push answer a very wide range of threats while trading even or up. Expecting your cheap, efficient answers to be relevant against everything the field can throw at you is ridiculous. Why even play any threats deck when there's a cheap, catch-all answer with no drawback that's relevant at every point in the game?

Threats (in general) are not the issue here. Only the most busted ones are. Printing busted answers to deal with busted threats and strategies only raises the bar for cards to be playable and relevant.

Like you keep saying, the huge influx of busted cards is a design issue. designing busted answers to deal with those busted cards won't fix anything, it just keeps the power creep going when the new cards they print afterwards need to able to meet this power level to be playable.

Bans are needed to bring the tier 1 down closer to the rest.
No, he is 100% right here. I've been thinking the same thing too for a while. Let's take a a few examples:
Bolt vs Seasoned Pyromancer - You probably got 3 for 1'ed on this exchange.
Bolt vs Oko - You don't even kill it.
Bolt vs t3feri - You got 2 for 1'ed.
Bolt for TKS - 2 for 1, if you kill it.
Bolt vs Gilded Goose - 2 for 1.

Replace bolt with your other removal spells and it's mostly the same (Fatal Push is the notable example with a better exchange vs TKS). Even if you go up the curve and look at 2 or 3 mana removal spells, one would expect that 3 mana removal would start trading at rates similar to 3 and 4 mana threats but for the most part it doesn't. Maelstrom Pulse is the only one that can potentially generate 2 for 1's of it's own. The bar to clear to be a playable 3 mana removal spell is higher than the bar to be a playable 3 mana counterspell since the counter will stop ETB's, and how many counters at that level do we have?

This is such a fundamental issue that it's the core of the design problems of recent years and especially the last year. Removal trades 1 for 1, while threats generate more than 1 cards worth of value on resolution. This in turn forces players to focus on resolving their own threats and ignoring the opponents threats in most cases simply to keep parity in value generated per card.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
I think that it's reasonable to argue that Tron has this effect on big mana decks in the format. Almost all of them have adopted Tron, and rather than 5 distinct decks we have 4 Tron variants and 1 other deck. This doesn't mean that I think the deck needs a ban right now, but only that meta game consolidation has been used as a ban criteria before, outside of meta game percentage.
I agree GSZ and Nacatl were banned for this reason, but a) Nacatl ultimately got unbanned because the reason wasn't accurate, and b) Tron doesn't push out other comparable strategies. You can play green without playing Tron lands. You can play Amulet Titan or Titanshift if you want to play green ramp but don't want to play Tron. I just don't think we can get too specific with this comparison. It's one thing to allege all green decks (a huge category) will play GSZ. That's probably not true anymore, but it's at least a homogenizing worry if it is true. It's another thing to chop that down to all big mana decks (a small category) will play Tron lands, especially when Amulet Titan is right there alongside it.

Again, I understand the dissatisfaction with Tron. It's simply not bannable by any known metric or any objective metric that couldn't just as readily be applied to other decks. If I wanted to craft an argument to ban Tron, I would not frame it as a "I hate Tron and it is the root of many Modern evils" argument. I would go more in the direction I saw on the last page of sweeping NERF bans, not NUKE bans, to a variety of problematic Modern cards. This would mostly preserve card value and deck viability while also removing some barriers for other decks to compete. Examples of such bans could include Mycosynth Lattice, Veil of Summer, Nature's Claim, etc. These are the kind of hyper-targeted bans which can shift formats without having the kind of sweeping, unpredictable, and sometimes negative effects that other bans have had.

As a long-term solution, we need more modal answers that effectively address varied threats ,ideally at parity. It's unacceptable that more than half of Modern's top tier consists of proactive strategies attacking from a half dozen angles (graveyard, artifacts, ramped haymakers, efficient T3 threats, swarm creatures, etc.) but reactive decks are stuck on praying their Bolt/Push/Path lines up with whatever threat the opponent deploys.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
As a long-term solution, we need more modal answers that effectively address varied threats ,ideally at parity. It's unacceptable that more than half of Modern's top tier consists of proactive strategies attacking from a half dozen angles (graveyard, artifacts, ramped haymakers, efficient T3 threats, swarm creatures, etc.) but reactive decks are stuck on praying their Bolt/Push/Path lines up with whatever threat the opponent deploys.
This just perpetuates the arm's race does it not? I dont think this path leads to anything but more of the hyper aggressive game play that has been the halmark of the format (right or wrong) for years.

Lets pretend we get something like

B - Instant - Destroy target creature, draw a card, lose 1 life.

Is that something we should actually hope to have?
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
I agree GSZ and Nacatl were banned for this reason, but a) Nacatl ultimately got unbanned because the reason wasn't accurate, and b) Tron doesn't push out other comparable strategies. You can play green without playing Tron lands. You can play Amulet Titan or Titanshift if you want to play green ramp but don't want to play Tron.
I think this is a situation where Wizards would prefer to add new cards rather than ban. It's true that Tron doesn't make up 100% of big mana strategies but it does make up a lot of them. We have 2 Primeval Titan based strategies, but we have twice that for Tron strategies, as well as some fringe Tron variants. Wizards best way of increasing diversity here would be to add new threats to reward mana strategies that don't want Primeval Titan, and aren't realistic for Tron to cast. That said, there's a practical limit to how much of this they can do without over engineering cards. I don't think it's a coincidence that the artifacts in Eldarine are colored, the Eldrazi are out of the next Zendikar block, and the next artifact block is far away. That gives them a lot of time to try and print new non Tron cards.

All I was saying was that meta game diversity bans haven't been unprecedented. I don't think Tron currently warrants one.
As a long-term solution, we need more modal answers that effectively address varied threats ,ideally at parity. It's unacceptable that more than half of Modern's top tier consists of proactive strategies attacking from a half dozen angles (graveyard, artifacts, ramped haymakers, efficient T3 threats, swarm creatures, etc.) but reactive decks are stuck on praying their Bolt/Push/Path lines up with whatever threat the opponent deploys.
I've suspected for a while now that WIzards wants to get away from cheap removal in non rotating formats. There's been enough public communication from them on the issue of interaction that it seems clear that they understand the issue (and given the background of Play Design, that's another indication that they should understand it). That said, I think they want to get away from cheap removal and they have something of a logical inconsistency in how they evaluate removal vs threats. They have no problem with threats like Seasoned Pyromancer and Lingering Souls which generate quite a bit of card advantage in order to deal with. But, if you were to suggest a spell along the lines of WUU exile target spell with CMC 6 or less, draw a card, they would feel that getting a 3 mana 2 for 1 that can even circumvent graveyard shenanigans as being too good.

This seems to be the core of their current design hang ups. It just feels better to them when they make cards if you have something like the food wolf in standard right now. But a 4 mana answer that trades at similar value is harder to justify even though they imply that they think a 5 mana threat should require a 4 mana answer to cleanly exchange (which is likely an error in their philosophy on it's own, as it means ramp decks can never be answered). And we've seen them start printing many answers like that (which have been popular in Standard like Vraska's Contempt), but nothing that has made the transition.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
As a long-term solution, we need more modal answers that effectively address varied threats ,ideally at parity. It's unacceptable that more than half of Modern's top tier consists of proactive strategies attacking from a half dozen angles (graveyard, artifacts, ramped haymakers, efficient T3 threats, swarm creatures, etc.) but reactive decks are stuck on praying their Bolt/Push/Path lines up with whatever threat the opponent deploys.
This just perpetuates the arm's race does it not? I dont think this path leads to anything but more of the hyper aggressive game play that has been the halmark of the format (right or wrong) for years.
It's better than banning the current problems and waiting for Wizards to print more problems in the next set. At least then we have some safety valves. I think we can all agree Wizards isn't going to stop printing pushed, broken threats in the near future. We're going to see at least another year of similar mistakes due to the design/development cycle, because the philosophy that contributed to ELD also contributed to the next few sets. We'll also continue to see top-down pressure for mythics and bomb rares to be immediately playable and overtly powerful. Modal answers at least give us some options for handling these pushed threats.

A much worse solution is to try banning our way out of this problem every single set because Wizards sucks at testing cards. The endless cycle of bans has significant costs for players who either are scared to invest or punished for playing a good deck. It also creates a horrible din of nonstop ban talk that makes it difficult to have meaningful format conversations on the Magic internet's most public forums. Bans are extremely harmful and they don't even fix the problem! Tron has been ninja-buffed about a half dozen times in the last few years. Same with most of the other proactive decks. We can't just ban all these problems away.
Lets pretend we get something like

B - Instant - Destroy target creature, draw a card, lose 1 life.

Is that something we should actually hope to have?
I prefer modal answers to hit varied threats. Hero's Downfall is not playable in Modern because it's too expensive. At 2 CMC with a life-cost, it would be much better and more aligned with the threats Wizards keeps releasing.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

I mean on one hand, I think you are wrong. The only way to save Modern is to ban a wave of cards. I have believed that for some time, and I've yet to be proven wrong.

I also think continuing to push threats, while it will be done, is considerably flawed, and will actually kill the game. Maro even predicted it some time ago on his blog. We are well due for a reset down to Theros levels.

Pushing answers, will simply just crystalize what can, and cannot be played to an even higher degree.

On the other hand, I think you are right they will hold to this path.

If this Murderous Rider, is not good enough, as its an instant and a later game threat that is semi-recursive, Magic's already jumped the shark and I'm glad I'm off the rollercoaster.
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Post by Tomatotime » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
This just perpetuates the arm's race does it not? I dont think this path leads to anything but more of the hyper aggressive game play that has been the halmark of the format (right or wrong) for years.

Lets pretend we get something like

B - Instant - Destroy target creature, draw a card, lose 1 life.

Is that something we should actually hope to have?
I don't think a pushed answer even needs to look like that, in fact if I were designing one, I would probably make creatures exempt from most aspects of the answer. An example would be something like:

W/B(hybrid) (1cmc)

Instant

Choose one of the following modes:
-Exile Target Planewalker
-Put up to two Target cards from an opponent's graveyard into the bottom of that player's library
-Fog

Again, completely spit balling here, but I think this type of general design would achieve the goals of having main deckable answers with a greater degree of versatility without necessarily gutting fair decks. Another potential example

U/B(hybrid) (1cmc)

Sorcery

Choose one of the following modes;
-Target opponent reveals their hand, you may select a nonland, noncreature card of CMC 3 or less and that player discards that card.
-Players cannot search libraries this turn. If this mode is selected, treat this card as an instant.
-Exile up to 3 cards from a graveyard.

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Post by pierreb » 1 year ago

I'm just going to say that I disagree that win % should be a necessary condition to ban a card. You can't play oubliette in a modern deck on the excuse that you don't win very often. If Wizards were to have a clear guide as to what is unacceptable in modern, it should follow them and ban cards that break the rules even if the card is not currently played in a very successful deck.

It's a different ban list management formula, but I'm kind of tired reading that it's inherently brain damaged. On the contrary, I think enforcing rules sends a clear signal.

I agree with idSurge (didn't think I'd say that), banning a few cards to bring deck power levels closer together is not a bad strategy,

I'm also not a fan of linear/non-linear delimitation. Every non-control deck is basically linear. Just look at the list of linear decks offered to convinced yourself: UW control, jund (2-for-1.dek) and GDS (mostly put there due to thoughtseize, some removal and soft counters, I suppose).

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

Well, my post just got eaten... so I'm going to repost this but be a bit more succinct.
ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
It's better than banning the current problems and waiting for Wizards to print more problems in the next set. At least then we have some safety valves. I think we can all agree Wizards isn't going to stop printing pushed, broken threats in the near future. We're going to see at least another year of similar mistakes due to the design/development cycle, because the philosophy that contributed to ELD also contributed to the next few sets. We'll also continue to see top-down pressure for mythics and bomb rares to be immediately playable and overtly powerful. Modal answers at least give us some options for handling these pushed threats.
[mention]ktkenshinx[/mention] Earlier you mentioned modal spells being a strong answer. I also think that Wizards like the idea of needing a 3 or 4 mana spell to trade at parity or slightly ahead of a 4 mana threat. Their biggest stumbling block has been rationalizing the idea of a 1 mana removal spell trading with a 4 or 5 mana threat. Thus, command style cards could be a good answer. Imagine cards like these:
Esper Command
1WUB
Instant, choose 2, you can choose the same mode more than once.
Draw 2 cards.
Put target spell on top of it's owners library
Exile 2 target artifacts/enchantments
Destroy target creature or planeswalker.

Jund Command
1GRB
Instant, choose 2, you can choose the same mode more than once.
Deal 3 damage to target player
Deal 6 damage to target creature/planeswalker
Search your library for a land put it onto the battlefield (untapped)
Target player sacrifices 2 non land permanents, then gains life equal to their combined CMC

Those sorts of cards would start trading at the necessary levels of efficiency to justify using them as answers to resolved cards.

Even your Hero's Downfall suggestion of 2 mana and a life payment really isn't efficient enough anymore. Let's say the opponent plays a t3feri. You can't end step the removal spell, they bounce something of yours, and they draw a card. Now you untap, you spend 2 mana to kill the Teferi, you get 2 for 1'ed on this exchange, and you still have to repay the mana for your card that was bounced. You're down tempo and cards. It's just not an answer that lines up well, even after you pushed an already existing card design.

Edit: I'm going to do the same comparison with a slightly less egregious card in Narset. They spend 3 to cast it, then -2 to get an additional card with some selection attached. Thus it's worth a bit more than +1 card. Now, you spend 2 mana and some undetermined amount of life to trade. So on the exchange for their 1 additional mana they got some life out of you and some amount of value worth a bit over +1 card. That's still a really bad trade as going purely by standard curves, +1 mana should be worth a card. Instead it was 1 mana for more than a card and some life.

And I think this really illustrates the problem with removal (and you alluded to this in an earlier post as well). Even what we consider good removal in Modern, honestly just isn't good anymore. By the numbers, most removal spells come up short against the important cards.
Last edited by Aazadan 1 year ago, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Amalgam » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
I mean on one hand, I think you are wrong. The only way to save Modern is to ban a wave of cards. I have believed that for some time, and I've yet to be proven wrong.

I also think continuing to push threats, while it will be done, is considerably flawed, and will actually kill the game. Maro even predicted it some time ago on his blog. We are well due for a reset down to Theros levels.

Pushing answers, will simply just crystalize what can, and cannot be played to an even higher degree.

On the other hand, I think you are right they will hold to this path.

If this Murderous Rider, is not good enough, as its an instant and a later game threat that is semi-recursive, Magic's already jumped the shark and I'm glad I'm off the rollercoaster.
Because banning a wave of cards is unrealistic and will never happen, there is no point even discussing it.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Then this format is %$#%.

Quite seriously. It will never get what it needs from Standard, to fix this, and it wont get it from a Horizon's push.

Honestly the most exciting thing about the pioneer announcment? "Aggressive Bans."

Well that didnt really pan out. I had high hopes for a properly curated format, but its just not going to happen.

Dom/Guilds was the last great Standard, and it sucked for a LONG time before that, and it looks like its going to suck for a long time after, and nothing is going to help Modern at this point if we cannot remove some of these offensive cards.

There are pillars of Magic that need to exist, for formats to be healthy, Modern has (currently) none of them at a competitive level.
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Post by Tomatotime » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
Then this format is %$#%.

Quite seriously. It will never get what it needs from Standard, to fix this, and it wont get it from a Horizon's push.

Honestly the most exciting thing about the pioneer announcment? "Aggressive Bans."

Well that didnt really pan out. I had high hopes for a properly curated format, but its just not going to happen.

Dom/Guilds was the last great Standard, and it sucked for a LONG time before that, and it looks like its going to suck for a long time after, and nothing is going to help Modern at this point if we cannot remove some of these offensive cards.

There are pillars of Magic that need to exist, for formats to be healthy, Modern has (currently) none of them at a competitive level.
To be fair they aren't finished with bans in Pioneer, I think they said last week that they would be taking this recent Monday off from actually banning anything. So I don't think we can say that Pioneer is done having ban management quite yet.

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Post by True-Name Nemesis » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
True-Name Nemesis wrote:
1 year ago
That is exactly how good answers should be. Low-cost, relevant against a lot of things but not everything. Bolt, Decay, path and Push answer a very wide range of threats while trading even or up. Expecting your cheap, efficient answers to be relevant against everything the field can throw at you is ridiculous. Why even play any threats deck when there's a cheap, catch-all answer with no drawback that's relevant at every point in the game?

Threats (in general) are not the issue here. Only the most busted ones are. Printing busted answers to deal with busted threats and strategies only raises the bar for cards to be playable and relevant.

Like you keep saying, the huge influx of busted cards is a design issue. designing busted answers to deal with those busted cards won't fix anything, it just keeps the power creep going when the new cards they print afterwards need to able to meet this power level to be playable.

Bans are needed to bring the tier 1 down closer to the rest.
No, he is 100% right here. I've been thinking the same thing too for a while. Let's take a a few examples:
Bolt vs Seasoned Pyromancer - You probably got 3 for 1'ed on this exchange.
Bolt vs Oko - You don't even kill it.
Bolt vs t3feri - You got 2 for 1'ed.
Bolt for TKS - 2 for 1, if you kill it.
Bolt vs Gilded Goose - 2 for 1.

Replace bolt with your other removal spells and it's mostly the same (Fatal Push is the notable example with a better exchange vs TKS). Even if you go up the curve and look at 2 or 3 mana removal spells, one would expect that 3 mana removal would start trading at rates similar to 3 and 4 mana threats but for the most part it doesn't. Maelstrom Pulse is the only one that can potentially generate 2 for 1's of it's own. The bar to clear to be a playable 3 mana removal spell is higher than the bar to be a playable 3 mana counterspell since the counter will stop ETB's, and how many counters at that level do we have?

This is such a fundamental issue that it's the core of the design problems of recent years and especially the last year. Removal trades 1 for 1, while threats generate more than 1 cards worth of value on resolution. This in turn forces players to focus on resolving their own threats and ignoring the opponents threats in most cases simply to keep parity in value generated per card.
Seriously do I need to be more clear with this bit here? Threats (in general) are not the issue here. Only the most busted ones are. Printing busted answers to deal with busted threats and strategies only raises the bar for cards to be playable and relevant.

Bolt, path, push, decay etc have been in the format for years, and they have more or less been plenty good enough vs a wide variety of things.

Removal trades 1 for 1, while threats generate more than 1 cards worth of value on resolution.

This is true, but only if you're comparing strictly in a vacuum of cards used/cards generated. You're ignoring that these removal generally trade up on CMC. Fatal Push for example can trade up to 1cmc for 4. Bolt trades up 1cmc for 4 vs Jace, but they got 1 brainstorm out of it.

When you look at answers vs threats with the overall context of mana spent together with cards generated, it ends up as a pretty fair exchange.

Furthermore, listing out a bunch of the worse design mistakes in recent magic history as an example just proves my point: that the answers we have right now serve their purpose well enough against MOST things that are not outright design mistakes.

How far do you think answers have to be pushed to truly be relevant against all the top 5 decks in the format right now?

Please bear in mind that any better answer cards affect the lower-tier decks more than they affect the top dogs. And I'm really not for burning down the forest to get rid of some rotten trees. Just get rid of those trees instead.

The examples so far in this thread
Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
Imagine cards like these:
Esper Command
Instant, choose 2, you can choose the same mode more than once.
Draw 2 cards.
Put target spell on top of it's owners library
Exile 2 target artifacts/enchantments
Destroy target creature or planeswalker.

Jund Command
Instant, choose 2, you can choose the same mode more than once.
Deal 3 damage to target player
Deal 6 damage to target creature/planeswalker
Search your library for a land put it onto the battlefield (untapped)
Target player sacrifices 2 non land permanents, then gains life equal to their combined CMC
What do you think these should be costed at? 3 or 4 maximum i assume to be able to actually answer the top end threats in a timely fashion. These are straight up busted at 3 and 4, especially with your choose the same mode more than once clause.
Tomatotime wrote:
1 year ago
W/B(hybrid) (1cmc)

Instant

Choose one of the following modes:
-Exile Target Planewalker
-Put up to two Target cards from an opponent's graveyard into the bottom of that player's library
-Fog

Again, completely spit balling here, but I think this type of general design would achieve the goals of having main deckable answers with a greater degree of versatility without necessarily gutting fair decks. Another potential example

U/B(hybrid) (1cmc)

Sorcery

Choose one of the following modes;
-Target opponent reveals their hand, you may select a nonland, noncreature card of CMC 3 or less and that player discards that card.
-Players cannot search libraries this turn. If this mode is selected, treat this card as an instant.
-Exile up to 3 cards from a graveyard.
Is this really what we want? 1cmc answer invalidating every fair planeswalker just because Oko, and T3feri are stupid cards?

These are exactly what I mean by burning down a forest to get rid of a few rotten trees. At this point it's a power creep arms race.

We don't need cards that invalidate lower-tier strategies and fair cards just so we can accommodate problematic cards.

Look, if those cards are so problematic that we need to create cards like these to justify their existence, then just remove them from the format altogether.

Edit: Apologies if I come off as aggressive towards anyone. Not my intention at all.

I just think the idea of powering up answers to combat WoTC's mistakes is akin to having Tier 2 threats decks and fair cards pay the price for those mistakes.

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Post by Tomatotime » 1 year ago

True-Name Nemesis wrote:
1 year ago
Is this really what we want? 1cmc answer invalidating every fair planeswalker just because Oko, and T3feri are stupid cards?

These are exactly what I mean by burning down a forest to get rid of a few rotten trees. At this point it's a power creep arms race.

We don't need cards that invalidate lower-tier strategies and fair cards just so we can accommodate problematic cards.

Look, if those cards are so problematic that we need to create cards like these to justify their existence, then just remove them from the format altogether.
I want to preface this by saying that the examples of designs I gave were total spit balls, not prepared at all. That being said, I think planeswalker removal should be a 1 CMC effect at this point, the planeswalkers simply give a hell of a lot of value basically just by resolving, so even having a 1 CMC answer doesn't necessarily put you at an advantage, it might give you a tempo lead, but that depends on the value they got from their PW in the first place.

Second, I to would much rather just ban a bunch of cards, I think it would be the most efficient, and QUICK solution (if perhaps short-lived) to the shear disparity of power between linear and non-linear decks that has been growing over time, but I just don't think it will ever happen, even though once more, I will agree with you that banning IS the best answer in my opinion.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

True-Name Nemesis wrote:
1 year ago
Like you keep saying, the huge influx of busted cards is a design issue. designing busted answers to deal with those busted cards won't fix anything, it just keeps the power creep going when the new cards they print afterwards need to able to meet this power level to be playable.
It's not realistic to ask them to ban every single threat that has transitioned from Standard to Modern in the last couple years though, not to mention threats in future years. It is very unlikely we see future creatures powered down much from their current levels. It's also unlikely that we're going to see mass bannings. Additionally, a few answers only need to be printed one time and they're in Modern forever regardless of what threats come in the future so it doesn't create a permanent arms race where Standard also always needs new pushed answers.
This is true, but only if you're comparing strictly in a vacuum of cards used/cards generated. You're ignoring that these removal generally trade up on CMC. Fatal Push for example can trade up to 1cmc for 4. Bolt trades up 1cmc for 4 vs Jace, but they got 1 brainstorm out of it.
And this is something Wizards is trying to get away from. They do not want you answering a 4 mana creature with a 1 mana spell. If you do, they still want the person who played the creature to get enough value from it that it makes up the difference. As long as that philosophy is in place, your Fatal Push is always going to put you behind.
What do you think these should be costed at? 3 or 4 maximum i assume to be able to actually answer the top end threats in a timely fashion. These are straight up busted at 3 and 4, especially with your choose the same mode more than once clause.
Sorry, I forgot to include mana costs on those when I rewrote the post, 1WUB or 1GRB. Certainly strong, but that's the level of value that high mana answers need to generate to justify being played. I gave another example earlier, WUU exile a spell + draw a card for a 3 mana option. At 1 and 2 mana, I honestly don't think it's possible to print the types of answers we need in the format, that fit within Wizards current design philosophy which is essentially that you should spend 4 mana to achieve parity with what an opponent spent 4 mana to do.

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Post by Tomatotime » 1 year ago

True-Name Nemesis wrote:
1 year ago
Edit: Apologies if I come off as aggressive towards anyone. Not my intention at all.

I just think the idea of powering up answers to combat WoTC's mistakes is akin to having Tier 2 threats decks and fair cards pay the price for those mistakes.
No worries, but I have a question for you, please look at the below example:

R/W(hybrid) (1 cmc)

Instant

Choose one of the following modes:
-Destroy Target Planeswalker
-The next time a source of your choice would deal damage this turn, prevent that damage
-You gain hexproof until end of turn.

Can you tell me whether you think the above concept design is more or less power than Assassin's Trophy? Why? And by what margin of difference? The main issue I am trying to get at is that there must surely be a way to make new answers that are versatile without rendering old answers obsolete.

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Post by True-Name Nemesis » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
Sorry, I forgot to include mana costs on those when I rewrote the post, 1WUB or 1GRB. Certainly strong, but that's the level of value that high mana answers need to generate to justify being played. I gave another example earlier, WUU exile a spell + draw a card for a 3 mana option. At 1 and 2 mana, I honestly don't think it's possible to print the types of answers we need in the format, that fit within Wizards current design philosophy which is essentially that you should spend 4 mana to achieve parity with what an opponent spent 4 mana to do.
That's the thing isn't it. These cards are good, strong answers to the very top decks. On the flipside, UG Urza decks for example, could probably easily adopt that Esper card if they want to. Finally, those effects are ridiculously backbreaking against any slower or lower-powered strategy. Those are the decks that'll be affected most.

For what it's worth, I think answers still have room to be powered up slightly. Nothing on the level of what you suggested. Just that going all-in on powering up answers to deal with "the best" will just end of destroying "the rest".
Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
It's not realistic to ask them to ban every single threat that has transitioned from Standard to Modern in the last couple years though, not to mention threats in future years.
You misunderstood me I think, I never wanted to ban every single threat that has transitioned from standard to modern, neither do I think it's realistic, just the worse offenders.
Tomatotime wrote:
1 year ago
R/W(hybrid) (1 cmc)

Instant

Choose one of the following modes:
-Destroy Target Planeswalker
-The next time a source of your choice would deal damage this turn, prevent that damage
-You gain hexproof until end of turn.

Can you tell me whether you think the above concept design is more or less power than Assassin's Trophy? Why? And by what margin of difference? The main issue I am trying to get at is that there must surely be a way to make new answers that are versatile without rendering old answers obsolete.
Imo, this is a pretty narrow card, definitely not a maindeck card for me. I would say it's worse than trophy.
Even at 1CMC, the only powerful mode is the destroy mode. The other 2 seem like they are for some extremely specific gameplay situations. I don't even think they're that good vs burn.

I honestly can't think of a deck or a strategy off the top of my head that actively wants the damage prevention and hexproof effects.

So i guess 95% of the time it would only be played for the destroy planeswalker effect. If i were to give Trophy a 7/10, this would be a 4/10.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

True-Name Nemesis wrote:
1 year ago
That's the thing isn't it. These cards are good, strong answers to the very top decks. On the flipside, UG Urza decks for example, could probably easily adopt that Esper card if they want to. Finally, those effects are ridiculously backbreaking against any slower or lower-powered strategy. Those are the decks that'll be affected most.
I don't think this argument is really accurate, because in every single constructed format, the higher power level cards will push out the lower ones. If we banned the biggest offenders, which is lets say (to put an arbitrary number on things) the top 5% of the format on power level, then rather than the current top 10% seeing play, it's going to be the next top 10%. Banning Wrenn and Six doesn't suddenly make Squire or Raging Goblin playable.

I like using Delve as an example here because the mechanic has several tiers of strong cards. The top tier was Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time. When those were played, the second tier saw fringe play/no play. Once they were banned we got the second tier in Tombstalker, Tasigur, Gurmag Angler, and Hooting Mandrills. If those were banned, we would still see Murderous Cut, and a couple of the bounce spells whose names I'm currently forgetting likely seeing play (which says a lot about the power level of the mechanic, but that's why I like using it as an example).

Banning to preserve tier 2 decks isn't really a good approach. Those decks tend to rely on meta games, and card choices based on what the top decks are playing. Once you establish some top decks, the tier 2 decks adjust naturally as long as the cards exist to support them (which in a format the size of Modern shouldn't be an issue).
You misunderstood me I think, I never wanted to ban every single threat that has transitioned from standard to modern, neither do I think it's realistic, just the worse offenders.
That's ultimately what we're talking about though, because the biggest offenders have been basically everything in the past year. Take the concept of planeswalkers and the 1 mana card you just commented on. We would never see something like that because aside from Wrenn, PW's start at 3, and most of them are between 3 and 5 that see play in Modern. We can probably call 4 the baseline. That means that a card that can answer PW's is probably going to be a 3 mana card, and maybe 2 mana with some conditions attached (Elderspell for example). We do have cards like Price of Betrayal that can theoretically do it at 1, but they're too narrow. Thus, what you likely are going to want to shoot for is a 3 mana card that can answer PW's but at a power level that justifies running it. The baseline design here of Hero's Downfall simply isn't good enough as I showed the example earlier that even at a mana less it's still too weak. But, they could do other things.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

True-Name Nemesis wrote:
1 year ago
These are exactly what I mean by burning down a forest to get rid of a few rotten trees. At this point it's a power creep arms race.

We don't need cards that invalidate lower-tier strategies and fair cards just so we can accommodate problematic cards.

Look, if those cards are so problematic that we need to create cards like these to justify their existence, then just remove them from the format altogether.
If we had a guarantee from Wizards that they would stop printing outrageously busted proactive cards, then I would agree. We could just ban a few bad offenders from 2019 and move on. But there is zero indication Wizards is going to reverse course. If anything, it's probably going to keep getting worse, especially if players keep clamoring for bans and new formats and reprints to lower prices while ignoring the fundamental design/dev/testing issues. Wizards is going to keep printing these proactive, two-for-one or better threats and they are going to keep diluting answers. Bans will not reverse this. It will just drive people away from the game, punish people for playing best decks, disincentivize metagame adaptation, scare people away from investing in top decks or expensive formats, and ultimately only "fix" a problem until the next problem gets printed. This is not a sustainable solution and it doesn't even fix the immediate problems.

To be totally clear, none of this really matters to Modern. Modern is on borrowed time and is likely going to be completely irrelevant by the end of 2021. As long as Wizards keeps Pioneer as the Arena end goal, Modern will just be "another" nonrotating format to choose from. Except, unlike its competing options, it doesn't have a lot of intrinsic worth to many players. Its image is beyond repair with all the outrageous ban mania, hyperbolic characterizations, rampant Wizards mismanagement, memes, and player disrepute over the last few years. The only thing that would save Modern, except for a wilful Wizards turnabout in its Arena decisions, is if Pioneer was super unhealthy at the end of 2020 and did not have the reality/perception that any deck could win.

These decisions matter for Pioneer, Standard, and the future of Magic. The ban mentality is a complete disaster that continually allows Wizards to hide its worst decisions and mismanagements of the last few years. It distracts from catastrophic design/dev/testing decisions that have hurt multiple formats and will continue to do so until they are called out. Sweeping bans do not change that picture and just allow Wizards to pass the buck down the road until the next %$#% show.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

I disagree. If they said look, this formats busted and these 10 cards are why...and then actually understood and told us why, and banned them like a soft reset of Modern?

Then we saw the best year of Modern since 2015?

Then they could say bans work.

Yes, it would be temporary, but it's certainly better than the alternative.

The alternative has them imploding the the whole game in a race to the bottom. Cmc can only go so low.
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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
I disagree. If they said look, this formats busted and these 10 cards are why...and then actually understood and told us why, and banned them like a soft reset of Modern?

Then we saw the best year of Modern since 2015?

Then they could say bans work.
There is no way Wizards would get those bans right. I have no clue what they would even look like, and it would probably just be a semi-arbitrary list until the next arbitrary axe swung. We would then get players clamoring for the same kind of reset bans in the future, and everyone would be able to claim any given deck that beat their deck was broken. It's so puzzling to me that you want Wizards to go after these cards when you know full well the insanity of the Twin ban. Imagine if they were doing that, or threatening to do that, every year. Or every month. Imagine applying the spurious, subjective, arbitrary Twin ban logic with all its unspoken motives to a dozen "reset" bans, or the next few "reset" bans after that. That would kill Modern much faster than anything else because it would be impossible to reliably invest in any top deck or talk about anything other than bans.
Yes, it would be temporary, but it's certainly better than the alternative.

The alternative has them imploding the the whole game in a race to the bottom. Cmc can only go so low.
Bans are a race to the bottom. We've known this for years and it's never changed. Whenever one awful, busted thing is banned, the next awful, busted thing is right around the corner. If this hasn't changed in years, why would it suddenly change now when Wizards' design/dev/testing team is so far off the rails they've led to 4 bans in the last 3 months of Standard? 13 in the last 2 years of Standard? The ban craziness will never end in any format if we don't address the underlying issue behind that insanity. Bans will just be an endless, format destroying, confidence undermining march to the bottom every few weeks or months.

I maintain the correct response is to stop talking about bans and start talking about the underlying issues. Players should be blowing up forums across the Internet about that horrible, corporate doublespeak article about how Play Design %$#% up on Oko and the other cards. Instead, we're all just fussing about band-aid ban solutions and ignoring the deep, underlying problems. Wizards needs to tone down threats and create environments where Bolt and Counterspell are acceptable answers. It's not up to us to create the solution because we're all outsiders. We just need to be loudly shouting about the issue and then evaluating the insiders' (Wizards') decisions with our posts, attendance, and dollars.
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
The only thing that would save Modern, except for a wilful Wizards turnabout in its Arena decisions, is if Pioneer was super unhealthy at the end of 2020 and did not have the reality/perception that any deck could win.
[mention]ktkenshinx[/mention] Interesting argument. To be clear, I disagree with you and have said why previously (largely that the amount of work to add all Modern relevant cards prior to RTR is less work than adding all of RTR block itself, so putting Modern into Arena shouldn't be all that more ambitious than adding Pioneer, and Modern could be important for certain visible events as team events typically need 3 constructed formats). But, this is an interesting thought exercise. Because both Modern and Pioneer need the same answer cards ultimately, Pioneer may need even more. Thus, in order to add the cards to Modern that would fix Modern, it would involve adding the cards to Pioneer to fix that format. Thus, your argument is that the only way to save Modern as a tournament level format, would be to not fix the interaction issues we've been discussing for the past several pages.

And perhaps that has implications for the argument promoting the need for bans rather than new cards.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

I mean really, what we are talking about is the death of non-standard/limited/edh Magic is it not?

Modern will be dead inside 2 years.
Legacy is dead for all intents and purposes.
Vintage is dead for all intents and purposes.

If the current design philosophy is followed, Pioneer will not last 5 years, as it will devolve to hyper aggro and ramp.

That's honestly how I see the long game playing out.
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