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

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Bearscape
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Post by Bearscape » 1 year ago

Amalgam wrote:
1 year ago
Bearscape wrote:
1 year ago
Pioneer's current banning sets a fantastic precedent for the format. The banlist is not a sacred list, use it, change it. Especially since the lower price of the format allows it without people getting blown out like in the older eternal formats.

And I would take that Genie's deal 100%, this year was miserable.
It may be cheaper than modern but most people can't just get up and change deck when they cost $500 like in pioneer as the result of a ban. Also not to mention if the format picks up stream competitively there will be spikes in card prices for the format. In 12 months if Pioneer is still a thing and gaining stream expect it to be pushing modern prices.
We may only be doing weekly bans till the end of the year however expect consistent bans to continue to hit this format with how broken it is right now alongside wizards current design methodology for standard
Monetary loss should not be an argument for not banning a card, but it realistically is a factor, of course. With that in mind I feel Pioneer has an edge over the older formats when banning cards, where monetary loss from bans is at least significally less. Also, it very rarely happens you can just set the entirety of a deck on fire if one piece from it gets banned so noone really loses $500 from bans. I am very curious to see where Pioneer ends up settling because apart from black, the answers in the format are just so incredibly weak compared to the power of the threats.

As for the design methodology of 2019, I hope it was an outlier and RnD is currently severely swerving the course. Because if 2020 continues on like 2019 I am selling out of magic other than edh.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
Yep.

I seriously think WotC tried to recreate this format without a premade ban list (outside of the fetches); the way they should have done with Modern. Maybe this is to show us that it was not a viable option for Modern or maybe it's to actually see if it's better to begin a format like this? I'm not quite sure, but the different approach seems interesting. In my opinion, they should have not started with a ban list for Modern, but they probably should have done it for Pioneer.

We'll see. In Pioneer, my decks were all banned, except UR Phoenix and Spirits, so I'll go with those. :smirk:
The way they've handled the ban list for Pioneer has been a good one I think. I suspect they also have an internal list of cards that they thought would need to be banned. That way they can compare perception with reality and see how they match up and use that data going forwards. That may eventually have some implications for Modern and even Legacy as well as other formats. It's a very rare chance to really test their internal thoughts on what will and won't require bans, especially in larger formats.

Edit: Since Brawl has been brought up a few times as a possible third constructed format. This is the sort of test that would be necessary for such a format. Brawl has some serious scaling issues in that multicolor fatigue is a real issue and Wizards can only do multicolor once every 5 years or so and that limits the commanders they can bring in, as well as the card pool. I think that a constructed Brawl is going to have to be more like a Pioneer legal version, in order to maintain a proper card pool as well as have a decent selection in Commanders. When they announced Brawl, it was shortly before we went to Ravnica which gave them 2 years of Commanders, followed by likely a 3 color set when that rotates getting them 2 more years. But, after that the card choices start to get restrictive.

A larger format would be needed in order to maintain competitive diversity. Also, due to the singleton nature it would show off a lot of sets worth of cards which is good for coverage. Lessons learned from a Pioneer ban experiment would be invaluable here.
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Post by Ym1r » 1 year ago

I want to say here, however, that while I am happy with the banning of Copter in Pioneer, and I had called it at my playgroup (hence I had preferred to make the MonoB Vampires and not the aggro version), I also feel that the power of Copter in Pioneer shows very a fundamental problem of the format, the absolute lack of answers.

Others have highlighted it as well, but I think the banning of Copter strongly illustrates, that the format just cannot handle powerful evasive threats. We have been complaining about the lack of answers in modern for forever, but Pioneer cannot even handle freaking Smuggler's Copter! That says to me that either they will HAVE to print a stronger answer at some point, or keep banning literally any evasive threat that will eventually dominate the format.

A format with such inability to deal with threats will eventually become completely stagnant and solved, choking any form of creativity. Yes, there are the best decks in modern but a Tier 2 deck can always make it to take down a big event, we have seen this. This won't be true in Pioneer, unless the manage to create some form of diversity that currently does not really exist.
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

[mention]Ym1r[/mention] I wouldn't read too much into a Copter ban. It was a good card in the format, but different metagames have different restrictions on them. We can flip this around to say that Legacy couldn't even handle Wrenn and Six while the more powerful Vintage format can, as can Modern.

I think Copter ate the ban mainly because it could go into every deck and was among the more powerful things you could be doing. If for no other reason than metagame diversity, I think it made a lot of sense. The smaller the format, the more incentivized everyone is to play a good colorless creature because options are limited.

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Post by Bearscape » 1 year ago

I didn't need to see Copter get banned to know the answers in Pioneer are very weak. There really is very very little outside of black. There's no good white spot removal, no good countermagic, and I'm fairly sure people play Wild Slash just to spare themselves the embarassment of admitting they're playing Shock. Abrade is like the only non-black spot removal that isn't utterly embarassing compared to the threats of the format.

If this is not addressed, Pioneer will have the same issues Modern has once the format becomes more optimised.

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Post by Ym1r » 1 year ago

Well, at the same time, while I see claims about the interactivity of the format, at least currently (we don't know how the field will look post Field of the Dead ban), control decks are non-existent. If you take a look at the control decks that have developed so far, the most successful one, i.e. UW control, is a superfriends deck running mass removals.

These control decks not only couldn't compete with Field of the dead, but they also clearly couldn't compete with the value engine that was Copter, nor they will be able to compete with the super late game of Nexus, or the ramp of Mono G decks.

At the same time, if you want to go midrange, it's basically Oko or bust. No other midrange decks has the tools to compete with the aforementioned decks, nor with Oko against it.

Yeah, there are all these carsd you mentioned but it doesn't seem to be helping much, at least not currently. You really need your deck to be able to do something at least moderately unfair to be able to compete. That's why Mono B Vampires with Sorin have seen some success, because you can T3 a 5-drop that draws you 1-3 cards, and you can break the stalemate with a timely Gary.
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Post by DarthDrac » 1 year ago

Pioneer needs better answers, but there is a chance they are coming if Drown in the Loch is an example of where things are going. That being said I don't want them to reprint Path to Exile, black should be the creature kill colour with the strongest answers, but maybe Oust. Keeping white essentially in the board wipes (Settle the Wreckage is a good spell) or sorcery speed removal is I think fair, white lets not forget can answer every permanent type. The thing is a card like Smuggler's Copter helps white more than any other colour, since white lacks draw.

Modern, at an LGS level still fun, but I won't deny Pioneer has more interesting brews and I've played Soulflayer, Izzet Phoenix and Ilharg (sneak attack), it's all ben good fun. Modern isn't really the place for brews, so I've been on CrabVine, the deck can lose to itself more than Hollow One, but when it works it's awesome.

I'd prefer Birthing Pod come off the ban list, but a deal (genie or not) I'd take is that Spinter Twin can come off the ban list, if Faithless Looting can too...

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Just want to step in here and say I am not too sure about it. What if Smuggler's Copter is just too good, just because the power level is low to the ground, while the card itself is very pushed and that it's colourless(it would be fine if it was not, probably)? I mean, in Standard it was banned, because answers to Smuggler's Copter were literally none.
In Pioneer, we do have Fatal Push, Abrade, Kolaghan's Command, Thoughtseize, Hero's Downfall, Murderous Rider, Settle The Wreckage, Wear//Tear and so many other cards to counter, bounce, etc. I think Pioneer, although it could use some more answers, it's fine at the front(we will see about Oko though).

The reason that Copter is fine in Modern, is not that Modern has more answers. I strongly think it's that Modern's power level is obnoxious. Why would Copter be strong in a format, where the goal of half of the decks is to:
Turn 3 Urza you, Turn 3 Karn you, Turn 3 Karn, TGC you, Turn 3 Titan you, Turn 3-4 DS with TBR you, T2-3 TKS you?
This is suffocating enough. There is no way a Copter copes with this. Modern's power level is so big, and it even needs more answers.

Pioneer is essentially a reset button. Modern has gone too far. There is no clear solution to solve it. Let people enjoy their T3/4 decks, and let the one who draws the more powerful opener win the game.
The big difference between Modern and Pioneer/Standard is that those formats were lacking a sufficient quantity of two drops to create variety. In Modern we don't really have that limitation. I think that once Pioneer gets a sufficient quantity of two drops, such that every deck has options, then Smugglers Copter is suddenly a lot less egregious in that format. Remember, Pioneer has less cards now than Modern did when Modern started. It's even smaller than 8 year Extended. As such, the cards it can play that meet the power level the format demands are much more limited.

I'm almost 100% positive that if Copter cost 1U to cast instead of 2, it wouldn't need a ban.

Edit: One other thought on these recent bans. We've now seen both playable green cantrips banned in Pioneer with Oath of Nissa and Once Upon a Time being removed. I think that had green cantrips shown themselves to be at a level where Wizards would be comfortable with them in the format, they may have been willing to revisit Ponder/Preordain at some point, or maybe print new cards (Once Upon a Time being rather similar in power level to Ponder). I think that at this point though, we can pretty safely rule out Wizards being willing to revisit cantrips for a while, meaning those cards likely aren't coming off the Modern banlist.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Oath of Nissa, in a world where Creatures, Planeswalkers, and Lands are the most powerful things to be doing, was always going to be a risk, but I agree with a few folks on twitter. It died because of the sin's of 3 mana Planeswalkers.

OuaT: Is just a travesty of a card. Free, in the age of the London Mulligan? Way too strong.

This is why I'm all for the ban approach they have taken. We 'know' these cards are too strong, so let it be proven out, and just remove them. 2019 has impacted every format, and not for the better, remove the cards that are an issue, so we can get back to actually playing Magic.
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Post by Amalgam » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
It's all about the experience one wants.

If what you basically want is stack based interaction, super powerful cantrips, card selection and play cards from your hand, Legacy is great for you. Is it blue dominated? It is. Is it diverse? It is not. Can you play several tier 1 aggro decks or toolbox decks? No, you can't. But that kind of experience
is there.

If you want insanely powerful, unfair, game ending, T3-4 plays(T3 Titans, T2-3 Seers, T3-4 Urzas, T3-4 game-winning DS's, T3 Karn/K,TGC, T4 Ulamog), and linear game of play, and you are OK/fine with not having to interact with one another, but enjoying doing the most powerful thing, there is Modern for you. If you don't care about the natural curve of cmc's, there is Modern for you also.
I am not bashing Modern here. I chose Amulet Titan to be that kind of deck for me. It's really fine.
Just don't try playing Modern if you want a Snap-CC-Bolt kind of deck.

If you want a more natural game of play, a more interactive experience, natural cmc curves, if you don't want a fully linear experience, there is Pioneer for you. If you want a longer and more fair game also, there is Pioneer for you. I know I want to play Esper Dragons, or Grixis Dragons/Control(which I am buying into) and I know I can do that in Pioneer. I can not do that in Modern. I also know I won't lose to T3 Karn, or T3 Titan, die to uninteractive Valakut, or Dredge triggers and all that stuff, the game will also go longer, and be more fair.

The last time this happened in Modern(I am talking Grixis Control), was 2015: Back then Chapin introduced the T1 Thought Scour → T2 Gurmag Angler, hold up denial thing. And it was great.
You give pioneer way too much credit on how much interaction is played. All the top decks can be considered ' wolf in sheep's clothing'. They really look like they interact but it's really just A bunch of solitaire based decks. Now that we have banned 3 more cards we are just going to move onto the next tier 1 deck which again doesn't care what your opponent does and doesn't actually have any meaningful interaction with your opponent.
Pioneer isn't even worth looking at till it has it's very foundation fixed by many needed answers and interactive cards printed into it. I dont know about you', but I don't trust wizards will achieve this with their current track record
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Amalgam wrote:
1 year ago
Pioneer isnt even worth looking at till its has it's very foundation fixed by many many needed answers and interactive cards printed into it. I dont know about you but I don't trust wizards will achieve this with their current track record
I think it was worth the look, the look just revealed the fundamental flaw's in how Magic is being developed these last several (5? 10?) years.

What a stroke of luck, that Arena came out in beta as Dominaria and Guild's came together to form a fantastic Standard experience.

And it was luck, because they have proven to be unable to keep things going. WAR and Throne failed utterly.
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
OuaT: Is just a travesty of a card. Free, in the age of the London Mulligan? Way too strong.
Actually, I think it's the reverse. The London Mulligan is what makes the card potentially ok. If this card were available without the London Mulligan, those who played it would have a much bigger advantage during a mulligan than those who don't. As is, it's still strong but not nearly as strong as it would be otherwise.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

It would be more important to use, but less powerful over all? Either way, the combination of 2 bad things just makes them both more powerful. :p
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
It would be more important to use, but less powerful over all? Either way, the combination of 2 bad things just makes them both more powerful. :p
No, without the London Mulligan it would be much more powerful, and consequently more important to use.

The card is still very, very good. So much so that I think it's still a reasonable question as to if it's too good (I'm on the side that it's fine). Now, imagine if it were even better positioned?

I've been playing some green cantrip shells. 4 Oath+4 Once Upon A Time. A general deck skeleton is 45 Oath hits, 35 Time hits. Which basically means you get: 8 cantrips, 7 others, 45 land+creature+walker, 35 land+creature. Usually you're looking at wanting around 21 lands in this shell leaving you with 14 creatures plus another 10 creature+walker.

It's incredibly strong and consistent, but I'm not sure about being ban worthy yet. Largely on the back of removal slots being limited and not having ways to cantrip into them. Though I will say, this shell into Magus of the Moon plus walkers is really stupid.

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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
It's all about the experience one wants.

If what you basically want is stack based interaction, super powerful cantrips, card selection and play cards from your hand, Legacy is great for you. Is it blue dominated? It is. Is it diverse? It is not. Can you play several tier 1 aggro decks or toolbox decks? No, you can't. But that kind of experience
is there.

If you want insanely powerful, unfair, game ending, T3-4 plays(T3 Titans, T2-3 Seers, T3-4 Urzas, T3-4 game-winning DS's, T3 Karn/K,TGC, T4 Ulamog), and linear game of play, and you are OK/fine with not having to interact with one another, but enjoying doing the most powerful thing, there is Modern for you. If you don't care about the natural curve of cmc's, there is Modern for you also.
I am not bashing Modern here. I chose Amulet Titan to be that kind of deck for me. It's really fine.
Just don't try playing Modern if you want a Snap-CC-Bolt kind of deck.

If you want a more natural game of play, a more interactive experience, natural cmc curves, if you don't want a fully linear experience, there is Pioneer for you. If you want a longer and more fair game also, there is Pioneer for you. I know I want to play Esper Dragons, or Grixis Dragons/Control(which I am buying into) and I know I can do that in Pioneer. I can not do that in Modern. I also know I won't lose to T3 Karn, or T3 Titan, die to uninteractive Valakut, or Dredge triggers and all that stuff, the game will also go longer, and be more fair.

The last time this happened in Modern(I am talking Grixis Control), was 2015: Back then Chapin introduced the T1 Thought Scour → T2 Gurmag Angler, hold up denial thing. And it was great.
Casually ignoring the T1-T2 decks of legacy and the adage of: "Force of Will Check". Also ignoring the Wasteland/Port and Depths decks.

Also, casually ignoring UW Control/Miracles being good for a large stretch of 2018 and early 2019, and now Bant Control/Stoneblade. You praise T2 Angler and Denial in 2015, but ignore how relevant and actually competitive they are now.

Snap-Bolt-Cryptic has as much right to be top as much right Jund has to be the marquee midrange deck. Again ignoring that at the moment Snap-Path-Cryptic is stronger.

Lastly, casually ignoring the %$#% that the format was till yesterday with a hyper efficient, low to the ground aggro deck and a smattering of big mana/ramp decks. You have no data that the format allows control/midrange decks. To the contrary, it's openly hostile to them, far more than Modern. In modern Control decks have positive matchups against big mana decks, they don't in Pioneer.

I'm not sure you're seeing Modern and Pioneer objectively or half critically. That's especially prevalent in your stance of Pioneer. You may have a jaded view, which is understandable, but don't fluff up its past years or other formats to compensate.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

I know he's not your favorite writer, but Josh Silvestri has some good points in this article that we have been talking about here.
https://www.channelfireball.com/all-str ... 1564439045

And people can say what they want to justify the bans in Pioneer, but you are not convincing me that a single soul knew Leyline of Abundance would be the first card banned. Sorry.
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Post by Bearscape » 1 year ago

Creature combat is the best part of magic as a game compared to other similar games. There's a reason we devote 6 phases to it. It's the part where the most decisions and interaction takes place, it's the most skill intensive part of magic. Good magic formats are about creature combat.

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Post by DarthDrac » 1 year ago

Bearscape wrote:
1 year ago
Creature combat is the best part of magic as a game compared to other similar games. There's a reason we devote 6 phases to it. It's the part where the most decisions and interaction takes place, it's the most skill intensive part of magic. Good magic formats are about creature combat.
Creature combat is unoriginal and the least interesting part of Magic. Magic is unique because of stack interaction and the land system. There is an old meme that players start with green then gradually move to black or blue as these colours have more depth, there is little depth to can my creatures kill you, can your creatures kill me...

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Post by Bearscape » 1 year ago

Can't say much more than that's just straight up incorrect. Plenty of card games have stack interaction (hint: Heartstone is not the only other cardgame), all card games have resource systems (and MtG's outdated land system is its biggest weak point). If you think that putting everything sideways is the depth of magic's combat system then I can understand why you don't appreciate it.

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Post by Ym1r » 1 year ago

DarthDrac wrote:
1 year ago
Bearscape wrote:
1 year ago
Creature combat is the best part of magic as a game compared to other similar games. There's a reason we devote 6 phases to it. It's the part where the most decisions and interaction takes place, it's the most skill intensive part of magic. Good magic formats are about creature combat.
Creature combat is unoriginal and the least interesting part of Magic. Magic is unique because of stack interaction and the land system. There is an old meme that players start with green then gradually move to black or blue as these colours have more depth, there is little depth to can my creatures kill you, can your creatures kill me...
Not that there haven't been times that I also thought that, particularly because I am a dedicated control player and I like to think that I play "the difficult decks" because that's generally what control players do.

However your statement is outright incorrect. The "the RDW decks are for n00bs" is just the annoyed voice of midrange/control players who lost to a fast start or didn't draw their life-gain cards or drew one too many counters.

Yes it is true that aggressive decks tend to have a lower entry level, but mastering the aggro archetype and winning with it is equally hard. Oftentimes aggro players will say similar things like "duh control is easy, you just T4 sweeper and that's that". If that's what you think of control decks then you don't understand how control plays. And if you think turning things sideways is all there is to aggro decks and Magic's combat system then you clearly don't understand the depth of the combat system.

Go try to figure out combat in hardened scales affinity or even normal affinity with a ravager on board. Or the correct sequence of creatures in a Humans deck. Navigate an aggro vs aggro MU properly. there is a ton of depth in the combat system, much like in every other aspect of magic.

Edit: And something I wanted to add and forgot. Magic HAS to be about combat, otherwise each and every U/B/whatever control deck is just pure garbage. When Magic is not about combat (e.g. Modern) control struggles. So for all the control players out there who like to play creature-less control decks like me, do think that if creatures are bad, your deck is also probably bad.
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Post by DarthDrac » 1 year ago

Ym1r wrote:
1 year ago
Go try to figure out combat in hardened scales affinity or even normal affinity with a ravager on board. Or the correct sequence of creatures in a Humans deck. Navigate an aggro vs aggro MU properly. there is a ton of depth in the combat system, much like in every other aspect of magic.
I've played against both flavours of Affinity and Humans in Modern, yes there is complexity there, but the calculation is still very much can they kill me. Sometimes the Affinity kill is with infect, or sacking a Hangerback and pumping the tokens, or simply shooting face with Ballista, with Humans it's watching for them Vialing in Thalia's Lieutenant. Mostly surviving is dependent on either being able to stop the +1/+1 counters (something like Blightbeetle), having a flying blocker, or naming Blinkmoth/Human with Plague Engineer.

I was to an extent being flippant, but I started playing Magic in 97, when answers and spells in general were much stronger than critters. I like creatures like Hushbringer or the aforementioned beetle and engineer, because they hose certain creature strategies. I'd reprint Suppression Field in the same Standard as War of the Spark to hose Planeswalkers, just a little...

I play Green Tron or CrabVine in Modern, both are linear decks aiming to cheat mana costs, I know that, Tron for the most part wins with Planeswalkers and CrabVine with a critical mass of creatures. Prior to the Faithless Looting ban I played Hogaak and before that Hollow One, were it not for the Looting ban I'd probably still be playing Hollow One rather than the Crab. Those might be the decks I play, but a pat of me misses the catch all nature of Counterspell, though I'll admit the recent Drown in the Loch looks like a decent answer.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

The calculation for aggro decks is the same as control decks. It's all about making your clock faster than your opponents clock.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

Bearscape wrote:
1 year ago
Can't say much more than that's just straight up incorrect. Plenty of card games have stack interaction (hint: Heartstone is not the only other cardgame), all card games have resource systems (and MtG's outdated land system is its biggest weak point). If you think that putting everything sideways is the depth of magic's combat system then I can understand why you don't appreciate it.
I plan on responding to JS's article and some of the points around it. Before I do, out of curiosity, can you point me to some examples of card games that have a) creature (or equivalent) combat, b) stack-based (or equivalent) interaction, c) creatures but NO stack based interaction, d) stack-based interaction but NO creatures? Anyone can answer this too, if they feel like they have some examples.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Bearscape wrote:
1 year ago
Creature combat is the best part of magic as a game compared to other similar games. There's a reason we devote 6 phases to it. It's the part where the most decisions and interaction takes place, it's the most skill intensive part of magic. Good magic formats are about creature combat.
Nope.

There are many people who want very little to do with creatures. We use them because they are the only way to remain competitive.
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Post by Ym1r » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
Bearscape wrote:
1 year ago
Creature combat is the best part of magic as a game compared to other similar games. There's a reason we devote 6 phases to it. It's the part where the most decisions and interaction takes place, it's the most skill intensive part of magic. Good magic formats are about creature combat.
Nope.

There are many people who want very little to do with creatures. We use them because they are the only way to remain competitive.
Creature combat being core to the game doesn't mean that you necessarily play with them. If you like creatures you play aggro/midrange decks, and if you don't like creatures you play decks that kill creatures (control) or ignore them (combo), but either way, creatures ARE central to the game.

It is true that good magic formats are about creature combat, because it means that decks that revolve around winning with or beating creatures ARE viable. I said it before and I will say it again, I love creature less controls. Creature combat is what makes my creatureless decks enjoyable, because I get to do stuff to creatures. Otherwise what would my control deck do?
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