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

Aazadan
Posts: 547
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
If Wotc want to populate Pioneer or Modern with a bunch of them I would be happy. I am not complaining about such decks. I pointed out how I don't want to play critter decks as defined by me, not you, and whilst I am happy to clarify what I mean I am not going to discuss whether my definition is what you define as a creatute deck or vice versa. You are welcome to view Legacy d n t as a critter deck, or as an aggro deck, I will view it as a prison deck and neither of us is wrong. I just want to be clear, that is all.
Creature decks are not necessarily aggro decks though. You're advocating for creature decks in your post, but calling them by something else. I understand what you're getting at, but the definitions you use most likely cause confusion from time to time when you discuss this with people.

User avatar
ktkenshinx
Posts: 571
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: West Coast
Contact:

Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

Yawgmoth wrote:
1 year ago
I would suggest collapsing linear and interactive. My reason being that linear decks do the same thing each game regardless of what the opponent does, this is very uninteractive.
That's not a bad idea. I struggle to think of decks that are linear and interactive, and I imagine those measures (if separate) would be highly correlated. I'll probably collapse them or just keep them focused on measuring interaction.
You could consider changing the term "fairness" with efficiency. People have different views of fairness but mana efficiency is indisputable. Basically 0 would be on curve +1 would be most efficient possible (ie Tron lands) -1 would be least efficient/unfair.
I don't mind this idea, but I also really want to define terms that are frequently used. "Fair" vs. "Unfair" represents terminology we see ALL THE TIME online. It's rampant and often meaningless because we typically have different definitions. I'd like to try and build off this shared language, but just clear up the meanings. That said, I do think efficiency is a good way to explain the concept, although I think it's tough to call any deck "inefficient;" even something like Jund efficiently uses mana. They just don't cheat their resources with too many cost reducers and 0 costers.
Tomatotime wrote:
1 year ago
By your metric I assume most combo decks would immediately fall into the unfair category to some extent? I suppose for this to go any further we would need a control of some kind to compare to. If I were to give a historic example, perhaps Pod would suffice, Pod (mostly in earlier interations) played the melira combo which required 3 separate creatures to be on board simulateneously to occur, all of whom were soft to bolt, if we were to compare that to combos that are prevalent today, most far exceed this danger. For instance, if we were to look at a typical Urza deck, it too requires 3 pieces, being Urza, sword, and thopter foundry, however 2 of those permanents are not creatures, and the one creature is not soft to bolt.
Some combo decks are definitely unfair. Storm, for instance, generates way more mana, draws way more cards, and casts way more spells on a combo turn than any other deck is capable of. Something like old UR Twin, however, is a lot "fairer," as its combo win comprises a mere 3 mana and 4 mana card. It's slightly unfair in that it uses the mana at the EOT to get "ahead," but not nearly as ultra-efficient as Storm. Pod is another example, although it does cheat the curve by Podding the creatures into play early. I'll have to score decks to see what the results are.
Ym1r wrote:
1 year ago
Just to comment on the control variant, particularly UW. It definitely is very interactive, counters, removals sweepers. However, at the same time it is not VERY nonlinear. Most of the time it just tries to do the same thing, counter cards, remove creatures, land big PW or win with collonades. I have played hundreds of games with the deck and I can't say there are particularly many different ways to win. Yes post board some lists bring in say, Monastery Mentor, but in principle the game plan is more or less the same, and moderately adjusts on what the opponent is doing (i.e. focusing more on removing or countering). For that reason I would say moderately nonlinear is more correct.
That makes sense. I'd just qualify this to say the following. UW Control has a relatively linear gameplan of counter/kill everything and draw cards/land win con. That's like, 3-4 plans total. But the decision about what to counter/kill and how to sequence stuff is where the decision trees explode relative to something like Burn, which is a lot more binary on most board states.
Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
So, I want to apply this to the definition here of being linear and how you best measure that. Think of the game like a tree, lets say that an opening hand is 3 lands (fetch, shock, basic), 2 1 drops, a 2 drop, and a 3 drop. So your turn 1 decision is playing a land, which leads to 3 decisions, and a 1 drop (for the sake of simplicity lets say both 1 drops can be cast by the basic), or no play. So you have 3 decisions for the land, 2 decisions for the 1 drop (I'm going to ignore the no play option). So turn 1 for that deck results in 6 distinct outcomes.

At some point I built a spreadsheet and some formulas to measure score in this form. I called it a complexity score, based off of the idea of decision trees. It's modeled fairly closely on the game complexity idea, which can be read about here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_complexity.

Actually, while I was doing this, I had emailed MaRo at one point (I used to email him about Magic AI all the time) and even had a short private discussion on this concept (he usually doesn't respond to emails but he did to this one), and it turns out that internally Wizards has these metrics on cards/decks to some extent though I'm unaware as to how much they use them, or how they're measuring it.

This probably wouldn't help much as far as the fair and interactive criteria go, but linear by the definition provided is something that very much can be quantified, meaning that statistics can be compiled on it and it can be measured.
This is an interesting idea and I really like its potential. I think I remember your work on this during the MTGS days, and it seems informative here. I think this gets very tricky, however, when we start making decisions with the interactive cards. For instance, let's say it's T2 and you have land in play, land in hand, Tarmogoyf, and Thoughtseize. One model would count this as three decisions: land--> Goyf, land--> TS, land --> nothing. Technically you'd also have a fourth decision of not playing the land, but I'll ignore that for now. But those three decisions really jump up when we separate land --> TS into all the possible TS targets in an opponent's hand. If they have 4 nonland cards, our decision tree suddenly increased by 4. This same issue arises when we consider countermagic, which forces us to make multiple decisions every turn: hold up mana or spend it, and then what to counter. I'm going to read more about game complexity and see how we can potentially capture these issues.
Over-Extended/Modern Since 2010

User avatar
The Fluff
is this so?
Posts: 2115
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: Unlisted
Location: Gradius Home World
Contact:

Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
Kind of hard to sell a deck that to someone who wants to play lots of cantrips, counters, removal/direct damage, and hates Ensnaring Bridge. It's one of the best examples of how much I hate the fact that spells stapled to creatures are better than spells as spells.


Fair enough, but if you don't want any board presence at all, you're probably not going to find anything you like in Magic going forward anymore. Vintage, Legacy, Modern, Pioneer, Standard, Limited, Cube... creatures and planeswalkers are dominant in all of them.

I guess the deck closest to what you want if you just want lands and non permanents is probably Scapeshift, possibly of a RUG variety.
Speaking of creatures in legacy... I remember an old reddit post I've seen months ago.. it wants Gurmag Angler banned in legacy. Though I'm not sure if it's a joke or serious post. Makes me wonder if zombie fish is too strong there that someone want it banned? Well, the zombie fish price did get upgraded from 15 cents to now 1 dollar each in scg.. so the card must be doing something good.
Image
AnimEVO 2020 - EFZ Tournament (english commentary) // OE 2016 // POF 2018
want to play a uw control deck in modern, but don't have Jace or snapcaster? please come visit us at the Emeria thread

Yawgmoth
Posts: 170
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by Yawgmoth » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
You could consider changing the term "fairness" with efficiency. People have different views of fairness but mana efficiency is indisputable. Basically 0 would be on curve +1 would be most efficient possible (ie Tron lands) -1 would be least efficient/unfair.
I don't mind this idea, but I also really want to define terms that are frequently used. "Fair" vs. "Unfair" represents terminology we see ALL THE TIME online. It's rampant and often meaningless because we typically have different definitions. I'd like to try and build off this shared language, but just clear up the meanings. That said, I do think efficiency is a good way to explain the concept, although I think it's tough to call any deck "inefficient;" even something like Jund efficiently uses mana. They just don't cheat their resources with too many cost reducers and 0 costers.
Using current terminology makes sense, I just wanted to make sure I understood what was meant by "fairness." Sounds like we are on the same page. I think we could quantify Fairness/unfairness based on the actual price paid versus CMC of all the spells in a deck. I'm not entirely sure how to operationalize this but maybe this will get the ball rolling.

For example Tron is able to cast spells much cheaper/earlier than they should assuming they gained 1 mana per turn (let's assume that is the average or "fair" rate). So if Tron is able to cast a 6 CMC spell on turn 3 then it would have a (un)fairness index of +3. (Unfairness Index = (Price paid) - (fair price)). Thus a deck that is paying the fair price would have a UI of 0 and very inefficient decks would have a negative score. We would expect to see very few negative scores so you could just make it 0 to 1 but you get the idea.

If we had an AI model of each deck goldfishing it would be pretty easy to calculate their unfairness in an objective fashion.

True-Name Nemesis
Posts: 156
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by True-Name Nemesis » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
That's not a bad idea. I struggle to think of decks that are linear and interactive, and I imagine those measures (if separate) would be highly correlated. I'll probably collapse them or just keep them focused on measuring interaction.
Sultai Whirza and 5C Humans. Amulet Titan and various Death Shadow builds can also fall under this classification. And if we're going down the tiers, Eldrazi & Taxes, Spirits.

Aazadan
Posts: 547
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

The Fluff wrote:
1 year ago
Speaking of creatures in legacy... I remember an old reddit post I've seen months ago.. it wants Gurmag Angler banned in legacy. Though I'm not sure if it's a joke or serious post. Makes me wonder if zombie fish is too strong there that someone want it banned? Well, the zombie fish price did get upgraded from 15 cents to now 1 dollar each in scg.. so the card must be doing something good.
It's a very strong creature in that format, but the idea of banning it is completely ridiculous.

Yawgmoth
Posts: 170
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by Yawgmoth » 1 year ago

True-Name Nemesis wrote:
1 year ago
ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
That's not a bad idea. I struggle to think of decks that are linear and interactive, and I imagine those measures (if separate) would be highly correlated. I'll probably collapse them or just keep them focused on measuring interaction.
Sultai Whirza and 5C Humans. Amulet Titan and various Death Shadow builds can also fall under this classification. And if we're going down the tiers, Eldrazi & Taxes, Spirits.
So those decks would lie in the center of the dimension. Not totally linear but not completely interactive.

Aazadan
Posts: 547
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

Yawgmoth wrote:
1 year ago
ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
You could consider changing the term "fairness" with efficiency. People have different views of fairness but mana efficiency is indisputable. Basically 0 would be on curve +1 would be most efficient possible (ie Tron lands) -1 would be least efficient/unfair.
I don't mind this idea, but I also really want to define terms that are frequently used. "Fair" vs. "Unfair" represents terminology we see ALL THE TIME online. It's rampant and often meaningless because we typically have different definitions. I'd like to try and build off this shared language, but just clear up the meanings. That said, I do think efficiency is a good way to explain the concept, although I think it's tough to call any deck "inefficient;" even something like Jund efficiently uses mana. They just don't cheat their resources with too many cost reducers and 0 costers.
Using current terminology makes sense, I just wanted to make sure I understood what was meant by "fairness." Sounds like we are on the same page. I think we could quantify Fairness/unfairness based on the actual price paid versus CMC of all the spells in a deck. I'm not entirely sure how to operationalize this but maybe this will get the ball rolling.

For example Tron is able to cast spells much cheaper/earlier than they should assuming they gained 1 mana per turn (let's assume that is the average or "fair" rate). So if Tron is able to cast a 6 CMC spell on turn 3 then it would have a (un)fairness index of +3. (Unfairness Index = (Price paid) - (fair price)). Thus a deck that is paying the fair price would have a UI of 0 and very inefficient decks would have a negative score. We would expect to see very few negative scores so you could just make it 0 to 1 but you get the idea.

If we had an AI model of each deck goldfishing it would be pretty easy to calculate their unfairness in an objective fashion.
There's two issues here. First is one of terminology. While it's true that using vocabulary players are already familiar with makes the term easy to grasp, it also creates confusion as the term has baggage attached to it already. Adding yet another definition to an already poorly defined fair/unfair concept is likely to lead to a lot of misunderstandings.

Also, what is fair/unfair in any given format is going to differ. Using your definitions for example, Tron is unfair but Amulet is somehow fair because it's paying full market price for the spells. Or perhaps at a slightly greater stretch depending on how you want to define Electromancer, Storm is also paying full price but makes more sense if the scoring leans towards it being on the unfair side of things.

Unfortunately, the concept of fairness becomes very format dependent. Pack Rat is rather fair in Modern but awful in RTR sealed. The metric I like for fair/unfair (and this gets into the whole subjective definition issue) is if the deck is doing things that are interacted with by multiple colors using main board cards. Unfortunately, this definition is no less arbitrary than anything else, so it's not all that useful.

User avatar
drmarkb
Posts: 591
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

How would you classify storm with those metrics? It casts many spells a turn, but all are cheap bar PIF/Tendrils in Legacy, Pif in Modern...

User avatar
drmarkb
Posts: 591
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
If Wotc want to populate Pioneer or Modern with a bunch of them I would be happy. I am not complaining about such decks. I pointed out how I don't want to play critter decks as defined by me, not you, and whilst I am happy to clarify what I mean I am not going to discuss whether my definition is what you define as a creatute deck or vice versa. You are welcome to view Legacy d n t as a critter deck, or as an aggro deck, I will view it as a prison deck and neither of us is wrong. I just want to be clear, that is all.
Creature decks are not necessarily aggro decks though. You're advocating for creature decks in your post, but calling them by something else. I understand what you're getting at, but the definitions you use most likely cause confusion from time to time when you discuss this with people.
That is the peril of a threads vs one to one chat,but as long as we are clear now about what I mean it is all good....

True-Name Nemesis
Posts: 156
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by True-Name Nemesis » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
The fact that people think Griselbrand reanimator is a creature deck in Legacy does not give me hope for any discussion moving on at this thread at all.
You have some serious comprehension issues if that's what you believe that's what people are thinking.

iTaLenTZ
Posts: 224
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by iTaLenTZ » 1 year ago

What Modern desperately lacks is vision. Like, what was the vision behind Modern Horizons? What were the goals? Did it achieved said goals? What is the direction of the format? What does Wizard wants this format to be? What do we want this format to be? So many questions and zero explicit answers because we never get an article from any R&D member going into detail about Modern about where it is and where we are heading. The only explicit answer we ever got was that Standard cards are not tested for Modern yet some cards like Emry are clearly designed for Modern but not for Standard so something doesn't line up there.

The problem is we can't discuss the state of Modern while not knowing what Wizards stand is. I want an extensive article about Modern written by people like Forsyth and Maro, going into detail about the design problems Modern is having to create a framework in which we can discuss new design directions, ban/unbans, etc. Right now its all empty space. Nobody knows what plans they have for Modern thus we are just wasting our times discussing the state of Modern.

All they ever do is patronize us by reassuring 'they care about Modern and won't drop all support' like we are some gullible 6 years olds while at the same time we see over and over again through ACTIONS that they don't give a crap about Modern otherwise it wouldn't be in this despicable pathetic state.

Ultimately I firmly believe they don't even really know how to fix this mess and Pioneer is the joker card they pulled on us. The incentives to fix Modern are way lower now.

User avatar
ktkenshinx
Posts: 571
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: West Coast
Contact:

Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
There's two issues here. First is one of terminology. While it's true that using vocabulary players are already familiar with makes the term easy to grasp, it also creates confusion as the term has baggage attached to it already. Adding yet another definition to an already poorly defined fair/unfair concept is likely to lead to a lot of misunderstandings.
I disagree with this. I think players who are interested in these concepts have an obligation to define terms and steer the conversation. Just because a loaded term has a lot of baggage, doesn't mean we shouldn't try to help understand it more.
Also, what is fair/unfair in any given format is going to differ. Using your definitions for example, Tron is unfair but Amulet is somehow fair because it's paying full market price for the spells. Or perhaps at a slightly greater stretch depending on how you want to define Electromancer, Storm is also paying full price but makes more sense if the scoring leans towards it being on the unfair side of things.
Both of these would be unfair because they are cheating the limitations of N mana worth of spells by turn N. Decks with 0 acceleration will often meet this speed limit, unless they also have free spells. But something like Jund is always using its mana to pay market price for all its spells. Something like Amulet Titan is accessing 6+ mana on turn 3, not 3 mana on turn 3. Tron is 7+ mana. Storm is generating far more mana than even that on a combo turn, and playing far more spells than would ordinarily be allowed by the +1 mana per turn speed limit. Things like Llanowar Elves, BoP, and Goose would all register as unfair on this spectrum, but only slightly (e.g. 4 mana on T3 instead of 6+). I'm fine with that because we're doing a spectrum, not an absolute black/white definition.
drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
How would you classify storm with those metrics? It casts many spells a turn, but all are cheap bar PIF/Tendrils in Legacy, Pif in Modern...
It would probably be very unfair (exceeding the N mana worth of spells by turn N metric), linear (an established Plan A and Plan B with a few set Gifts piles that branch out depending on what opponents are doing), and very non-interactive (outside of Remand, Grapeshot as removal, and/or Repeal, it largely ignores the opponent's cards).
Over-Extended/Modern Since 2010

User avatar
ktkenshinx
Posts: 571
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: West Coast
Contact:

Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

iTaLenTZ wrote:
1 year ago
What Modern desperately lacks is vision. Like, what was the vision behind Modern Horizons? What were the goals? Did it achieved said goals? What is the direction of the format? What does Wizard wants this format to be? What do we want this format to be? So many questions and zero explicit answers because we never get an article from any R&D member going into detail about Modern about where it is and where we are heading. The only explicit answer we ever got was that Standard cards are not tested for Modern yet some cards like Emry are clearly designed for Modern but not for Standard so something doesn't line up there.
It's virtually guaranteed Wizards had a vision statement for MH1. They basically gave its high level goals in its introductory article: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2019-02-28

From the article, the set is designed to do the following:
-"skip Standard legality and aim straight for Modern."
-add "cards that build up favorite Modern strategies,"
-add cards that "create new ones"
-add cards that "bring plenty of flavor to matches where Modern cards are legal."

I'd say Wizards was largely successful with these goals, although it way overshot the power level on a few of them. Wizards also had goals to print cards for enfranchised, veteran players from other nonrotating formats, which they also succeeded at in the set (again, overshooting the power in some key cases). You can read more about MH1 vision and design in articles like Modern Sensibilities (https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2019-05-20), Modern Life (https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2019-05-27), and various articles in between.
The problem is we can't discuss the state of Modern while not knowing what Wizards stand is. I want an extensive article about Modern written by people like Forsyth and Maro, going into detail about the design problems Modern is having to create a framework in which we can discuss new design directions, ban/unbans, etc. Right now its all empty space. Nobody knows what plans they have for Modern thus we are just wasting our times discussing the state of Modern.
This bolded bit (emphasis added) is, quite frankly, nonsensical. If you feel like it's a waste of time to discuss the state of Modern, don't participate in that discussion. I have seen this position for literal years on various forums, and in most cases, it is totally misaligned with reality. The truth is, we can absolutely discuss the state of Modern even if we don't have access to internal documents (that may or may not exist) about Modern's purpose and future. Players on discussion boards, social media, and content creators have been influencing Modern direction for years without this insider access. And if you are so convinced it is important to have this statement from Wizards, then that's the thing you should be pushing for. I was one of a few players who published/posted about this problem back in 2016, and we did elicit a response from Forsythe on that exact topic. The notion that discussion is a "waste of time" is very irritating to me, especially when it's posted on a discussion forum in a thread about the allegedly wasteful topic. If you don't want to participate, don't. If you do want to participate, please don't claim the entire venture is wasteful based on some missing datapoints.
Over-Extended/Modern Since 2010

Tomatotime
Posts: 197
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by Tomatotime » 1 year ago

iTaLenTZ wrote:
1 year ago
What Modern desperately lacks is vision. Like, what was the vision behind Modern Horizons? What were the goals? Did it achieved said goals? What is the direction of the format? What does Wizard wants this format to be? What do we want this format to be? So many questions and zero explicit answers because we never get an article from any R&D member going into detail about Modern about where it is and where we are heading. The only explicit answer we ever got was that Standard cards are not tested for Modern yet some cards like Emry are clearly designed for Modern but not for Standard so something doesn't line up there.

The problem is we can't discuss the state of Modern while not knowing what Wizards stand is. I want an extensive article about Modern written by people like Forsyth and Maro, going into detail about the design problems Modern is having to create a framework in which we can discuss new design directions, ban/unbans, etc. Right now its all empty space. Nobody knows what plans they have for Modern thus we are just wasting our times discussing the state of Modern.

All they ever do is patronize us by reassuring 'they care about Modern and won't drop all support' like we are some gullible 6 years olds while at the same time we see over and over again through ACTIONS that they don't give a crap about Modern otherwise it wouldn't be in this despicable pathetic state.

Ultimately I firmly believe they don't even really know how to fix this mess and Pioneer is the joker card they pulled on us. The incentives to fix Modern are way lower now.
Well I don't have the article on hand, I do remember at one point maybe a couple of years ago reading an article on the mothership about them wanting Modern to be a format for standard decks to be able to live on in perpetuity. The issue I have with their goal for Modern is that it feels like they have simply shifted that over to Pioneer, it would indeed be VERY helpful if Wotc could actually just come out with an updated statement on what the intended purpose is for Modern from a gameplay perspective. Without having this, the inner cynic in me will simply assume that they want to maintain as many avenues as possible in the format for future monetization with no regard for gameplay quality/format enjoyment.

User avatar
Ym1r
Posts: 153
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by Ym1r » 1 year ago

Well, Aaron Forsythe tweeted that there will be Modern PTs and GPs, so we at least have this as a securing statement that Modern isn't going anywhere for the time being.
Counter, draw a card.

Tomatotime
Posts: 197
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by Tomatotime » 1 year ago

Ym1r wrote:
1 year ago
Well, Aaron Forsythe tweeted that there will be Modern PTs and GPs, so we at least have this as a securing statement that Modern isn't going anywhere for the time being.
The issue isn't really about how much tournament support Modern has now, its about what it will be in the following year, and the year after that, and whether it will be trending upwards or downwards.

User avatar
cfusionpm
With that on the stack...
Posts: 1177
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: California, USA
Contact:

Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Tomatotime wrote:
1 year ago
Ym1r wrote:
1 year ago
Well, Aaron Forsythe tweeted that there will be Modern PTs and GPs, so we at least have this as a securing statement that Modern isn't going anywhere for the time being.
The issue isn't really about how much tournament support Modern has now, its about what it will be in the following year, and the year after that, and whether it will be trending upwards or downwards.
It is definitely worrisome about the future of Modern. I went and gathered information about GP format distribution over the past decade and not sure what to make of it. While the trends show a strong shift towards Modern, this could also pivot harshly to Pioneer in the coming years. I was expecting to see a strong Legacy presence, and drop off when Modern arrived, but Legacy was just always small beans. So I don't know how I feel moving forward. Needless to say, WOTC's erratic and unpredictable behavior, as well as inconsistencies with past actions do not inspire confidence whatsoever, but this look at least gives some hope for support. But how long will they be able to support TWO eternal formats? Especially one so heavily criticized as Modern? What will happen to Pioneer once the dust settles, and the same problems from Modern are actually amplified further (powerful threats, lack of good answers)? Dunno either. Just an uneasy time to be heavily invested in any format, to be honest. Especially one whose value could disintegrate at any moment.
gpperyear.PNG

Aazadan
Posts: 547
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
Both of these would be unfair because they are cheating the limitations of N mana worth of spells by turn N. Decks with 0 acceleration will often meet this speed limit, unless they also have free spells. But something like Jund is always using its mana to pay market price for all its spells. Something like Amulet Titan is accessing 6+ mana on turn 3, not 3 mana on turn 3. Tron is 7+ mana. Storm is generating far more mana than even that on a combo turn, and playing far more spells than would ordinarily be allowed by the +1 mana per turn speed limit. Things like Llanowar Elves, BoP, and Goose would all register as unfair on this spectrum, but only slightly (e.g. 4 mana on T3 instead of 6+). I'm fine with that because we're doing a spectrum, not an absolute black/white definition.
I'm assuming you're familiar with the concept of mana sum theory? If not, here's a small refresher (ignore that this is written by AJ Sacher in his much more egotistical days) http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/article.asp?ID=8738.

What I like about this description is it's rating the payoff of doing something to the amount of value generated when converted to a baseline for the format. It's still not perfect since that baseline varies from format to format but it's close. To get that 7 mana generation plus threat from Tron they're probably investing 2 turns and 2 cards in addition to the land drops and the threat. So, they generate 1, 2, then 7 mana for 10 mana total in the game up to that point to get a 7 drop. But since they've invested either one or two additional cards to do that, you can consider that as their payoff value being worth between 6 and 8 mana (10 - 2 or 10 - 4 for 1 vs 2 cards). This would imply that they value they're getting is close to a fair rate, at least for the first threat.

Where things get tricky with Tron, is that the mana generation stays on the board, so the second threat is now a full 8 manas worth of value. So turn 3 is fair, but that turn 4 threat now puts them at well above a fair rate having now gotten 18 mana (assuming land 4 is a non Tron) in total and 14 mana in payoffs.

I'm not quite sure how to measure this. A scale seems the right way to go about it, but I think the original suggested metric is incorrect for this reason. (Value - investment)/turns seems to be somewhere in the ballpark, and it can account for both mana acceleration and additional cards drawn without requiring them to be different categories. But, I'm not sure if this is inherently fair or unfair.

To explain further, here's a sequence from a Legacy deck I was once playing (sequence might be slightly off, it's been awhile):
T1 - Fetch, Bayou, Green Sun's Zenith for Dryad Arbor.
T2 - Tap Bayou, tab Arbor, Scryb Ranger, activate, bounce Bayou, play Phyrexian Tower, cast Veteran Explorer, activate Tower, get 2 lands, play Tireless Tracker, play Veteran Explorer, cast/flashback Therapy, get 2 more lands/2 clues.
End turn 2 with 1 or 2 cards in hand, 2 clues on battlefield, mana to crack one, and 3 creatures with access to 8 mana. Yet, this deck was doing very, very fair things, and not even things at a particularly high power level for the format. By measuring resources over time though, it pretty much spikes all of them, getting 3 maybe 4 extra cards drawn on turn 3, and being very far above the curve in mana generation too.

Also, I think that falling below X mana on Y turns can also imply unfairness. If this is a spectrum that going above that metric is unfair, then what about combo decks that are designed to run on fewer land drops? A go to example is reanimator style decks. They're not really interested in generating free mana. A curve of Insolent Neonate into Goryo's Vengeance to bring back something scary is casting a 1 and then 2 drop on curve. But, it's clearly not a fair strategy.

Yawgmoth
Posts: 170
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by Yawgmoth » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
I'm not quite sure how to measure this. A scale seems the right way to go about it, but I think the original suggested metric is incorrect for this reason. (Value - investment)/turns seems to be somewhere in the ballpark, and it can account for both mana acceleration and additional cards drawn without requiring them to be different categories. But, I'm not sure if this is inherently fair or unfair.
The equation I suggested is definitely overly simplistic. I tried to work in a denominator that would normalize the index based on some 3rd variable but idk what that should be. I think if we could define which 3 variables are most important for defining "unfairness" then we could determine how to calculate it.

I like your suggestion about investment because that allows for things to effect cost across time (multiple turns). A prototypical example of this would be cards with Suspend like lotus bloom . I think time (investment) probably captures the other most important feature of game state. Value/cost can change as a function of time in MtG and this defines the game so we should include this in the model. I'll have to think about how we calculate this in practice but in theory I like where this is headed.

User avatar
Bearscape
Posts: 230
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by Bearscape » 1 year ago

BnR is coming up again, place your bets

Expected: No changes

Realistic: Urza and/or Mox Opal banned

Unlikely hope: Oko also gets banned

Impossible dream: 2019 is now banned from all formats

User avatar
idSurge
Posts: 1121
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Second on the 2019 ban. What an absolute joke of a year.

I think nothing but a hit to the Ursa/Whir decks would be justified, but would not miss Veil and T3feri.
UR Control UR

iTaLenTZ
Posts: 224
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by iTaLenTZ » 1 year ago

If they are honourable and truly want to try fix the format they ban:

Urza, Emry, Veil of Summer

I wouldn't mind if Oko and Wrenn got banned as well.

Mtgthewary
Posts: 220
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by Mtgthewary » 1 year ago

I hope they don't wait for another urza Pro tour. No need for it anymore

User avatar
Tzoulis
Posts: 314
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

Get off of the ban Opal train, seriously it's as ridiculous as saying ban Death's Shadow...

[mention]Mtgthewary[/mention] Did I miss a Modern pro tour where Urza dominated or something?

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic

Return to “Modern”