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

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Tzoulis
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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
Anyone looking at the list from 2015, the kinds of games those decks promote, and then those of today, and thinking Modern is anywhere near healthy in comparison?

Well we have wildly different views on what is good for the game.
Yes, exactly. It's more of "show me your opener, and I will tell you who wins" kind of Modern today. That's what I always feel during the last 2-3 months. The proof of that is that we are in a world where Bolt is a mediocre card.

When the PT comes, Wizards will see to all of this, and ban(s) will happen. I guess we are just waiting for the PT. A ban with 2 unbans will certainly help.
The evolution of the online metagame has shown that NO bans are needed. Granted we don't know MWP%, but you're phising extremely hard for bans.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
Anyone looking at the list from 2015, the kinds of games those decks promote, and then those of today, and thinking Modern is anywhere near healthy in comparison?

Well we have wildly different views on what is good for the game.
I feel like all of these arguments are starting to argue less about interaction or the types of decks and are more a proxy for an argument that what you really want is for bolt/snap/bolt to be good again. That went from devastating to not even a playable "combo" due to how much bolt has declined in power in the format.

That feels to me though like a losing argument because Wizards specifically doesn't want 1 mana removal to be powerful so you're going to see more and more creatures (especially of the 3+ mana variety) that are bolt resistant either by not dying or having lots of toughness.

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Post by Yawgmoth » 1 year ago

Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
True-Name Nemesis wrote:
1 year ago
Yawgmoth wrote:
1 year ago
More broadly, because there are lots of planeswalkers running around it makes sense to pack mainboard hate. Planeswalker removal is often underpriced compared to creature removal/direct damage. I don't see planeswalkers going anywhere in the near future so we have to adapt.
Outside of the narrow spyglass and pithing needle, what are these mainboardable planeswalker hate and where can I find them outside of black? I really can't think of anything else that is not colour-specific.

Besides, Elderspell, Abrupt Decay, Dreadbore, Angrath's Rampage and Assassin's Trophy are most certainly not underpriced compared to creature removal.
Creatures are Planeswalker removal. The most common actually.
This. You cannot directly attack creatures like you can planeswalkers. Direct damage spells are more effective against planeswalkers than creatures because the damage doesn't go away at the end of turn. Not to mention all of the cards you listed.

Lightning bolt is good again.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

You can't attack PWs if the opponent has blockers.
You can't attack PWs if the opponent has removal.
You can't attack PWs if the opponents walker has built-in removal or blockers as abilities.
You can't remove PWs with Doom Blades.
You can't remove PWs with damage spells if it has a lot of loyalty.
You can't remove PWs that have static abilities preventing you from taking game actions.
Removal printed before Lorwyn doesn't reference PWs, meaning many old removal spells that could (or would) target PWs doesn't).
Much removal since then has rarely specifically targeting PWs without increasing cost or reducing speed (IE Hero's Downfall and Dreadbore).
PW-specific removal is often too narrow to ever consider main deck because the many prominent decks run 0 walkers (Titanshift, Urza, Humans, Burn, Infect, Amulet, Dredge don't use any, and Shadow may or may not run 1).

So let's not pretend for a second that Planeswalkers are somehow just as easy (or easier) to remove or deal with than creatures; a card type that has existed since the beginning of the game, and has been a cornerstone for interaction through removal spells since 1993.

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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
You can't attack PWs if the opponent has blockers.
You can't attack PWs if the opponent has removal.
You can't attack PWs if the opponents walker has built-in removal or blockers as abilities.
You can't remove PWs with Doom Blades.
You can't remove PWs with damage spells if it has a lot of loyalty.
You can't remove PWs that have static abilities preventing you from taking game actions.
Removal printed before Lorwyn doesn't reference PWs, meaning many old removal spells that could (or would) target PWs doesn't).
Much removal since then has rarely specifically targeting PWs without increasing cost or reducing speed (IE Hero's Downfall and Dreadbore).
PW-specific removal is often too narrow to ever consider main deck because the many prominent decks run 0 walkers (Titanshift, Urza, Humans, Burn, Infect, Amulet, Dredge don't use any, and Shadow may or may not run 1).

So let's not pretend for a second that Planeswalkers are somehow just as easy (or easier) to remove or deal with than creatures; a card type that has existed since the beginning of the game, and has been a cornerstone for interaction through removal spells since 1993.
Players won't drop PW on a board full of creatures, they have to establish defenses beforehand, so who cares if it's dropped T4+.
Players can't cast PW and removal during the same turn, especially early, so who cares.
Planeswalkers that possess those attributes usually are either high-costed (Elspeth, Sun's Champion) or become extremely vulnerable after their removal and a single bolt can remove all of them after the fact.
You can remove Planeswalkers with Decays, Trophies, Needles, Explosives and Detention Sphere.
Only a problem if they're played way ahead of curve or are named Oko.
I know of no Planeswalker that prevents you from: (a) Attacking, (b) Casting the aforementioned spells.
Urza, Amulet, Infect and Death's Shadow are all running Planeswakers in their main. Urza runs up to 8 in some versions. A specific one to boot, just to counter the same one from hurting them.

So let's not pretend for a second that Planswalkers are somehow that impossibly difficult to remove with common maindeckable removal. It may not be as easy as creatures, but they as difficult to remove as artifacts, if not easier.

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Post by Mtgthewary » 1 year ago

In the past winrate versus Tron 75%, now under 50% after little karn with my agro deck. Why? Because after karn you have 1 turn killing him bevore his ensnaring bridge is in play. No way it's easy killing walker with creatures. Yes you can kill them, but game is lost anyway. This is only one example how difficult it's killing them with creatures. Last tournament I dealt about 10 damage only versus oko and it survived all game long. Tell me how it's easy if they gave so many loyalty and gain more each turn while they turns your niv mizzet, 2 times, for 6 mana, into elks. This time it was Pioneer. No it is not easy and it was enough playing only 1 bird + oko. This was all my opponent needed for 10 turns

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
So let's not pretend for a second that Planswalkers are somehow that impossibly difficult to remove with common maindeckable removal. It may not be as easy as creatures, but they as difficult to remove as artifacts, if not easier.
How many of those main deck PW answers that everyone runs are on this list?
How many things on this list are creature removal?

But sure, you believe what you want to believe.

If you choose to include things that are narrow, slow, or both, then sure, you could totally build yourself a way to deal with PWs. But since PWs are not anywhere remotely as prevalent as creatures, it's disingenuous and naive to originally claim that dealing with them is remotely comparable. And now you shift goal posts to artifacts. But I appreciate the flattery in your reply.

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Post by Amalgam » 1 year ago

Why even bother discussing bans that simply won't ever happen just to twist modern in a direction that one personally wants. Can we at least discuss bans/unbans etc vs the relevant most recent data. For example Amulet titan won both this weeks challenge and the PTQ but or Eldrazi tron is putting up huge numbers etc. All I see is massive hate for Urza/opal/chalice/karn and people asking for 50 bans which are simply not realistic.
Heck I've seen people pushing to ban neoform even just because they hate the deck despite it getting zero results.
We have even got to the point of people ignoring any fair decks that put up any results because it doesn't meet their agenda or isn't named twin

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

Amalgam wrote:
1 year ago
Why even bother discussing bans that simply won't ever happen just to twist modern in a direction that one personally wants. Can we at least discuss bans/unbans etc vs the relevant most recent data. For example Amulet titan won both this weeks challenge and the PTQ but or Eldrazi tron is putting up huge numbers etc. All I see is massive hate for Urza/opal/chalice/karn and people asking for 50 bans which are simply not realistic
I personally think that Sultai Urza and Amulet are both at a higher Tier than other Modern decks. Both of those could possibly have something banned, but I personally feel that Sultai Urza is a better deck overall. It's crazy that Amulet is still a super strong deck, even years after the Summer Bloom ban. I guess it has something to do with busted cards that are banned in other formats, like Once Upon a Time and Field of the Dead.

Urza, Lord High Artificer is just a busted, busted card. Anyone that can't see that and absolutely believes that the card shouldn't be banned definitely has an agenda. I have the deck. I bought Urzas for $30 each during the spoiler season. I still think the card is not okay, even for a pretty busted Modern meta. Because it is not WAAAY out there like Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis, people don't see it. Mox Opal is okay. Always has been. We shouldn't let a busted card like Urza influence our thoughts towards banning Mox Opal. And Oko may actually be okay for Modern (I have my doubts), but the card is just an abomination of a card. I hate to keep saying, "an abomination of a card," but if the shoe fits (lil Teferi, Karn the Great, OUaT, Oko)...
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Amulet Titan, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
People who say PWs (especially toxic ones like karn + lattice) is as easy as creatures to kill have an agenda. Probably they are on that busted urza deck and are trying to defend their decks, even if half of the modern decks at the top tiers are being warped to include karn, because of urza or are urza decks playing karn themselves, to win in the mirror or lock the opp out of the game.
Hopefully all of that + multiple chalices end on one of the next two announcements with a targeted ban + some unbans.

I am not on Urza, I have only one deck right now that can run Karn lattice- an old skred deck I do not play too often- I have played against it though with a few decks.
I hate pushed walkers and pushed creatures- threats in general are pushed- walkers, creatures and often there is redundancy in the decks running them- think hardened scales, once the scales hit t1 the rest of the deck offers a fair chunk of redundancy- and I chose that deck because it is not obviously broken by itself. Threats in isolation can all be answered easily as each other by and large- Lattice feels no more toxic than a t3 Pod, T4 finks, T5 GG combo did. Not difficult to interact with per se There are a few tools that work well against some of the threats, but the problem comes with threats that need answering within a narrow window or you lose. The answers can deal with most threats slightly inefficiently, but you have to have the answer now-ish or you will lose against a great many. That is why Modern fails repeatedly.

Threats that need answering applies to Urza, Karn, early Oko as well as our unmentionable decks etc. from yesteryear. The problem is that you can't have, due to wizards' philosophy, cheap "answer everything" cards, you can't, again due to WOTC philosophy, go after the mana-bases of greedy decks easily, and those general answers you do have- Assassin's Trophy, O- rings- are slightly inefficient, putting you already slightly behind- and you can't draw your answers when you need them. Even the attempt at a Modern Force of Will fails to hit creatures like Urza. Permanent pre-emptive answers to threats- say Karn but you could also say Urza or Pod or whatever- also have a habit of being removable, - Pithing Needles don't come with hexproof, meaning the opponents removal- even temporary removal- when timed right is lethal, so even if Nevermore was cheap enough- 1 cc- a couple of echoing truths in the deck and they are off eventually unless you have a clock.

The problem is there are a number of A + B combos- karn lattice being the latest- but I do not think unbans help as there are no cards on the list that improve control for the obnoxious decks, unless you want to improve selection for answer decks by bringing Ponder et al back, which would probably mean more Storm. I would not be unhappy with that, but it would solve nothing. Unbanning to add yet another A + B combo- let's say Pod to keep it uncontroversial- won't make my games any more fun - losing to two activations of Pod feels exactly the same as losing to two activations of Karn if my Assassin's Trophy is not in hand. It does not really matter to me if the opponent worked marginally harder that they did for Karn lattice- bridge, they were doing something that I don't really have a way of stopping, all they needed was a pod and any one of several persist dudes.

Modern is a swimming pool with some sharks in, and adding some old ones back to control the new ones won't stop the format being degenerate. We need better answers, pure and simple- a better design philosophy. So many answer cards are fails. Lost Legacy is a classic case- 3 mana for decent effect, should arguably be two mana for what it is -and you don't get to name non basic lands so no hosing Tron- oh and they get to not be a card down. Solemnity - fails to hit walkers, probably costs one too much. O ring- sorcery speed. Slaughter games- just what you need for Urza, Karn etc. cost a whopping 4 mana, Crumble to Dust for tron- costs 4. Nevermore- costs 3. Even format bogeymen like Blood Moon mean nothing to a regular Tron player, just durdle and All is Dust/Ugin and off. There are a series of cards that cost too much and never quite preemptively stop everything you need to lock a player out, even if you can guess their list to the last card in the 75.

What Modern needs desperately is answers- prison cards- removal cards. The problem is Wizards never want any cards to be dead- and that includes the guy with a bunch of Urzas and Karns in hand. Until we change that idea- that the guy with the nuts combo can be allowed to feel sad times because by t3 someone has done a couple of things that invalidates most of the stuff in their deck- then we will never get a great Modern. Never.

The strange thing is I tend to play prison/control decks- last summer during the Modern comp REL European store events I spent ramping Arbor Elf/Utopia sprawl into Primal command/Acidic slimes and fetchable silver bullets like Linvala whilst jamming Ghostly prisons and other taxes. Phoenix was a top deck then, and Eldra T, Tron, Tron and early Urza builds. Some of my opponents were once or twice shut out totally- as in had 0-2 mana after twenty minutes- and the odd thing is most of them accepted this frustrating experience with good grace- they knew they were playing top decks, they knew that most people could guess their 75 and they took the risk that came with a known strategy. I find WOTC's data driven approach - "people like X not Y" to be so at odds with my personal experiences, I wonder how they get this data. The surveys after each set I think are not the most reliable of methods.



I think Urza will go, I hope it does, but it won't be long before there is a new Urza and people will be asking in five years for Urza to come off the ban list because the format will become increasingly powerful - until they print real hate and control. Not unbans- there is no perfect mix of old A+B strategies and new ones. We need actual hate cards that punish these powerhouses.

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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
So let's not pretend for a second that Planswalkers are somehow that impossibly difficult to remove with common maindeckable removal. It may not be as easy as creatures, but they as difficult to remove as artifacts, if not easier.
How many of those main deck PW answers that everyone runs are on this list?
How many things on this list are creature removal?

But sure, you believe what you want to believe.

If you choose to include things that are narrow, slow, or both, then sure, you could totally build yourself a way to deal with PWs. But since PWs are not anywhere remotely as prevalent as creatures, it's disingenuous and naive to originally claim that dealing with them is remotely comparable. And now you shift goal posts to artifacts. But I appreciate the flattery in your reply.
From the the link you send me Thoughtseize, Bolt and Force are maindeckable answers. You're asking (rhetorically I'm assuming) how many of those cards are creature removals and then go on to say that W are not as prevalent as creatures. There's your %$#% answer.

Also, I never remotely implied that PWs are as easy to deal as creatures, that's a straw man you built, I said there are plenty of removal for them. Nor did I shift goal posts to artifacts, it's an analogy, I expect a teacher to know this and not argue in bad faith.
None of the cards I listed are narrow or slow. You keep arguing that and all I see is someone who doesn't want to change orjust hates on a specific deck/archetype.
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
People who say PWs (especially toxic ones like karn + lattice) is as easy as creatures to kill have an agenda. Probably they are on that busted urza deck and are trying to defend their decks, even if half of the modern decks at the top tiers are being warped to include karn, because of urza or are urza decks playing karn themselves, to win in the mirror or lock the opp out of the game.
Hopefully all of that + multiple chalices end on one of the next two announcements with a targeted ban + some unbans.
And people saying that PWs are hard to remove are here to whine. Why is a 10 mana combo with plenty of instances to interact, useless if your opponent has creatures, so damned busted man, but 4mana enchantment on a 3 mana flash creature is the so sacred and, supposedly, good for the format? Maybe those people have an agenda, hmm?

Again, for the Nth time, not ALL urza decks play Karn, the only reason to play Karn in urza decks is the mirror and Tron. However, that has detrimental effects to the sideboard and against several strategies. It's a meta choice and nothing more. (E-)Tron ALWAYS PLAYED KARN AND CHALICE, understand this and stop saying thtat the format is warping around Karn.

Actually, the ONLY planeswalker that is warping the meta (and the game as a whole) is Oko. You're here whining about Karn, while Oko suppresses all the fair decks unless their playing him. He's the real problem and why you see the meta as it is. Almost, every top tier deck plays him, to counter the opposing Oko and %$#% on fair decks.

You ignored that a couple of times already, let's see if this will be the third.
drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
I think Urza will go, I hope it does, but it won't be long before there is a new Urza and people will be asking in five years for Urza to come off the ban list because the format will become increasingly powerful - until they print real hate and control. Not unbans- there is no perfect mix of old A+B strategies and new ones. We need actual hate cards that punish these powerhouses.
Urza is not the problem. At least not an immediate one maybe a few years down the road after an artifact set. Oko is, kill him and Urza decks go back to way more fragile versions. Alwp small/utility creatures become relevant again.

Don't get me wrong, Urza probably shouldn't have been printed as is, but he made artifact strategies relevant again -not just playable, that's Mox Opal.

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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
And people saying that PWs are hard to remove are here to whine. Why is a 10 mana combo with plenty of instances to interact, useless if your opponent has creatures, so damned busted man, but 4mana enchantment on a 3 mana flash creature is the so sacred and, supposedly, good for the format? Maybe those people have an agenda, hmm?

Again, for the Nth time, not ALL urza decks play Karn, the only reason to play Karn in urza decks is the mirror and Tron. However, that has detrimental effects to the sideboard and against several strategies. It's a meta choice and nothing more. (E-)Tron ALWAYS PLAYED KARN AND CHALICE, understand this and stop saying thtat the format is warping around Karn.
have no intent on joining your debate with Gko, but just have to comment on chalice. Yeah, it's necessary. My friend's E-tron was a whole lot weaker after he sold his three chalice of the void, but he put the money into good use for other things.
______________

and a little comment on pw's hard to remove. Assuming both player's skill level being equal.. I think it depends on the kind of walker, and the kind of deck the walker is in. Agreed that Oko is one of the hardest to remove, that elk should have been a - instead of a +. Although, for me the most annoying is still t3feri... he should have been lost in the time rifts and never come back. Biased opinion, because almost half my ubw modern deck are instants. :$
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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
It is like faithless looting all over again.
8/10 people know urza is a problem, but the ones playing the deck saying "urza and opal are fine".
Been there.
Does not matter what you say. When the PT comes, urza and opal strategies will break modern apart, just like they did during the last SCG and GP and a ban will come, together with two unbans.
Thats what is always happening.
You keep ignoring debate and relevant counter points with sophistries and rambling philosophizing, like the above post and then go on and say that people have an agenda? What the hell are you doing, if not have a serious agenda against Opal in particular? Ignore me again, but know this, you're the one that don't debates, you just looking for people to agree with you.

And no, Looting was NOT the problem, it still isn't, but I liked the banning of it, even though I played Phoenix for months.

Urza and Opal are in no way shape or form like Looting. I've said at least 3 times to you specifically what the real problem is, but your bias and inability to argue is not letting you see that.

Going for the 4th time ignoring me.
The Fluff wrote:
1 year ago
Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
And people saying that PWs are hard to remove are here to whine. Why is a 10 mana combo with plenty of instances to interact, useless if your opponent has creatures, so damned busted man, but 4mana enchantment on a 3 mana flash creature is the so sacred and, supposedly, good for the format? Maybe those people have an agenda, hmm?

Again, for the Nth time, not ALL urza decks play Karn, the only reason to play Karn in urza decks is the mirror and Tron. However, that has detrimental effects to the sideboard and against several strategies. It's a meta choice and nothing more. (E-)Tron ALWAYS PLAYED KARN AND CHALICE, understand this and stop saying thtat the format is warping around Karn.
have no intent on joining your debate with Gko, but just have to comment on chalice. Yeah, it's necessary. My friend's E-tron was a whole lot weaker after he sold his three chalice of the void, but he put the money into good use for other things.
______________

and a little comment on pw's hard to remove. Assuming both player's skill level being equal.. I think it depends on the kind of walker, and the kind of deck the walker is in. Agreed that Oko is one of the hardest to remove, that elk should have been a - instead of a +. Although, for me the most annoying is still t3feri... he should have been lost in the time rifts and never come back. Biased opinion, because almost half my ubw modern deck are instants. :$
I mean, I get it T3feri is annoying, some of my favourite decks are UWx Midrange/Control and Delver and he is one of the most annoying things to face, but in no way, shape or form, invalidates a large swath of decks or strategies or isn't THAT hard to remove, especially after a -3. Oko is miserable, I've found that there was no point of casting a 3-4mana creature (Sai and/or Urza) just because they'll be elks and then they'd be useless.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
From the the link you send me Thoughtseize, Bolt and Force are maindeckable answers. You're asking (rhetorically I'm assuming) how many of those cards are creature removals and then go on to say that W are not as prevalent as creatures. There's your %$#% answer.
TS doesn't deal with a resolved PW, nor the top of their deck, Force does not deal with a resolved PW, and Bolt does not kill many PWs (nor any that see play if they plus).

On that list 3 of the top 10 cards are creature removal (4 if you include Bolt), in Push, Path, and Dismember. The first removal that hits PWs doesn't appear until 43, in Trophy. And the only PW at all, only barely sneaks on at spot 49.

But this is clearly not worth discussing further. I don't know what your goal truly is, other than to complain about how PWs should be find and dandy, but creatures are a problem? I don't know. It's hard to see any substance behind your blanket hatred for Twin.

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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
From the the link you send me Thoughtseize, Bolt and Force are maindeckable answers. You're asking (rhetorically I'm assuming) how many of those cards are creature removals and then go on to say that W are not as prevalent as creatures. There's your %$#% answer.
TS doesn't deal with a resolved PW, nor the top of their deck, Force does not deal with a resolved PW, and Bolt does not kill many PWs (nor any that see play if they plus).

On that list 3 of the top 10 cards are creature removal (4 if you include Bolt), in Push, Path, and Dismember. The first removal that hits PWs doesn't appear until 43, in Trophy. And the only PW at all, only barely sneaks on at spot 49.

But this is clearly not worth discussing further. I don't know what your goal truly is, other than to complain about how PWs should be find and dandy, but creatures are a problem? I don't know. It's hard to see any substance behind your blanket hatred for Twin.
My point is very clear. Planeswalkers are fine, there are plenty of answers for them. You asked for maindeckable answers, there they are. You just put restrictions on them. I don't care if they're conditional, because a planeswalker is problematic if played WAY ahead of curve. Those cards stop that. I don't care if a planeswaler is annoying or wins the game over 10 mana and/or over 2 turns if it's at T4 or after that.

It's that simple, I've been pretty clear on my point, you not getting it (or don't want to debate it) is not my problem. And while I do loathe Twin, I don't care if it comes back, but don't pretend that somehow a game-winning combo on T4 is better than a game-winning lock on T4. Both have glaring and easy to deal with weaknesses. Karn is at 3 after his -2, him plussing at 6 is irrelevant because the majority of deck DON'T CARE about his +1 or his passive, and that gives you plenty of time to find threats or answers.

The only problematic planeswalker that I see is Oko, and instead of debating that you keep ignoring half my posts. Also, if the first planeswalker is at spot 49 out of 50, where all the relevant answers are WAY more common that that, why the hell are you bent so out of shape and against planeswalkers in general? The ranking seems to contradict your whole premise of answers not being as common as planeswalkers.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

My original point was about how'd the degenerate things available today are more difficult to interact with than the degenerate things of the past. I specifically cited Twin and Karn+Lattice. Then you and a bunch of others randomly jumped on and said "nuh uh!! Karn is super easy to deal with! Just attacc!!" which snowballed into dealing with PWs vs creatures in general.

Either way you even conceded yourself that PWs "may not be as easy to remove as creatures" which was my whole point. So now that we agree, I don't feel the need to discuss that further.

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Post by pierreb » 1 year ago

Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
My point is very clear. Planeswalkers are fine, there are plenty of answers for them.
Technically and historically, discard has not been categorized as an answer. Timeline-wise you have discard, counters and answers. One must come before the spell gets played, one during, one after. Discard is only really good early in the game. You can nab a PW on turn one. You get screwed by a top-decked PW.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

Updated post-ELD MTGO picture. This is only Challenges, Premiers, PTQs, and other higher level, non-curated events with T32 data available. N=368 decks, which isn't a terrible sample to get a metagame picture, but is also more limited than even a single GP. At least this has the benefit of spanning more time. These 19 decks represent about 80% of the metagame and in the old Modern Nexus updates would have encompassed both Tier 1 and Tier 2 decks.
  1. Eldrazi Tron: 12.8% (n=47)
  2. Grixis Death's Shadow: 7.9% (n=29)
  3. Amulet Titan: 6.3% (n=23)
  4. Burn: 6.3% (n=23)
  5. Dredge: 5.2% (n=19)
  6. Sultai Urza: 4.6% (n=17)
  7. Sultai Death's Shadow: 4.3% (n=16)
  8. Infect: 4.3% (n=16)
  9. Jund: 3.8% (n=14)
  10. Paradoxical Urza: 3.3% (n=12)
  11. Humans: 3% (n=11)
  12. Mono R Prowess: 3% (n=11)
  13. Mono G Tron: 2.4% (n=9)
  14. CrabVine: 2.4% (n=9)
  15. Bant Snow Control: 2.4% (n=9)
  16. Simic Eldrazi: 2.2% (n=8)
  17. 4C Whirza: 2.2% (n=8)
  18. Azorius Control: 2.2% (n=8)
  19. Gifts Storm: 2.2% (n=8)
We can group this Tier 1 and Tier 2 list into a few rough categories. All percentages are of the 80% of top decks, not of the whole:

Tron and big mana: 21.5% (E Tron, G Tron, Amulet)
Urza variants: 10.1% (Sultai, Paradoxical, 4C Whir)
Death's Shadow variants: 12.2% (Sultai, Grixis)
Less/non-interactive aggro: 24.2% (Burn, Dredge, Infect, Humans, Mono R Prowess, Crabvine)
Midrange: 6% (Jund, Simic Eldrazi)
Control: 4.6% (Bant Snow, Azorius)
Combo: 2.2% (Storm)

This doesn't fully capture some of the deck differences. For instance, Humans is SIGNIFICANTLY more interactive than Dredge, and yet is in that aggro category. By a related token, Simic Eldrazi is also significantly less interactive than Jund, but it's more midrangey than anything else. Urza and DS decks cross common categories and can pivot between roles, so they get their own categories. "Big mana" is also somewhat misleading, as its 3 grouped decks have pretty different gameplans, but I'm comfortable overlooking those differences for the purposes of a macro-meta analysis on a forum post.

Overall, this picture shows a relatively "diverse" Modern in terms of different types of decks and even different pillars. Some of those pillars are even pretty fun, skill-intensive, widely accepted, and uniquely Modern, namely the DS decks. Others are more polarizing. That said, it is alarming that midrange and control have so few viable options compared to the more proactive strategies. This is a hard issue to fix. If I worked in R&D and had to force this fix without waiting for changes, I'd probably do some hyper-targeted "nerf bans" at some targets that are not obviously egregious by known ban precedents, but nonetheless tilt the metagame. Top examples include:

Veil of Summer, Mycosynth Lattice, Oko, Nature's Claim, Once Upon a Time

None of these cards represent the essential identities of decks that use them. Two of them are sideboard cards that disproportionately help decks beat regulatory mechanisms (Veil and Claim), one of them is an "I win" element of an otherwise robust and interesting toolbox package (Karn), one is added and unnecessary consistency (OUaT), and one invalidates a wide variety of counterplay (Oko). Notably, all but one of these cards is green, and all but one of these cards is either a 2019 card or a direct result of a 2019 card (Claim is older, Lattice is older but problematic because of 2019 Karn). No one loses their deck as a result of these bans, as opposed to more heavy-handed targets like Urza, Opal, a Tron piece, etc. These decks just become more focused around a more fragile, less decisive gameplan, which opens up the format to other competition.
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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

pierreb wrote:
1 year ago
Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
My point is very clear. Planeswalkers are fine, there are plenty of answers for them.
Technically and historically, discard has not been categorized as an answer. Timeline-wise you have discard, counters and answers. One must come before the spell gets played, one during, one after. Discard is only really good early in the game. You can nab a PW on turn one. You get screwed by a top-decked PW.
Discard has always been an answer, albeit a time restrictive one. Same with counters. That's why decks play 4+ of these kinds of interaction.

[mention]ktkenshinx[/mention] I think a time series of the data would also help us see more broadly the movement/evolution of the decks and if the metagame is responding to a deck and managing to contain it etc. What do you think?

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
This is a hard issue to fix. If I worked in R&D and had to force this fix without waiting for changes, I'd probably do some hyper-targeted "nerf bans" at some targets that are not obviously egregious by known ban precedents, but nonetheless tilt the metagame. Top examples include:

Veil of Summer, Mycosynth Lattice, Oko, Nature's Claim, Once Upon a Time

None of these cards represent the essential identities of decks that use them. Two of them are sideboard cards that disproportionately help decks beat regulatory mechanisms (Veil and Claim), one of them is an "I win" element of an otherwise robust and interesting toolbox package (Karn), one is added and unnecessary consistency (OUaT), and one invalidates a wide variety of counterplay (Oko). Notably, all but one of these cards is green, and all but one of these cards is either a 2019 card or a direct result of a 2019 card (Claim is older, Lattice is older but problematic because of 2019 Karn). No one loses their deck as a result of these bans, as opposed to more heavy-handed targets like Urza, Opal, a Tron piece, etc. These decks just become more focused around a more fragile, less decisive gameplan, which opens up the format to other competition.
Great post. I would still add T3feri, but this is exactly the kind of aggressive format management that is required if Modern is to remain even remotely appealing.
Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
Anyone looking at the list from 2015, the kinds of games those decks promote, and then those of today, and thinking Modern is anywhere near healthy in comparison?

Well we have wildly different views on what is good for the game.
I feel like all of these arguments are starting to argue less about interaction or the types of decks and are more a proxy for an argument that what you really want is for bolt/snap/bolt to be good again. That went from devastating to not even a playable "combo" due to how much bolt has declined in power in the format.

That feels to me though like a losing argument because Wizards specifically doesn't want 1 mana removal to be powerful so you're going to see more and more creatures (especially of the 3+ mana variety) that are bolt resistant either by not dying or having lots of toughness.
I think you are probably right here, but its exactly what is wrong with how Wizards has crafted the game since Khan's.

Bolt, Push, Path, should be absolutely what is needed, and able to remain relevant, especially in a format that is supposed to be defined by Creature based play.

'Dies to Bolt', kept the format healthy, and yes 2015 Meta was more healthy, than 2019 Meta, simply due to the nature of the decks that dominated the meta.
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Post by iTaLenTZ » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
This is a hard issue to fix. If I worked in R&D and had to force this fix without waiting for changes, I'd probably do some hyper-targeted "nerf bans" at some targets that are not obviously egregious by known ban precedents, but nonetheless tilt the metagame. Top examples include:

Veil of Summer, Mycosynth Lattice, Oko, Nature's Claim, Once Upon a Time
I don't understand Nature's Claim. I would add Expedition Map. That card has become considerably even stronger now they can search for Blast Zone.

In honestly, if you really want to fix the problem: Ban Tronlands, Urza, Emry, Oko, Veil of Summer, Creeping Chill, Devoted Druid, Cavern of Souls, Scale Up, OUAT, Ancient Stirrings and suddenly we would have a slower and more healthier meta and traditional decks like GBx midrange and UWx control are viable again. But we all know this will never happen. Next announcement: No changes.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

OuaT is the next Stirrings.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Veil is absolutely one of several obnoxious design choices in 2019, no question it should be banned/restricted, across any competitive format.
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Post by Tomatotime » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
None of these cards represent the essential identities of decks that use them. Two of them are sideboard cards that disproportionately help decks beat regulatory mechanisms (Veil and Claim), one of them is an "I win" element of an otherwise robust and interesting toolbox package (Karn), one is added and unnecessary consistency (OUaT), and one invalidates a wide variety of counterplay (Oko). Notably, all but one of these cards is green, and all but one of these cards is either a 2019 card or a direct result of a 2019 card (Claim is older, Lattice is older but problematic because of 2019 Karn). No one loses their deck as a result of these bans, as opposed to more heavy-handed targets like Urza, Opal, a Tron piece, etc. These decks just become more focused around a more fragile, less decisive gameplan, which opens up the format to other competition.
Not to stir up a hornets nest really, but why exactly would you ban Once Upon a time and Oko? You say that OUaT would be banned in your hypothetical scenario due to it adding "unnecessary consistency" but which decks is it making more consistent, are those decks the actual problem decks? And if by that logic how is OUaT more powerful than Ancient Stirrings?

Next in terms of Oko, how exactly does it invalidate counterplay? I get that in lower powered formats like Standard where they have no good anti-planeswalker tools, Oko seems busted, but in terms of Modern what exactly is Oko doing that is heinous? It can elk your opponents Artifacts combo pieces? It can give you main board life gain for matchups like burn? Honestly in terms of Modern, Oko is a semi-versatile answer more than it is a threat, so I just don't really get the clamor for it to be banned.

Please note I'm not solely trying to call you out on this, I have simply been noticing these 2 cards come up in ban discussions within this threat repeatedly which just seems totally off base when you try to look at the decks and cards that are actually winning games and adding to degenerate gameplay.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Tomatotime wrote:
1 year ago
You say that OUaT would be banned in your hypothetical scenario due to it adding "unnecessary consistency" but which decks is it making more consistent, are those decks the actual problem decks? And if by that logic how is OUaT more powerful than Ancient Stirrings?
Assuming Stirrings should not also have been banned at some point. It should have been.
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