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

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

This is how you get more deck manipulation:
' temple of good-stuff x-y '
Etb tapped.
When 'this card' enters the battlefield each player scry 3
Tap for x or y.

It is basically the scheming symmetry type approach, give it to both players, and you can tack scry onto an awful lot of stuff as needed to boost the amount in the format. What you don't need is someone casting five things and scrying each time in the same turn, but that is soluble- more stuff that allows you to scry but ends the turn, and gives the opponent a chance to screw your scrying up. Scry is an excellent mechanic, under used for sure, due to a fear of combo and yes, 'too much consistency'. You can probably almost put E tutor and M tutor sorcery cards into modern, as long as they are only played on your turn and end the turn. Selection should be for all.

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Post by Mtgthewary » 1 year ago

Why it is important if urza plays now karn? They change it every month... But core of deck stays. It is not important if they kill with thopter, if they use karn, kill with oko, ascendancy, even if they kill without urza bevore they print it not so long ago.. ... So I don't get it why people talk now about urza like it is a new deck only because now karn. It is a mox deck, no matter of flavor choice in this month

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
Then I look forward to my free Impulse for Instant/Sorc/Land.

Then again, that would be absurd.
Blue gets to search for instant/sorcery usually. I was thinking about how much you would need to make this similar. Once Upon A Time needs 35 hits in the deck to be consistent. Most control decks play between 24 and 26 lands, meaning that simply trying to dig 5 for an instant or sorcery probably isn't going to work.

More than that though, the issue Wizards seems to have with cantrips more than anything, is when cards dig into additional copies of themselves. Augur of Bolas is probably a more acceptable template than Preordain is. But, a creature that digs into spells is inherently a 2 for 1 so that becomes problematic from a costing standpoint.

As such, the type of design that Wizards would probably look for would be something along the lines of 2U enchantment, flash, on ETB dig 7 deep for an instant or sorcery. Free if it's your first spell of the game.

That would be roughly in the same spirit of Once Upon A Time.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Any of those ideas would be reasonably comparable to OUAT, if instants and sorceries were in any way remotely as good or powerful as creatures.

And ETB-tapped lands are completely unplayable in Modern, unless you also happen to play a suspended Black Lotus alongside multiple "can't lose the game" cards.

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Post by Yawgmoth » 1 year ago

I was just reading a Jim Davis article title " Fixing the Design Mistakes of 2019." It was basically what you would expect; how to fix Oko, OuaT, Teferi, Veil, etc.

However, there was one card that caught my attention, which I was not expecting to see on the list: plague engineer. The more I thought about it the more I agreed..

Not only does he have a very strong anti-tribal ability but that also comes on a decent sized body with death touch. Any modern/legacy deck with black mana has no reason to not run plague engineer in the board. Furthermore, it seems like a very strong counterplay to a threat which didn't exist (tribal decks). Modern needs more responses to threats. Engineer just hates out tribal decks even though they are nowhere near oppressive.

I am definitely biased, I love tribal decks in MtG. That said, I don't think I am the only person who likes to build tribal decks and I wish there were more viable tribes rather than more hate pieces.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

Yawgmoth wrote:
1 year ago
I was just reading a Jim Davis article title " Fixing the Design Mistakes of 2019." It was basically what you would expect; how to fix Oko, OuaT, Teferi, Veil, etc.

However, there was one card that caught my attention, which I was not expecting to see on the list: plague engineer. The more I thought about it the more I agreed..

Not only does he have a very strong anti-tribal ability but that also comes on a decent sized body with death touch. Any modern/legacy deck with black mana has no reason to not run plague engineer in the board. Furthermore, it seems like a very strong counterplay to a threat which didn't exist (tribal decks). Modern needs more responses to threats. Engineer just hates out tribal decks even though they are nowhere near oppressive.

I am definitely biased, I love tribal decks in MtG. That said, I don't think I am the only person who likes to build tribal decks and I wish there were more viable tribes rather than more hate pieces.
I disagree. I think Plague Engineer was one of the bigger successes of 2019. It's a strong card for sure, but it's also a good answer, decks can interact with it, and it's a good safety valve for the format. To expand on this a bit, Humans have something of a problem in Modern. They're by far the most printed tribe, and some of those cards Modern playable. This makes it tricky to print new human cards, because Humans is already a strong deck. Without good tribal answers, every set potentially risks breaking this tribe. Furthermore, we have seen essentially the creation of Sprits as a tribe, an attempt at making new Merfolk, Ally's, and more. Allys has a return to Zendikar again coming up (and without a focus on Eldrazi), and I find it unlikely they don't revisit Spirits.

Cards like Plague Engineer therefore let R&D be a bit more loose with how these cards get developed, and take more risks without a too powerful tribal deck finding it's way into the format. It delivers very well on a request for answers and interactivity in the format.

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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

Plague Engineer is a flavorful addition to the "carrier" cycle of creatures. A 2/2 death touch that gives -1/-1 to a specific tribe of creatures, is not that big of a threat. I was hoping for the card it was derived from - engineered plague to be in mh1, but I would gladly settle for the engineer. In games against dedicated tribal decks, I prefer actual board wipes, because a top-decked engineer does nothing against multiple elf lords or a champion of the parish that's already gigantic.

edit: also, he's not in pioneer. So people who don't like him can just use their tribal decks in that format. :)
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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

Earlier in this thread, I mentioned how contemporary Magic is facing some significant, cross-format challenges. It ain't just Modern, folks! For all its relative successes with Arena, Wizards has made some egregious errors this year regarding card design and format management across contemporary formats. The end result is an Oklahoma City Standard GP with 348 (!!) players registered (https://coverage.channelfireball.com/prs/2189). The previous American Standard GP, Richmond in November, had 569. GP OKC has the 7th worst Standard attendance of all time out of 152 Standard GP. It has the worst American Standard GP attendance of all time period. The next lowest American attendance was, you guessed it, GP Richmond in November 2019 (569 players)! After that it was GP Atlanta in summer 2003 (588 players) and, you guessed it again, GP Denver in July 2019 (616 players)! This is one of many indicators that point to significant, ongoing, entrenched issues in Magic right now. These issues impact not only Modern but also all contemporary formats.

To be clear, other elements of Magic are likely thriving. My guess is that Arena has record numbers of players (at least, it did until these last few months, where I'm sure it's been a ghost town because of Wizards' legendary design/testing failures). Pioneer is also going to be a huge hit when they figure out its early issues, and Wizards is going to hit gold eventually with some combination of Brawl/Commander on Arena. I also bet the more casual paper Magic scenes are still booming. But the nonstop ban mania, bad design, legitimate bans, warped metagames, incessant online negativity, horrendous Wizards communication, etc. is going to continue to drain the more enfranchised, veteran players, which will continue to result in disasters like GP OKC. I hope Wizards pivots in 2020, but I also fear this pivot will leave Modern in the dust.
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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

incessant online negativity
about that..

no offense to anyone, but adding to "foes" some people who keep saying the same things like a broken record. The thread toxicity has gone down, and it feels more comfortable that way. Discussion at mtgs state of modern thread has officially bought the farm, so I'm assuming most of the format complaints would be continuously dumped here. Thank goodness this forum has a "foe" function.
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Post by Amalgam » 1 year ago

Another massive issue is wizards has dropped massive amounts of competitive support for paper magic in place of arena. Now what happens is you no reason to build a standard deck for these gp events while also having a horrendous format not helping. Not to mention anywhere outside america right now basically has zero paper support from wizards. We used to get 100-200 players for all ptq/mcq style events and now we can only get 20 max and it's basically killed the entire community out this way

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Post by Mtgthewary » 1 year ago

This is a real danger for our game in generally

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Post by Simto » 1 year ago

Oh boy, people talking about Plague Engineer makes me remember how many cards I wanted to buy this year, but haven't had money for :( damn
I think Plague Engineer is pretty balanced. 3 mana is a big commitment in Modern and dies very easily with 2 toughness. Strong but balanced.

Also, I tend to disagree a lot with Jim Davis. Used to watch his games a lot, but I just kinda... I don't know, he kinda rubs me the wrong way now.

And yeah, it's sad, but I think Wizards wish they could be all digital these days.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
I really disagree that all colors should have these tools.

If you want to be consistent, you should be playing the colors of cantrips.

"Its really unfair that Blue doesn't get efficiently costed, (aka pushed) dumb beaters, why can't I also just turn em sideways."
Yep. There is a color pie. Green doesn't have "G: deal 3 damage to any target" just like Black doesn't have "U: Scry 2, then draw a card." There is a strong cost to playing any single color and small costs to mixing the colors together for their strengths.

I like what ktkenshinx said that some consistency is needed. I've been saying this all along. No, I don't think that every game should play out the same. But heck, I play Sneak Show (well, not in 4 months, but yeah...) in Legacy with 4 Brainstorm, 4 Ponder, and 3 Preordain. I don't think I've played any games that have been the same. Now if you say that Show and Tell Griselbrand is always the same against every opponent, then yes, that IS in fact one of the win-cons of the deck. I have a few "normal" ways to win the game. Show and Tell Griselbrand or Emrakul or with Omniscience or Sneak Attack them. That is literally the only way I win the game, so if games are drastically different, I am losing a HUGE percentage of my matches. Therefore, no one would play the deck.

Regarding Plague Engineer, I do not know the exact context of Jim Davis's rant. But I have watched some of his streams lately, which I have enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would (I previously didn't like him much because friends who have played him say he stalls too much). I think the context that Jim Davis is using is that you can't play all these super COOOL Tribal decks because of the freaking card. Look at Elves. The deck died. You can't play Elementals. You can't play Faeries. You can't play many tribal decks because of the card. Why? Tribal decks with Aether Vial and Cavern of Souls are not usually going to have removal for the Plague Engineer. It's not part of their game plan or mana base. And Humans didn't die. They utilized Plague Engineer. They were the first deck to incorporate the card in their deck. But yes, all the other worse tribes pretty much were already dead, but now they are FOR SURE.

But who cares? These are fun decks. Modern is a format where you have many choices. (don't flame me for that) But you can't choose literally anything that's cool and expect to win. Outside of playing Amulet only the past month, I have played Elementals. I have gotten two 4-0s and a 1-3 (lol). The deck is not good. I realize that. But it's a pretty fun deck that literally loses to my opponent having 2 Plague Engineer and 3 lands.
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

The Fluff wrote:
1 year ago
Plague Engineer is a flavorful addition to the "carrier" cycle of creatures. A 2/2 death touch that gives -1/-1 to a specific tribe of creatures, is not that big of a threat. I was hoping for the card it was derived from - engineered plague to be in mh1, but I would gladly settle for the engineer. In games against dedicated tribal decks, I prefer actual board wipes, because a top-decked engineer does nothing against multiple elf lords or a champion of the parish that's already gigantic.

edit: also, he's not in pioneer. So people who don't like him can just use their tribal decks in that format. :)
Being a creature makes it a much healthier addition to the game. Every color can interact with creatures in some form. Not every color can interact with enchantments,

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
Earlier in this thread, I mentioned how contemporary Magic is facing some significant, cross-format challenges. It ain't just Modern, folks! For all its relative successes with Arena, Wizards has made some egregious errors this year regarding card design and format management across contemporary formats. The end result is an Oklahoma City Standard GP with 348 (!!) players registered (https://coverage.channelfireball.com/prs/2189). The previous American Standard GP, Richmond in November, had 569. GP OKC has the 7th worst Standard attendance of all time out of 152 Standard GP. It has the worst American Standard GP attendance of all time period. The next lowest American attendance was, you guessed it, GP Richmond in November 2019 (569 players)! After that it was GP Atlanta in summer 2003 (588 players) and, you guessed it again, GP Denver in July 2019 (616 players)! This is one of many indicators that point to significant, ongoing, entrenched issues in Magic right now. These issues impact not only Modern but also all contemporary formats.

To be clear, other elements of Magic are likely thriving. My guess is that Arena has record numbers of players (at least, it did until these last few months, where I'm sure it's been a ghost town because of Wizards' legendary design/testing failures). Pioneer is also going to be a huge hit when they figure out its early issues, and Wizards is going to hit gold eventually with some combination of Brawl/Commander on Arena. I also bet the more casual paper Magic scenes are still booming. But the nonstop ban mania, bad design, legitimate bans, warped metagames, incessant online negativity, horrendous Wizards communication, etc. is going to continue to drain the more enfranchised, veteran players, which will continue to result in disasters like GP OKC. I hope Wizards pivots in 2020, but I also fear this pivot will leave Modern in the dust.
These are some alarming data points. I'm trying to figure out the common errors 2019 and 2003 shared. I thought that 2004 was where Standard really went to hell with Ravager Affinity.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
Regarding Plague Engineer, I do not know the exact context of Jim Davis's rant. But I have watched some of his streams lately, which I have enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would (I previously didn't like him much because friends who have played him say he stalls too much). I think the context that Jim Davis is using is that you can't play all these super COOOL Tribal decks because of the freaking card. Look at Elves. The deck died. You can't play Elementals. You can't play Faeries. You can't play many tribal decks because of the card. Why? Tribal decks with Aether Vial and Cavern of Souls are not usually going to have removal for the Plague Engineer. It's not part of their game plan or mana base. And Humans didn't die. They utilized Plague Engineer. They were the first deck to incorporate the card in their deck. But yes, all the other worse tribes pretty much were already dead, but now they are FOR SURE.
Isn't this argument then saying that Wizards is right and that removal needs to be weak because players don't like having their creatures killed?

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
Regarding Plague Engineer, I do not know the exact context of Jim Davis's rant. But I have watched some of his streams lately, which I have enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would (I previously didn't like him much because friends who have played him say he stalls too much). I think the context that Jim Davis is using is that you can't play all these super COOOL Tribal decks because of the freaking card. Look at Elves. The deck died. You can't play Elementals. You can't play Faeries. You can't play many tribal decks because of the card. Why? Tribal decks with Aether Vial and Cavern of Souls are not usually going to have removal for the Plague Engineer. It's not part of their game plan or mana base. And Humans didn't die. They utilized Plague Engineer. They were the first deck to incorporate the card in their deck. But yes, all the other worse tribes pretty much were already dead, but now they are FOR SURE.

Isn't this argument then saying that Wizards is right and that removal needs to be weak because players don't like having their creatures killed?
This is different. Plague Engineer is not really technically removal. He is not a Sorcery/Instant Spell that goes away after it resolves or doesn't resolve. It is sort of like a "Global Enchantment" from the set Legends. It invalidates the entirety of many tribal creature decks because many are X/1s. At least all of the cheap ones are. When Plague Engineer is combined with spot removal for Lords who give +1/+1, it can be nearly impossible to overcome.
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Post by pierreb » 1 year ago

Plague engineer doesn't kill creatures. It prevents you from playing them outright. And keep killing them in a poof of smoke the instant they hit the battlefield.

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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

Had a talk with friends this morning about Plague Engineer. My goblin player friend absolutely hates the card.. but the merfolk player is not bothered too much about it, because his deck has 12 lords. I guess some tribal decks can deal with it better than others.
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Post by Amalgam » 1 year ago

Card like plague Engineer need to exist and if anything we need more of them as well for other strategies as well. If anything it's one of the more important cards introduced from Modern Horizons as it's a hate card that needs to be in place for modern. Hopefully we get more answers that are this strong or help more for the current modern meta.
Have never seen people complain about this card previously and if anything just makes me feel it's people just hating on the card as they play tribal strategies and it's a hate card vs them.

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Post by ThatStoryTeller » 1 year ago

I am a faeries player here, and considering the circumstances of plague engineer I am happier that it isnt engineered plague because it can be removed from the field through removal. I play plague engineer in my sideboard myself for the tribal mirrors, but I dont believe it is a serious problem. I find it funny how on a card to card circumstance, most lords help your creatures survive plague engineer and faeries doesnt have that, however the card can be an X-for-1 in many circumstances. I am sure there are ways to lessen the impact though

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

Engineer is fine. It's a catchall answer for a variety of proactive strategies. Modern needs more of these kinds of cards, not less. Its impact on lower tier tribal decks should not deter Wizarda from printing such cards. That is exactly the mentality that got us in this design mess in the first place.

For those that still doubt Oko invalidates all other grindy decks, I hope you watched the SCG PC this weekend. Oko was on full display as the best thing you could be doing to generate value and outgrind an opponent. The recent CKL article on Urza attributes this takeover more to Urza than Oko (https://www.cardknocklife.com/urza-or-h ... e-the-mox/), and I'm fine with that argument as well. Either way, it's more horrible 2019 garbage design ruining and warping formats. I normally try to stay more measured when evaluating Modern and MTG elements, but it's just appalling how wholly and badly Wizards has messed up this year across basically all formats. This year will prove very costly for Magic generally and, worse, Modern specifically.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Anyone crying about plague engineer needs to play removal.

It's not difficult to deal with creatures.
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Post by Yawgmoth » 1 year ago

Amalgam wrote:
1 year ago
Card like plague Engineer need to exist and if anything we need more of them as well for other strategies as well. If anything it's one of the more important cards introduced from Modern Horizons as it's a hate card that needs to be in place for modern. Hopefully we get more answers that are this strong or help more for the current modern meta.
Have never seen people complain about this card previously and if anything just makes me feel it's people just hating on the card as they play tribal strategies and it's a hate card vs them.
I completely agree with everything here. I play Goblins and so Plague Engineer is my worst enemy. As a result I plan accordingly and move on with my life. However, I had never seen anyone complain about it before which is why it caught my eye and led me to post.

The issue I have is not that PE was printed but that there are a lot of other threats for which there are no clear hate pieces. The perennial complaint about Modern is the lack of responses for the over-powered threats. Tribal decks are not particularly egregious/unfair so I find it odd to print a tribal hate piece while letting planeswalkers and big mana run wild.

WotC is clearly capable of printing strong cards to regulate the meta but they seem to not have a good sense of what to target. PE makes sense in a Modern Horizons draft environment where tribal decks were very strong. In Modern as a whole, tribal decks are not the decks that need immediate policing.

I just wonder wether they picked a threat and printed a strong response (as we hope they do) OR they printed a card which by luck just happened to fit what players want.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

I feel some of you are new to the format. I called for an anti tribal card well before PE was printed.
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