Tomatotime wrote: ↑
1 year ago
Alright, for the sake of argument, please sell this idea to a typical player. Lets say someone has been put through the wringer in Modern, and was fed up during the Hogaak season and then quit playing, and then Hogaak (among other cards) all get unbanned all at once, if you had to sell a customer on that format, how would you convince them and how would you actually make them want to be part of it?
Well, first I would start with a vision statement for the format. I would update what is already there, [mention]ktkenshinx[/mention] is already drafting an article that makes an excellent case for Modern needing to change the format goals. I don't think there's any reason to do something drastic like change the starting point of the format, but we've already seen a change to the rules of how sets can be added.
So, you state what the goals of the format are and it's purpose. Then, after that you sell it as a relaunch of Modern. No one needs to change their collection because the same cards/sets are all still legal. But, the card pool of the format has grown significantly since it was created, and design philosophies have also changed. Out of the 35 cards on the ban list currently, 21 of them have never been legal in the format (excepting that one initial GP that was more a proof of concept). Out of the remaining 14 cards, about 5 or so have been banned in what is essentially a different era of Magic.
Thus, most of the Modern ban list was created at a time when the understanding of the format/game was very, very different. Some of those cards should probably still be banned today, but evidence suggests that both the players and the developers for the format have preconceptions that aren't necessarily true. However, determining what those preconceptions are without being able to test anything is difficult at best. Evidence that can be cited for this are the reluctance to make multiple unbans (Stoneforge Mystic, Jace the Mind Sculptor, Bitterblossom, Wild Nacatl, and more). As well as multiple bans which missed their target (Bridge from Below, Bloodbraid Elf, Second Sunrise).
As such, in light of the fact that Pioneer was able to construct an evidence based ban list, it stands to reason that Modern can do the same. By doing this all currently banned and unbanned cards can be tested, and the format can be made to align with goals that make sense for a format with a card pool the size of Moderns.
For enfranchised players this offers two things: First, any beloved decks that have been banned in the past get a chance to prove themselves all over again (too weak, too strong, or just right), in addition to a rare opportunity to even revisit them. Second, it offers the opportunity to reevaluate the entire format without any preconceptions. When things are too good (as they undoubtedly will be), they can be fixed within a week. There would be no months long Eldrazi Winters. When such decks appear, and they become too dominant things can be rapidly corrected.
For the brewers this would offer an ability to really think about what decks make sense to build and why.
For the developers there would be the opportunity to correct misconceptions. Guesses don't have to be made as to if GSZ+Dryad Arbor is or isn't too good. There would be evidence. This sort of evidence can then be used to print cards for the format that can be better targeted to it's needs and goals. The developers would also have a unique opportunity to truly put the format to the test. For many reasons R&D cannot fully vet each set in Modern even if they do give cards a once over. This would provide true vetting of the last several years worth of cards, and create all new analytics when evaluating cards in the future.
For the less enfranchised players. this would provide more format confidence once the ban cycle has been completed because everyone could be secure in the knowledge that nothing is banned that shouldn't be. This would mean that archetype defining cards like GSZ or Bitterblossom either would or wouldn't be on the list. And if you like that archetype you can obtain it without worrying that maybe one day in the future there's an unban, but you no longer have the resources to move into the deck.
For the streamers this would be a unique event. Twitch streaming of Pioneer iterations was very popular and this would provide even more engaging content.
In your example, if Hogaak comes back the tools would be in place (through the ban process) to quickly eliminate it. Or, if it comes back and isn't too good... then it won't ruin your format while people who enjoyed it can enjoy it again. Either outcome results in a win for the format.