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

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drmarkb
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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

Guessing
Urza gone
Veil gone or oko gone, but not both

Lattice stays
Unbans for ponder or preordain or gsz



Legacy astrolabe gone



Twin or Pod gets unbanned and I am out. If either does, it has been fun guys and girls. Enjoy your format.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Can someone explain me why my Twitter feed has been exploding with "Ponder & Preordain is going to be unbanned" feeds?

All of this talk makes more and more certain some cards will be unbanned tomorrow, but Ponder and Preordain are silly options, I feel like. They might, but then decks like combo decks, even Twin are a no go. Even GDS might become too good.



If I had to point to the origin of this, it would be Emma Handy's comment:


Personally, I really dislike these kinds of hot takes (which Handy literally admits is a "hot(-ish?) take" in her post!) Disinvested one-liners like this are harmful to the format, the conversation, and our ability to influence Wizards policy. They cause this harm on multiple levels:

1. These kinds of hot takes set an extremely low bar for how much thought and argument goes into an unban/ban argument. It appears Handy just thought it up on the fly, but then her off-the-cuff opinion quickly got picked up by a number of other Twitter personalities. This creates the perception that there is real consensus and authority behind the suggestion, when it's just a hot take at 9 PM on a Saturday.

2. Hot takes devalue our ban discussions and fuel ban mania. Imagine if players didn't clamor for bans every new set, tournament, event loss, etc., but instead just talked about it when there were real problems. I suspect Wizards would be much more willing to listen. But as it stands, there is so much ban mania that it's impossible for Wizards to differentiate between what the community "actually" wants and what the vocal, hot take social media minority is clamoring for today. Handy's Tweet is just another squirt of fuel on that bonfire.

3. Hot takes squander the influence of top players/pros/personalities. These people absolutely have a valuable voice in the community. Players hear them, Wizards hears them, and they truly do have unique and valuable game experiences. Hot takes dishonor that experience and voice by trivializing their opinions and reducing them to quotables or memes. Their deeper insights are needed to improve the game, not soundbites on social media.

One of my later Fixing Modern articles is going to discuss how players need to avoid these kinds of opinions and discourage others from this kind of conversation. For now, it's enough to say we should not take these positions too seriously.
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Post by Ed06288 » 1 year ago

I second not unbanning twin or pod. i could warm up to preordain but in general I really don't want any cantrips unbanned. i would be excited for gsz unban but dryad arbor makes it annoying.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Ed06288 wrote:
1 year ago
I second not unbanning twin or pod. i could warm up to preordain but in general I really don't want any cantrips unbanned. i would be excited for gsz unban but dryad arbor makes it annoying.
What possible argument in the year of our lord 2020, is there that PREORDAIN is too much for Modern?

The London Mulligan is stronger in Modern than Preordain, and its not close. Like not even close at all.

Preordain is the next AV, Jace, SFM, but its even less powerful.
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Post by stubb » 1 year ago

Ban Oko.

Unban Preordain, GXZ, Pod, Twin. The power level in the format is, at worst, equal to the best of these cards, thanks to 2019.

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Post by Elspeth » 1 year ago

For tomorrow announcement:

My expectations:
Bans: Arcum's astrolabe, Veil of summer, Once upon a time at least, and maybe Urza lord high artificer, Oko thief of crowns too

What I would do:
I know it's a unpopular opinion and it can't really happen, but I do think if want to "save modern", doing the following steps would help:
-Remove Modern Horizons from modern, and reprint the fine cards from this set in future standard sets
Modern isn't legacy so sets that skip standard shouldn't exist in Modern, when we add cards that we don't want in standard, we just take useless risks. Hogaak (obviously), Urza, W6, Giver of runes, Astrolabe, Eladamri's call... won't be missed. Even Force of vigor seems too strong for me (0 mana instant that does a 2 for 2, is broken).

-Don't add any non-standards sets in modern (no MH2)

-Change new standard sets design
More modern reprints
The powerlevel (of the cards/not of the decks) should be the same as modern, exept for the very best cards
More answers
More love for white (black getting enchantements removal bothers me)
More testing (Veil of summer passing through triggers me)

-Create rules for new sets that avoid having broken or non-sense cards in standard/pionner/modern
Choose the maximum powerlevel we want for standard/pionner/modern and never print new cards with a better powerlevel than this. Some exemples: Liliana of the veil, Cryptic command...
Stop printing 0 mana cantrip even if they have restrictions
Stop printing moxes. Mox Tantatile for exemple is bad, but just don't print any of them, it's just busted when it fits with the right deck.

-Bans: Veil of summer, Once upon a time, Ancient stirrings

-Put on a watch list: Mox opal, Oko thief of crowns, Eldrazi temple, Vizier of remedies

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

Damn, you guys have a lot of faith in Wizards! (or you want to be positive about it, which I can understand)

I predict that literally only Oko, Thief of Crowns will be banned and nothing will be unbanned. The explanation? "Oko has become to prevalent in decks and is forcing many to play Simic colors to stay competitive. The card is just too hard to fight against and there have not been consistently good answers to it. Therefore, we are banning the card. No other bans and unbans due to wanting to analyze the data post Oko."

What should be banned? This is what I think.
1. Oko. I'm not gonna give an explanation here.
2. Veil of Summer - terrible card, promotes even less interaction than there already is.
3. Once Upon a Time - terrible card, free search, like others have said, it's horrible that it's legal while stuff like Preordain is banned
4. Urza, High Lord Artificer - the card is just too good and the best deck without Oko being legal. There's a reason that Tolaria Academy and Mox Sapphire were not reprinted in MH. As for this, it's a sneakier way of reprinting those.
4. Arcum's Astrolabe - people have convinced me of this card, which there really is no downside to playing (outside of decks that kill on turn 1 or 2 being prevalent in the meta)

Unbans?
1. Birthing Pod - the speed of this is a joke, there are more answers to it, and it could mark the return of toolbox (well, non Amulet toolbox) type decks.
2. Splinter Twin - I feel that the deck itself would be top 5, but I don't feel it's power level would make it Tier 0. In fact, I'm positive it wouldn't. It promotes interaction. And the biggest thing to me - it would singlehandedly create the most excitement for Modern again. I personally like playing against more players.
3. Preordain - I have a feeling that people are coming around to realizing that this card is not the monster that they thought it was. No longer do people think that the format is all turn 1 and 2 resilient combo decks with this legal. But I don't think it will be legal because of this card - Scour all possibilities.
4. Green Sun's Zenith - if the best thing this does is search for Dryad Arbor, it's laughingly a tragedy that this is still banned. Yet, this also won't be unbanned because of the printing of Finale of Devastation.

I'm gonna stop there, although I kind of want to throw Punishing Fire and possibly some other stuff into the unban list. But you have to remember that I have a high tolerance to stuff that should be banned.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - MBA, UB Inverter
Modern - Amulet Titan, Elementals, Yawmoth Chord, Uroza
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 Ed06288 » 1 year ago

i feel that the amount of card filtering and consistency that is created by preordain and ponder is a little unfair. i did say i was fine with preordain but the blue cantrips are really good overall.

lol @ foodchaingoblins, it's probably gonna be a short ban/unban list tomorrow anyway.

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Post by Ym1r » 1 year ago

My take for Monday is:

Bans:
Oko, Thief of Crowns. The card is a mistake period. There is no discussion around him being "ok-ish" or being "beatable". The card is a mistake in multiple ways and just needs to be banned in any format. I can elaborate more on this but at this point, I think it is obvious so I will save everyone the trouble.
Veil of Summer. It has been banned all around and should be banned in modern. The efficiency and power of this card is WAY above any other answer, and this one is an answer to answers that is just head and shoulders above any answer. There are good reasons we don't have Pyroblast in modern, the same applies to Veil.
Once Upon a Time. Green at this point has the best cantrips available. Having yet another one that is also free is way beyond the line.

Dont' ban for now but keep on watchlist:
Urza, Lord High Artificer. I believe that the deck can be fine without Oko in it. Definitely Tier 1, but I am willing to re-assess things once Oko and Veil are out. I believed the card was fine before the printing of Oko and I still stand by it. That being said, keep it on the watchlist.
Arcum's astrolabe. This is basically the enabler for all Snow strategies. I think it is fine to have Snow strategies be viable and without Oko to unify the interactive decks there is a chance that Snow strategies will diversify. Snow strategies were ok before the Oko slugfest so I think it's ok to reassess later.

Unbans:
None.
I personally don't think that any unbans are necessary. It's only because of powercreep that Twin seems fine. If the design team believes the powercreep will continue, then unban Splinter Twin. If not, it can stay banned.
Birthing Pod, with the immensely powerful creatures we have nowadays will NOT be fine I am willing to bet on it.
Preordain, don't unban it unless OUaT stays legal. .
Counter, draw a card.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Ed06288 wrote:
1 year ago
lol @ foodchaingoblins, it's probably gonna be a short ban/unban list tomorrow anyway.
Based on my faith in WOTC, here's what I expect to happen tomorrow:

Oko banned, nothing else banned, no unbans. No meaningful text update about the format.

PROVE ME WRONG, WOTC!

As a side note, I don't know why anyone is clamoring for these tame cantrips to be unbanned. The reason it is so silly that they are banned is specifically because they are so ludicrously weak by comparison to so many other things. And unbanning them would do very little to change anything for any deck. Like... the London Mulligan combined with the average turn length of the format makes cards like Preordain wholly irrelevant. It would be a complete waste of an apology unban.
drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
Twin or Pod gets unbanned and I am out. If either does, it has been fun guys and girls. Enjoy your format.
I can think of at least a dozen decks off the top of my head, that currently that exist today, that are all considerably worse, less fun, and more awful to play against than either of these. But you do you.

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Post by iTaLenTZ » 1 year ago

Snow is a fun mechanic but poorly executed. The mechanic is designed as a cost versus benefit, you need snow permanents and mana but get stronger cards than usual in return. The reason why Astrolabe should be banned is because at this point playing snowcards doesn't come at the opportunity cost they were designed for. If you want to play a Snowdeck you have to rely on basics thus playing multiple colours should come at a cost. Astrolabe circumvents this cost and makes Snowdecks play 3-4 colors with ease. This fundamentally breaks the Snow mechanic hence they play best of both worlds now.

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Post by True-Name Nemesis » 1 year ago

Astrolabe really just needed to not draw a card, or can only filter using snow mana.

The recent really egregious WoTC mistakes could all have been perfectly fine and fair cards to have if they didn't get 1 too many abilities tacked on. Like if Hogaak didn't have convoke, or if Urza had any 1 of his abilities taken away, or if Veil didn't have the hexproof component and I could go on and on but ughhh.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

Elspeth wrote:
1 year ago
For tomorrow announcement:

My expectations:
Bans: Arcum's astrolabe, Veil of summer, Once upon a time at least, and maybe Urza lord high artificer, Oko thief of crowns too
Seems reasonable and I think most people are in this general category, plus/minus on Urza vs. Opal vs. Astrolabe. But at least one of those latter three need to go and I also believe Wizards will pull that trigger.
What I would do:
I know it's a unpopular opinion and it can't really happen, but I do think if want to "save modern", doing the following steps would help:
-Remove Modern Horizons from modern, and reprint the fine cards from this set in future standard sets
Modern isn't legacy so sets that skip standard shouldn't exist in Modern, when we add cards that we don't want in standard, we just take useless risks. Hogaak (obviously), Urza, W6, Giver of runes, Astrolabe, Eladamri's call... won't be missed. Even Force of vigor seems too strong for me (0 mana instant that does a 2 for 2, is broken).

-Don't add any non-standards sets in modern (no MH2)

-Change new standard sets design
More modern reprints
The powerlevel (of the cards/not of the decks) should be the same as modern, exept for the very best cards
More answers
More love for white (black getting enchantements removal bothers me)
More testing (Veil of summer passing through triggers me)
I disagree on the MH1/MH2 assessment but agree with the design problems. On the first count, MH1 was actually one of the most exciting times to be a Modern player. It led to significant format publicity, event support in the immediate aftermath, and traffic on major sites. Unfortunately, the set itself was broken and had significant design problems. The problem wasn't that MH1/MH2 etc. exist or bypass Standard. The problem is Wizards and their design teams, especially Play Design, completely dropped the ball on testing many of these cards. If Wizards can just improve its testing process, MH1 products, and Standard-legal products more generally, would be a lot better. There are a ton of cards which Modern could benefit from that are not appropriate in Standard. Force of Negation is an excellent example. This is a great safety valve for Modern which disproportionately benefits fairer, interactive blue-based decks, but it would be completely overpowered in Standard where it protects planeswalkers. Wizards can address this in the future by getting more eyes on their products, especially eyes that actually play Modern competitively.

That said, if for whatever reasons Wizards is unable to improve design/development/testing enough to prevent future MH1 disasters, then those sets do need to go. None of the nonrotating formats can survive those kinds of untested, beyond busted upheavals every 1-2 years. Thankfully, I think Wizards is going to take a deep reassessment of their Play Design failures and make some corrections in the future. This should drastically improve the odds of MH2 being less problematic.
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
Oko banned, nothing else banned, no unbans. No meaningful text update about the format.

PROVE ME WRONG, WOTC!
Sadly, this prediction is a legitimate possibility. I'd put it as slightly less likely than a multi-ban scenario, just because Wizards has so much banning momentum from other formats where a trio of busted ELD/M20 offenders have hurt the game (Veil, Oko, OUaT), but it is still in the realm of possibility. I also think it's entirely possible we see just a few sentences about Modern that explain away the other issues and discuss how Oko is warping the format so much it's impossible to know what else is going on. Of course, we know this is complete %$#%$#%, but Wizards could easily say it. This doesn't mean they won't release a statement eventually, or that they don't have one in the works later, but tomorrow looks like it's just going to be a ban day.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Oko and Veil must go.
Astrolabe should go.

If the above 3 go, I think urza is possible fine.
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

metalmusic_4 wrote:
1 year ago
I support an astrolabe ban completely.....among other bans. Blood moon used to be very powerful but because of astrolabe it now does very little. Blood moon is, and should be, an important check in the format.
I really, really like what they tried to do with Astrolabe. It's pretty obvious that the card was meant to try and address format pricing issues. Not only was it released alongside a fetch for any basic, but it's pushed enough that it could have probably lowered the need for a lot of duals. In fact, looking at Legacy it did that very thing as decks are playing fewer duals lately (shocks haven't been an issue for a long time). But, it does too much in Modern, and it did too much in Pauper.

I think a better design would have had it cost X snow mana, and you would name a number of colors on ETB equal to X, and it could then filter into those colors. But, that design would have been too much for common and they clearly wanted it in Pauper too.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

True-Name Nemesis wrote:
1 year ago
CFB has this one on entertainment value, actual stream quality-wise CFB still can't do it as well as SCG.
Sometimes. I think CFB has some very good people streaming at times though. GP Reid Duke was innovative and fun. Marshall is good on camera. Cheon was good when he used to do it. SCG's best is Patrick+Cedric, and they blow everyone else away, but outside of that top tier I don't think SCG is actually all that good and CFB is easily better than anything else SCG has.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

iTaLenTZ wrote:
1 year ago
The big question is: Will they ban Urza or will they ban around Urza. If they ban around Urza at least 2 pieces must go.
- Ban Urza
-or ban Mox Opal/Astrolabe/Emry
My feelings on Astrolabe are known. On the other hand, I'm very much against a Mox Opal ban and I think an Emry ban is largely pointless. Without Emry, Goblin Engineer comes back and things are largely unchanged with the exception of needing a bit more non blue mana.
- T3feri: Shuts off 1 player of playing MTG
- OUaT: Helps linear non-interactive decks become more consistent more than it helps creature based or value/midrange strategies
I think Teferi is a big problem because of just how bad it screws up any sort of counter plays from the opponent. It significantly pushes the strength of removal needed to be viable in the format, and that's a bad thing. I'm open to any action on this one, or no action at all.

Once Upon a Time on the other hand I think does some very good things for the format in adding consistency to some decks. The only reason I think the card is ok though is the London Mulligan which works to close the advantage gap created by running the card..

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
3. Hot takes squander the influence of top players/pros/personalities. These people absolutely have a valuable voice in the community. Players hear them, Wizards hears them, and they truly do have unique and valuable game experiences. Hot takes dishonor that experience and voice by trivializing their opinions and reducing them to quotables or memes. Their deeper insights are needed to improve the game, not soundbites on social media.
You've been against these types of things for a while, but I want to point out that Wizards currently encourages this behavior. So much of being a current pro has less to do with playing ability (which is in no way saying she's bad at Magic) and more to do with having a social media personality. Popular streams, lots of tweets, maybe an article here and there, and so on. It's more about being visible than being good. So controversial clickbait that spreads your name and increases an engagement score is how you get Wizards to decide to promote you as a big name. SCG has been following the same path. With Emma Handy being on both right now.

Edit: Also, note that the platforms the Magic community has moved to, largely don't allow for nuance. It's small sound bytes on twitch, twitter comments of 35 words or less, and so on. Magics community these days is more fractured than ever. I honestly think it's as fractured these days as it was back in the late 90's. Forums are almost entirely dead, every community is basically for a specific deck on a discord channel that doesn't effectively archive anything, or is one way communication from article writers. So again, this is another way in which the community is encouraged to give these types of opinions.
Last edited by Aazadan 1 year ago, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Mtgthewary » 1 year ago

Scg day 2, 21 urza/whirza decks, 10 Tron (eldrazi and green together) at first places. We can see again how far urza style decks are above rest of the field. Since so many months now

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Post by Ym1r » 1 year ago

Bah, these Titan mirrors (simic or amulet) are SO freaking boring. I know that the deck is skill intensive, I know that there are a ton of decisions, but they feel SO meaningless in this style of gameplay "I play lands I do thing, pass, you play lands you do things, we attack each other with Titans or Zombies, whoever got to the titan/zombies first wins". Yes of course it's more complicated than that but it's still boring AF.

Talking about hot takes, my hottest take for what needs to happen, and I might be completely wrong, but still, it's super hot take:
Ban A LOT of cards in one go, sort of "reset" the format, and start unbanning gradually to see what works. Ban Oko, veil, OUaT, Mox Opal, Urza, a dredge card, Stirrings, and maybe even more and see where we end up. After that (say in 6-10 months) we can enter a period where they start unbanning a card every 6 months or something and see how the format stabilizes.
Counter, draw a card.

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Post by Ym1r » 1 year ago

So SCG top 8 is 4x Urzas, 1x Yawgmoth combo, Green Devotion, Bant Stoneblade, Amulet Titan.
Counter, draw a card.

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Post by Mtgthewary » 1 year ago

What a surprise.
Warning for spamming.
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Post by Amalgam » 1 year ago

Why on earth is the CFB showing draft instead of Modern? Are they just going to switch to top 8 instead of showing full day 2 stream?
The top 8 for this modern GP probably carries the most weight when it comes to any bans/unbans tomorrow

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
3. Hot takes squander the influence of top players/pros/personalities. These people absolutely have a valuable voice in the community. Players hear them, Wizards hears them, and they truly do have unique and valuable game experiences. Hot takes dishonor that experience and voice by trivializing their opinions and reducing them to quotables or memes. Their deeper insights are needed to improve the game, not soundbites on social media.
You've been against these types of things for a while, but I want to point out that Wizards currently encourages this behavior. So much of being a current pro has less to do with playing ability (which is in no way saying she's bad at Magic) and more to do with having a social media personality. Popular streams, lots of tweets, maybe an article here and there, and so on. It's more about being visible than being good. So controversial clickbait that spreads your name and increases an engagement score is how you get Wizards to decide to promote you as a big name. SCG has been following the same path. With Emma Handy being on both right now.

Edit: Also, note that the platforms the Magic community has moved to, largely don't allow for nuance. It's small sound bytes on twitch, twitter comments of 35 words or less, and so on. Magics community these days is more fractured than ever. I honestly think it's as fractured these days as it was back in the late 90's. Forums are almost entirely dead, every community is basically for a specific deck on a discord channel that doesn't effectively archive anything, or is one way communication from article writers. So again, this is another way in which the community is encouraged to give these types of opinions.
I totally agree with you that Wizards has encouraged this type of behavior. I also agree with your edit: the overall state of Magic communication (communication generally?) has moved away from long-form discussion and debate to soundbites and hot takes. It's a bad state of affairs. Although I'd like to see this change for all areas of Magic, I'd settle for just Modern-specific changes right now. Players should hold their content creators to higher standards, as well as holding their own contributions to a higher standard. This would increase our understanding of the format, lead to richer, deeper conversation, and create a more welcoming environment for a struggling format. I don't think this is going to happen without some serious work by all parties, but it's one of many things that needs to change about the current state of Modern if we want to recover from the last year.
Ym1r wrote:
1 year ago
Talking about hot takes, my hottest take for what needs to happen, and I might be completely wrong, but still, it's super hot take:
Ban A LOT of cards in one go, sort of "reset" the format, and start unbanning gradually to see what works. Ban Oko, veil, OUaT, Mox Opal, Urza, a dredge card, Stirrings, and maybe even more and see where we end up. After that (say in 6-10 months) we can enter a period where they start unbanning a card every 6 months or something and see how the format stabilizes.
I don't think this take is particularly hot right now, and I largely support this idea. As I've noted before, I would frame this more of a nerf-ban style of ban policy, where we're both removing flagrant offenders like Oko and either Urza/Opal, and also hitting some of Modern's more problematic, broken, discouraging decks at their margins. This means allowing people to play Tron as much as they want, but removing either their best consistency tools (e.g. banning Map) or removing their ability to fight back against hate (e.g. banning Nature's Claim). Examples of such bans would also include Creeping Chill for Dredge and Force of Vigor as a general anti-hate card that disproportionately benefits unfair decks. I will be pushing for this in a future article.
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Post by th33l3x » 1 year ago

anybody know at what time they'll do the announcement? or is it all hush hush from here on out?

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