[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

Ed06288 wrote:
1 year ago
Why didn't they make karn the great creator a white card? Like make it cost 2 colorless and 2 white. Seems like a white card. Sort of. And then tron wouldn't get to abuse it as much
Lore balls trumping game play. Karn is a colourless dude.

It does feel a bit white in its effects. Of course, White is only allowed to be garbage since they stopped it nerfing anything, so he can't be white. Small outclassed dudes and basic o ring effects is all white has left. Without nerf effects like stony silence and before that global removal like balance or cataclysm white serves no purpose. Piddling taxes is all white gets. All of white's functions bar pathetic hatebears and splashy unplayable angels go against what the data says people like. So we have an entire colour neutered because some tossers at wotc can't understand what the data does not tell us, that people like balanced games and don't always want what is best for them nor sometimes even know what they want, only what they think they want. This is why we ended up a few years ago with Stoddard telling us how cool Emmy, Promised and was when it was being energised out with no answers. White is an answer colour, a lock colour, and previously a global land kill colour, a tax colour, and a 'no' colour. Such things are not de rigeur.

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
This new Yawgmoth, Thran Physician - Geralf's Messenger ticks all the boxes for being a Tier 1 modern deck.
I am surprised it took this long to get rolling, I bought all the parts when Yawg spoiled, but I just cannot play a Modern BG deck, I need more stack/instant stuff.
I too dislike this pod descendant combo critter stuff. I would be far more averse to Pod returning than Twin, for example. This deck has a free plan b, something I always hate- it can grind or it can combo with no deck building constraint.

Legacy is the format for you if you can find players or play mtgo. Stack is where it is at in Legacy, the games are awesome. I once had two activations of maze of ith, 2 flusterstorms, two swords, two forces, one crop rotation, one kor haven, a brainstorm, a berserk, a wasteland, a k grip grip, two vines of v, and an invigorate on the stack. I lost to infect, but what a stack!
It is not that expensive once you have your deck. 2-3 duals and 4 force, or a bg deck like depths with lots of decays, crop rotations, activated abilities and trophies etc. Stack is way more important in Legacy.

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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Amulet did receive a banning some years ago and it deserved it. Turn 3 kill don't happen enough with no summer bloom nowadays.

Now, if you ask me, whether bloom should be unbanned (I know FoodChainGoblins might still be thinking it could be fine?), no, I don't believe it would be fine.
Summer Bloom absolutely would NOT be fine in this current meta. Before Oko was banned, arguably any Magic card could be "fine" in that meta. That being said, I think it is fine if some other cards are released into the wild.
Preordain
Splinter Twin - if this is legal, I believe that Summer Bloom could be also legal (although with so many recent upgrades, perhaps not)
Green Sun's Zenith
Birthing Pod
Summer Bloom?! If ever unbanned, this boogieman would terrorize our local fnm's without fail. One of the more powerful decks that ever existed in modern. It would be hilarious, everyone in our playgroup would be warping sideboards right away, :grin:

Although I agree. Debatably, it could be let out if twin is also let out. They existed together before being banned.
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

Lord Seth wrote:
1 year ago
Has Wizards of the Coast ever said how they messed up so badly with Oko? I remember when they banned it, some people complained about their lack of an explanation, even in their separate article that supposedly was supposed to give more light into it (compare it back to their in-depth articles on Skullclamp or Jace/Stoneforge). Maybe they put up a new article in the meantime and I missed it.
No, there's been a lot of speculation as a result. They've treated it much the same way they treated Skullclamp and Ravager Affinity which is pretty suspicious given how they normally treat this stuff.

Basically all they've given was a couple of offhand stream comments where they said they wanted it to be really good, and they didn't realize in testing that players would use the +1 on the opponents cards.

Which seems like a pretty major oversight that raises way more questions than it answers.
Why would you ban Karn over Mycosynth Lattice? Karn is hardly overpowered on his own and can potentially see play without Lattice, whereas Lattice is useless without Karn.
It is still crazy powerful giving access to sideboard artifacts in game 1 plus the wishboard aspect which can activate twice and stay on the battlefield. The card might be ok, but Tron variants that play it really don't need more help at the moment. In the past 4.5 years of Magic which as included two three set multicolor blocks, colorless cards have benefited more than any other color pair.

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Post by Albegas » 1 year ago

Lord Seth wrote:
1 year ago
Has Wizards of the Coast ever said how they messed up so badly with Oko? I remember when they banned it, some people complained about their lack of an explanation, even in their separate article that supposedly was supposed to give more light into it (compare it back to their in-depth articles on Skullclamp or Jace/Stoneforge). Maybe they put up a new article in the meantime and I missed it.
They did actually put up an article around the time Oko was banned in Standard: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2019-11-18

They fully admit that Oko was an error, how it happened, and how they plan on changing their approach to 3 CMC walkers so it doesn't happen again. It's also worth mentioning that they believe T3feri to also be an error that shouldn't be repeated even if he was allowed to live a natural life in Standard. It's actually not a bad read.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
Legacy is the format for you if you can find players or play mtgo. Stack is where it is at in Legacy, the games are awesome. I once had two activations of maze of ith, 2 flusterstorms, two swords, two forces, one crop rotation, one kor haven, a brainstorm, a berserk, a wasteland, a k grip grip, two vines of v, and an invigorate on the stack. I lost to infect, but what a stack!
It is not that expensive once you have your deck. 2-3 duals and 4 force, or a bg deck like depths with lots of decays, crop rotations, activated abilities and trophies etc. Stack is way more important in Legacy.
I mean maybe thats what I should do to retain some link to Magic? Just play Grixis Control on MTGO.

The cost in Paper is simply unacceptable for me to invest in.
UR Control UR

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Post by Yawgmoth » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
Legacy is the format for you if you can find players or play mtgo. Stack is where it is at in Legacy, the games are awesome. I once had two activations of maze of ith, 2 flusterstorms, two swords, two forces, one crop rotation, one kor haven, a brainstorm, a berserk, a wasteland, a k grip grip, two vines of v, and an invigorate on the stack. I lost to infect, but what a stack!
It is not that expensive once you have your deck. 2-3 duals and 4 force, or a bg deck like depths with lots of decays, crop rotations, activated abilities and trophies etc. Stack is way more important in Legacy.
I mean maybe thats what I should do to retain some link to Magic? Just play Grixis Control on MTGO.

The cost in Paper is simply unacceptable for me to invest in.
I recently started playing legacy Goblins after years of modern. The game play is a lot more dynamic in my opinion. So many possible lines of play. With a Vial on three and a Matron in hand I have so many responses to anything my opponent can do at instant speed. Not to mention all of the mana denial. Much less deterministic compared to modern.

These elements are absent/lesser in modern. Buying into dual lands was a bit painful but I'm more confident in their resale value than any of my Modern staples. The volatility of the modern market lately has also contributed to my lessened enjoyment. It started to feel like I was throwing hundreds of dollars away every few months as the format economy kept changing in response to bans and pioneer announcements.

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Post by Lord Seth » 1 year ago

Albegas wrote:
1 year ago
Lord Seth wrote:
1 year ago
Has Wizards of the Coast ever said how they messed up so badly with Oko? I remember when they banned it, some people complained about their lack of an explanation, even in their separate article that supposedly was supposed to give more light into it (compare it back to their in-depth articles on Skullclamp or Jace/Stoneforge). Maybe they put up a new article in the meantime and I missed it.
They did actually put up an article around the time Oko was banned in Standard: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2019-11-18

They fully admit that Oko was an error, how it happened, and how they plan on changing their approach to 3 CMC walkers so it doesn't happen again. It's also worth mentioning that they believe T3feri to also be an error that shouldn't be repeated even if he was allowed to live a natural life in Standard. It's actually not a bad read.
That's exactly the separate article I was talking about, though. That article says basically nothing about how they messed up Oko so much. Instead, we just get an admission he was too good (the obvious), an explanation of an acronym that reads like one of those lame motivational speeches you get at work, and then a mention that three-mana planeswalkers can be dangerous. None of that is an actual explanation as to how Oko somehow managed to get it through as he was. As I remember someone quipped, "did no tester bother putting the food cards in the same deck?"

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

Lord Seth wrote:
1 year ago
That's exactly the separate article I was talking about, though. That article says basically nothing about how they messed up Oko so much. Instead, we just get an admission he was too good (the obvious), an explanation of an acronym that reads like one of those lame motivational speeches you get at work, and then a mention that three-mana planeswalkers can be dangerous. None of that is an actual explanation as to how Oko somehow managed to get it through as he was. As I remember someone quipped, "did no tester bother putting the food cards in the same deck?"
Sometimes, not saying something reveals more than saying something. The fact that they're going so far out of their way to comment on Oko, implies that they can't admit to why Oko happened. They've admitted to so many testing failures in the past, that it must have been something else.

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Post by Albegas » 1 year ago

Lord Seth wrote:
1 year ago
That's exactly the separate article I was talking about, though. That article says basically nothing about how they messed up Oko so much. Instead, we just get an admission he was too good (the obvious), an explanation of an acronym that reads like one of those lame motivational speeches you get at work, and then a mention that three-mana planeswalkers can be dangerous. None of that is an actual explanation as to how Oko somehow managed to get it through as he was. As I remember someone quipped, "did no tester bother putting the food cards in the same deck?"
I apologize, I was in a bit of a rush this morning and must have missed the separate article part of your quote entirely. Sadly, I think the original article really does explain how they messed up so badly, albeit discreetly:
The story is rooted in the fact that Play Design is (and needs to be) a design team, not simply a playtesting team
I.e. playtesting is done, but the team's focus is on both design and playtesting with more emphasis on design, More than likely, they only tested enough to power down Oko to what he is as opposed to the permanent-stealing monster he was originally born as and spent more time "...working on different structures for the Food deck, moving planeswalkers around on the mana curve to react to shifting costs elsewhere in the file, and churning through a variety of designs to try and find something that had any hope of being a fun Constructed card". I might be reading too much into it, but the article seems to imply that the team only has a limited amount of time to playtest and likely doesn't have enough time to really grind through possible decks and identify problems at the same rate that the competitive circuit. In fact, by the sounds of it, what they may really need is a team of outsourced pro players that just take designs as-is, build decks with them, and report the broken cards.

So to answer the anonymous quip, "Yes, but only enough to iron out CMCS, not to break Food decks."

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

Lord Seth wrote:
1 year ago
Albegas wrote:
1 year ago
Lord Seth wrote:
1 year ago
Has Wizards of the Coast ever said how they messed up so badly with Oko? I remember when they banned it, some people complained about their lack of an explanation, even in their separate article that supposedly was supposed to give more light into it (compare it back to their in-depth articles on Skullclamp or Jace/Stoneforge). Maybe they put up a new article in the meantime and I missed it.
They did actually put up an article around the time Oko was banned in Standard: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2019-11-18

They fully admit that Oko was an error, how it happened, and how they plan on changing their approach to 3 CMC walkers so it doesn't happen again. It's also worth mentioning that they believe T3feri to also be an error that shouldn't be repeated even if he was allowed to live a natural life in Standard. It's actually not a bad read.
That's exactly the separate article I was talking about, though. That article says basically nothing about how they messed up Oko so much. Instead, we just get an admission he was too good (the obvious), an explanation of an acronym that reads like one of those lame motivational speeches you get at work, and then a mention that three-mana planeswalkers can be dangerous. None of that is an actual explanation as to how Oko somehow managed to get it through as he was. As I remember someone quipped, "did no tester bother putting the food cards in the same deck?"
Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
Lord Seth wrote:
1 year ago
That's exactly the separate article I was talking about, though. That article says basically nothing about how they messed up Oko so much. Instead, we just get an admission he was too good (the obvious), an explanation of an acronym that reads like one of those lame motivational speeches you get at work, and then a mention that three-mana planeswalkers can be dangerous. None of that is an actual explanation as to how Oko somehow managed to get it through as he was. As I remember someone quipped, "did no tester bother putting the food cards in the same deck?"
Sometimes, not saying something reveals more than saying something. The fact that they're going so far out of their way to comment on Oko, implies that they can't admit to why Oko happened. They've admitted to so many testing failures in the past, that it must have been something else.
I fully agree Wizards has been opaque, vague, and dismissive about the significant design failures of 2019. This includes Oko. Compare and contrast the apologetic and transparent article about Skullclamp's failures with the corporate platitudes of Oko's:

2004: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2004-06-04
2019: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2019-11-18

The Skullclamp article includes specific design notes and test cards, showing the evolution of an innocuous card to an insanely broken one. The Oko article speaks in vague, high-level terms about overall set design and Oko falling through the cracks. It is particularly egregious that Wizards appears to have deliberately covered this up by completely excluding Oko's design notes from their M Files article on his colors:

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2019-10-11

A lot of other iconic mythics and planeswalkers (Garruk, Royal Scions) got the M File treatment. Oko, however, got deep-sixed with the rest of the mess. Also missing from this coverup piece is Once Upon a Time, but that omission isn't nearly as offensive as Oko's.

Overall, I am alarmed by Wizards', and specifically Play Design's, failure to publicly address the significant, numerous, and egregious mistakes of 2019. It's not like they just missed the mark on Oko. 2019 led to multi-format bans with a toxic mix of the absurdly broken (Hogaak, Oko) to overshot powerlevel on intentional design (Field of the Dead) to obvious missed synergies (Karn + Lattice). This is on top of ridiculous stuff like Veil of Summer as compared to the rest of that hate cycle; compare those cards and the M Files notes on them and tell me with a straight face that green wasn't outrageously pushed. These kinds of multi-format, multi-set failures inspire no confidence in the team that was explicitly designed to prevent them. I don't think Wizards owes the community an explanation, but if they aren't at least having internal discussions about these failures, we're %$#% for 2020 and beyond.
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Post by Tomatotime » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
I fully agree Wizards has been opaque, vague, and dismissive about the significant design failures of 2019. This includes Oko. Compare and contrast the apologetic and transparent article about Skullclamp's failures with the corporate platitudes of Oko's:

2004: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2004-06-04
2019: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2019-11-18

The Skullclamp article includes specific design notes and test cards, showing the evolution of an innocuous card to an insanely broken one. The Oko article speaks in vague, high-level terms about overall set design and Oko falling through the cracks. It is particularly egregious that Wizards appears to have deliberately covered this up by completely excluding Oko's design notes from their M Files article on his colors:

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2019-10-11

A lot of other iconic mythics and planeswalkers (Garruk, Royal Scions) got the M File treatment. Oko, however, got deep-sixed with the rest of the mess. Also missing from this coverup piece is Once Upon a Time, but that omission isn't nearly as offensive as Oko's.
I think the reason they don't openly share the details for Oko is that in that one twitch stream that Paul and Melissa did, they came right out and admitted they were "instructed" to push Oko. Clearly the spirit of what occurred was utterly intentional and it was most likely started by someone high up the food chain who does not want to accept any responsibility in my eyes.

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Post by MAGUSZANIN » 1 year ago

Honestly, I think the most damning parts of the M-files articles were that parts on Royal Scions. "Priority test" wut? Because you added an extra keyword to the second plus one and an extra drawn card to the ult? Are you flipping kidding me?

This card has the same CMC, shares a color, and doesn't directly produce card advantage from either plus ability despite being in the primary card advantage color. Oko directly produces another permanent or board state change even if he immediately dies to removal. He produces an independent stream of 3/3s with no other permanent's required, while Royal Scions can't even use a plus ability properly if you cast it from an empty hand onto an empty board.

"Now a Priority Test". That is just 2019 in a nut shell, isn't it? The card that is pretty much totally unremarkable got marked as a priority for further testing, while Oko just sat in the background, twiddling his shirtless days away.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

If what Modern currently looks like is how WOTC wants Modern to look, then the days of playing decks from the "old times" are completely dead. Control, Tempo, and reactionary strategies are simply not what you want to be doing. And if they're going to continually tell us that this power creep is OK, then might as well roll with it. I have officially joined the Dark Side.

This (and decks like Tron and Titan) are on a completely different plane of existence from the kinds of middling, blue, interactive decks I actually want to play. This feels leaps and bounds more powerful than anything I have sleeved up in at least 2+ years. And this is WITHOUT Opal. Modern is nuts. And the top tier of decks are orders of magnitude better than everything else. Feels very strange being on the other side of the table.

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

I don't mind power creep, it is one sided power creep I have issues with. Threats creeping, no scrub that, running, whilst answers stagnate. That is intentional, and why Modern is garbage. It may do for Legacy eventually.

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Post by AvalonAurora » 1 year ago

drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
I don't mind power creep, it is one sided power creep I have issues with. Threats creeping, no scrub that, running, whilst answers stagnate. That is intentional, and why Modern is garbage. It may do for Legacy eventually.
It isn't just the threats that are creeping, it's the protection from answers that is as well, if we take stuff like Veil of Summer into account, and the way they seem to be more willing to put things like 'can't be countered', hexproof, and cast triggers rather than etb triggers on relatively strong creatures.

I wouldn't say answers are entirely stagnating though, they've grown, just not kept up. After all, we are still getting things like Force of Negation, Fatal Push, Archmage's Charm, Kolaghan's Command, Pillage, Abrade and Liliana's Triumph getting added to the card pool on occasion. And I think we've got a lot more sideboard leaning options too?

The problem is then partly that the threats have perhaps become too diverse, so less flexible answers become less useful in the main board, and there aren't enough sideboard slots to keep up with the metagame, or even sometimes a single opposing deck that has a lot of angles of attack.

This might mean that WotC will at some point either be forced to print a lot of super-flexible and efficient answers that'll become the new equivalents of a 'bolt test' kind of thing, or they'll be forced to ban a lot of more flexible threats that have too many synergies with different sorts of other threats, or have too many angles of attack, or have built-in consistency and/or tutoring type tools, as well as threat enablers whose threats have become more diverse (for instance, the Tron lands used to be a lot weaker, because there was less good options you had with colorless threats, but the more and more good colorless cards they print that do new things, the less it is justified for colorless to potentially get bonus mana, there is a reason green has as many carefully catered weaknesses as it does to make up for it's mana ramping).

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Post by th33l3x » 1 year ago

don't think threats are too diverse, and as you say, removal is good enough, Drown in the Loch, Trophy, Path take care of most things.

The problem is veil of Summer, pure and simple. It's too good, to broad. End of story

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Post by Arkmer » 1 year ago

The issue with removal is that one for ones are bad because threats all have value stapled to them, actively create tempo, or are resilient in some capacity. Some threats do multiple of those things. It's blasphemy to staple value to removal though- in fact, many "good" removal spells are situational, others give your opponent things. Where are the "playable" threats with those down sides?

As it stands, unanswered removal does nothing more than the text on the card, but unanswered threats win games. That difference compounds the disparity between threat and answer that I've described, but we continue to see threats pushed further and further with each set while removal continues to be limited in it's ability to create value.

The bias is clearly in favor of threats.
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Post by Shmanka » 1 year ago

Arkmer wrote:
1 year ago
The issue with removal is that one for ones are bad because threats all have value stapled to them, actively create tempo, or are resilient in some capacity. Some threats do multiple of those things. It's blasphemy to staple value to removal though- in fact, many "good" removal spells are situational, others give your opponent things. Where are the "playable" threats with those down sides?

As it stands, unanswered removal does nothing more than the text on the card, but unanswered threats win games. That difference compounds the disparity between threat and answer that I've described, but we continue to see threats pushed further and further with each set while removal continues to be limited in it's ability to create value.

The bias is clearly in favor of threats.
This is exactly what we should be thankful for in which Wizards does generally in a correct fashion. It's proper game design to have threats > answers. We want games to actually end in a reasonable amount of time, and decision making most important on the defensive end.

What you are extravagantly complaining about, is actually the fundamental reason for Magic's very unbeatable success as the premier TCG/CCG. If you've stuck around for as long as I have, and seen how many other games have tried to tackle and fail this notion, you would quickly realize which of the many games are simply doomed to fail.

There is a spectrum in which we can have a healthy debate, Threats SHOULD beat answers, but the real question is "by how much?"

Tarmogoyf from my understanding at the time of this post; is at best a Tier 2 card. It's very much superseded in the Modern card pool by creature combo threats, cheaper and more cost effective threats, and card advantageous threats. That to me is a healthy position. Force of Negation was probably the best reactive card design to come from Modern Horizons for all the complaints it has received. Yet all of the mistakes that have been made, are very responsible except for a very select 10 cards, which seems to me more likely of a playtesting issue, rather than a design of the game fundamentally, or a design of the card individually.

2019 definitely does not look good overall for Magic, but blaming the design of threats being better than answers is a ridiculous notion in a timed Swiss Round competitive game.

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Post by Arkmer » 1 year ago

I'm not in any way saying that answers should be better than threats. I'm saying that the gap between them is immense right now and it should be smaller.

I'm also not sure it's "extravagant" to have a single post in a few pages that highlights how threats out pace removal, something you clearly agree with.
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Answers aren't necessarily the problem, but the win conditions within decks that usually want to play a lot of answers. Those win conditions are usually slow, clunky, and not good enough if your answers don't line up perfectly (or if your answers are temporary, likewise bouncing). It was honestly the only reason Twin was good, and a big reason why (outside of a few, brief, small pockets) control decks have not existed at the forefront of the format since.

Playing answers isn't good enough, unless you can effectively answer EVERYTHING, or you're also killing opponents efficiently. For the most part, reactive decks aren't doing either of those very well. So why play them?

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Post by Arkmer » 1 year ago

Right, "so why play them?" Shouldn't there be a reason to play those decks?
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
I fully agree Wizards has been opaque, vague, and dismissive about the significant design failures of 2019. This includes Oko. Compare and contrast the apologetic and transparent article about Skullclamp's failures with the corporate platitudes of Oko's:
Yes, I miswrote what I meant. It's the opposite of how they treated Skullclamp. Early on they knew there were issues, but once it was clear a ban was needed, there were a bunch of retrospectives, explaining what went wrong and how.

Thinking about it, I think we were very close to that happening with Jace, Vryn's Prodigy during Magic Origins. And then once the bans really started, the first one got the Skullclamp treatment, the next one was slightly less, and since then it feels to me like Wizards has just gotten numb to the constant bannings that what was once considered a once per 5 to 10 year event (Standard bannings) has become a multiple times per year event. Either the team has just given up on trying to correct the process (which would imply they can't fix it), or there's upper level management intentionally stifling the conversation because they're pushing for something unpopular among the players and don't want to admit to it.

For example, you can contrast things like Energy and Smugglers Copter with what we've seen with Chainwhirler, Oko, and so on. It is apparent they have some sort of motivation to say very little and that is a significant departure from how this stuff used to get handled.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

Shmanka wrote:
1 year ago
This is exactly what we should be thankful for in which Wizards does generally in a correct fashion. It's proper game design to have threats > answers. We want games to actually end in a reasonable amount of time, and decision making most important on the defensive end.
Wizards has mostly changed the dynamic with threats vs answers over the past couple years. If we take them at their word, they want good answers to still exist, but they don't want those answers to be mana efficient. For example, they don't like a 1 mana removal spell taking out a 4 mana creature, even with that creature providing additional value. They would much rather it be say 3 mana to kill a 4 mana card, with both providing something extra.

They have yet to hit the right power level for that sort of exchange in Modern though. They possibly don't even want to try, because it would require removal on par with Council's Judgement, or perhaps even better than that.

th33l3x
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Post by th33l3x » 1 year ago

In my opinion, this "threats vs answers: threats should be better/have to be better" is a gross over-simplification of the matter. Some removal spells are "better" than some creatures, i.e. they trade up with them in value/tempo (e.g. Push with revolt, Kommand with artifacts etc). The power relationship between creatures and removal is different in every single case. Stuff like Path or Trophy exchange some (though less useful) value in lands for efficiency/consistently having relevant targets. Bolt is narrower in its "removal" mode, but goes upstairs and to PWs which is a HUGE bonus.

Also, I think its fair to say most interactive spells are on average more mana-efficient than the threats they can potentially answer.
Another thing is that most interactive spells are instants, and most threats are not.

All in all, I think modern is full of really really good, sufficiently broad answers.

The problem is, its not just threats vs answers, its threats PLUS PROTECTION SPELLS vs answers. And that is still kind of fine as long as the protection spell doesn't generate card advantage. You know where I'm going with this...
Case in point: Infect. By goading their protection spells (most of which also double as pump spells), it's quite easy to trade with their protection spells 1-for-1, either on your turn or end of their turn after attacks. You retain card-equity at the very least.

Enter Veil of Summer. The one card that single-handedly breaks that non-binary balance between threats and interaction. I'm not getting into specifics here AGAIN, because everybody knows whats up.

1) Modern has a large pool of powerful, versatile interaction that can deal with pretty much every threat to a point of consitency that control decks can be good decks, even tier decks, in almost any metagame.

2)Veil of Summer completely and utterly demolishes that balance.

It may seem narrow-minded to blame this problem on just one card, but I am thoroughly convinced Veil is the biggest problem in the format by a mile. At least as bad as Oko was. It helps Amulet and Tron, both of which do not need the help at all, and hates on decks that were already fringe/are now fringe/gone. And don't start with "it's to counter-balance Grixis Death's Shadow's efficiency" because a) other decks that Veil severely punishes have a great track record of regulating Death's Shadow (see UW Control) and b) DS decks just turn around and splash green for Veil.

EDIT: I'm 9-1 with my grixis control deck in my last 10 competitive matches post-ban. Faced 2 Veil decks: Infect, which I beat because Veil isnt at its best there, and Tron, which i lost to because I got blown out by, you guessed it, Veil of Summer (on Fulminator Mage, I know I shouldn't be running Mage with Veil in the format, but that's just protest against Veil on my part). The point is, interactive strategies have real legs, against most decks, but if Veil is too wide-spread, they get choked out of the meta.
Last edited by th33l3x 1 year ago, edited 1 time in total.

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