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

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Post by ktkenshinx » 2 years ago

pierreb wrote:
2 years ago
Yep,

Prison: permanent-based proactive locking out. (enchantments, neo PW, chalice, ...)
Control: Spell-based reactive answers, (counters, wrath, ...)

Of course they both want to control the game, but how they approach it differs. Current UW decks are prison/control.
I don't disagree with this distinction, but as I noted on the previous page, I believe (and want to encourage us to believe) that it's more than this. I think control vs. prison is an artificial distinction that essentially describes the same thing. In many previous metagames, "traditional control" was viable because the one-for-one, two-for-one, and/or card advantage, etc. spells that are in the traditional control toolbox were efficient and viable means of controlling a game. But those one-shot effects are no longer as efficient as they used to be, and/or the threats have gotten too good and/or consistent. Control must therefore evolve to different tools than those we associate with "traditional control" towards the increasingly powerful (especially PWs) permanent-based tools. Something like T3feri is basically a card and tempo advantage engine that simultaneously wins all counter wars. This makes him much more efficient in many situations than simply a counterspell, so control players will hedge towards T3feri in that slot instead. That's why UW Control still plays a mix of PWs and other traditional spells; it's just one control deck sliding between more efficient tools.
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
Zorakkiller wrote:
2 years ago
agreed gsz and sfm being banned at this point is a bad joke that has gone on too long. having these cards banned makes it very difficult to take modern seriously. at what point does the state of the banned list is delegitimize modern or has it already happened?
For many players of other formats, it IS indeed a joke. I know this because I hear this. They play Modern for fun but it doesn't seem like a "real" format to them.

It's sad to me because my format IS Modern. Although I enjoy Legacy more right now, Modern is the format that I know I can play every week. Legacy tournaments are a bit tougher to find and I have to drive over 55 mi. for them.
To my knowledge, there has never been a reputable, formal, representative study of public Modern opinion where the results were made available to the public. So this whole notion of what is/is not popular gets really stuck in subjective, personal experience and anecdote. I think we can all agree Modern is popular, given the number of Modern events Wizards has held this year alone (we have 4 GP in the next month alone, plus the second of 2 Modern MCs this year, PLUS we had Modern Horizons). Anyone who says Modern is dying, Wizards is willfully killing it, Modern isn't popular, etc. is simply grinding an axe and not basing their assessments in reality.

But Modern being popular is not necessarily exclusive with Modern being a joke or a meme. Even diehard Moderners like Kanister are notorious for meming about Modern with low-effort, one-liner, pithy, reductionist posts about "in the interest of competitive diversity" and "nice T4 format" or stuff to that effect. I don't think we need a formal survey to know those kinds of opinions are rampant at all levels of the Modern community. I understand this can feel alienating and invalidating for people who enjoy Modern. It's not too much different from someone playing Magic in general, trying to explain the fantasy card game to a friend/loved one, and dealing with eye-rolls, jabs, and misunderstanding. That's a pretty natural response.

As other users have pointed out, we shouldn't be too influenced by what other people think or how they misrepresent what we enjoy. That's obviously way easier said than done, hence why therapists and psychologists have jobs, but it's "rational" advice... at least, rational advice for a feelings-based issue. Which is to say, it's really hard to implement. Ultimately, I try not to let the Modern jokers and memers and critics get me down too much. If it's in a public space with room for response, it can be helpful to acknowledge the underlying humor and truth of a joke (it really is comical/depressing when you lose a Modern game on T2) while also providing information (T4 format does not actually mean decks can't win before T4). Or you just move on and pick another battle.
Wraithpk wrote:
2 years ago
Hi everyone, is this where we come to complain about the Splinter Twin ban? ;-)

On a more serious note, man have War of the Spark and Modern Horizons impacted the format. I haven't been playing in a few months, and now I'm going to update my decks, and these two sets are everywhere. Lots of fun new toys, but it's hurting my wallet...
Oh god...

More seriously, WAR and MH have completely reshaped the format landscape. The same top decks are still top decks (UW Control, Humans, Gx Tron, Izzet Phoenix, Dredge, etc.) but many of those decks received powerful new tools. Thankfully, many of the lower tier decks also received powerful new tools to compete (Infect, Jund, Mono R Phoenix, etc.), so the metagame remains diverse. New decks arose (e.g. Grixis Urza's Sword) and old decks picked up new tools to find newfound relevance (e.g. E-Tron with Karn TGC).

That said, I would not re-invest in any specific deck until after this weekend. MC4 will set the standard for Modern's 2019 evolution, as well as the best places to use some of the new MH tools.
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Post by ktkenshinx » 2 years ago

Depian wrote:
2 years ago
I agree that we must enjoy Modern as it is and not try to turn it into something else but aren't these statements incongruent?:
gkourou wrote:
2 years ago
You can see the same people now, inventing new arguments, claiming UW is the only viable control deck,
gkourou wrote:
2 years ago
Control(UW)
Seems like UW is the only viable control deck, at least in the realms of tier1 or tier2
I personally think Esper Control is also much more viable than people give credit, as might also be a deck like Jeskai Saheeli. The blue-heavy Archmage's Charm-style decks (Pitch Blue, Blue Moon, etc.) might also have more legs than we acknowledge. But unfortunately, there is very little incentive to innovate with a control list when UW is so established and entrenched. The risk of creating "bad UW Control" is just too high, so whether or not other Ux strategies are viable, UW remains king. If other Ux strategies are viable post-MH, we might see a few standouts at MC4. The competing incentives to go with a tried and true deck (play UW Control) vs. innovate something that takes down the field (play Ux rogue) might emerge in favor of a new strategy. We'll have to see.

I will also say (a) Wizards has no diversity obligation to ensure there are multiple styles of Ux control available in Modern, and (b) we absolutely must not believe something insane like banning a UW Control card will address the imbalance. Regarding (a), Wizards really just needs a viable Ux control deck in Modern's top-tier to fulfill the promise of diversity. They don't also need a viable URx Snap-Bolt deck. I've never seen Wizards break down the diversity at that granularity, and I suspect it's just wishful thinking on the part of any player who believes Wizards "owes them" that diversity. Regarding (b), I've heard some murmurs about banning a Teferi or something to free up Ux control space. This is insane. We learned from the Twin ban that banning the best cards of an Xx archetype do not suddenly make the worse Xx archetypes better. It just kills the Xx archetype entirely. CFP, idS, and Wraith have explained this in the past, and it's absolutely true when you look at pre-Twin and post-Twin Ux decks. Banning T3feri would not suddenly make other control decks better. It would just make UW Control worse and the other Ux decks would continue to flounder.

To be clear, I'm not suggesting any particular poster here has promoted (a) or (b) in the last few pages, or in a quote I can remember and cite. I just sense a thread of that in some posts about (a) and (b) regarding UW Control, and want to steer us away from that preemptively.
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Post by pierreb » 2 years ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
2 years ago
I don't disagree with this distinction, but as I noted on the previous page, I believe (and want to encourage us to believe) that it's more than this. I think control vs. prison is an artificial distinction that essentially describes the same thing.
My stance is different. In a nutshell, I prefer to define terms specifically and combine them to describe deck.

My main problem with generalizations is that it tend to dilute meaning.

Each person tolerance to this is different. At the extreme of the dial, we'd have the position that everything is a "deck". All decks are decks. This erase all difference of strategies. At the other extreme, we'd have that every deck is different. A one-card difference is enough to make decks different. Both positions are untenable.

I prefer to keep prison and control as different words with somewhat precise meanings and talk about how a given deck is more control-like or more prison-like. I'd rather have a vocabulary and mix it to describe a given archetype, as opposed to try to expand the meaning of a (allegedly...) known archetype like control.

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Post by Wolffman » 2 years ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
2 years ago
We learned from the Twin ban that banning the best cards of an Xx archetype do not suddenly make the worse Xx archetypes better. It just kills the Xx archetype entirely. CFP, idS, and Wraith have explained this in the past, and it's absolutely true when you look at pre-Twin and post-Twin Ux decks. Banning T3feri would not suddenly make other control decks better. It would just make UW Control worse and the other Ux decks would continue to flounder.
Seeing this summarized in this way makes me think that the ban rationale of "competitive diversity" is a terrible reason to ban anything and I personally hope that it will never be applied again going forward. It sets a very dangerous precedent where if a deck becomes too popular, it is at risk of banning. This is bad on multiple levels because by itself 1) it does not consider if the deck is damaging or too powerful for the format and 2) the ban will harm a large portion of the player-base since the banning will be targeting one of the most popular decks if diversity is the cited ban justification. It seems to me that over time this community is coming to a consensus that this ban rationale does not create the type of format we want to play and has been one of the main root-causes of the ban-mania we have experienced since the twin banning.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 2 years ago

pierreb wrote:
2 years ago
My stance is different. In a nutshell, I prefer to define terms specifically and combine them to describe deck.

My main problem with generalizations is that it tend to dilute meaning.

Each person tolerance to this is different. At the extreme of the dial, we'd have the position that everything is a "deck". All decks are decks. This erase all difference of strategies. At the other extreme, we'd have that every deck is different. A one-card difference is enough to make decks different. Both positions are untenable.
I think you and I are on the same page, just saying different things. Definitions are critical. Words matter, meaning matters. Generalizations are unclear and lead to misunderstandings. We need to operate from either common definitions or at least agree on our own definitions, and present them, prior to arguing from those definitions.
I prefer to keep prison and control as different words with somewhat precise meanings and talk about how a given deck is more control-like or more prison-like. I'd rather have a vocabulary and mix it to describe a given archetype, as opposed to try to expand the meaning of a (allegedly...) known archetype like control.
As I noted on the previous page, I am simply objecting to the conflict between the traditional meanings of traditional control (e.g. something like "a deck that answers an opponent's gameplan and prevents them from winning") and the traditional meanings of prison (e.g. "a deck that doesn't try to win but instead tries to make the opponent unable to win"). People like to claim prison is a subset of control, but then define prison in such a way that it could easily apply to countermagic or removal-based control. Then the definition breaks down and we don't know what we're talking about. That is why I prefer to view prison as a tool in the control archetype kit.

I agree control has its own distinct meaning. If we're talking about archetypes and decks, I would define the macro, control archetype as "a deck that tries to prevent an opponent from executing their game plan." Then I would define "prison control decks" as "decks that use ongoing, proactive, permanent-based effects to achieve a control gameplan" I would add "draw-go decks" to mean "decks that use single-use, reactive, instant-speed effects to achieve a control gameplan." I think in the definition you used earlier, you used "control" where I would use "draw-go," but I don't want us to use the macro-archetype of control to specify the type of tool we are using to control a game, which is what I felt your original post was doing ("Control: Spell-based reactive answers, (counters, wrath, ...)...").
Wolffman wrote:
2 years ago
Seeing this summarized in this way makes me think that the ban rationale of "competitive diversity" is a terrible reason to ban anything and I personally hope that it will never be applied again going forward. It sets a very dangerous precedent where if a deck becomes too popular, it is at risk of banning. This is bad on multiple levels because by itself 1) it does not consider if the deck is damaging or too powerful for the format and 2) the ban will harm a large portion of the player-base since the banning will be targeting one of the most popular decks if diversity is the cited ban justification. It seems to me that over time this community is coming to a consensus that this ban rationale does not create the type of format we want to play and has been one of the main root-causes of the ban-mania we have experienced since the twin banning.
I would agree that "competitive diversity" alone is a bad reason. In previous bans, however, the decks that reduced competitive diversity did so by being too dominant. For instance, the Wizards said this about the Pod ban: "In the interest of supporting a diverse format, Birthing Pod is banned." But the big difference between the Pod ban and the Twin ban was that Pod was reducing diversity specifically by taking up too much of the metagame: "The high percentage of the field playing Pod suppresses decks," So this wasn't really a ban in the interest of competitive diversity. This was a ban aimed at a deck with too much metagame share, and that high share was what reduced diversity. Decks with too much metagame share should be banned.
gkourou wrote:
2 years ago
Re (b): we absolutely must not believe something insane like banning a UW Control card will address the imbalance
Again, hugely agreed. T3feri might not be the greatest of designs, and it may be forcing you to play UW, but banning him will not make all the other Ux strategies better by a miracle! But, I believe the should be making all non-White control decks better in MH. UB cards is what we need, to make the balance better against Control decks. Wizards does not owe this to us. It's just that it would be cool if we could play a Grixis Control Tier 2 deck in Modern again after several years!
I don't have much to add about your other points in this post, which I agree with, but I will add another element to this response about (B). Expanding on your comment, the best way to make less viable decks viable are, in no particular order, reprints of old cards to help the deck, printing new cards to help the deck, and unbans. The banning "race to the bottom" does not make bad decks good. Banning should be done to address decks that are too dominant, breaking the T4 rule, and/or creating logistical issues. Bannings should never try to open up the field, because the things that made bad decks bad are still going to make them bad after the better competitor is gone.
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
2 years ago
Banning T3feri would not suddenly make other control decks better. It would just make UW Control worse and the other Ux decks would continue to flounder.
Honestly T3feri is the nail in the coffin of every non-UWx control, reactive, or tempo deck. It is the lynch pin that single handedly shuts off an entire archetype and play style that has already been suffering for years. It is also a permanent type that is extremely difficult for control, reactive, and tempo decks to interact with. Games devolve into who can resolve and protect their Teferi most of the time. And while banning it is a bit extreme, it was absolutely a mistake, and its presence makes the format worse for these other decks, while forcing a reduction of options into UWx.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 2 years ago

cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
ktkenshinx wrote:
2 years ago
Banning T3feri would not suddenly make other control decks better. It would just make UW Control worse and the other Ux decks would continue to flounder.
Honestly T3feri is the nail in the coffin of every non-UWx control, reactive, or tempo deck. It is the lynch pin that single handedly shuts off an entire archetype and play style that has already been suffering for years. It is also a permanent type that is extremely difficult for control, reactive, and tempo decks to interact with. Games devolve into who can resolve and protect their Teferi most of the time. And while banning it is a bit extreme, it was absolutely a mistake, and its presence makes the format worse for these other decks, while forcing a reduction of options into UWx.
I don't disagree T3Feri was a design mistake. I don't think that's necessarily a problem because non-rotating formats are defined by design mistakes, but I agree T3feri likely had unanticipated consequences D&D didn't think through. I also agree UW Control is the best version of Ux control in the current metagame. That said, I do object with the confidence and assuredness of the statement that it is the "nail in the coffin" that "single-handedly shuts off an entire archetype and play style." MTGO has numerous recent examples of competing Ux strategies that people are playing to some success, including Pitch Blue, Mono U Thing, that sweet Snow Control deck, a few Jeskai representatives in various League dumps, and others. Are these options likely worse than UW Control, both given current data and projecting out to the future? Probably, sure. But are they viable at some level now, and might they become more viable later? Yes and yes. We can't discount that possibility based on 2-3 months of WAR Modern without many serious events like GP. As I like to say, just because we might end up realizing T3feri shut down every other competing option 2-3 years out from now, that doesn't mean we throw out the "data-first" method we successfully use to assess metagame health. We wait and see how the tech we currently have, not to mention the tech we get in the future, changes that picture.
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
2 years ago
MTGO has numerous recent examples of competing Ux strategies that people are playing to some success, including Pitch Blue, Mono U Thing, that sweet Snow Control deck, a few Jeskai representatives in various League dumps, and others.
I definitely agree that if you play a non-swiss MTGO league and dodge Teferi, you can have moderate success with all sorts of Uxx decks.

My main issue has already been addressed numerous times (That UWx is simply the best and there is no meaningful reason to play anything else). What I was trying to get at is that, not only were T3feri decks the best, but they actively shut down opposing reactive strategies. This double-whammy continues the trend of matchup variance and gameplay outcomes being influenced more by the pairings board instead of in-game decisions.

I am eager to see if any non-Teferi control/reactive/tempo decks have meaningful success in the several upcoming high level competitive paper events.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

The Fluff wrote:
2 years ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
They play Modern for fun but it doesn't seem like a "real" format to them.

It's sad to me because my format IS Modern.
hmm, relax why do you have to be sad that modern is not a real format for other people? It's just the opinion of others.. should not be treated as overwhelming fact.

WoTC even printed a set named "modern horizons", so they care about modern. And that is enough for me. ;)
I care because I'm talking about friends who play Standard exclusively. I want them to play. I want as many Modern players as possible. I am not a tournament organizer or an LGS owner, but still I'd rather play in a tournament of 75 players than just 35. I try to tell some players how good Modern is, even if I don't personally like it much right now. But it does not sway them and the things they say ... well, they do have a point. It's not like they're saying something useless to me; for example if they said, "Mental Misstep should be unbanned and that's why it's a meme format." Then it would be easy to dismiss what they say. They say stuff like the format is super quick. Outside of BR Reanimator, Charbelcher, Storm, and sometimes Show and Tell, Legacy actually is NOT a quick format. Those decks comprise less than 5% of Legacy.

Modern Horizons came out in 2019. Modern started in 2011. At this pace, we will have proof that WotC "tests" Modern around 2027. I mean I'm glad that Modern as a format hasn't ended because I would have to throw around $10K of cards in the garbage, but printing a set where WotC can trade cardboard for $180 a box doesn't prove that WotC cares about Modern.

*I have been watching old videos of Modern when there was a sort of Rock-Paper-Scissors with Twin-Pod-Jund and the game play is so much more fun to watch. I am a Combo player. I love winning on turn 2 or earlier. But I don't want to watch most matches that are 2 decks of my sort, sorry. People here may say that the Twin-Pod-Jund meta was terrible and those decks could not be beaten by any other deck, but I definitely don't see it that way since I did not play those decks and yet have almost a 65% win rate in Modern (which has gone down by 1-2% in the past 2 years, after those decks were gone).
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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

I'm not going to worry about the opinion's of those who play Standard exclusively. If Modern is a joke to them, then I can chalk that opinion up to a desire to play a different type of Magic.
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
I have been watching old videos of Modern when there was a sort of Rock-Paper-Scissors with Twin-Pod-Jund and the game play is so much more fun to watch.
There is a reason the Dom/Guilds of Ravnica Standard was so highly thought of. It had this kind of dynamic. That dynamic was hit hard after Allegiance, and killed off with War.

It reminded people of that older Modern.
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Post by ktkenshinx » 2 years ago

cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
I definitely agree that if you play a non-swiss MTGO league and dodge Teferi, you can have moderate success with all sorts of Uxx decks.

My main issue has already been addressed numerous times (That UWx is simply the best and there is no meaningful reason to play anything else). What I was trying to get at is that, not only were T3feri decks the best, but they actively shut down opposing reactive strategies. This double-whammy continues the trend of matchup variance and gameplay outcomes being influenced more by the pairings board instead of in-game decisions.

I am eager to see if any non-Teferi control/reactive/tempo decks have meaningful success in the several upcoming high level competitive paper events.
I agree UW Control is the best and, in most cases, there are more incentives to just audible to UW than to try disrupting UW's monopoly with a brew. I will note again that matchup variance is not actually a thing as I have demonstrated in a number of past analyses; the better players consistently perform regardless of the matchups, and Modern/Standard/Legacy performances are virtually identical for the best players. Variance is not a real factor in Modern more than anywhere else when I last checked in 2018, and unless there have been significant changes in 2019 relative to 2016, 2017, and 2018, I expect that's still the case. We can lament T3feri's effect on control and Modern without bringing in this debunked concept.
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
I care because I'm talking about friends who play Standard exclusively. I want them to play. I want as many Modern players as possible. I am not a tournament organizer or an LGS owner, but still I'd rather play in a tournament of 75 players than just 35. I try to tell some players how good Modern is, even if I don't personally like it much right now. But it does not sway them and the things they say ... well, they do have a point. It's not like they're saying something useless to me; for example if they said, "Mental Misstep should be unbanned and that's why it's a meme format." Then it would be easy to dismiss what they say. They say stuff like the format is super quick. Outside of BR Reanimator, Charbelcher, Storm, and sometimes Show and Tell, Legacy actually is NOT a quick format. Those decks comprise less than 5% of Legacy.
This can actually put you in a position of advantage, because you are actively trying to persuade an audience, not just responding to unhappy people online or at an LGS. Those latter folks will probably not listen no matter what you say. The former folks, presumably, are friends or valued players who take your opinion seriously. At least, I assume that if you want to play more Magic with them. If that's the case, you can build cases through individual games and bigger datasets to debunk common myths. For instance, here was a great analysis done last year about the length of Modern games:

My comment further down that page (ctrl+f ktkenshinx) compares that to 2015 data for extra datapoints. Those kinds of resources can undermine critics who recycle old tropes without actually doing their homework.
*I have been watching old videos of Modern when there was a sort of Rock-Paper-Scissors with Twin-Pod-Jund and the game play is so much more fun to watch. I am a Combo player. I love winning on turn 2 or earlier. But I don't want to watch most matches that are 2 decks of my sort, sorry. People here may say that the Twin-Pod-Jund meta was terrible and those decks could not be beaten by any other deck, but I definitely don't see it that way since I did not play those decks and yet have almost a 65% win rate in Modern (which has gone down by 1-2% in the past 2 years, after those decks were gone).
I'm going to caution you against including Pod in that trifecta. Pod was a dominant, problematic deck in late 2014. It would have continued its reign even after TC/DTT got banned (another pair of righteous bannings). But the 2015 metagame sans Pod, where the Twin-Jund duo policed Modern, did have lots of great counterplay. I don't see any issue with citing that as a "golden era" of Modern, with the caveat that Amulet Bloom was mega busted. But I would discourage including demonstrably broken Pod as part of that.
idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
I'm not going to worry about the opinion's of those who play Standard exclusively. If Modern is a joke to them, then I can chalk that opinion up to a desire to play a different type of Magic.
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
I have been watching old videos of Modern when there was a sort of Rock-Paper-Scissors with Twin-Pod-Jund and the game play is so much more fun to watch.
There is a reason the Dom/Guilds of Ravnica Standard was so highly thought of. It had this kind of dynamic. That dynamic was hit hard after Allegiance, and killed off with War.

It reminded people of that older Modern.
I wonder if overall deck diversity is higher/lower today than in 2015 Modern. We already know 2015 vs. 2018 blue diversity was unchanged, which undermined the absurd Ux diversification argument of the Twin ban, but I've never actually tested it for overall diversity. I know some people suspect Twin and Jund, but mostly Twin, of strangling out a lot of lower tier decks, even if Wizards didn't really cite that as prominently as a ban reason. I've just never tested the theory. Are you aware of anyone who has compared overall diversity in those eras?
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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

When I went and did that review pre and post ban, I am pretty sure I mostly looked at Blue as well, and not in general. Maybe I'll take a look again, it only takes an hour or 2 to transcribe it all.

I mean one of my favourite stat's of all time, is that of Affinity being a 30-70 dog to Twin, and STILL putting up results. The whole diversity argument is questionable at best.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

The problem is that many Standard players can't get over their own perceptions to give Modern a chance. The start-in price is the last factor that solidifies their thinking. Some do actually start to get into Modern because after a few rotations, they realize that it is (can be if you choose the right deck) cheaper than Standard in the long run.

Just like me thinking that Standard is just Aggro, Control, and Midrange slamming into each other, many Standard players can't be persuaded.

*I think the Pod trifecta was okay, even if most players don't remember Pod anymore. I'm not talking about when Siege Rhino pushed Pod over the edge. I'm talking about the Jacob Wilsons, LSVs, Josh McClains, etc. of the world playing them way in the past. Yes, Bloom Titan probably was busted. But it was okay because there were plenty of other targets. I played Bloom Titan quite a bit and did well vs. Pod, slightly better than average vs. Jund, and slightly less than average vs. Twin. And I slaughtered most other decks outside of Infect and Affinity, which were terrible, terrible match ups.

**It's just so much different than putting 12 power on board by turn 2 (Hogaak), doing close to that with "prison" elements (Humans), going Manamorphose X 2, Opt, Faithless Looting, flip a Thing, hit you with Phoenix, Bolt you're dead (Phoenix), or Prison you out with Force of Negation control. It just seemed like there was more interactive game play. Maybe there wasn't. Maybe these decks are super interactive and Pod only did infinite life on turn 4? I didn't see it like that. Control was also okay during that time, as Shaun McLaren can attest to. (I know, counter burn)

***WotC printed Force of Negation to police the format. But what happens when the police become too strong? Go ask Birthing Pod, Deathrite Shaman Jund, and Splinter Twin.
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Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Amulet Titan, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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idSurge
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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
Just like me thinking that Standard is just Aggro, Control, and Midrange slamming into each other, many Standard players can't be persuaded.

*I think the Pod trifecta was okay, even if most players don't remember Pod anymore. I'm not talking about when Siege Rhino pushed Pod over the edge. I'm talking about the Jacob Wilsons, LSVs, Josh McClains, etc. of the world playing them way in the past. Yes, Bloom Titan probably was busted. But it was okay because there were plenty of other targets. I played Bloom Titan quite a bit and did well vs. Pod, slightly better than average vs. Jund, and slightly less than average vs. Twin. And I slaughtered most other decks outside of Infect and Affinity, which were terrible, terrible match ups.

**It's just so much different than putting 12 power on board by turn 2 (Hogaak), doing close to that with "prison" elements (Humans), going Manamorphose X 2, Opt, Faithless Looting, flip a Thing, hit you with Phoenix, Bolt you're dead (Phoenix), or Prison you out with Force of Negation control. It just seemed like there was more interactive game play. Maybe there wasn't. Maybe these decks are super interactive and Pod only did infinite life on turn 4? I didn't see it like that. Control was also okay during that time, as Shaun McLaren can attest to. (I know, counter burn)

***WotC printed Force of Negation to police the format. But what happens when the police become too strong? Go ask Birthing Pod, Deathrite Shaman Jund, and Splinter Twin.
Well the last GP was won (in Standard) by a Combo deck, and the format has had things like Phoenix, Nexus, and other such combo's for this whole rotation period.

Modern has (the 2nd part of your post here) gotten unquestionably more powerful, to the point where games can essentially be over, and yes we all love that argument, well before Turn 4.

I dont know. To me the whole format has come to this. "Play what you want, its probably strong enough, but you have to play AGAINST X, Y and Z" If you dont like X, Y, and Z, you probably dont want to be playing Modern.

You need to be able to answer things on Turns 2 or 3, at the latest, or the game is essentially over. Its like when Burn was really strong, but now its lock (or archetype lock, as we call T3feri) or 'if I untap its over' instead of just 'yeah they could top a bolt'.

It is what it is. Turn 1 Bird, Turn 2 Knight, Turn 3 Retreat. You got an answer? Cool well here's Veil of Summer, move to Shuffle Step?

Those are the types of questions your deck must ask, and it has moved from Turn 4 (Twin) to Turn's 1, (Neo) 2 (Hogaak) 3 (Phoenix, Storm, T3feri, even Dredge) instead.

Has the format sped up when taken as a whole? Probably not, but has the Turn in which game/match defining, if not ending, questions moved up?

I feel it has.
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Post by ktkenshinx » 2 years ago

idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
When I went and did that review pre and post ban, I am pretty sure I mostly looked at Blue as well, and not in general. Maybe I'll take a look again, it only takes an hour or 2 to transcribe it all.

I mean one of my favourite stat's of all time, is that of Affinity being a 30-70 dog to Twin, and STILL putting up results. The whole diversity argument is questionable at best.
Disclaimer: I agree the Twin ban largely failed to accomplish its stated goals, had ulterior motives, and was generally a bad decision. I am simply posing this argument as a way to build future cases for/against the ban.

With that in mind, one of the Twin ban reasons was "Decks that are this strong can hurt diversity by pushing the decks that it defeats out of competition." I believe it was izzetmage who first clued me into the idea that this might be an acknowledgement that Twin suppressed random Tier 2 and Tier 3 decks from contention, NOT that it suppressed Tier 1 decks. Again, SEE DISCLAIMER ABOVE, and acknowledge that Wizards never explicitly says IM's theory in that ban. I'm just theorizing at this point to anticipate and potentially defeat counter arguments.

With that second disclaimer in mind, here's how I would construct this "experiment." Let's assume Wizards really was talking about overall diversity extending below Tier 1. Let's also assume Twin defeated out of competition were not Tier 1 decks like Affinity, but Tier 2 or lower decks with less visibility. Given these assumptions, I would like to see how the overall Tier 1-2 diversity in 2015 Modern compares to the Tier 1-2 diversity in 2018-2019 Modern. If Wizards' ban was effective, we might see an increase in that overall Tier 1-2 diversity (obviously, controlling for factors like new cards and evolving metagames would be challenging). But if Wizards' ban was ineffective or misguided, then we would definitely see comparable Tier 1-2 diversity in both periods of time.

I'm not sure what events to use to assess this. GP and PT/MC results should probably be included, as Wizards most often cites those, but I'm not sure how to use MTGO between the two time periods. Anyway, I think that would be an interesting comparison to set up and reference in the future when discussing changes in diversity between Modern eras.
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
The problem is that many Standard players can't get over their own perceptions to give Modern a chance. The start-in price is the last factor that solidifies their thinking. Some do actually start to get into Modern because after a few rotations, they realize that it is (can be if you choose the right deck) cheaper than Standard in the long run.
You can always just throw a bunch of Modern decks you own together and let them try them out against each other. Or just write out card names on basic lands in sharpie and then play some decks to get the game experience. Or use playtest cards printed/cut out from website templates. I've had lots of success playing, testing, and introducing Modern with these methods. Also, as you said, the economic argument becomes very strong and is relatively easy to make with just a cursory look at MTG Goldfish deck prices.
*I think the Pod trifecta was okay, even if most players don't remember Pod anymore. I'm not talking about when Siege Rhino pushed Pod over the edge. I'm talking about the Jacob Wilsons, LSVs, Josh McClains, etc. of the world playing them way in the past. Yes, Bloom Titan probably was busted. But it was okay because there were plenty of other targets. I played Bloom Titan quite a bit and did well vs. Pod, slightly better than average vs. Jund, and slightly less than average vs. Twin. And I slaughtered most other decks outside of Infect and Affinity, which were terrible, terrible match ups.
I can see early 2014 Pod maybe being okay (maybe...), but if it was problematic in late 2014 alongside the hyper-dominance of TC/DTT decks, that was a bad sign of its power level going forward. This is one of those cards I never see coming off the banlist, at least not in the foreseeable or actionable future. But the 2015 Jund/Twin dynamics were much cleaner, which is why I see most people point to that as a Modern golden age, instead of the 2014 era.
gkourou wrote:
2 years ago
This is super important. I also think UW Control is becoming too good. Some people may think that's strange, but UW Control can really answer anything those days, while not suffering from the "wrong half of the deck" syndrome too much.
Now, saying UW Control is reaching DRS, Pod or even Twin results, is a bit of a stretch, but UW control is slightly becoming too strong, I feel like.

BTW, @ktkenshinx , I know my previous post was a long one, but I want to have your reply on this one.
I would be hesitant to use Twin results as a benchmark for anything, because we have seen decks reach Twin and even exceed Twin results for a period of time with no action (GDS in 2017, Humans/Tron in 2018, Phoenix in 2019, etc.). Wizards is also unquestionably aware of the Twin ban backlash, as we've both discussed, and I don't see them returning to those kinds of shakeup ban style moves in the future. But I do think they would remember the Pod/TC/DRS examples as broken, dominated metagames where bans were needed. KCI levels wouldn't be a clean comparison either, because Wizards cited a number of specific issues with KCI beyond just metagame share (rules/mechanical issues and win rates being big ones).

If UW Control sustained Pod/TC/DRS performance for a yearlong stretch, that would be alarming, but it would be no more alarming than any deck sustaining that performance. There's just no indication UW Control is doing that this year, so it's barely worth talking about. Post-WAR UW Control has been around since May and we've had one GP since then. Looking at the 2019 post-KCI perspective, UW Control makes up 6.25% of T8 GP finishes. Dredge is at 15.6%. Phoenix is at 20.3%. All those numbers drop about 1-2% if we add in the MC2 T8. That's just not a picture where I'm even thinking about UW Control. It's just not worth discussing in terms of bans at this point. If we revisit in late August after all the GP/MC results are in and UW Control averaged 2+ representatives in each, then we can MAYBE discuss this. But with results where they are? No more ban talk, jeez. We just don't need it on the table.
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idSurge
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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
2 years ago
With that second disclaimer in mind, here's how I would construct this "experiment." Let's assume Wizards really was talking about overall diversity extending below Tier 1. Let's also assume Twin defeated out of competition were not Tier 1 decks like Affinity, but Tier 2 or lower decks with less visibility. Given these assumptions, I would like to see how the overall Tier 1-2 diversity in 2015 Modern compares to the Tier 1-2 diversity in 2018-2019 Modern. If Wizards' ban was effective, we might see an increase in that overall Tier 1-2 diversity (obviously, controlling for factors like new cards and evolving metagames would be challenging). But if Wizards' ban was ineffective or misguided, then we would definitely see comparable Tier 1-2 diversity in both periods of time.
I'd be willing to look into it, but only at the GP Top 8 level. We had no reason to believe at that time (Twin Ban) that SCG or MTGO had much of an impact, and a few reasons to believe it was competitive Top 8 level success at the GP and (sigh) Pro Tour level, even with muddy water from Draft portions.

My proposal would be.

"Was Twin suppressing Top 8 Diversity leading to an increase in Deck Archetype diversity post Ban".

Tier 1/2, would be near impossible to differentiate as there is no large scale data set easily searchable, that is going to show this. If we had Top 32's and Day 2's for every Modern GP since 'Modern' became a defined format, perhaps then we could get somewhere?
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Post by Zorakkiller » 2 years ago

by all means if you enjoy modern dont let mine and others criticisms of the format stop you. I do take exception to the argument that there Is a deck for everyone in the format. that is only true if you dont care about hemorrhaging tix and tournament entry to be a savant for said decks. this is part of why modern has reached meme status

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

There is a deck for nearly everyone, I don't think that should be a problem.

If there is an issue, it's simply what makes up the rest of the format. I with honesty will not play if E-Tron is Tier 1. I refuse to play against that deck multiple times as I just find TKS and Smasher, completely tilting.

That's just me though.
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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
2 years ago
More seriously, WAR and MH have completely reshaped the format landscape. The same top decks are still top decks (UW Control, Humans, Gx Tron, Izzet Phoenix, Dredge, etc.) but many of those decks received powerful new tools. Thankfully, many of the lower tier decks also received powerful new tools to compete (Infect, Jund, Mono R Phoenix, etc.), so the metagame remains diverse. New decks arose (e.g. Grixis Urza's Sword) and old decks picked up new tools to find newfound relevance (e.g. E-Tron with Karn TGC).

That said, I would not re-invest in any specific deck until after this weekend. MC4 will set the standard for Modern's 2019 evolution, as well as the best places to use some of the new MH tools.
the reshaping that WAR gave to modern for me is that now little t3feri and narset are put into consideration when building a deck. For example, I would think.. "what to do when an opponent cast a t3feri or narset? get rid of it or keep going?" These two walkers are strong.
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

As long as you don't care about winning, and are willing to accept a nonzero number of awful, fast, and/or unfulfilling rounds of play, you can play pretty much whatever you want. My stance on this was heavily influenced by the fact that I only get to play 4-5 rounds in paper every 2 weeks thanks to a baby and wife that already think's that's a lot. So wildly swingy outcomes and massively unsatisfying gameplay is amplified greater than someone who can grind match after match every day. Having played some on MTGO, some of those feelings have subsided a bit, but only because I do not play Leagues (I refuse to pay money for Modern events), and can concede, leave, and go find another match when faced with most of the awful bullsh*t that makes up the best Modern decks. I love nothing more than smashing my terrible Blue Moon deck against some other random T2/3 deck, and other poor souls playing some random grindy value deck.
The Fluff wrote:
2 years ago
the reshaping that WAR gave to modern for me is that now little t3feri and narset are put into consideration when building a deck. For example, I would think.. "what to do when an opponent cast a t3feri or narset? get rid of it or keep going?" These two walkers are strong.
In paper, you shrug and play out the losing battle. Online, I give myself one draw step to remove it. If I can't, right click → concede.

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
As long as you don't care about winning...
This is not true though. You can care about winning, and still play nearly every archetype you can think of.

The issue is, again, what are you playing AGAINST, and can you personally accept that others can play what they like, just as you can play what you like.

Thats the root of your disdain for Modern, it really is. :p
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Post by Zorakkiller » 2 years ago

idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
There is a deck for nearly everyone, I don't think that should be a problem.

If there is an issue, it's simply what makes up the rest of the format. I with honesty will not play if E-Tron is Tier 1. I refuse to play against that deck multiple times as I just find TKS and Smasher, completely tilting.

That's just me though.
I guess I picked the wrong decks to like because they either dont exist in the format or are too bad to take to a fnm .

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

Zorakkiller wrote:
2 years ago
I guess I picked the wrong decks to like because they either dont exist in the format or are too bad to take to a fnm .
Like what?

I mean a quick look at the meta proves this out, there are a ton of options.

UR Phoenix - Combo/Aggro
E Tron - Big Mana/Midrange
Jund (<3) - Midrange
UW - Control
Humans - Fish/Disruptive Aggro
Burn - Aggro
R Phoenix - Aggro
Grixis/UR Urza - Prison/Combo
Tron - Big Mana
Dredge - GY/Aggro
Scales - Aggro
Infect - Aggro/Combo
Neo - Combo
Hogaak - GY/Aggro/Combo
Colourless Eldrazi - Aggro
Affinity - Aggro
Mardu - Midrange/GY
Hollow One - Aggro/Combo

The list goes on and on and on. Whats missing?
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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
The Fluff wrote:
2 years ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
They play Modern for fun but it doesn't seem like a "real" format to them.

It's sad to me because my format IS Modern.
hmm, relax why do you have to be sad that modern is not a real format for other people? It's just the opinion of others.. should not be treated as overwhelming fact.

WoTC even printed a set named "modern horizons", so they care about modern. And that is enough for me. ;)
I care because I'm talking about friends who play Standard exclusively. I want them to play. I want as many Modern players as possible. I am not a tournament organizer or an LGS owner, but still I'd rather play in a tournament of 75 players than just 35. I try to tell some players how good Modern is, even if I don't personally like it much right now. But it does not sway them and the things they say ... well, they do have a point. It's not like they're saying something useless to me; for example if they said, "Mental Misstep should be unbanned and that's why it's a meme format." Then it would be easy to dismiss what they say. They say stuff like the format is super quick. Outside of BR Reanimator, Charbelcher, Storm, and sometimes Show and Tell, Legacy actually is NOT a quick format. Those decks comprise less than 5% of Legacy.

Modern Horizons came out in 2019. Modern started in 2011. At this pace, we will have proof that WotC "tests" Modern around 2027. I mean I'm glad that Modern as a format hasn't ended because I would have to throw around $10K of cards in the garbage, but printing a set where WotC can trade cardboard for $180 a box doesn't prove that WotC cares about Modern.

*I have been watching old videos of Modern when there was a sort of Rock-Paper-Scissors with Twin-Pod-Jund and the game play is so much more fun to watch. I am a Combo player. I love winning on turn 2 or earlier. But I don't want to watch most matches that are 2 decks of my sort, sorry. People here may say that the Twin-Pod-Jund meta was terrible and those decks could not be beaten by any other deck, but I definitely don't see it that way since I did not play those decks and yet have almost a 65% win rate in Modern (which has gone down by 1-2% in the past 2 years, after those decks were gone).
I see now. Our situation is very different. 35 going up to 75, so that's at least 40 people you want to invite to play modern? :omg:

well, over here it's just a little playgroup of myself and three other friends who play. As the nearby store that hosts modern has closed down, because the guy who owns it is bedridden - and that's the last I heard of him. The other store that is still open only has Standard, so we have no place to play as of now. :sick:

about inviting people... if people don't want to play the format I play, then that's fine for me. As for standard, I don't play that format, but I'm glad to see many people playing standard. Because Standard is Wotc cash cow that gives them money, and they will keep going as long as they get money from this game.
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Post by Zorakkiller » 2 years ago

idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
As long as you don't care about winning...
This is not true though. You can care about winning, and still play nearly every archetype you can think of.

The issue is, again, what are you playing AGAINST, and can you personally accept that others can play what they like, just as you can play what you like.

Thats the root of your disdain for Modern, it really is. :p
this is only true in a personal way. sure you can care about winning but are you really pursuing winning if you bring a deck like zoo to a tournament ?

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