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

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Post by Tomatotime » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
Honestly there's so much space to print old cards in MH2. I remember when we were all spit balling what we wanted to see or what we thought we'd see - stuff like Leovold, Emissary of Trest, Innocent Blood, Containment Priest, Counterspell, and the list goes on and on. I hope we see a lot more of that type of stuff in the next one. By the way, when is MH2 supposed to hit?
Man I still can't believe we didn't get containment priest, that card mitigates so many problems in the format.
idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
Dude snow is very pushed as it is right now lol.
Is it though? If Astrolable didn't exist, would snow even have legs to stand on? The next good snow card we would even have would be the snake I take it?

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

Tomatotime wrote:
1 year ago
If you disagree with this assessment then by all means please advise your counterpoint and we can talk things out, as I see it, the Pioneer method worked to the extent it did solely on the basis of it being an actual new format which gave players an extra level of patience that they otherwise wouldn't exhibit. This is why I agree with other posters here, that if you wanted to actually give your mass unbanning proposal some actual purpose, you would want to change the actual starting point of Modern to actually give a definitive reason to justify all the hassle of this experiment, not that I myself necessarily even want the starting point of Modern to change, but it represents an actual logical reason to justify the mass unbannings.
I disagree with that. However, I do think that part of such an approach should be to reevaluate where Modern sits in Magic, as Pioneer is being released to much of the same identity that Modern is supposed to have. The starting point doesn't need to change, but defining what the format is for, and what is acceptable in it very much opens the doors on trying cards again. Though, it's not necessary either as many assumptions are made about cards which may or may not be valid any longer, if they ever were in the first place.

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Post by Tomatotime » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
I disagree with that. However, I do think that part of such an approach should be to reevaluate where Modern sits in Magic, as Pioneer is being released to much of the same identity that Modern is supposed to have. The starting point doesn't need to change, but defining what the format is for, and what is acceptable in it very much opens the doors on trying cards again. Though, it's not necessary either as many assumptions are made about cards which may or may not be valid any longer, if they ever were in the first place.
Well on some level the core difference between Pioneer and Modern was revealed on the initial banlist, which left the fetchlands out of the experiment altogether. I mean Maro has posted on his tubler for literally years that he wanted to make a post Modern format to be defined by not having fetchlands, and at it's core, Pioneer is that. And to be fair, the presence or absence of fetchlands is pretty big, a lot of decks either can be made or can't be made solely on whether fetchlands exist in said format.

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Post by Yawgmoth » 1 year ago

Tomatotime wrote:
1 year ago
And to be fair, the presence or absence of fetchlands is pretty big, a lot of decks either can be made or can't be made solely on whether fetchlands exist in said format.
This is kind of true, unless they ban all of the cards that make those decks worth playing. Then you end up with Modern looking and awful lot like Pioneer + fetches and Tron.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Tomatotime wrote:
1 year ago
Is it though? If Astrolable didn't exist, would snow even have legs to stand on?
Probably not, but I feel that Astrolabe + Snake, provides a very powerful platform. Astrolabe is a nutty card though.
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Post by DarthDrac » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
I disagree with that. However, I do think that part of such an approach should be to reevaluate where Modern sits in Magic, as Pioneer is being released to much of the same identity that Modern is supposed to have. The starting point doesn't need to change, but defining what the format is for, and what is acceptable in it very much opens the doors on trying cards again. Though, it's not necessary either as many assumptions are made about cards which may or may not be valid any longer, if they ever were in the first place.
If Modern were defined as a turn 3 format (probably the most relevant change, or an acceptance of the truth) then Twin and Pod are fine. Pioneer is fulfilling the turn 4 rule concept, Legacy the turn 1-2, so it makes a degree of sense to say Modern decks can go off on turn 3. This change alongside the acceptance of Tron, Dredge, Storm, Ensnaring Bridge, Blood Moon and Chalice of the Void alongside Force of Negation helps differentiate Modern from Pioneer. I genuinely feel in order to preserve Modern, the community needs to embrace Blood Moon and the very decks often railed against, these kind of cards will never be in Pioneer (this is also why some Pioneer players dislike Thoughtseize) and for some that is why Pioneer is appealing, the opposite should also be true, Modern should appeal because of the potential of these decks/cards.

I guess with a turn 3 rule Modern won't ever be a midrange or control format, but there is still a balance. I don't know that the format would be better with control/midrange being it's pillars, those games frequently go to time, where combo/aggro get the game done quick...

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Post by DarthDrac » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Why do you say Modern could be a turn 3 format?

Also, what deck besides of Neoform is a consistent turn 4 rule violator? I really don't understand.
Let me try and answer:

1. Pioneer is essentially what people imagine a turn 4 format looks like, there is a big play like Inverter of Truth on turn 4, then a win condition on turn 5, if the opponent has no relevant interaction. If the goal is to make Modern stand apart from Pioneer, then yes making it a turn 3 format would be one of the simplest changes possible. So yes, I guess Looting and Mox would come off the ban list alongside Twin and Pod, I'm okay with this. Hogaak I'm less sure of, a Gaak on turn 2, still seems a little much.

2. Prowess in some builds can goldfish a turn 3, Tron on a perfect draw essentially ends the game turn 3, Storm can go off turn 3... My point really is we as the Modern community should actually embrace this, not rail against it. Does a turn 1 Blood Moon or Chalice of the Void suck, yes, should we complain about them, no, even though they may essentially shut you out the game. Neoform is an odd example, it often loses to itself, but it's also a deck that is stopped dead by Force of Negation... I'm ok with the janky fun of it going off when it works, maybe, eventually the Allosaurus gets banned, but I don't really see the harm.

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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

[mention]idSurge[/mention]

astrolabe, snake, and the black board wipe are the more useful snow cards.
Other semi-playables are the treefolk and marit lage. Maybe it won't hurt to have a few more? Well, I'm not asking more cards which are astrolabe level of power.. just more playable snow stuff, that's all. :)
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

DarthDrac wrote:
1 year ago
If Modern were defined as a turn 3 format (probably the most relevant change, or an acceptance of the truth) then Twin and Pod are fine. Pioneer is fulfilling the turn 4 rule concept, Legacy the turn 1-2, so it makes a degree of sense to say Modern decks can go off on turn 3. This change alongside the acceptance of Tron, Dredge, Storm, Ensnaring Bridge, Blood Moon and Chalice of the Void alongside Force of Negation helps differentiate Modern from Pioneer. I genuinely feel in order to preserve Modern, the community needs to embrace Blood Moon and the very decks often railed against, these kind of cards will never be in Pioneer (this is also why some Pioneer players dislike Thoughtseize) and for some that is why Pioneer is appealing, the opposite should also be true, Modern should appeal because of the potential of these decks/cards.

I guess with a turn 3 rule Modern won't ever be a midrange or control format, but there is still a balance. I don't know that the format would be better with control/midrange being it's pillars, those games frequently go to time, where combo/aggro get the game done quick...
I don't know if I fully agree with the turn 3 idea, but I do agree that as a format gets larger, the fundamental turn should go down. Vintage is currently allowed to exist at 2, Legacy at 3. Modern has been 4. There's many other ways the format can be defined, and I'm not all in on saying this should be a change, but it's at least a discussion to have.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

Tomatotime wrote:
1 year ago
Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
I disagree with that. However, I do think that part of such an approach should be to reevaluate where Modern sits in Magic, as Pioneer is being released to much of the same identity that Modern is supposed to have. The starting point doesn't need to change, but defining what the format is for, and what is acceptable in it very much opens the doors on trying cards again. Though, it's not necessary either as many assumptions are made about cards which may or may not be valid any longer, if they ever were in the first place.
Well on some level the core difference between Pioneer and Modern was revealed on the initial banlist, which left the fetchlands out of the experiment altogether. I mean Maro has posted on his tubler for literally years that he wanted to make a post Modern format to be defined by not having fetchlands, and at it's core, Pioneer is that. And to be fair, the presence or absence of fetchlands is pretty big, a lot of decks either can be made or can't be made solely on whether fetchlands exist in said format.
Fetchlands aren't absent for power reasons. There's more than enough dual lands to make a good manabase without them. They're absent because of the shuffling it introduces to the paper game. A fetch that pulled dual lands from outside the game would still be in the format if such a card existed.

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Post by pierreb » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
Fetchlands aren't absent for power reasons. There's more than enough dual lands to make a good manabase without them. They're absent because of the shuffling it introduces to the paper game. A fetch that pulled dual lands from outside the game would still be in the format if such a card existed.
Wishland? Man, that would be absolutely brilliant.

Edit: also, I really laughed when they printed fabled passage. So much for no fetches in pioneer.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

Lots of great discussion here, even if the conversation moves so fast it's tough to respond to everything I'd like to. It takes enough time just multi-quoting and then editing posts with the quotes! But great to see all the discussion: a few higher-level responses to different posts/posters in the last pages.

Re: OUaT/Veil/and other ban ideas
I definitely want to explore these ideas more, but also am more interest personally in focusing on the unban question. To some extent, these issues overlap and can be discussed together, because the combination of bans/unbans is one way to curate a format. To a greater extent, however, the push for bans focuses on different arguments and format energies than unbans. I know we can view bans as an indirect way of "unbanning" suppressed cards, but this is still fundamentally different than banning a card that players now literally cannot legally use in Modern. Bans are an important topic but need to be treated separately from unbans prior to discussing both together. If nothing else, Wizards' history of bans proves that they tend to consider them this way; there are FAR more bans than unbans in Magic history, and many bans happen without any paired unbans. This is doubly true for Modern. Based on all that, I'm just tabling that discussion for now on my end.

Re: Unban Experiment
Based on different comments in the thread, I think the best way to present this is just as a spectrum of possible unban experiments without committing too heavily to one version. This allows me to list pros/cons of different unban experiment ideas which can help guide Wizards' decision-making and community preference. This also helps us avoid the weeds of unbanning a particular N cards vs. banning N+1 or N-3 cards, because we could spend multiple articles debating about whether we should unban Preordain vs. Ponder, or an entire series we could write on Twin or Pod alone. I'm really not interested in those details and think they are antithetical to the experiment itself, which is testing unbans with real-world data in real-world events, not in the crucible of rhetorical discussion. Unbans could be limited based on vision as in Pioneer, and different points along the spectrum could reflect this, but we shouldn't debate the individual cards too heavily. Based on that, here are some ideas for visions:

1. The "Modern is basically fine" vision
Very limited unbans. This is a short 3-5 card experiment that will take probably 1ish month to resolve. Possible unban targets could include artifact lands, Preordain, GSZ, and some other fringe cards that generally don't define decks but rather improve existing decks at their fringes. Stuff like Twin and Pod are probably not on this list.

2. The "uniquely powerful Modern deck" vision
Unban some of Modern's greatest old hits, especially cards that don't really see play in other formats, to see if they can reclaim an appropriate place in Modern. This is where we see Twin and Pod unbanned along with most things in the first vision and maybe even some banned Legacy cards like DRS. This is the closest to my original proposal for an unban experiment and resolves in that 1-3 month period depending on how many cards you unban.

3. The "T4 format" vision
Unban everything that doesn't violate the T4 rule and let the rest sort it out. This vision focuses on format speed more than anything else. Of course, this is a long list of cards which would probably include cards banned in Legacy like DRS/TC/DTT and cards banned in the last year like Oko. This experiment would take a long time to resolve, easily in the realm of 3-4 months and maybe longer.

4. The "Modern 2.0" vision
Unban literally everything and reban things based on format dominance and unfun play patterns. Embrace the fact that the format will be redefined overnight and see what is actually dominant vs. what balances out other strategies. This massive experiment would take the longest to resolve and I wouldn't be surprised if we pushed into that 5-6 month range.

There are certainly better names for these visions and probably lots of other visions in between. But the new idea would be to propose different points along the spectrum and argue the benefits and costs of those ideas. Wizards can support all of this on MTGO by providing players with full, non-tradeable/negotiable Modern playsets of either the unbanned cards or just all Modern cards period and allow them to play in regular events with awesome prize pools. Wizards would just continue the experiment until the dust settled and then "properly unban" the final cards at the end. For some of the smaller experiments, they could probably be done with real cards instead of non-negotiable MTGO cards people won't really own. This would minimize financial blowback and risk.
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Post by Tomatotime » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
Fetchlands aren't absent for power reasons. There's more than enough dual lands to make a good manabase without them. They're absent because of the shuffling it introduces to the paper game.
I'm aware of that reason, it is for that reason that people like Maro have always voiced his displeasure about fetchlands existing since he viewed them as a huge time waster, when in reality I could just as easily say the issue is with slow play on the part of players which is not being enforced on a high level basis, like the amount of times I watch a tournament vod, and someone cracks a fetch and hasn't even decided on what land they are going for is pretty yikes. On the topic of there being enough dual lands in Pioneer already to make good mana bases without them, I'm going to need a citation on that, I don't play Pioneer myself but from what I have heard, the shard manabases are basically a joke right now since there are not in fact enough dual lands to support them.
pierreb wrote:
1 year ago
Edit: also, I really laughed when they printed fabled passage. So much for no fetches in pioneer.
Well fetchlands to some degree also exist on a gradient, FB is a glorified Evolving Wilds, we shouldn't really be putting it into the same category as Polluted Delta and friends. Also a deck in Pioneer isn't running 8+ Fabled Passages compared to a Modern deck running 8+ good fetchlands which take effect usually from the first turn of a game.

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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

[mention]Tomatotime[/mention]

this is just from the testing of our small local mtg playgroup, so take with a grain of salt. It is indeed possible to create two or three color manabase without fetch. There are enough dual lands to do that, with the enemy color cycles getting more tools, because enemy fastland and enemy painland cycle are both legal, while their allied color equivalents are not legal in pioneer, Thankfully, allied color checklands are legal to help allied color decks. I was able to build a stable Abzan manabase by trial and error... took more than a week of testing. Changing lands each day, until I found a mix of lands where the color screw is at a minimum / tolerable level.
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Post by Tomatotime » 1 year ago

I understand what you are saying but my argument specifically related to shard combinations, not wedges. Thanks for the insight though, I don't keep up to date with the Pioneer news outside of what I see here.

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

[mention]ktkenshinx[/mention]
You are talking about unbanning twin and what wotc want without the obvious point, they do not want Twin. Or Pod. How have you not got that yet? You want support from the community, then please stop talking about reversing the most polarising bans Stop talking about a rehash of the format with selected Pioneer style testing. Neither of these are realistic.
If Modern is to continue it needs bans, although they won't be enough to save it- we agree on that. It does not need unbans.

The only way these cards can come back is with the pool extended to make Legacy lite. If you don't want to discuss moving the goalposts, fine, I see why. It is not likely, nobody says it is remotely likely, but please stop with the unban Pod or Twin talk, and for the love of all things holy, don't talk about a Pioneer style process of banning following unbans, It won't happen, it should not happen, it can only happen with a new format, which is why I mentioned changing Modern- because it is as likely as unbanning Pod, Twin et al.

You also seem to say that if modern is too fast for you, try pioneer, which is sort of odd as I also suggested moving the format to Legacy lite! Maybe the comments weren't aimed at me, but I suggested both so clearly speed is not an issue for me.

I think wotc deliberately makes one drops so poor precisely because they don't want aggro decks goldfishing t4 wins, so I stand by my T4 comments. Aggro decks don't win by t4, combo decks like 8 whack or whatever it is called now do, sure. Basic zoo decks are a point or two short, or were pre London. The extra damage to get them over the line with fetches or shocks might make up for that, but I think they have designed one drops as they have precisely to make sure decks don't goldfish T4 wins. The last 5 years of one drops compared to their previous, and their bannings show their aim- T5 goldfish formats, rather than 4. For me, I play Legacy, I don't care where they put the line, but I think their T4 rule has become closer to T5.

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Post by TheAnnihilator » 1 year ago

[mention]drmarkb[/mention] Modern will never be A T5 format when infect goldfishes T2, storm turn 3, amulet t3 with somewhat high frequency, Prowess T3, and decks like Urza are now playing Pentad Prism to play Urza on T3 while Tron's best draws land Karn T3. Modern is pretty clearly a T3 format right now, barring a ton of bans.

The fact is that a lot of people are looking for unbans right now, and Twin and Pod are the front runners because both of them are T3-4 cards.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

There are 3 paths here.

1. Unbans to 'let them have their cake'. Twin/Pod, whatever. This wont fix the issues that are fundamental to the life of Modern.

2. Nerf Bans to bring the top down to the Tier 2 level. This wont fix the issues that are fundamental to the life of Modern, as current Development is flawed. Its more a stay of execution.

3. Reinvention of the format. The 'Pioneer' method of a ban list. Way too expensive, way too chaotic, and it still fails to address what I have come to believe is the central issue of the formats existence.

----

What is the intended Role/Identity for Modern, when Pioneer replaces it, and it cannot match the depth of Legacy?

----

Turn 3, Turn 4, unban Twin, remove the London Mulligan (this is actually important for the entire game, but people dont see that yet, give it a few years) all of it is not relevant.

Wizards needs to tell us what they intend to have Modern be, that separates it from Pioneer. What is the Modern identity, what is its draw?
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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

[mention]idSurge[/mention]
What is the Modern identity, what is its draw?
here, can enjoy playing cards I own that are not legal in pioneer. That is the "draw" of modern for me.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

The Fluff wrote:
1 year ago
here, can enjoy playing cards I own that are not legal in pioneer. That is the "draw" of modern for me.
That is not an identity. There is no 'hook' there, to expand the player pool, especially when 'cards I own' will now logically stop at Pioneer.

Thats the path of decline.
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Post by Tomatotime » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
What is the intended Role/Identity for Modern, when Pioneer replaces it, and it cannot match the depth of Legacy?
If I'm being cynical, I would say that Wotc's ideal is for Modern to not have a role or identity other than being an additional platform to support long term monetization.

A potential problem to this plan is the shear number of formats it represents at this point. I seem to recall that when Wotc finally killed Extended, one of the reasons they specifically gave for killing it and not just letting it live was because a higher number of formats would risk cannibalizing each other. Wotc's future actions I think will determine whether they still believe this is true, if so I just don't think the playerbase is big enough to support Legacy, Modern, Pioneer, and Standard. Honestly it feels like a little weird to say this as Wotc has had the majority of their product line focused on Standard for years, but I almost feel like Standard has outlived it's usefulness. They have completed lost control of Standard in terms of balancing it when it should in fact be the easiest of all the formats to actually balance, and with other product lines like the Commander series being consistent hits and with the advent of Modern Horizons, it remains dubious as to how much Wotc actually NEEDS Standard going forward. Even for limited purposes, there is nothing stopping Wotc from just making more "UN" sets as well as Conspiracies. Really it kinda just seems like Wotc could just drop Standard, and keep releasing product to feed into Pioneer first, than older formats.

Though on some level, I suppose this is unrealistic, they won't call off Standard until they have a constructed replacement that is actually viable built into Arena. Wotc killing off Modern is honestly more likely at this point depending on how this all goes.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Tomatotime wrote:
1 year ago
If I'm being cynical, I would say that Wotc's ideal is for Modern to not have a role or identity other than being an additional platform to support long term monetization.
Certainly agreed, which is my concern.
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Post by Simto » 1 year ago

Not that my opinion has any weight or meaning, but modern's draw to me is a format where I can play Tron hehe. I'll keep playing whatever format I can do that in.

I was a big fan of normal Affinity and Hardened Scales Affinity. Both were on my list of decks I liked when I switched to Modern. I only had money to go for one deck/archetype, so I picked tron. Kinda glad I did that now, but I'll be very sad to see stuff like Expedition Map go.

Either way, I'm excited to see what Modern Horizon 2 brings this year and holding my breath for whatever comes next from wizards regarding modern as a whole.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
ktkenshinx
You are talking about unbanning twin and what wotc want without the obvious point, they do not want Twin. Or Pod. How have you not got that yet? You want support from the community, then please stop talking about reversing the most polarising bans Stop talking about a rehash of the format with selected Pioneer style testing. Neither of these are realistic.
If Modern is to continue it needs bans, although they won't be enough to save it- we agree on that. It does not need unbans.
WOTC being stubborn about how stupid and wrong their past mistakes may have been doesn't make them any less stupid and wrong. Same goes with continuing to uphold stupid and wrong bans to this day. Modern has changed to an absolutely unrecognizable form, and outside of the totally egregiously broken things and T4 violators, most stuff on the list could and should be freed and reevaluated.

But they don't because they "save" the equity so they can use it as apology fodder for the next time their design teams make mistakes and break a format into pieces. There's really nothing in their history of actions and statements that would lead me to believe anything else.

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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

Simto wrote:
1 year ago
Not that my opinion has any weight or meaning, but modern's draw to me is a format where I can play Tron hehe. I'll keep playing whatever format I can do that in.
another draw of modern for me is so I can play against Eldrazi Tron. It's the deck of my friend use. :)

And it's also here I can play Bant Snow. Scg already shipped cards a few days ago. Excited to fine tune the deck for the local meta.
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