ktkenshinx wrote: ↑
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.
The reason I think this is the way to go, and perhaps I can add a couple more points to justify it, is that Magic is a complex game. The larger the format, the more complex it is. Many cards were banned using certain lines of reasoning, but that reasoning was likely faulty. The best people in the format, those with the rare combination of top tier deck building and playing skills (people like Sam Black and Gerry Thompson) routinely get wrong the impact of a card being banned or unbanned.
When the best minds in the game can't gauge these things, I think the only thing we can do is to admit that the format has been built on a series of assumptions that at least in some part have a high probability of being wrong.
Take Mental Misstep for example. We know the size of the format somewhat impacts how good this card is, due to the number of one drops played. For years it was unrestricted in Vintage where the number of one drops was lower, and it never needed a ban in Standard. In Legacy it was banned almost instantly, and in Modern it was preemptively banned because the card appears at first glance to be broken beyond all semblance of proper card design. So clearly, the number of 1 drops in the format plays a factor.
Perhaps this list is too small but going by MTGTop8, here's the number of 1 drops in the top 100 cards of each format:
Vintage: 16 (and several of these are restricted)
So, would it still be too good? Maybe. But, we do know the card was considered fine in Vintage until very recently, and that it has fewer 1 drops than Legacy. And that Modern also has significantly fewer 1 drops than Legacy. This isn't me arguing for an unban here, but rather simply questioning if the assumptions on the format that lead to a ban are even accurate.
As such, not only would such an experiment help to increase faith in the ban list and the format but it also provides one other massive benefit. When the best players in the world are working on some level of faulty assumptions as to how non rotating Magic works, then it stands to reason that the designers and developers are also working with those faulty assumptions. For years we've seen printings attempted for Modern that don't gain traction, and then an entire year in 2019 that overshot the mark. The results of this experiment would not only be good for the players, but it would be a source of information that can influence Wizards card design for years/decades to come. Not just to improve Modern now, but in how to better develop Pioneer as it matures, and possibly even how to impact Legacy without having to work within the constraints of the RL.
This is a type of data collection for such a large format that has never been done before.
The worst case scenario is Modern dies (which it's going to without a change anyways), but the data collection from it's corpse can be used to help save other formats in the future.