As I wrote in a previous article, Wizards needs to move away from overall, raw diversity and narrow their definition to strategic diversity. If Modern represents 25 flavors of less interactive, more linear decks with only a half-dozen interactive ones, that diversity is much less appealing than a format with fewer total decks but more viable archetypes across the strategic spectrum. We've tried Modern since 2016 with endless cycles of less interactive decks dominating and defining the metagame. This, along with other bungled decisions, has worn the playerbase thin. I think Modern will be in a much better spot if, say, 4 Astrolabe variants push out 8 flavors of non-interactive combo because those strategies can't keep up with Astrolabe control answers. That's a net diversity loss of 4 decks, but I think the format will be healthier and more balanced if the scales tip towards strategic balance.FoodChainGoblins wrote: ↑1 year ago*The interesting part is that the Astrolabe decks have a lot of play to them. They make Modern not so stale, as there are tons, yes, TONS of different lines and deck lists that you can throw together. The issue, if there is one, is that Astrolabe is becoming way to prevalent. I think that Astrolabe is on the cusp of being banned. It's close. I knew OUaT needed a ban, but Astrolabe is a lot tougher to decipher because there will be fewer decks if it's banned. But maybe there may be MORE decks that are viable in the meta and that's what is important in the end, right?
I will change my stance towards Astrolabe if the following events happen:
1. Astrolabe decks homogenize around 1-2 viable options, e.g. Bant Snow Control and Simic Urza, with all the other snow variants falling away as "worse" options.
2. Astrolabe decks push out all non-Astrolabe midrange/control options, e.g. a parallel decline in Jund, Azorius Control/Stoneblade, Izzet Control, and other MTGO mainstays.
3. (less likely) Astrolabe decks are so strong that the format devolves into grindy Astrolabe mirrors and big mana decks going over the top with no aggro or combo in the middle.
If any of these events happen, that's an immediate orange flag for me, especially if it's #2. #1 is probably just a yellow flag on its own; if Astrolabe players coalesce around only a few builds but non-Astrolabe grindy decks are still viable, that means the artifact is just one of many strong things you can do in Modern. But if #1 and #2 co-occur, especially if #3 is involved, that's a bad sign and elevates the issue to red flag territory. Since January, however, we have not yet seen these issues. Astrolabe appears to be leading to a renaissance in control/midrange decks that has not yet pushed out the Jund, Azorious, Izzet, and Death's Shadow traditionalists. As long as that balance is maintained, I am happy about Astrolabe's place in Modern. We'll need many more MTGO events to assess this, as well as large paper events. Unfortunately, COVID19 has pushed back all the big Modern events, so this might remain an open question for a lot longer than the flagrantly obvious problems of OUaT.