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

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

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?
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.

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.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
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.
I agree with you. I know you have to have some sort of proof or evidence, which is tough nowadays, but I feel like #1 is already a "thing."

1. Bant Snow Control and Simic Urza are the best versions in my opinion. This opinion is only formed by fewer than 50 matches vs. Snow decks, but some of these are at Comp REL at the hands of tough opponents, but is also formed from what my friends are telling me is happening on MTGO. I have a few friends who grind MTGO and some get all the info from many of the top online grinders. I forgot what his name is Haubidtran, but there is a guy who runs exclusively Uroza and has 10 trophies as of yesterday, according to my friend, who I trust. Then there is also some proof that the Underworld Breach deck is busted, but I'm gonna reserve my inclination here until I can get my Hall of Heliod's Generosity and start grinding it myself.

#2 and #3 seem safe as of now. I'm not sure what the future holds, but it doesn't seem like it's getting there. I personally wonder which decks Snow is pushing out because I see way fewer of many archetypes, but part of that is just players moving from what they play to Snow decks. :cool:

*FWIW, I'm saying "Uroza" because that's what the online grinder calls it. I'm sure it's the "Simic Urza" that you've listed.
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Post by Ym1r » 1 year ago

I don't understand how we finally have grindy decks back on the menu and now people seem to also not want that either.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

If Astrolabe needs to be our Brainstorm, so be it.
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Post by Ym1r » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Ym1r wrote:
1 year ago
I don't understand how we finally have grindy decks back on the menu and now people seem to also not want that either.
It's not that I want it banned, it's more of an investigation as to whether Wizards will ban it or not. Actually, it makes Modern a better format(and a worse one).

Astrolabe is a card that slots into both unfair(Whirza, prison variants and Underworld breach decks) and fair strategies. It also cheats the whole mana system and lets "fair" decks play Blood Moon too easily. There are arguments for one to say the card is being abused in not the fairest of ways(I get those decks are fair, i am talking about astrolabe's usage).

If astrolabe is our brainstorm, so be it, but will Wizards leave astrolabe legal, since it's approaching OuaT numbers? Is it because when a card that's being played a lot, but on both fair and unfair strategies should get more tolerance than one that's being played on more unfair decks?

There are not such cards as brainstorm in Modern. No pillars, not anything. If the card keep on being played at the same rate, or a little more, I think it is gone. Those are WOTC's criteria. That's whey the also banned Ouat,
If that is the case, and there is an expectancy for Astrolabe to be banned based on the fact that it fits on too many decks making them viable, then there can never, literally ever, be an argument for Preordain to be unbanned. Preordain will fit in the same type of fair strategies, it will enable hate cards (not necessarily blood moon but other), because people will be able to dig deeper, and it will also slot into combo decks that run U.

I personally think that as it stands, Astrolabe is fine. It allowed fair control strategies to come back to the format and they have been lacking for a while. I am sure that aggro decks will adapt soon enough to make a comeback and everything will be fine, or not because people will still complain about something.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

I'm leaning towards its fine, because of the lesser of 2 evils...but this is evil. :p

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Post by Mapccu » 1 year ago

I'm 50/50 on labe being the new brainstorm if that's how the format evolves. On the one hand, any deck can run it if it wants which is a big stroke against tools like force of will in legacy.

As for the OUaT comparison, that was a green card being played in decks that couldn't even cast it. This is intended as a 1 cmc colorless cantripping artifact and should show up more often honestly.

This is what we asked for when we wanted to have our collections maintain value (fetches) but make the format accessible for multicolor decks to entice new players. It dodging blood moon is unfortunate honestly, and a templating change could have avoided much of my personal heartburn with the card.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

OuaT helped archetypes more, which did not need it.

Astrolabe has created more archetypes, some that have not existed for some time.

Like, I get it has problems, but it very much is the lesser of 2 evils, right now.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Modern PTQ:
Link: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2020-03-16

Winner:
Simic Uroza

Top 8:
Simic Uroza: 1
Dredge: 2
E- Tron: 2
Mono G Tron: 1
Jund: 1
Humans: 1

9-16:
Bant Snow: 3
Whirza: 2
Temuro snow: 1
UR Delver: 1
Jund: 1

This means 7/16 astrolabe decks(1/8 in the top 8 only). Astrolabe is the best Modern card, end of. It is contributing to making fair decks stronger and adding diversity into the format. That's all net positive. It's also contributing to making unfair strategies better(Whirza prison decks, thopter decks, breach decks). That's not so much positive.
It's being played a lot, we will see exactly how much moving forward. One week out from a ban, the metagame is usually unsolved. In this particular case, it's semi-solved. That's a good sign overall, but a bad sign, as it's happening so soon. I suspect one or two months from now, Astrolabe will have data that prove it's banworthy from a data stanpoint. But i like ktkenshinx's argument, that the card is doing some good into Modern and giving life to the format. Big mana also seem very strong in this event and make up for a bad top 8.
My friend's boy, haubidtran taking it down! I think that's the first Snow list that I actually want to try, although there are several that are alluring.

I don't understand what Arcum's Astrolabe has to do with Preordain. Arcum's Astrolabe can be played in any deck that plays a non-Wastes basic land. Preordain is played in Blue decks, which only seem plentiful currently because Astrolabe, Emry, Urza, and Uro are making it that way. Other than that, there is literally no competitive reason to play Blue, other than UW Control and G Shadow.
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

motleyslayer wrote:
1 year ago
ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
Veil is awful. Full stop. I hope that things is banned by the end of the year.

As for Astrolabe, it's hard to separate out the experimental diversity (I.e. people who are playing around with Astrolabe in different builds) from the true diversity (I.e. different viable Astrolabe decks coexisting). It's possible Astrolabe only supports 2 viable decks: Simic Urza and Bant Snow Control. That might be the extent of its diversity, with everything else just being brewers and grinders experimenting with suboptimal builds during downtime. If that is the case, and those two decks are taking up 20%+ of the metagame, that's cause for alarm and a good sign Astrolabe should and probably will be banned. This is doubly true if the non-snow decks, like Jund, Azorius Control/Stoneblade, Izzet Control, and others all get pushed out because Snow is just better.

On the other hand, it's possible there truly are a bunch of distinct Astrolabe decks that can coexist but won't without the artifact. This means all the weird 4c experiments, different Urza decks, Snowblades, and others live peacefully alongside Jund, traditional Stoneblade, Izzet Control, and others without taking up too much metagame share. In that world, Astrolabe is just another Modern staple and should/will not be banned. Unfortunately, it's impossible to know which way the metagame is leaning now. We are 1 week out from the B&R and have no major paper events on the horizon due to COVID19. This means we will need to do a lot of waiting to know what happens next.
100% agree on veil.

The reasons you stated about astrolab is a reason why I'm still not sure what to think on the card or if I think it should be banned. are people playing it because it's absurd or do they just wanna try it out to see how good it is? I don't think I can answer that myself.
I still think Astrolabe should have been the ban over Opal, but with Opal gone I think Astrolabe is fine. It's still a bad design, but this design is really hard to get right. But it shouldn't go at this time.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
motleyslayer wrote:
1 year ago
ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
Veil is awful. Full stop. I hope that things is banned by the end of the year.

As for Astrolabe, it's hard to separate out the experimental diversity (I.e. people who are playing around with Astrolabe in different builds) from the true diversity (I.e. different viable Astrolabe decks coexisting). It's possible Astrolabe only supports 2 viable decks: Simic Urza and Bant Snow Control. That might be the extent of its diversity, with everything else just being brewers and grinders experimenting with suboptimal builds during downtime. If that is the case, and those two decks are taking up 20%+ of the metagame, that's cause for alarm and a good sign Astrolabe should and probably will be banned. This is doubly true if the non-snow decks, like Jund, Azorius Control/Stoneblade, Izzet Control, and others all get pushed out because Snow is just better.

On the other hand, it's possible there truly are a bunch of distinct Astrolabe decks that can coexist but won't without the artifact. This means all the weird 4c experiments, different Urza decks, Snowblades, and others live peacefully alongside Jund, traditional Stoneblade, Izzet Control, and others without taking up too much metagame share. In that world, Astrolabe is just another Modern staple and should/will not be banned. Unfortunately, it's impossible to know which way the metagame is leaning now. We are 1 week out from the B&R and have no major paper events on the horizon due to COVID19. This means we will need to do a lot of waiting to know what happens next.
100% agree on veil.

The reasons you stated about astrolab is a reason why I'm still not sure what to think on the card or if I think it should be banned. are people playing it because it's absurd or do they just wanna try it out to see how good it is? I don't think I can answer that myself.
I still think Astrolabe should have been the ban over Opal, but with Opal gone I think Astrolabe is fine. It's still a bad design, but this design is really hard to get right. But it shouldn't go at this time.
When given the option of banning a new card vs an old card, and there is an option to hit the same deck with an old card, they will almost always ban the old card. Gotta sell those packs. $$$

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
When given the option of banning a new card vs an old card, and there is an option to hit the same deck with an old card, they will almost always ban the old card. Gotta sell those packs. $$$
Why always try to discredit Wizards? Comparing a Mox with a small drawback with Astrolabe, looks biased at best. Opal was the card to ban obviously, as it produced all the turn 3 kills. Astrolabe has nothing to do with making the avg speed of modern faster.
It's hard to give credit to a company which consistently shows it is incapable of running things well or making good choices. They literally have destroyed their own game in the last year and a half.

Or maybe that was the plan all along? Screw us players, and let's just cash in on the casual crowd. Yeah, that'll work right? Record profits!

Edit: most specifically was their recent reluctance to ban Hogaak, and instead ban Bridge. An old card that, before Hogaak, did nothing of importance and was absolutely not the problem.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
Edit: most specifically was their recent reluctance to ban Hogaak, and instead ban Bridge. An old card that, before Hogaak, did nothing of importance and was absolutely not the problem.
The problem? No. A problem? 100%.

Lets not pretend that the Bridge line of play was not absolutely an issue. Opal enabling 'here's my whole hand, deal with it' was also a problem.

Astrolabe, is just a different kind of problem.
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Post by TheBoulderer » 1 year ago

Let's hold off on the pessimism for now. I'll just jumble down some thoughts here.

Granted, the way they screwed up card design in the past year is unprecedented. There's been ban after ban, and that's unhealthy as hell for modern. And some cards do remain banworthy and will (hopefully) be banned in the next announcement or so. I do think modern still has the potential to be the most fun format, but only if some necessary last steps are taken.

Two things need to happen (I know this is all obvious stuff, but it helps to put it down sometimes):

1) the right cards need to be banned, and 2) new card design has to improved. They have gotten it right a lot too, cards being good enough to break into and establish themselves in modern while not breaking anything.

Bans are either needed when individually too powerful cards are printed, or when overpowered synergies arise. I feel like 4 cards are especially aggravating people now. Urza, T3feri, Astrolabe, Veil of Summer. 2 of the new titans, Uro and Kroxa, are also new cards that jumped right to the top of the format.

Unlike a lot of people on here, I don't think Astrolabe is the main reason midrange decks have seen a resurgence. It makes those strategies even more consistent and powerful, but the tools are there, with or without Astrolabe. Kroxa has bolstered Jund, and all the other Bant/Simic/Sultai lists have a core in comon that is viable with or without Astrolabe: Uro and Icefang Coatl. Uro itself is far and away strong enough to make Simic-based midrange more than viable. Astrolabe just makes those midrange decks even better and more easily enables Icefang Coatl. A propos Icefang Coatl: That card was supposed to be a Baleful Strix adjusted from legacy to modern power levels. What actually happened: Astrolabe ensures Coatl is a strict upgrade to Strix. And that is just absurd to me. I'm surprised more people are not pointing this out. Strix is a 4of in legacy control decks.

So, Coatl would be an acceptable (and I would argue the intended) power lvl with Astrolabe gone.

What also ties into this is that these midrange decks have a busted tool to overpower control: Veil of Summer. Modern functions by balancing super-archetypes against each other. the good old rock-paper-scisors: Aggro beats control, control beats midrange, midrange beats aggro. And big mana is potentially obnoxious against everything but has larger weak-spots than the other super-archetypes and occasionally just does nothing. Similar story with combo. Veil of Summer breaks that balance, and as long as that's the case, modern will justifiably feel off.

Next for Urza: I think the generic argument that Urza is a 4cmc sorcery speed spell kind of applies here as well. It gains value, as it should, but it has a "problem": it's extremely strong synergy with artifacts, and again, first and foremost, Astrolabe. Although I think the ban of Mox Opal was a long time coming and necessary to be able to design interesting artifacts in the future, Urza was Opal's nail in the coffin. And Urza suffers the same problem as Opal: it limits design space for artifacts. I think an Astrolabe ban might nerf it enough to be ok and allow for good new artifacts, but I'm unsure.

And T3feri: I'll draw more on my personal experience as a control player against it. I feel it's activated abilities are weak enough to compensate for its admittedly powerful static. T3feri will win the game, but it gives opponents ample opportunity to kill it. It can only protect itself and generate value by going down to 1 loyalty, similar to Liliana of the Veil, and it's uptick is good but usually doesnt do a lot of work.

T3feri starts getting problematic when put in the context of the archetype it currently sees the most play: Bant Midrange/Control. Again, Bant has access to Veil of Summer which is already a knockout blow against most control decks, and when Veil of Summer protects T3feri, that is an unbeatable combination. Which brings me to my last point:

Veil of Summer is imo skewing. our perception of how strong threats actually are right now. Urza, Uro, Teferi are all quite easy to interact with. But a huge chunk of decks running those cards also run Veil of Summer. And I truly believe if Veil was gone, those cards would feel, and be, more manageable for interactive decks. As it stands, the way to beat them is to go under them (aggro) or over them (big mana/combo). Interacting with them is pretty futile.

To sum up, I think there's (still!!) a cluster of very powerful new cards cards that also happen to fit into the same strategies. And imo some of them are the real offenders (Astrolabe, Veil) and some of them are just the benefactors of those offenders.

To be clear: I think Urza decks are cool as hell. I loved facing Grixis Whirza. But i hate getting blown out by Veil of Summer out of Simic Whirza.

I love Bant Midrange/Control, I love the flavour, the matches are interesting, there's a gy dimension that is powerful but not broken. But, you guessed it: I hate being blown out by Veil of Summer and random Blood Moons.

I have no evidence for this, but I believe a ton of the Snow midrange/control decks have the potential to stay easily viable, even tier decks, without Astrolabe or Veil. The card quality is just obviously there. The difference is they'll stop unnecessarily pushing a number of other strategies out of the format.

And while it's debatable wether this should even be a consideration: There is virtually no financial investment in those cards. Astrolabe and Veil are small change.

I genuinely believe that the people advocating for Astrolabe would also love the decks that emerge when it is gone. I know I would. And Veil: lets be honest: nobody will shed a tear for that. I feel even the people that are running it, every time they caste it, just giggle slightly guiltily going "well, it's legal^^. It's stupid, but it's legal, lol. i'm... sorry?"
Last edited by TheBoulderer 1 year ago, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by TheBoulderer » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
TheBoulderer, I think you have a minor detail wrong, which can lead into a major oversight.
With no Astrolabe, it's very difficult for those decks to pay the GGUU escape cost of Uro. This means, with no Astrolabe, I am not even sure those decks are viable. Now, add the fact that they also play 4 field of ruin on top of it and are able to play blood moon.
No astrolabe=uro is very difficult to being cast and no astrolabe= no Blood Moon, thus big mana are so difficult to be won then.

Veil should be banned and should not hurt that much.

I doubt those decks are viable with no Astrolabe though.
The cost of escaping Titans is color-intensive for a reason. The effect you get is very, very powerful as well as being recursive. Rakdos decks are escaping Kroxa without Astrolabe. Jund is escaping Kroxa without Astrolabe. And with Jund, Kroxa's escape cost is something you have to keep in mind when fetching. As it should be! You are getting a game-winning play for that cost.

With Astrolabe, never has anybody struggled to cast Uro even a tiny bit. That's the real problem imo. Astrolabe being there the whole time the Titan's have been legal has made people numb to the fact that their costs are there for a reason. As it stands now, Uro might was well have baby-Karn's casting cost to escape.

Also, Uro decks should not be able to sideboard Blood Moon. That is the whole reason color in casting costs exist. Cards come with advantages, abilities, but also restrictions. Rightly so.

The effect would be: For straight Simic decks, getting the mana to escape Uro is trivial. For 3-color decks (temur, bant, Sultai), its still quite easy, but maybe you'll include a fliter land to get the colors more consistently. For 4c decks, casting Uro consistently becomes a stretch, and it should be hard. You are expanding your card pool, but that comes at a price. In that regard, Astrolabe is the epitome of a card that creates imbalance.

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Post by TheBoulderer » 1 year ago

you are right, I kind of excluded big mana strategies from that whole discussion. And Titan did just eat a major ban. So clearly, big mana is very much on the radar.

The discussion about tron lands is as old as the modern format. Tron has been a top deck consistently for years. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the best-performing deck on average over modern's life-span.

And yes, many people consider baby-Karn another design-mistake. Lattice also did eat a ban (only made baby-Karn marginally worse though).

And yes tron can be obnoxious, as can Titan. Their mana bases can be interacted with quite well though. Again, Veil is a huge problem in that regard because it shuts off moderns premium land destruction spell, Fulminator Mage.

If i could choose between Veil or Astrolabe being banned, I would choose Veil. maybe that's enough to make big mana and snow decks more accessible to interaction.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
All that said, I am sure your bashing towards Modern and Wizards of the coast (I know you are doing it because they banned your deck, Twin and it went downhill from there on your posts just bashing left and right with no real arguments since 2016)
I actually make plenty of arguments. You not listening to them doesn't mean I'm not making them. :hmm:
but man, give it a rest. Give them credit where it's due(you don't do it at all) and cut them some slash, because everybody knows 2019 was bad.
I patiently await Aaron Forsythe coming out and give direction for their vision of Modern. And while he's at it, explaining why WOTC, with the help of a team specifically formed to prevent this from happening, managed to categorically f**k up nearly every format of Magic and give rise to unparalleled amounts of bannings and problems, unilaterally across their entire game. What exactly should I be giving them any credit for? Maybe getting something right on the 3rd, 4th, or 5th try?

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
I patiently await Aaron Forsythe coming out and give direction for their vision of Modern. And while he's at it, explaining why WOTC, with the help of a team specifically formed to prevent this from happening, managed to categorically f**k up nearly every format of Magic and give rise to unparalleled amounts of bannings and problems, unilaterally across their entire game.
There's nothing realistically he will say that is going to correct for this. We all know it. They are not going to ban out 2019, they are not going to ban out TBD (Uro/Breach, though has Breach done anything, not that I've seen) and they will hand-wave any past issues as 'we need to be able to push the boundary of design/development'.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
It's hard to give credit to a company which consistently shows it is incapable of running things well or making good choices. They literally have destroyed their own game in the last year and a half.

Or maybe that was the plan all along? Screw us players, and let's just cash in on the casual crowd. Yeah, that'll work right? Record profits!

Edit: most specifically was their recent reluctance to ban Hogaak, and instead ban Bridge. An old card that, before Hogaak, did nothing of importance and was absolutely not the problem.
idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
Edit: most specifically was their recent reluctance to ban Hogaak, and instead ban Bridge. An old card that, before Hogaak, did nothing of importance and was absolutely not the problem.
The problem? No. A problem? 100%.

Lets not pretend that the Bridge line of play was not absolutely an issue. Opal enabling 'here's my whole hand, deal with it' was also a problem.

Astrolabe, is just a different kind of problem.
I feel that cfusionpm is right here. Bridge from Below was never a problem. Even in the Hogaak deck, the only reason it became a problem was that you could cast Hogaak over and over again, then using Altar of Dementia to mill your opponent and forego the combat step.

Hogaak was the problem and they knew it.

Regarding Mox Opal, cfusionpm is correct here as well. It was not Mox Opal that was the problem. Mox Opal had been around in Modern forever, even if admittedly it had been close to banning many times before, but Urza, Lord High Artificer pushed it off a ledge. Urza is still the problem and I think outside of Snow decks just taking over, we are seeing that right now. Urza, Thopter Foundry, and Sword of the Meek is still infinite life and 1/1 fliers at instant speed. Also I played a lot against Whirza with Mox Opal and only died on turn 3 once. I've killed people on turn 3 or sooner with a plethora of Modern decks since (Amulet, Neobrand, Devoted Combo, etc.)

EDIT> Sorry, I'm trying to catch up on this page. Took a nap for a bit...
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idSurge
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

I'm not going to say they would ban new cards before old. Thats obviously not true.
I'm not going to say they have not pushed cards to the point of being broken in 2019/20. Obviously they have.

However Bridge was said by MANY to be a valid ban target, because people dont want to see (ref: Twin/Pod/Delver) decks die. Well, Hogaak was a deck, and now its dead.

Should Urza have died just to keep a busted (yes it was) card around? Maybe. Old before New however, and Urza could maybe be fine now.

Thats Modern, as of 2020. They will ban old cards, if they can keep selling new ones.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

But why was Mox Opal considered busted? I have advocated for a ban of Mox Opal for many years, not because I wanted it banned, but because I wanted it to be the reason that something else would NOT get banned (it being legal while something else was banned was hypocritical, even if they're not the same type of card). Mox Opal has never been on par with Modern being a "turn 4 format." Some other cards that HAVE been banned (I'm not going to say names yet) do actually coincide with a turn 4 format.

Mox Opal only got talked about when other cards pushed it. Having 1 extra mana from turn 1 to turn 3 was fine for Affinity for many years, even when Affinity remained competitive during times of broken, busted decks (even somewhat competitive during Eye of Ugin Eldrazi). Urza, Lord High Artificer is just a broken card. Everyone can see that. I mean, honestly, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician is a busted card, but is nothing compared with Urza. Yes, a better Yawgmoth's Bargain is nothing. And right now, Urza is not even super busted because of stuff like Emry, Breach, the Astrolabe shell. It's really insane stuff going on right now.

BTW when I eventually tried Affinity for the first time in constructed play at GP side events, I ran off 11-0 before hitting my first match loss. Then I hit 3 losses in 5 matches, getting all the hate cards (so, so many) with a strong clock from my opponents. I often wonder, what made Mox Opal fine then, but not fine once Urza, Astrolabe, and Emry were printed?
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Honestly? Because people threw an absolute fit over Twin. By every single 'hindsight is 20/20' take, Affinity was next in the cross hairs.

Wizards absolutely changed how they managed the format post Twin. If not for that, Opal was next.

It was not fine, just like Yawg is busted too, but nobody cares because Urza is worse, because Astrolabe is in so many decks. Yawg? Just another creature combo, that Wizard's loves anyway.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
Honestly? Because people threw an absolute fit over Twin. By every single 'hindsight is 20/20' take, Affinity was next in the cross hairs.

Wizards absolutely changed how they managed the format post Twin. If not for that, Opal was next.

It was not fine, just like Yawg is busted too, but nobody cares because Urza is worse, because Astrolabe is in so many decks. Yawg? Just another creature combo, that Wizard's loves anyway.
As they should. I've been around Modern since the beginning and that was the one ban where I literally was shocked. I will tell you right now that I was at my LGS. A player at FNM said that Twin was not on the mtgo client or something like that and every time that happened, the card was banned on Monday. I did not believe it. Monday came and I saw it. I was in SHOCK. So, you're saying that the flack WotC got over the Twin ban made them hold out on the Mox Opal ban?

With the busted cards, it's just a matter of time. Urza is not long for this world unless WotC is simply going to let busted cards run Modern. With the Once Upon a Time ban, I don't think that is their memo. It just takes time. Everything takes just way too much time to do and then all of a sudden, just like that, 4 cards will be banned. Urza, Emry or Mishra's Bauble, Underworld Breach if those aren't banned, Astrolabe, possibly Veil. These cards are on borrowed time.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Yes. If you have looked at the numbers, Affinity was winning as much as Twin. By the logic of 'ban out the next best deck' Affinity would have taken a hit, and as you say its always broken the 'turn 4' rule by right of Opal alone.

The fact it lived as long as it did, is also because attention was taken off of it.

1. Eldrazi broke Modern. Eye banned. "Sorry we killed Twin and all Blue Decks" Sword of the Meek and AV unbanned.
2. Dredge breaks Modern thanks to new cards. GGT rebanned.
3. "Wow, Blue still stucks, and you all keep crying about Jund not being good enough, here!" Jace and BBE unbanned.
4. KCI is BUSTED. Win rates are through the roof if you have the rules knowledge to take advantage of it. KCI banned. Opal is called out as being watched.

No Changes - Looting decks dominate the format.
No Changes - Looting decks dominate the format.
(This is where I was pointing out that Modern is a GY format, people laughed at me!)

5. Hogaak breaks Modern! Bridge is banned because of how it wins.
6. Hogaak still breaks Modern! "We hear you all making fun of us, so here!" SFM is unbanned, Hogaak AND Looting are banned. Best ban of formats existence.

Modern is in a massive lull.
Modern is in a massive lull.
Modern is in a massive lull.
Modern is in a massive lull.
(Format was all kinds of rancid, but nobody really paid much attention, less people played, and people put time into Arena/Pioneer)

7. Modern busted again! Oko, Opal AND Lattice are banned because of 2019 Cards (Oko, Urza, and Little Karn!)

The reality remains, Modern has been unhealthy for YEARS, to the point that Opal just kinda of hung around, even when it was powering the 'best deck' outside of Eldrazi, even when it was called out in KCI, and up to and including as a central piece of Urza decks.

Busted card. Always has been.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

Okay, I can get by that. It just seems that despite other things going on, they would have at least attempted to clean that up earlier. And they certainly could have banned Mox Opal instead of Krark-Clan Ironworks.

The argument I always heard is that Affinity is easy to hate out, so Mox Opal is fine. Urza made the Mox Opal deck impossible to hate out.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
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