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

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motleyslayer
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Post by motleyslayer » 1 year ago

Finalnub is really the only player I know of that has put in a bunch of effort into neoform, he's really put in the reps. I think I've maybe only seen one other player bedsides him play it at an event.

I think the deck is probably fine. Yeah it can put up quick kills but at the same time it's super fragile

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

motleyslayer wrote:
1 year ago
Finalnub is really the only player I know of that has put in a bunch of effort into neoform, he's really put in the reps. I think I've maybe only seen one other player bedsides him play it at an event.

I think the deck is probably fine. Yeah it can put up quick kills but at the same time it's super fragile
The last GP before Hogaak got banned (I think Las Vegas), finalnub made Day 2 at 7-2. We met each other there for the first time (I had been talking to him during the days of Grishoalbrand, but never met him in person until that GP). We also met a group of 3 (I think, maybe 4) Neobrand players who all made Day 2 (or 3 out of 4). One of them was 8-1 at the time and ended up playing the mirror (lol) vs. finalnub on Day 2. It was a real honor to meet him in person and find out that there WERE others into the deck.

This GP was also the first GP that myself and 3 other friends that roomed together all started off 5-0, so it was very memorable to me. After starting 10-2 (4-2 vs. Hogaak, losing to Ben Friedman and a guy who top 8ed), I ended at 10-4-1 (losing to Infect and Whirza, tying with UW) with Hogaak. I often wonder what would have happened if I ran Neoform myself (I ran it at 2 PTQs, one barely missing the top 8 and the other going a disappointing 4-4, putting me off the deck for this particular GP)...

*In some ways, the deck is what you really want to be doing in Modern - trying to put your opponent on the quickest clock you can before they have chances to do something. But then there are games where you literally need a land or a Simian Spirit Guide and die with the rest of the combo rolled up in hand. :\ As tough as it is for opponents to die before playing a single card, it's tough taking 6 draw steps, doing nothing, and then scooping to whatever. So it goes both ways.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Jund Sacrifice, Jeskai Phoenix, 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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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

@ktkenshinx
1. If Astrolabe decks homogenize around 1-2 strategies with all other Astrolabe strategies declining. Astrolabe decks narrowing to just Bant Snow Control and Temur Urza would be a warning sign in this regard.
I take issue with this one. Now, before I go into my reasoning I should state that I thought Astrolabe should have been the ban over Mox Opal due to collateral damage (taking out existing decks rather than new ones), but that's not the ban we got. At this time I think Astrolabe is fine.

Part of the reason that I think Astrolabe is an overall positive addition to the format at the moment even if it massively overshot the power level (which is also part of my criticism of it in the past) is that this card was clearly pushed to be an alternative to dual lands. It is essentially an attempt at placing price controls on a format. This is more relevant in Legacy than in Modern as our duals are a lot cheaper and open to reprints but when paired with Prismatic Vista, it's possible to halve the cost of a 2 or 3 color manabase for a deck without really affecting it's power.

This argument matters very little in the competitive scene, but matters a lot when it comes to the health of the format, as Modern can only survive is the financial barrier to entry is low enough to attract players. Just as Legacy suffered due to prices, and eventually was phased out for that reason (with the RL supply issues being just one part of price constraints), Modern has been having the same problems. Notice that Pioneer was specifically billed as being a cheaper format to get into.

Like it or not, one aspect of Moderns long term survival is people being able to afford to buy into the format, and not just already enfranchised players playing it and Wizards seems to be well aware of this fact, and have been for quite some time. For this reason, I think they'll be a little more tolerant of your scenario where the number of decks playing Astrolabe narrows. As long as the number of viable competitive strategies (not necessarily deck counts) doesn't change by a large amount I don't think they would take action, and I don't think they should take action. In fact, even if the competitive scene is hurt a bit, if it increases the number of players the format has by a large enough amount it would be worth it.

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Post by Mikefon » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
ktkenshinx
1. If Astrolabe decks homogenize around 1-2 strategies with all other Astrolabe strategies declining. Astrolabe decks narrowing to just Bant Snow Control and Temur Urza would be a warning sign in this regard.
I take issue with this one. Now, before I go into my reasoning I should state that I thought Astrolabe should have been the ban over Mox Opal due to collateral damage (taking out existing decks rather than new ones), but that's not the ban we got. At this time I think Astrolabe is fine.

Part of the reason that I think Astrolabe is an overall positive addition to the format at the moment even if it massively overshot the power level (which is also part of my criticism of it in the past) is that this card was clearly pushed to be an alternative to dual lands. It is essentially an attempt at placing price controls on a format. This is more relevant in Legacy than in Modern as our duals are a lot cheaper and open to reprints but when paired with Prismatic Vista, it's possible to halve the cost of a 2 or 3 color manabase for a deck without really affecting it's power.

This argument matters very little in the competitive scene, but matters a lot when it comes to the health of the format, as Modern can only survive is the financial barrier to entry is low enough to attract players. Just as Legacy suffered due to prices, and eventually was phased out for that reason (with the RL supply issues being just one part of price constraints), Modern has been having the same problems. Notice that Pioneer was specifically billed as being a cheaper format to get into.

Like it or not, one aspect of Moderns long term survival is people being able to afford to buy into the format, and not just already enfranchised players playing it and Wizards seems to be well aware of this fact, and have been for quite some time. For this reason, I think they'll be a little more tolerant of your scenario where the number of decks playing Astrolabe narrows. As long as the number of viable competitive strategies (not necessarily deck counts) doesn't change by a large amount I don't think they would take action, and I don't think they should take action. In fact, even if the competitive scene is hurt a bit, if it increases the number of players the format has by a large enough amount it would be worth it.
The cards price was never an issue for Wizards. If they see the cards price as an entry barrier they can simply reprint some staples. One of the reason they created modern for was to not be bound by reserved list and to be able to reprint as much things as they need to.
Astrolabe's decks prevalence is around 30% right now. I feel that if it exceeds OUAT's one it will be banned unless we see a snow decks drop.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

Mikefon wrote:
1 year ago
The cards price was never an issue for Wizards. If they see the cards price as an entry barrier they can simply reprint some staples. One of the reason they created modern for was to not be bound by reserved list and to be able to reprint as much things as they need to.
Astrolabe's decks prevalence is around 30% right now. I feel that if it exceeds OUAT's one it will be banned unless we see a snow decks drop.
Yes and no. The price of individual cards is not an issue for Wizards. But, the price to get into the format is an issue for them. Or more broadly, the availability of cards that let people get into the format is the issue for them. They usually talk about it in terms of card availability but it's obvious what it means.

They don't push Legacy because the Reserved List puts not only a finite cap on the number of people that can play in the format, but also because the demand relative to the available supply makes pushes the prices too high and makes a buy in difficult. As such, if people do try to buy in they'll end up with only part of a deck and be in a position where their funds are tied up, so they can't realistically play.

They've talked about Modern in these terms before as well. And yes, it's true they can reprint anything in Modern but we've seen this strategy not be as simple to implement as one would think.

Modern Masters 1 didn't address supply issues nearly as much as hoped, and neither did Modern Masters 2. Furthermore, in the primary reprint vehicle which is Standard, Wizards has realized that it's unrealistic to reprint through that. Not only because of power level (Modern playables are always going to be the cards which are far above the curve, and as such will warp any Standard format), but because so many cards involve keywords, lore, or other mechanics that make Standard reprints difficult. Liliana of the Veil, fetchlands, Snapcaster Mage, JTMS, Mox Opal, Karn Liberated, Stoneforge Mystic, Noble Hierarch, and so on.

The only one of these to get a Standard reprint so far have been the allied fetchlands (which added them to the format), and it was a disaster.

It's less of an issue at the moment, but historically Modern has been plagued with card availability issues because reprints take a long time to release. Secret Lairs may be a solution to that, but so far we haven't seen them used that way.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
It's less of an issue at the moment, but historically Modern has been plagued with card availability issues because reprints take a long time to release. Secret Lairs may be a solution to that, but so far we haven't seen them used that way.
I think Mystery Boosters were more of a solution to that than Secret Lairs. Secret Lairs are straight up printing money by using paper, ink, and paying some artists. Have you seen some of the cards to come out of the Mystery packs?

Sakura-Tribe Scout mystery pack foil - $3
Sakura-Tribe Scout Champions foil - $23

I just bought what would have been around $60-70 worth of admittedly mostly junk for $7 shipped yesterday. How? They were all the mystery booster pack versions of the cards, mostly random uncommons that used to be around $5 each and some previously expensive commander stuff.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Jund Sacrifice, Jeskai Phoenix, 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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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
It's less of an issue at the moment, but historically Modern has been plagued with card availability issues because reprints take a long time to release. Secret Lairs may be a solution to that, but so far we haven't seen them used that way.
I think Mystery Boosters were more of a solution to that than Secret Lairs. Secret Lairs are straight up printing money by using paper, ink, and paying some artists. Have you seen some of the cards to come out of the Mystery packs?

Sakura-Tribe Scout mystery pack foil - $3
Sakura-Tribe Scout Champions foil - $23

I just bought what would have been around $60-70 worth of admittedly mostly junk for $7 shipped yesterday. How? They were all the mystery booster pack versions of the cards, mostly random uncommons that used to be around $5 each and some previously expensive commander stuff.
Mystery boosters have a different issue, it requires a lot of overhead in making a set. Secret Lairs work because Wizards can be much more responsive with them. They haven't done much with that yet, but they definitely can. It has literally zero set considerations involved. They just print the card at a price similar to secondary market values. Profit margin doesn't really factor into this. Wizards makes a ton of money on them to be sure, but if they want to target specific reprints there's not a better way to do so yet.

Something like a Mystery Booster is a good way to drop the value on a bunch of cards at once but isn't a good way to handle things like the cards I mentioned before.

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

On snow hosers, Freyalise's radiance exists. It is rubbish but it exists. Bloody cumulative upkeep.

@ktkenshinx You say wotc use numbers on all ban decisions in the format. I am not sure they do. I think they do mostly, but I also think they look at other data they don't share to do with popularity-unpopularity of strategies and cards. Lattice would be an obvious one. No data I have seen convinces me of the need to ban. In Legacy Brainstorm's historic numbers pretty much prove that they don't there. In fact there is a quote or two from various wotc names that by any metric it should be banned but players love it. Once you accept that they will let a card escape that should be banned on numbers alone, the numbers take a back seat to someone's idea that Legacy is better with Brainstorm.
When they ban something they use numbers to support the case, sure, I completely agree, but if you want me to accept that they always use numbers across all formats, you would need to explain to me how Brainstorm exists in Legacy all this time when its numbers indicate ban worthiness for most of the last decade. If you want to restrict it to Modern as you suggested then a fair question, aside from how the hell did they ban Nactyl etc, would be how comes the data driven bans have made the format less popular than the Legacy format where not all bans are overtly data driven?
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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

was going to say this awhile back, but forgot to say amidst the chaos of covid in my area. During our last testings, Emry has been amazing in artifact decks. At first, I thought she is weak.. but during tests, if she is not killed, the artifacts have unlimited recursion as long as the yard is not exiled. Now, I'm sad my Emry is only a proxy, the one I ordered is still in the post office, cannot get because post office is closed. :(
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Playing a lot of MTGO, since I can't do much else. Really enjoying Magic The Astrolabing* and Veil of Summer is proving itself as obnoxious as ever! :party: :party: :party: :poop:


*Yes, I know this is a silly exaggerated example. I like screencapping and saving silly and exaggerated examples of silly things that happen.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
ktkenshinx You say wotc use numbers on all ban decisions in the format. I am not sure they do. I think they do mostly, but I also think they look at other data they don't share to do with popularity-unpopularity of strategies and cards. Lattice would be an obvious one. No data I have seen convinces me of the need to ban. In Legacy Brainstorm's historic numbers pretty much prove that they don't there. In fact there is a quote or two from various wotc names that by any metric it should be banned but players love it. Once you accept that they will let a card escape that should be banned on numbers alone, the numbers take a back seat to someone's idea that Legacy is better with Brainstorm.

When they ban something they use numbers to support the case, sure, I completely agree, but if you want me to accept that they always use numbers across all formats, you would need to explain to me how Brainstorm exists in Legacy all this time when its numbers indicate ban worthiness for most of the last decade. If you want to restrict it to Modern as you suggested then a fair question, aside from how the hell did they ban Nactyl etc, would be how comes the data driven bans have made the format less popular than the Legacy format where not all bans are overtly data driven?
Wizards does use numbers as the primary criterion for all formats. Specifically, prevalence and win-rates. I do think, however, they have different tolerances for different formats. This generally reflects format popularity and profit for Wizards. Legacy and Vintage see fewer bans/restrictions despite having offenders like Brainstorm or Workshop doing things that would never be acceptable in Standard. By contrast, Standard and Modern have historically seen far more bans because they are more popular and revolve around different visions. I generally do not use ban precedents from other formats to inform Modern ban predictions. But using previous Modern bans, you can successfully predict most of Wizards' future actions. They sometimes throw us curveballs (e.g. Probe) and we sometimes miss the exact card from an offending deck (e.g. Hogaak vs. Bridge), but for the most part, you can use that history to correctly predict both changes and "No Changes" announcements throughout Modern's existence.

The most recent exception to this is Lattice, which appeared to be primarily driven by the unfun factor. Popularity and performance were secondary to this. But all other bans are heavily driven by predictable numbers that we have successfully identified for years. It's still easy to draw the wrong lesson from different examples. For instance, you look at Nacatl and say "how the hell did they ban this?" That can't be data-driven if it was so clearly the wrong ban! But to me, that's not the lesson at all. The lesson is that Wizards walks back incorrect bans after they a) prove that the ban did not accomplish its stated aims and b) there's a diversity upside to releasing the offending card. The Nacatl ban data also wasn't that terrible at the time. It was definitely wrong in hindsight but sort of shrugworthy in 2011 (except for Zoo players). When you start unpacking ban decisions this way, there are a lot of better conclusions to be found.
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
Wizards does use numbers as the primary criterion for all formats. Specifically, prevalence and win-rates. I do think, however, they have different tolerances for different formats.
I think it's more than just different tolerances, it's selective enforcement across the board. I could imagine that if a deck was doing alarmingly well, but never caught on for whatever reason (or took a long time to catch on, and by then a new set was out and things are back in chaos), then no action would be taken. It's only after something egregious is going on, after public outcry, after it should be painfully obvious. And since we have no access to meaingful data ourselves (especially that precious MTGO win rate), we have no idea what decks are breaking that rule and what are not. It's Schrodinger's Ban at that point. We don't know a deck is breaking a rule or not until WOTC tells us (either by banning it, or by explicitly stating numbers saying it's fine).

Basically, it goes back on a point I have been making for a long time: they do what they want, when they want, and justify it using whatever they want. Can we make predictions? Maybe, if they're super obvious. But maybe they only act because those things are super obvious. Maybe the League data dumps that horrendously skew meta % numbers in all sorts of ways (inflating under-performing decks, quashing over-performing decks, completely messing with meta %s as well as specific card prevalence). Meanwhile, WOTC can pick which numbers they feel are important whenever they want, and then cite those, knowing we don't have access to anything else to compare to. It's just a crummy feeling all around, and it does not inspire confidence.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
And since we have no access to meaingful data ourselves (especially that precious MTGO win rate), we have no idea what decks are breaking that rule and what are not. It's Schrodinger's Ban at that point. We don't know a deck is breaking a rule or not until WOTC tells us (either by banning it, or by explicitly stating numbers saying it's fine).
I sincerely doubt this is true if for no other reason than we have successfully predicted almost all of the last bans and No Changes announcements. If there was some weird black box effect happening where we have no clue what's happening behind the curtain, we would consistently be guessing wrong. Instead, we generally get it right. I also might be being too generous with the "we" here because lots of community members are consistently wrong. Very wrong. Maybe I'll specify "we" as me and a few people in this thread and in the community at large that pay closer attention to the metagame and don't jump to hyperbolic conclusions. Either way, we have predicted many of the last bans prior to any Wizards actions or statements.
Basically, it goes back on a point I have been making for a long time: they do what they want, when they want, and justify it using whatever they want. Can we make predictions? Maybe, if they're super obvious. But maybe they only act because those things are super obvious. Maybe the League data dumps that horrendously skew meta % numbers in all sorts of ways (inflating under-performing decks, quashing over-performing decks, completely messing with meta %s as well as specific card prevalence). Meanwhile, WOTC can pick which numbers they feel are important whenever they want, and then cite those, knowing we don't have access to anything else to compare to. It's just a crummy feeling all around, and it does not inspire confidence.
Again, this simply doesn't match the historical reality of ban and No Changes predictions. If Wizards truly did whatever they wanted to whenever they wanted to and then justified it after the fact, we'd be way more in the dark on predictions. But we're not. We're mostly getting them right (again, caveat about who that "we" includes).

I think most of this really returns to you still being very personally affronted by the Twin ban and Wizards' unwillingness to unban the card. Incidentally, this was one of the true blindside bans that the vast majority of community members did not predict. I think this experience has so damaged your perception of Wizards that you view most other Wizards decisions through that betrayed lens. That's not unreasonable. Consumer betrayal is a major factor that drives our behavior, and it's not always irrational. Twin in particular is the double insult of making a bad ban up front and then staying painfully silent on it for years. In this case, however, it's definitely overstated because for every unpredictable Twin ban we see there are dozens of other No Changes and ban updates that were squarely in our prediction crosshairs.
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

But that's the thing, who knows if a deck is breaking rules during multiple "No Changes" announcements? Phoenix and Dredge were ravaging the competitive scene for a year and a half before being acted upon, and it took an insanely MORE broken card to get the community uproar strong enough to finally ban Looting.

For all we know, Phoenix and Dredge had been breaking rules we didn't know about, with data we didn't have access to, for quite a while. But because there wasn't enough public outcry, we got month after month after month of no changes.

Rules don't really seem to matter when both the criteria and a way to measure that criteria are both shrouded in secrecy.

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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

Rules don't really seem to matter when both the criteria and a way to measure that criteria are both shrouded in secrecy.
shroud? maybe more like the data has hexproof, because they see it and we don't. Just kidding. :grin:

still in lockdown, because there is a pandemic in the streets.. Cannot get my emry and goblin engineer from the post office. :(
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

The Fluff wrote:
1 year ago
Rules don't really seem to matter when both the criteria and a way to measure that criteria are both shrouded in secrecy.
shroud? maybe more like the data has hexproof, because they see it and we don't. Just kidding. :grin:
There isn't a Thank button large enough for this comment. :grin: :grin: :grin: :love: :laugh: :explode:

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
But that's the thing, who knows if a deck is breaking rules during multiple "No Changes" announcements? Phoenix and Dredge were ravaging the competitive scene for a year and a half before being acted upon, and it took an insanely MORE broken card to get the community uproar strong enough to finally ban Looting.

For all we know, Phoenix and Dredge had been breaking rules we didn't know about, with data we didn't have access to, for quite a while. But because there wasn't enough public outcry, we got month after month after month of no changes.
A far more likely explanation is the precise explanation Wizards gave in the Looting ban announcement. Namely, the following pieces:

-"Over the past year, graveyard-based strategies have been occupying a large portion of the Modern metagame, to the point where deck-building diversity is being suppressed. "
-"By our data gathered from Magic Online and tabletop tournament results, over the past year the winningest Modern deck at any given point in time has usually been a Faithless Looting deck. Examples include Hollow One, Izzet Phoenix, and Dredge and Bridgevine variants (both pre- and post-Hogaak's release)."
-"As new card designs are released that deal with the graveyard, discarding cards, and casting cheap spells, the power of Faithless Looting's efficient hand and graveyard manipulation continues to scale upward."
-"Regardless of Hogaak's recent impact, Faithless Looting would be a likely eventual addition to the banned list in the near future."

In particular, note the bolded bit. They acknowledge there was probably no single Looting deck that was problematic for any discrete period of Modern. It was the trend of Looting decks always being on top over a length of time. It took time to establish this trend, and quite honestly, it was pretty obvious just looking at the pre-Looting ban data. Looting decks were absolutely everywhere in both major paper events and the MTGO circuit. I seem to remember you noting the alleged hypocrisy of Izzet Phoenix being okay and Twin not being okay despite Phoenix's T8 appearances. We've long known of a strong correlation between popularity and performance, and that correlation has gotten much stronger over time as iteration has increased and players increasingly know and gravitate towards the "best deck."
Rules don't really seem to matter when both the criteria and a way to measure that criteria are both shrouded in secrecy.
Again, we have disproven this theory many times by correctly predicting bans and "No Changes" announcements. I still believe this conspiracy-oriented indictment of Wizards is rooted in your personal frustrations about the Twin ban. It's fine to remain resentful about that ban, even if I personally wish you would tone it down some times. But you're a critical Magic thinker (critical thinker generally, in my experience), and I truly think this kind of #fakenews tinfoil hattery is beneath you. Wizards absolutely has some opaque agendas shrouded in secrecy which we should absolutely call out. The march to digital Magic is one of them. Even the Twin ban itself was an example of such an agenda. But subsequent Modern ban decisions have been pretty darn clear and predictable, even if Wizards has made questionable or outright suspicious decisions elsewhere.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
But that's the thing, who knows if a deck is breaking rules during multiple "No Changes" announcements? Phoenix and Dredge were ravaging the competitive scene for a year and a half before being acted upon, and it took an insanely MORE broken card to get the community uproar strong enough to finally ban Looting.

For all we know, Phoenix and Dredge had been breaking rules we didn't know about, with data we didn't have access to, for quite a while. But because there wasn't enough public outcry, we got month after month after month of no changes.
A far more likely explanation is the precise explanation Wizards gave in the Looting ban announcement. Namely, the following pieces:

-"Over the past year, graveyard-based strategies have been occupying a large portion of the Modern metagame, to the point where deck-building diversity is being suppressed. "
-"By our data gathered from Magic Online and tabletop tournament results, over the past year the winningest Modern deck at any given point in time has usually been a Faithless Looting deck. Examples include Hollow One, Izzet Phoenix, and Dredge and Bridgevine variants (both pre- and post-Hogaak's release)."
-"As new card designs are released that deal with the graveyard, discarding cards, and casting cheap spells, the power of Faithless Looting's efficient hand and graveyard manipulation continues to scale upward."
-"Regardless of Hogaak's recent impact, Faithless Looting would be a likely eventual addition to the banned list in the near future."

In particular, note the bolded bit. They acknowledge there was probably no single Looting deck that was problematic for any discrete period of Modern. It was the trend of Looting decks always being on top over a length of time. It took time to establish this trend, and quite honestly, it was pretty obvious just looking at the pre-Looting ban data. Looting decks were absolutely everywhere in both major paper events and the MTGO circuit. I seem to remember you noting the alleged hypocrisy of Izzet Phoenix being okay and Twin not being okay despite Phoenix's T8 appearances. We've long known of a strong correlation between popularity and performance, and that correlation has gotten much stronger over time as iteration has increased and players increasingly know and gravitate towards the "best deck."
Rules don't really seem to matter when both the criteria and a way to measure that criteria are both shrouded in secrecy.
Again, we have disproven this theory many times by correctly predicting bans and "No Changes" announcements. I still believe this conspiracy-oriented indictment of Wizards is rooted in your personal frustrations about the Twin ban. It's fine to remain resentful about that ban, even if I personally wish you would tone it down some times. But you're a critical Magic thinker (critical thinker generally, in my experience), and I truly think this kind of #fakenews tinfoil hattery is beneath you. Wizards absolutely has some opaque agendas shrouded in secrecy which we should absolutely call out. The march to digital Magic is one of them. Even the Twin ban itself was an example of such an agenda. But subsequent Modern ban decisions have been pretty darn clear and predictable, even if Wizards has made questionable or outright suspicious decisions elsewhere.
I think with cards like Faithless Looting and Mox Opal, WotC was trying to give people time to adapt to beat some of the top decks. The problem was that there was no sustained time period when it was proven that these decks were just NOT the best thing to be doing.

I wouldn't say that most of the bans are predictable though. Although I was right about Modern, I thought the Breach Legacy ban would happen next time (I was wrong on timing) and I thought for sure something from Pioneer Inverter was gone, along with possibly the next best thing to be doing - Heliod/Ballista.

Also, if the agendas are easily seen, then what is the agenda in making so many busted cards in the past few sets? (Is it just as I thought that WotC is trying to push stuff a bit in order to sell packs and then deal with the brokenness as it comes?)
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Jund Sacrifice, Jeskai Phoenix, 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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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
But subsequent Modern ban decisions have been pretty darn clear and predictable, even if Wizards has made questionable or outright suspicious decisions elsewhere.
I would say that has to do with clear and obvious failures than anything else. Most bans could be spotted a mile away, because they were the result of prolonged torture to the playerbase, that took way too long to address. It's kind of like "Well this deck should finally see a ban, what is the most likely target?"

The only one that frustrated me the most was the latency on Looting, and your bolded statement reiterates their knowledge and choice not to act on things they were seeing. Things which apparently were not OK, but they let it sit and linger for months too long. It's not just the bans, but the willful inaction.

Combine that with the.... interesting design choices of the past year, and it's really hard to give them credit for much.

As a side note, the Secret Lair Theros set I ordered more than a month and a half ago (which was a month before my Thalias even were announced, never mind they ordered, and arrived two weeks ago). Just got an email today that the set might not even be here by May or June... for a product that was ordered in February, and in which every other Secret Lair shipped out shortly after its "drop." I get that COVID-19 is messing things up, but why did Thalia (and Women's day) sets both launch later and arrive sooner? Just baffling.

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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

As a side note, the Secret Lair Theros set I ordered more than a month and a half ago (which was a month before my Thalias even were announced, never mind they ordered, and arrived two weeks ago). Just got an email today that the set might not even be here by May or June... for a product that was ordered in February, and in which every other Secret Lair shipped out shortly after its "drop." I get that COVID-19 is messing things up, but why did Thalia (and Women's day) sets both launch later and arrive sooner? Just baffling.
don't know where you ordered, but this might calm you down. I've been ordering from scg for more than 5 years now, and it does happen that some packages arrive faster than others. For example, this happened only recently, let's call them Order A and Order B...... Order A has Fae of Wishes, Order B has Snow lands, I paid for "A", and they shipped it a full 2 months earlier than "B", but the snow lands still arrived 2 weeks earlier than the fae. On talking with their customer service, told me that these things do happen sometimes, although it's -- rare to happen --. Out of more than a hundred things I ordered from them, this thing indeed has happened only twice. Their customer service is good, I have no complaints.
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

This was from WOTC themselves, as part of their Secret Lair Drops. Others have all come in a timely manner, including two different ones that weren't even announced yet when you could buy the Theros set. And both of those other ones have gone through a full cycle of announcement, ordering, shipping, and arrival before any word was even given about the Theros set's additional push back. Lots of people are not pleased. At this point, I'd rather just have my $161 back.

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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
Also, if the agendas are easily seen, then what is the agenda in making so many busted cards in the past few sets? (Is it just as I thought that WotC is trying to push stuff a bit in order to sell packs and then deal with the brokenness as it comes?)
The number of "busted" cards didn't go up, it remained the same. If I remember correctly it was around 3-5 cards per standard set that would enter Modern. Modern Horizons obviously changed the number of cards Modern players get to even consider playing. Now, don't get me wrong, they certainly missed the mark on a few of them, but they weren't outside the overall trend.
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
I think with cards like Faithless Looting and Mox Opal, WotC was trying to give people time to adapt to beat some of the top decks. The problem was that there was no sustained time period when it was proven that these decks were just NOT the best thing to be doing.
I'd say that the reluctance to ban new cards is far more annoying.

Take Emry for example, as @The Fluff said, she's awesome in artifact decks. It helps them fight over artifact removal, re-buys useful artifacts and is cheap. A welcome try for a creature, but it enabled several new combo decks and gave even more power to other artifact decks that didn't really need, since they had just printed Goblin Engineer. Banning her insted of Opal would've prevented the Grinding Breach decks from going off on T2-T3, no Jeskai Ascendancy shenanigans and artifact removal and Stony Silence would be way more useful than it is today vis-a-vis Affinity and Scales existing and other artifact decks being more reliant on Opal and in general activated abilities of artifacts.
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
This was from WOTC themselves, as part of their Secret Lair Drops. Others have all come in a timely manner, including two different ones that weren't even announced yet when you could buy the Theros set. And both of those other ones have gone through a full cycle of announcement, ordering, shipping, and arrival before any word was even given about the Theros set's additional push back. Lots of people are not pleased. At this point, I'd rather just have my $161 back.
By the Gods, you'll find all and any excuse to complain about WotC... Delays happen, move on. I had sent a package on the 7th and it arrived yesterday. The address was near the city center, while I'm living on the suburbs. I've also had intra-EU packages delayed for a month or more, where Hong Kong to Greece took 4 days.

They've said that Secret Lairs are being printed in waves and one of that wave could've coincided with a higher priority product, like Commander or Mystery Boosters or M21 or whatever. Not everything that WotC does is somehow a secret conspiracy to make you enjoy the game less and less.

Plus instead of complaining here for a non-issue you could've contacted Customer Support. I have and their order fulfillment horizon is "6 to ten weeks".

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
By the Gods, you'll find all and any excuse to complain about WotC... Delays happen, move on. I had sent a package on the 7th and it arrived yesterday. The address was near the city center, while I'm living on the suburbs. I've also had intra-EU packages delayed for a month or more, where Hong Kong to Greece took 4 days.

They've said that Secret Lairs are being printed in waves and one of that wave could've coincided with a higher priority product, like Commander or Mystery Boosters or M21 or whatever. Not everything that WotC does is somehow a secret conspiracy to make you enjoy the game less and less.

Plus instead of complaining here for a non-issue you could've contacted Customer Support. I have and their order fulfillment horizon is "6 to ten weeks".
You don't think it's strange to announce a popular, expensive product, that people spend hundreds on, and then turn around to announce two other of the same thing, take orders for them, ship them, and people receive them months before. I received information as well. Just surprised as NONE of them have shipped. It's not waves, it's not too many orders, NO ONE has them (if this is incorrect, please feel free to share, I have seen nothing outside of sponsored insiders hold one in their hand). But everyone has they're Women's Day and Thalia packs from a month later. Again, just baffling the choices they are making. Even without COVID-19 setbacks, the Secret Lair that was supposed to promote Theros would have come in after Ikoria. Just some head-scratching choices going on behind the scenes.

Call it petty however you like, this isn't a shipping problem, this is a logistics choice made by WOTC. A choice at a time where WOTC seems to be making all sorts of strange choices. Just calling it like I see it. Sorry it upsets you.
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Wizards doing whatever they want, whenever they want is a "fake news" story in my opinion.

Time after time, they have showed they are doing what they are doing, because of specific reasons and their line of thinking is consistent and well argumentated(most of the times).

1) Win rates/number of 5-0 league results in relation to others. If any deck is having above 54% at a long period of time, and at the same times if it has only good matchups vs the ten(10) most played decks, they are considering a change.
This is where I have my biggest issue. How do we ever show this is the case before WOTC acts? Other than just guessing and hoping? This is literally based on numbers we do not have access to. This means A) Things can break these rules and not be banned, or B) Things can be banned without breaking these rules. And we would never know one way or another unless they make the conscious choice to selectively share with us the numbers they decide best support whatever decision they already made.

IE: They make the decision first, and find the numbers to support. As opposed to looking at the numbers and then choosing to act. I'd love for them to provide clarity on this, or see instanced of that clarity if written about in the past.

Never mind that these kinds of justifications are made wholly irrelevant by meta shifts (new cards, other bannings/unbannings, etc). Which makes it all the more frustrating that they seem to refuse to revisit these decisions, even well after these shifts.

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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
You don't think it's strange to announce a popular, expensive product, that people spend hundreds on, and then turn around to announce two other of the same thing, take orders for them, ship them, and people receive them months before. I received information as well. Just surprised as NONE of them have shipped. It's not waves, it's not too many orders, NO ONE has them. But everyone has they're Women's Day and Thalia packs from a month later. Again, just baffling the choices they are making. Even without COVID-19 setbacks, the Secret Lair that was supposed to promote Theros would have come in after Ikoria. Just some head-scratching choices going on behind the scenes.

Call it petty however you like, this isn't a shipping problem, this is a logistics choice made by WOTC. A choice at a time where WOTC seems to be making all sorts of strange choices. Just calling it like I see it. Sorry it upsets you.
You haven't even mentioned WHAT product you're missing... If you're talking about Theros' Constelation, it has shipped since I can go and buy singles from MCM right now. There are plenty of them too. I can even buy the International Women's day cards as well. So it seems like a problem with your particular order, not WotC as a whole. Going by the timeline they gave me (6 to 10 weeks), even if you wanted the Theros' ones, you'd still be in that time line, albeit on the tail end of it.

And yes, both the printing and the posting is done in waves. If YOU haven't gotten them, then contact support, don't complain here with out of topic rants and complaints.

I bought my Thalia's on the 12th and it still hasn't arrived. Neither has for almost anyone in Europe, but you don't see me or others complaining and ascribing some grand incompetence or conspiracy theory as to why they haven't arrived.

It's not upsetting, it's annoying. You haven't stopped complaining about everything WotC does since 2016. You've complained when fair decks where the best decks on the format calling them "bad". You've complained when WotC did the correct bans or unbans. You're even complaining about logistical issues - that you personally had an issue not in general- in a thread about Modern's metagame.

As we've said before NOTHING will ever satisfy you, other than unbanning Twin. And even then you'd have to find a pretense to complain some more because the format isn't what it used to be 4-5 years ago.
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
This is where I have my biggest issue. How do we ever show this is the case before WOTC acts? Other than just guessing and hoping? This is literally based on numbers we do not have access to. This means A) Things can break these rules and not be banned, or B) Things can be banned without breaking these rules. And we would never know one way or another unless they make the conscious choice to selectively share with us the numbers they decide best support whatever decision they already made.
As many others have said, if their response was hectic and it wasn't based on any metrics, then we wouldn't have been so accurate in our predictions. The very fact that we have been able to predict even the "No Changes" updates runs contrary to your point of WotC doing whatever the hell they want, behind closed doors and basing their decisions on whims, rather than data.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
As we've said before NOTHING will ever satisfy you, other than unbanning Twin.
Why do you feel the need to continue misrepresenting me? I am thoroughly happy playing Bant Snow, as stupid and busted of a deck as it is. Because it allows me to play counters, cantrips, flash fliers with added abilities, and beefy value threats that help stabilize, hit hard, and can recur over and over. Maybe check your own biases and interpretations as well, because you have said this about me numerous times and I do not appreciate it.

As for the Theros cards, I have not seen people get them, and have instead seen numerous people not getting them. Perhaps I am mistaken. I ordered mine bright and early in the morning and should have been in the first allotment. I had not seen any of them in the wild, and at this point I would rather see a refund. (I also edited my previous comment before your reply to reflect this).
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Across the last two weeks of MTGO leagues, Dimir Inverter has had a 49% non-mirror-match win rate and has unfavorable matchups against five of the other ten most played decks. That win rate has been drifting down over time since the Players Tours. Lotus Breach decks have been at an even lower win rate, with unfavorable matchups against most of the other top decks. This is especially true post-sideboard, where many decks have access to Damping Sphere and other answers.
Now, this is actual proof that look at the numbers first, then decide what to ban or not, which is literally the opposite of what you are saying.
This has nothing to do with Twin. There had been public outcry about Inverter for weeks on end; prompting them to look at numbers. It's not like they have any reason to individually track and follow every piece of matchup data for every deck all the time. They need to make a conscious decision to look first, which itself is arbitrary and done before actually knowing the numbers. Which means A) Decks can break rules and slip by and B) Decks could be looked at and/or banned for any reasons if enough public outcry, and they get to choose which fits best, regardless of consistency. In some cases, they make up brand new ones.

This is not a conspiracy theory, just an observation based on their actions, and following the logic of this supposed process.

Again, I don't want to send a negative tone anyway, just that we realize that format management is not their top priority; making new cards is. They will only act if they have a reason to. And they do not act until there is reasonable public outcry.

As a final side note, resident tool-bag Blake Rasmussen doesn't think fetchlands are necessary because you only need 1 for commander and most players don't need to optimize decks. :thinking:

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