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

TheBoulderer
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Post by TheBoulderer » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Re: Grixis Control. That's the deck I used to play and as long as Twin was legal, the deck was Tier 1-tier 1.5 and an excellent choice, because it had an excellent matchup vs Jund, Twin variants, you could also fight Abzan, an excellent matchup vs Affinity, etc.
Grixis will never be a top deck until one of three things happens:
1) Grixis gets access to 1 mana, unconditional, exile removal for creatures.
2) The meta shifts in such a way where standard "destroy" creature effects are good enough AND the majority of meaningful threats can be reliably hit by Fatal Push.
3) Grixis gets printed multiple powerful value cards and threats (ala a FlashSnake or Uro in their colors. No Kroxa isn't good enough, because putting things in the GY often isn't good enough. Needs to be pilot-positive value*, not opponent-negative value).

Never mind the colors' total inability to deal with resolved enchantments, but that's always going to be the case.

Grixis is BY FAR my absolute favorite color combination and would be playing it in a heartbeat if it wasn't just so painfully inadequate in so many situations. I have foil playsets of Tarns, Deltas, and Mires, as well as 2x each Expeditions of Vents, Grave, and Crypt, and Noah Bradley-signed BFZ full art foil basics (he also signed one of my Steam Vents). In addition to foil staples all around in those colors. I want to play Grixis more than anything else. But alas. My options are play a trash deck, or do well with Bant. So here we are. Flashing in Snakes and dumping Uros in my yard while Pathing my opponents things under T3feri protection with Force backup, all facilitated by a cantrips which instead of being able to be Snapped back, can profitably attack/block and fixes my greedy/clunky mana. Cool?

*Good Lord, imagine a UR Titan that was 1UR, 6/6 with Flash, and on ETB it countered a spell and drew a card. Escape for UURR.
I've only ever seriously played grixis control in the 5-6 years I've played competitive modern, and as much as I want Grixis to be a seriously viable deck, it's also fun to not be in the spot light, and I have to disagree on some of the points you mention that Grixis "needs". I've also always been an advocate of colors staying more or less within their identities, because that is a huge part of the identity of MTG it self and would take away from that. As such, for example, it is, from my perspective, ok that Grixis can't destroy resolved enchantments. It's not in our color identities to do that. We can discard them, we can counter them, we can bounce them, why do we need to be able to destroy them too? So I'm fine with that. As a tradeoff, we are far better positioned vs Artifacts and smaller creatures than any other color pie.

The same goes for a 1cmc exile spell, or exile effects in general. Our card pool prophits off full gys, (delve, Drown in the Loch, Into the Story, flashback, etc). Exiling stuff is powerful as hell, but also doesn't mesh well with our overarching strategy. Our removal spells are more conditional than white's or bg's, but also lack all the pesky, massive drawbacks Path or Trophy have (which I absolutely detest and would never play, thats just me). Drown in the Loch is a superbly powerful interaction spell in our colors. It needs some build-around and tight play and is vulnerable to gy hate (though not all), but it does exactly what we need it to do.

The last point I agree on, especially because I've always struggled to settle on the right threats for my grixis control decks. Printing more powerful threats is something those colors really really need. A competent Titan would have been great, and as you say, it's important to have positive value (as Uro has) rather than negative (Kroxa). Who knows, maybe they complete the Titan-cycle and the UR Titan is really good... That Titan you described would be asurd^^ it'd be a 3cmc Cryptic that becomes a recursive 4cmc Cryptic with a 6/6 body attatched to it. My first instinct is that would be completely absurd, but Uro isnt much off that actually. Also Uro's 3-life-gain is such a game-changer because it takes time to cast and escape these titans, if Uro didnt gain 6 life in that process, it would probably be way to slow in many matchups. With the life gain, its a veritable game-breaker against aggressive strategies. Whereas not a soul on this world gives a flying fart about Kroxa's !!conditional!! 3-life loss.

By now everybody hopefully knows my general perspective, so I'll keep going: Veil of Summer right now is the single biggest obstacle to Grixis Control going anywhere. You can still steal games against it and outplay braindead Bant Snow net deckers, but in actual competitive play, a competent Bant Snow pilot can always leverage Veil to a game-winning effect if they draw it. So Veil is problem number 1.

To the post above: I have said before that I think Astrolabe makes absurdly greedy mana bases possible and dissolves MTG's fundamental color identity. I had a 5c-Niv opponent just today, when he lost against me, complain that he lost because he didnt have access to black for Niv, and my immediate response was "you run 5 colors, a 5-color win condition (and BTL which only works on Niv with 5 colors), only multi-color spells, and can still run a large amount of basic lands. you should absolutely in a sane world get color-screwed every second game. No pity".

That's a thing I think many people are forgetting when they say that Astrolabe is a welcome alternative to expensive fetches and makes modern accessible to more people. While that is true, competitive players obviously aren't gonna say "oh hey, there's Astrolabe, I can leave my fetches at home". Astrolabe is an ADDITION to fetches. They'll run 4 Astrolabe and 8-10 fetches in the same deck and if they really want, they'll get away with 4-5cmc decks running enough basics + Astrolabe to not only survive Blood Moon, but being able to run it themselves.

So yea, I still think Veil as well as Astrolabe should go. Surprisingly, I'm not completely drowning (edit: hahahahahaha, pun 100% NOT intended there) on Grixis control, I'm doing pretty ok. I'm above 50% win rate in competitive environments, and I guess in a meta like this, it's all I can ask for.

Is the format fun? Yes, I actually think it is. I don't particularly mind facing Astrolabe decks per se, what annoys me is the complete absence of them struggling to get colors or having to damage themselve to escape their Uro, eg. Playing straight Grixis, fetching correctly, keeping your life total high enough, tapping and sequencing correctly corresponding to your mana requirements is something to think about. Snow decks can do whatever basically. I really mean that. I've said this before, piloting Snow decks still has a lot of lines, but from a mana-color perspective, its a child's game.

And the format stops being fun when Veil of Summer gets cast against me and there was definitly no way to play around it/avoid it. When Veil beats me and I can say with certainty that there was no play I could have made and no deckbuilding choice (within my colors) I could have made to avoid losing to that card, I get really really frustrated, disillusioned and sometimes angry with the modern format.

The good news is that Veil is the only card I think is completely 100% too good, regardless of wether people maindeck it, it's just too good.
Astrolabe I'm annoyed with, but whatever. They could print effective snow-hate at which point it might be fine again. I hate what it's doing to the format, but I'm not as directly offended by it.

Edit: @Zoulis, I know I half-insulted you a few posts back, but here you go again. "Just play Grixis Urza". I mean what is that? Keep thoughts like that to yourself, thank you very much.
Last edited by TheBoulderer 1 year ago, edited 3 times in total.

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FoodChainGoblins
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Artifact prison decks: Wrong. I just gave you an article-link that emphasizes on Lantern Prison winning a GP. In fact, Lantern Artifact Prison top 8'd some events back then, one of which piloted by the brewer Zak Elsik.
Grixis control (and Lantern for that matter) had a few true believers that placed well and mastered the deck, after the meta shifted a bit, past 2-3 events, they fell off, hard. KCI on the other hand, had the power level to compete after some pros picked up and toyed with the deck.

Lantern wasn't a T1 deck, it was a T2 strategy that a few of the greatest players (both in general and of that archetype) played to great success, so no, it wasn't widespread and not as good as it was claimed to be. Same with Grixis Control.

As for Modern in general, I mostly like where it is, I'd rather have Opal over Emry for example and no T3feri and/or Veil, but I'm liking where the meta is. There are plenty of decks for all strategies and plenty of T2 strategies to toy around with.
I decided to fact check some information to back up my hazy memory (I have an excuse; I'm old). Dragons of Tarkir was printed on March 27, 2015. Splinter Twin was banned on January 18, 2016. Once Kologhan's Command came out, Grixis Twin and Grixis Control were "born." I wouldn't say it was immediately, but some time soon after. Grixis Control did well in that meta, but it didn't quite have the results of Grixis Twin because the pilots were way less. I have no proof, but I would estimate 10 to 1 at least. It wasn't just because Grixis Twin was better against most of the rest of the meta.

(I do know what you're referring to; Corey Burkhart is the only person to have success on a national level with Grixis Control even after Splinter Twin was banned. He's really a special player.)

This is a correction that I truly believe in though - Lantern Control IS Tier 1 when nobody is ready for it. When people build their sideboards and decks with that deck in mind, it is Tier 2 or even Tier 3, depending on how much hate (and decks that have naturally good matchups like Grixis Control or Jeskai) is packed.

I personally don't think Modern is okay. I am still playing it and enjoying it much more than I would any other non-Legacy format. But I don't see how a bunch of Snow decks is better than having Once Upon a Time. Believe me, I thought that OUaT should be banned, but now I'm not so sure. It didn't do much to bring down Amulet and it basically relegated several decks to Tier 2 or below - Heliod, Yawgmoth, and some others. I think the ban should have been Field of the Dead, but it's too easy to look at Once because it's such a busted card.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - MBA, UB Inverter
Modern - Amulet Titan, Elementals, Yawmoth Chord, Uroza
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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cfusionpm
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

TheBoulderer wrote:
1 year ago
Spoiler
Show
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Re: Grixis Control. That's the deck I used to play and as long as Twin was legal, the deck was Tier 1-tier 1.5 and an excellent choice, because it had an excellent matchup vs Jund, Twin variants, you could also fight Abzan, an excellent matchup vs Affinity, etc.
Grixis will never be a top deck until one of three things happens:
1) Grixis gets access to 1 mana, unconditional, exile removal for creatures.
2) The meta shifts in such a way where standard "destroy" creature effects are good enough AND the majority of meaningful threats can be reliably hit by Fatal Push.
3) Grixis gets printed multiple powerful value cards and threats (ala a FlashSnake or Uro in their colors. No Kroxa isn't good enough, because putting things in the GY often isn't good enough. Needs to be pilot-positive value*, not opponent-negative value).

Never mind the colors' total inability to deal with resolved enchantments, but that's always going to be the case.

Grixis is BY FAR my absolute favorite color combination and would be playing it in a heartbeat if it wasn't just so painfully inadequate in so many situations. I have foil playsets of Tarns, Deltas, and Mires, as well as 2x each Expeditions of Vents, Grave, and Crypt, and Noah Bradley-signed BFZ full art foil basics (he also signed one of my Steam Vents). In addition to foil staples all around in those colors. I want to play Grixis more than anything else. But alas. My options are play a trash deck, or do well with Bant. So here we are. Flashing in Snakes and dumping Uros in my yard while Pathing my opponents things under T3feri protection with Force backup, all facilitated by a cantrips which instead of being able to be Snapped back, can profitably attack/block and fixes my greedy/clunky mana. Cool?

*Good Lord, imagine a UR Titan that was 1UR, 6/6 with Flash, and on ETB it countered a spell and drew a card. Escape for UURR.
I've only ever seriously played grixis control in the 5-6 years I've played competitive modern, and as much as I want Grixis to be a seriously viable deck, it's also fun to not be in the spot light, and I have to disagree on some of the points you mention that Grixis "needs". I've also always been an advocate of colors staying more or less within their identities, because that is a huge part of the identity of MTG it self and would take away from that. As such, for example, it is, from my perspective, ok that Grixis can't destroy resolved enchantments. It's not in our color identities to do that. We can discard them, we can counter them, we can bounce them, why do we need to be able to destroy them too? So I'm fine with that. As a tradeoff, we are far better positioned vs Artifacts and smaller creatures than any other color pie.

The same goes for a 1cmc exile spell, or exile effects in general. Our card pool prophits off full gys, (delve, Drown in the Loch, Into the Story, flashback, etc). Exiling stuff is powerful as hell, but also doesn't mesh well with our overarching strategy. Our removal spells are more conditional than white's or bg's, but also lack all the pesky, massive drawbacks Path or Trophy have (which I absolutely detest and would never play, thats just me). Drown in the Loch is a superbly powerful interaction spell in our colors. It needs some build-around and tight play and is vulnerable to gy hate (though not all), but it does exactly what we need it to do.

The last point I agree on, especially because I've always struggled to settle on the right threats for my grixis control decks. Printing more powerful threats is something those colors really really need. A competent Titan would have been great, and as you say, it's important to have positive value (as Uro has) rather than negative (Kroxa). Who knows, maybe they complete the Titan-cycle and the UR Titan is really good... That Titan you described would be asurd^^ it'd be a 3cmc Cryptic that becomes a recursive 4cmc Cryptic with a 6/6 body attatched to it. My first instinct is that would be completely absurd, but Uro isnt much off that actually. Also Uro's 3-life-gain is such a game-changer because it takes time to cast and escape these titans, if Uro didnt gain 6 life in that process, it would probably be way to slow in many matchups. With the life gain, its a veritable game-breaker against aggressive strategies. Whereas not a soul on this world gives a flying fart about Kroxa's !!conditional!! 3-life loss.

By now everybody hopefully knows my general perspective, so I'll keep going: Veil of Summer right now is the single biggest obstacle to Grixis Control going anywhere. You can still steal games against it and outplay braindead Bant Snow net deckers, but in actual competitive play, a competent Bant Snow pilot can always leverage Veil to a game-winning effect if they draw it. So Veil is problem number 1.

To the post above: I have said before that I think Astrolabe makes absurdly greedy mana bases possible and dissolves MTG's fundamental color identity. I had a 5c-Niv opponent just today, when he lost against me, complain that he lost because he didnt have access to black for Niv, and my immediate response was "you run 5 colors, a 5-color win condition (and BTL which only works on Niv with 5 colors), only multi-color spells, and can still run a large amount of basic lands. you should absolutely in a sane world get color-screwed every second game. No pity".

That's a thing I think many people are forgetting when they say that Astrolabe is a welcome alternative to expensive fetches and makes modern accessible to more people. While that is true, competitive players obviously aren't gonna say "oh hey, there's Astrolabe, I can leave my fetches at home". Astrolabe is an ADDITION to fetches. They'll run 4 Astrolabe and 8-10 fetches in the same deck and if they really want, they'll get away with 4-5cmc decks running enough basics + Astrolabe to not only survive Blood Moon, but being able to run it themselves.

So yea, I still think Veil as well as Astrolabe should go. Surprisingly, I'm not completely drowning (edit: hahahahahaha, pun 100% NOT intended there) on Grixis control, I'm doing pretty ok. I'm above 50% win rate in competitive environments, and I guess in a meta like this, it's all I can ask for.

Is the format fun? Yes, I actually think it is. I don't particularly mind facing Astrolabe decks per se, what annoys me is the complete absence of them struggling to get colors or having to damage themselve to escape their Uro, eg. Playing straight Grixis, fetching correctly, keeping your life total high enough, tapping and sequencing correctly corresponding to your mana requirements is something to think about. Snow decks can do whatever basically. I really mean that. I've said this before, piloting Snow decks still has a lot of lines, but from a mana-color perspective, its a child's game.

And the format stops being fun when Veil of Summer gets cast against me and there was definitly no way to play around it/avoid it. When Veil beats me and I can say with certainty that there was no play I could have made and no deckbuilding choice (within my colors) I could have made to avoid losing to that card, I get really really frustrated, disillusioned and sometimes angry with the modern format.

The good news is that Veil is the only card I think is completely 100% too good, regardless of wether people maindeck it, it's just too good.
Astrolabe I'm annoyed with, but whatever. They could print effective snow-hate at which point it might be fine again. I hate what it's doing to the format, but I'm not as directly offended by it.

Edit: @Zoulis, I know I half-insulted you a few posts back, but here you go again. "Just play Grixis Urza". I mean what is that? Keep thoughts like that to yourself, thank you very much.
Definitely agree with a lot of this. I have not played Grixis hard control in a very long time, and most of my efforts are in tempo-like strategies such as Delver and Shadow (though, I fully acknowledge Shadow is more of an aggro/combo deck with attrition elements, instead of tempo).

With regards to removal effects, that comments is two-fold. The first is that having to run things like Terminate or Dreadbore (or I guess now, Drown), those things are 2 mana and do not deal with recurring threats (of which there are plenty of). And notably, our 1cmc removal of choice (push) can only conditionally take out a 3-4cmc threat, and can never hit 5+ threats (notably Primeval Titan, Wurmcoil (also an exile problem), Reality Smasher, and Bedlam Reveler).

It's not just the efficiency, or the exile, or the universal usage, but all that wrapped into one. It makes it really hard to consciously choose to play an answers deck and NOT play Path to Exile.

And yeah, I'm also running on the assumption that Veil will simply not exist in our format in the near future. It pretty much single-handedly shuts down any reason to play UBx archetypes, since pretty much every deck can cast Veil if it wants to, thanks to Astrolabe.

And yeah, the UR titan is definitely good. Though, in reality, those effects would likely be on a UW Titan, with the UR one being like "bolt something and draw a card." Though, the counter ability is only so-so, as the repeated trigger would not be helpful upon attack (since you can't declare attacks at instant speed). And the ability is on par with Frilled Mystic or Mystic Snake (in that you don't keep the body for 3cmc, and need additional resources for the added benefit at 4cmc). I mean, Uro already draws/ramps/gains life every turn. This hypothetical would ONLY draw once its on the field.

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Tzoulis
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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

TheBoulderer wrote:
1 year ago
Edit: @Zoulis, I know I half-insulted you a few posts back, but here you go again. "Just play Grixis Urza". I mean what is that? Keep thoughts like that to yourself, thank you very much.
Half insulted me? Ok bud.

It'd be really great if you actually understood both my tone and my point -you've done this twice now- instead of being a straight up reactionary.
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
I personally don't think Modern is okay. I am still playing it and enjoying it much more than I would any other non-Legacy format. But I don't see how a bunch of Snow decks is better than having Once Upon a Time. Believe me, I thought that OUaT should be banned, but now I'm not so sure. It didn't do much to bring down Amulet and it basically relegated several decks to Tier 2 or below - Heliod, Yawgmoth, and some others. I think the ban should have been Field of the Dead, but it's too easy to look at Once because it's such a busted card.
I think that the OUaT ban did its inted job: tone down Eldrazi, Tron and Titan decks. Yawgmoth was a fringe option either way and was playable before OUaT, so it just needs time readjusting -granted I'm not an expert on these kind of decks. Heliod-Balista decks are in a weird place, in that they have enough tutors to be viable, but take too many clicks to execute. Plus, too much interaction in the format (Ponza, Bant, Jund etc. )nmeans that they can't win as much to make up for that fact.

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Post by TheBoulderer » 1 year ago

Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
TheBoulderer wrote:
1 year ago
Edit: @Zoulis, I know I half-insulted you a few posts back, but here you go again. "Just play Grixis Urza". I mean what is that? Keep thoughts like that to yourself, thank you very much.
Half insulted me? Ok bud.

It'd be really great if you actually understood both my tone and my point -you've done this twice now- instead of being a straight up reactionary.
While it is on me to not take verything personally, it's also not my job to try and interpret everything you write in the least offensive way I can imagine. Part of that is also on you. Let's leave it at that.
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
TheBoulderer wrote:
1 year ago
Spoiler
Show
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago

Grixis will never be a top deck until one of three things happens:
1) Grixis gets access to 1 mana, unconditional, exile removal for creatures.
2) The meta shifts in such a way where standard "destroy" creature effects are good enough AND the majority of meaningful threats can be reliably hit by Fatal Push.
3) Grixis gets printed multiple powerful value cards and threats (ala a FlashSnake or Uro in their colors. No Kroxa isn't good enough, because putting things in the GY often isn't good enough. Needs to be pilot-positive value*, not opponent-negative value).

Never mind the colors' total inability to deal with resolved enchantments, but that's always going to be the case.

Grixis is BY FAR my absolute favorite color combination and would be playing it in a heartbeat if it wasn't just so painfully inadequate in so many situations. I have foil playsets of Tarns, Deltas, and Mires, as well as 2x each Expeditions of Vents, Grave, and Crypt, and Noah Bradley-signed BFZ full art foil basics (he also signed one of my Steam Vents). In addition to foil staples all around in those colors. I want to play Grixis more than anything else. But alas. My options are play a trash deck, or do well with Bant. So here we are. Flashing in Snakes and dumping Uros in my yard while Pathing my opponents things under T3feri protection with Force backup, all facilitated by a cantrips which instead of being able to be Snapped back, can profitably attack/block and fixes my greedy/clunky mana. Cool?

*Good Lord, imagine a UR Titan that was 1UR, 6/6 with Flash, and on ETB it countered a spell and drew a card. Escape for UURR.
I've only ever seriously played grixis control in the 5-6 years I've played competitive modern, and as much as I want Grixis to be a seriously viable deck, it's also fun to not be in the spot light, and I have to disagree on some of the points you mention that Grixis "needs". I've also always been an advocate of colors staying more or less within their identities, because that is a huge part of the identity of MTG it self and would take away from that. As such, for example, it is, from my perspective, ok that Grixis can't destroy resolved enchantments. It's not in our color identities to do that. We can discard them, we can counter them, we can bounce them, why do we need to be able to destroy them too? So I'm fine with that. As a tradeoff, we are far better positioned vs Artifacts and smaller creatures than any other color pie.

The same goes for a 1cmc exile spell, or exile effects in general. Our card pool prophits off full gys, (delve, Drown in the Loch, Into the Story, flashback, etc). Exiling stuff is powerful as hell, but also doesn't mesh well with our overarching strategy. Our removal spells are more conditional than white's or bg's, but also lack all the pesky, massive drawbacks Path or Trophy have (which I absolutely detest and would never play, thats just me). Drown in the Loch is a superbly powerful interaction spell in our colors. It needs some build-around and tight play and is vulnerable to gy hate (though not all), but it does exactly what we need it to do.

The last point I agree on, especially because I've always struggled to settle on the right threats for my grixis control decks. Printing more powerful threats is something those colors really really need. A competent Titan would have been great, and as you say, it's important to have positive value (as Uro has) rather than negative (Kroxa). Who knows, maybe they complete the Titan-cycle and the UR Titan is really good... That Titan you described would be asurd^^ it'd be a 3cmc Cryptic that becomes a recursive 4cmc Cryptic with a 6/6 body attatched to it. My first instinct is that would be completely absurd, but Uro isnt much off that actually. Also Uro's 3-life-gain is such a game-changer because it takes time to cast and escape these titans, if Uro didnt gain 6 life in that process, it would probably be way to slow in many matchups. With the life gain, its a veritable game-breaker against aggressive strategies. Whereas not a soul on this world gives a flying fart about Kroxa's !!conditional!! 3-life loss.

By now everybody hopefully knows my general perspective, so I'll keep going: Veil of Summer right now is the single biggest obstacle to Grixis Control going anywhere. You can still steal games against it and outplay braindead Bant Snow net deckers, but in actual competitive play, a competent Bant Snow pilot can always leverage Veil to a game-winning effect if they draw it. So Veil is problem number 1.

To the post above: I have said before that I think Astrolabe makes absurdly greedy mana bases possible and dissolves MTG's fundamental color identity. I had a 5c-Niv opponent just today, when he lost against me, complain that he lost because he didnt have access to black for Niv, and my immediate response was "you run 5 colors, a 5-color win condition (and BTL which only works on Niv with 5 colors), only multi-color spells, and can still run a large amount of basic lands. you should absolutely in a sane world get color-screwed every second game. No pity".

That's a thing I think many people are forgetting when they say that Astrolabe is a welcome alternative to expensive fetches and makes modern accessible to more people. While that is true, competitive players obviously aren't gonna say "oh hey, there's Astrolabe, I can leave my fetches at home". Astrolabe is an ADDITION to fetches. They'll run 4 Astrolabe and 8-10 fetches in the same deck and if they really want, they'll get away with 4-5cmc decks running enough basics + Astrolabe to not only survive Blood Moon, but being able to run it themselves.

So yea, I still think Veil as well as Astrolabe should go. Surprisingly, I'm not completely drowning (edit: hahahahahaha, pun 100% NOT intended there) on Grixis control, I'm doing pretty ok. I'm above 50% win rate in competitive environments, and I guess in a meta like this, it's all I can ask for.

Is the format fun? Yes, I actually think it is. I don't particularly mind facing Astrolabe decks per se, what annoys me is the complete absence of them struggling to get colors or having to damage themselve to escape their Uro, eg. Playing straight Grixis, fetching correctly, keeping your life total high enough, tapping and sequencing correctly corresponding to your mana requirements is something to think about. Snow decks can do whatever basically. I really mean that. I've said this before, piloting Snow decks still has a lot of lines, but from a mana-color perspective, its a child's game.

And the format stops being fun when Veil of Summer gets cast against me and there was definitly no way to play around it/avoid it. When Veil beats me and I can say with certainty that there was no play I could have made and no deckbuilding choice (within my colors) I could have made to avoid losing to that card, I get really really frustrated, disillusioned and sometimes angry with the modern format.

The good news is that Veil is the only card I think is completely 100% too good, regardless of wether people maindeck it, it's just too good.
Astrolabe I'm annoyed with, but whatever. They could print effective snow-hate at which point it might be fine again. I hate what it's doing to the format, but I'm not as directly offended by it.

Edit: @Zoulis, I know I half-insulted you a few posts back, but here you go again. "Just play Grixis Urza". I mean what is that? Keep thoughts like that to yourself, thank you very much.
Definitely agree with a lot of this. I have not played Grixis hard control in a very long time, and most of my efforts are in tempo-like strategies such as Delver and Shadow (though, I fully acknowledge Shadow is more of an aggro/combo deck with attrition elements, instead of tempo).

With regards to removal effects, that comments is two-fold. The first is that having to run things like Terminate or Dreadbore (or I guess now, Drown), those things are 2 mana and do not deal with recurring threats (of which there are plenty of). And notably, our 1cmc removal of choice (push) can only conditionally take out a 3-4cmc threat, and can never hit 5+ threats (notably Primeval Titan, Wurmcoil (also an exile problem), Reality Smasher, and Bedlam Reveler).

It's not just the efficiency, or the exile, or the universal usage, but all that wrapped into one. It makes it really hard to consciously choose to play an answers deck and NOT play Path to Exile.

And yeah, I'm also running on the assumption that Veil will simply not exist in our format in the near future. It pretty much single-handedly shuts down any reason to play UBx archetypes, since pretty much every deck can cast Veil if it wants to, thanks to Astrolabe.

And yeah, the UR titan is definitely good. Though, in reality, those effects would likely be on a UW Titan, with the UR one being like "bolt something and draw a card." Though, the counter ability is only so-so, as the repeated trigger would not be helpful upon attack (since you can't declare attacks at instant speed). And the ability is on par with Frilled Mystic or Mystic Snake (in that you don't keep the body for 3cmc, and need additional resources for the added benefit at 4cmc). I mean, Uro already draws/ramps/gains life every turn. This hypothetical would ONLY draw once its on the field.
I'd add that our primary "removal" spell of choice is actually still Bolt. And granted. Bolt has a lot of problems regarding it's removal-mode, but also a metric ton of upside regarding its ability to go to the dome. I think looking at Bolt like that is representative of how I feel about Grixis Control's answers, and in fact gameplay as a whole. There are many obvious drawbacks of cards in our colors, not just removal, but also a lot of upside that enables different angles of attack. If a UW conrol deck gets overrun by GTron, it can never try to go Bolt-Snap-Bolt then swing with Tarpit+Snap to suddenly close out games.

The fact that Grixis is non-existent in this meta obviously means that those many advantages don't add up to compensate adequatly for the disadvantages, but Grixis Control still has a unique angle of attack, unique resources/lines of play that don't exist anywhere else. Which is why it's quite simply the most enjoyable thing to pilot by a hundred miles for me.

I'd be really curious what legs it would have in a format without Veil. Obviously the classic thing would happen: we'd think, "NOW IS MY TIME" and then run into t2 TKS out of ETron next game. But overall, I might become one happy happy control pilot.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

Drown in the Loch was definitely a start, but I'm curious as to why WotC created Simic Strix instead of just reprinting Baleful Strix into MH. I mean, I understand that Simic needed help back then. It had been non existent in Modern, outside of Infect. Maybe WotC feels that Grixis and/or UB have had their time to shine with Grixis Twin already?

Cards like Ice-Fang and Drown are incredible designs IMO because they are both SUPER powerful cards, but not pushing the envelope of the potential ban list. Great job WotC designers on these!
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Post by TheBoulderer » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
Drown in the Loch was definitely a start, but I'm curious as to why WotC created Simic Strix instead of just reprinting Baleful Strix into MH. I mean, I understand that Simic needed help back then. It had been non existent in Modern, outside of Infect. Maybe WotC feels that Grixis and/or UB have had their time to shine with Grixis Twin already?

Cards like Ice-Fang and Drown are incredible designs IMO because they are both SUPER powerful cards, but not pushing the envelope of the potential ban list. Great job WotC designers on these!
That can't be the case, that period was way too short as stated by somebody above. It was a few months tops, and if I remember correctly Grixis Twin was never as popular as straight UR or even Temur.

And yea, Simic absolutely needed all the help it could get at the time, no complaint there (well not true technically, they overshot simc's compensation by a mile imo).

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

TheBoulderer wrote:
1 year ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
Drown in the Loch was definitely a start, but I'm curious as to why WotC created Simic Strix instead of just reprinting Baleful Strix into MH. I mean, I understand that Simic needed help back then. It had been non existent in Modern, outside of Infect. Maybe WotC feels that Grixis and/or UB have had their time to shine with Grixis Twin already?

Cards like Ice-Fang and Drown are incredible designs IMO because they are both SUPER powerful cards, but not pushing the envelope of the potential ban list. Great job WotC designers on these!
That can't be the case, that period was way too short as stated by somebody above. It was a few months tops, and if I remember correctly Grixis Twin was never as popular as straight UR or even Temur.

And yea, Simic absolutely needed all the help it could get at the time, no complaint there (well not true technically, they overshot simc's compensation by a mile imo).
I googled it to be sure. The period between the printing of Kologhan's Command was March 27, 2015 to Twin's banning, January 18, 2016. So at least 8 months, 4-6 months in my memory where Grixis Twin was the best Twin version. Yes, after a while, UR Twin was considered better because you could Blood Moon fools. Grixis Twin had more firepower because it was essentially Grixis Control with the Twin finish. K Command/Snap was very powerful back then.

Temur Twin, as much as I hate to say it, was rarely played after K Command was printed. I personally loved Temur Twin. It was my preferred version and the only one I played for over a week straight. I loved watching Patrick Dickmann and Todd Anderson, two of the few players that actively supported going Temur Twin. :grin: But sad to say, there was almost no reason to play it after K Command was printed.

I am not talking about a specific period where Dimir was helped, but I feel like the perception is that UB has been helped a lot more in Magic's history. My hey day with UB decks and the reason I loved the color combination started with UB Faeries in Standard. I literally felt like I was beating baby seals with a stick when I ran that deck and perfecting the mirror was the only work necessary. It didn't stop from there - UB Jace/Grave Titan and in the past (from what I've heard with UB Psychatog, Dralnu D' Louve, and more).

*The last time Simic was good IMO was UG Faeries before the printing of Bitterblossom and the UG Madness deck (which I sadly was not around for).
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
Drown in the Loch was definitely a start, but I'm curious as to why WotC created Simic Strix instead of just reprinting Baleful Strix into MH. I mean, I understand that Simic needed help back then. It had been non existent in Modern, outside of Infect. Maybe WotC feels that Grixis and/or UB have had their time to shine with Grixis Twin already?

Cards like Ice-Fang and Drown are incredible designs IMO because they are both SUPER powerful cards, but not pushing the envelope of the potential ban list. Great job WotC designers on these!
Probably for a few reasons. It doesn't have artifact synergies, it requires playing additional support to get the death touch, it's in a weaker color combination, and one that could really use the competitive boost (again, I don't think either this card or Oko were just coincidentally blue and green given force of negation and vigor), and because I think they prefer making new cards opposed to reprints when possible.

Honestly, the card fits better as green/blue anyways as it further diversifies archetypes.

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Post by Wraithpk » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago

I googled it to be sure. The period between the printing of Kologhan's Command was March 27, 2015 to Twin's banning, January 18, 2016. So at least 8 months, 4-6 months in my memory where Grixis Twin was the best Twin version. Yes, after a while, UR Twin was considered better because you could Blood Moon fools. Grixis Twin had more firepower because it was essentially Grixis Control with the Twin finish. K Command/Snap was very powerful back then.

Temur Twin, as much as I hate to say it, was rarely played after K Command was printed. I personally loved Temur Twin. It was my preferred version and the only one I played for over a week straight. I loved watching Patrick Dickmann and Todd Anderson, two of the few players that actively supported going Temur Twin. :grin: But sad to say, there was almost no reason to play it after K Command was printed.
Grixis was never the best version of Twin against the general field, that was always Izzet. Grixis was better against grindy matchups, like Jund, and Temur was better at the fair tempo beat plan, but both sacrificed consistency and combo ability. That's really important against the linear decks that you have to race, and Modern was full of decks like that back in 2015.
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

Wraithpk wrote:
1 year ago
Grixis was never the best version of Twin against the general field, that was always Izzet. Grixis was better against grindy matchups, like Jund, and Temur was better at the fair tempo beat plan, but both sacrificed consistency and combo ability. That's really important against the linear decks that you have to race, and Modern was full of decks like that back in 2015.
My impression at the time, possibly wrong was that Grixis had it's popularity mostly come from the fact that post Kaladesh it was a considerably cheaper version, coming in at nearly half the cost for being about 95% to 99% as good. That's why it was popular.

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Post by TheBoulderer » 1 year ago

why would it have been cheaper though? The combo was the same, fetches were the same (grixis needed more), cryptics, snap... apart from blood moon and clique, all the money cards seem to overlap, no?

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Post by Albegas » 1 year ago

TheBoulderer wrote:
1 year ago
why would it have been cheaper though? The combo was the same, fetches were the same (grixis needed more), cryptics, snap... apart from blood moon and clique, all the money cards seem to overlap, no?
To build an ideal version, yes there was quite a bit of overlap, but what you could do is forgo Tarns and use some mix of Bloodstained Mires and Flooded Stands. It was slightly less consistent but it also saved about $350 at the time. If memory serves, just about everything else other than Blood Moon was relatively cheap; Snaps, Cryptics and Cliques were all maybe $30 I think. That being said, I doubt budget was the main driving force for Grixis Twin's popularity, but I can't think of a way to really prove what made it popular

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

TheBoulderer wrote:
1 year ago
why would it have been cheaper though? The combo was the same, fetches were the same (grixis needed more), cryptics, snap... apart from blood moon and clique, all the money cards seem to overlap, no?
Snaps, Cliques, Cryptics, and Remands were all fairly expensive for some time. The fetches from 10/2014 helped a bunch in allowing people to reliably fetch islands without needing the utterly expensive Mistys and Tarns. But notably, in summer of 2015, MM15 reprinted Clique, Cryptic, Remand, and Twin itself (along with smaller staples like Bolt and Electrolyze) which brought the cost down significantly (like several hundred dollars). That massive price reduction, combined with the recent Grixis hype, likely ended up causing the boom in popularity that got it banned. Which is SUPER ironic. "Here's a bunch of staples for your $1500 deck to become a $1000 deck!" "Oh, by the way, all those cards will be trash for years now, LOLZ! Have fun!"

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

Wraithpk wrote:
1 year ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago

I googled it to be sure. The period between the printing of Kologhan's Command was March 27, 2015 to Twin's banning, January 18, 2016. So at least 8 months, 4-6 months in my memory where Grixis Twin was the best Twin version. Yes, after a while, UR Twin was considered better because you could Blood Moon fools. Grixis Twin had more firepower because it was essentially Grixis Control with the Twin finish. K Command/Snap was very powerful back then.

Temur Twin, as much as I hate to say it, was rarely played after K Command was printed. I personally loved Temur Twin. It was my preferred version and the only one I played for over a week straight. I loved watching Patrick Dickmann and Todd Anderson, two of the few players that actively supported going Temur Twin. :grin: But sad to say, there was almost no reason to play it after K Command was printed.
Grixis was never the best version of Twin against the general field, that was always Izzet. Grixis was better against grindy matchups, like Jund, and Temur was better at the fair tempo beat plan, but both sacrificed consistency and combo ability. That's really important against the linear decks that you have to race, and Modern was full of decks like that back in 2015.
You are right. I did a search because I remembered it differently. It looks like Grixis Twin was only the default "best" version of the deck for a month and a half at most. It may not have even been the best, but just players testing new cards (K Com).

This seems like the time period in which it switches from everyone seeing results with Grixis Twin to switching back to UR Twin.

https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck_search ... =%E2%9C%93

I even looked back at the Grixis Twin deck that beat me and it didn't have Cryptic Command. I could have sworn he had 1-2 Cryptic Command, but maybe I was wrong? Everything else about the deck, I remembered pretty well.

https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=11132&f=MO

It was also a very light "splash" of Grixis, basically 2 K Com and 1 Terminate.

*With all of the Snow decks nowadays, I had forgotten how important Blood Moon was in the Twin era.
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Post by Mtgthewary » 1 year ago

2 weeks later I come in... Read still twin... I go out. Bye
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

TheBoulderer wrote:
1 year ago
why would it have been cheaper though? The combo was the same, fetches were the same (grixis needed more), cryptics, snap... apart from blood moon and clique, all the money cards seem to overlap, no?


The fetches were significantly less. UR Twin would primarily run Scalding Tarn plus Misty Rainforest, with the Misty Rainforest because producing green mana for Ancient Grudge was occasionally included in the sideboard and Misty Rainforest could still get basic island, a UR shock, or a Stomping Ground once you were maxed out on Tarns, while other fetches available couldn't do all three of those things.

Grixis could run at very close to the same efficiency (slightly less) with Bloodstained Mire plus Polluted Delta. That was a considerable price difference. If you were running blue/red, the most effective budget manabase available, due to using all allied fetches essentially put you into Grixis for free, with just a couple of swaps on shocklands.

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Artifact prison decks: Wrong. I just gave you an article-link that emphasizes on Lantern Prison winning a GP. In fact, Lantern Artifact Prison top 8'd some events back then, one of which piloted by the brewer Zak Elsik.
That deck was not on the data given above which I thought was being talked about, to be fair- the list of decks and percentages had no prison decks in.
I liked the deck, BTW, it was harder than most prison decks and required you to know the meta well. The deck was the only known prison deck in town, and outside of REL comp had issues with opponents playing slowly as they tried to figure a way out, and also often playing on when they should have scooped, which I know is a common issue with Prison decks, especially in newer formats like Modern. So it was not much fun to play with. I found it often lead to 0-0 matches and 1-0 matches that at REL comp would have been warnings for the person on the other side. If I was looking for a healthy metagame I would hope for 5 percent prison based decks minimum of more than one type preferably. In 2015 it was Lantern control. In legacy we get prison decks able to splash for game ending combos, or hybridising with beatdown decks like Dragon stompy, and that for me is why I have not taken as much to Modern. That said I did get to the semi of our tiny WMCQ with land destruction/suppression field/Chalice brew, so they are possible if everyone else brings the right deck to beat up on. Overall though 2015 was not a great year in Modern's history, I would take 2017 over it. It beats up on now, because mostly these past two years have sucked.

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
TheBoulderer wrote:
1 year ago
why would it have been cheaper though? The combo was the same, fetches were the same (grixis needed more), cryptics, snap... apart from blood moon and clique, all the money cards seem to overlap, no?
Snaps, Cliques, Cryptics, and Remands were all fairly expensive for some time. The fetches from 10/2014 helped a bunch in allowing people to reliably fetch islands without needing the utterly expensive Mistys and Tarns. But notably, in summer of 2015, MM15 reprinted Clique, Cryptic, Remand, and Twin itself (along with smaller staples like Bolt and Electrolyze) which brought the cost down significantly (like several hundred dollars). That massive price reduction, combined with the recent Grixis hype, likely ended up causing the boom in popularity that got it banned. Which is SUPER ironic. "Here's a bunch of staples for your $1500 deck to become a $1000 deck!" "Oh, by the way, all those cards will be trash for years now, LOLZ! Have fun!"
This is financially spot on. Here snappy lost a little value, but the other cards tanked to much lower levels. People forget how much electrolyse, remand the nuts and bolts cost. They were not inconsiderable.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
That deck was not on the data given above which I thought was being talked about, to be fair- the list of decks and percentages had no prison decks in.
I liked the deck, BTW, it was harder than most prison decks and required you to know the meta well. The deck was the only known prison deck in town, and outside of REL comp had issues with opponents playing slowly as they tried to figure a way out, and also often playing on when they should have scooped, which I know is a common issue with Prison decks, especially in newer formats like Modern. So it was not much fun to play with. I found it often lead to 0-0 matches and 1-0 matches that at REL comp would have been warnings for the person on the other side. If I was looking for a healthy metagame I would hope for 5 percent prison based decks minimum of more than one type preferably. In 2015 it was Lantern control. In legacy we get prison decks able to splash for game ending combos, or hybridising with beatdown decks like Dragon stompy, and that for me is why I have not taken as much to Modern. That said I did get to the semi of our tiny WMCQ with land destruction/suppression field/Chalice brew, so they are possible if everyone else brings the right deck to beat up on. Overall though 2015 was not a great year in Modern's history, I would take 2017 over it. It beats up on now, because mostly these past two years have sucked.
Very true. I went to MNM (around 16 players) after not playing for a bit, just to find 3 Lantern players at the place where I played. So in Round 1, my Lantern opponent took at least 95% of the playing time. I didn't scoop because at some point, I was close to potentially winning. I needed 2 of my 3 main board Qasali Pridemage to be next to each other. I was playing Abzan Little Kid. They didn't and I lost 0-1. Needless to say, taking less than 5 minutes of playing time in Game 1 made me upset to lose.

Then the next week, I beat him by scooping early and then slaughtering him with SB cards that I prepared for Lantern. But then in a later match, I am missing a single land for 5 turns (in which my next Lantern opponent took at least 10 min.) before I drew a land and played Terastodon to destroy 2 Ensnaring Bridges and a land of mine to set up lethal one turn after turns. (I was playing GW Trap/Breach) We got a 1-1-1 draw. He wouldn't scoop, even though we were both 2-2 at the time. This is imprinted in my mind because as you could guess, I will go out of my way to beat this opponent and I would not scoop to him even if it meant the store kept more prizes.

I think the main problem is that these players were not that good. They came to play Lantern without even knowing what Modern is like. I still remember a Lantern opponent reading my Scapeshift card as if was not a real, Modern legal card. It couldn't be real, right? SMH.

But yeah, Lantern had many problems. I wouldn't blame it all on opponents. I hate scooping in Game 1 when I have 3 Qasali Pridemage, but as each turn goes and he takes 2-3 minutes per turn, it makes that window much, much smaller. If I had a better SB the very first time I came to that MNM after months off from MNM, I would have scooped immediately. But I didn't. Not yet at least. ;)
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Post by motleyslayer » 1 year ago

Lantern is a deck that I'm glad isn't around as much anymore, I hated playing against it. I feel it was a timing nightmare from both sides. People who played it could take so long to take their turns and it took forever to actually kill. On the other hand, I find that people didn't know when to scoop to it when the lantern player had a lock that could keep them out of drawing relevant cards

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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

I think if Lantern became tier 1 for a long time, it could have hastened the banning of Mox Opal. I remember there was even a crazy thread on reddit witha "guide" on how the lantern player could win by irritating their opponent. That thread was eventually deleted, but I could swear it existed for a bit.
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Post by Albegas » 1 year ago

The Fluff wrote:
1 year ago
I think if Lantern became tier 1 for a long time, it could have hastened the banning of Mox Opal. I remember there was even a crazy thread on reddit witha "guide" on how the lantern player could win by irritating their opponent. That thread was eventually deleted, but I could swear it existed for a bit.
It's possible, but only if it had needed a ban before KCI. The timeline would be something like:
Lantern is broken → ban something from Lantern but keep Opal → KCI is broken → Ban Opal because it's broken 2 decks and WotC hates free mana
Sort of like how we went from KCI too Good → ... → Urza too good → Ban Opal, but the thought process I stated is mostly conjecture

And honestly, I remember MTG Salvation having similar "advise" on trying to time out matches, and most people agreed that if you're in a position where you can't win, you should be scooping and giving yourself time in game 3, not trying to slow your moves to drag out matches into draws. I want to compare it to Miracles, but you could at least fake a "slow" turn with Top and Brainstorm with Miracles. From what I remember, slow play in a Lantern game usually meant someone clearly needed to be handed warnings.

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Post by motleyslayer » 1 year ago

I feel that one of the reasons why opal didn't get banned earlier was because affinity was "the opal deck" for a while and lantern kind of was off and on in terms of popularity. KCI was probably the first "busted" opal deck. I get banning KCI because it was the card that allowed the problem at the surface, plus opal was expensive for a while. The problem with opal was that it just kept enabling problems IE Urza decks

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

Opal was only a problem because of Urza. Urza is still potentially a problem right now, but no one cares because Uro and Snow decks (some of which have Urza) are running Modern. I don't believe that Opal was okay this whole time and then all of a sudden, it wasn't okay just because Urza, Lord High Artificer was printed. With Opal banned, people actually started to realize that it maybe not be the best option to just Combo as quickly as possible. Urza is good with countermagic when the countermagic serves multiple purposes (Archmage's Charm/Cryptic Command).

Also each step of the way when Modern had a banning, guess which deck was also good in Modern? That's right, Affinity. When Treasure Cruise and Birthing Pod got banned, Affinity was good. When Splinter Twin and Summer Bloom were banned, Affinity was a good deck. When Eye of Ugin got banned, yes, even then, Affinity was fine. It was one of the better non Eldrazi options at the time. When Git Probe and Golgari-Grave Troll were banned, Affinity was slightly less good. Infect was too quick for it and Dredge had so many cards for the matchup (Narcomoeba, Stinkweed Imp, Conflagrate, Ancient Grudge). Affinity was mostly just very good until new, stronger cards came out. Hardened Scales moved people toward that. I have a friend who Day 2ed 4 straight GPs with Scales, including 3 Cashed. Why am I talking about Affinity? Maybe Mox Opal was too good all along?

*Primeval Titan is too good. Is it the problem or did cards like Field of the Dead and Dryad of the Ilysian Grove push Titan too much. There are people who think that Primeval Titan will never be banned from Modern and I respect those people. But I am not so sure. I love Prime Time. I am scared that it will meet the same fate as Mox Opal or Bridge from Below some day.

**Sure, I play a lot of decks and I'll be fine without something. I just want Titan to always be an option for me.
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