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

TheBoulderer
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Post by TheBoulderer » 1 year ago

Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago

1. Thoughtseize is as popular in Pioneer, if not more so than Uro/Astrolabe are in Modern.
2. Uro is massively popular in Pioneer too.
3. Pioneer is mostly a Green/x or Black/x format.

There are 2 Simic Reclamation lists (oh look a deck that appeared out of nowhere are is placing well) and there's the usual suspects of RG Midrange, Burn, Neoform, Titan, Humans, E-Tron, %$#%, Naya Blade (also a new deck).

We've said it many times:

Black (and Blue to some extend) are getting hosed by Veil and T3feri (Blue moreso). As long as those two cards exist in the format don't expect major differences in format color balance/strategies.

Astrolabe has minimal input in the color makeup of Modern. Death's Shadow decks are in worse shape because they fold to heavy white interaction AND Veil. Guess what the top control deck plays at the moment.
I think we agree on the matter of black, no need to argue over that.

I do not think, however, that it is necessarily useful to compare cards across formats if they are not also oppressive in all those formats. While Uro has highly unhealthy numbers in both Pioneer and modern, Thoughtseize does not in modern. Context is everything here.. And yes, it looks like Uro should absolutely be banned in Pioneer btw.

Naya Blade is not a "new deck placing well", it's Gruul Ramp splashing white for Stoneforge. That is not even close to being the same as a new deck. Same deal with Simic Reclamation Uro. Building a simic deck with Uro and Coatl is hardly a huge innovation when the best deck is doing exactly that plus white. If anything,it's a sign you can do what the hell you want with the Uro-Coatl core because those two are so insanely good.

It's also very logical that there's no Astrolabe in a 2color deck (and that coatl can still be active consistently. the green splash is very light). I agree that Simic Reclamation might indicate that Uro is the bigger problem compared to Astrolabe.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

I am trying to put my biases against Pioneer when I say this.

Pioneer and Modern are very similar in diversity in several ways. When outside players look at Pioneer, they look at just Lotus Breach, Mono White Heliod, and really just mostly Inverter winning. When outside players look at Modern, they see Amulet, Urza based decks, and mostly just Bant Snow winning. We know that this is very simplified and in either format, something else can win on any given day. You can't just throw out the Neobrand decks that have done well and say that's an aberration, just like you can't throw out Pioneer Mono Black Aggro winning and say that IT is an aberration.

Modern obviously has more decks that players can play. Why? The card pool is what, 8 extra sets? It's gotta be even more than that. Now current Modern has many decks that have been using the format's best cards. More so than in Pioneer. Thoughtseize is played in many Pioneer decks, while Arcum's Astrolabe is played in many Modern decks. Players play cards that are good.

I think that Thoughtseize being a format defining card in Pioneer is definitely a plus. But for me, it's not enough. There are a lot more answers in Modern, even if infinite ways to die also come with it. In Pioneer, I found it's often very tough to turn a game around. Once someone has won the die roll and done a few things to curve out, it's just gonna take a bit more if that to finish it off. In Modern, I've been down and with the decks I play, I can just turn it around in a single turn and win the game. Maybe this is more a result of the types of decks I'm accustomed to playing?

*But I honestly don't think there is a bridge worth standing on that is going to show either Pioneer or Modern being infinitely less diverse. There's diversity in decks, archetypes, colors, and much more. There's diversity in those among the most played decks, diversity among the best perceived decks. I think that it's very close in most of these categories.
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
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Tzoulis
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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Its going to linger on for some more days/weeks. Wizards wont ban anything in anticipation for the new set's impact.
In a few weeks though, if this astrofest/urofest show keeps on, they will think of those two cards + veil. Veil banned alone will just buff the uro decks more, because its also a problem for them to exist.
When a paper event happen, bans will happen for sure.
You've yet to demonstrate that Astrolabe is more of an issue than Veil and/or T3feri. Spamming "astrofest/urofest" won't make it true and will also not change the fact that Pioneer is in the same boat (re: Black/Thoughtseize/Uro).
TheBoulderer wrote:
1 year ago
I do not think, however, that it is necessarily useful to compare cards across formats if they are not also oppressive in all those formats. While Uro has highly unhealthy numbers in both Pioneer and modern, Thoughtseize does not in modern. Context is everything here.. And yes, it looks like Uro should absolutely be banned in Pioneer btw.
The thing is, that Astrolabe does NOT force you into certain colors. Yes there is the Snake, but it's main appeal is that it's an instant speed play which cantrips and can block. The main appeal for Green is Veil (far more than Uro to be honest). My comparison was made purely on popularity and to debunk the notion that Pioneer is somehow healthier/more balanced.
TheBoulderer wrote:
1 year ago
Naya Blade is not a "new deck placing well", it's Gruul Ramp splashing white for Stoneforge. That is not even close to being the same as a new deck. Same deal with Simic Reclamation Uro. Building a simic deck with Uro and Coatl is hardly a huge innovation when the best deck is doing exactly that plus white. If anything,it's a sign you can do what the hell you want with the Uro-Coatl core because those two are so insanely good.
It's not per se new, but it has different priorities. It plays no land destruction and is way more interested in combat. Yes it's not wholly new, but Bant Control is just UW splashing G for Uro, Snakes and Veil. Being reductive doesn't help anyone. It's a different take on a broader archetype and it's cool that there is room for iteration.

On the Simic Reclamation deck, while it plays Uro and Snake (and no Astrolabes), it plays WAY differently than any other control deck. It seeks to bore you to death with counters and then take any number of turns needed. It might not be a revelation or what have you, but it IS a different deck, with a different playstyle and with different sets of weaknesses and strengths.

Actually there is a point in running Astrolabe in 2 color decks, but that needs you to have artifact synergies, see Grixis Whirza (mostly mono-U) and "Jeskai" (really just UR splashing W for T3feri) Breach.
TheBoulderer wrote:
1 year ago
It's also very logical that there's no Astrolabe in a 2color deck (and that coatl can still be active consistently. the green splash is very light). I agree that Simic Reclamation might indicate that Uro is the bigger problem compared to Astrolabe.
I have no problem with Uro, other than it is another dumb Gx card. I don't think it's a problem in Modern. What accompanies Uro is the problem: Veil. Even against Jund, Uro isn't that big of a problem, if you have no hand a 6/6 beatstick won't save you from Klothys, Lilies, Scooze and Kommands. It's when Veil gets in the mix that the balance shifts overwhelmingly towards the Uro deck.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

I agree @Tzoulis Veil is absolutely the issue. I've been looking over deck lists for days now as we approached the new release, and ever.single.time, it comes down to 'but what about Veil?'.

It as an absolutely horrific card, and getting blown out by it is all the Uro deck needs to turn an advantage, into overwhelming advantage.
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Post by motleyslayer » 1 year ago

with all of the absurd cards Simic has gotten, I feel that it was only a matter of time before someone figured out the best Simic shell. the deck seems interesting but I haven't played modern in a few weeks so I don't know what it's like to play against it

Veil is an absurd card that can often give a huge advantage and protect key spells. Uro just snowballs games on its own

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Standard is busted. Companions are going to ruin this year. :D

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
The future of the game is digital. Nerfs could happen so easily to that. For example, remove the draw a card from veil, problem solved. Maybe the game should be preparing for that direction and this should be accomplished within a timeline of 3-5 years.
Also, when Pioneer enters Arena, this will be great news for us nonrotating players.
Hard disagree, and I dont hardly play paper, even before Covid.

Veil needs to be banned in Modern. 100%.
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Tzoulis
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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Actually, at this point, maybe Veil of summer should stay in modern, because this astrofestival is actually being kept in check by tron decks trying to play a bomb with veil backup, or dredge/titan decks doing the same.
Yeah, wrong in all accounts.
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
With no veil, things are going to get worse. Mox Opal ban proved to be great, once upon a time also, but next time they ban cards, they will have to do some more thinking and take down astrolabe with veil and not only the one of them.
Again, wrong. Without Veil Thoughtseize is relevant again (and by proxy, your vaunted Jund).

It sure is great that Opal got banned. Those artifact decks needed to be knocked down a peg.
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Modern has to reach to a state similar to the one Pioneer is: No color dominating the format, and every color being played nearly the same.
For example, in Pioneer the strongest color is Blue, but recently White is being played that much, because of Spirits/Heliod that are tier 1 decks. Green is also a very good color. Black has been left a little but behind, but was a superhouse in the past, with red being still relevant, and even if it is the weaker color, it's still being played a lot.
Man, Pioneer sure is balanced colorwise. After all, Thoughtseize, Push and Uro are all 5 color cards. Pioneer has such a color balance that in the last Super Qualifier and Challenge no Red or White card reach the top 10, whereas Green, Black and Golgari had collectively 5 and 7 of the top played cards respectively. The rest were Blue (Inverter pieces + Dispute) and a colorless card rounded up the top 10.
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Meanwhile, most formats looks like a mess. Astrolabe and Green in Modern, Lurrus, Veil and Astrolabe in Legacy, and I have been getting reports that this current Standard is being broken. I can see a chance, where this game will face an inevitable problem.
Man, for a set that got released yesterday (16th of April), you sure seem to know what impact it had (will have?) on all formats.
idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
Standard is busted. Companions are going to ruin this year. :D

Slight, nitpick, it's Pioneer :p

Also, it'd be awesome to lose to that.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Oh thats Pioneer? lol I guess that makes sense being on MTGO. Grim.
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Post by Amalgam » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Actually, at this point, maybe Veil of summer should stay in modern, because this astrofestival is actually being kept in check by tron decks trying to play a bomb with veil backup, or dredge/titan decks doing the same.
With no veil, things are going to get worse. Mox Opal ban proved to be great, once upon a time also, but next time they ban cards, they will have to do some more thinking and take down astrolabe with veil and not only the one of them.

Modern has to reach to a state similar to the one Pioneer is: No color dominating the format, and every color being played nearly the same.
For example, in Pioneer the strongest color is Blue, but recently White is being played that much, because of Spirits/Heliod that are tier 1 decks. Green is also a very good color. Black has been left a little but behind, but was a superhouse in the past, with red being still relevant, and even if it is the weaker color, it's still being played a lot.

Meanwhile, most formats looks like a mess. Astrolabe and Green in Modern, Lurrus, Veil and Astrolabe in Legacy, and I have been getting reports that this current Standard is being broken. I can see a chance, where this game will face an inevitable problem.
I also expect Modern and Legacy to tone down, attendance wise in all stores permanently, post covid-19.
The future of the game is digital. Nerfs could happen so easily to that. For example, remove the draw a card from veil, problem solved. Maybe the game should be preparing for that direction and this should be accomplished within a timeline of 3-5 years.
Also, when Pioneer enters Arena, this will be great news for us nonrotating players.
The issue is nobody is going to be playing paper magic stores for a while even post covid. You could be looking at 18 months before people even touch paper and people aren't going to be spending money either. Now all that is left is digital however card games in general are on a massive decline digitally and have been for a while.
Now look at the mtgo numbers at tell me again where the formats will be coming out of this. Arena wont have pioneer any time in the near future so our only data point is mtgo.
If anything this will just lead to a massive decline on all fronts and cause wizards to make some real dumb decisions to free up cash as we move into a massive recession.
Hobbies dont generally do very well in a recession either

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Post by BloodyRabbit » 1 year ago

So, we have a list with 20+ archetypes in and we're complaining?

No wonder it's always the same people being annoying about the format.

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Post by TheBoulderer » 1 year ago

BloodyRabbit wrote:
1 year ago
So, we have a list with 20+ archetypes in and we're complaining?

No wonder it's always the same people being annoying about the format.
What are you talking about? We already discussed the absurd "list" you posted earlier, and not even that was 20 archetypes long^^

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Post by BloodyRabbit » 1 year ago

Oh, sure. "We". The usual 3-4 users, since 2014.

Then you look at things objectively, and notice the opposite.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

BloodyRabbit wrote:
1 year ago
Oh, sure. "We". The usual 3-4 users, since 2014.

Then you look at things objectively, and notice the opposite.
Without paper events or meaningful aggregate data, how exactly do we look at things "objectively"? Any random pile of cards can luck into a League 5-0, and sporadic MTGO events only show us so much.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

Metagame stats below for SQs, Challenges, and the combined metagame. I've separated them out to assess if they are actually different (spoilers: they are, but in surprising ways), and then pooled them at the end.

MODERN MTGO SQ METAGAME
Here's our SQ metagame, now updated to include 6 events and 192 decks. This is the top ~75% of the metagame, which we would historically consider as all Tier 1 and Tier 2 decks:
SQ metagame
Show
1. Bant Snow Control: 12% (23)
2. Burn: 8.9% (17)
3. Dredge: 8.9% (17)
4. Gruul Ponza: 7.8% (15)
5. Eldrazi Tron: 5.7% (11)
6. Temur Urza: 5.7% (11)
7. Amulet Titan: 5.2% (10)
8. Mono G Tron: 4.7% (9)
9. Humans: 4.2% (8)
10. Jund: 3.6% (7)
11. Infect: 3.6% (7)
12. Golgari Titan Ramp: 3.1% (6)
13. Mono R Prowess: 2.6% (5)
This is the same picture we've seen for weeks. It's either strategically balanced, if you don't mind AA driving fair decks and green driving everything but aggro, or an unhealthy mess, if you are tired of AA and green. This gets us into subjective territory that is a little beyond the scope of this metagame description. And here's our archetype breakdown across all 192 decks (not just the top ~75%):
SQ archetypes
Show
Aggro Decks: 30.7% (59)
AA Decks: 27.6% (53)
Ramp Decks: 20.3% (39)
Midrange Decks: 16.7% (32)
Combo Decks: 3.1% (6)
Control Decks: 1.6% (3)
Again, we have strategic balance with a ton of interactive decks, as long as you don't mind the interactive decks being overwhelmingly green with many playing AA.

MODERN MTGO CHALLENGE METAGAME
We can increase N by adding Challenges. I've avoided adding Challenges to the mix because I think SQs are a more competitive selection of top-performing decks, but I realized this was an unchallenged (bahaha, that pun is so bad good it might end up in a later article) assumption. We need to test this assumption. In that spirit, here are the Tier 1 and Tier 2 decks in the Challenge-only metagame (5 events, 160 decks):
Challenge metagame
Show
1. Bant Snow Control: 11.3% (18)
2. Gruul Ponza: 8.8% (14)
3. Mono R Prowess: 7.5% (12)
4. Dredge: 5.6% (9)
5. Humans: 5.6% (9)
6. Jund: 5.6% (9)
7. Eldrazi Tron: 4.4% (7)
8. Temur Urza: 4.4% (7)
9. Burn: 3.8% (6)
10. Infect: 3.8% (6)
11. 5C Niv: 3.8% (6)
12. Death and Taxes: 3.8% (6)
13. Bant Snowblade: 3.8% (6)
14. Amulet Titan: 2.5% (4)
15. Mono G Tron: 2.5% (4)
For the most part, this list is virtually identical to the SQ metagame with a few place shifts. For instance, Prowess and Ponza are up, Dredge and Humans are down. Jund is up, Temur Urza is down. New entrants into the Tier 2 group include 5C Niv, Death and Taxes, and Bant Snowblade (the latter is admittedly just a Bant Snow Control variant). Meanwhile, the only deck the SQ metagame loses is Golgari Titan Ramp. Overall, it's a pretty similar list, which suggests the top decks in Challenges are basically the same as those in SQs.

But what about the lower performing decks? I've heard many players, myself included, claim that SQs are impenetrable for lower tier decks because they are so stacked with top-tier decks. We can test this by looking at the bottom ~25% of decks in both pools, i.e. the Tier 3 or lower players. This was the most surprising part of the analysis. For Challenges, Tier 3 comprised 23.1% of the format representing 27 unique decks with 37 total showings. For SQs, Tier 3 comprised 24% of the format (similar to Challenges) representing 34 unique decks (more than Challenges) with 46 total showings (also more than Challenges). If we adjust for the relative sample Ns (192 for SQs, 160 for Challenges), we find these are virtually identical with SQs still having slightly more Tier 3 or lower decks. This suggests to me we actually can combine these two metagames to get a pooled picture of MTGO Modern.

Finally, here's the archetype breakdown:
Challenge archetypes
Show
Aggro Decks: 29.7% (44)
AA Decks: 29.1% (43)
Midrange Decks: 17.6% (26)
Ramp Decks: 11.5% (17)
Combo Decks: 7.4% (11)
Control Decks: 4.7% (7)
The biggest difference between the SQ and Challenge archetypes is ramp vs. midrange. In the SQ pool, ramp is on top. In Challenges, it's midrange. Ramp also takes a pretty big hit between the two, dropping about 8-9% points between samples. This is actually a notable difference that might suggest we shouldn't combine SQ and Challenge metagames; SQs appear much more rampy. That said, Challenges are more comboy (7.4% vs. 3.1%). This makes me a little more hesitant to combine the two, but I think it's fine as long as we're also showing both the SQs and Challenges as separate metagames for transparency.

POOLED MTGO SQ/CHALLENGE METAGAME
Given the small differences in top-tier decks and archetypes (acknowledging the ramp/combo difference), and noting that SQs actually have more Tier 3 decks than Challenge, I feel comfortable merging the two. Here's our merged, N=352 MTGO metagame:

1. Bant Snow Control: 11.6% (41)
2. Gruul Ponza: 8.2% (29)
4. Dredge: 7.4% (26)
9. Burn: 6.5% (23)
7. Eldrazi Tron: 5.1% (18)
8. Temur Urza: 5.1% (18)
5. Humans: 4.8% (17)
3. Mono R Prowess: 4.8% (17)
6. Jund: 4.5% (16)
14. Amulet Titan: 4% (14)
15. Mono G Tron: 3.7% (13)
10. Infect: 3.7% (13)
11. 5C Niv: 2.6% (9)
12. Death and Taxes: 2.3% (8)
13. Bant Snowblade: 2% (7)

And our final archetype breakdown:

Aggro Decks: 30.3% (103)
AA Decks: 28.2% (96)
Midrange Decks: 17.1% (58)
Ramp Decks: 16.5% (56)
Combo Decks: 5% (17)
Control Decks: 2.9% (10)

My biggest takeaways from this are:

1. Bant Snow is definitely the current secret, not-so-secret best deck.
2. All strategies are generally represented and viable (minus combo, but it still has random spikes).
3. Fairer and interactive decks must play green. The only exception is lower-tier D&T
4. Ponza is a surprise top-tier deck. Whether you think Modern is healthy will hinge on whether you believe Ponza's rise is a healthy example of natural Modern growth or an unhealthy example of a warped metagame.

This post might develop into a longer article as we get a little more data. As always, feel free to provide feedback, criticism, and ideas.
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Post by motleyslayer » 1 year ago

Uro and AA just seem to be absurd in modern right now. I went a few weeks without playing modern. I fired up a league last night because I wanted to try Tron and Bant Snow Control was the first deck I played against. Uro and AA provied the player so much advantage, combined with my first time playing Tron.

This is gonna sound silly, but why all of a sudden is the Gruul Ponza/Midrange so good all of a sudden? what are its matches like?

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

BloodyRabbit wrote:
1 year ago
So, we have a list with 20+ archetypes in and we're complaining?
20+?

I'd say its more diverse than normal, probably getting close to 2018 levels, but 20 actually viable competitive archetypes seems like way more than any numbers would support.
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Post by TheBoulderer » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
Breakdown
Show
Metagame stats below for SQs, Challenges, and the combined metagame. I've separated them out to assess if they are actually different (spoilers: they are, but in surprising ways), and then pooled them at the end.

MODERN MTGO SQ METAGAME
Here's our SQ metagame, now updated to include 6 events and 192 decks. This is the top ~75% of the metagame, which we would historically consider as all Tier 1 and Tier 2 decks:
SQ metagame
Show
1. Bant Snow Control: 12% (23)
2. Burn: 8.9% (17)
3. Dredge: 8.9% (17)
4. Gruul Ponza: 7.8% (15)
5. Eldrazi Tron: 5.7% (11)
6. Temur Urza: 5.7% (11)
7. Amulet Titan: 5.2% (10)
8. Mono G Tron: 4.7% (9)
9. Humans: 4.2% (8)
10. Jund: 3.6% (7)
11. Infect: 3.6% (7)
12. Golgari Titan Ramp: 3.1% (6)
13. Mono R Prowess: 2.6% (5)
This is the same picture we've seen for weeks. It's either strategically balanced, if you don't mind AA driving fair decks and green driving everything but aggro, or an unhealthy mess, if you are tired of AA and green. This gets us into subjective territory that is a little beyond the scope of this metagame description. And here's our archetype breakdown across all 192 decks (not just the top ~75%):
SQ archetypes
Show
Aggro Decks: 30.7% (59)
AA Decks: 27.6% (53)
Ramp Decks: 20.3% (39)
Midrange Decks: 16.7% (32)
Combo Decks: 3.1% (6)
Control Decks: 1.6% (3)
Again, we have strategic balance with a ton of interactive decks, as long as you don't mind the interactive decks being overwhelmingly green with many playing AA.

MODERN MTGO CHALLENGE METAGAME
We can increase N by adding Challenges. I've avoided adding Challenges to the mix because I think SQs are a more competitive selection of top-performing decks, but I realized this was an unchallenged (bahaha, that pun is so bad good it might end up in a later article) assumption. We need to test this assumption. In that spirit, here are the Tier 1 and Tier 2 decks in the Challenge-only metagame (5 events, 160 decks):
Challenge metagame
Show
1. Bant Snow Control: 11.3% (18)
2. Gruul Ponza: 8.8% (14)
3. Mono R Prowess: 7.5% (12)
4. Dredge: 5.6% (9)
5. Humans: 5.6% (9)
6. Jund: 5.6% (9)
7. Eldrazi Tron: 4.4% (7)
8. Temur Urza: 4.4% (7)
9. Burn: 3.8% (6)
10. Infect: 3.8% (6)
11. 5C Niv: 3.8% (6)
12. Death and Taxes: 3.8% (6)
13. Bant Snowblade: 3.8% (6)
14. Amulet Titan: 2.5% (4)
15. Mono G Tron: 2.5% (4)
For the most part, this list is virtually identical to the SQ metagame with a few place shifts. For instance, Prowess and Ponza are up, Dredge and Humans are down. Jund is up, Temur Urza is down. New entrants into the Tier 2 group include 5C Niv, Death and Taxes, and Bant Snowblade (the latter is admittedly just a Bant Snow Control variant). Meanwhile, the only deck the SQ metagame loses is Golgari Titan Ramp. Overall, it's a pretty similar list, which suggests the top decks in Challenges are basically the same as those in SQs.

But what about the lower performing decks? I've heard many players, myself included, claim that SQs are impenetrable for lower tier decks because they are so stacked with top-tier decks. We can test this by looking at the bottom ~25% of decks in both pools, i.e. the Tier 3 or lower players. This was the most surprising part of the analysis. For Challenges, Tier 3 comprised 23.1% of the format representing 27 unique decks with 37 total showings. For SQs, Tier 3 comprised 24% of the format (similar to Challenges) representing 34 unique decks (more than Challenges) with 46 total showings (also more than Challenges). If we adjust for the relative sample Ns (192 for SQs, 160 for Challenges), we find these are virtually identical with SQs still having slightly more Tier 3 or lower decks. This suggests to me we actually can combine these two metagames to get a pooled picture of MTGO Modern.

Finally, here's the archetype breakdown:
Challenge archetypes
Show
Aggro Decks: 29.7% (44)
AA Decks: 29.1% (43)
Midrange Decks: 17.6% (26)
Ramp Decks: 11.5% (17)
Combo Decks: 7.4% (11)
Control Decks: 4.7% (7)
The biggest difference between the SQ and Challenge archetypes is ramp vs. midrange. In the SQ pool, ramp is on top. In Challenges, it's midrange. Ramp also takes a pretty big hit between the two, dropping about 8-9% points between samples. This is actually a notable difference that might suggest we shouldn't combine SQ and Challenge metagames; SQs appear much more rampy. That said, Challenges are more comboy (7.4% vs. 3.1%). This makes me a little more hesitant to combine the two, but I think it's fine as long as we're also showing both the SQs and Challenges as separate metagames for transparency.

POOLED MTGO SQ/CHALLENGE METAGAME
Given the small differences in top-tier decks and archetypes (acknowledging the ramp/combo difference), and noting that SQs actually have more Tier 3 decks than Challenge, I feel comfortable merging the two. Here's our merged, N=352 MTGO metagame:

1. Bant Snow Control: 11.6% (41)
2. Gruul Ponza: 8.2% (29)
4. Dredge: 7.4% (26)
9. Burn: 6.5% (23)
7. Eldrazi Tron: 5.1% (18)
8. Temur Urza: 5.1% (18)
5. Humans: 4.8% (17)
3. Mono R Prowess: 4.8% (17)
6. Jund: 4.5% (16)
14. Amulet Titan: 4% (14)
15. Mono G Tron: 3.7% (13)
10. Infect: 3.7% (13)
11. 5C Niv: 2.6% (9)
12. Death and Taxes: 2.3% (8)
13. Bant Snowblade: 2% (7)

And our final archetype breakdown:

Aggro Decks: 30.3% (103)
AA Decks: 28.2% (96)
Midrange Decks: 17.1% (58)
Ramp Decks: 16.5% (56)
Combo Decks: 5% (17)
Control Decks: 2.9% (10)

My biggest takeaways from this are:

1. Bant Snow is definitely the current secret, not-so-secret best deck.
2. All strategies are generally represented and viable (minus combo, but it still has random spikes).
3. Fairer and interactive decks must play green. The only exception is lower-tier D&T
4. Ponza is a surprise top-tier deck. Whether you think Modern is healthy will hinge on whether you believe Ponza's rise is a healthy example of natural Modern growth or an unhealthy example of a warped metagame.

This post might develop into a longer article as we get a little more data. As always, feel free to provide feedback, criticism, and ideas.
This is an invaluable resource, thank you very much :)

My take-away is part subjective, and one observation.

The subjective part is, as you said, the prevalence of Green and Astrolabe. Though I think the two go hand in hand, as basically all Astrolabe decks are actually green. So, I would argue that the dominant force is actually green, not so much Astrolabe. It's also logical to me that the triangle of Uro, Coatl and Veil have a much much bigger impact on modern than Astrolabe does.

An important agle is what will happen with Urza decks with Ikoria. I'm curious to see what Kinnan and that Draw-Two spell will do for the deck. If Veil is banned, and gkoruou isnt wrong there, modern will lose a card that with all the brokenness that it entails, is a good check vs Urza's counterspell suite. When Urza gets ahead on mana (and it will), especially when Urza itself resolves, its often functionally game over because you're suddenly fighting against twice the mana to cast Cryptics and Archmage's Charms.

The observation is that non-snow control decks only make up 2,9% of the whole of modern. That is completely absurd. It shows very clearly that snow mana bases are strictly and by a large margin better than non-snow mana bases. This is imo the largest strike against Astrolabe in this breakdown.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

TheBoulderer wrote:
1 year ago
Black is just being invalidated by a very few cards. Imo it's not really a fundamental card pool problem. Discard is in fact powerful, Liliana is a very good card, BG removal spells are incredibly versatile and powerful, every black card out of GDS (Angler, Death's Shadow, discard, Street Wraith, Dismember, Fatal Push, Drown in the Loch) is really really good.
I feel the issue black is having is that it doesn't have the right discard available these days. Jund has managed to leverage Raven's Crime with Wrenn and Six to compensate to some extent. But, the most popular discard spell at the moment is IoK which just misses way too many cards in the current meta (and especially that Jund has trouble with). I know that in the past I've actually played Duress as a meta choice and once or twice even Despise, but right now everything is just too narrow. Discard really needs something a bit stronger, Cabal Therapy would be great, but Modern Horizons has made it clear we aren't getting that. Maybe something along the lines of: Choose one: creature, non creature non land permanent, non permanent, pick one of those from their hand to discard.

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

Black is invalidated by a few cards, White is invalidated by arsewipe design for years, thanks to tossers at WOTC catering to those people who don't like being taxed or told "no." I know which color I would rather be invested in.

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drmarkb
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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

TheBoulderer wrote:
1 year ago
BloodyRabbit wrote:
1 year ago
That's pretty rubbish, and you can see that from top8 results.

Ah, I forgot to mention Storm that also pops up from time to time.
I really really need to emphasize that random decks popping up has nothing to do with what the meta actually looks like. That is true for Storm, Mardu, and a lot of other One-ofs. People who love a certain archetype will always jam it regardless of wether its good enough to consistently compete. A friend of mine 5-0ed 2 leagues in a row with Boros Boom/Bust Land destruction with Nahiri-Emmy as a win con. But it's got nada to do with what the meta looks like. It just very specifically prays on the meta and would completely fall apart in a different environment. RG Ponza is successful for similar reasons, its just the better-rounded deck.

I have to say I really hate it when people try and dance around facts like this.

PS: if there were large paper events with groups of pro players really putting the foot down and only playing the best decks, modern would be a complete %$#% show.
This is totally correct, but you always prepare to face what you will play against, not what you would play against if it were a bunch of pros jamming the best decks. Your only meta is the one you face tomorrow, and online it is better defined than paper. People do forget that and get quite salty when crushed by a stupid deck that "should not be there."

Quite often, in older formats, those fringe decks are played incessantly by a player, making them stronger than if a random good player just picked them up. Storm in Modern is such a case- I know people who have jammed it for five years regardless and they do get so much better at it.
When you play a player playing lands in a Leg GP, you always know you are in for a hard time- anyone who brings it knows it backwards and will be so much better than a random good player with the same deck. If everyone could play some of the fringe decks as well as those players, they would not be fringe. ;)

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FoodChainGoblins
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

Just watched the Modern Challenge. Grixis Delver with Lurrus just beat Dredge player, Sodek, in the finals.

1. Grixis Delver w/ Lurrus
2. Dredge

Also 2 Yorion 80 card Soulherder/Kiki Chord variants, including Gabriel Nassif and another Dredge in the top 8. Not sure what else.
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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FoodChainGoblins
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Yeah, lurrus played 10 tormods crypt from the graveyard. Is this the hero we need?
I counted 100 Tormod's Crypts. :sick:

I was wondering something similar. Grixis Delver showing up in Modern for the first time since T.... (don't wanna say it). Disgusting things happened in that match. I really wanted Sodek to play against Nassif in the finals...
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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Bearscape
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Post by Bearscape » 1 year ago

Hey but a black deck won so now the format is better, right? ;)

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Simto
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Post by Simto » 1 year ago

Anybody got a link to the new Grixis Delver deck?? Sounds %$#% sick

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