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

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Post by cfusionpm » 11 months ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
11 months ago
Given all this, I'm back at the question I'm posing on Reddit: are we comfortable with a strategically diverse metagame that revolves around a few fixed slots in decks? Modern looks like an Astrolabe, ramp, companion, random-proactive-aggro/combo format right now, but those different pillars appear to support everything. Can you imagine if we had a top tier that included The Rock, Tron, Bant Snow, Grixis Delver, Burn, Jund, Temur Urza, and Amulet? Plus stuff like Hardened Scales, Devoted Devastation, and Humans? That's something for basically everyone and it checks virtually all strategic boxes. Of course, the cost is a format where close to 100% of decks are playing either companions, Tron lands, Titan, or Astrolabe. So, is that a cost we are willing to take on? I think this is a much more open question than a lot of people are suggesting.
I think the bigger question is how often should these shakeups continue to happen? How frequently should new cards completely change and shake up then established meta in a non rotating format? I understand that need for cards to change and evolve things, but we are seen monumental and fundamental shifts seemingly every set. How long can this continue? How many times will players dismantle, rebuild, or replace their thousand dollar decks before they just peace out and leave? The last year and a half has been an absolute rollercoaster.

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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

Aggro was very weak pre-Lurrus.

Like, dont misunderstand me, I think Lurrus (Companions) are absolutely dog %$#% for the game.

However if everyone else shows up with a gun, Tron, Astrolabe, Dredge, Titan, then you better have one too.
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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
11 months ago
I think the bigger question is how often should these shakeups continue to happen? How frequently should new cards completely change and shake up then established meta in a non rotating format? I understand that need for cards to change and evolve things, but we are seen monumental and fundamental shifts seemingly every set. How long can this continue? How many times will players dismantle, rebuild, or replace their thousand dollar decks before they just peace out and leave? The last year and a half has been an absolute rollercoaster.
Should, is not the word.

'Will' is the word. As I mentioned, you can expect it every set.
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Post by drmarkb » 11 months ago

I expect it to continue, but am hoping core gives us a couple of answers.

Last year it gave us Veil, which although poorly designed was an answer to an answer- a stack based card. Now I don't want to debate whether it was interactive or what type of things it promoted (spoiler= many things, mostly not good), but it least it was an attempt at a stack based answer, even if all it was doing was answering answers. We have seen things like amulet of safekeeping and reprints of answers like Cage or Pithing needle, so it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that we get something that might be an answer somewhere, maybe in a wish board for karn, who knows.
Every set gives us busted critters and walkers and utterly terrible removal/control cards (and I mean any control, not UW control). Some sets give us enablers, like MH with labe or ELD with OUAT, but all sets give us busted threats, the best we get in the control department being cards like Brazen borrower, a tempo card as much as anything. It frustrates the hell out of me- I would probably lose it increase the dental bills of Maro if I met him and he tried to defend it with his mendacious bull that spews forth from his mouth of late- and I am an educated man with little predisposition towards violence. I am sure a few people feel the same. Core sets, however, sometime give us a bit of breathing space- splashy walkers but not 3 mana nuts walkers, and a few tolerance answers. I expect it to resume come September- more revolution, more obsolecence, more threats, rubbish answers, more power creep, more ruined older formats.

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Post by blkdemonight » 11 months ago

Can we get back to basics at the least? Hopefully in a MH equivalent.

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Post by The Fluff » 11 months ago

Just dropping by to say I like the companion mechanic, me and some other people on mtgsalvation are testing 80 card Yorion on our Emeria thread there. Well, and Lurrus feels a bit broken though.. have a feeling this guy would be banned soon.
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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

I thought of you when I saw Yorion Fluff. :)
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Post by The Fluff » 11 months ago

@idSurge

you have good perception. Actually, I saw three people at the mtgs thread trying out 80 card builds. So might as well join in. It actually feels exciting because it's the first time I'm building an 80 card deck. So far, nothing solid produced yet.. but we hope to build something mildly competitive. I'm doing a bit of google searching conversations to get some ideas on how many lands to put into an 80 card deck. Will be doing some trial and error testing on the next days with my brother. :)

oh, and Lurrus seems to be played a lot. One the posters in our thread played online, and he faced 5 Lurrus decks in 5 rounds.. Grixis Lurrus Delver, Jund Lurrus Zoo with 4 maindeck Nihil Spellbomb, Lurrus Bogles, and two Lurrus Prowess. I'm not joking.
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Post by The Fluff » 11 months ago

@AvalonAurora

ah, that would be a bit too much. We are already struggling with how to make an 80 card deck.. a 200 card deck would be too ambitious. :p

anyway, to get back on topic on the thread. I feel that modern is still ok right now. The only card that slightly annoys me is veil of summer, but green decks need to have some fun too. So I guess it's ok for them to have veil.
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Post by cfusionpm » 11 months ago

My problem with Veil of Summer isn't when it's played in something like Bant Snow (where I feel it is often so-so, and honestly cut down in numbers in my side to 1-2). My problem with Veil is exactly when it is able to be played in things like Infect, Dredge, Tron, and Titan. At least Infect can cast blue cards, but Dredge, Tron, and Titan having access to effectively 1 mana Cryptic Command is fairly vomit-inducing.

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Post by Yawgmoth » 11 months ago

The April 15 B&R announcement regarding Lutri in Brawl is pretty Interesting to get a view into the design/play test process. This is just an excerpt. The whole is here: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... nouncement

This isn't an oversight or a case where we underestimated a card that was too powerful. In fact, discussions surrounding the legality of this card in Singleton formats began early in the design process. As we playtested with Lutri, we decided that the fun deck-building challenge and opportunity for self-expression it presents in other Magic formats clearly made the design worth printing, even if it didn't make sense in Brawl.
When you look at the online tournament results above and see that over half of decks have companions (and most of those are Lurrus) it is hard to see how this is an opportunity for "self-expression." The chatter on Discord channels for various decks is basically how can we make this into a Lurrus deck and if we cannot, then it's not worth playing. I'm all for new and different game pieces but I do not like feeling that I must play a certain card in order to play the game, that is the opposite of fun and self-expression. Aside from lands, you can make a competitive Modern deck without being forced to play any one card type and if you really hate lands you can always try Legacy Dredge.

I'm just stunned that they saw the potential for Lutri to completely steamroll a format and preemptively banned but then did not consider that this might also happen in other cases.

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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

The issue with Lutri is not that it steamrolls. The issue is that in a singleton within those colours, its an unquestioned include, no cost, literal 100% free card that has absolutely zero reason to not be played 100% of the time.

When Lutri, the Spellchaser enters the battlefield, if you cast it, copy target instant or sorcery spell you control.

That is not ban worth, in any world.
Yawgmoth wrote:
11 months ago
As we playtested with Lutri, we decided that the fun deck-building challenge and opportunity for self-expression
And that piece there, is a joke. Put together a singleton deck in those colors in Standard, much self-expression...
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Post by TheAnnihilator » 11 months ago

Does anyone else get the feeling that Lurrus might be a good step for Modern? I usually play control, but I've been on practically only Amulet since the Ikoria release, but I haven't really seen any 2 Lurrus decks that were the same, and ALL of them are interactive. I mentioned control because idk yet if the +1 card from companion (+2 with a Bauble in the yard) is unbeatable, but I like the decks Lurrus promotes, personally. I'm starting to lean into the mindset that I don't mind so much if 60% of decks play Lurrus if all of them are distinct and interactive. I also realize this is still early, and THE Lurrus deck might still surface and push out others, but still.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 11 months ago

Today's Modern MTGO Challenge has 2 Yorion Temurza decks in the finals. It is Corey B, and Dylan Donegan, who faced each other in the Swiss when Corey B timed out to lose.

1. Yorion Temurza
2. Yorion Temurza
3. 4 Color Lurrus Control
4. ?
5-8 has 2 Amulet and I think Dredge and/or Burn (not completely sure on those and will update this here when I find out for sure)

EDIT> @TheAnnihilator - I think not. Like numerous others here have said, Lurrus just goes against the basics of having 7 cards in your opening hand and then mulling from there. And it can't be interacted with.

On the surface, it looks like it has increased diversity, but a glance at @ktkenshinx's MTGO metagame stats recently had Lurrus Burn at 16.7%. That's worse than "not to be mentioned." It is a bit sad that Grixis Delver or Delver in general was viable, but it is because of a broken card. All Lurrus does currently is take the focus off other cards that should be banned, but are not on the power level of Lurrus.

Personally I see Lurrus definitely eating a ban and hopefully Yorion too (even as much as I love Yorion). Those are the Companions that need it the most currently. Also on a sidenote, I wonder how many people still think that Urza is less busted than Mox Opal, lol. Just curious.
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Post by cfusionpm » 11 months ago

TheAnnihilator wrote:
11 months ago
Does anyone else get the feeling that Lurrus might be a good step for Modern? I usually play control, but I've been on practically only Amulet since the Ikoria release, but I haven't really seen any 2 Lurrus decks that were the same, and ALL of them are interactive. I mentioned control because idk yet if the +1 card from companion (+2 with a Bauble in the yard) is unbeatable, but I like the decks Lurrus promotes, personally. I'm starting to lean into the mindset that I don't mind so much if 60% of decks play Lurrus if all of them are distinct and interactive. I also realize this is still early, and THE Lurrus deck might still surface and push out others, but still.
I've run into numerous Lurrus decks that are BR based that are basically Mono R Prowess, but with Thoughtsieze/IOK and Kroxa (plus whatever flavor black cards they prefer, like Unearth). Goodness gracious that's an annoying deck, and what makes it annoying isn't just the repeatable 2 mana Kroxa without exile/escape clause, but that I can drain them of all resources, and they can just cast Lurrus out of their sideboard whenever it is needed or convenient, and use its abilities to pull themselves back. And every time it happens it just feels like it breaks fundamental rules of competitive Magic. This isn't supposed to be Commander.

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Post by The Fluff » 11 months ago

gy removal is so important again, because Lurrus can generate so much card advantage from it.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 11 months ago

The Fluff wrote:
11 months ago
gy removal is so important again, because Lurrus can generate so much card advantage from it.
The best graveyard hate is Tormod's Crypt and Lurrus of the Dream-Den. :grin:

Or Nihil Spellbomb and Lurrus of the Dream-Den if you feel like spending an extra mana each turn to also draw a card. The best grave hate in the format starts with that Cat Nightmare.
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Post by Yawgmoth » 11 months ago

Interestingly, the problems with Lurrus are sounding more and more like Hogaak. It's too reliable/consistent and it utilizes the graveyard as a resource in a way that other magic decks are not capable of doing.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 11 months ago

Yawgmoth wrote:
11 months ago
Interestingly, the problems with Lurrus are sounding more and more like Hogaak. It's too reliable/consistent and it utilizes the graveyard as a resource in a way that other magic decks are not capable of doing.
The sad part is that we all know that Mishra's Bauble is on its way out. It limits design space for WotC and has been "the problem" all along, just like Bridge from Below and Mox Opal both were. Sad. :?
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Post by ktkenshinx » 11 months ago

Yawgmoth wrote:
11 months ago
Interestingly, the problems with Lurrus are sounding more and more like Hogaak. It's too reliable/consistent and it utilizes the graveyard as a resource in a way that other magic decks are not capable of doing.
The big difference is that Hogaak only went in one deck and that was the best deck at the time. Companions appear to help a range of decks which all appear about equally viable. The big problem is that they, especially Lurrus, are just ridiculously prevalent across the format. I don't think we've ever seen a single card that found its way into so many Modern decks and didn't get banned. At the same time, I still think it's worth exploring if we're comfortable with a metagame where you're playing AA, ramp, or companions if that metagame is overall diverse. But I really struggle to see a future where Wizards looks favorably on this kind of prevalence.

The scariest possibility is actually not a Lurrus ban; it's a Bauble ban. Wizards has a bad track record of banning an older card when a newer card breaks a deck. Modern examples include:

2014: BBE banned (newer DRS probably the real offender, DRS banned later)
2014: Song banned (newer Electromancer/Experiment pushed the deck, still legal)
2015: Pod banned (Rhino and new creatures pushed the deck, all still legal)
2016: Eye banned (all the new Eldrazi broke the deck, all still legal)
2017: GGT banned (Innistrad graveyard stuff broke Dredge, all still legal)
2019: KCI banned (Scrap Trawler broke the deck, still legal)
2019: Bridge banned (Hogaak was the real offender, banned a month later, Bridge still banned)
2020: Opal banned (Urza, Emry, and co. were probably the real offenders, all still legal)
2020: Lattice banned (Karn broke the innocuous Lattice, Karn still legal)

On the other side of the issue, we do have newer cards that were banned shortly after their release for breaking Modern. These cards, with the exception of Hogaak, didn't take any older cards down with them:

2015: DTT banned (not delve/Ux enablers)
2015: TC banned (not delve/Ux/Burn enablers)
2019: Hogaak banned (super nuclear ban with Bridge AND Looting falling alongside Hogaak)
2020: Oko banned (occupied a uniquely powerful slot with no clear alternate targets)
2020: OUaT banned (not ramp/big mana pieces)

The first list has examples in literally every year a card got banned in Modern (no bans in 2018). The second list has two examples from early 2015, one from 2019, and two from 2020, which overlaps with the first list (KCI/Bridge in 2019, Opal/Lattice in 2020). This suggests a potential Lurrus/Bauble ban could go either way as Wizards has shown a willingness to ban new cards in the last few years. That said, I think they are much more inclined to ban an older piece if they can, ESPECIALLY if it's a free card or otherwise cheating mana. This was part of the rationale in both the Bridge and Opal bans and I could see Wizards using it again to justify banning Bauble over a new, pack-selling companion. We'll see where the metagame goes as the MTGO data comes in and we'll have new decks added to the breakdown tomorrow. There are way too many artificial factors driving a companion uptick (novelty, boredom with old decks, community hype, echo chamber effects, etc.). In general, the more iteration happens in major MTGO events, the more these factors die down and the "true" metagame emerges around deck MWPs.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 11 months ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
11 months ago
2020: OUaT banned (not ramp/big mana pieces)

The first list has examples in literally every year a card got banned in Modern (no bans in 2018). The second list has two examples from early 2015, one from 2019, and two from 2020, which overlaps with the first list (KCI/Bridge in 2019, Opal/Lattice in 2020). This suggests a potential Lurrus/Bauble ban could go either way as Wizards has shown a willingness to ban new cards in the last few years. That said, I think they are much more inclined to ban an older piece if they can, ESPECIALLY if it's a free card or otherwise cheating mana. This was part of the rationale in both the Bridge and Opal bans and I could see Wizards using it again to justify banning Bauble over a new, pack-selling companion. We'll see where the metagame goes as the MTGO data comes in and we'll have new decks added to the breakdown tomorrow. There are way too many artificial factors driving a companion uptick (novelty, boredom with old decks, community hype, echo chamber effects, etc.). In general, the more iteration happens in major MTGO events, the more these factors die down and the "true" metagame emerges around deck MWPs.
That one right there scared me the most recently. Even though everyone will tell me I'm silly, I was so scared that one of my favorite toys in so many formats, Primeval Titan had a chance to get banned. I realize that Amulet does have Field of the Dead, so it does have some strong toys. But the OUaT banning really did affect the deck, as we saw Amulet go from first in power level and metagame share to probably barely in the top 5 now.
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Post by iTaLenTZ » 11 months ago

Lurrus will get banned 100% in Vintage but that is anecdotal. I do believe the only reason they haven't announced it already is because they are waiting to see how things develop in other formats as well and do 1 big announcement rather than several small ones following each other up in a relative small time period.

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Post by drmarkb » 11 months ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
11 months ago
Yawgmoth wrote:
11 months ago
Interestingly, the problems with Lurrus are sounding more and more like Hogaak. It's too reliable/consistent and it utilizes the graveyard as a resource in a way that other magic decks are not capable of doing.
The sad part is that we all know that Mishra's Bauble is on its way out. It limits design space for WotC and has been "the problem" all along, just like Bridge from Below and Mox Opal both were. Sad. :?
What limits the design space is not bauble, it is WOTC refusing to print hate for every aspect of the game that keeps cards from being abused.
Why is bauble a problem- it stops them making cards that recur stuff for free. What else does that? Err Trinisphere. If you can first or 2nd turn a trinisphere, there is no issue. What else? Stony Silence- no bauble activation, . Stuff that stops additional draws- you only get 1 card on your draw and no other- could be printed. Rule of law effects, nevermore effects all stop that abusive stuff, but they refuse to print modal cards that include those sort of abilities and can be maindecked, and they refuse to give us selection to get those effects or to cost them properly. What we need are more powerful and cheaper hate cards with less cost to inclusion that would allow them to explore the design space without worrying. Instead their warped design philosophy - " x many people don't like resource wars" (which may be true but is misleading) leads to ban after ban when all they need to do is take the approach they had for years of printing hosers to balance the game. Think City in a Bottle, Apocalypse chime etc. They knew about hate cards 25 years ago, and yes they were awfully designed sometimes- think Chains of meph and the set hosers- but they printed hosing cards till RTR with regularity. Then it went wrong, screwing up Standard with Energy etc and not a single energy hoser in sight. Today's answer to companions- a 1/3 hatebear. That is your issue in a nutshell.

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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

Yeah, Bauble is not the design space issue.

You want to talk about 'limits design space' look at the idiotic cat that lets you cast a card out of your GY every turn. Even just a spell bomb is out of control.
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