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

ThatStoryTeller
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Post by ThatStoryTeller » 11 months ago

The companion and astrolabe points are fair, I wouldnt want to see astrolabe go myself, but the mana consistency factor as well as the fact that it replaces itself has made for a lot of very one-sided games, and thats put some people off. Im trying to gauge this information so it can be validated and agreed upon by the greater modern community. Presenting it to the twitter community might do the job when we have a well made case. Its the only way this reformation has a chance. and if wizards is too busy to do it maybe we have to use the data and prove the players know what they want in the format.

Maybe starting from bans isnt the way to start this, but I currently have confidence in my unban suggestions.

Here is the difficult question for me as a player, what should modern's vision and mission actually be?

I like interesting interactive blue aggro-control and a+b+c type decks so I might have a huge bias when it comes to this answer, but I feel like concepts such as player decisions should be a consideration. You want that feeling where you can take a look at your loss and develop how to face it the next time you see it, not feel like the format went to crap, Personally, I really miss that playing Faeries (and decks in general), the mtgsal Fae thread had a saying that "you can beat anything, but you cant beat everything" and you really had to pick your battles. That made deck construction a real puzzle to solve week to week, and I had to look at metagame data to make those decisions. Thats what I miss about old modern the most. So Id like that

which reminds me, I forgot one that might be up for debate

-1 allosaurus rider

@FoodChainGoblins I'm not saying you are wrong, but I think thats to be seen. Your analogy comes from the standard environment so I cannot say I see the connection because the surrounding environment had fewer maindeckable answers to problem permanents by design. I think there are answers for jitte that people can incorporate if thats the angle of the game that is made important by jitte. I believe there are a lot of situations where jitte isnt going to be taking over the game because there is so much going on in modern that goes over the top of 2 mana 2 to equip engine card. I could be wrong, but I want to see if I am or not.

On the Uro situation, that may be true, but the lurrus decks would play it aswell to counter other lurrus decks and gain more advantage.

I am a Storm player so on seething song...fast mana is an issue that modern hasnt handled well before. Punishing Fire I think Id agree with though, as a small creatures fan- I am up for a reasonably difficult challenge

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 11 months ago

I play a lot of decks. One of those decks is Neobrand, as Griselbrand is probably my favorite creature of all time and definitely my favorite creature in Modern. Still, Allosaurus Rider (or even Griselbrand itself, even though no one suggests it) should be banned. The deck wins too often by turns, 1, 2, and 3, which is unacceptable for a turn "4" format. Even if the format's identity is not a turn 4 format, it is still too quick. Griselbrand is just a card waiting again to be abused. It is a Yawgmoth's Bargain. Yes, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician is too, but his cost is higher (having to sacrifice creatures to draw). I have played Grishoalbrand forever, so I realize the interaction between Griselbrand and Nourishing Shoal is a very strong one.

You could be right about Jitte. I personally have a lot of reservations here because sometimes I like to play dumb creature decks for fun and I don't foresee those doing well vs. Jitte, while I have to run 4 myself. But I am all right with WotC at least trying it. Many Pro Players have said it's okay, so WotC should at least be willing to try; I mean they tried GGT, which had done nothing, then printed cards to break it in half.

Seething Song. I've seen Ross Merriam talk about the card recently, stating that it got banned at a time when Deathrite Shaman was also banned. It came as a surprise to everyone since they had thought only Deathrite Shaman, which was running the format, would be banned. Many of us (mtgsalvation members) saw Seething Song getting banned because it was the card that WotC CHOSE from Storm to be banned. Storm saw a lot of play on MTGO at the time because the deck cost around 50 tix and was a solid deck for that price. Seething Song is a ritual that is certainly better than Desperate Ritual and Pyretic Ritual, but got pushed mostly because of a new printing - Goblin Electromancer. It coming back could lead to cool decks like All in Red or Enduring Ideal.

Storm right now is a turn 3-4 deck that is very consistent. Why is it not performing as well as people would think? Why do people not play it as much? I don't see Seething Song as the card that would push Storm to Tier 1 because it doesn't help the weaknesses that Storm has, which are Hate cards.

Punishing Fire is a similar card to Jitte in my opinion. If one is okay to neutralize most creatures, then the other should also be available to decks with access to Red. I think the trade off is one uses the combat step and one has to have Red in the deck.
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Post by cfusionpm » 11 months ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
11 months ago
Storm right now is a turn 3-4 deck that is very consistent. Why is it not performing as well as people would think? Why do people not play it as much?
I find its linear play lines dull, boring, and repetitive. Sure, tiny nuance could gain you a % here and there, but it's mostly just deciding when to try and go for it or not. The games play out almost identically every time. Either you do your thing, or you scoop it up. There's no middle ground.

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Post by ThatStoryTeller » 11 months ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
11 months ago
You could be right about Jitte. I personally have a lot of reservations here because sometimes I like to play dumb creature decks for fun and I don't foresee those doing well vs. Jitte, while I have to run 4 myself. But I am all right with WotC at least trying it. Many Pro Players have said it's okay, so WotC should at least be willing to try; I mean they tried GGT, which had done nothing, then printed cards to break it in half.

Seething Song. I've seen Ross Merriam talk about the card recently, stating that it got banned at a time when Deathrite Shaman was also banned. It came as a surprise to everyone since they had thought only Deathrite Shaman, which was running the format, would be banned. Many of us (mtgsalvation members) saw Seething Song getting banned because it was the card that WotC CHOSE from Storm to be banned. Storm saw a lot of play on MTGO at the time because the deck cost around 50 tix and was a solid deck for that price. Seething Song is a ritual that is certainly better than Desperate Ritual and Pyretic Ritual, but got pushed mostly because of a new printing - Goblin Electromancer. It coming back could lead to cool decks like All in Red or Enduring Ideal.

Storm right now is a turn 3-4 deck that is very consistent. Why is it not performing as well as people would think? Why do people not play it as much? I don't see Seething Song as the card that would push Storm to Tier 1 because it doesn't help the weaknesses that Storm has, which are Hate cards.

Punishing Fire is a similar card to Jitte in my opinion. If one is okay to neutralize most creatures, then the other should also be available to decks with access to Red. I think the trade off is one uses the combat step and one has to have Red in the deck.
I could be wrong about jitte too, but I concede the point that punishing fire would be just as much a card to keep jitte in check as it is a card that gives some more decisions to gifts control decks and loam decks which could use some help. Storm Im not so sure of, because seething song makes the from hand kills a bit more potent if my thinking is correct. I am not saying you are wrong at all, Im just unsure personally.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 11 months ago

ThatStoryTeller wrote:
11 months ago
Common Banned List suggestions that have been discussed and whos meta-game effects have been elaborated upon at length
-1 Teferi
-1 Arcum's Astrolabe
-1 Veil of Summer
idSurge wrote:
11 months ago
The rest I agree with, though I'm not sure Astrolabe is busted, to the point of breaking. Its very very good, but I'm still not sure it needs a ban, even if it bypasses the Mana system.

I dont know, its hard to say because the power level of the format is jumping up and down constantly.
I'm all for discussing unbans at this point, given Modern's rising power level, but a ban-heavy approach is very risky. This is particularly true of AA. If you get rid of AA, especially while ALSO hitting companions, you are virtually guaranteeing all control and midrange options fall into irrelevance. For control, we'll have Azorius Control alone, which will have dramatically reduced metagame shares. For midrange, we'll have Ponza and a bit of Jund. For hybrids, we'll probably keep Simic Urza. In exchange, we'll see a huge rise in Titan decks, Tron decks, and a dozen aggro/combo flavors to fill in the vacuum. This is the Modern I know many people hated, the much-memed "two ships passing in the night" format that has been an issue since 2016. Get rid of Lurrus, Yorion, and/or AA and you are returning to that metagame.

If we know Wizards is going to keep printing super busted stuff that continually pushes Modern, I'd rather just unban some of the more appropriate candidates and let people play with all of their toys. Or we can embrace a philosophy where every new set for the next few years is going to result in at least a few bans in Modern. I don't think the latter position is sustainable; it will lead to inevitable format collapse as people keep losing money, emotional investments, and patience with the format. At least the former has a distinct "play what you want" identity. The latter's identity is just the "ban format," which is already an ongoing identity crisis.
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Post by drmarkb » 11 months ago

Storm used to be controlled by cards like Thalia in a viable hate strategy when it was at its peak. It still is a fine deck, it lost its predator and gained a few new toys, and has always been decent but underplayed. I have a local storm player around. I enjoy the games but they are rather one sided given my predilection for hiding behind a lot of naughty enchantments and trinispheres etc. from time to time. I don't hate the deck but if it got too good WOTC would take action with random bans.

I do wish people would stop asking for Teferi to be banned. It is fine. Not a good design, sure, but fine on power level, which for me is the only consideration. Modern has far more to worry about- actually overpowered stuff.

One of the alarm bells for Modern for me was Lattice. Obviously I don't play the card in Modern, but I don't know how it got banned. I mean a 10 mana combo executed turn 6 if paid for naturally, that can be broken if the opponent has a board advantage in terms of creatures. Teferi feels like a similar ban - not on power- and it ends up with Blood Moon, Ensnaring bridge and every other feel bad banned. That makes the format worse, the format needs more feel bads answers, I don't want any threats banned on "feel bad" I want them banned on power, not being a design mistake. There are huge numbers of design mistakes, we should be banning the overpowered ones.

Honestly, no matter what course of action is taken in bans, we end up losing, because the design imbalance and aims are the issue, and a ban list is a very crude tool to use at the best of times.

Cards like astrolabe just would not be a problem if there were widely played cards that stopped extra draws for both players, symmetrically or if snow had a disadvantage. By all means fix your mana, but fixing mana and drawing a card....not so nice. Legacy decks with 5 colours run Blood Moon from the board, at least Modern is not there....yet
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 11 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
11 months ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
11 months ago
Storm right now is a turn 3-4 deck that is very consistent. Why is it not performing as well as people would think? Why do people not play it as much?
I find its linear play lines dull, boring, and repetitive. Sure, tiny nuance could gain you a % here and there, but it's mostly just deciding when to try and go for it or not. The games play out almost identically every time. Either you do your thing, or you scoop it up. There's no middle ground.
Watch Caleb Sherer on Storm and it will change your mind. There is more play to it than is often seen.

When you watch your average FNM guy that barely even knows how to goldfish, there is a HUGE gap in skill level. I've played Storm in many formats before and I see Caleb do things that I wouldn't think about being that safe to do.

But I also agree that it's not for everybody. I love to draw my deck, which is why I love Neobrand. I like to see my opponent's face when I have my deck in my hand (or similar to it, going way above just simple card advantage). But I know that many HATE to play decks like Neobrand. The variance is the trade off for me, which is why I play other stuff as well.

*It's always nice to watch a master in action. I remember watching Brian Kibler play RG creatures in Avacyn Standard and it actually got me inspired to play the archetype. I used to hate creatures and smashing with them, but the deck and the way he played it just really hooked me. Watching Tom Ross later on nearly got me to try Infect. These kinds of players are my inspiration because I switch decks so often that I cannot master a deck like they have. Caleb Sherer or Paul Muller on Storm, Nikachu on Merfolk, fpawlusz on Amulet, Ryan Overturf on tempo decks, Craig Wescoe on WW, these people know how to play these decks down to the very marrow in the bone. I learn a lot from these fellows and much more.
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Post by ThatStoryTeller » 11 months ago

Im not against keeping astrolabe at all, but i dont have the full perspective of the effects that occur without it, and it seemed to be identified as part of the problem.

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Post by cfusionpm » 11 months ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
11 months ago
cfusionpm wrote:
11 months ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
11 months ago
Storm right now is a turn 3-4 deck that is very consistent. Why is it not performing as well as people would think? Why do people not play it as much?
I find its linear play lines dull, boring, and repetitive. Sure, tiny nuance could gain you a % here and there, but it's mostly just deciding when to try and go for it or not. The games play out almost identically every time. Either you do your thing, or you scoop it up. There's no middle ground.
Watch Caleb Sherer on Storm and it will change your mind. There is more play to it than is often seen.

When you watch your average FNM guy that barely even knows how to goldfish, there is a HUGE gap in skill level. I've played Storm in many formats before and I see Caleb do things that I wouldn't think about being that safe to do.
I've seen him a bunch, in Modern and Legacy. I'll give you that Legacy Storm is a thing of beauty to watch, but Modern Storm is boring and linear 99% of the time. It's another perfect case of: Did I do my thing? Y/N. Did opponent find hate card? Y/N. Did I find anti-hate card? Y/N. Nothing about that interests me whatsoever. It may strike many as odd by how much I actually hate combo decks, considering my love for Twin. It's because Twin was not a combo deck, but just happened to be the win condition for a tempo/control deck. I don't particularly care for solitaire puzzle boxes, but I do see how some could love them.

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Post by iTaLenTZ » 11 months ago

My fear is they will only ban Lurrus and we go back to Astrolabe.format and Veil suppressing all disruption. At this point I would rather unban OUaT and ban Veil and go back to how things were 4 months ago. In general, without Veil the format will be better off.

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Post by Mapccu » 11 months ago

If I had one big criticism of modern for the last 12 months, I would point at the rate of change. I think strategies are being reinvented at an incredibly fast pace, but the payoffs feel like an arms race.

I don't like free proactive spells. I think the force cycle from MH has been a healthy development for the format because they're reactive.

I agree with the general sentiment of companions. They have been the final blow that has really taken the wind out of modern for me. Which is a real shame.

3 cmc walkers, in general when pushed for major storyline characters, need to go. I'm over them trying to get it right. Even the scions can be incredibly frustrating to play against and they're not even tier.

I've been clamoring for years to give UG an identity that wasn't infect, and I'm very happy with uro and growth spiral. I'd like to see that combination get a little more reactive love in the years to come (but I'm a fan).

Just my two cents.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 11 months ago

Mapccu wrote:
11 months ago
If I had one big criticism of modern for the last 12 months, I would point at the rate of change. I think strategies are being reinvented at an incredibly fast pace, but the payoffs feel like an arms race.

I don't like free proactive spells. I think the force cycle from MH has been a healthy development for the format because they're reactive.

I agree with the general sentiment of companions. They have been the final blow that has really taken the wind out of modern for me. Which is a real shame.

3 cmc walkers, in general when pushed for major storyline characters, need to go. I'm over them trying to get it right. Even the scions can be incredibly frustrating to play against and they're not even tier.

I've been clamoring for years to give UG an identity that wasn't infect, and I'm very happy with uro and growth spiral. I'd like to see that combination get a little more reactive love in the years to come (but I'm a fan).

Just my two cents.
This was the big complaint just a page or 2 back. Many of us are quitting because we can't keep up with paying another $500-1000 to play the new Tier deck. The power level of cards increasing has made the meta change a bit too much for many people's liking. Then there is the question on whether something could get banned for being too powerful. Many players joined Modern because they felt that it was a non rotating format.
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Post by cfusionpm » 11 months ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
11 months ago
Mapccu wrote:
11 months ago
If I had one big criticism of modern for the last 12 months, I would point at the rate of change. I think strategies are being reinvented at an incredibly fast pace, but the payoffs feel like an arms race.
This was the big complaint just a page or 2 back. Many of us are quitting because we can't keep up with paying another $500-1000 to play the new Tier deck. The power level of cards increasing has made the meta change a bit too much for many people's liking. Then there is the question on whether something could get banned for being too powerful.
I've personally gone from "Which super special, limited, alternate, promo, foil version of these cards do I want to represent myself in this deck?" to "Do I even want to bother buying these in paper at all?"

With the unease of artificial shake ups coming from bans and busted new printings, there's just no motivation to actually buy into anything. The only reason I justified buying into Bant Snow online is I sold a bunch of my Shadow stuff to pay for the Uros and Snakes to complement the UW staples I already had. And the only reason I feel comfortable doing that is that I can dump them in an instant to any number of buybots.
Many players joined Modern because they felt that it was a non rotating format.
Looking back on our history, has that EVER really been the case? Bans shaped most of the early years, and constant bans/busted new things shaped the last several. Was there any time this DIDN'T feel like a rotating format?

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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

Not really. I had a window where I wasnt playing much (Pod/TC Ban) and so I like to think there was, but in reality? There wasnt.

Modern has never been stable, and this was by design. Wizards would repeatedly, and with hindsight predictably, ban a deck out of the format's competitive meta.

This can be seen when looking at it from a lens of 'Twin was banned for the Pro Tour'.

All bans have either been.

Pro Tour shake up.
Warping Meta Games.

The only reason some of us still see it as the best, is that despite that, when the format was BGx vs URx, it was still the most competitively diverse format Wizard's has had.

It's ruined now though, no way it can come back. Vintage and Legacy are also ruined, and Pioneer is a shallow joke.

You can play EDH, or Limited if you like to just crack some packs with friends, but I would not recommend the game at this point to anyone as something worth investing meaningful cash into, which is what it takes to play Modern, or keep up with Standard rotation.
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Post by The Fluff » 11 months ago

Dropping by again here to say that so far as our testing goes at mtgs.. Yorion has been very good. Also nice that Lurrus is taking most of the heat, so our 4/5 flyer feels safe from the hammer.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 11 months ago

The Fluff wrote:
11 months ago
Dropping by again here to say that so far as our testing goes at mtgs.. Yorion has been very good. Also nice that Lurrus is taking most of the heat, so our 4/5 flyer feels safe from the hammer.
It's a bit of an odd situation. MTGO has had companions for what feels like a month already (probably closer to 2 weeks). Companions come out in paper in 11 days. There probably won't be any Sanctioned paper tournaments even after those 11 days until possibly 1-3 months later. Bans could easily happen in paper before the set even comes out, lol. Kind of like a Lutri, the Spellchaser situation...
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Post by The Fluff » 11 months ago

@FoodChainGoblins

starting to get comfortable with 80 card deck. Funny because had to change shuffling habits. Shuffle half of the deck, then shuffle the other half, then mash them together before presenting to the opponent to cut. Well.. there's no opponent to cut it because I'm in quarantine. But the other people in the mtgs thread are playing their Yorion decks online, so he's getting tested in real games, so far with promising results. I hope wotc let us keep using this amazing card for awhile. :)
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Post by drmarkb » 11 months ago

idSurge wrote:
11 months ago
Not really. I had a window where I wasnt playing much (Pod/TC Ban) and so I like to think there was, but in reality? There wasnt.

Modern has never been stable, and this was by design. Wizards would repeatedly, and with hindsight predictably, ban a deck out of the format's competitive meta.

This can be seen when looking at it from a lens of 'Twin was banned for the Pro Tour'.

All bans have either been.

Pro Tour shake up.
Warping Meta Games.

The only reason some of us still see it as the best, is that despite that, when the format was BGx vs URx, it was still the most competitively diverse format Wizard's has had.


It's ruined now though, no way it can come back. Vintage and Legacy are also ruined, and Pioneer is a shallow joke.

You can play EDH, or Limited if you like to just crack some packs with friends, but I would not recommend the game at this point to anyone as something worth investing meaningful cash into, which is what it takes to play Modern, or keep up with Standard rotation.
I agree with everything to a point, but the bolded bit. BGx vs URx was truly awful Mtg. No other fair deck was worth playing if you were new, because BGx especially was well below burn in terms of skill requirements, and Abrupt Decay meant that you had to be BGx, not any other colour combo. The decks built themselves, and you could watch new players make mistake after mistake after mistake and still win. Other decks required some skill, but BGx was ridiculously overloaded with good removal, fine creatures that picked themselves and card advantage. I would honestly rather have no fair decks than one all forgiving one. It felt the same as playing Eldrazi vs non Eldrazi in Eldrazi winter, they had all the tools and could make mistakes and still come out on top, new players, bad players, just did not matter- and BGx was probably the reason I owned two different Twin lists in paper.

Canlander is great, self regulating, and unexplored, plus Legacy and Vintage can recover. Modern, no, and Pioneer will be absolutely fine for a couple of years as it picks up a few essential bans before it goes the way of Modern as the pool expands and hate is just not there to give tolerance for what is left.

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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

Different strokes I suppose.

I'd go back to that format in an instant, and it's no surprise that another high point for Modern was after the Jace/BBE unban specifically pushed Jund and UWR Control to prominence for a bit.

I don't mind if a specific deck is just solved, and subbing in a few cards per the meta.

That's actually the point for a lot of us.

The meta at the time simply seemed better, other than one window where Teferi/Search was playable, there's no better Modern format, and it was by far the most popular competitive format.
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Post by Aazadan » 11 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
11 months ago
I've personally gone from "Which super special, limited, alternate, promo, foil version of these cards do I want to represent myself in this deck?" to "Do I even want to bother buying these in paper at all?"
My issue has been less of that and more, with the economy being what it is, are paper magic cards which I'm unlikely to be able to use much if at all in the next several months worth buying? Buying further into Modern (or Magic at all) at the moment, feels a bit like buying into Vintage. Sure, it will be cool when I get to play the cards, but when will I get to play the cards?

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Post by drmarkb » 11 months ago

It is all subjective. Jund second time round was not as bad, because it was not the only fair deck and had more variation. Jace unban was a decent era, hated losing to UW but it was a decent meta. I mean technically anything is better than the last 9 months, even Decay v Twin.v Tron. Modern has always been a manipulated format though....

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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

I think that is a reality that I had not really internalized before, but it is true.

The format did not 'police itself' as we all fooled ourselves into thinking. It was managed, based on pretty arbitrary choices, by Wizards.
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Post by ktkenshinx » 11 months ago

Week 2 metagame update is live. Here are the stats and relative Week 1 --> Week 2 changes for those who can't check out the full piece yet:
  1. Burn: 13.1% (58) ▼2.3%
  2. Jund: 6.8% (30) ▼1.5%
  3. Prowess: 5.9% (26) ▲1.2%
  4. Humans: 5% (22) ▼0.5%
  5. Devoted Devastation: 5% (22) ▲0.7%
  6. Bant Snow Control: 4.7% (21) -0%
  7. Temur Urza: 4.7% (21) ▲1.9%
  8. Amulet Titan: 4.3% (19) ▲0.3%
  9. Hardened Scales: 3.6% (16) ▲0.4
  10. Ponza: 3.4% (15) ▲1%
  11. Ad Nauseam: 2.9% (13) ▲0.5%
  12. Eldrazi Tron: 2.3% (10) ▼0.1%
  13. Grixis Delver: 2.3% (10) ▼1.3%
  14. The Rock: 2.3% (10) ▼0.5%
  15. Dredge: 2% (9) ▼1.6%
  16. 5C Niv: 1.8% (8) ▼0.2%
  17. Neobrand: 1.8% (8) -0%
This is still a relatively diverse picture from a strategic perspective, but companions are still rampant. In particular, Lurrus alone is somewhere between 44%-50% of the whole format with companions as a whole defining 60%+ of decks. I have more specific takeaways and details in the article itself.

Article:
https://mtgmodernmetrics.wordpress.com/ ... ko-week-2/

Reddit post:
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Aazadan
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Post by Aazadan » 11 months ago

That honestly looks like a fairly healthy meta.

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Post by cfusionpm » 11 months ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
11 months ago
The Fluff wrote:
11 months ago
Dropping by again here to say that so far as our testing goes at mtgs.. Yorion has been very good. Also nice that Lurrus is taking most of the heat, so our 4/5 flyer feels safe from the hammer.
It's a bit of an odd situation. MTGO has had companions for what feels like a month already (probably closer to 2 weeks). Companions come out in paper in 11 days. There probably won't be any Sanctioned paper tournaments even after those 11 days until possibly 1-3 months later. Bans could easily happen in paper before the set even comes out, lol. Kind of like a Lutri, the Spellchaser situation...
There realistically won't be any paper events for longer than that. Possibly the rest of the year. States that opened up are already seeing spikes in infections (and apparently that is coming as a shock to some).

Paper Magic is dead until COVID-19 is under control, and that's not likely happening until at least 2021.

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