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

Aazadan
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Post by Aazadan » 11 months ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
11 months ago
Aazadan wrote:
11 months ago
cfusionpm wrote:
11 months ago
So in less than half the time, we've had more than double the cards influence the format per set, and more than two and a half times as many bans, or six and a half times as many bans per set.

Let's let that sink in when discussing the problems facing Modern (and Magic in general). Somewhere during/after the completion of Ravnica, they flipped a switch and have not looked back. Unclear how to rectify this at all moving forward...
I don't think the number of cards is really all that important. New cards should be entering the format. What really matters is how widespread they are, and how influential they are.
I think that's what he's getting at. Cards entering that are having a "damning" influence, thus causing widespread bans across formats. It's bad enough when just one format gets a ban; imagine 4 formats getting bans on the same day. Not to mention, there could easily have been more bans, as many players allude to cards that potentially also need banning, but haven't received it (Arcum's Astrolabe, Veil of Summer).

Within a week of Lurrus of the Dream-Den entering the MTGO format, it got 1st place in Vintage, Legacy, Modern, Pioneer, and Standard, in addition to hundreds of top 32s. That is too much of an influence. Whole formats are changed. Some lasting damage is done because as we know, when something is banned, it doesn't automatically go back to where it was before. It usually takes some time to adjust. Sometimes the damage is lasting.
Right, and that's a bad thing. But if you count things like Thalia's Lieutenant, Monastery Swiftspear, and Eidolon of the Great Revel as entering the format, the argument gets skewed. 100 of those cards are healthier for the format than a single Hogaak, Oko, or Lurrus.

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Post by cfusionpm » 11 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
11 months ago
cfusionpm wrote:
11 months ago
So in less than half the time, we've had more than double the cards influence the format per set, and more than two and a half times as many bans, or six and a half times as many bans per set.

Let's let that sink in when discussing the problems facing Modern (and Magic in general). Somewhere during/after the completion of Ravnica, they flipped a switch and have not looked back. Unclear how to rectify this at all moving forward...
I don't think the number of cards is really all that important. New cards should be entering the format. What really matters is how widespread they are, and how influential they are.
Imagine the difference of affect cards like Kolaghan's Command or Collective Brutality or Spell Queller or Tireless Tracker or Walking Ballista had for us. Cards which have color limitations, meaningful cost/benefit risks, reasonably costed, constructed playable, etc.

And compare that to cards like Oko, Veil, Once, Uro, Emry, WAR walkers, and all the MH cards. You see ridiculous value, no drawbacks, and with the ease of Astrolabe (or just green mana fixing in general) there's basically no cost or downside to run any of these cards.

Even the Companions are a perfect example of "no meaningful cost, with all the upside" in Lurrus, Yorion, and others.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 11 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
11 months ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
11 months ago
Aazadan wrote:
11 months ago


I don't think the number of cards is really all that important. New cards should be entering the format. What really matters is how widespread they are, and how influential they are.
I think that's what he's getting at. Cards entering that are having a "damning" influence, thus causing widespread bans across formats. It's bad enough when just one format gets a ban; imagine 4 formats getting bans on the same day. Not to mention, there could easily have been more bans, as many players allude to cards that potentially also need banning, but haven't received it (Arcum's Astrolabe, Veil of Summer).

Within a week of Lurrus of the Dream-Den entering the MTGO format, it got 1st place in Vintage, Legacy, Modern, Pioneer, and Standard, in addition to hundreds of top 32s. That is too much of an influence. Whole formats are changed. Some lasting damage is done because as we know, when something is banned, it doesn't automatically go back to where it was before. It usually takes some time to adjust. Sometimes the damage is lasting.
Right, and that's a bad thing. But if you count things like Thalia's Lieutenant, Monastery Swiftspear, and Eidolon of the Great Revel as entering the format, the argument gets skewed. 100 of those cards are healthier for the format than a single Hogaak, Oko, or Lurrus.
Yes, definitely true. It is a fine line to cross. It takes some sort of design and play testing (which I realize is not done for Modern) to ensure that some cards enter as staples or occasionally played, but do not completely define the format and are not necessary to win any matches in the format. I realize Ad Nauseam won the TeamLotusBox tournament and Kaheera Miracles won the online PTQ, but if you're not running Lurrus or Yorion right now, you're playing a bit loose to say the least.

Although I will say that you're not going to convince me on Eidolon of the Great Revel. I have an abnormal amount of hate for that card; a card that singlehandedly stopped me from playing Ascendancy, Storm, or Eggs. It still affected me when I ran Grishoalbrand and even when I played a deck that's good against it, I would draw an odd number of the few spells that were 3 and under. :( It's just my personal hate though, lol. Kind of like I have for Ashiok, Dream Render. %$#% that guy!
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Post by Aazadan » 11 months ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
11 months ago
Although I will say that you're not going to convince me on Eidolon of the Great Revel.
It might stop some decks you enjoy (and I get it, almost everything I enjoy in Modern loses to Tron, and always has), but a card like Eidolon is a great addition to the format. It's a good thing when red gets red feeling ways to interact with combo, just as it's good for any color to get an in color way to interact.

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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
11 months ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
11 months ago
Although I will say that you're not going to convince me on Eidolon of the Great Revel.
It might stop some decks you enjoy (and I get it, almost everything I enjoy in Modern loses to Tron, and always has), but a card like Eidolon is a great addition to the format. It's a good thing when red gets red feeling ways to interact with combo, just as it's good for any color to get an in color way to interact.
Big agree. Dies to creature and Enchant removal, easily interacted with, and is how card design should be.
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Post by The Fluff » 11 months ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
11 months ago
Modern Nexus posted a MN metagame update,
thanks for showing that. Shared link to friends on another forum.
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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
11 months ago
Here's our current N=803 top-tier:

MTGO MODERN META 04/18 - 05/19
1. Prowess: 9.7% (78)
2. Burn: 9.6% (77)
3. Jund: 8.1% (65)
4. Amulet Titan: 4.9% (39)
5. Devoted Devastation: 4.7% (38)
6. Ponza: 4.5% (36)
7. Bant Snow Control: 3.7% (30)
8. Temur Urza: 3.7% (30)
9. Humans: 3.5% (28)
10. Eldrazi Tron: 3.1% (25)
11. Hardened Scales: 2.9% (23)
12. Ad Nauseam: 2.6% (21)
13. Mono G Tron: 1.9% (15)
14. The Rock: 1.9% (15)
15. Bogles: 1.9% (15)
16. Grixis Delver: 1.6% (13)
17. 5C Niv: 1.6% (13)
18. Azorius Control: 1.6% (13)
19. 4C Uro Snow Control: 1.5% (12)
20. Neobrand: 1.4% (11)

This is a metagame that Lurrus is unequivocally dominating. 4 of our top 5 decks are Lurrus decks. Rx Aggro (Burn/Prowess) makes up 19.3% of the format, which is literally higher than URx Delver in the 1.5 months prior to its ban (17.4%). Beyond Lurrus, companions are still hyper-dominant. Every Tier 1 deck but Amulet Titan is a companion deck. There are still some lower tier decks which don't use companions (ramp and some combo, also the surprising Humans), but it's really just companions all the way down. To emphasize that point, here's the table:

image.png

71% (!!) of top-tier decks use companions. That's way up from our last meta update where it was "just" 66%. In that regard, I agree with David's conclusion that companions as a whole are a problem, but a) want to restate it much more strongly because they are a BIG problem, b) want to emphasize Lurrus is not just a "better" companion but a singular problem on its own (51% of top-tier being Lurrus decks is unacceptable), and c) need people to realize Lurrus is overwhelmingly helping a few decks and not leading to an overall renaissance in diversity. Early on, it appeared Lurrus was actually helping other strategies like weird Ux control decks, Grixis Delver, Shadow variants, The Rock, and others. By the end of Week 4, however, it's clear Lurrus is really just helping Burn, Prowess, Jund, and Devastation. All the other decks are losing points from week to week as people realize they are just worse versions of existing decks. Even Shadow decks collectively make up just 2.2% across all color combinations.

This is the part you need to share.
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Post by The Fluff » 11 months ago

yeah, also shared the numbers. :)
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 11 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
11 months ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
11 months ago
Although I will say that you're not going to convince me on Eidolon of the Great Revel.
It might stop some decks you enjoy (and I get it, almost everything I enjoy in Modern loses to Tron, and always has), but a card like Eidolon is a great addition to the format. It's a good thing when red gets red feeling ways to interact with combo, just as it's good for any color to get an in color way to interact.
No, I know it's definitely 100% fine as a card design.

I just personally don't like the card. It stops the things that I like(d) to do. The Jeskai Ascendancy deck with Treasure Cruise when that was legal (and Treasure Delver and Rhino Pod ruled the format) was my favorite Modern deck. It's probably the only deck I told myself that I would just keep playing and never switch again. Everyone has those cards that they hate. I mean, I personally hate Ashiok, Dream Render more than T3feri, Narset, and Karn TGC, even if I know those are stronger and more oppressive.

*My first match w/ Ascendancy facing Burn with Eidolon went like this - my opponent plays turn 2 Eidolon of the Great Revel. I play Glittering Wish for Abrupt Decay and do that to the Eidolon the next turn. He runs out another one. I play Glittering Wish for Maelstrom Pulse. He runs out another one. I have another Glittering Wish, which can find Firespout to kill it, but what's the point at this stage? I scoop, realizing I'm beat by a hand that could have been 4 Mountains and 3 Eidolon of the Great Revel for all I care. :(

To recap, that's 6 damage from the first one - 2 X 2 spells and 2 combat damage. 4 from the next one, and a possible 4 from the next one. I'm not winning a game (vs. Burn in game 1) where it took me 14 damage to kill 3 creatures 1 for 1 on cards. That should enlighten someone on the start of me hating that card.
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Post by WizardMN » 11 months ago

Greeksis wrote:
11 months ago
There is a big problem here and I hope you already know it. This would be 100% functional eratta. Wizards said in the past that they don't do functional errata. The card reads "You may cast it once from outside the game"

See Kaheera, The Orphanguard.
"The card" doesn't say anything of the sort. Reminder text is not, and has never been, rules text. They can change the rules just fine and update the reminder text to simply do what it does now: explain the rule.

This would be more analogous to the Legend Rule change for Planeswalkers (or, hell, the 5 or 6 times the Legend Rule was change before that). It is certainly within their prerogative to make rules changes that affect cards. There is plenty of precedent for that. While these rules changes have often altered the power level of specific cards, it is something they have shown themselves willing to do.

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Post by blkdemonight » 11 months ago

This kind of errata happens from to time. Anyone remember when transformed cards didn't have a cmc value when flipped back in Innistrad till it was changed in Shadows over Innistrad?

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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

If they actually wanted to balance it.
Greeksis wrote:
11 months ago
You want to do this a "Draw hand, put N+1 to the bottom where N is times mulliganed, add companion to hand."
You do "Draw hand, put N to the bottom where N is times mulliganed, then randomly put 1 card on the bottom of your library. Add companion to hand."

Even then, you still are at the advantage.
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Post by Bearscape » 11 months ago

idSurge wrote:
11 months ago
If they actually wanted to balance it.
Greeksis wrote:
11 months ago
You want to do this a "Draw hand, put N+1 to the bottom where N is times mulliganed, add companion to hand."
You do "Draw hand, put N to the bottom where N is times mulliganed, then randomly put 1 card on the bottom of your library. Add companion to hand."

Even then, you still are at the advantage.
That's unplayable. Do you ever keep a two-lander?
Greeksis wrote:
11 months ago
WizardMN wrote:
11 months ago
Greeksis wrote:
11 months ago
There is a big problem here and I hope you already know it. This would be 100% functional eratta. Wizards said in the past that they don't do functional errata. The card reads "You may cast it once from outside the game"

See Kaheera, The Orphanguard.
"The card" doesn't say anything of the sort. Reminder text is not, and has never been, rules text. They can change the rules just fine and update the reminder text to simply do what it does now: explain the rule.
I am sorry. I really can understand. Kaheera, The Orphanguard reads "(If this card is your chosen companion, you may cast it once from outside the game.)"

How doesn't it say so? It's right there, on the card. Genuinely asking. I am not a rules guru. I have a high level judge that just confirmed what I say, but that does not mean he is right.
I can't find the quote, but Mark Rosewater has acknowledged that with the digitalisation of magic through Arena, they're more likely to do functional errata (I believe he even said that it's a "when" not an "if"). Just recently Ajani Pridemade got erratad with packs including the un-errata'd version still being sold. And that was for a tiny quality of life improvement on Arena, not a multi-format warping mechanic.

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Post by Bearscape » 11 months ago

I found that quote too, but around the drama of Oko functional errata also came up and in my mind there was an "when, not if" quote from Maro. I also think errataing a card from 15 years ago mostly for aesthetic reasons is a completely different question from fixing one of the most broken mechanics ever created.

I also think that, although functional errata has been taboo for years, with Arena I believe it is a good time to break that taboo. To bring up Oko again, the card did interesting things making UG more viable in eternal formats, and if the numbers would have been tweaked better it could have added to those formats for the better. It doesn't even matter much for kitchen table magic; if the lone unicorns still exists who crack packs and play with the cards in them, their singleton Oko will not significantly affect the game more or less depending on whether his +1 is a -1.

If it matters for anyone, Yu-Gi-Oh has been doing MAJOR functional erratas since 2014. Compare the original Crush Card Virus:
Tribute 1 DARK monster with 1000 or less ATK. Check all monsters on your opponent's side of the field, your opponent's hand, and all cards they draw (until the end of your opponent's 3rd turn after this card's activation), and destroy all monsters with 1500 or more ATK.
To its errata'd version:
Tribute 1 DARK monster with 1000 or less ATK; your opponent takes no damage until the end of the next turn, also you look at your opponent's hand and all monsters they control, and if you do, destroy the monsters among them with 1500 or more ATK, then your opponent can destroy up to 3 monsters with 1500 or more ATK in their Deck.
That sure is a much larger difference from casting your Companion from hand instead of from exile.

EDIT: errata should definitely be uniform across digital and paper, though. Imagine there being a difference in standard and digital metagame because they errata'd Lukka or something like that.

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Post by WizardMN » 11 months ago

Greeksis wrote:
11 months ago
WizardMN wrote:
11 months ago
Greeksis wrote:
11 months ago
There is a big problem here and I hope you already know it. This would be 100% functional eratta. Wizards said in the past that they don't do functional errata. The card reads "You may cast it once from outside the game"

See Kaheera, The Orphanguard.
"The card" doesn't say anything of the sort. Reminder text is not, and has never been, rules text. They can change the rules just fine and update the reminder text to simply do what it does now: explain the rule.
I am sorry. I really can understand. Kaheera, The Orphanguard reads "(If this card is your chosen companion, you may cast it once from outside the game.)"

How doesn't it say so? It's right there, on the card. Genuinely asking. I am not a rules guru. I have a high level judge that just confirmed what I say, but that does not mean he is right.
To be fair, it was more of a glib response. The point is that anything in Italics is not rules text. That is, from a rules perspective, the only thing the card actually says is "Companion" (plus its Companion restriction). Sure, the reminder text is there to explain what Companion means but that isn't, in itself, rules text. Which means that any change to the Companion mechanic is a change to the Companion rules in the CR, not to the cards themselves.

It is why Exalted Angel works the same as Hooded Hydra even though the latter doesn't have the Reminder Text for Morph.

Again, I used the example of the Legend Rule. That was a change to the Rule. Granted, nothing had reminder text explaining it but the change to the Legend Rule wasn't power-level errata in the context of what you are saying; it was a rule change that happened to affect a lot of cards.

So too would it be with Companion. Because the rules aren't actually printed on the card, they have the freedom to change the underlying rule which changes the functionality of the cards rather than changing the cards themselves.

It is also important to recognize that they don't *like* doing power-level errata if they can help it, but it still isn't off the table. The entire removal of the Planeswalker Redirection Rule + errata of spells damaging Planeswalkers could be considered power level errata if you look at it that way. Being able to target a planeswalker directly could be more or less powerful depending on the situation.

Or, when they changed the rules of Lifelink and Deathtouch. Both changes could have been considered power level errata. The following cards now work differently than their cards say they do if you consider changing Reminder text to be a real change:

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Post by Aazadan » 11 months ago

Greeksis wrote:
11 months ago
I am sorry. I really can understand. Kaheera, The Orphanguard reads "(If this card is your chosen companion, you may cast it once from outside the game.)"
Reminder text, is text in italics and doesn't use the technical language in rules, but is rather a more simplified version meant for newer players.

Rules text is not italicized.

To give an example, look at Blind Obedience. The rules text is simply "Extort". Extort is then defined specifically in the rules as follows.
702.100. Extort
702.100a Extort is a triggered ability. "Extort" means "Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {W/B}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain life equal to the total life lost this way."
702.100b If a permanent has multiple instances of extort, each triggers separately.
On the other hand, the reminder text is "(Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay White or Black. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)"

So what's the difference you might ask? Well, the rules text on the card is simply "Extort", this means the card doesn't technically have hybrid mana on it, and therefore it can be played in an EDH deck with just white in it. If the reminder text were part of the rules, the color identity would otherwise be both white and black. On the other hand, Extort can be changed by changing rule 702, which would change how that card works without it being functional errata. However if Blind Obedience were changed to have the Extort keyword twice, that would be functional.

Another example, is that premium versions of cards are often times printed without reminder text, because players who like those cards generally don't like to have, and don't need, such text. See these examples

Gilded Goose without reminder text
Gilded Goose with reminder text

As strange as it may seem, reminder text (like flavor text, the other italicized text) doesn't actually have any bearing on what the card does because it doesn't actually count as text on the card.

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Post by idSurge » 11 months ago

Bearscape wrote:
11 months ago
That's unplayable. Do you ever keep a two-lander?
Probably not. It being unplayable in that form just speaks to how flawed the concept is in the first place. There should be significant cost to getting a 100% guaranteed card in your opening hand. Like REALLY significant.

At any other metric, unless you actually just start down a card period, its never going to be balanced.
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Post by Aazadan » 11 months ago

idSurge wrote:
11 months ago
Probably not. It being unplayable in that form just speaks to how flawed the concept is in the first place. There should be significant cost to getting a 100% guaranteed card in your opening hand. Like REALLY significant.
For this set of companions, a color identity rule could likely balance them. All cards need to be within the companion color identity, due to the restrictive nature of hybrid mana this would very much limit them.

That said, WotC doesn't like that rule, and even the Commander RC says that rule needs to go eventually at this point. So it's at best a temporary solution. If there's others in the pipeline it doesn't fix them either.

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Post by drmarkb » 11 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
11 months ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
11 months ago
Although I will say that you're not going to convince me on Eidolon of the Great Revel.
It might stop some decks you enjoy (and I get it, almost everything I enjoy in Modern loses to Tron, and always has), but a card like Eidolon is a great addition to the format. It's a good thing when red gets red feeling ways to interact with combo, just as it's good for any color to get an in color way to interact.
Agree, it was a good card for Modern and Legacy. Stopping ascendancy, eggs etc. would normally be done by a trisphere/chalice prison deck, in their absence Eidolon was a good way of plugging the hole in Modern to make sure decks like eggs etc don't get too strong. Maindeckable and symmetrical (unless you are trying to combo with 20 actions in a turn, in which case those players need to understand that you just can't goldfish everyone game 1 and adapt their plan to include removal and go off more slowly or less reliably). As usual, the hate bear colour got jank whilst red got one of the better hatebears in the format.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 11 months ago

drmarkb wrote:
11 months ago
Aazadan wrote:
11 months ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
11 months ago
Although I will say that you're not going to convince me on Eidolon of the Great Revel.
It might stop some decks you enjoy (and I get it, almost everything I enjoy in Modern loses to Tron, and always has), but a card like Eidolon is a great addition to the format. It's a good thing when red gets red feeling ways to interact with combo, just as it's good for any color to get an in color way to interact.
Agree, it was a good card for Modern and Legacy. Stopping ascendancy, eggs etc. would normally be done by a trisphere/chalice prison deck, in their absence Eidolon was a good way of plugging the hole in Modern to make sure decks like eggs etc don't get too strong. Maindeckable and symmetrical (unless you are trying to combo with 20 actions in a turn, in which case those players need to understand that you just can't goldfish everyone game 1 and adapt their plan to include removal and go off more slowly or less reliably). As usual, the hate bear colour got jank whilst red got one of the better hatebears in the format.
The hate bear color got Eidolon of Rhetoric, which unfortunately usually needs a mana dork as its turn 1 "companion" to be as quick and efficient as an Eidolon of the Great Revel. Just that extra mana made a huge difference, even if the Rhetoric prevents any more than 1 spell from being cast at all and has that magical 4 toughness. Btw, this card has caused havoc for my decks as well. It's just a lot less prevalent.

*Taking many actions is what I live for. Some BGx players like to gain card advantage. I like extremes. I like to draw my deck, like Storm or Neoform. I don't want a 2 for 1; I live for the 40 for 1. While I'm certainly glad that these types of decks have rarely been the best Modern deck, I personally love playing them when they are solid or under the radar.
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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Post by blkdemonight » 11 months ago

Bearscape wrote:
11 months ago
I found that quote too, but around the drama of Oko functional errata also came up and in my mind there was an "when, not if" quote from Maro. I also think errataing a card from 15 years ago mostly for aesthetic reasons is a completely different question from fixing one of the most broken mechanics ever created.

I also think that, although functional errata has been taboo for years, with Arena I believe it is a good time to break that taboo. To bring up Oko again, the card did interesting things making UG more viable in eternal formats, and if the numbers would have been tweaked better it could have added to those formats for the better. It doesn't even matter much for kitchen table magic; if the lone unicorns still exists who crack packs and play with the cards in them, their singleton Oko will not significantly affect the game more or less depending on whether his +1 is a -1.

If it matters for anyone, Yu-Gi-Oh has been doing MAJOR functional erratas since 2014. Compare the original Crush Card Virus:
Tribute 1 DARK monster with 1000 or less ATK. Check all monsters on your opponent's side of the field, your opponent's hand, and all cards they draw (until the end of your opponent's 3rd turn after this card's activation), and destroy all monsters with 1500 or more ATK.
To its errata'd version:
Tribute 1 DARK monster with 1000 or less ATK; your opponent takes no damage until the end of the next turn, also you look at your opponent's hand and all monsters they control, and if you do, destroy the monsters among them with 1500 or more ATK, then your opponent can destroy up to 3 monsters with 1500 or more ATK in their Deck.
That sure is a much larger difference from casting your Companion from hand instead of from exile.

EDIT: errata should definitely be uniform across digital and paper, though. Imagine there being a difference in standard and digital metagame because they errata'd Lukka or something like that.
Thanks for reminding Sangan errata. Or what Pokemon TCG did to Bill card by retroactively giving a card type that never existed in the beginning or any card text that would have given the excuse to do so.

TheBoulderer
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Post by TheBoulderer » 10 months ago

@ktkenshinx To expand on the Modern Nexus metagame update: For some reason I don't fully understand, David always defends super-bannable cards. The data always gets "complicated", or "recent trends are muddeling the picture", or absurdly prevalent cards are "falling off". He did this with Hogaak, Faithless Looting AND Oko, claiming that his data wasn't unequivocal when in truth, it absolutely must have been. Now he's doing it with Lurrus.

I won't speculate why that is, but it's stood out to me several times over the last couple years.

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ktkenshinx
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Post by ktkenshinx » 10 months ago

Re: companion mechanic
At this point, I wouldn't dismiss any possible change to the mechanic. Wizards is actively looking at a mechanic change, not simply a ban. This is why they put such an unprecedented quote and acknowledgement in their recent B&R. We should be considering all possible avenues Wizards might use to change the mechanic. Wizards has altered card rules from printed card texts for years. One of the most glaring examples of this would be walls, which got erratad to have defender even though old walls don't have the word printed on them. I'll also emphasize that reminder text is NOT rules text with game function:

207.2. The text box may also contain italicized text that has no game function

207.2a Reminder text is italicized text within parentheses that summarizes a rule that applies to that card. It usually appears on the same line as the ability it's relevant to, but it may appear on its own line if it applies to an aspect of the card other than an ability


Wizards can 100% change how companion works without setting any precedent of altering the written rules on cards as functional errata.
TheBoulderer wrote:
10 months ago
ktkenshinx To expand on the Modern Nexus metagame update: For some reason I don't fully understand, David always defends super-bannable cards. The data always gets "complicated", or "recent trends are muddeling the picture", or absurdly prevalent cards are "falling off". He did this with Hogaak, Faithless Looting AND Oko, claiming that his data wasn't unequivocal when in truth, it absolutely must have been. Now he's doing it with Lurrus.

I won't speculate why that is, but it's stood out to me several times over the last couple years.
I believe this is because data scientists and data-driven writers feel obligated to take a nuanced middle ground that appreciates complexities on all sides of an issue. This is a good mandate because so much written content, especially Modern/Magic content, does not appreciate any nuance in its subject matter. It has often been easier to make broad-stroke, overstated generalizations about a topic. Internet-based content and the clicks/upvotes/Retweets/etc. system made that even worse than it was in 19th century printed news days. In that regard, authors like David want to provide a voice of reason in an often unreasonable conversation. That said, this can get writers like David and I into trouble if we're equivocating for the sake of appearances, not because the issue is complicated. This is why I stepped down from my normally anti-ban platform over last summer to demand a Hogaak emergency ban. Or why I've called for 4+ bans this year alone. Sometimes, the data does point to the format being profoundly broken and then we need to call it out for what it is.
Over-Extended/Modern Since 2010

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Post by drmarkb » 10 months ago

It is always good to want to appear reasonable and moderate about all things and not over react until you wake up one day to discover the country is fascist/communist/French/advocating 5G coronavirus theories. At which point panic and/or protest is the order of the day. We have certainly reached those times in Mtg terms. I dislike bans and unbans alike, but sometimes you just have to ban.
I don't mean it about the French, btw before anyone complains (they are England's historical frenemy).

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Post by motleyslayer » 10 months ago

In regards to WotC announcing that they may have to make changes to the way companion works as a mechanic is probably a sign that they're gonna be changing it soon, otherwise I feel they just would have left it unsaid

A lot of the bans they've had to do across all formats just seems like they've been due to oversights in regards to power level and them not testing well enough. Normally I hate bans myself but the power level has been absurd

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