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

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Sojourner Dusk
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Post by Sojourner Dusk » 2 years ago

There is an easier answer to both FL (which is very useful in a BR Madness deck I'm brewing) and Hogaak: unban DRS. It's been in the doghouse long enough.
Can it accelerate games? Yes, but there are already goldfish scenarios that enable Turn 2 wins for certain decks.
Can it apply pressure to Hogaak and Phoenix decks? Absolutely,
Could it warp the format? Mildly, and to a much lesser extent than Hogaak has in its brief tenure.
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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
When Bloodbraid Elf was banned instead of Deathrite Shaman, how long did it take before Bloodbraid Elf was unbanned? Is that long I have to wait to see Bridge from Below back in Modern? Or good riddance because it was really good with a banned (what we presume will happen) card? (Hogaak)
Bridge was never going to do anything remotely fair though. What does it do other than ask players to dump things into the GY, which we already have enough of?
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Post by Necrofish » 2 years ago

cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
Dedicated hate cards belong in the sideboard. The minute they start being correct to main board, you have a warped and unhealthy format.
I agree with this statement. Your main board is about your own strategy and deck. Your Sideboard is a variable in the following games, since not every card inside it will see play in a match. This allows the Sideboard to more specific and reactive. It's about the strategy and deck you're playing against.
Seeing hate cards in the mainboard speaks for the fact that you expect a very specific enemy strategy. In this case, Leyline of the Void mainboard means that you expect GY enemy decks in bascially every match up.

As it stands now, WotC has acknowledged GY strategies in modern, but the answers to it still aren't comparable
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
When Bloodbraid Elf was banned instead of Deathrite Shaman, how long did it take before Bloodbraid Elf was unbanned? Is that long I have to wait to see Bridge from Below back in Modern? Or good riddance because it was really good with a banned (what we presume will happen) card? (Hogaak)
Bridge was never going to do anything remotely fair though. What does it do other than ask players to dump things into the GY, which we already have enough of?
It never did anything wrong before. It took a "5 G/B G/B Delve/Convoke 8/8 trample, can cast from graveyard" to break it. If that 8/8 is banned, then Bridge is fine. I'll come up with 2 examples and no, I'm (obv.) not saying that these cards are or are not as powerful as Hogaak or Bridge.

1. Thopter/Sword didn't do much in Modern after its unbanning. It took an insane card, Urza, to even push it to near Tier 1.

2. Birthing Pod. The card actually DID do a lot. It was Tier 1 and possibly a bit past that until Siege Rhino was printed. They chose to ban the latter card, which I can understand that they want to print busted creatures, creatures that make Siege Rhino owners literally tear up their card at how bad the Rhino will be. I personally wanted Rhino banned so Pod could live. I loved Pod, mostly playing against it. Sorry, I was not on Burn, Aggro, or BGx decks that got murdered by Pod.

I'm just wondering how long it takes for a card incorrectly banned to come back. Many Pros and writers may have said that a card other than Hogaak should be banned before the announcement. But we don't know their motivation. Maybe they want a busted deck for the Mythic Championship? Maybe they are told by SCG/CFB/etc. not to say a specific card? We don't know. I personally believe that most people knew that Hogaak was the correct ban.

I'm talking about what they believe, not what they say. I don't want it banned because I can win a lot of matches. But I believe that it should be banned.

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Post by iTaLenTZ » 2 years ago

Sojourner Dusk wrote:
2 years ago
There is an easier answer to both FL (which is very useful in a BR Madness deck I'm brewing) and Hogaak: unban DRS. It's been in the doghouse long enough.
Can it accelerate games? Yes, but there are already goldfish scenarios that enable Turn 2 wins for certain decks.
Can it apply pressure to Hogaak and Phoenix decks? Absolutely,
Could it warp the format? Mildly, and to a much lesser extent than Hogaak has in its brief tenure.
I have been thinking about this as well. DRS has historically always been a cornerstone in midrange and interactive decks. I am just afraid its another Wrenn in the sense that it doesn't help that much vs degenerate decks but simply stomps on everything else that is already struggling. Phoenix bolts it, then discards, Tron/Valakut/Amulet all ignore him, Dredge/Hoogak are too fast and have abundance of dredgers/enablers thus can flood the graveyard/board on turn 2, he doesn't remove Sword of the Meek. All it would do is swing the UW control matchup completely in Jund's favor and absolutely stomp any creature reliant deck by enabling turn 2 Liliana's and turn 3 Bloodbraids. I don't think this is the direction we want to go.

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

Right, but Thopter/Sword, is a slow, and fair. Pod, well Pod was one of the best decks of Modern's history. Pod, should not be unbanned.

I mean I just dont see why I should care about Bridge. Its not a card the format needs, it does nothing to contribute towards anything but 'throw more %$#% into the GY please, and try and go infinite'.

If you want to die on a hill of 'nothing should be on the ban list that doesnt NEED to be banned.' Then this is your thread, as thats all we will probably do around here.

The reason I personally dont believe Hogaak was the probable initial ban? Look at how many decks have actually been banned out intentionally lately.

Twin - Near 4 Years ago.
Bloom - Allowed to live.
Eldrazi - Allowed to live.
Delver - Teir 2/3 collateral damage.
Storm - Allowed to live.
Dredge - Allowed to live.
KCI - Dead, as it was near impossible to interact with, had absurd win rates in the hand's of pro's who knew it, and had massive outcry from the PT/GP/SCG crowd to remove it.
Bridge - Hogaak, allowed to live.

So really, of the 'competitive decks' that have eaten a ban.

Twin, KCI. Every other ban has been done in an attempt to nerf, not nuke.

If that is Wizards' mindset, why was Hogaak the 'correct' ban? EMERGENCY ban no less? Heck, the Pro's have even said it was an 'interesting' pro tour. They dont even like the format, who cares if Hogaak breaks the format for them? They LITERALLY dont care.

Contrary to what you are saying it IS about what people like, and it is NOT about what is acceptable.

You and I both know Twin and SFM have no place on the ban list, but here we are. What is acceptable, is irrelevant, in the real world that Wizard's maintains.

As to DRS: We do not need more 'turn 1 you must remove this' play's in Modern.

We need more Turn 3/Turn 4 'you must remove this' plays in Modern.
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Post by Zorakkiller » 2 years ago

at this point I can get behind a drs unban, although gsz and twin would do more good

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Post by Necrofish » 2 years ago

I would prefer WotC to combat current threats with more answers rather than more threats.
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Post by iTaLenTZ » 2 years ago

What pisses me off about the Ban list is the inconsistency.

Preordain: Its becoming a meme compared to FL and AS
SFM: Turn 2 Squire, Turn 3 a 4/4 lifelink with vigilance. Is it that scary compared to what other decks are doing by turn 3?
GSZ: I guess Bogles and Infect would love this card but is it really too good? It sees some play in Legacy but I never felt like the card was doing something completely broken to justify a ban.
Pod: I think it would be too slow in today's format. I wouldn't mind having Pod back in Modern at all since we have Wrenn now as well.

Twin: I don't even think it would be tier 1 now but I don't like it long term. I played a lot vs Twin 4 years ago while I was still a Jund player so I had a very favourable matchup. What I didn't liked though was the play pattern. By turn 2/3 depending on whether I was on the play or draw I could NEVER outtap thus do something and put pressure and it felt like I was playing some prison deck. Just by having Twin in your deck it reads 'all your opponent spells cost 2 more to cast'. I just don't think that is healthy gameplay.

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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
ktkenshinx wrote:
2 years ago
Open question to everyone: What do you and others believe is an acceptable average number of GY hate cards in a sideboard? Is it the same as hate for artifacts, lands, and other axes of gameplay? I have the MC4 numbers but I'm curious what people think is acceptable.
Personally, any dedicated GY hate above 0 main deck copies is too much and warping. It's similar to the fact that people don't (and shouldn't have to) run Ancient Grudge main deck, but it's totally acceptable to run modal spells like Kolaghan's Command or more recently, Abrade (though Abrade is only really main decked in bad UR control decks). For Graveyards, cards like Scavenging Ooze aren't dedicated GY hate, but incidental GY hate (with the upside of growing the creature and being an all-around good value 2 drop). These sorts of things offer additional separate value outside of possible targeted hate, and are never dead. And while Surgical Extraction is never technically a dead card, it's still pretty mind numbing to call any meta in which multiple main deck copies is a good decision "healthy." Never mind the ludicrous idea that Leyline of the Void main deck could be a thing; especially with London Mulligan to find them, and Faithless Looting to throw them away.

Dedicated hate cards belong in the sideboard. The minute they start being correct to main board, you have a warped and unhealthy format. I don't really know much about Legacy, but I imagine main deck Pyroblast has a similar feel.
referring to the part I put in bold. Agreed with that.

well, it was more than 6 years ago since I last played legacy during the time of TES and ANT.. but i don't remember anyone had mainboard pyroblasts.
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

iTaLenTZ wrote:
2 years ago
Twin: I don't even think it would be tier 1 now but I don't like it long term. I played a lot vs Twin 4 years ago while I was still a Jund player so I had a very favourable matchup. What I didn't liked though was the play pattern. By turn 2/3 depending on whether I was on the play or draw I could NEVER outtap thus do something and put pressure and it felt like I was playing some prison deck. Just by having Twin in your deck it reads 'all your opponent spells cost 2 more to cast'. I just don't think that is healthy gameplay.
I think it is considerably better and more healthy when compared to the alternative lines of play: Vomit everything in your hand as fast as possible and tell your opponent "deal with this or die" as early as turn 2. I would much rather there be forethought and consequences to recklessly playing everything out, instead of being rewarded with free wins if your opponent doesn't exactly have the right narrow answer. On the Twin side of the matchup, nothing terrified me more than seeing an opponent pass the turn with GB up. So while you may feel like you are slowing your own game, doing that absolutely slowing the opponents' too. This mind-games approach of representing and bluffing was amazing and led to long and interactive games. It also completely died with Twin. Again, we're now in the phase of "here's my stuff, deal with it or die" which is the epitome of boring battlecruiser Magic. The difference here though, is that our battlecruiser Magic is effectively over by turn 3ish many of the times.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 2 years ago

Re: GY hate
I agree something like Leyline or RiP has no place in MDs except in horribly warped metagames. That said, I have no issue with a versatile card like Ooze or even Surgical that hits non-GY decks in proper decks. Extraction hits not only GY strategies, which is a little narrow on its own, but also all synergy based Modern strategies. That's a huge chunk of decks including many combo and big mana strategies. I view this as no different whatsoever than playing sweepers in control decks even though those sweepers are totally dead or wildly inefficient in key top tier matchups. A much bigger issue is if decks need like, 8 pieces of GY hate between MD and SB o survive, and/or you are virtually guaranteed to lose without that hate. Those are separate issues that are independent from maindecking Surgical.

Re: DRS
Wizards has never said it, but I'm confident anything banned in Legacy from a Modern legal set that is currently banned in Modern is never coming off. That includes DRS, DTT, TC, Probe, MM, Skullclamp, and Top (think I got them all). Based on how Wizards has explicitly compared Modern and Legacy power level, and based on how they designed MH1 cards for Modern, there is simply no way they think these cards are appropriate for this format.

Re: Preordain
I am fully on board with a Preordain and Stirrings/Looting comparison. The rationale for why Stirrings is okay (Wizards explicitly stated it in the KCI article) can easily apply to Preordain. The so-called deck building limits of these cards are overstated in a format where so many different decks use them. Indeed, with Looting, the dig AND discard piece represents a unique deck building opportunity that Preordain can't match. The only barrier to Preordain is that it immediately slots into two existing top tier decks that don't need help.

Caveat to all of this : nothing else should change except a Hogaak ban on 08/26. Having crunched the MC4 stats, that deck is disgusting by every metric I know and I struggle to see a scenario where it isn't dominant at the GP level or isnt horribly warping. Once Hogaak is gone (barring some improbable metagame adaption I can't picture right now), we can let WAR and MH1 Modern settle and see what happens next.
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Post by metalmusic_4 » 2 years ago

Sojourner Dusk wrote:
2 years ago
There is an easier answer to both FL (which is very useful in a BR Madness deck I'm brewing) and Hogaak: unban DRS. It's been in the doghouse long enough.
Can it accelerate games? Yes, but there are already goldfish scenarios that enable Turn 2 wins for certain decks.
Can it apply pressure to Hogaak and Phoenix decks? Absolutely,
Could it warp the format? Mildly, and to a much lesser extent than Hogaak has in its brief tenure.
1) DRS is banned in legacy and won't ever be unbanned in modern.
2) hogaak will not be held in check by DRS, it will USE IT!

It's a one drop (hybrid mana even) creature in hogaak colors that makes mana, semi-controls the grave yard, gains life, drains life and oh yeah it's a 1/2 So it can attack a bit too, after it triggers vengevine and convokes out hogaak that is. I played alot while this was legal and it was everywhere. It wasn't just in jund, it was the first card banned from the birthing pod deck which had to use birds of paradise after that. Everywhere you see noble hierarch you will almost certainly see DRS with few exceptions like humans. DRS would be a smaller problem than hogaak is, but DRS will make this problem worse not better.
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Post by Wraithpk » 2 years ago

cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago

Personally, any dedicated GY hate above 0 main deck copies is too much and warping. It's similar to the fact that people don't (and shouldn't have to) run Ancient Grudge main deck, but it's totally acceptable to run modal spells like Kolaghan's Command or more recently, Abrade (though Abrade is only really main decked in bad UR control decks). For Graveyards, cards like Scavenging Ooze aren't dedicated GY hate, but incidental GY hate (with the upside of growing the creature and being an all-around good value 2 drop). These sorts of things offer additional separate value outside of possible targeted hate, and are never dead. And while Surgical Extraction is never technically a dead card, it's still pretty mind numbing to call any meta in which multiple main deck copies is a good decision "healthy." Never mind the ludicrous idea that Leyline of the Void main deck could be a thing; especially with London Mulligan to find them, and Faithless Looting to throw them away.

Dedicated hate cards belong in the sideboard. The minute they start being correct to main board, you have a warped and unhealthy format. I don't really know much about Legacy, but I imagine main deck Pyroblast has a similar feel.
This, 100%. When people are main decking cards that are not historically main deckable, that's symptomatic of a problem. And to be honest, the graveyard decks were a problem even before Hogaak. UW lists started cutting Snapcaster Mage to play main deck Rest in Peace almost a year ago after Dredge got Creeping Chill., and as a blue mage that is appalling and sacrilegious to me.
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Post by Zorakkiller » 2 years ago

so here's a question is faithless looting restricting wizards design space?

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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

Zorakkiller wrote:
2 years ago
so here's a question is faithless looting restricting wizards design space?
Considering the stupid busted graveyard stuff they print nearly every set, I'm gonna go with "no." They are either oblivious to Looting's impact, or more terrifying, they know and don't care/are fine with it.

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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

gkourou wrote:
2 years ago
Twin: I don't even think it would be tier 1 now but I don't like it long term. I played a lot vs Twin 4 years ago while I was still a Jund player so I had a very favourable matchup. What I didn't liked though was the play pattern. By turn 2/3 depending on whether I was on the play or draw I could NEVER outtap thus do something and put pressure and it felt like I was playing some prison deck. Just by having Twin in your deck it reads 'all your opponent spells cost 2 more to cast'. I just don't think that is healthy gameplay.
If you were not a Jund player, that Twin situation would be a lot harder for you. We already know Wizards thinks Twin will limit the diversity they worked so hard to achieve in Modern. Modern means diversity. Twin used to break this.
Also, I think if Twin was unbanned, people would just jam the deck endlessly, resulting in huge 15-20% numbers, and Wizards would look like fools. They won't do it.

Now, think of Twin + Preordain. It would be out of hand pretty quickly.
This is the kind of totally unfounded, sensationalist, nonsensical, and unsupported hyperbole that, of all people, you used to spend lots of time and effort arguing against.
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Post by ktkenshinx » 2 years ago

Necrofish wrote:
2 years ago
I would prefer WotC to combat current threats with more answers rather than more threats.
I totally agree. They just aren't keeping pace with the threats they design. If Force of Negation is the upper end of a reactive, fair answer (a perfectly playable card that not all blue strategies will play) but Hogaak is the upper end of a proactive threat (holy %$#% broken), we have a major problem. I understand why this happens; most of the broken threats are only super strong as part of existing synergies Wizards might miss. This is in contrast to answers, which are easy to look at and test/tweak on their own merits. But whatever the reason, the power levels are not rising at the same time which is why we're on track for three bans this year alone.
Zorakkiller wrote:
2 years ago
so here's a question is faithless looting restricting wizards design space?
As CFP said, almost certainly not. Wizards either doesn't care about Looting's synergy with GY strategies or doesn't know about it. Wizards has printed nonstop cards to empower GY-based decks since 2016 all the way to a set designed with Modern primarily in mind. Looting absolutely does not restrict their ability to design increasingly broken graveyard cards.
gkourou wrote:
2 years ago
@ktkenshinx ,
About Preordain,
I think unbanning it would be a huge mistake and it's doing a nice service for it being banned.
1) Unbanning it makes UW and Phoenix close to bannable and there is a case it makes GDS very good again. Now, GDS is a tier 2 deck anymore, so it could be fine. But between the other two decks, there is got to be something wrong there. Think of UW with access to preordain and SFM(even if the shell is going to be a little bit different). Think of Phoenix with preordain instead of Serum.
2) I am sure there is a AF tweet mentioning "There needs to be an upside for us to unban a card". Pretty sure there is another one that is saying "Chalice of the void is a nice answer for a format that is leaning upon 1 cmc cards a little bit too much."
The first one is here to ask, why unban preordain? What's the upside? They unban cards to help decks. Decks that would receive Preordain do not need help at all. UW Control is Tier 1, UR Phoenix is Tier 1, Infect is coming back with some nice additions(if it ever plays the card),
The second begs the question, why don't start from higher cmc cards like Stoneforge Mystic?
3) "The problem with putting too much card filtering in a format is that it drives too many of the games to play out exactly the same. There is some novelty in this, but I think it is less fun for a format that we want to be highly re-playable". Not necessarily agree to this, but it's a question to answer. Sam Stoddart wrote this.
4) Combos take the card, future combo decks that can potentially play the card will play it. Do you want Neoform to become more consistent? Note here, combo decks already took a huge boost in the London Mulligan rule. Right now, combo decks are being pushed out of existence due to Hogaak. People are waiting for the deck to be banned to play the card. Decks like Neoform, RuG Scapeshift, Storm, Infect decks will also use the card.

All that said, I think a Preordain unban won't happen at all, and neither should it, if you ask me, but Wizard's opinion is the important factor here.
I preface all this by saying I fully agree it's never going to happen; hopefully none of my previous posts came off as a prediction. There are way too many barriers and Wizards cognitive dissonances at play for Preordain to ever be released. That said, here are my responses to these points.:

1. As we've both noted, UW and Phoenix are huge barriers to Preordain ever coming off. Preordain's unbanning also makes SFM and Twin less likely down the road.
2. Preordain does have upsides in helping reactive blue decks find their answers. But it also has downsides as we've both mentioned, especially because some of the decks it helps need no help whatsoever right now.
3. Like you, I disagree with Stoddard completely and will add this is total %$#%$#% with what Stirrings and Looting are doing right now. But I also agree this will be another strike against Preordain ever coming off.
4. All of those decks are pretty bad right now so I don't really care about their theoretical impact. Izzet Phoenix and UW Control, however, would absolutely benefit from Preordain and those decks need no help at all.
Twin: I don't even think it would be tier 1 now but I don't like it long term. I played a lot vs Twin 4 years ago while I was still a Jund player so I had a very favourable matchup. What I didn't liked though was the play pattern. By turn 2/3 depending on whether I was on the play or draw I could NEVER outtap thus do something and put pressure and it felt like I was playing some prison deck. Just by having Twin in your deck it reads 'all your opponent spells cost 2 more to cast'. I just don't think that is healthy gameplay.
Friendly reminder to you and others who speak about UR Twin/Jund history that this was a 51/49 matchup in the MTGO dataset from 2015.

That said, I agree Twin puts some negative pressures on the format. I'm just not sure if those are more negative than the current negative pressures. At this time, it's impossible to analyze the format sans Hogaak; that deck is so strong and warping it's affecting everything. That's why, as I said in an earlier post with my caveat, I really don't want to explore these unban options too heavily until the Hogaak situation is resolved. I have no idea what post-WAR/MH1/M20 Modern looks like because all I see is Hogaak. That needs to get resolved before we can move forward.
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

gkourou wrote:
2 years ago
About Twin's negative pressures I agree but also as I said, there is the fear pros would just jam the deck and make it out better than it is. It is not hard for me to imagine people playing the deck at 15-20%, no matter if would be that good or not. This is just a theory; but one Wizards should fear.
This is the same kind of totally unsupported and unfounded fear that people use to justify Stoneforge Mystic being banned. Given your recent tirade against people making wild claims without data to back them up, I think this take on Twin is one of the most ridiculous yet.

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Post by Zorakkiller » 2 years ago

follow up question, should faithless looting be restricting wizard's design space

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

We already know, LITERAL FACT that Twin did not limit diversity. Anyone posting otherwise should be infracted for Spam/Trolling.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

Zorakkiller wrote:
2 years ago
follow up question, should faithless looting be restricting wizard's design space
I'm actually wondering the same thing about Karn, the Great Creator?

Right now the meta is quick. Even after a Hogaak ban, the meta will be fairly quick. But I often wonder if Wizards is going to be careful about what artifacts they print in Standard and more importantly, in MH2 if there is one 4 years from now.
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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

They will design around Karn, right up till he rotates out of Standard and they cease to care about it.
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Post by motleyslayer » 2 years ago

Zorakkiller wrote:
2 years ago
follow up question, should faithless looting be restricting wizard's design space
I feel that it's a card that they should keep in mind when they're designing cards/mechanics that work out of the graveyard but I don't know how much effort they actually put into modern anyways. So I don't know how much they'll limit power levels

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Post by Ibarelyplaymagic » 2 years ago

I am one of those who is totally fine with modern being like little legacy. If i had way more money i would play legacy (lands seems like a very cool deck), but I'm from a small town where no one plays legacy and i have bills to pay. So i am stuck with modern, wishing it was as interactive as legacy. So what could improve modern? Some of these are what i see in legacy and some are my own musings.

First, i do not want to get rid of faithless looting, i want more card filtering like unbanning preordain. Yes it will help some combo decks and some tier 1 decks but it will help fair decks most of all. Brainstorm helps slow down legacy far more than enabling combo, just look at the top decks and decklists. Digging deeper helps fair decks find answers, which is more impactful than combo decks finding combo faster. In addition this helps prevent non-games where decks are flooded or stuck on one land. I want more card filtering so bad that i think each color needs an option at 1 cmc. Green has oath of Nissa, colorless has ancient stirrings, blue has serum visions/ preordain, red and graveyard have faithless looting. I'm not expert in the color pie, but i know it is always changing and white could use something, like digging for low power creatures or something lifegain related. Black already had thoughtsieze as turn one interaction but digging could also help smooth out midrange decks. Many decks wouldn't even use these cantrips, but it adds decision making back into the game.

Second, legacy has far more lands with impact. The difference between wasteland and ghost quarter or field of ruin is enormous. A ghost quarter where they can only search for a basic if they pay 1 mana, or something like that would help to slow down the format and give tempo decks a chance, looking at the legacy lands deck in specific there is lots of room to print more impactful lands for modern that could go in lots of decks (tabernacle Karakas etc)

It's already been said, but modal spells with relevant interaction would be a huge boon as well, making a full monocolored cycle like archmages charm or a better multicolored one like the command cycle is a great start. If they curated these spells with more revelant interaction for modern that could slow down games, open sideboard slots for more dedicated hate and lead to better deck building where its not just a race to the bottom.

I love the force cycle from modern horizons, even though they missed the boat on the red and white one

Instead of limiting with bans of faithless looting i wish wizards would expand interactive magic with new cards
Or just get rid of the reserve list

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