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

th33l3x
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Post by th33l3x » 10 months ago

If we think back to the Summer Bloom ban though, Amulet Titan wasn't even a tier 1 deck meta-share wise because it's gameplan was kind of abstract and it was difficult to find the correct lines. They banned Bloom on win% alone.

Yea, as you say, same deal with KCI.

Having complicated, hard to pilot decks in modern is generally a huge bonus. It gives gameplay a lot of depth. But it's problematic when a complicated deck is actually the best deck by far if piloted correctly. I seem to remember that back in the Summer Bloom day, some dedicated grinders "secretly" had 75-80% winrates on MTGO, and for all the intricacy, that's just a bannable offence.

UGx control has been around for a good while now, and people have had the opportunity to get good at piloting it. Sultai may be a bit harder still, but not significantly.

The question is which card is pushing the deck over the top. At first glance, it's obviously Uro AND Astrolabe, but it would be interesting to see how good the deck is without one or the other.

Without Uro, the Astrolabe-Coatl "engine" would remain intact, providing significant consistency and card advantage against creature decks. But the deck might well fall flat against RDW variants, and Uro ramping via additional land drop is also very important with such a top-heavy deck.

Without Astrolabe, Coatl would become significantly worse. It would probably become confined to straight UG decks, Simic Reclamation probably. Simic Reclamation can very probably still run Coatl and have it on most of the time. UGx decks would retain the quality of their haymakers but lose both their ability to have perfect, painless mana, 100% turned on Mystic Sanctuary and a speed bump vs creatures in Coatl.

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Post by Ym1r » 10 months ago

th33l3x wrote:
10 months ago
If we think back to the Summer Bloom ban though, Amulet Titan wasn't even a tier 1 deck meta-share wise because it's gameplan was kind of abstract and it was difficult to find the correct lines. They banned Bloom on win% alone.
Yea, as you say, same deal with KCI.
That's true, although I guess Amulet Titan and KCI are not the same as UGx. UGx is clearly a midrange/control deck (depending on the variant), and as such its plan is pretty clear. It is difficult because the sequences are tricky, not because it takes advantage of a broken series of actions. So we do have a distinction there, UGx and Summer Bloom/KCI are not exactly the same case.
th33l3x wrote:
10 months ago
Having complicated, hard to pilot decks in modern is generally a huge bonus. It gives gameplay a lot of depth. But it's problematic when a complicated deck is actually the best deck by far if piloted correctly.
Well, it's not problematic. What makes it problematic is if that best deck has over 50% against the entire field. But this is definitely not the case with UGx.
th33l3x wrote:
10 months ago
UGx control has been around for a good while now, and people have had the opportunity to get good at piloting it. Sultai may be a bit harder still, but not significantly.
It is indeed good and some people are good with it, but the variety of the deck is extremely meta dependent. Bant control/stoneblade/Sultai control are the existing 3 versions of the deck and are by no means the community is settled. If you watch videos/look tweets about the decks it still hasn't been figured out. HarryMTG for example argued that Sultai was only good because it took the field by surprise and actually is subpar if people know about it. Bant control, in his opinion, is currently the best situated version of the deck. If the format shifts towards heavier GY hate, making Uro weaker, then Stoneblade will be the best version of the deck. That, again, makes the case significantly different that KCI/Summer bloom, the lists of which were not meta dependent, but they were 73/75 set pretty much and the changes were only against the expected kind of hate.
th33l3x wrote:
10 months ago
The question is which card is pushing the deck over the top. At first glance, it's obviously Uro AND Astrolabe, but it would be interesting to see how good the deck is without one or the other.
I don't think any card is pushing it over the top because I don't think the deck is over the top. It definitely is AT the top, but not over it. And the thing is, what places it at the top is the combination of cards and not 1 card. Whichever piece you take out it will weaken the deck considerably. AA will hurt it's mana base (and the snake), Uro will hurt it's win condition, and Snake being bad will make it signficantly weaker to aggro and even midrange in some cases. The deck will basically have to be reconfigured completely if you take out any piece.

And that's the thing about your last points but also about the deck itself at its current state. How the deck is constructed is meta-dependent because in the end, it is still a midrange/control deck that needs to adapt based on what exists. That is what makes it ok, because it can be tackled by an evolving meta game. It acts very much like Jund which you have to tweak if you actually wanna be successful with it. And Jund is much more stock than UGx imho. UGx you really HAVE to make changes based on the meta game otherwise you will fall flat on your face.
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Post by idSurge » 10 months ago

Ym1r wrote:
10 months ago
If the format shifts towards heavier GY hate, making Uro weaker, then Stoneblade will be the best version of the deck.
How freely could one take a Uro focused list, and simply put the Stoneblade package (how many cards?) into the sideboard for post board?
UR Control UR

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Post by Aazadan » 10 months ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
10 months ago
I don't think it came down to Arcum's Astrolabe vs. Mox Opal - it was Urza, Lord High Artificer vs. Mox Opal.
That was the conversation at the time. However taking out Astrolabe would have also slowed the deck significantly, not in mana acceleration of course, but Astrolabe was a cheap artifact that would draw them into things as well as it helping their mana. Opal let them cast Urza faster, Astrolabe enabled Urza in the first place.

Opal accomplished the same thing with more splash damage, and didn't fix the root issue, which as we're seeing now may still require an Astrolabe ban too.

Edit: Honestly, I wonder if Astrolabe is even the problem. Is it really just Uro? Uro as a card is rather ridiculous, even the non creature aspect is a card, the life to survive to play the card, and mana ramp. An ideal situation on turn 3 still lets you cast it, tap out to do so, and then put in a land that gives you the ability to hold up 1 mana interaction. That side of the card alone is a mini Sphinx's Revelation, then the threat itself is also powerful.

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Post by Ym1r » 10 months ago

idSurge wrote:
10 months ago
Ym1r wrote:
10 months ago
If the format shifts towards heavier GY hate, making Uro weaker, then Stoneblade will be the best version of the deck.
How freely could one take a Uro focused list, and simply put the Stoneblade package (how many cards?) into the sideboard for post board?
You can't do that. Sideboard slots for UGx control decks, for any control deck really, are just TOO important and especially in Modern where there will be cases where you rely on some heavy SB to win some MUs. Dedicating 6 spots in a plan that partly deals with the same stuff that Uro does (that's part of the problem with stoneblade) doesn't help you at all. You are better off putting, say, 2 PWs or go back to the Angel duo. They serve a similar purpose and require less slots.

The stoneblade package either has to be mainboard because Uro can't be your only plan due to prevalent hate or just can't be there in UGx snow variants.
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Post by Tzoulis » 10 months ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
10 months ago
I don't think it came down to Arcum's Astrolabe vs. Mox Opal - it was Urza, Lord High Artificer vs. Mox Opal. The Urza Sword deck was too strong after Hogaak AND Looting got banned. They cut Mox Opal to slow the Urza deck. It did and by the time people started realizing it was nearly just as good with Talisman of Dominance, there were too many other broken cards introduced into Modern and people didn't care much about UB Urza anymore.

Sometimes I imagine how crappier Modern would have been if they banned Mox Opal over doing the Companion change rule or if they banned Arcum's Astrolabe over Oko, Thief of Crowns. Cards like Oko and Lurrus at the original Companion rule have no reason to exist in a format like Modern. They probably don't have a right to exist at that in Legacy, but that's a whole other topic, lol.
Aazadan wrote:
10 months ago
That was the conversation at the time. However taking out Astrolabe would have also slowed the deck significantly, not in mana acceleration of course, but Astrolabe was a cheap artifact that would draw them into things as well as it helping their mana. Opal let them cast Urza faster, Astrolabe enabled Urza in the first place.
2 things on the Urza Thopter/Sword deck: The deck was (seemed?) fine after Hogaak's ban, I was spamming it during that period (mostly Outcome, but both lists were infinite engine combos, the one more to the prison side, the other more all-in), however, the card that REALLY put it over the top was Emry and then Oko. Oko was sure to get a ban, but people are -and keep- overlooking how good Emry is in those decks. She gave them speed, resiliency and card selection for 1 mana.

I literally didn't care for artifact destruction with Emry in those decks. Yeah, Astrolabe gave the deck a cantriping artifact, but both those lists were strict 2 colors with some splashing sideboard cards like Tezz, Wear//Tear, Blood Moon, in general bullets that could be played off of Opals and Astrolabes.

That's why I maintain that Emry should've taken the hit - you also cut the T2-T3 combo decks with Underworld Breach and Ascendancy- and you have a much clearer view on whether something else is problematic in those decks. Without Opal, there's hardly any Artifact decks around.

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Post by drmarkb » 10 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
10 months ago
drmarkb wrote:
10 months ago
Have people ever considered that one reason Brainstorm is not banned is that there are a bunch of replacements. Sure, not instant, not as good,but Prordain and Ponder etc. That is not true for labe. If it goes it changes a lot in both formats.

I am hopinglabe goes in Legacy, and eventually it has to. In Modern I feel it is a OUAT type ban, when it goes people will suddenly all say, 'yeah,of course'. I suspect when it goes it will be in the same announcement, with similar reasons.
The reason Brainstorm isn't banned is that it keeps about 100 other cards off the ban list. As long as the format doesn't get too competitive (nothing above a rare GP and the SCG circuit), Brainstorm holds it together. That's in addition to the fact that players honestly just find it fun. It's a type of game that can't be played in other formats.

Those are the reasons why Brainstorm isn't banned. It's about 70% that players find it incredibly fun, and banning it would kill the formats identity, and the remaining 30% is that it would result in far too many other cards being banned, and having no where to be played if it were gone.
Brainstorm does not keep cards off the ban list itself- blue cantrips plus FOW keeps things off the list, sure - but ponder (and pre ordain in S n S) are *always* cast over brainstorm in the early game- - the degenerate cards that would otherwise be banned are only degenerate t1-2, and people use ponder to get answers to them over brainstorm if they can in that time period. Obviously if they have to they BS they do, but if you are brainstorming t1 it tends to be an inferior ponder on that turn. If brainstorm were banned there would be no change on the banned list, preordain would be in more lists but the degenerate cards like Show and Tell would also lose Brainstorm from their support network.
Forces are now at 5 and 6 in a lot of lists, so the degeneracy is just as easily kept in check with Ponder + 6 forces.
People do enjoy it, I agree and that is the main factor, I agree too. I would not ban it either- but the point I am making is in Legacy banning it won't make much difference to 4c or bant snowko shells. Modern's cantrip selection is weak. The best one was faithless looting for a long time, really. Now its labe.

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Post by Aazadan » 10 months ago

drmarkb wrote:
10 months ago
Brainstorm does not keep cards off the ban list itself- blue cantrips plus FOW keeps things off the list, sure - but ponder (and pre ordain in S n S) are *always* cast over brainstorm in the early game- - the degenerate cards that would otherwise be banned are only degenerate t1-2, and people use ponder to get answers to them over brainstorm if they can in that time period. Obviously if they have to they BS they do, but if you are brainstorming t1 it tends to be an inferior ponder on that turn. If brainstorm were banned there would be no change on the banned list, preordain would be in more lists but the degenerate cards like Show and Tell would also lose Brainstorm from their support network.
Forces are now at 5 and 6 in a lot of lists, so the degeneracy is just as easily kept in check with Ponder + 6 forces.
People do enjoy it, I agree and that is the main factor, I agree too. I would not ban it either- but the point I am making is in Legacy banning it won't make much difference to 4c or bant snowko shells. Modern's cantrip selection is weak. The best one was faithless looting for a long time, really. Now its labe.
The reason other cantrips are cast first is because Brainstorm does other things. Brainstorm being an instant is highly, highly, relevant to how it holds the format together. Not only does it dig for answers, or pitch to FoW, or find FoW, but it also protects your hand from discard. In addition to that it smooths hands out in a way other cantrips don't because it lets you exchange cards and then shuffle things away. 5 lands, 1 card, brainstorm is keepable in some matches (though far from ideal), because you can brainstorm and put back 2 lands, changing the composition to 3 lands 4 cards. Then of course tricks like Daze, bring a land to your hand, shuffle it back into your deck, and get it back with a fetch later to prevent flood.

T1 brainstorm means one of three things. You are dead on T2, your opponent is desperate, or your opponent is playing their deck poorly. In the first situation there's little you can do, in the second and third situations it telegraphs weakness.

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Post by Ed06288 » 10 months ago

when is the next ban announcement?

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Post by Albegas » 10 months ago

Ed06288 wrote:
10 months ago
when is the next ban announcement?
We won't know until a week before the next announcement. We don't have scheduled B&R announcements for Modern anymore.

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Post by cfusionpm » 10 months ago

Albegas wrote:
10 months ago
Ed06288 wrote:
10 months ago
when is the next ban announcement?
We won't know until a week before the next announcement. We don't have scheduled B&R announcements for Modern anymore.
And that's really the problem. There is really no obligation to have any announcement without some blatantly glaring reason. And WOTC has repeatedly been totally OK with "diversity in car names only" when it comes to format health. Combine that with zero paper tournaments, and I don't think we will see any action (ban or unban) for a real long time. Or at least until the next design failure breaks everything again.

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Post by stille_nacht » 10 months ago

Why is black bad again by the way? I haven't really played in a year or so now. The best black deck is ad naus at 10. Did Uro // coatl just push out GDS and Jund as value propositions?

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Post by Aazadan » 10 months ago

@Greeksis
I don't think black is bad right now. BUG Uro seems to be the best iteration of the deck at the moment. It's stronger in the mirror and has fewer bad matchups. Uro variants are certainly too dominant which makes green/blue the top deck (go figure, a counter filled blue deck is the best), but white/black are proving themselves as solid third colors. And red is still holding it's own in non Uro decks.

MTGTop8 currently has Uro at 12% (9% Bant, 3% BUG), Ponza at 12%, RDW/Burn at 8%, and Dredge at 8%. Then a few others around 4 to 5 percent like Eldrazi and Humans.

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Post by drmarkb » 10 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
10 months ago
drmarkb wrote:
10 months ago
Brainstorm does not keep cards off the ban list itself- blue cantrips plus FOW keeps things off the list, sure - but ponder (and pre ordain in S n S) are *always* cast over brainstorm in the early game- - the degenerate cards that would otherwise be banned are only degenerate t1-2, and people use ponder to get answers to them over brainstorm if they can in that time period. Obviously if they have to they BS they do, but if you are brainstorming t1 it tends to be an inferior ponder on that turn. If brainstorm were banned there would be no change on the banned list, preordain would be in more lists but the degenerate cards like Show and Tell would also lose Brainstorm from their support network.
Forces are now at 5 and 6 in a lot of lists, so the degeneracy is just as easily kept in check with Ponder + 6 forces.
People do enjoy it, I agree and that is the main factor, I agree too. I would not ban it either- but the point I am making is in Legacy banning it won't make much difference to 4c or bant snowko shells. Modern's cantrip selection is weak. The best one was faithless looting for a long time, really. Now its labe.
The reason other cantrips are cast first is because Brainstorm does other things. Brainstorm being an instant is highly, highly, relevant to how it holds the format together. Not only does it dig for answers, or pitch to FoW, or find FoW, but it also protects your hand from discard. In addition to that it smooths hands out in a way other cantrips don't because it lets you exchange cards and then shuffle things away. 5 lands, 1 card, brainstorm is keepable in some matches (though far from ideal), because you can brainstorm and put back 2 lands, changing the composition to 3 lands 4 cards. Then of course tricks like Daze, bring a land to your hand, shuffle it back into your deck, and get it back with a fetch later to prevent flood.

T1 brainstorm means one of three things. You are dead on T2, your opponent is desperate, or your opponent is playing their deck poorly. In the first situation there's little you can do, in the second and third situations it telegraphs weakness.
Yes, I agree with all of that. The most powerful mid game cantrip, but without it the degeneracy of RB reanimator, Belcher etc. and force checks would still be kept in check by ponder 6 forces plus labes preordain etc. Force of negation adds a lot against these force check decks now...

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Post by drmarkb » 10 months ago

I do not expect Modern bans soon. Maybe in the next 6 months astrolabe in Modern and Legacy together. Maybe not. They are happy with the UG x decks in modern and Legacy. Personally I think it feels like white does not exist, outside of tef3. Mono w is history. UB retain the real interaction, and Veil exists to urinate on it. So hey ho. It feels like a contest to see whose is bigger, with UG taking the role of a particularly well endowed elephant ringer. The rest can put away their rulers, there has been zero reason to not play the busted green cards that have not been banned, let alone the ones that have. Sad times, Modern will be sacrificed on the altar of EDH player preferences.

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Post by th33l3x » 10 months ago

If meta shares continue to rise I don't see why something out of UGx Snow wouldn't be banned sooner.

The one thing Uro decks have "going for them" in terms of bannability is their dredge matchup. They cant run RIP without shutting off both Uro and Sanctuary, and anything but RIP is basically not good enough to not get stomped by Dredge most of the time. Cling to Dust is cute, Spellbomb without Lurrus insufficient, Leyline is as bad as ever (being the most extreme hate piece).

Dredge is on a huge up-tick, wjich could mean that 1) UGx gets a terrible matchup as a major force in the meta and 2) it takes all the splash damage from people running Dredge-hate.

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Post by Ym1r » 10 months ago

th33l3x wrote:
10 months ago


Dredge is on a huge up-tick, wjich could mean that 1) UGx gets a terrible matchup as a major force in the meta and 2) it takes all the splash damage from people running Dredge-hate.
I think this is key to how the meta can evolve to actually dethrone UGx. UGx will suffer from excessive hate for the deck that actually destroys it. This is an interesting situation where UGx will keep losing to dredge as long as it maintains this general build (which a lot of pilots are ready to concede to because you will ALWAYS have bad MUs) and it will start losing to other decks just because they try to hate dredge and as it happens the same hate works against the Uro/Sanctuary builds.

The most likely shift then will be towards Bant snowblade which is more resilient to GY hate, but probably equally terrible against dredge.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 10 months ago

Tzoulis wrote:
10 months ago
2 things on the Urza Thopter/Sword deck: The deck was (seemed?) fine after Hogaak's ban, I was spamming it during that period (mostly Outcome, but both lists were infinite engine combos, the one more to the prison side, the other more all-in), however, the card that REALLY put it over the top was Emry and then Oko. Oko was sure to get a ban, but people are -and keep- overlooking how good Emry is in those decks. She gave them speed, resiliency and card selection for 1 mana.

I literally didn't care for artifact destruction with Emry in those decks. Yeah, Astrolabe gave the deck a cantriping artifact, but both those lists were strict 2 colors with some splashing sideboard cards like Tezz, Wear//Tear, Blood Moon, in general bullets that could be played off of Opals and Astrolabes.

That's why I maintain that Emry should've taken the hit - you also cut the T2-T3 combo decks with Underworld Breach and Ascendancy- and you have a much clearer view on whether something else is problematic in those decks. Without Opal, there's hardly any Artifact decks around.
I feel like it was the best deck at the time. One of my friends got his first Pro Tour qualification with the deck, barely having played it. He only play tested the 2 weeks prior to the PTQ, but had experience mostly in Mox Opal decks (Affinity, Scales, Lantern). My other friend forgot his Tron deck accidentally for a PTQ 440 mi. away, so I loaned him the Whirza deck that I was gonna play, while I played Titanshift, a deck that I'm very comfortable with. He beat me in Round 4 to stay at 4-0 and he top 8ed, while I lost to another Whirza deck and then some Jeskai Felidar Guardian combo deck, lol. He made the top 4, only losing because his opponent outdrew the snot out of him. I had another friend that during Hogaak, qualified for only the 2nd time with Whirza. He was the one that I got advice from for things on the deck.

So I think the deck was really good already, but yes, you do not ADD Emry to the deck that is already the best deck. That is just a dumb mistake and a common one that WotC does, hence the occasional anger towards WotC. Emry definitely could have gone. It's still a really good card. It's in Uroza. There are a few cards that are busted, but they are outshadowed by other stuff currently. It's really an odd situation because people don't care about Emry right now, but it certainly is a busted card that shouldn't have been printed. There's no upside other than brokenness to it being printed, similar to Underworld Breach.
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Post by pierreb » 10 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
10 months ago
Edit: Honestly, I wonder if Astrolabe is even the problem. Is it really just Uro? Uro as a card is rather ridiculous, even the non creature aspect is a card, the life to survive to play the card, and mana ramp. An ideal situation on turn 3 still lets you cast it, tap out to do so, and then put in a land that gives you the ability to hold up 1 mana interaction. That side of the card alone is a mini Sphinx's Revelation, then the threat itself is also powerful.
The gang of Uro, Astrolabe, veil and sanctuary are making a joke of the faithless looting ban. Sanctuary is only strong in heavy islands decks, which are only possible because astrolabe exists, which is the main reason why Uro is so prevalent. Veil of course is a freeby once you're on the Uro train and that UGx mirrors are so prevalent.

The main difference between UGx decks and looting decks is that UGx are based on more recent cards that Wizards makes money off.

If Wizards was honest, they'd start by banning at least astrolabe, preferably with veil. There is zero reason to ban Uro. It's powerful, but only dominating now due to the other silly stuff.

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Post by Ym1r » 10 months ago

pierreb wrote:
10 months ago
. Sanctuary is only strong in heavy islands decks, which are only possible because astrolabe exists, which is the main reason why Uro is so prevalent. Veil of course is a freeby once you're on the Uro train and that UGx mirrors are so prevalent.
This assessment is rather poor. Yes all 3 of them together do make for a strong combination but they are not exclusively interdependent as you make them.
Sanctuary needs to be in island heavy decks but these are not possible only because of Astrolabe. UW control can easily support 2-3 Sanctuaries and even the Grixis-Intro the Story deck that was popular for a bit was able to run 1-2 sanctuaries without Astrolabe.

Astrolabe is also not the main reason Uro is prevalent. It makes it easier to be cast in a 3-colored deck sure, but Uro is also relevant in standard with much poorer manabases. Deck will be able to support him with or without Astrolabe.

Veil being described as a freeby is also weird, what do you mean freeby? It is a green card, it will be played in decks that include green.

None of these is to say that UGx decks are not super strong and at the top of the meta, but lets at least be evaluating them properly.
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Post by th33l3x » 10 months ago

can confirm, Grixis Control can support 2x Mystic Sanctuary. I've been on a aspiringspike-esque build for a few months now.

But several points: It is still much harder to turn on Sanctuary, especially early. UGx can frequently just fetch 2-3 basics if it has Astrolabe. Grixis can't. Also UGx gets gifted land drops from Uro (an added ability that was totally unnecessary by design, I mean what the hell).

Uro also hypercharges the Cryptic-Sanctuary loop because it gets you both land drop and draw 1. eg you can tap bounce Sanctuary, play sanctuary, cast Uro and have Cryptic up for opps turn, all while still making your regular land drops.

What's interesting and instructive is that it's not worth running Astrolabe in Grixis Control. The obvious reason is we don't have Coatl. Also Kroxa is not good in those builds because: 1) it's off our main color, blue, which makes it infinitely harder to cast than Uro in UGx decks,which are really Ugx decks. If Kroxa was a UB titan,it'd be a different story 100%. 2) it loses face-to-face with Uro.

I can't stress this enough: Uro is so much better than Kroxa, especially in a control deck. It's blue, it gains life (lifeloss is practically worthless in hard control), it draws a card which is so much better than discarding a card of opps choice. Kroxa always discards opps worst cards, and the life loss is conditional too, which is just a joke compared to Uro's unconditional life gain.

This comparison, to me, is such a glaring illustration how incredibly pushed a card Uro is.

Grixis also needs its cantrips to actually filter, or pseudo draw them a la Thought Scour.

The card quality in UGx is so absurdly high they practically don't care what they draw. Uro is always there as a probably-winning play if you flood.

Thats another thing Uro does: it means you never flood out because you always can spend your turn getting a 6/6, a card, a landdrop and 3 life.

Right, one important aspect of UGx I've noticed: it has the best proactive card advantage plays any control deck has ever had. There's no stand-off when playing vs UGx. They can constantly make plays EOT that force you to interact with them: Draw 2 with Archmage's Charm into Sanctuary Charm on top, rinse and repeat, or eot flash in a Coatl, cast Uro and get ahead on land drops, escape Uro etc. They get ahead on turn 2-3 with Coatl/Charm, threatening to resolve T3feri/Jace if you try to interact, and then slam Uro, and just keep slamming Uro until they win.

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Post by pierreb » 10 months ago

Ym1r wrote:
10 months ago
This assessment is rather poor. Yes all 3 of them together do make for a strong combination but they are not exclusively interdependent as you make them.
Sanctuary needs to be in island heavy decks but these are not possible only because of Astrolabe. UW control can easily support 2-3 Sanctuaries and even the Grixis-Intro the Story deck that was popular for a bit was able to run 1-2 sanctuaries without Astrolabe.

Astrolabe is also not the main reason Uro is prevalent. It makes it easier to be cast in a 3-colored deck sure, but Uro is also relevant in standard with much poorer manabases. Deck will be able to support him with or without Astrolabe.

Veil being described as a freeby is also weird, what do you mean freeby? It is a green card, it will be played in decks that include green.

None of these is to say that UGx decks are not super strong and at the top of the meta, but lets at least be evaluating them properly.
Your assessment of my post is very poor. I made my statement in respect to a call to ban Uro and in the current context and extensive discussion in this thread of UGx decks. I thought it was obvious I was talking about UGx decks; the repeat reference to UGx in the post was supposed to be a clue?

UGx decks can run sanctuary because astrolabe allow them to cheat in the mana base by including enough island and still being to cast off-blue spells. Oh wait, that's exactly what I said in my post, so I don't suppose my repeating it here will make it any clearer to you?

Veil is freeby because once you run G and the meta is heavy blue and your main competition is the mirror, it's a 1-mana auto-include that wins games.

Standard and modern are different things, muh? Uro is strong and doesn't need astrolabe in standard because standard is a lower power level than modern. Uro in modern without astrolable and veil would not be oppressive.

There is obvious synergies between these cards.

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Ym1r
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Post by Ym1r » 10 months ago

pierreb wrote:
10 months ago
Sanctuary is only strong in heavy islands decks, which are only possible because astrolabe exists, which is the main reason why Uro is so prevalent. Veil of course is a freeby once you're on the Uro train and that UGx mirrors are so prevalent.
I am not saying that there aren't synergies. The problematic part is that you make it seem like this is an exceptional situation, whereas these cards are strong/playable only in this context. In bold are the parts that are problematic. UGx will run sanctuary with or without Astrolabe because Sanctuary is a good card. The same holds true for Uro. Maybe calling the assessment poor was a mistake and I apologize.
Counter, draw a card.

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idSurge
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Post by idSurge » 10 months ago

Can anyone fill me in on why Sanctuary, removed from the current UGx base/discussion, could be seen as too much?

I run 2 in UR, with a Deprive and 2 Cryptic for support.

Is the card itself too strong, or just in a very specific context?
UR Control UR

th33l3x
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Post by th33l3x » 10 months ago

people are blaming it on repetitive gameplay and providing an "unfair" amount of consistency. But really, it's just getting flak from being in all the UGx shells. Sanctuary just fits perfect into the deck: Uro makes land drops to turn it on, Astrolabe enables you to fetch Island-Island-Island, and Cryptic-bounce loops the effect.

If UGx wasn't the best deck (and in my opinion needs a nerf), nobody would even mention it.

Banning Sanctuary would be like banning Bauble because of pre-nerf Lurrus or because of Emry.

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