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

Aazadan
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Post by Aazadan » 10 months ago

Ym1r wrote:
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.
The strongest synergy in Magic (and for that matter, the most ban resistant) isn't playing into a theme like tribal. It's good cards that don't work against each other. Piles of individually powerful cards is the most synergistic sort of deck you can build so long as those cards don't cancel each other out (no pairing Death's Shadow with Uro for example).

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Post by th33l3x » 9 months ago

It's just essential to differentiate the causality of success with Sanctuary. It is a roleplayer in the best super-archetype UGx in modern, and it also incidentally fits in that deck better than almost any other (only exception is Miracles). But it is only a relatively small part of what makes the deck good. Uro, Astrolabe, T3feri and Coatl are much more powerful.

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Post by drmarkb » 9 months ago

T3 is only powerful against U decks. Otherwise it is just solid. Think about it vs, say, a burn deck or midrange deck. T3 may or may not be poorly designed, may be unfun, but just as lattice should not have gone, so neither should T3. When it comes to the witch hunt the cards wearing the pointy hats screaming 'I am a witch' are not difficult to discern- it is Uro, which does stupid amounts of value, like a 4 mana repeatable prime time, and labe, which basically says - play what you want mana wise, have as many colours as you want, for free. Ice Fang would be fine if people needed to work to cast it. I don't think Uro would.

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Post by pierreb » 9 months ago

idSurge wrote:
10 months ago
Can anyone fill me in on why Sanctuary, removed from the current UGx base/discussion, could be seen as too much?
A streamer called it a snapcaster mage that doesn't take a deck slot. Yes, yes, the comparison fails on many angles, but the point is that it recurs a powerful blue control card for zero mana and zero deck slots. You trade having a 2/1 body for a mana elf, (You don't get the card now, but you don't have to cast it now either, so that balances out.) Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, it's a snapcsater mage that can be fetched. How idiotic is that?

The problem with the card, which is a problem with many cards Wizards designed recently when you think about it, is that they pushed its power level and then tacked on a drawback that they thought was sufficient. The problem is that with the existence of astrolabe, getting 3 islands into play is just too easy. Wizards failed in their designs of drawbacks on:
  • Uro
  • Veil
  • Astrolabe
  • Sanctuary
  • Lurrus
  • Yorion
Basically, it seems to me that recently Wizards has been pushing these type of cards that are pushed but supposedly balanced due to their drawbacks. In eternal formats, drawbacks are much more easier to avoid and we're stuck with over-powered cards.

PS: as far as Uro goes, I'm inclined to ban astrolabe as a bigger Magic fundamental cheater (mana, color of mana) and can fit in any deck that needs it for being a 1 mana artifact. Veil will also keep showing up as long as it exists. Sanctuary in blue deck is amusing since the cards you want to recur all cost 3 or more. If at *least* they had not made it fetchable it would not be so stupid.

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Post by idSurge » 9 months ago

Greeksis wrote:
9 months ago
I dunno, I really fear for the future of Modern. Pioneer, yeah, it will have the spotlight when it will added into Arena. But Modern, I think they just don't care that much now. It's not that they don't care at all. It's that the shiny, new toy is Historic. And it comes with a very healthy metagame.
Modern has been left ages behind. Not just years.
Modern's issue's are several, but I actually think its better off than Pioneer. Historic replaces the need for Pioneer at all. Oh you have a format with Fetches banned...ok. Thats not an identity.

Historic COULD be great. Them intentionally blocking Bolt, Path, and Scour from the format leads me to question its validity in the long term.
pierreb wrote:
9 months ago
The problem with the card, which is a problem with many cards Wizards designed recently when you think about it, is that they pushed its power level and then tacked on a drawback that they thought was sufficient. The problem is that with the existence of astrolabe, getting 3 islands into play is just too easy. Wizards failed in their designs of drawbacks on:
See, this is it. I just think this is the sin of Astrolabe. I appreciate the breakdown however.
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Post by cfusionpm » 9 months ago

Historic is not a real format. It's not supported by paper, nor is it constructed in any meaningful way. It's an arbitrary list of cards WOTC has decided to divert our attention to during a time where the "real" formats are all basically dumpster fires. I refuse to acknowledge the existence of a format that is so arbitrarily designed, and can be so chaotically undone at a moment's notice by random new cards WOTC wants to add, in a digital client that does not allow for selling or trading.
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Post by idSurge » 9 months ago

You can play more Historic than you can Paper anything. Thats about all there is to say about that. :p
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Post by cfusionpm » 9 months ago

idSurge wrote:
9 months ago
You can play more Historic than you can Paper anything. Thats about all there is to say about that. :p
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Post by idSurge » 9 months ago

Eh, it does, but I cashed out long ago, I just cant think of buying back in unless all the UR core cratered to pennies.
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Post by cfusionpm » 9 months ago

idSurge wrote:
9 months ago
Eh, it does, but I cashed out long ago, I just cant think of buying back in unless all the UR core cratered to pennies.
I'm still in pretty good because I cashed out several decks for tix that I never turned into real $$$. I've built up several decks and archetypes without spending anything out of pocket for a while. I can say that receiving $225 tix for 4 Baubles at the peak of companion nonsense helped a lot! Especially when I paid maybe $10 a piece.

Because of the speed and ease of buying and selling, not only is it easy to buy and build decks, it's also super easy to capitalize on moving markets, as long as you act timely or make good predictions. Especially when buy-in told those predictions is often extremely low. Arena does not and will never have that. Your wildcards become cards that will never be anything else. I will not touch Arena again until I can dust my cards into other cards.

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Post by idSurge » 9 months ago

Probably just the fetches would be the issue, maybe I do it...
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Post by cfusionpm » 9 months ago

Fetches are only like $5-18 a piece, depending on playability, and shocks are like $2-10, depending on Standard legality. It's great. Much better than upwards of $100 for a single Tarn or Misty.

Modern may be a dumpster fire, but being able to play rapid fire matches and quickly swap decks (never mind services like Mana Traders) makes it palatable. Dunno if I would be playing in paper today, since I would need to buy several expensive pieces that may be hit by bans (either directly or made weaker by auxiliary bans).

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Post by Aazadan » 9 months ago

pierreb wrote:
9 months ago
A streamer called it a snapcaster mage that doesn't take a deck slot. Yes, yes, the comparison fails on many angles, but the point is that it recurs a powerful blue control card for zero mana and zero deck slots. You trade having a 2/1 body for a mana elf, (You don't get the card now, but you don't have to cast it now either, so that balances out.) Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, it's a snapcsater mage that can be fetched. How idiotic is that?
This really isn't a great comparison. A Snapcaster Mage provides a body, which will at some point be exchanged for a card, and then it gives you a card off the flashback. In order to get the card you use with Sanctuary, you need to use up a draw step. It doesn't put you ahead on cards, it does however give some card quality.
The problem with the card, which is a problem with many cards Wizards designed recently when you think about it, is that they pushed its power level and then tacked on a drawback that they thought was sufficient. The problem is that with the existence of astrolabe, getting 3 islands into play is just too easy. Wizards failed in their designs of drawbacks on:
This is a format with fetch+shock. Getting 3 islands is going to be trivial regardless because any fetchable blue mana is an Island. Astrolabe does save a bit of life, sure, and it also makes you resilient to things like Blood Moon so it definitely gives advantages. But it's a bit of a stretch to say that people wouldn't have the Island count without Astrolabe. Any deck that wants a lot of blue mana (as Uro and Cryptic Command do) is going to meet the Island count without issue. Plenty of pre Astrolabe decks already hit those Island counts without even trying.
cfusionpm wrote:
9 months ago
Modern may be a dumpster fire, but being able to play rapid fire matches and quickly swap decks (never mind services like Mana Traders) makes it palatable. Dunno if I would be playing in paper today, since I would need to buy several expensive pieces that may be hit by bans (either directly or made weaker by auxiliary bans).
I just picked up some Uro's. I almost always play with promo art (preferably extended border) foils these days. Couldn't pull the trigger on the Uro's though. I still think it should eat a ban, and $40 each for the normals vs $170 each for the ones I would normally get, it just doesn't make sense when there's a very high chance they're banned before I can use them much, if at all.

Buying basically anything in paper right now feels incredibly risky and low value.

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Post by cfusionpm » 9 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
9 months ago
Buying basically anything in paper right now feels incredibly risky and low value.
Except Commander cards. 👍

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Post by pierreb » 9 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
9 months ago
This really isn't a great comparison. A Snapcaster Mage provides a body, which will at some point be exchanged for a card, and then it gives you a card off the flashback. In order to get the card you use with Sanctuary, you need to use up a draw step. It doesn't put you ahead on cards, it does however give some card quality.
Like I said it's a shaky analogy, but in the context of blue decks running archmage charm and cryptic, snapcaster is much worse than sanctuary.
Aazadan wrote:
9 months ago
This is a format with fetch+shock. Getting 3 islands is going to be trivial regardless because any fetchable blue mana is an Island. Astrolabe does save a bit of life, sure, and it also makes you resilient to things like Blood Moon so it definitely gives advantages. But it's a bit of a stretch to say that people wouldn't have the Island count without Astrolabe. Any deck that wants a lot of blue mana (as Uro and Cryptic Command do) is going to meet the Island count without issue. Plenty of pre Astrolabe decks already hit those Island counts without even trying.


I'm not sure I need to say anything as you correctly included the answers: life, blood moon and astrolabe is actually better mana fixing as it produces 5 colors. The deck works now because it can hold up 2 mana for leak on two, 3 for archmage charm on 4 and cryptic on 4. You can only do that with fetches and shocks by regularly losing 6+ life and folding to blood moon.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 9 months ago

Re: Historic
This is just the next big thing that isn't fully in the competitive spotlight while every other format burns and breaks under the weight of Wizards' mistakes. Once Historic becomes more popular and sees more competitive play, particularly high-incentive Arena events that are around the corner, we will realize it is just as broken and warped as every other competitive format. Players will keep migrating to the greener pastures while Wizards keeps distracting us with new sets, formats, reprints, flashy card styles, and all the other smoke and mirrors they sell our way. They will continue to divert us from fundamental card design failures until there are no green pastures left. The game and even individual formats may survive this card design/balance collapse, but veteran spikes from the 2000s and 1990s will be (acceptable) casualties of these shifts.

Expect more new formats and Arena event types as Wizards keeps trying to sell their way out of this corner instead of fixing fundamental game problems. Historic is the current winner in this model but it won't last any longer than the short-lived buzz around Pioneer. This has nothing to do with these formats being good/bad and everything to do with failed format management and bad card design.
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Post by Ym1r » 9 months ago

Greeksis wrote:
9 months ago
But those are just excuses for me. The truth is that the problem is deeper than that. The format is broken to a fundamental basis. And that's why it's bad, even when Standard or Pioneer were/are good.
Could you explain this then a bit? Because it is not clear to me what is the "fundamental basis" that breaks modern?
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Post by Tzoulis » 9 months ago

Greeksis wrote:
9 months ago
All of those things, make Modern truly unstable in my opinion. That's why Challenges don't run some times anymore. Of course, if you disagree, you can play it, have fun, I am not try to change your mind. It's just that most of us would like to at least see a healthy modern; not another astrolabe/veil of summer/Green-Blue-X showdown.
Just above you lined up all the linear decks of the past few years as the reason why Modern is "unstable" and "broken", and now you're saying that you don't wanna play a "astrolabe/veil of summer/Green-Blue-X showdown". To the contrary, I believe Modern is in a more stable period now than before Theros -sans Companion Easter. Yes, Astrolabe is a prominent player in the metagame, and there's an actual discussion to be had on whether that should be allowable or not, given that it allows a variety of decks to exist. However, the problematic cards at the moment are Veil and T3feri by far if you don't want an "astrolabe/veil of summer/Green-Blue-X showdown". As long as those cards exist, other forms of control or interactive decks can't compete and the meta will be UGx vs E-Tron vs Rx aggro decks, for the most part, with decks like Ponza and Combo rounding up the meta.

Modern is about those cards and busted synergies, that's why it was created. Of course there's a limit to the power level - an artificial one, mind you - but this is the reason the format exists. Most of the cards you mentioned took YEARS of cards and different synergies coalescing into a deck. Dredge had to have 3-4 cards printed to get it playable again after GGT ban. They weren't broken by themselves, outside of Dredge (which still has a right to exist as a deck). Others were created because of a recent payoff. So, I fail to see how those older "busted sets/cards" are the problem, and not Wizards activity as of late, with the printing of stupidly badly designed cards like Veil, T3feri, Hogaak, Oko etc.

I think you're projecting your dissatisfaction with recent printings and design decisions to older mechanics and sets and to a specific format. The problem is holistic and not unique to Modern. If anything, other formats are less "solved" because they're being played less than Modern. Older sets should not prevent interesting new mechanics and cards from being tested and printed, provided they're not outright stupid like the aforementioned T3feri, Veil, Oko etc.

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Post by Ym1r » 9 months ago

Greeksis wrote:
9 months ago
All of those things, make Modern truly unstable in my opinion.
I can see you points, not that I necessarily agree but I can see it. However, how does that make it any different from Vintage, Legacy, and eventually Pioneer? The things you describe as Modern problems can very easily happen (and have happened) to every eternal format. Why is this a Modern specific issue and not a "fundamental basis" issue with the concept of eternal formats?
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Post by idSurge » 9 months ago

I guess that is the question.

Is it inevitable that a format will collapse under the weight of its history and card pool, to eventually achieve something of a stasis, or is it preferred that there is just a revolving door of new busted decks?

Personally, I don't believe it needs be this way, but I'm not sure the history supports me.

Edit: Bonus introspection question!

Assuming formats will always hit a critical mass and curating is not an option, do I even want to pay another cent or minute of my time for a game that either will not, or cannot, be managed appropriately?
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Post by idSurge » 9 months ago

So essentially, since Legacy threats are Moderns, without FoW, Daze, Ponder, and Brainstorm, meaning unless Modern becomes Legacy, it's stuck...

I don't know, seems to me Astrolabe and Uro are the issue.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 9 months ago

Greeksis wrote:
9 months ago
Legacy: answers>threats
Modern: threats>answers (uro, astrolabe, veil are not answers)
Pioneer: threats just a bit above or equal to answers

Thats why I think modern is threatened to collapse under the weight if infinite sets. Mind you, i think coatl, uro, astrolabe are busted threats you should be playing. And veil is not an answer, but an answer to answers.
I don't disagree with that, but there is much more to describing a format and how fun it is.

As for answers, WotC could do it. Drown in the Loch was a power appropriate card that is a very good answer. It's just one of many cards that are currently overshadowed by AA and the like. If WotC kept doing cards like that, the pendulum could turn a bit. Mind you, I personally don't want a complete change where Prison and Control start to rule the format either; just more generic answers to slow the plethora of linear things to be doing.

But I realize also that many of you will argue that WotC won't do that and that their track record already shows that they won't do it. Perhaps Drown in the Loch was a "unicorn," something that comes up by accident and only very rarely?
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Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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Post by th33l3x » 9 months ago

The reason I still prefer modern to any other format is the idea that while there is powerful stuff going on, you still have to work for it. I know it's a bad example, but to illustrate: Modern is Logic Knot, Legacy is Counterspell.

There are no completely free 2cmc Tutors for combo, Path does donate a land, etc etc. No Pyroblast. This means Modern is nuanced and layered in terms of power level, no card is perfect, each has its pros and cons.

Uro, Urza, T3feri, Astrolabe, and especially Veil of Summer are legacy-powered cards legal in modern.

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Post by idSurge » 9 months ago

They are (the UG core) going to likely define the game until banned.

Every format, but Vintage.
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Post by Ed06288 » 9 months ago

Starting to play modern again. Only average 6 people but I'm having fun. As for format health, I'm guessing astrolabe needs to go. It creates perfect mana and from there you can just splash the best spells. In a way, I'm hoping nothing gets banned, because I think we need stability right now. But if they could ban it by years end that'd be great.

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