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

BloodyRabbit
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Post by BloodyRabbit » 2 years ago

Imho too many people (especially here) are too conditioned by their own beliefs.

I was a Twin player.
I don't think Twin ban was deserved (and I already stated several times why).
I believe it won't be a top Tier in Modern right now (again, already explained the reasons).

That said, it DID limit diversity. Guys, it was *litterarly* the only viable blue deck. Problem was the lack of power level cards for blue? True. But don't say otherwise: with Twin in the metagame, it was subpar running any other form of Control or pseudo Control (it wouldn't, now, but it's another story).

By the way, whoever thinks Twin had a bad matchup against BGx either didn't test the matchup accurately or was playing against plants. It was a very 50-50 match at the best of the three games.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

BloodyRabbit wrote:
2 years ago
Imho too many people (especially here) are too conditioned by their own beliefs.

I was a Twin player.
I don't think Twin ban was deserved (and I already stated several times why).
I believe it won't be a top Tier in Modern right now (again, already explained the reasons).

That said, it DID limit diversity. Guys, it was *litterarly* the only viable blue deck. Problem was the lack of power level cards for blue? True. But don't say otherwise: with Twin in the metagame, it was subpar running any other form of Control or pseudo Control (it wouldn't, now, but it's another story).

By the way, whoever thinks Twin had a bad matchup against BGx either didn't test the matchup accurately or was playing against plants. It was a very 50-50 match at the best of the three games.
I agree with some of this, but there are some things I don't agree with. And this is always going to be a problem here. We can't get everyone on the same page. You know how hard it is to even get people on the unban Stoneforge Mystic train or even the ban Hogaak train?

I, like most people, was shocked when Twin got banned. Players at FNM said that it was leaked that Twin was not on the Modern online client, which I didn't feel proved anything. But come Monday, it DID happen. I do in fact believe that it would be a top deck in Modern. It may be 3rd or 4th best and I doubt it would be Tier 0 and dominate all like some people say. Modern is a lot stronger now.

But it did limit diversity and didn't in different ways if that makes sense. Control was good against Twin, so if Twin is very prevalent, Control will always be a strong choice. After Twin was gone, there wasn't that deck for Control to prey on and Combo ran unchecked, so Control became much worse. Modern is more diverse now. Why? There have been at least 9 sets since Twin was banned. There is a bigger card pool. You can't expect diversity to go down since Twin when so many cards have been added to the Modern pool. It's very unlikely to happen, unless something is literally killing it (like Eye of Ugin or Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis).

Regarding Twin vs. BGx. I have seen the stats before and I have argued with ktkenshinx time and time again. We have to agree to disagree. But I cannot see BGx doing any worse than 60/40 vs. Twin. Without Blood Moon, the matchup would be much worse in my opinion. This can fluctuate due to the version of Twin (for example, Grixis Twin is probably the closest to 50/50 vs. Jund), but there's no way that any version of Twin had a 50/50 win rate vs. any version of GB, Jund, or Junk. (I'm talking about Midrange, not Junk Little Kid)

*This is what I mean. We agree on a lot of stuff, but we don't see eye to eye on these points here.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
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Post by Bearscape » 2 years ago

What deck do you all think would actually "die out" if Faithless Looting got banned? In my opinion:

-Although it would obviously take a power hit, Phoenix would still be a tier 1 deck if it had to play Tormenting Voice or Catarthic Reunion over Looting with the additions of Finale of Promise and Aria of Flame.

-Hogaak really wouldn't care that much.

-Dredge would take quite a big hit as it then no longer has any good t1 plays other than Shriekhorn. It already plays Cathartic Reunion so it would have to probably fall back to Tormenting Voice, or go into blue. I'm not sure how devastating this would be,

-Goryoshoal would be gone, it needs the explosive openings. However I kind of already feel that deck is dead with all the gravehate (even without busted Hogaak) and Neoform is the better "cheat Griselbrand" deck.

-Mardu hasn't really been a thing the last few months, although it's seeing some rise now with all the new Horizons tools. I'm fairly certain these types of decks would function perfectly fine with a cmc2 enabler.

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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

Bearscape wrote:
2 years ago
-Mardu hasn't really been a thing the last few months, although it's seeing some rise now with all the new Horizons tools. I'm fairly certain these types of decks would function perfectly fine with a cmc2 enabler.

we are very far from being tier 1, and I would say that is a good thing being not in people's radar. Some new things from horizons as well, to help bring back some life to the deck. Just have to make some adjustments here and there, like having 3 dreadbore main is a good thing in my meta, because Narset nerfs faithless looting. Well, and a faithless looting ban would weaken the deck but not kill it.. I'm already testing some alternative cards to use. :)

And I hope the maindeck yard removals people use would subside a little once Hogaak or looting get banned.
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Post by Arkmer » 2 years ago

gkourou wrote:
2 years ago
Now, I believe ktk shared some GP data depicting Twin was not limiting diversity comparing 2015 and 2018 GP's? If yes, I would love to see them again...
Here.
For those not wanting to click the link:
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ktk - 24AUG2018 wrote:Here is an update to the 2015/2018 PT/GP T8 stats. I was in a rush last night and made some errors on the spreadsheet, e.g. D&T in the 2015 dataset and Death and Taxes in the 2018 dataset. These data-entry errors resulted in some inaccurate numbers. I've cleaned it up and am presenting again.

2015 events include all GP/PT after GP Omaha. GP Omaha happened while Pod/TC/DTT were legal and represents an entirely different era of Modern. The banning of those cards fundamentally removed options from the format, thereby reshaping what could be played. 2018 events include everything since PT RIX. This includes some pre-BBE/JTMS unbans because unbans do not forcibly remove players from decks and reshape the format in the same way as a ban does. We also want to compare current 2018 diversity to previous Twin era diversity, which requires an annual snapshot.

Here are the stats, plus some new numbers people were curious about:

2015 GP/PT T8 stats
Unique decks in T8s: 28 (including 4 variants of Twin)
Unique decks in T8s grouping Twin: 25 (4 variants become URx Twin)
Decks that had T8s in 2018: 11
Decks that did not have T8s in 2018: 17
Non-Twin decks that did not have T8s in 2018: 13
Non-Twin blue decks in T8s: 4
Twin decks in T8s: 4

2018 GP/PT T8 stats
Unique decks in T8s: 25
Decks that had T8s in 2015: 11
Decks that did not have T8s in 2015: 14
Non-Twin blue decks in T8s: 5

Interestingly, even the updated analysis paints the same picture, so I'm glad it wasn't too different. Here are the takeaways:

1. From 2015 to 2018, the total number of unique decks decreased from 28 to 25. If we group URx Twin as a macro archetype, the unique decks stayed the same from 25 to 25.
2. 14 new decks have been added to the 2018 data that did not appear in the 2015 data. Meanwhile, 17 decks did not appear from 2015 into 2018 (14 if we remove the banned URx Twin decks as a whole)
3. Total blue diversity decreased from 8 unique decks in 2015 to 5 unique decks in 2018.
4. Total non-Twin blue diversity increased from 4 unique decks to 5 unique decks in 2018.

Based solely on GP/PT T8 data, the Twin ban does not appear to have accomplished either goal. Total diversity is identical if we group URx Twin and declined if we split URx Twin. Total blue diversity decreased overall, and there's only +1 non-Twin blue deck in 2018 vs. 2015.

This analysis would need to be repeated with MTGO data to make a definitive statement on the Twin ban's effectiveness. But judging by the GP/PT numbers alone, I'm calling it ineffective three years later at accomplishing either of its stated goals.
EDIT: On a personal note. I never played Modern when Twin was legal, but a friend of mine threw the list together awhile back so I could see why the deck was so popular. Uh... Ya, please please please unban twin. I know it's super unlikely, I know it's frowned upon by many, but good lord were those games fun. Playing it and against it. I think we ground out matches like that for a few casual nights and had some of the most interactive and thought provoking games I had had in quite awhile.

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Post by iTaLenTZ » 2 years ago

I just want to reinstate that we are all talking about cards/answers etc Modern desperately needs and we just got Modern Horizons that did close to nothing in this regard. What hopes do we have to think the game devs are capable of creating the right cards?

I don't understand why Containment Priest wasn't in MH. It would have been the perfect card and solved so many problems and forced Dredge/Hoogak ect to dedicate slots to counter this card without mindlessly dumping their hand on turn 1-2 and slow down UR Phoenix.

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Post by Depian » 2 years ago

Even Force of Despair could have been an excellent answer had it exiled creatures instead of just destroying them

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

BloodyRabbit wrote:
2 years ago
That said, it DID limit diversity. Guys, it was *litterarly* the only viable blue deck. Problem was the lack of power level cards for blue? True. But don't say otherwise: with Twin in the metagame, it was subpar running any other form of Control or pseudo Control (it wouldn't, now, but it's another story).
This is a misapplication of cause and effect. It was not Twin that did this, it was that Blue lacked the tools to actually be competitive against a wide meta.

I would point you to the information Arkmer posted, that data is something I too had looked up, and you can repeat the work yourself by looking at mtgtop8.

Twin did not limit diversity. Other decks not existing yet and not having the tools we have today was what prevented Blue from seeing play in other forms.

Blue Moon is in practice Twin without the Win Condition. Imagine now back when Twin was banned. You have no Archmages Charm. No FoN, no Jace, no Magmatic Sinkhole, no Ral, no Crackling Drake, no Thing in the Ice, no Abrade, and the list goes on and on and on.

You think Twin was 'suppressing' Blue Moon? How about UWR?

No Teferi, no Jace, no Search for Azcanta, no Narset, no T3feri.

UW? See above, add no Field of Ruin.

By the only metric's we have, MTGO dataset, and Top 8's, Twin suppressed nothing. Decks being bad, and then eventually years later getting an avalanche of playable cards, allowed them to be playable.

Lets not forget that the deck which Twin DID have an argument for suppressing, Affinity with a 70-30 MTGO Data MWP, STILL was competitive.

Let that sink in and percolate a bit.
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Post by ktkenshinx » 2 years ago

BloodyRabbit wrote:
2 years ago
That said, it DID limit diversity. Guys, it was *litterarly* the only viable blue deck. Problem was the lack of power level cards for blue? True. But don't say otherwise: with Twin in the metagame, it was subpar running any other form of Control or pseudo Control (it wouldn't, now, but it's another story).
gkourou wrote:
2 years ago
Regarding Twin:
I agree with both of you that it did limit diversity of the format. After all, this is the reason why it got banned.
From the official announcements:
1)
We also look for decks that hold a large enough percentage of the competitive field to reduce the diversity of the format. Decks that are this strong can hurt diversity by pushing the decks that it defeats out of competition.
2)
They can also reduce diversity by supplanting similar decks.
I know several people here doubt it and say it was a PT shakeup with no evidence at all, but I prefer to go with the facts. And the fact is that Wizards did mentionthe diversity reduction, both in the overall meta and among blue decks. Note here that, to reduce overall diversity, it's enough if you hold a big metashare. People say it was 8-12%, even @ktkenshinx did several modernnexus articles back then, stating those stats, but the 5-0 leagues we had back then, even if they were better than the current system, did not show the clear picture. Some random decks were being depicted in everyday's 5-0. That said, the truth could be different on MODO. And a theory I had back then was that Wizards saw the overall MODO data, we had not accessible. A theory I can now be certain that is right, as they cited MODO on the Bridge from Below ban as their main justification for banning.
1. Twin did not limit diversity among blue decks OR blue diversity in 2018 was just as "limited" as it was in 2015. Anyone who says otherwise is either misinformed about the numbers or deliberately misrepresenting them. We need to move beyond these blatantly incorrect statements to have a meaningful discussion about this card or anything related to Twin. See Arkmer's quoted analysis of mine below.
Arkmer wrote:
2 years ago
Here.
For those not wanting to click the link:
Show
ktk - 24AUG2018 wrote:Here is an update to the 2015/2018 PT/GP T8 stats. I was in a rush last night and made some errors on the spreadsheet, e.g. D&T in the 2015 dataset and Death and Taxes in the 2018 dataset. These data-entry errors resulted in some inaccurate numbers. I've cleaned it up and am presenting again.

2015 events include all GP/PT after GP Omaha. GP Omaha happened while Pod/TC/DTT were legal and represents an entirely different era of Modern. The banning of those cards fundamentally removed options from the format, thereby reshaping what could be played. 2018 events include everything since PT RIX. This includes some pre-BBE/JTMS unbans because unbans do not forcibly remove players from decks and reshape the format in the same way as a ban does. We also want to compare current 2018 diversity to previous Twin era diversity, which requires an annual snapshot.

Here are the stats, plus some new numbers people were curious about:

2015 GP/PT T8 stats
Unique decks in T8s: 28 (including 4 variants of Twin)
Unique decks in T8s grouping Twin: 25 (4 variants become URx Twin)
Decks that had T8s in 2018: 11
Decks that did not have T8s in 2018: 17
Non-Twin decks that did not have T8s in 2018: 13
Non-Twin blue decks in T8s: 4
Twin decks in T8s: 4

2018 GP/PT T8 stats
Unique decks in T8s: 25
Decks that had T8s in 2015: 11
Decks that did not have T8s in 2015: 14
Non-Twin blue decks in T8s: 5

Interestingly, even the updated analysis paints the same picture, so I'm glad it wasn't too different. Here are the takeaways:

1. From 2015 to 2018, the total number of unique decks decreased from 28 to 25. If we group URx Twin as a macro archetype, the unique decks stayed the same from 25 to 25.
2. 14 new decks have been added to the 2018 data that did not appear in the 2015 data. Meanwhile, 17 decks did not appear from 2015 into 2018 (14 if we remove the banned URx Twin decks as a whole)
3. Total blue diversity decreased from 8 unique decks in 2015 to 5 unique decks in 2018.
4. Total non-Twin blue diversity increased from 4 unique decks to 5 unique decks in 2018.

Based solely on GP/PT T8 data, the Twin ban does not appear to have accomplished either goal. Total diversity is identical if we group URx Twin and declined if we split URx Twin. Total blue diversity decreased overall, and there's only +1 non-Twin blue deck in 2018 vs. 2015.

This analysis would need to be repeated with MTGO data to make a definitive statement on the Twin ban's effectiveness. But judging by the GP/PT numbers alone, I'm calling it ineffective three years later at accomplishing either of its stated goals.
2. I have no idea if Twin decreased overall diversity. That's an open question I posed to idSurge. But even until that is resolved, we know the Twin ban was utterly ineffective at its stated goal of increasing diversity among similar decks it allegedly supplanted. Full stop. As for overall diversity, I don't know how much I buy this because there were a number of competitive decks that remained competitive despite %$#% Twin matchups. as IDS likes to remind us, Affinity was 30/70 against Twin in an N>100 dataset and still had 7 (!!) GP T8s that year, second only to UR Twin (9). We also know it was a 60/40+ favorite against Amulet Bloom all year, another deck that obviously did just fine despite a terrible Twin matchup. Finally, Twin was a 55/45+ favorite against Tron, another deck that was perfectly viable all year.

3. @GK: It is completely inconsistent for you to claim we should take Wizards' ban verbiage at face value and ignore all the ulterior motives, and at the same time claim the Twin ban was motivated by some old 2015 MTGO numbers they literally don't mention once in the update. Either we 100% take the ban update at face value and assume no other underlying motives or information, or we realize ban update texts don't always tell the full story. The correct answer is obviously the latter. See the Probe and GGT ban. Wizards obviously didn't just pull numbers out of their butts for those bans or ban them with zero data: they had MTGO and paper data to support their decision. They just simply didn't cite those sources in the banlist update. But if we 100% took that update at face value, we would have to say "huh, guess they didn't cite any numbers so they just banned these cards for purely rhetorical, not quantitative reasons." That is obviously not what happened. Once we realize that ban updates don't always tell the full story, we can acknowledge that a) Wizards may have used MTGO data to inform its 2015 bans, and b) Wizards may have had ulterior motives (i.e. PT shakeup that AF literally admitted to in Tweets) that aren't always written explicitly.
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
Regarding Twin vs. BGx. I have seen the stats before and I have argued with ktkenshinx time and time again. We have to agree to disagree. But I cannot see BGx doing any worse than 60/40 vs. Twin. Without Blood Moon, the matchup would be much worse in my opinion. This can fluctuate due to the version of Twin (for example, Grixis Twin is probably the closest to 50/50 vs. Jund), but there's no way that any version of Twin had a 50/50 win rate vs. any version of GB, Jund, or Junk. (I'm talking about Midrange, not Junk Little Kid)
BloodyRabbit wrote:
2 years ago
By the way, whoever thinks Twin had a bad matchup against BGx either didn't test the matchup accurately or was playing against plants. It was a very 50-50 match at the best of the three games.
I understand this flies in the face of some schools of conventional wisdom, but I will again emphasize we need to throw out old myths if the data proves them wrong. Indeed, this is a reason I draw on the statistics so much: they are the most accurate and auditable tool for proving/disproving common beliefs. In the case of UR Twin vs. Jund, the data could not be more clear. The UR Twin vs. Abzan data is even clearer. These numbers exclude Little Kid Abzan and only look at "true" Abzan/Jund BGx Midrange old-school goodness vs. classic UR Twin over the 2015 time period. This also uses the boosted dataset that includes some GP matchups in addition to the MTGO data for increased N, and a Wilson confidence interval to account for variance:

UR Twin vs. Abzan: 70/136 (51.5% -- 43.2% < x < 59.7%)
UR Twin vs. Jund: 47/95 (49.5% -- 39.6% < x < 59.4%)

At absolute worst, Twin/Jund was a 40/60 matchup, but the odds of that are just as likely as it being a 60/40 matchup and the odds are likeliest that it is in the 45%-55% range, i.e. more or less 50/50. As for Abzan, Twin was at worst a 45% underdog here and at best a 60% favorite (both of those cases being equally likely); likely, it was also in the 45%-55% range, i.e. also a 50/50 matchup. We have drawn matchup conclusions this year and last year on significantly less data than these N = 95 and N = 136 samples, so I encourage people to just work with the numbers we have even if they fly in the face of your personal experience from 4 years ago.
iTaLenTZ wrote:
2 years ago
I just want to reinstate that we are all talking about cards/answers etc Modern desperately needs and we just got Modern Horizons that did close to nothing in this regard. What hopes do we have to think the game devs are capable of creating the right cards?

I don't understand why Containment Priest wasn't in MH. It would have been the perfect card and solved so many problems and forced Dredge/Hoogak ect to dedicate slots to counter this card without mindlessly dumping their hand on turn 1-2 and slow down UR Phoenix.
I have very little hope whatsoever they can create the right cards. Force of Negation is the upper end of their answer power level. That's why it was one of the first GET HYPE previews of MH1, and it's such a clear and patently obvious FoW throwback it's as if the devs are saying "Here's an appropriately-powered FoW in Modern, end of story." If that's the current ceiling on our strong, generic, reactive answer, and Wizards keeps cranking out proactive, fast, haymaker threats, we are always going to see reactive decks on the back foot. As I said earlier, I believe this is because it's very easy for Wizards to look at an answer on its own merits in a vacuum, tweaking numbers and overtuning it because they know exactly how a FoW/Swords/Daze variant/reprint will play out. It's harder for them to identify the specific shell/deck for a new proactive bomb. That's why Hogaaks slip through the cracks and why we get FoN as the top-tier of our answers.
Depian wrote:
2 years ago
Even Force of Despair could have been an excellent answer had it exiled creatures instead of just destroying them
This is a great example of frustrating, out of touch, overly conservative answer design. Compare the way Wizards designs answers to how they design threats and you'll see it's rampant across all formats where new cards enter. I'm sure this is based on some kind of market research about players wanting to engage on the battlefield, but I can't remember where Maro discussed this.
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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
2 years ago
1. Twin did not limit diversity among blue decks OR blue diversity in 2018 was just as "limited" as it was in 2015. Anyone who says otherwise is either misinformed about the numbers or deliberately misrepresenting them. We need to move beyond these blatantly incorrect statements to have a meaningful discussion about this card or anything related to Twin. See Arkmer's quoted analysis of mine below.
Please, start marking them as Spam. Those who continue to repeat lies should be called out for it yes?
ktkenshinx wrote:
2 years ago
we know the Twin ban was utterly ineffective at its stated goal of increasing diversity among similar decks it allegedly supplanted. Full stop. As for overall diversity, I don't know how much I buy this because there were a number of competitive decks that remained competitive despite %$#% Twin matchups. as IDS likes to remind us, Affinity was 30/70 against Twin in an N>100 dataset and still had 7 (!!) GP T8s that year, second only to UR Twin (9). We also know it was a 60/40+ favorite against Amulet Bloom all year, another deck that obviously did just fine despite a terrible Twin matchup. Finally, Twin was a 55/45+ favorite against Tron, another deck that was perfectly viable all year.
Again for those who persist in spreading untruth. This is the last, yet best we have, data set that is just pure data. Look this over. If you do not understand what is being said, it is ok to say so but the FACTS are clear. Just in case you skim my posts because I type too many of those word things.

Affinity was 30/70 against Twin in an N>100 dataset and still had 7 (!!) GP T8s that year, second only to UR Twin (9).

What overwhelming levels of SUPPRESSION.

This topic is tired folks. We have looked at the data available.

So until those who wish to continue this old, defeated argument start presenting some actual numbers.

1. Twin did not impact diversity among Blue decks. The stats are clear.
2. Twin did not 'suppress' decks at the competitive top of the meta, as evidenced by its Affinity match up, and BGx match up.

These arguments should be settled. Its over. Twin died for the Pro Tour. Period.
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
2 years ago
This is a great example of frustrating, out of touch, overly conservative answer design. Compare the way Wizards designs answers to how they design threats and you'll see it's rampant across all formats where new cards enter. I'm sure this is based on some kind of market research about players wanting to engage on the battlefield, but I can't remember where Maro discussed this.
WOTC: Hey now, we have to be very careful with design, especially for cantrips and answers. We can't make them too powerful or it would warp the format.

Also WOTC: Here's a free, repeatable, 8/8 trampler! Have fun guys!

Also WOTC: Here's a free, uncounterable Lightning Helix for Dredge! Have fun guys!

Also WOTC: Hey, you know Delver of Secrets? What if you just got multiple flipped Delvers for free? Have fun guys!

Also WOTC: Here's a bunch of planeswalkers with static prison effects! One of them literally tutors silver bullets from your sideboard and locks players out of the game! Have fun guys!

Also WOTC: Here's a bunch of cheap, super pushed Eldrazi with zero downside! Have fun guys!

Also WOTC: Stoneforge Mystic is too good for Modern and limits design! No fun guys!

Also WOTC: We will never admit our mistakes and failures with Splinter Twin, much less even acknowledge that the card exists and that we destroyed it!

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Post by iTaLenTZ » 2 years ago

idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
These arguments should be settled. Its over. Twin died for the Pro Tour. Period.
True I remember the statement they made. Twin died because they thought the metagame was solved/stagnant and they wanted to shake things up for the PT. However its not like Twin was just another tier 1 deck, it was the best deck for over a year.

In these 4 years I have never said anything about Twin because the whole discussion always felt like kicking a dead horse but after the MH debacle and Wizards incompetence I do believe its time for Twin to receive a second chance even though I didn't like playing against it. I enjoy the current meta far less and I think Twin would at least lead to a more interactive meta we have now.

They could simply unban it as an experiment that is evaluated after 3 months and make that clear to everyone so everyone buys in at their own risk knowing the card can be banned again within 3 months. They should do that with more cards IMO. They are way too conservative while at the same time making huge design mistakes over and over again hence their only option is always to ban cards.

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

Oddly enough, I dont even care if its unbanned on any grounds other than like SFM, its not too powerful.

I simply do not want outright false statements to be promoted by people who choose to either ignore, are unaware of, or fail to understand, the numbers that are plainly telling a story that does not aligned with their statements.
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Post by worldsaverinc » 2 years ago

The state of modern is different then it was when twin was banned. I think the problem with seeing whether diversity would be effected by Twin's banning was that Eldrazi Winter happened and also changed the face of modern. We don't know whether overall diversity would have increased or decreased thanks to the Eldrazi menace becoming such a force and drowning out the intended effects of it.

As for today, I think Modern is becoming a pro's format perhaps in a similar way that caused the Twin banning. Modern is billed as a format with 30+ viable decks, or at least was. It really isn't that way anymore as I look at lists. There are fewer and fewer tier 2 or lower lists doing well at all. This is great for pros and hyper competitive players. It allows them to sculpt deck lists to face expected matchups. It is one of the reasons why Standard is so beloved by pros, limited options. It allows them to leverage their skills at deck building, metagame reading, and actual play skill to better advantage.

It just isn't what I like, but that is okay. I like a more wide open casual format that allowed more brews, tier 3 deck spiking, and seldom used cards to generate interesting and different decks. I cheered when Skred, Merfolk, or Ponza did well. There is just less and less of that now I think. It feels more restricted in your choices. The card pool and power has expanded, but it feels like options are limited as there are best iterations of various strategies that can get played around the edges such as UR Phoenix vs. Mono-Red Phoenix or Dredge vs. Hollow One vs. Hogaak, or Hardened Scales vs. Affinity or E-tron vs. Tron.

I think it is very good for the professional game of Modern. I am less warm to the idea that it is great for the long term health of the format, but hey it is still the most popular format out there in paper world. I think it discourages brewing, budget lists, and casuals entering the format. It also puts more pressure I think on the cards on these top decks. It certainly has come along way from the casual-competitive nature of the format it was a few years ago I think.

It could explain why I play less and brew the weird off tribal lists.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 2 years ago

idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
Oddly enough, I dont even care if its unbanned on any grounds other than like SFM, its not too powerful.

I simply do not want outright false statements to be promoted by people who choose to either ignore, are unaware of, or fail to understand, the numbers that are plainly telling a story that does not aligned with their statements.
I am going to agree with IDS here. I see a number of reasonable arguments against the Twin unbanning. The biggest of those is simply that Wizards is unlikely to do it, because they are super conservative with unbans. If it took them almost 7 years to unban JTMS, I don't see Twin coming off anytime soon. Same with SFM still being illegal. Quoting Wizards' banlist policy in recent year is also a reasonable rebuttal to Twin talk. But rehashing tired, disproven arguments is not an acceptable counterargument. It's not spam from a rule perspective, but it is definitely factually wrong.
gkourou wrote:
2 years ago
@ktkenshinx , I just stated what wizards said. I quoted them saying twin reduced Diversity. They have access to full modo data;we don't. This means they just know better than us.
I know they said that, and most available evidence shows they inflated that rationale to justify a PT shakeup ban. AF's Tweets after the fact are particularly damning regarding this shakeup ban policy. My null hypothesis on any ban is that Wizards got the ban right. Then I look at the data and facts around a ban to see if an alternate hypothesis is more likely. In the case of Twin, their stated reasons do not adequately explain the ban and deliberately omit considerations they later revealed over Twitter. You don't have to agree with this argument though, and I'm not trying to convince anyone: I'm simply explaining where I stand.

The only things we do have to agree with are that (a) Twin did not reduce blue diversity in 2015 OR blue diversity was just as good/bad in 2018 (i.e. the Twin ban did not meet its stated goal of opening up space for supplanted decks), (b) that three top-tier decks had horrible Twin matchups and were still top-tier despite those matchups, and (c) that Twin vs. Jund/Abzan was in the MWP ranges I posted above.
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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
2 years ago
The only things we do have to agree with are that (a) Twin did not reduce blue diversity in 2015 OR blue diversity was just as good/bad in 2018 (i.e. the Twin ban did not meet its stated goal of opening up space for supplanted decks), (b) that three top-tier decks had horrible Twin matchups and were still top-tier despite those matchups, and (c) that Twin vs. Jund/Abzan was in the MWP ranges I posted above.
And thats all I ask. I dont care about if it ever gets unbanned. I dont care if rots until the heat death of the universe. I simply do not want to see through any chain quotes, that 'Twin suppressed the format'. It is a LIE.

"I will only argue in numbers"
"Ok here are numbers."
"No not those numbers, the ones they wont let us see, that they must have, that justify this statement."
"What about this contradiction that was never addressed."
"I WILL ONLY ARGUE IN NUMBERS."

This discussion should be finished, as it's never going to progress more than it can now unless Forsythe OPENLY admits to being a liar and professes the truth on Twitter.
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

gkourou wrote:
2 years ago
@ktkenshinx , I just stated what wizards said. I quoted them saying twin reduced Diversity. They have access to full modo data;we don't. This means they just know better than us.
And the biggest takeaway from WOTC's words is that they were flatly wrong on nearly all accounts. It demonstrates either nefarious intent to make up reasons to justify needlessly shaking up the PT, or it demonstrates immense incompetence and total lack of understanding of the format, deck-building, and the nuanced impacts things have on the format. Either is infuriating from a player's standpoint.

The ultimate irony is that the PT was shaken up anyway, thanks to exactly what we've been complaining about for the past 3 years: WOTC printing busted new garbage every few sets that break Modern into pieces.

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

Oh and BTW.
worldsaverinc wrote:
2 years ago
Modern is billed as a format with 30+ viable decks, or at least was. It really isn't that way anymore as I look at lists.
Welcome, but this was never true, not since the format was actually called Modern anyway, was this ever factual. There is 'Modern Diversity' in which many people play decks that make it to Day 2, or even spike a GP/SCG Open never to be seen again, and there is 'Winners Meta' in which about 6 decks are really competitively viable.
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Post by worldsaverinc » 2 years ago

idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
Oh and BTW.
worldsaverinc wrote:
2 years ago
Modern is billed as a format with 30+ viable decks, or at least was. It really isn't that way anymore as I look at lists.
Welcome, but this was never true, not since the format was actually called Modern anyway, was this ever factual. There is 'Modern Diversity' in which many people play decks that make it to Day 2, or even spike a GP/SCG Open never to be seen again, and there is 'Winners Meta' in which about 6 decks are really competitively viable.
I think it might have been more true earlier. I remember seeing more Tier 2 and 3 decks on Starcity Games IQ lists and in MTGoldfish then I do now. There was always a TIER 1, but it wasn't so pronounced as it is now. I think the gap has been widening between the clear mainstays and everybody else. I could win or get a top 8 with Slivers or Elves or Ponza. I think it is much much tougher to get some similar action out of a much smaller and more homogeneous tier 2 list.

I think it benefits the pros and grinders to know what to really expect. However, part of the appeal to modern was the casual-competitive nature of the format. It could have just been an apprentice of it rather than a real thing, but I think that appearance is going as well.

Edit: To bring it the Twin discussion, I played decks that would just lose to Splinter Twin and had to warp the sideboard to beat it. Twin's dying allowed more Goldfishing decks like Elves and more creature based decks like Reckless Bushwacker Zoo to exist a little more in that space. Twin certainly suppressed those decks like Phoenix does now. Phoenix is probably have the same effect on those style and similar midrange (not Jund) decks as Splinter Twin did.

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

worldsaverinc wrote:
2 years ago
I think it might have been more true earlier. I remember seeing more Tier 2 and 3 decks on Starcity Games IQ lists and in MTGoldfish then I do now.
I suppose that is true. SCG especially used to be less competitive than it is now. At this point a few very recent cards are really pushing the 'haves' and the 'have nots' in other directions.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

gkourou wrote:
2 years ago
@ktkenshinx , I just stated what wizards said. I quoted them saying twin reduced Diversity. They have access to full modo data;we don't. This means they just know better than us.
I would be hesitant in saying that a company that kept Sword of the Meek and Jace, the Mind Sculptor on the ban list for so long "knows better than us." The same company banned Bloodbraid Elf before Deathrite Shaman and Bridge from Below before Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis.

I know what you're saying. They have the worldwide data while we don't. Many of us speak from our own metagames and that could span from just a tiny city somewhere in the world to a State or a Country, but still that's too small. The data needs to be worldwide and I understand that.

I recently played in the Philippines and I know that doesn't mean much (playing in the U.S. and the Philippines) and the meta was honestly not that much different than the 5-10 places in California where I play. I base my feelings on what I've seen and will never blindly accept what Wizards says.

As an example (and I know this can be argued), I believed that Bloom Titan was Tier 1 for quite a while before it was acknowledged. I told people here the same thing, but ktkenshinx pointed out (among others, but I'm listing one of the most credible ones) that it was only 5% of the meta at the time, so it can't be listed as "Tier 1." I said I don't care if it listed as Tier 1 or not, it can hang with the big boys like Twin, Jund, and Affinity. Look what happened to KCI. I don't think it ever eclipsed the 8% play mark, but it got banned out of existence with the namesake. Tier 1 to me is the power level of the deck, regardless of how many people play the deck. It could be 1%, but if they're slaughtering people...
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
I know what you're saying. They have the worldwide data while we don't.
I can't speak for others, but my interpretation is that, while they have this data, they are utterly horrible at evaluating it. They get predictions and evaluations wrong all the time. Whether it's a ban decision hitting the wrong target or embarrassingly safe unban targets, whether it's stupidly broken new cards that slipped under the radar of people designing cards specifically for this format, or those very same people providing weak and inept attempts at answers, while outright ignoring the need for things that could easily be included, WOTC has shown time and time again that they are completely terrible at understanding and managing Modern.

I was hoping things would change with the addition of Play Design, and specifically Modern specialists like Tom Ross, but it has not. MH1 showed us that, even when they specifically design for Modern, they can both totally miss the mark on what Modern needs in terms of answers and simultaneously break it to pieces with a busted Tier 0 deck. Any confidence any one has in their ability to manage Modern should be thrown totally out the window.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

In fairness, they have also made a lot of good ban and unban decisions as well. Even if Bloodbraid Elf did take a while to come off, at least it eventually DID come off and doesn't have the "Stoneforge Mystic" treatment of just never freaking coming off.

I can't disagree that they are terrible at evaluating it. I just can't disagree with that, even if I want to. But I'm just saying that their outlook is based ona worldwide metagame, whereas most of us could care less about what happens in Modern 1,000 mi. from us. Maybe we do care if some other place is infested with Hogaak, but we don't have much of a viewpoint from multiple areas across the world. The best we can do is knowing the MTGO meta that we face (which I personally don't know because I've never used it).

As an example, you can see it in posts like "Burn should be banned" every once in a while. People care about what happens at their 24 person FNM much more than the health of the whole Modern meta occasionally. Not always, but occasionally you'll see this...
Last edited by FoodChainGoblins 2 years ago, edited 1 time in total.
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Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
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Modern - Amulet Titan, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
As an example (and I know this can be argued), I believed that Bloom Titan was Tier 1 for quite a while before it was acknowledged. I told people here the same thing, but ktkenshinx pointed out (among others, but I'm listing one of the most credible ones) that it was only 5% of the meta at the time, so it can't be listed as "Tier 1." I said I don't care if it listed as Tier 1 or not, it can hang with the big boys like Twin, Jund, and Affinity. Look what happened to KCI. I don't think it ever eclipsed the 8% play mark, but it got banned out of existence with the namesake. Tier 1 to me is the power level of the deck, regardless of how many people play the deck. It could be 1%, but if they're slaughtering people...
That was just due to at the time, we based 'Tier' around certain measurables. Its power level was always there, and it did not actually decrease to Tier 2 status in terms of raw power after it was nerfed.

People just gave up on it, when they could have been winning week after week after week, because they lost Summer Bloom.
Maybe we do care if some other place is infested with Hogaak, but we don't have much of a viewpoint from multiple areas across the world. The best we can do is knowing the MTGO meta that we face (which I personally don't know because I've never used it).
The only 'metas' that matter are GP level, and MTGO. If you are playing primarily in MTGO space, outside of very rare cases where decks do not operate as they do in paper, then you are playing the 'real' meta, as far as balance considerations will ever matter.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
People just gave up on it, when they could have been winning week after week after week, because they lost Summer Bloom.

The only 'metas' that matter are GP level, and MTGO. If you are playing primarily in MTGO space, outside of very rare cases where decks do not operate as they do in paper, then you are playing the 'real' meta, as far as balance considerations will ever matter.
As someone who has played both versions of the deck quite a bit, Amulet did lose a lot with Summer Bloom. The deck wants an interactive meta because that's what it does well against. But without the Hive Mind kill, it has more trouble actively racing all of the current goldfish decks in the meta. Turn 3 kills don't do much when your opponent has the turn 2. The deck had to slow down quite a bit and rely on small creatures to ramp.

You are right about the metas. GP level and MTGO, yep. But within the GP level, there are many of local metas that influenced that. GPs are all over the world, although mostly in highly populated areas. So, I guess these areas may be more important than a meta where Modern is rarely played and no GP travels to.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Amulet Titan, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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