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

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Tzoulis
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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

Greeksis wrote:
1 year ago
Mox Opal was a banning many people predicted at the time and we were proven right.
About Mystic Sanctuary, if astrolabe is not *enough* on it's own, I believe they will take the powerful land out as well. I don't necessarily agree it should go, I love that the card makes UR better, but it creates a super powerful soft lock. I think I like the card, but I will understand it if it will go.
If you cry wolf enough times, then eventually you're bound to be "right". Them going for the most vocal rather for the problematic cards, isn't "right". Banning Opal did the opposite of what it was intended to do. That's why it was myopic.

I still don't see how that relates to what I said. Even if you ban Astrolabe AND Sanctuary, you still have Veil and T3feri (and Uro, and Snake). You just forced every deck to play UGx if they wanna grind. While, banning Veil and/or T3feri first, and letting other colors breathe, will let you see (and us) IF there is indeed a need to ban Astrolabe and/or Sanctuary.

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Post by Bearscape » 1 year ago

I'm pretty sure Astrolabe will get the axe even though I disagree with it. I hope UGx doesn't eat two nerfs though. Maybe just ban Snake so I can play my pretty basics again,

I'm actually most excited about the Pioneer changes. I was getting into Pioneer but then it immediately just turned into Modern Light and I kind of lost interest.

EDIT: Oh yeah even though I said I don't want more than one nerf for UGx, I still hope Tef3 and Veil eat it just for being obnoxious.

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Post by pierreb » 1 year ago

Disagreeing with ban decisions does not make them wrong or have bad outcomes. If banning opal had the opposite effect of their intentions, we would have a new artifact GY recursion deck, for example. The ban was to hit decks that used opal and the ban hit decks that used opal. That you think it was the wrong ban does not change that.

The reason to ban astrolabe + sanctuary would be to hit the decks at the margins. Same for banning AA + veil. A example of the contrary would be to ban Uro, which would hit all Uro decks dead center.

If they finally ban veil, it will be the ban I expected, except I've been expecting it every two weeks for the past year.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Greeksis wrote:
1 year ago
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
What specific, unique deck causes you to think this? And how is it different from your defense of Faithless Looting?
Mox Opal and Faithless Looting were two cards that presented big problems in Modern too many times and that's why they were inevitably banned, and rightly so.
And yet you spent months defending Phoenix and Looting as being totally fine. Why the change in perspective? What makes Astrolabe now different from Looting then? Looting was not banned because of Phoenix or Dredge. If that were the case, it would have been banned months earlier. It was banned because of Hogaak. A singular deck that forced their hand to do something they should have done long before that.

So what has changed in WOTC's thinking? What deck pushes Astrolabe over the edge? Is there a specific deck? And if not, why not celebrate the diversity of decks it enables?

Perhaps win rates might be a problem. But neither you nor any of us have that data, so it seems presumptuous to simply assume that is the case, and state it as fact.

Whether or not I personally agree with these sentiments is irrelevant, I simply seek to understand consistency of beliefs and statements.

Lastly, Mox Opal likely would have been banned in April of 2016 (or ahead of the next PT) if it weren't for A) the outrage against the Twin ban and B) Eldrazi destroying Modern, followed by pump-aggro destroying Modern. Its numbers were nearly identical to Twin, and was living on borrowed time for four years. The ultimate irony is that when it finally was banned, it was for all the wrong reasons, because WOTC fundamentally does not understand how to evaluate decks and formats.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Greeksis wrote:
1 year ago
I mean, doesn't the fact that there were two-thee copies every time in every Modern challenge speak about their win rate a bit?

Wizards have decided to go down the route of win rates. That's a consistent route,
It's also conveniently one we have zero access to. And they can choose when to publish and when not to. Meaning they can hide problematic decks, or highlight decks they don't like. And can fluidly choose what to draw attention to based on a combination of their internal biases and public outrage. Frank Karsten was literally banned from providing matchup win rate data from events specifically so that WOTC could hide behind the curtain.

So go ahead and continue to believe this has anything to do with consistency.

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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

pierreb wrote:
1 year ago
Disagreeing with ban decisions does not make them wrong or have bad outcomes. If banning opal had the opposite effect of their intentions, we would have a new artifact GY recursion deck, for example. The ban was to hit decks that used opal and the ban hit decks that used opal. That you think it was the wrong ban does not change that.
Or we're disagreeing because we are (were) actively playing the decks -and in the meta- to know that it was a mistake and they rushed into it. Oko-Opal decks weren't traditional artifact decks. They played the 12 "standard" artifacts of Bauble, Opal, Astrolabe and a couple of Explosives. Those numbers alone can't justify playing Opal to have it actually being a ramp spell. Now, add the fact that Goose and Oko both produce artifacts by virtue of existing and you get to the magic numbaer of at least 21 artifacts to have Opal online by turn 2 consistently.

The only thing that banning Opal achieved was nuking ALL artifact decks -bar the random Urza and Scales lists- from existing. That's it. Your fear of another "artifact GY recursion deck" is very simple to solve: ban Emry. She's the one that gave speed, consistency, and resilience to "artifact"/artifact decks. She is also the one that made those artifact GY recursion decks possible. Breach-Station can't function without Emry, nor can the artifact version of Jeskai Ascendancy. By cutting Opal you castrated all artifact decks and those GY recursion decks.

Timing the ban with the Oko ban didn't let us see if post-Oko artifact decks would be a problem. Chances are they could be, but then Opal still wasn't the answer. Emry or Urza himself were, because without Opal there are no artifact decks, but there are artifact decks without Emry (and to a lesser extent Urza). They saw both of them being played in the same deck and didn't even consider why, and just decided to go for broke and %$#% on a macro archetype.
pierreb wrote:
1 year ago
The reason to ban astrolabe + sanctuary would be to hit the decks at the margins. Same for banning AA + veil. A example of the contrary would be to ban Uro, which would hit all Uro decks dead center.
Banning Astrolabe and/or Sanctuary won't do anything to combat the Snow-core decks. They'll still be able to have absurd mana bases, or rather not really care about aggro since the format has slowed down by their presence. Veil is putting a stranglehold on U and B interaction (mostly B), and T3feri is an abomination of a card that shouldn't exist that every UWx deck MUST play. Not to mention that a potential Sanctuary ban will have severe consequences on rival control decks like Miracles, so you'll still be forced into Snow-core control decks.
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
Lastly, Mox Opal likely would have been banned in April of 2016 (or ahead of the next PT) if it weren't for A) the outrage against the Twin ban and B) Eldrazi destroying Modern, followed by pump-aggro destroying Modern. Its numbers were nearly identical to Twin, and was living on borrowed time for four years. The ultimate irony is that when it finally was banned, it was for all the wrong reasons, because WOTC fundamentally does not understand how to evaluate decks and formats.
That's why I'm angry about Opal ban, I'd be fine if it had been banned way earlier, where it's relative power level was significantly higher than it is today. Since they left it alone for years after the fact and also printed Legacy level of artifact hate in Force of Vigor and Shenanigans, banning it for it existing in a deck that spit out artifacts by nature of cards existing, thus enabling it way easier than designed, and in the process %$#% up every potential artifact deck is a colossal misstep.
Greeksis wrote:
1 year ago
I mean, doesn't the fact that there were two-thee copies every time in every Modern challenge speak about their win rate a bit?
Win rate =/= popularity. Phoenix post March 2019 (I think) had an average win% of 53-55% after it's initial high of 58%, which is in line with every T1 deck that the meta adapted to, while it still put up many copies in Top 8s/Top 16s/Top 32s. Since we don't have the requisite data, we can't make the determination that it's either/or or both for the Snow piles.
Greeksis wrote:
1 year ago
You can't ban cards just with data; you have to use a little bit of intuition every now and then. Some examples include Probe and Lattice in modern, veil of summer in Pioneer and other cards. Personally, I think the work that is done from the BnR department is very good. They dont design cards. They ban/unban cards. Obv those who design cards have screwed up big time.
A couple of things, the only (recent) instance of them showing intuition in their ban decisions has been the Lattice one. Other than that and going back years I can't remember them using intuition at all, let alone in a good way. Probe ban was a straight up numbers and gameplay/game balance decision. Secondly, there isn't a banlist council or something like that. WotC does regular meetings on the health of formats and they decide what to do. Since Aaron Forsythe, head of Design, is taking part in those talks (and I think MaRo did at some point) it's a safe bet that, yes, designers do take part in those discussions. So by proxy, they DO design cards.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
I still don't see how that relates to what I said. Even if you ban Astrolabe AND Sanctuary, you still have Veil and T3feri (and Uro, and Snake). You just forced every deck to play UGx if they wanna grind. While, banning Veil and/or T3feri first, and letting other colors breathe, will let you see (and us) IF there is indeed a need to ban Astrolabe and/or Sanctuary.
I'm not arguing whether Veil of Summer and Teferi, Raveler of Time are the actual problems, but there's no way that WotC bans those cards, especially Teferi.

Astrolabe is a given problem because of how prevalent the card is in the top 8 decks an beyond. Likewise for Uro. Sanctuary is a problem in my opinion, but I doubt that WotC bans that either.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Jund Sacrifice, Jeskai Phoenix, 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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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

There are three types of ban or unban. Those needed, those to boost a product, and those to cover up mistakes.
The last category are the things like unbans of irrelevant cards ( e.g. my beloved Land Tax in Legacy). They tend to be in older formats.
Jtms was a product booster.
We could get a twin unban, in for double masters. Maybe. That is a product seller.
A ban in Pioneer and modern...I am betting one is a distraction ban. A minor ban or unban to deflect discussion away from the topic at hand. Question is which?

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
We could get a twin unban, in for double masters. Maybe. That is a product seller.
Hopefully they don't start spoilers right away with it. I gotta cash in on my 40 mtgo copies, 36 paper copies, and spare 4 MM15 foils.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
There are three types of ban or unban. Those needed, those to boost a product, and those to cover up mistakes.
The last category are the things like unbans of irrelevant cards ( e.g. my beloved Land Tax in Legacy). They tend to be in older formats.
Jtms was a product booster.
We could get a twin unban, in for double masters. Maybe. That is a product seller.
A ban in Pioneer and modern...I am betting one is a distraction ban. A minor ban or unban to deflect discussion away from the topic at hand. Question is which?
I'm assuming this.
1. Pioneer - Dig Through Time
2. Historic - Nexus of Fate from what I hear from others. I know nothing of this format, other than it's the cards people have that rotated from Standard plus whatever randos WotC likes to toss in
3. Modern - Probably ban Arcum's Astrolabe and the most boring unban of all, Green Sun's Zenith.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Jund Sacrifice, Jeskai Phoenix, 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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Post by metalmusic_4 » 1 year ago

I've been away a while but here is what I want:
Ban: astrolabe.
Unban: bridge and twin.

Other things are possible to ban too, like veil primarily, Bridge is the easiest unban, without faithless looting bridge becomes FAR WEAKER than it was pre modern horizons and it was not feared at all up to that point.

I fully expect an unban. We got unbans after previous major format disruptions. Eldrazi winter → AV and sotm. Hogaak summer → SFM. Companions → something!

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Post by Ym1r » 1 year ago

Well, since we are on the ban wagon steaming ahead to ban town I will also put down my wants and expectations:

What I want:
Ban: Veil of Summer, Teferi, Time Reveler
Unban: Splinter Twin

Veil of Summer is straight up a ridiculous card. I have no idea why they printed it. I have defended in the past as in, it can be managed in the format, and I still believe that, but I would rather not having to worry about it and good ridance.
T3feri is a card I have been playing since it got printed. I HATE playing with the card, I just hate it. I don't like anything of what the card does and the play patterns it creates. I play with it because it is admittedly busted and if you play U control decks that have W in them, you got to play the card or you are doing it wrong. But I really just don't want to have to make that decision. Unlikely that it happens but I hope it will.
Splinter Twin, I mean I hate discussing about the card, I am EXHAUSTED of the people bringing it up over and over, just unban it and be done with it. If it proves problematic ban it again for all I care. I have my 4 copies ready to be sleeved.

What I think will happen.
Ban: Arcum's Astrolabe, Veil of Summer,
Unban: Nothing.

I think they will hit both cards to nerf snow strategies plus Veil as we established is a busted card. I really don't want this to happen, just ban one of the two and see how it unfolds, but I think they are ready to axe them both. I will still probably try out Snow variants because the Snake is the Snake and why wouldn't you want to play Baleful Strix? But it will be severly nerfed.
Counter, draw a card.

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Post by th33l3x » 1 year ago

I'd be ok with just a Veil ban. Astrolabe, Uro and T3feri are annoying too, but Uro is manageable via GY hate, especially Cling to Dust, T3feri I honestly don't really care about even though I'm a non-white blue-control player, and Astrolabe I've become indifferent about, probably because it's been discussed and argued over Ad Nauseam. I just don't care anymore^^ Wouldn't hate to see it go though.

Veil and AA, chop chop chop.

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

What I do not get is....no Legacy, when Modern's problem cards are bigger issues in Legacy.

Veil? A much bigger issue in a format policed by 6/7 force decks where a t1 echo of eons or belcher can churn out a win t1/2, and protect it sometimes with Veil.
Teferi? Not really an issue in either on power level, but again, of more significance in Legacy.
Labe? Hell, a much, much greater Legacy issue where the decks are balanced by Wasteland, Blood Moon and Back to Basics, or at least they were until Labe. Now they run Moon and B2B.

With that in mind, maybe there is an unban, distraction ban or a product booster. Twin is a possibility, because it has some very loud supporters but the card is polarising, I certainly won't play the format with it in. I have had enough of having to respect that combo playing a perma tax on my crap cards (or indeed respect a 1/4 flash when my best critter was Thalia). I had to play with garbage like Path to Exile in a critter deck, so no thanks. Others will feel differently, of course. There are those aching for Jund v Twin. Veil plus Twin in the format would nuke Abrupt Decay though, it would be more one sided now. It might be a last hurrah for the format if they do unban it- polarising gets movement, get devotees back in whilst others like me leave, and then they can dump the format completely in 2022/3 as support for it fades. Just time for one more MH. On the other hand, maybe they will unban it and ban Exarch for lols. Make Bolt great again eh? No? Fair enough, not funny unless you are me.
GSZ is always a potential unban. I can't see pod any more than Twin. The anti search stuff in the format (and most formats) is garbage. Ashiok @3, Shadow of Doubt @2, Mindcensor @3. Similar to Twin, it seems fair if you are the player playing with.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

If one's stance is "Twin is a problem because of Veil" that can easily be rephrased as "Veil is the problem."

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Post by pierreb » 1 year ago

My wish: ban veil and astrolabe

To make some happy: ban veil and astrolabe, t3feri, unban twin

What will happen: they'll probably only ban one card because they just love to go slow and "see the result". I won't even try to predict which one. As a result, people who wanted some other cards will be unhappy and twin players will still have their pet subject intact and their deck in their binder. :)

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Post by Spsiegel1987 » 1 year ago

I won't summarize why Astrolabe is an issue because I did it a few days ago.

I predict Astrolabe will be banned, and that Veil has a very good chance too. I've been saying for a very long time that Astrolabe was a huge mistake. I always panic before Sheridan's data backs it up, but my gut has been pretty consistently right for years in regard to this format.

T3feri isn't broken, but holy hell is it an atrociously designed card. I'm not holding my breath, but it would be great if it was banned for the fun precedence.

I think Mystic Sanctuary is also a problematic card that should be monitored. I wouldn't be upset to see it go but I'm not expecting it. Making a fetchland a powerful topdeck seems wrong to me, outside of a land toolbox.

I'd love a Twin unban but I'm expecting no unbans. Would love to be surprised. I think T3feri may need to go if that happens however. The format just seemed to go in the wrong direction. I missed the classic modern pillars of Twin, Jund, Affinity and Tron. If Twin proves to be broken after its unbanning then lock it away and never bring it up again. SFM has proven to be a crappy card in modern and power creep has been a real thing, especially in 2019.


Pioneer is a disaster and I can't tell if WOTC is actively sabotaging the format in order to just say, "Sorry, the format didn't work, but here's historic, since we can play it on Arena and in paper". Dig and Breach should be banned. Having the top three best decks all be combos that require different hate with limited answers is awful.

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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

pierreb wrote:
1 year ago
What will happen: they'll probably only ban one card because they just love to go slow and "see the result". I won't even try to predict which one. As a result, people who wanted some other cards will be unhappy and twin players will still have their pet subject intact and their deck in their binder.
If they were going slow (or playing safe) they wouldn't have banned Opal and earlier Looting (the safe ban would've been Hogaak + Stitcher's Supplier or Creeping Chill). :P
Spsiegel1987 wrote:
1 year ago
I won't summarize why Astrolabe is an issue because I did it a few days ago.
Problematic? Sure. The absolute biggest problem in Modern at the moment? Definitely not.

Banning Astrolabe won't "fix" Snow. They'll adjust the manabase and add 4 more cantrips. Or they'll just use Abundant Growth and continue as if nothing happened. Snow is at the top because several cards together either prop it up or push down decks that should have good match ups. Astrolabe doesn't really do either of those. Veil suppresses discard decks and opposing counters, so tempo is screwed, while T3feri kills all instant speed Interaction. Uro is ramp, CA and aggro hate all in one, along with Coatl. Colors post Astrolabe ban would -potentially- be more painful, but as I said Abundant Growth does the exact same thing. Or if they don't use Growth they put 2 aggro hate cards like Blessed Alliance or Timely and something else and call it a day.

From a format "health" perspective, banning Astrolabe (first) won't do anything. Banning Veil and/or T3feri and -a distant third- Mystic Sanctuary would do way more.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Spsiegel1987 wrote:
1 year ago
If Twin proves to be broken after its unbanning then lock it away and never bring it up again.
I can fully, absolutely, and 100% get behind this.

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
If one's stance is "Twin is a problem because of Veil" that can easily be rephrased as "Veil is the problem."
If I banned Islands and things that produced U, Twin would not be an issue either. Does that mean they should be banned? No, of course. So yes, you could say "veil is the problem". You could also say "the ability to counterspell things that stop the combo is the problem".

Plenty of things stop the combo, but Cryptic and now Borrower bounce them, and most of them are sideboard cards or too weak.

We can't ban things that make twin too good until Twin is just the right power level. Whether Veil should itself go is a separate point, but there are lots of things that make Twin a problem, including Twin players having a Force of Negation when I try to kill the T3 flashed EOT exarch (and before you say it- the opponent having Force of Negation for the Twin itself is not an argument in favour- FON only goes main deck in U decks, but all Twin decks will be blue and playing it to protect flashed exarchs). Tef3 too is an issue, as jeskai Twin would be as rude as RUG with Veil. The game has moved on in threats, but not answers, so whether today's threats are better than Twin is not the point (and they may or may not be). Yes the ban list is inconsistent, and it is totally not fair that pushed threats today are so good when ones from yesteryear that are as good are banned, but what we need are better answers to today's threats, not yet more threats. Path is unplayable, a route to defeat if you cast it early game, whilst Decay, discard and Push limits you to black, red can't main deck a single card that kills both exarch and mite (again if it was a 1/3 exarch Twin would be with us still), whilst white is churning out unplayable 1/2 flying lifelinkers that torpor orb the combo and have no deck to go in, and would be crap in it if they did. Blue has Petty theft now, I guess, which answers things, but probably goes in Twin to answer boarded suppresion fields, torpor orbs etc.

You could play Twin now, literally, with crap sub-optimal cards like Kiki, so I presume it is not the making of infinite men that you want, but the ability to do it efficiently. If you can do it efficiently then it is bad for the threat heavy format to have yet another efficient threat. If you can't do it efficiently and Twin is as bad as you say then then how is that different to now? You can make infinite men clunkily now.

A golden rule for me- opponent keeping one mana back permanently is not "interaction" , it is a tax and the best one in Modern because all the other taxes and pressure on mana got left behind in Legacy.

I won't begrudge it if they do unban Twin- I still have 20 + torpor orbs left as a spec- it was once 50- but I won't be joining you in the format.

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

Spsiegel1987 wrote:
1 year ago
. I missed the classic modern pillars of Twin, Jund, Affinity and Tron.
Hardly balanced if you want to play a plains.

Trust me, it was so little fun I put together not one but two twin decks. I owned 3 tron decks too, but never actually played the, just loaned.

I don't think you will find many nostalgic for those pillars who were not playing them, and of course, Affinity is no more.

Agree on Historic- I can see it replacing Pioneer

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
If one's stance is "Twin is a problem because of Veil" that can easily be rephrased as "Veil is the problem."
If I banned Islands and things that produced U, Twin would not be an issue either. Does that mean they should be banned? No, of course. So yes, you could say "veil is the problem". You could also say "the ability to counterspell things that stop the combo is the problem".
Twin already had access to Dispel, so that point is moot. What Veil does that is different is that it
A) can be used preemptively, so as to draw out counters,
B) can be used to stop sorcery discard spells, and
C) gets around uncounterable spells like Abrupt Decay.

If your problem with Twin is that it might play Veil, your problem is with Veil.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

What do Punishing Fire and GSZ add to the format?

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Post by ThatStoryTeller » 1 year ago

If you unban green sun's zenith Id need to pick up 2-3 yesterday. I loved Zenith Toolboxes in Elves and i would absolutely just play 4 coco 4 3 zenith

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
What do Punishing Fire and GSZ add to the format?
They don't add that much to the format to be real. But that's an indictment for them to be unbanned. Cards that don't or won't do much should most definitely be added back to the format (looking at you Bridge from Below ;) )

A scenario that could happen if Twin were to be unbanned would be that the deck is very strong due to newer, broken pieces. WotC looks at the broken pieces that they have created in the past 1.5 years and decides to reban Twin. We all know that's a definite possibility because it's happened before. I figured out why WotC printed Underworld Breach. They could point to Mox Opal being too good in Urza and Breach shells, rather than looking at a card that is better than Tolarian Academy and a 1R Yawgmoth's Will. Yes, free mana can be a problem. Affinity often had 2 mana on turn 1 (or more when using Springleaf Drum) and 3 mana on turn 2. It was not fair. But Affinity was somewhat contained every once in a while.

*I personally love seeing people still argue against Preordain. Serum Visions is being played at an all time low. Opt is played a little bit more than that. Other than Storm and Ad Nauseam (different Storm deck), Visions is not seeing play in any Tier 1 or 2 deck. Opt is in Miracles style lists. Why play these when there are better options since 2019? Power creep has pushed these cards out. Snow decks don't run these cards.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Jund Sacrifice, Jeskai Phoenix, 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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