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

th33l3x
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Post by th33l3x » 9 months ago

It would be hilarious if Veil, Uro, Astrolabe and T3feri all remain legal next monday and they just ban Snoop because of some obnoxious win% hehe. That would teach us.

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Post by pizzap » 9 months ago

Greeksis wrote:
9 months ago
They could certainly choose to unban Preordain instead of Splinter Twin. Yes.
That would make it something like: Preordain, Punishing Fire, Green Sun's Zenith. The latter would help the chord style of decks and Elves that are in big trouble for several years now. At the same time, those are some pretty safe unbans, in contrast to Twin that it would have a huge risk of having a huge metashare due to spikes inflating the win rate/metagame presence of the deck. I believe that there is a chance that even if Twin was fine and would be Tier 1, people would flock to it and make it seem like it's a serious problem.

People can't inflate Preordain, let alone Fire or GSZ. Who wants to play GSZ anyways? Amulet actively prefers Green Pact, Green DS actively wants Traverse, Vizier can't be fetched with GSZ. Just make Elves or other green toolbox decks Tier 2 from the untiered garbage spot they are into right now, while releasing a 100% safe card into the format. At the same time, give us Fire that can compat Elves(even if I believe Fires is so slow that nobody would play it).
Let's look at the only unbanned cards that were not on the initial Modern ban list: Nacatl and BBE.

Wild Nacatl was unbanned after the culprit GSZ was banned.
BBE was unbanned after the culprit DRS was banned.

So, indeed Preordain might be unbanned some day after banning of the culprit Splinter Twin.
Unbanning of GSZ or Twin is less likely as they were used to be the culprits themselves.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 9 months ago

th33l3x wrote:
9 months ago
It would be hilarious if Veil, Uro, Astrolabe and T3feri all remain legal next monday and they just ban Snoop because of some obnoxious win% hehe. That would teach us.
I laughed at this. That ... would ... be ... funny. And completely plausible by WotC standards. The thing is that Snoop is in M21 and they need the $3 rare to sell M21. :explode:
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Post by Aazadan » 9 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
9 months ago
What do Punishing Fire and GSZ add to the format?
Fire would add a lot, not sure what decks would use it but something would, and it possibly makes a new deck too. GSZ would be nice, but after seeing finale I think gsz would be too much.

I've come around on the Astrolabe ban too. Still annoyed that Opal died when Astrolabe was the problem then too, but at this point a ban of Uro and leaving Astrolabe in would just lead to another ban in the future. Ban it now and some other cards might get saved.

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Post by cfusionpm » 9 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
9 months ago
cfusionpm wrote:
9 months ago
What do Punishing Fire and GSZ add to the format?
Fire would add a lot, not sure what decks would use it but something would, and it possibly makes a new deck too. GSZ would be nice, but after seeing finale I think gsz would be too much.

I've come around on the Astrolabe ban too. Still annoyed that Opal died when Astrolabe was the problem then too, but at this point a ban of Uro and leaving Astrolabe in would just lead to another ban in the future. Ban it now and some other cards might get saved.
I feel like we're way past a time where Punishing Fire, GSZ, or Preordain would be remotely impactful or meaningful. 2019/2020 design and power creep has already negated countless staples from even recent printings; never mind things considered "broken" in 2012.

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Post by Aazadan » 9 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
9 months ago
Aazadan wrote:
9 months ago
cfusionpm wrote:
9 months ago
What do Punishing Fire and GSZ add to the format?
Fire would add a lot, not sure what decks would use it but something would, and it possibly makes a new deck too. GSZ would be nice, but after seeing finale I think gsz would be too much.

I've come around on the Astrolabe ban too. Still annoyed that Opal died when Astrolabe was the problem then too, but at this point a ban of Uro and leaving Astrolabe in would just lead to another ban in the future. Ban it now and some other cards might get saved.
I feel like we're way past a time where Punishing Fire, GSZ, or Preordain would be remotely impactful or meaningful. 2019/2020 design and power creep has already negated countless staples from even recent printings; never mind things considered "broken" in 2012.
Preordain would be more impactful than ever. Finale is worse than GSZ and made an instant impact. I'm pretty sure GSZ could do it. It would probably honestly enable a pure green blue Uro deck.

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Post by cfusionpm » 9 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
9 months ago
Preordain would be more impactful than ever. Finale is worse than GSZ and made an instant impact. I'm pretty sure GSZ could do it. It would probably honestly enable a pure green blue Uro deck.
Is this a joke? Nobody is playing Serum Visions, because they'd rather play the worse Opt at instant speed, or fix their mana with Astrolabe. The mathematical advantage Preordain has over Serum Visions is painfully small.

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Post by cfusionpm » 9 months ago

Greeksis wrote:
9 months ago
Have you played / seen any Legacy or Vintage?
Have YOU?

Nobody is playing Preordain, unless you're a dedicated combo deck, and already maxed out 4 Brainstorm, and 4 Ponder, they MIGHT play some Preordains.

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Post by Aazadan » 9 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
9 months ago
Nobody is playing Preordain, unless you're a dedicated combo deck, and already maxed out 4 Brainstorm, and 4 Ponder, they MIGHT play some Preordains.
Neither of which Modern has, and the more powerful the format, the greater impact consistency tools have.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 9 months ago

I wish I could quote right now, but it keeps messing up.

@Aazadan - Green Sun's Zenith is not strictly better than Finale of Devastation. Finale costs a mana more, which is nearly infinite in any kind of meta. But it gets creatures from the graveyard into play, can get non-Green creatures, and is a win-con with more than 10 mana (the tiny percentage that will come up). You know what's cool about Finale? It doesn't target, so if your opponent doesn't remove all choices in your yard, you can get one into play and if they do, then you find something from your library. I can't wait to play against all those turn 1 Zenith into Dryad noobs that think it does something in Modern, lol. There is literally no deck in the meta that cares about that.

Preordain would be more impactful than any other cantrip right now. You know why? The others are probably played at least 100 times less than the card, Arcum's Astrolabe. Let's think about it vs. a card that is not going to get banned, Lightning Bolt. Bolt sees so much more play than Serum Visions, Opt, and Sleight of Hand all put together. Think about that.

@cfusionpm - I agree with you. The difference between Serum Visions is certainly not as big as most people think it is. It's just another card that has been made nearly obsolete because of power creep. I couldn't believe that my foil Serum Visions were only $4.75!

@Greeksis - I do not think Preordain is as good as people think it is and right now is a perfect time to unban it, seeing cantrips are only played in Storm type decks.

Also you can't compare Vintage to Modern. We do not have a deck full of lethal 1 ofs or we would also put any cantrip worth salt in our deck as well. Notice the lack of Serum Visions, Opt, and Sleight of Hand in those formats. Because these cantrips are complete trash. They're horrible. WotC even figured it out and is allowing Opt to be in Standard forever. Preordain would bring a cantrip worth playing in some decks in Modern. What is wrong with that?

Legacy decks would play a cantrip that is barely better than the next choice because the game with powerful cards in a format of Combo and Force of Will can often be decided by a hair. In Modern, many matches are not decided that closely. I often demolish opponents and get demolished in Modern more than any other format.
Last edited by FoodChainGoblins 9 months ago, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by cfusionpm » 9 months ago

Greeksis wrote:
9 months ago
Sure. https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=26319&d=400580&f=VI
Random xerox list. 4 preordain.

https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=26198&d=398995&f=VI
Second random xerox list. 4 preordain.

Third random xerox list. 4 preordain.
https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=26123&d=397435&f=VI

Fourth random xerox list. 4 preordain.
https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=26123&d=397430&f=VI

Now. Legacy.
First random Delver list, 2 preordain.
https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=26320&d=400622&f=LE

Second random Delver list, 3 preordain.
https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=25916&d=394035&f=LE

But sure. Nobody is playing Preordain. Jeskai Xerox in Vintage is not a dedicated combo deck, UR Delver in Legacy is not a dedicated combo deck.

Now, let me ask you again: Have you PLAYED any legacy or seen any Vintage?????
I'm sorry, since when is anything in Vintage relevant to... really anything at all? But they're probably running it because it's bad enough to not be restricted like Recall, Brainstorm, Probe, Gush, and Ponder all are.

Same goes for Legacy, it's seeing play because those decks have already loaded up on the good cantrips and they just want more volume. Preordain is simply the next best thing, even if it's orders of magnitude worse than Brainstorm and Ponder.

But yeah, if your stance is that Preordain is something people play after they have thoroughly exhausted all better cantrips, then sure. Ya got me there.

Do you work for WOTC with analysis like this?

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Post by th33l3x » 9 months ago

I now squat about Legacy, but I do know that Preordain is miles and miles better than Serum Visions. Digging 3 deep instantly for a card you need is 10x better than drawing a random card and digging 4 deep for the next draw.

I do not want Preordain in this format, ever. The difference is huge.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 9 months ago

A few things about Preordain. The only argument anyone has had for this card is that Preordain is going to help me find Arcum's Astrolabe, Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, Veil of Summer, or SB answer easier. When you watch Vintage and someone Preordains into Ancestral Recall, do you shout that Preordain should be Restricted to 1 in Vintage?

And don't kid yourself. Modern decks are consistent already, even your Blue based ones. When you have a hundred million cards with the text "draw a card," decks are going to be consistent. Tron is a very consistent deck. Likewise for Amulet. Burn is one of the most consistent decks I've ever seen in practice. Storm is consistent - it has trouble with hate though or else the deck would be much stronger. Most players don't go out and try to find a super inconsistent deck to play and then just "roll the dice." Preordain doesn't change this. The only deck where a tiny bit of extra consistency can be terrifying is Neobrand, but honestly as a Neobrand player myself, the deck should never exist in the current form.

Just think about this. Preordain was never judged on its own. It got banned with Ponder because herp derp, they are the same card. /sarcasm Every deck that Preordain was in received HUGE bans to it after Preordain was gone. Blazing Shoal, Seething Song, Gitaxian Probe, Splinter Twin, Summer Bloom for Amulet (but I realize the upgrades to the deck have been much more).

@Greeksis - cpfusion is understating it a bit and understandably so. People think that Preordain would be the next Hogaak and meanwhile didn't care about the original Companion rule, AA, Uro, Veil, T3feri, a bunch of other %$#%, while cards way, way weaker rot away on the ban list. Imagine you are telling a friend to join Modern, but you tell him that all of those are legal, yet Green Sun's Zenith is banned and has been for 7 years. Do you think that lures players to play Modern? I am pretty sure that Splinter Twin would be all right, but it's more than that. Unbanning Twin makes people want to play Modern, more so than any number of players that quit. The ban was super polarizing. I will play Modern almost no matter what. I played through E Winter and Hogaak domination. Modern is not for the weak of heart, but they can certainly at least make an effort to be consistent in bans, unbans, and new printings.

You realize that there are many players that think Modern is a joke? This hurts me and it's easy to realize this - the truth is always going to hurt more than a blatant lie. (For example, before AA/Veil/Uro, etc in Legacy when people tell me Legacy is terrible, I could care less. I realize that it's not true; just a function of the Reserve list excluding players. The format is actually pretty sweet and very deep.)
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Post by cfusionpm » 9 months ago

th33l3x wrote:
9 months ago
I now squat about Legacy, but I do know that Preordain is miles and miles better than Serum Visions. Digging 3 deep instantly for a card you need is 10x better than drawing a random card and digging 4 deep for the next draw.

I do not want Preordain in this format, ever. The difference is huge.
Why? What deck would play this? Storm? Low tier jank playing Sleight of Hand? Because people already aren't playing Serum Visions. They're Choosing Opt or Astrolabe, because instant speed or ancillary effects seem more important for most decks than simply digging.

So.... sure. Keep believing it's too good. Just like people thought Ancestral Vision was too good. And that Jace was too good. And that Stoneforge was too good. And... And... And...

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Post by cfusionpm » 9 months ago

Greeksis wrote:
9 months ago
cfusionpm wrote:
9 months ago
th33l3x wrote:
9 months ago
I now squat about Legacy, but I do know that Preordain is miles and miles better than Serum Visions. Digging 3 deep instantly for a card you need is 10x better than drawing a random card and digging 4 deep for the next draw.

I do not want Preordain in this format, ever. The difference is huge.
Why? What deck would play this? Storm? Low tier jank playing Sleight of Hand? Because people already aren't playing Serum Visions. They're Choosing Opt or Astrolabe, because instant speed or ancillary effects seem more important for most decks than simply digging.

So.... sure. Keep believing it's too good. Just like people thought Ancestral Vision was too good. And that Jace was too good. And that Stoneforge was too good. And... And... And...
You should choose better argument(s). I can expand this into
"Mental misstep is fine. Just like people thought Ancestral Vision was too good. And that Jace was too good. And that Stoneforge was too good. And... And... And..."
I... What? I don't even know how to reply to this ridiculous stance. I am truly dumbfounded that you think this can apply to anything, much less something like Mental Misstep, when we literally have two nearly analogous cards (Serum and Sleight) legal, and see little to no play. This is beyond a terrible counterargument, it's simply baffling. :thinking:

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Post by cfusionpm » 9 months ago

I don't care one way or another if Preordain is unbanned. But I think it would be a complete waste of an extremely precious unban slot.

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Post by th33l3x » 9 months ago

I think I laid out very precisely why Preordain is so much better than Serum Visions. Both when looking for a combo piece AND when looking for an answer as a control deck, getting the card a turn earlier is a huge deal. Modern is a fast format, and 1 turn is a significant chunk of every game.

What would Preordain do? Make Storm, Neobrand, Ad Nauseam even more consistent. These decks are already capable of goldfishing most of their games, why would you significantly upgrade another cantrip?

Hell, if decks are already maxed out for consistency, why not unban Ponder too?

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 9 months ago

th33l3x wrote:
9 months ago
I think I laid out very precisely why Preordain is so much better than Serum Visions. Both when looking for a combo piece AND when looking for an answer as a control deck, getting the card a turn earlier is a huge deal. Modern is a fast format, and 1 turn is a significant chunk of every game.

What would Preordain do? Make Storm, Neobrand, Ad Nauseam even more consistent. These decks are already capable of goldfishing most of their games, why would you significantly upgrade another cantrip?

Hell, if decks are already maxed out for consistency, why not unban Ponder too?
Preordain is much closer in comparison to Serum Visions than it is to Ponder. Ponder actually is a significant upgrade and although wouldn't be banworthy (unless you are of the position that more powerful cards should stay legal because of some cantrips), it would be pretty strong.

Yes, we know in almost every situation, Preordain is better than Serum Visions. The difference in beliefs is that some people think that Preordain is as super strong and breaks the format. Others believe that it is a slight upgrade to Serum Visions and will cause a downtick in Serum Visions and Sleight of Hand due to a slightly better cantrip.

A quick look at mtgtop8 in the past 2 weeks show 3 of 58 decks being Storm, Ad Naus, and Neobrand. In the past 2 months, it is 23 out of 539 decks. Will this number increase if Preordain was unbanned? Certainly. People will try it. But what number is acceptable to you? Remember, Stoneforge Mystic and Jace, the Mind Sculptor also SAW and still SEE play.

But maybe you think I'm talking out of my ass? I've played all of these cards extensively in many formats. For Serum Visions, Sleight of Hand, and Opt, I've played them considerably less because they just are not good. I'm sorry. Yes, I have Visions and left a Blood Moon on top so that it could not be Thoughtseized by Jund, then slammed it next turn to win. But these cards are not good cantrips, just necessary for Tier 2 or below decks.

I played Preordain almost the whole UW Delver deck in Standard. I was so sad when it rotated and we got Ponder instead. I quickly learned the power of Ponder and that Preordain was not close. Although I don't really like to play Delver, I told myself I'd never play a deck in that Standard without Ponder. I won so much store credit with that deck, top 8ed an SCG Open out of 2 that I played it in, and top 8ed a tcgplayer before those discontinued out of the one that I went to. I made a lot of friends playing Delver, mostly because the deck was busted and I was willing to put in the time to beat the mirror.

I played Brainstorm, Ponder, and Preordain all in Legacy like crazy. After I stopped playing Imperial Painter, I probably almost exclusively played these decks with cantrips galore. I played them in Modern. I played Storm for 3 months straight. I played Ad Nauseam near the beginning of Modern after I gave up on Merfolk after 3 weeks. I played and play Neoform because I love the deck. I would not say that Preordain is fine if I thought it would be banned again.

*Honestly, most people put Preordain in a box. It was banned with Ponder when all of these other cards later to be banned were legal, so it must be the same as Ponder. P and P, not P and SV, right? Almost no one takes the time to think about the play in numerous decks across multiple formats or even just freaking Modern. Do you realize how much power creep has been in Modern in the past 1.5 years? Let me ask people an honest question? Does Preordain help Storm win a turn faster? Does Preordain help Ad Nauseam win a turn faster? Does it help Neobrand? And even if it did, please raise your hand if you believe that Neobrand should still be legal in this format. One of its biggest proponents, finalnub, Johnathan Zhang, and myself also do not believe it should be legal in this format. In what world is Neobrand an excuse not to ban a very average card? No, it's not crap. Yes, it's better than Serum Visions. Yes, Serum Visions sees very little play. Yes, it's worse than Ponder. What world?

**And @cfusionpm and anyone else for that matter have a RIGHT to be perturbed about some of these cards on the ban list. Mostly because some of us could even care less. I know he doesn't care about it as much as I do because he wants cards that will have a larger impact. These stories and arguments are all the same things we heard about Sword of the Meek, Ancestral Vision (please admit if you thought this card was busted, lol), Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Bloodbraid Elf, and Stoneforge Mystic. This is why SfM got unbanned a good 4-6 years after it could have been unbanned. Is it okay to have Snow decks run rampant, but some scrub has no right to Green Sun's Zenith for a freaking Arbor on turn 1? Who says that's okay (I mean, other than WotC right now)?
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Post by Ym1r » 9 months ago

That looks pretty fake to me.
Counter, draw a card.

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Post by The Fluff » 9 months ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
9 months ago
Preordain is much closer in comparison to Serum Visions than it is to Ponder. Ponder actually is a significant upgrade and although wouldn't be banworthy (unless you are of the position that more powerful cards should stay legal because of some cantrips), it would be pretty strong.

Yes, we know in almost every situation, Preordain is better than Serum Visions. The difference in beliefs is that some people think that Preordain is as super strong and breaks the format. Others believe that it is a slight upgrade to Serum Visions and will cause a downtick in Serum Visions and Sleight of Hand due to a slightly better cantrip.

A quick look at mtgtop8 in the past 2 weeks show 3 of 58 decks being Storm, Ad Naus, and Neobrand. In the past 2 months, it is 23 out of 539 decks. Will this number increase if Preordain was unbanned? Certainly. People will try it. But what number is acceptable to you? Remember, Stoneforge Mystic and Jace, the Mind Sculptor also SAW and still SEE play.

But maybe you think I'm talking out of my ass? I've played all of these cards extensively in many formats. For Serum Visions, Sleight of Hand, and Opt, I've played them considerably less because they just are not good. I'm sorry. Yes, I have Visions and left a Blood Moon on top so that it could not be Thoughtseized by Jund, then slammed it next turn to win. But these cards are not good cantrips, just necessary for Tier 2 or below decks.

I played Preordain almost the whole UW Delver deck in Standard. I was so sad when it rotated and we got Ponder instead. I quickly learned the power of Ponder and that Preordain was not close. Although I don't really like to play Delver, I told myself I'd never play a deck in that Standard without Ponder. I won so much store credit with that deck, top 8ed an SCG Open out of 2 that I played it in, and top 8ed a tcgplayer before those discontinued out of the one that I went to. I made a lot of friends playing Delver, mostly because the deck was busted and I was willing to put in the time to beat the mirror.
just adding my two cents.

happened a few years ago, I was playtesting whole day with a friend. We tested different decks.. and it was almost night time, the last deck we tested is his modern ur kiln fiend deck. Was already very tired at that point, and I did not realize he use both preordain and ponder in his modern deck.. lost, hard to deal with that amount of consistency from those two blue banned cards. We realized this a few days later, and he apologized for using those.

I do think Preordain is fine to unban, but Ponder feels too strong for this format - it could give rise to more combo decks.
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Post by True-Name Nemesis » 9 months ago

Would like Astrolabe and Veil both to go, although I could see it being just either one.

Astrolabe would dial back all the most relevant snow shell cards just a bit, so collectively it'll make a pretty decent impact imo. Snake gets slightly worse, Mystic Sanctuary gets slightly worse, Uro gets slightly worse.

Re: Abundant growth being a replacement for Astrolabe in snow control, yeah it does replace astrolabe in some ways. But..
1) You need to cast it with green mana, so you're either shocking for a breeding pool if you want the island count for Mystic Sanctuary, or basic forest. Definitely not as powerful as Snow-island + Astrolabe.
2) The mana fixing effect is tied to the land its enchanted on, so the fixing effect is also not as flexible as astrolabe. If it's enchanted on a non-basic, it's more vulnerable to land destruction.
3) It's not snow, so it doesn't power up Snake/Dead of Winter.

So I think it'll dial snow's power back down more closely to the rest of the format instead of being the obvious best deck, which is probably the intended outcome of an astrolabe ban if it does happen.

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Post by Spsiegel1987 » 9 months ago

Banning just veil alone would be silly.

Astrolabe will help mitigate needing to ban any other major UGx staple. All snow decks are basically 4 color decks. More painful mana, blood moon susceptibility and weak to land destruction will definitely make it just a good deck instead of the tier 0.5 deck.

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Post by cfusionpm » 9 months ago

Everything just depends on which arbitrary measure they decide to act (or not act) upon. Again, WOTC does what they want, when they want, for whatever reason they want. So whichever card they want to remove, they will remove, and then justify it selectively after the fact.

Is it win rate? Top8 appearances? Single deck performance? Prevalence across multiple decks? Matchups? A mechanic they don't like? A card they don't like? Make your decision, then pick which metric best supports that decision. It's the WOTC way. We lowly players will never be privy to either the specifics or metrics used to decide any given ban until after the ban happens. But as long as we cry wolf at every opportunity, we can ignore the times when we were wrong and highlight the times we were right. All the while, continuing to live in a fog of frustration and unclear communication.

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Post by Tzoulis » 9 months ago

Spsiegel1987 wrote:
9 months ago
Banning just veil alone would be silly.

Astrolabe will help mitigate needing to ban any other major UGx staple. All snow decks are basically 4 color decks. More painful mana, blood moon susceptibility and weak to land destruction will definitely make it just a good deck instead of the tier 0.5 deck.
Blood Moon hasn't been a huge consideration for 3 color manabases for years. You just play the maximum basics and that's it. Snow decks already play that number of basics. which is around 7. Blood Moon is good for "gotcha" moments or to slow down big mana decks. If Astrolabe was so good at making painless manabases then other 3 color decks like Jund, Jeskai, Grixis etc would play them and be competitive. Of them only Jund has shown some competitiveness and it often times plays Veil itself (dunno what's the consensus atm on Jund). Moreover, all those 3 color decks are Uro decks which that alone %$#% on aggro and all of them play Veil, along with combo decks. Banning Astrolabe won't "fix" the brokeness of the Snow Core. It might help with aggro a bit, but the 4 slots freed by the ban can be dedicated to aggro and you're just at square one. Lastly, Veil has similar prevalence as Astrolabe and across more decks.

th33l3x
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Post by th33l3x » 9 months ago

This is a fair point actually. Astrolabe is very good at mana fixing, but being a snow artifact permanent is also a huge deal. As you say, if it was just the mana fixing, Astrolabe would see play in colors outside UGx, especially 3c decks outside UGx. But it doesn't. Not in Jund, not in Jeskai, not in Grixis, not in Esper.

The mana fixing + cantripping is the obvious draw to the card, but the many little things it does BEYOND those are what makes it outright bannable instead of just very good. And it does those things in UGx decks only.

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