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

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ktkenshinx
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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
@ktk I made a huge wall post explaining the situation about twin.
As they see it(not you and me):
There is just no upside to unban it; it could reduce the diversity a bit, or again, not.
Either way, there is a Ux reactive deck at the tier 1 status. Wizards does not have to have a second deck up there.
So either they unban it and have a small Diversity problem (or not), but the gain is minimal.
If there was no ux reactive deck at the top, I think that it would be possible i guess.
I've already said in a few posts that all of those are good arguments against Twin. IDS said the same thing. All we are saying is that anti-Twin arguments should not and cannot cite incorrect facts. The arguments you made that I just quoted here are all legitimate ones to discuss. The following arguments are not:

MYTH: Twin suppressed blue decks. FACT: Twin either didn't suppress them at all OR 2018 blue diversity was identical to 2015 blue diversity. Either way, that rationale was either wrong at the time or never panned out in the future.

MYTH: Twin kept down decks with bad Twin matchups. FACT: Affinity, Amulet Bloom, and G Tron had bad Twin matchups throughout 2015 and were all very successful, especially Affinity which had the second-most GP T8s after Twin despite a 30/70 matchup and Bloom that was so good it got banned despite a 40/60 Twin matchup.

MYTH: Jund/Abzan were highly favored anti-Twin decks. FACT: Both decks were calculated at 50/50 in N>95 samples (N>120 for Abzan) with confidence intervals no worse than 40/60 <-> 60/40 (Jund) and 45/60 <-> 60/45 (Abzan). The decks were statistically even.

We can use any arguments we want to talk about how Wizards should not or will not unban Twin. But every time anyone uses these disproven myths, I'm going to react very strongly and I imagine others will too. Note that I'm fine if we explore the data behind those myth/fact pairings; data exploration is good. But people should not be saying the myths as if they are facts without presenting new data we haven't seen.
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
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.
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year 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...
I agree with FCG here more than CFP. On the one hand, Wizards is not always good at deciding what to ban out of a deck, and they are really bad at designing cards at appropriate power levels. On the other hand, Wizards is very good at stepping back and letting things play out even when vocal community pillars and subsets are screaming for bans. It's a mixed bag and I'm glad for the pros but very annoyed with the cons of this strategy.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

"Lose a lot" is going to need to be given some context. Rewind to the time when the ban happened, how many reliable 'Turn 2' kills existed again?

I played against the deck online during its rise, and after it was nerfed (not banned) and just because you are not absolutely OP busted does not mean your deck lost all viability.

I mean your perspective comes through in your posts all the time, the fact (yep, fact) remains that Amulet did not get hamstrung by its nerf, and people could have been playing it at a competitive level long before it picked up steam again with the SCG folks.

2nd place at last weekends classic. At a glance, this deck could have existed within the timeframe of the Twin ban. Other than what Ballista? I dont buy it. The deck was Tier 1 in power, and remained as such comically, but people quit on it.

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Post by SaberTooth » 1 year ago

Modern cannot be analyzed with hogaak in the picture, so we should wait till the ban. I dont think that FL should be banned, like i dont think that brainstorm should be banned in legacy. One (or less like opal) mana powerful spells are what make eternal formats, so those pillars of the format should be preserved, but at the same time, i think that preordain and GSZ are at the same PW as those cards that are allowed in the format, so they should be unbanned

the case for stoneforge is a joke at the moment. That card belongs to modern

on the hogaak topic, maybe they tested london mulligan because they knew that leylines (like the black one) would be a major player in modern. It's imposible that they didnt knew that hogaak is broken, so maybe they intended to mitigate this with the interaction between the london mulligan and the leylines

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

They had certainly tested the London Mull before, and were on record indicating it was bad for non-rotating formats. Nothing changed, other than their desire, post PT when LSV mulled to the abyss, and they didnt want that kind of bad optic taking place again.

London Mull is a mistake, at least until it gets Tron banned, and all 'fair' players can finally move on from thinking Blood Moon will save them. :p

(*Notes the 2 Blood Moon in my Main Deck...*)
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
"Lose a lot" is going to need to be given some context. Rewind to the time when the ban happened, how many reliable 'Turn 2' kills existed again?
Hive Mind lost its effectiveness in the deck. Back when the "given" number was 2, I personally ran 3. It is my out to "I'm dead next turn no matter what." Outside of double Amulet of Vigor, the deck cannot win on 1 single turn. It can just set itself up to win for the next turn and often decks can play Thoughtseize on the Pact of Negation that you took and then win or play multiple angles of winning (like Devoted Druid). Example: Vizier of Remedies, Pact of Negation, Postmortem Lunge the Vizier, now infinite Green mana, Duskwatch Recruiter. It isn't super likely to happen, but it does happen and it's always better to kill one turn earlier (Hive Mind). Why did Hive Mind lose its viability in the deck? I can't remember all of the reasons, but more decks can actually pay the 2GG is one of them.

Summer Bloom being banned made Hive Mind a no-go in the deck. I tried playing it with 2 Hive Mind (1 less than I used to) and I quickly found out that it's bad and the Pros who play the deck now without Hive Mind are indeed correct. I can't really remember all of the reasons since I don't want to play the deck in the current meta, but the reasons are there.

The other part is being somewhat dependent on Sakura-Tribe Scout and even more so on Azusa, Lost but Seeking. Before with Summer Bloom, the deck could care less about Lightning Bolt or Fatal Push. Now, a Lightning Bolt or Fatal Push on Sakura-Tribe Scout actually does a lot. What are you going to do against Summer Bloom? Bolt the Summer Bloom, lol.
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
I agree with FCG here more than CFP. On the one hand, Wizards is not always good at deciding what to ban out of a deck, and they are really bad at designing cards at appropriate power levels. On the other hand, Wizards is very good at stepping back and letting things play out even when vocal community pillars and subsets are screaming for bans. It's a mixed bag and I'm glad for the pros but very annoyed with the cons of this strategy.
Designing bad things and making bad decisions about what is and is not allowed, but then being praised for inaction would likely get normal people fired from most normal jobs. We just let it slide on the fleeting hope that WOTC knows what they're doing and is performing some kind of 4D chess instead of just being grossly incompetent and totally incapable of making good decisions. "Let's do nothing and wait until players revolt" is a horrid management technique and should not be praised whatsoever.
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
the fact that wizards said in their announcements that
1) twin reduced Diversity among blue decks
2) twin was suppressing other archetypes
All remain there.
You can argue all you want with it. Wizards said so in their announcement.
Yes. I agree Wizards said this. And Wizards was also categorically wrong on all accounts. I have been saying exactly that for more than 3 years, and now we have the results to prove it.
That said, they just know better.
Wow. Just... wow. Please read my above reply to KTK.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Yeah, and thats fine. I'm not going to argue that the Hive Mind kill was lost, the deck remained at a power level that is appropriate for a 'Tier 1' level deck. That's all. It was always powerful, just more difficult to pilot than most (imo) as the lines are not intuitive at all.

That said, its similar to my feeling about Phoenix (UR, not the R or RG versions) in that its a great deck, and its only 'coming back to the pack' but it is not actually a bad deck.

[mention]cfusionpm[/mention] come on man, what are you doing. :xp:
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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

SaberTooth wrote:
1 year ago
Modern cannot be analyzed with hogaak in the picture, so we should wait till the ban. I dont think that FL should be banned, like i dont think that brainstorm should be banned in legacy. One (or less like opal) mana powerful spells are what make eternal formats, so those pillars of the format should be preserved, but at the same time, i think that preordain and GSZ are at the same PW as those cards that are allowed in the format, so they should be unbanned
I fully agree with your first statement. We should not be discussing any other element of long-term format banlist management until the Hogaak situation is resolved. It's too warping on format dynamics to know what's happening in the background.
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
@ktk , the fact that wizards said in their announcements that
1) twin reduced Diversity among blue decks
I'm not even willing to address any element of this post until we address this one. We all know Wizards said it. Wizards says lots of things. Wizards once justified battlecruiser Magic Standard and then banned more cards in Standard than were banned in Modern in the same time frame. Wizards said Nacatl, BB, Valakut, JTMS, and BBE were all unhealthy cards that should stay banned and then unbanned all of them. Just because Wizards said something in 2016, that doesn't mean we need to take it as immutable gospel three years later. Wizards said GGT was safe in 2016 when they unbanned it and reversed course a year later based on new information. If Wizards can do that in literally dozens of policy and decision changes, we can do that too. In fact, we should do that to assess if Wizards' rationale holds water today.

In that spirit, I don't care if Wizards said blue diversity was suppressed by Twin. The numbers unambiguously show one of two things. Either (a) blue diversity was not being suppressed comparing 2018 (the highest blue diversity year after the Twin ban) to 2015 numbers, or (b) blue diversity remains suppressed by other factors and Twin was not the cause of this. This is all because 2015 and 2018 blue diversity were identical at the GP/PT level, which incidentally is the sole datapoint they cite in the Twin ban update.

You keep citing 2015 MTGO stats, which I'm totally fine with (we know Wizards doesn't explain literally everything in a ban update; see Probe and GGT for examples). But you aren't actually citing them. You're just waving your hand that Wizards must have them because Wizards must be correct. If you are making a claim about data Wizards isn't even citing, a claim they aren't even making, you have an obligation to prove that claim. I'm sure we'd all be happy to discuss the 2015 MTGO picture, and there's a lot of data out there. But if you are claiming this is the secret X factor of the ban when Wizards doesn't mention MTGO data once in the entire Twin article, you have an obligation to do that legwork.
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Post by Necrofish » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
Wizards said so in their announcement
I am only going to react to this once and will never, ever bring this up again.

"Because they said so" is a horrible, horrible argument. Skepticism is not an offense, it is a compliment. It means taking someone serious.

In the same way that I am not straight up believeing everything I am told by someone I met on the streets, I am not taking anything WotC says at face value. Not because I do not trust them, but because I respect my own intelligence too much to not use it.
When a scientist releases his theories no one gives him a clap on the shoulder and believes everything they say. They have to prove it first, and then other people will try to disprove it. You could argue that MTG is not a real science, yet it involves an awful lot of numbers. I think it appropriate to take a similar approach here.

The fact that WotC does not release their data just sets them up to pull off shady %$#%. Of course people become suspicious.
Naturally, they have the right to withhold that data. Does not make it less suspicious.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Any absolutely childlike Appeal to Authority fallacy can, and should, be ignored for what it is.

Moving on, we have some deck dumps!

Modern MCQ. https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2019-07-29

Winner: Hogaak.

1. Hogaak
2. R Phoenix
3. R Phoenix
4. Hogaak
5. GW Counters (is that what we call this still?)
6. Tron
7. Mardu (BWr) Shadow
8. UW Control (the infamous Doomswitch)

9. Hogaak
10. Scales
11. Hogaak
12. Jeskai Ascendancy (!!)
13. Hogaak
14. Hogaak
15. Hogaak
16. BW Walkers? Neat.

And the 5-0 dump, if you care to look for anything neat to try.

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2019-07-30
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Post by BloodyRabbit » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
@ktkenshinx, the fact that wizards said in their announcements that
1) twin reduced Diversity among blue decks
2) twin was suppressing other archetypes
All remain there.
You can argue all you want with it. Wizards said so in their announcement. Wizards had access to full modo data that you and me dont have access to.
That said, they just know better.

Everything else is a hypothesis. Wizards did not ban twin for a PT shakeup or some other shady reason; Wizards banned twin because they wanted a more open field.
Every time you or another member say something hypothetical of the "pt shakeup" realm, i am going to react strongly as well and cite their announcement.
All that said, there is a chance twin would not reduce diversity now. This needs testing.
But back then, there is the announcement of theirs, everybody should re-read it.
100%

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
I dont know if they are right or not. I wont tell my opinion on it. I am here to remind you what they said, because some people seem to forget or even worse make wizards look like incompetent.
We know what they said. We've seen what they said. They were absolutely wrong about what they said. Come up with whatever reason makes you feel better about why they were wrong, but literally everything they wrote in that ban as a justification, explanation, and prediction was categorically incorrect.

You are giving Wizards a lot of credit for a format they have both demonstrated and outright said they do not test for, only loosely design for, and have only a basic, surface-level understanding of.

There are two options to explain Wizards' actions and inaction towards Modern, either they are incompetent and don't know any better, or they are making decisions on some magical fictional format that only exists in their minds and in the hopes and dreams of the isolated bubbles and inner circles of the WOTC building. One that is driven by card name diversity rather than any understanding of archetypes and deck construction. Either (or both) could be true, since they literally cannot discuss ideas and options with the outside world ahead of time. What other explanation is there? They want Modern to fall to pieces every couple sets? And have laughable cards remain on the banned list?

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Post by Necrofish » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
why didn't they unban it?
I think this comes down to an interesting question.

One one side we have the simple answer: They think it's not healthy for the format. This is a valid opinion to have and I'm not going to discuss whether Twin is healthy or not for the format in its current state. Partly because I think I am not qualified enough to work through it, partly because I am too lazy to do research on it.

On the other side we have to admit that there is room for ulterior motives.
  • They do not want to look bad by going back on their decision
  • They know or assume it is going to be unhealthy based on future cards
  • Someone is salty they lost to Twin (kek)
  • The play pattern of Twin doesn't align with their vision for Modern
  • The unbanning of Twin is saved for when Modern becomes 'solved'
Who knows, maybe they are just incompetent monkeys at their jobs?

Obviously, some of these options seem way more realistic than others and not every option I listed is to be taken serious.
However, I think their decision on unbannings comes down to more than just their healthiness in the current format. I am strongly suspecting every change of the banned list follows multiple motives, which do often but not always work out in the favour of the majority of players.
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Post by LeoTzu » 1 year ago

Are we seriously rehashing Twin yet again?

Maybe we DON'T have all of the data that Wizards has, but with the data that we DO have, it seems to suggest that Twin was hindering blue diversity. Or, at the very least, removing Twin from the format did not add blue diversity to the format. Ktkenshinx has already shown us compelling numbers to back that up. It seems rather silly to hold faith that there is "data that we just don't know about" to justify the correctness of the ban choice. I'm okay with the Twin ban, but the only data we've really seen kind of indicates that the ban didn't somehow release blue from under its heels.

But, aside from all of that… Twin is banned. Maybe the reasoning wasn't completely solid and perhaps the ban didn't produce the effect that WotC wanted, but does it pay to continually lament about the ban? The format isn't going to be magically cured of all that ails it by reintroducing the card back into the format. It's much easier for them to just leave it on the ban list than bring it back into the format with so many new variables in blue (FoN, Teferi, Archmage's Charm, Narset, TiTi, etc). WotC is very risk averse when it comes to unbanning, so why start making risky decisions now? Could Twin be totally fine in format? Probably, but the risk of bringing it back probably doesn't seem worth it for WotC at the moment. The juice just ain't worth the squeeze right now.

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Post by Zorakkiller » 1 year ago

why are people so eager to believe what wotc says and then believe that they are competent when it comes to managing modern? I mean just recently they made a modern specific set which broke the format. we should be extremely critical of them given their poor track record over the past few years. I get that wotc has data that we dont but if your product is good wouldnt you want to show that off instead of hide it or even worse manipulate it?

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Post by Necrofish » 1 year ago

Zorakkiller wrote:
1 year ago
why are people so eager to believe what wotc says and then believe that they are competent when it comes to managing modern? I mean just recently they made a modern specific set which broke the format. we should be extremely critical of them given their poor track record over the past few years. I get that wotc has data that we dont but if your product is good wouldnt you want to show that off instead of hide it or even worse manipulate it?
I would not say that the set broke the format. It was a single card, Hogaak. Although W&6 come close.
It showed various things: They're interested in catering specifically to the Modern community. This set was meant for Moder players foremost. At the very least they care about selling to us.
They also showed they are comfortable with increasing the power level. Maybe it is just a general MTG decision, as Standard also got stronger afaik (I am not very knowledgeable of Standard, so please correct me if I am wrong).
Last but not least, it shows how the handle threats and answers. For now the threats outpower the answers. Maybe they will learn from their mistakes and print answers that can handle the threats.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Zorakkiller wrote:
1 year ago
why are people so eager to believe what wotc says and then believe that they are competent when it comes to managing modern? I mean just recently they made a modern specific set which broke the format. we should be extremely critical of them given their poor track record over the past few years. I get that wotc has data that we dont but if your product is good wouldnt you want to show that off instead of hide it or even worse manipulate it?
I'd rather believe that instead of just accepting the appeal to authority, its more a case of 'we cant do anything about it, so accept what they said and move on'.

Essentially, Wizard's is the Dad, and the Dad said 'Because I said so.' and we are the kids who may or may not be in the right, but its irrelevant, because Dad said so. :p

Now, is that how adults function? Is that how critical thinking and analysis work?

No, but is it relevant really? Nah.

Cant wait for the ban hammer on Hogaak though, that MCQ Top 16 is comical.
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Post by Zorakkiller » 1 year ago

you can do something about it though. we aren't obligated to play wotc's version of modern. we could Just make our own psuedo modern. signs outside of wotc hq may also be effective

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Post by Necrofish » 1 year ago

Zorakkiller wrote:
1 year ago
you can do something about it though. we aren't obligated to play wotc's version of modern. we could Just make our own psuedo modern. signs outside of wotc hq may also be effective
That's an argument. Most people are casual players anyway, so they don't mind playing a slightly different modern. The biggest problem will be finding other people adhering to the same ruleset.

Considering the latter part, you're free to stand outside with your sign. These forms of protest sadly take a lot of energy and time, and many people struggle with that already.
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Zorakkiller wrote:
1 year ago
you can do something about it though. we aren't obligated to play wotc's version of modern. we could Just make our own psuedo modern. signs outside of wotc hq may also be effective
Modern's general terrible management and endless fall into degenerate linear racing and prison decks is what drove me to almost exclusively focus on Commander the last several months/year. I want nothing more than for Modern to be a great and enjoyable format, but I feel like if or when that happens, it will be in spite of WOTC's decisions and actions, rather than because of it.

I'll repeat and paraphrase what I said earlier: WOTC designed and produced a set specifically for Modern and managed to both break the format in Eldrazi Winter-levels of pieces, while simultaneously making lackluster, medium, safe, scaled back answers that are full of "almost there," "I guess this is OK," and "swing and a miss."

But the bottom line is: Does it really matter why at this point? For a company that has been around 25 years, creating product for a format that has been around nearly a decade. they are still making these gaffes. At what point does it simply not matter why they keep doing it?

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Post by Zorakkiller » 1 year ago

I agree that getting people into a psuedo modern format would be difficult. the best way would be to show people the games it produces compared to the current format. it doesn't have to be some radically different format but rather modern with a different banned list. my sign comment was more of a joke referencing this
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Zorakkiller wrote:
1 year ago
I agree that getting people into a psuedo modern format would be difficult. the best way would be to show people the games it produces compared to the current format
This is similar to a past argument proposed by a few people.

"The burden of proof is on you, where is your testing?!" As if...

1. My personal testing would be good enough.
2. Any results could not be discarded by any number of arguments.

I mean I get what you are saying here, but just like when people reference their own personal meta, its not workable due to scale and isolation.

The only testing that is valid, is competitive testing. The only competitive testing, is done in the 'real' environments that are competitive. MTGO, and GP/SCG level events.
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Post by Zorakkiller » 1 year ago

for sure but you have to start somewhere and the way you do that is to play games, make adjustments then play more games. I'm under no assumption that it will take off but it is doable with a small community effort

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

One could certainly do it local. There are No Banlist Modern events that get run over I believe by Eldrazi, but..yeah.
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Post by Zorakkiller » 1 year ago

cockatrice and free form on mtgo are decent options to play this theoretical modern format online would definitely need some people to moderate and organize it

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