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

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Post by The Fluff » 8 months ago

so much banned from pioneer. Hmm, but no changes to modern.
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Post by cfusionpm » 8 months ago

Wow talk about pulling the rug out. That Pioneer announcement should have happened last time, and this is a further indication that "no changes" (or even explicitly "we think this is fine") is in no way an indication that anything is safe in any format.

Jesus Christ.

Like, these are all great results, but results that, due to the previous B&R, continue to solidify a complete destruction of confidence from players.

I'll definitely have to read through this more thoroughly as I finish my coffee and feed the little one, but wow.

Also not surprised by total lack of Modern. But hey, maybe we'll just get a surprise Monday announcement too! One that fundamentally changes the format by destroying multiple decks at once! All at the drop of a hat with no warning!

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Post by The Fluff » 8 months ago

Also not surprised by total lack of Modern. But hey, maybe we'll just get a surprise Monday announcement too! One that fundamentally changes the format by destroying multiple decks at once!
don't see them banning anything from mono red prowess. So I feel safe..
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Post by cfusionpm » 8 months ago

The Fluff wrote:
8 months ago
Also not surprised by total lack of Modern. But hey, maybe we'll just get a surprise Monday announcement too! One that fundamentally changes the format by destroying multiple decks at once!
don't see them banning anything from mono red prowess. So I feel safe..
I've been running into the UR Prowess lists a lot recently. Something as simple as a two fliers and Spell Pierce make that deck feel a lot like Infect. It's easily capable of T3/4 kills. Very fast and just enough protection.

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Post by The Fluff » 8 months ago

oh, so there's a UR variant too.

mine is only mono red, cannot afford to splash for now. I'm liking the deck because unlike regular Burn which can run out of gas fast, mono red prowess can often reload and keep bum rushing people with Bedlam Reveler + cantrips. Really fun deck... ok, I know fun is subjective..
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on the announcement.. well, they did not touch anything here, so I guess they're still observing the situation in modern.
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Post by cfusionpm » 8 months ago

I'd also like to add that I am not upset at all about their bannings; especially in Pioneer. I think every action taken absolutely should have happened. What I AM upset about is their complete tone-deaf lack of awareness that caused them NOT to act at the last B&R. Especially given their half-hearted reasoning, as if anything had changed in these few weeks for Pioneer... It seems that at every opportunity, they continue to embody the ideals between "lazy" and "incompetent" when it comes to format management.

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Post by Aazadan » 8 months ago

The Fluff wrote:
8 months ago
so much banned from pioneer. Hmm, but no changes to modern.
I honestly wasn't even aware they had made another announcement.

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Post by cfusionpm » 8 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
8 months ago
The Fluff wrote:
8 months ago
so much banned from pioneer. Hmm, but no changes to modern.
I honestly wasn't even aware they had made another announcement.
That was on purpose.

"In the past, we've given a one-week advanced notice for updates to the banned and restricted list. Because of the increased focus on digital play environments during this time period, we're choosing to forgo that advanced notice and roll out these changes as soon as possible. This isn't necessarily indicative of how we'll announce and implement in the future, and we're continuing to look at how we balance giving players advance notice versus staying agile with respect to changing metagames. "

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Post by Aazadan » 8 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
8 months ago
Aazadan wrote:
8 months ago
The Fluff wrote:
8 months ago
so much banned from pioneer. Hmm, but no changes to modern.
I honestly wasn't even aware they had made another announcement.
That was on purpose.

"In the past, we've given a one-week advanced notice for updates to the banned and restricted list. Because of the increased focus on digital play environments during this time period, we're choosing to forgo that advanced notice and roll out these changes as soon as possible. This isn't necessarily indicative of how we'll announce and implement in the future, and we're continuing to look at how we balance giving players advance notice versus staying agile with respect to changing metagames. "
So I didn't miss an announcement. Meaning this is basically an emergency ban from their perspective, instead called being more responsive, and an "early rotation".

This is the umm... 4th? 5th? instance of them needing to make ban changes faster and more frequent as a response to 2018 and 2019 design now?

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Post by cfusionpm » 8 months ago

And honestly, them ignoring Modern makes sense. Our format is so bland and forgettable right now because all it's underlying problems just become defining features, and there's no real discernible identity or spotlight due to zero meaningful events. Things aren't good, they aren't bad, they just kind of.... are.

So an apathetic Modern isn't going to get any attention when Arena formats and new baby Pioneer are "burning to the ground."

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Post by Tzoulis » 8 months ago

The Fluff wrote:
8 months ago
oh, so there's a UR variant too.

mine is only mono red, cannot afford to splash for now. I'm liking the deck because unlike regular Burn which can run out of gas fast, mono red prowess can often reload and keep bum rushing people with Bedlam Reveler + cantrips. Really fun deck... ok, I know fun is subjective..
Arguably, the UR is more consistent and can go late easier, but Mono-R is far more explosive. Plus, UR has counters/tempo plays. Personal choice would be UR, just because I can't really play anything without blue :P
cfusionpm wrote:
8 months ago
And honestly, them ignoring Modern makes sense. Our format is so bland and forgettable right now because all it's underlying problems just become defining features, and there's no real discernible identity or spotlight due to zero meaningful events. Things aren't good, they aren't bad, they just kind of.... are.

So an apathetic Modern isn't going to get any attention when Arena formats and new baby Pioneer are "burning to the ground."
Or, hear me out, in a far more complicated format, more time is needed for real problems to actualize and become apparent. Veil and T3feri are known quantities, and their numbers from the last few challenges aren't that high. Last challenge had 9 rounds iirc.

Of the decks that exist at the moment, the one that can end up a problem might be Reclamation decks.

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Post by motleyslayer » 8 months ago

I find today interesting because they didn't even acknowledge that they're watching to see the impact of the last ban to see what happens in modern. They made a pretty good start with the astrolabe ban but I would have liked to see if they had a watch list at all

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Post by Aazadan » 8 months ago

motleyslayer wrote:
8 months ago
I find today interesting because they didn't even acknowledge that they're watching to see the impact of the last ban to see what happens in modern. They made a pretty good start with the astrolabe ban but I would have liked to see if they had a watch list at all
What I found more interesting today (and possibly concerning) is that while fun wasn't the sole deciding factor in any card, it was heavily referenced in their decisions. And with a fairly loose definition of a card being unpopular rather than a previously slightly more strict definition.

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Post by cfusionpm » 8 months ago

Tzoulis wrote:
8 months ago
Or, hear me out, in a far more complicated format, more time is needed for real problems to actualize and become apparent. Veil and T3feri are known quantities, and their numbers from the last few challenges aren't that high. Last challenge had 9 rounds iirc.

Of the decks that exist at the moment, the one that can end up a problem might be Reclamation decks.
Events run on MTGO are inherently different than paper. Besides different (usually cheaper) buy-in costs and speed/ease of flipping cards, there are straight-up rental services available at extremely reasonable costs. This incentivizes players to play "spicy brews" and experiment much more so than if they would when spending their hard earned money and time buying, building, and playing something in paper. So we often get wonky skewed metas that used to be frequently compared against GP/PT results to see how much they reflect the "real" meta. But now, online is all we have.

But even with all that aside, we still have skewed metas, because people are planning and prepping for a "meta" that is often defined by purposely-misleading and falsely-representative League data.

So between misrepresentative League data and a zero-stress, no obligation to commit to a deck, you will often see people playing weird or random things more often, rather than strive to find/play the "best deck" they can. Which also skews matchups and sideboard strategies for "established" decks that can lose to random "gotchas" more frequently.

This is literally why I have been playing trash like this more often than not, and mostly avoiding buying or playing anything perceived as "the best."

When the format is not under a spotlight, and data is sparse or non-representative, you can play pretty much whatever you want.
motleyslayer wrote:
8 months ago
I find today interesting because they didn't even acknowledge that they're watching to see the impact of the last ban to see what happens in modern. They made a pretty good start with the astrolabe ban but I would have liked to see if they had a watch list at all
What they really told us today is if you're format isn't on fire and they're not being bombarded on social media, it can sit and rot. Whether that's a good thing or not is up to individual interpretation. I would personally like to see at least half a dozen cards banned, and 3-4 unbanned, but will not be holding my breath for them to do anything for us until we're a certified dumpster fire again.

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Post by drmarkb » 8 months ago

No one is playing Pioneer, and it might have died.
Bad news for Modern, as really Modern, Legacy and Pioneer can't all exist for the next five years, and only one is popular with its audience.

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Post by cfusionpm » 8 months ago

drmarkb wrote:
8 months ago
No one is playing Pioneer, and it might have died.
Bad news for Modern, as really Modern, Legacy and Pioneer can't all exist for the next five years, and only one is popular with its audience.
I don't know. Their firm reversal on anti-combo in Pioneer (nuking it from orbit), after previously getting the thumbs up may leave the door for things like that to exist in more "crazy old formats" like Modern. Who knows.

But either way, if Pioneer is supposed to be "Standard Plus" instead of "Modern Lite" it's going to continue to struggle with the several years of back to back to back design failures across nearly every block in its library.

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Post by Mtgthewary » 8 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
8 months ago
motleyslayer wrote:
8 months ago
I find today interesting because they didn't even acknowledge that they're watching to see the impact of the last ban to see what happens in modern. They made a pretty good start with the astrolabe ban but I would have liked to see if they had a watch list at all
What I found more interesting today (and possibly concerning) is that while fun wasn't the sole deciding factor in any card, it was heavily referenced in their decisions. And with a fairly loose definition of a card being unpopular rather than a previously slightly more strict definition.
That's what I am trying to tell since months. You can't ignore importance of fun and it makes not sence trying this anymore. Fun needed to handle like other datas too... Win percentage, needs to long, is it unfunny.?...... This are all important datas. Time to accept reality, it's not the first time. Maybe this data is not easy to find like win percentages, but it doesn't mean it's not necessary. 10 people say A is unfunny? 5 say B is unfunny? So ok, a is2:1. How we can find this out? Don't know, but it's reality they didn't ignore fun

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Post by Simto » 8 months ago

It's a very dangerous and extremely slippery getting on the "Not fun, ban it" train.

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Post by Tzoulis » 8 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
8 months ago
Events run on MTGO are inherently different than paper. Besides different (usually cheaper) buy-in costs and speed/ease of flipping cards, there are straight-up rental services available at extremely reasonable costs. This incentivizes players to play "spicy brews" and experiment much more so than if they would when spending their hard earned money and time buying, building, and playing something in paper. So we often get wonky skewed metas that used to be frequently compared against GP/PT results to see how much they reflect the "real" meta. But now, online is all we have.

But even with all that aside, we still have skewed metas, because people are planning and prepping for a "meta" that is often defined by purposely-misleading and falsely-representative League data.

So between misrepresentative League data and a zero-stress, no obligation to commit to a deck, you will often see people playing weird or random things more often, rather than strive to find/play the "best deck" they can. Which also skews matchups and sideboard strategies for "established" decks that can lose to random "gotchas" more frequently.

This is literally why I have been playing trash like this more often than not, and mostly avoiding buying or playing anything perceived as "the best."

When the format is not under a spotlight, and data is sparse or non-representative, you can play pretty much whatever you want.
While Leagues and Prelims are definitely not competitive, Challengers are a step above, probably PTQ level. Still, the "weird thing" is a weird flex. You'd see people at GP's with weird decks , so while not at the same frequency, Challenges do reflect reality. Or rather, reality is Challenges during this Corona era.

Also, you've consistently said you're not playing Leagues and from what I gather rooms are a hot mess of random brews and some Tier decks, far more than Leagues.

As for your last sentence, you always could play what you wanted, especially in Leagues. However, we've consistently seen that Challenges are where (most) people bring their best decks. Although, remember the hype for Mono-White Tokens last week? YEah, that didn't end well :P
Simto wrote:
8 months ago
It's a very dangerous and extremely slippery getting on the "Not fun, ban it" train.
"Fun" has been used a few times before as a factor. I don't know of any card that was banned solely based on "fun", but it sure is taken into consideration.

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Post by Mtgthewary » 8 months ago

No matter if it's dangerous or not. We need to see and accept first reality. Fun is meanwhile one of the main reasons and we fooling ourselves ignoring this while talking about possible bans (unbans)

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Post by Amalgam » 8 months ago

Mtgthewary wrote:
8 months ago
No matter if it's dangerous or not. We need to see and accept first reality. Fun is meanwhile one of the main reasons and we fooling ourselves ignoring this while talking about possible bans (unbans)
While true in the instance of Pioneer the format was on it's death bed with nothing for it firing online at all. In this instance the numbers basically said if they didn't make this format 'fun' they might as well have removed it completely. I'm personally still on the fence with regards to pioneer living through covid though

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Post by Aazadan » 8 months ago

Mtgthewary wrote:
8 months ago
That's what I am trying to tell since months. You can't ignore importance of fun and it makes not sence trying this anymore. Fun needed to handle like other datas too... Win percentage, needs to long, is it unfunny.?...... This are all important datas. Time to accept reality, it's not the first time. Maybe this data is not easy to find like win percentages, but it doesn't mean it's not necessary. 10 people say A is unfunny? 5 say B is unfunny? So ok, a is2:1. How we can find this out? Don't know, but it's reality they didn't ignore fun
I have no problem with using fun as a criteria, games are meant to be fun and if they aren't fun, their primary purpose as a form of recreation has failed. That said, fun is a very abstract concept that due to it's subjective nature can't be quantified other than "players are having fun". What made me take notice here is they significantly loosened up their subjective values on how many players seemingly need to find a routine experience like playing against Teferi to be unfun.

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Post by cfusionpm » 8 months ago

Tzoulis wrote:
8 months ago
Also, you've consistently said you're not playing Leagues and from what I gather rooms are a hot mess of random brews and some Tier decks, far more than Leagues.
I guess I'll continue to hold that position until online events have 15 rounds + Top 8. The difference between 9 rounds and 15 is enormous.
As for your last sentence, you always could play what you wanted, especially in Leagues. However, we've consistently seen that Challenges are where (most) people bring their best decks. Although, remember the hype for Mono-White Tokens last week? YEah, that didn't end well :P
Honestly, I don't even know if I see this as a "bad" thing. I'm just used to fine tuning my 75 week after week because my local store was heavily highly competitive. I can't do that anymore because A) paper Magic doesn't exist in the US, and likely won't for a considerable time. and B) MTGO is basically a hodgepodge mess of random decks most of the time, with weird random decks spiking events all the time. Real "preparation and tuning" is impossible beyond broad, wide-sweeping cards and educated guesses with fingers crossed.

As it stands, I am having more fun playing Modern in no-stress Tournament Practice rooms than I ever have in any other context. My main squeezes have been that BW deck and various Cryptic Command/Uro decks. If Wrenn and Six weren't $100 f**king tix each, I'd love to play some Temur builds.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 8 months ago

Yep, 11 bans, each of them pretty solidly justified.

Regarding Modern, I do actually believe that the Arcum's Astrolabe ban did have a very positive effect so far. There still are some issues. I think that Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath should be banned. More importantly, I do think some things should be unbanned. But if WotC refuses to do unbans, then I think that Modern is about as good as it can get.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - MBA, UB Inverter
Modern - Amulet Titan, Elementals, Yawmoth Chord, Uroza
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 » 8 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
8 months ago
drmarkb wrote:
8 months ago
No one is playing Pioneer, and it might have died.
Bad news for Modern, as really Modern, Legacy and Pioneer can't all exist for the next five years, and only one is popular with its audience.
I don't know. Their firm reversal on anti-combo in Pioneer (nuking it from orbit), after previously getting the thumbs up may leave the door for things like that to exist in more "crazy old formats" like Modern. Who knows.

But either way, if Pioneer is supposed to be "Standard Plus" instead of "Modern Lite" it's going to continue to struggle with the several years of back to back to back design failures across nearly every block in its library.
Yes, but in Legacy you can play way more crazy combo than modern

Play dark depths combo in depths or lands (and have meaningful counterplay with Wastelands, crop rotation, needles, totem, humility,karakas, Tomik etc.)
Belcher people t1 in Belcher (interacting only via forces x2, chaluce on 1, trinisphere, deafening silence and Leyline effects)
Show and tell, reanimated or eureka Grissel and Emmy in (with counterplay via riding the card with your own nuts or priest, counterspells)
Storm ( with plenty of counterplay from flusterstorm, deafening silence, Veil, Leylines and taxes)
RIP helm ( with the usual removal in everything bar red, plus Karn, needle etc )
Painter grindstone (stoppable via needle effects, Karn, removal and humility prior to painter)
Karn lattice (no counterplay to this once resolved bar critters)
Rector chains into Omniscience, rector, Dovescape, curses etc. (Counterplay via extraction effects on the stack or the usual forces, humility, rip etc)
Elves or enchantress deck drawing (with the prison suite of 3ball, chalice and canonist, etc)
T2 infect with the usual removal to stop it.
Oracle and paradigm shift etc.

You get the drift. Way more crazy combo and answers than Modern, which sort of falls between the two pillars....
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