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

Mapccu
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Post by Mapccu » 8 months ago

I'm a player that hates getting countered. Especially when it's a counter with upside. However, there is an important distinction I want to make.

I don't mind the 1 for 1.

I can't stand being locked out of a game and being forced to play 6+ more rounds while you fiddle around for a win con. I can't be expected to scoop in a tournament setting but constantly seeing if you have an out is tiresome.

I don't like blanket answers. I'm seeing more and more cards creep into new sets that are fine against almost any match up in turns 1-4 because they're modal and just good cards. I'm a fan of modal spells, just not ones that are great against 3/4 of The macro archetypes (aggro,, midrange, control, combo).

I abhor combo decks that play on an axis that no one else is competing on. Field of the Dead is an example, but Summer Bloom and storm are other examples. I walk away from these games feeling like a loss was forced on me. It's not running tribal into a deck with main deck sweepers, it's running 75 into entire deck I can't win against.

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Post by drmarkb » 8 months ago

The obvious point is yes, you can scoop in tournaments in game 1 and 2 and should know when to scoop. It is a skill, and it is precisely because you are in a tournament setting that you should scoop. Tournament mtg is about learning when to scoop for optimal advantage. Casually play on if you want, but in tournaments you are expected to scoop when it is to your advantage. Playing on whilst the opponent fiddles for a win con may be to your advantage as you gain info,but it may not.
6 turns (you said rounds but I hope you meant turns) of being locked out is either 3 mins as your opponent draws nothing and passes or it is ten mins and you have lost, period, because they stabilise or are sandbaging answers and you have wasted time when you could progress to g2 or 3.
If you are on g3 then your time is spent not waiting for your opponent to win but trying to draw the game out, if you are locked out forever it is GG, but if you are not then you still have a role, hoping for an error on their side.

Inexperienced players in a format often play on when they should scoop- I played things such as enchantment prison decks in Modern and Stax in Lega y and have many 1-0 wins because players just don't know when to scoop. I have often had a win in hand and not used it to conserve info and see if I can get a 1-0 because my opponent is playing on when if they knew the deck or format they are already out of it. That is tournament mtg, and often I will discuss a game after to say when I would have scooped or felt I had won....

Generally the older the format, the more scooping at tournament level...

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Post by Aazadan » 8 months ago

Mapccu wrote:
8 months ago
I'm a player that hates getting countered. Especially when it's a counter with upside. However, there is an important distinction I want to make.
I've noticed Wizards has made most of the pushed counterspells lately focus on non creature spells. But that still brings up removal. The problems with removal are threefold.

First, an advantage is still gained from an ETB.

Second, when creatures are in combat with each other, a smaller creature won't kill a larger one, but the larger one always kills the smaller one. Something like Fatal Push on the other hand or Hero's Downfall can trade up on mana, but can never trade down. When Fatal Push can't target something, like say a Wurmcoil Engine, it's completely dead, but if you try to Downfall something like a Goblin Guide you're in for a bad time.
I don't mind the 1 for 1.

Third, the above point means that removal in order to function essentially always needs to be a tempo advantage. And formats without removal become degenerate as interaction requires removal alongside other strategies. As a player that dislikes decks like Storm, you can only stop those decks from running rampant by having ample interaction of your own in your deck and in the format.

As far as locks go, generally what happens is the player needs to find a win condition as they have few in their deck (because it's focused on getting a lock and living), and then they need to cast it while maintaining the lock. These sorts of win conditions have been powered down over time. Interestingly, you would end games faster if there were stronger win conditions than things like Celestial Colonnade out there, but then decks that want to lock you out gain in meta share. Which goes back to the big issue in Modern design. You can't really remove decks people find unfun, you can only increase the tools they have available to fight those decks. But, the same people who generally have these sorts of issues are the same people that prefer to not build their decks such that they contain answers.

Some data I would be interested in looking at if it were ever put together is deck building preferences (land counts, spells, types of permanents, etc) in various archetypes across players with various game preferences.

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Post by Ed06288 » 8 months ago

Most lgs players are young and only have the money to buy 1 or 2 decks. They see something like burn or tron and think "that seems cool" i'll build it. It fits their style and they just want to have fun with it. I don't think they realize initially how un-interactive the decks are or how lopsided their matches are. It makes for a bad experience on both ends. So it's not something to take personal when you play against these decks.

Part of the problem is control and bg/x seem prohibitively expensive and most people move on from the game before owning these decks.

Also, answers are plenty strong in the format, and stuff like fatal push and force of negation can't get much better.

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Post by Simto » 8 months ago

Am I one the only freaks who loves playing control mirror matches? I would always pack my sideboards for control decks so I'd change out 12 cards or something (had a pretty heavy control meta at the time) so it became very creature/midrange based. Lots of fun those days.
But to be honest, I don't really care what I'm playing against, I find most matchups interesting. I'll admit that Eldrazi Tron and Green Tron mirror matches are a little boring though.

I think it's a little funny how some people get so angry/annoyed at playing against control decks. Even playing against control decks, I think they're some of the more interesting matches to play.
Like drmarkb said, if you counter something or push it, it's basically the same outcome, so there's no real reason to be upset about it, just different ways to play around it.

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Post by drmarkb » 8 months ago

Ed06288 wrote:
8 months ago
Most lgs players are young and only have the money to buy 1 or 2 decks. They see something like burn or tron and think "that seems cool" i'll build it. It fits their style and they just want to have fun with it. I don't think they realize initially how un-interactive the decks are or how lopsided their matches are. It makes for a bad experience on both ends. So it's not something to take personal when you play against these decks.

Part of the problem is control and bg/x seem prohibitively expensive and most people move on from the game before owning these decks.

Also, answers are plenty strong in the format, and stuff like fatal push and force of negation can't get much better.
That is s new era player talking.
Swords to Plowshares is way better than Fatal Push, twice as good.
Read Aza's post above- it explains perfectly why Fatal Push is not a great removal spell, just playable at best. If you are battling with FP you will find it a dead card often whilst you get beaten by non FP able creatures, and non FP abke not because they are pro black but because they cost more. Answers can be much, much better, especially for walkers.

Prohibitively expensive is relative. Nothing in Modern is prohibitively expensive. Fetches are overpriced, not prohibitively expensive. Modern is for older players. New players are supposed to start in Standard and move on to older formats when they have trade value. New players with money can join, but should not expect it to play like Mtg Standard.

Modern suffers from an influx of players bought up under the new paradigm where they (a) complain that games are either not interactive or steamrollers and (b) don't like having stuff countered, land destroyed or prevented from casting stuff and (c) don't like bans

Modern's biggest issue is the fact that the lock decks have such weak win cons and can employ locks that can sometimes be wriggled out from Consider the old smokestack, crucible, wasteland/ghost quarter, flagstones trinisphere type decks. Lock spells to all cost 3, destroy land repeatedly, recur your own. This is a hard lock when the opponent has no mana,can't cast stuff and can never get beyond one land drop when spells cost 3. One player develops,the other dies not and can't cast again. This is a scoop. Karn lattice is too on a critter free board. The win con does not matter in the first and is there in the second. Either way it game.

A modern equivalent is an early blood moon, which can be circumvented in time, or a phyrexian unlife solemnity lock that can be removed in time. This creates poor games when the lock resolves and someone does not scoop, in some cases correctly.

Cards like daze make tempo playable, but by and large Modern lacks tempo because cheap, limited answers are not good enough.

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Post by Aazadan » 8 months ago

So Historic just got a new ban announcement today. The ban itself isn't that important but their reasoning was interesting.
While its overall win rate is rarely at the top, its matchups are extremely polarized.
The win rate wasn't the highest, there were multiple decks better than it, and it wasn't even consistently good across the field but rather with polarized match ups. And that lead to a ban due to the deck being ubiquitous. In this case it was Field of the Dead which was essentially the best late game strategy. This feels to me like a Wild Nacatl diversity ban that they'll eventually have to reverse. But, the reasoning is what's more bothersome. Anyone have thoughts on that?

It feels like they're justifying a shake up ban rather than a ban based on any actual meta needs and that is concerning for other formats.

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Post by Tzoulis » 8 months ago

Simto wrote:
8 months ago
Am I one the only freaks who loves playing control mirror matches? I would always pack my sideboards for control decks so I'd change out 12 cards or something (had a pretty heavy control meta at the time) so it became very creature/midrange based. Lots of fun those days.
I was a fan of control mirrors (and other tempo-y decks) up until T3feri started getting played, since then I'm not really bothering. I played mostly artifact combo decks and I finished 5C Niv that doesn't really play on the stack, but can easily kill T3feri.
Aazadan wrote:
8 months ago
It feels like they're justifying a shake up ban rather than a ban based on any actual meta needs and that is concerning for other formats.
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I mean, they pretty much explained that it was polarizing the meta, by making it Aggro vs Field of the Dead decks, so not really anything new. Also, they DID specify increasing win rates with the addition of Hour of Promise. This isn't something novel or new, so I don't know how you came to that conclusion.

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Post by Guardman » 8 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
8 months ago
So Historic just got a new ban announcement today. The ban itself isn't that important but their reasoning was interesting.
While its overall win rate is rarely at the top, its matchups are extremely polarized.
The win rate wasn't the highest, there were multiple decks better than it, and it wasn't even consistently good across the field but rather with polarized match ups. And that lead to a ban due to the deck being ubiquitous. In this case it was Field of the Dead which was essentially the best late game strategy. This feels to me like a Wild Nacatl diversity ban that they'll eventually have to reverse. But, the reasoning is what's more bothersome. Anyone have thoughts on that?

It feels like they're justifying a shake up ban rather than a ban based on any actual meta needs and that is concerning for other formats.
I play a ton of historic so I can provide some flavor to the ban. While what they said was correct, it just does a poor job of explaining exactly how format warping Field of the Dead was. Field of the Dead pushed out any deck that wasn't aggro. About a third of the decks I've played against are Field decks, another third were fast red decks meant to beat Field (Burn, Mono-Red Aggro, Goblins), and the last third is the rest (i.e. decks people play because they love them). Also, outside of Nicol Bolas decks (which is more midrange control than straight control and whose players play that deck through thick and thin), there were close to zero control decks in that final third, meaning the format was missing a key pillar.

Also Field of the Dead was suspended before. They inserted several answers into the format via Historic Anthologies like Ghost Quarter, Goblin Ruinblaster, and Virulent Plague and then unsuspended it on the notion there were enough answers. Unfortunately, none of them have proven to be the answer, especially since the deck has several back up plans in Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, Hydroid Krasis, and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, two of which answer the most hard stop answer Virulent Plague. Finally Field of the Dead has consistently gotten more powerful and consistent via the printing of new cards, especially with Explore and Hour of Promise. This is probably only going to get worse with time, especially since we are returning to Zendikar. And with WotC not liking to print aggressive land hate, and with the land hate options mediocre for the most part, it was a consistant and hard to interact with strategy, that had limited answers, and several extremely powerful back-up plans.

Overall this was a needed ban or historic could've turned into Pioneer pre combo-ban.

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Post by Aazadan » 8 months ago

Tzoulis wrote:
8 months ago
I mean, they pretty much explained that it was polarizing the meta, by making it Aggro vs Field of the Dead decks, so not really anything new. Also, they DID specify increasing win rates with the addition of Hour of Promise. This isn't something novel or new, so I don't know how you came to that conclusion.
Polarizing a meta means the meta has adapted though. Decks that go slightly bigger typically beat decks that go slightly smaller, but decks that go a lot bigger often lose to decks that go a lot smaller. Fighting a really powerful late game effect by focusing on aggro is going to be a natural meta response.

I did see the win rate was higher in the first couple weeks of them releasing another set for Historic, but also that it was too new for other decks to rise. So, it seems premature to me, and notably that their issue was that there were polarized matchups. The thing though is that should be the ideal, as a deck that's 70/30 against different decks but still 50/50 would be considered healthier than a deck that's 50/50 against everything.

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Post by robertleva » 8 months ago

It's clear they have completely abandoned the outdated "only banning high win rate decks" and instead have taken a custodians approach to their formats. This makes much more sense, but it of course it will piss some people off because this type of banning is subjective. Obnoxious decks are open to being banned now, doesn't matter how much they actually win or warp the format. It's a good thing. If you are the type of person who wants to play these types of strats I say pick an older format and go crazy.
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Post by Ed06288 » 8 months ago

You're vastly overestimating swords to plowshares. If you're playing a fair deck with swords, you're still losing to decks that pack wurmcoil engine and primeval titan.

A high schooler working part time at kroger on the weekends isn't going to buy bg/x. The bulk of mtg players are kids. A few of us just refused to move on.

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Post by drmarkb » 7 months ago

Swords is twice as good as Fatal Push is about all the swords discussion on swords above, and I would stand by that. That does not mean to say swords alone will beat a wurmcoil deck,nobody was claiming that- re-read the comments and you see explanations as to.why removal is not good enough, not claims that swords levels answers vs threats by itself, or at all. That would be way too bold a statement. The only reference to wurmcoil is how Fatal Push does not kill it, explaining why FP is not as good as it can get, but Swords is closer to that mark.

Modern does not enjoy a good fair hatebear swords deck, because Rishadan Port and Wasteland are not legal. If they were then those Tron decks would be struggling.

The vast majority of kids do not play modern, vintage or legacy in paper. Whether they can afford it is not relevant. Modern is for enfranchised players with some cash, at least in.paper.

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Post by robertleva » 7 months ago

Ed06288 wrote:
8 months ago
You're vastly overestimating swords to plowshares. If you're playing a fair deck with swords, you're still losing to decks that pack wurmcoil engine and primeval titan.

A high schooler working part time at kroger on the weekends isn't going to buy bg/x. The bulk of mtg players are kids. A few of us just refused to move on.
Not sure about this one. Id say the bulk of mtg players are adults. Id guess the low end age around 15 or so. Pokemon TCG is more accessible and popular with the younger players. Adults dont get into pokemon and thats why its stays so cheap.
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Post by Aazadan » 7 months ago

drmarkb wrote:
7 months ago
Swords is twice as good as Fatal Push is about all the swords discussion on swords above, and I would stand by that. That does not mean to say swords alone will beat a wurmcoil deck,nobody was claiming that- re-read the comments and you see explanations as to.why removal is not good enough, not claims that swords levels answers vs threats by itself, or at all. That would be way too bold a statement. The only reference to wurmcoil is how Fatal Push does not kill it, explaining why FP is not as good as it can get, but Swords is closer to that mark.

Modern does not enjoy a good fair hatebear swords deck, because Rishadan Port and Wasteland are not legal. If they were then those Tron decks would be struggling.

The vast majority of kids do not play modern, vintage or legacy in paper. Whether they can afford it is not relevant. Modern is for enfranchised players with some cash, at least in.paper.
Port and Wasteland would completely change the landscape of Modern. The reason Modern can play higher mana cards than Legacy can is because you can reliably develop your manabase. This is probably a good thing overall, because the problem a format like Legacy has is most cards aren't excluded from the format purely for power level, but rather because over a certain amount of mana and you can't reliably cast it.

One advantage Modern has is that you can consider playing 4, 5, and 6 mana cards way more often than you can in Legacy. Field of Ruin is a good Modern card for land answers, and I think something like Tectonic Edge could work too if it was either activate at 3 lands, or didn't cost 1.

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Post by Ulka » 7 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
7 months ago
Port and Wasteland would completely change the landscape of Modern. The reason Modern can play higher mana cards than Legacy can is because you can reliably develop your manabase. This is probably a good thing overall, because the problem a format like Legacy has is most cards aren't excluded from the format purely for power level, but rather because over a certain amount of mana and you can't reliably cast it.

One advantage Modern has is that you can consider playing 4, 5, and 6 mana cards way more often than you can in Legacy. Field of Ruin is a good Modern card for land answers, and I think something like Tectonic Edge could work too if it was either activate at 3 lands, or didn't cost 1.

yea that fact is something that I feel does come up when comparing the formats and is why tron exists in modern at the numbers it does. I just wish we could get a Wasteland Variant that costs 1 to activate. I feel like it would allow the format to gain better Land removal but yea one of the best parts of Wasteland is the fact you can take out a land on turn one to mess with a player's manabase from the get go.
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Post by Aazadan » 7 months ago

Ulka wrote:
7 months ago
yea that fact is something that I feel does come up when comparing the formats and is why tron exists in modern at the numbers it does. I just wish we could get a Wasteland Variant that costs 1 to activate. I feel like it would allow the format to gain better Land removal but yea one of the best parts of Wasteland is the fact you can take out a land on turn one to mess with a player's manabase from the get go.
There's a lot of designs that I believe could work. Two others would be:

Tap for whatever. Sacrifice (don't need to tap to sac?) bounce target land to it's owners hand.

Or maybe a Wasteland variant that would give the other player a gold/treasure token or whatever they want to use. Basically, trade lands but they get a Lotus Petal out of the deal.

I do think that Modern could use a few more cards like this that can help to keep the format in check but don't have quite the warping effect that Wasteland itself does.

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Post by The Fluff » 7 months ago

this place is going to be quite different if wasteland become legal. Vial goblins and merfolk would immediately benefit from it.

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Post by Ed06288 » 7 months ago

No, the overall strategy of the deck that a card goes into is somewhat relevant. Besides, fatal push kills pretty much every relevant creature in the format. Revolt is super easy to trigger with Lurrus/Bauble package. But what I really want to reiterate is that answer cards are pretty good in modern. I am really loving stuff like kaya's guile and ashiok for their splash yard hate. I feel that I can properly board out/in cards for every matchup.

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Post by iTaLenTZ » 7 months ago

Swords to Plowshares sucks outside of any combo or control deck. In an aggro deck it reads: Remove target creature. Its opponent gains an extra turn. Therefore in aggro decks Path to Exile is better because giving a land is less worse than an extra turn.

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Post by Aazadan » 7 months ago

I have to disagree there, even aggressive decks would prefer Swords to Plowshares, the only time Path is better is when the opponent can't get a land. 1 land is often times worth considerably more life than whatever Swords provides is worth, as it lets the opponent do more things faster. Just the basic alone is worth 2 life for a baseline as it prevents needing to shock, and that's before any value derived from the mana itself.

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Post by The Fluff » 7 months ago

personally, if stp became legal here.. would swap out all my pte. Could always shave away whatever extra life they would gain. Giving someone an extra land early to mid game, allows them to do their thing faster - also helps fix their mana if their deck has 3 colors.
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Post by drmarkb » 7 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
7 months ago
Ulka wrote:
7 months ago
yea that fact is something that I feel does come up when comparing the formats and is why tron exists in modern at the numbers it does. I just wish we could get a Wasteland Variant that costs 1 to activate. I feel like it would allow the format to gain better Land removal but yea one of the best parts of Wasteland is the fact you can take out a land on turn one to mess with a player's manabase from the get go.
There's a lot of designs that I believe could work. Two others would be:

Tap for whatever. Sacrifice (don't need to tap to sac?) bounce target land to it's owners hand.

Or maybe a Wasteland variant that would give the other player a gold/treasure token or whatever they want to use. Basically, trade lands but they get a Lotus Petal out of the deal.

I do think that Modern could use a few more cards like this that can help to keep the format in check but don't have quite the warping effect that Wasteland itself does.

The problem is Tron decks get a plan B- durdle to 7 or 8 mana and wipe the board. They also have access to Thought Knot who outclasses everything a hatebear list puts down. There was a time when hatebears with Thalia was a tough match for any Tron deck, but as time has gone on Tron has gotten more toys, White has gotten screwed.

I don't think that higher levels of land interaction does reduce mana costs in Legacy, but it would in Modern. Legacy has Tomb, City, two spirit guides, LED, Petal and Mox D, so plenty of decks like Eldrazi can curve up to 6cc easily with no concessions, and decks like Goblins run a 1-6 curve too. DnT goes to 4cc. In Modern this would not happen without more free and fast mana. A bigger issue has recently been discussed- any deck abusing wasteland and crucible would have people howling- specifically those who don't realise they should be scooping earlier in game 1 and 2.

The idea of an activated WL is great, but I don't think it would happen, even in a MH2. We finally got Pillage added to the format, so I would not rule it out, but it was 5 years too late at least, and had little effect as power levels of top decks have risen.
Bottom line is there are still too many potential players in Modern who would complain, even if they are the same people who complain when a land takes over the format. The golden rule about the land destruction land to have significance against Tron hould be it goes one for one at any time of the game, and does not replace itself with a basic.
Even Armageddon or Cataclysm would improve the lot of hate bear decks in the format and give ramp decks huge issues. As it is, the last refuge of a mono W deck, hatebears, is now dead leaving white's sole role in the format outside of the sort of fringe jank I like as the secondary colour in UW control.

I think I have had countless discussions with people about W, and it always comes down to 'Path is a great answer to Uro etc.' . and a discussion of white in the context of, yes, UW control. Which ignores the fact that Path is dire for white critter decks, which is supposed to be they key feature of the colour, now that they removed Humility, mass landkill etc. from its colour pie.

You either have a ramp heavy format or one that can kill land efficiently via either wasteland type effects or mass Cataclysm/Ravages/Geddon effects. Modern will be locked into the former for the rest of its existence.

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Post by drmarkb » 7 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
7 months ago
I have to disagree there, even aggressive decks would prefer Swords to Plowshares, the only time Path is better is when the opponent can't get a land. 1 land is often times worth considerably more life than whatever Swords provides is worth, as it lets the opponent do more things faster. Just the basic alone is worth 2 life for a baseline as it prevents needing to shock, and that's before any value derived from the mana itself.

Spot on. Look at D n T in Legacy. 4000 copies of Stp for every copy (in the board) of path.

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Post by drmarkb » 7 months ago

Ed06288 wrote:
7 months ago
No, the overall strategy of the deck that a card goes into is somewhat relevant. Besides, fatal push kills pretty much every relevant creature in the format. Revolt is super easy to trigger with Lurrus/Bauble package. But what I really want to reiterate is that answer cards are pretty good in modern. I am really loving stuff like kaya's guile and ashiok for their splash yard hate. I feel that I can properly board out/in cards for every matchup.

Answer cards in Modern are awful. Article after article is pushed out complaining about the imbalance of threats vs answers, with modern cited as a prime offender. If you think they are good, then the explanation is you have not had the experience of playing when they were good or in a format where they are. I played in eras of Balance, Stasis, Strip Mine, Force with hosers like Gloom so I I have seen the pendulum on answers too strong.

Even today, Legacy content providers are worried about the threats running away in a format that has good answers. Modern ones are unanimous that threats have become too pushed.

I have no idea why you are referring to Lurrus and bauble packages for revolt making FP playable and able to deal with creatures. It seems rather specific in a broad answer vs threats discussion, a package to make a card kill 4cc things rather than 2. You have a FP, I have Uro there is one winner. You gave FP, I have a Wurmcoil- one winner. Reality smasher- one winner. Prime time- one winner. Fp is by definition an answer card and like all answers will not line up against all threats, that was explained eloquently above by another user. FP in particular is a playable, efficient, but narrow answer. Referring to FP, bauble etc. is like me saying Tron is never an issue, Pillage, Boom Bust/Flagstones keep it under control, it is correct but the discussion has to be in wider context than 'dedicated landkill deck beats Tron'.

You can reiterate that answers are good in Modern as much as you like, but you must concede it is a minority opinion amongst pretty much the entirety of Mtg content creators.

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