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

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FoodChainGoblins
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

AvalonAurora wrote:
1 year ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
People always have an irrational fear of Combo.
https://www.mtgtop8.com/format?f=MO
Combo is at 15% and out of the decks over 1%, only 3 of 11 run Veil of Summer. A common misconception is that Amulet runs Veil of Summer. It doesn't. It does run 4 Aether Gust in the SB though.
Lol, aggro looks crazy when you don't have categories for ramp, midrange, or tempo. Or maybe it is crazy right now, didn't check exactly which decks were put in which categories.
The 3 original archetypes in Magic were Combo, Control, and Aggro. Midrange, Tempo, and Ramp came later and are offshoots of these original archetypes. The big Ramp deck right now, Green Tron, is put into the Control category on mtgtop8. Amulet, the other big Ramp deck right now, is put into Combo. Most Midrange decks are put into the Aggro category, but even without them, Aggro has been overrepresented and has been for most of Modern. It doesn't mean it's a bad thing, but it definitely has been overrepresented.

Tempo just doesn't exist, so it's not in any of these categories. It took Ancestral Recall as a 4 of to make it the best or the 2nd best deck (depending on where you ranked Rhino Pod). I don't want to get into the argument of Humans or Shadow as Tempo decks. I just don't see it. Shadow is a Midrange deck and Humans is an Aggro deck (to me) and I'd rather just state that. If someone thinks otherwise, that's fine with me. :)
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Post by AvalonAurora » 1 year ago

Depends on what you define as tempo. Many merfolk and spirits lists look pretty tempo to me, and scapeshift seems to be a combo deck with a tempo backup plan for some lists, as some examples.

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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

the ur version of prowess sometimes feels like a tempo deck. But I don't have all the cards to make mine ur, so have not fully explored all the possible play patterns.
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Post by Arkmer » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
The 3 original archetypes in Magic were Combo, Control, and Aggro.
I think this is interesting, sort of feeds an idea I had awhile back. Many people like to use midrange as the indicator that a format is healthy, usually from what I've seen people want to start by saying that we need a good midrange deck and the format will form around it. I thought awhile ago that the opposite should be true; midrange should be the result of the meta, not the start of it. What I eventually came to was a trinity of combo, aggro, and control, so it's interesting to see it mirrored here in the claim (I'm not challenging, I just don't know the facts from that far back).

In any case, I like to think that if the three mentioned archetypes balance well then midrange will naturally form inside the "triangle", taking on characteristics of the others as needed, while ramp acts as sort of a safe guard if certain things get out of hand. I never really considered tempo in this model, but I found it interesting for awhile. I think the model crumbles in the face of pushed cards and massive card pools, but I also think that's true of nearly any model you try to create.

I haven't had much time for Magic in awhile but thought this was interesting enough to throw out.

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Post by Ed06288 » 1 year ago

I personally consider G-Tron to be a combo-control deck. Stuff like shadow is closer to tempo than say classic jund, but still has midrange elements. I don't think modern has a true tempo deck but a lot of decks have heavy tempo elements.

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Post by AvalonAurora » 1 year ago

Well, tempo and midrange both fall into the 'aggro-control' hybrid category. They just differ in the way they do it and what kind of enemy decks they are better tuned to face, so it's highly likely that depending on the meta, midrange will be favored over tempo, or the other way around.

Midrange's control elements tend to be better against aggro and more delicate combo, usually being early plays that are solid 1-for-1's, while their creatures tend to be slightly bigger and less reliant on synergy and more resilient than the average aggro creature, winning in combats off of being slightly higher cmc and sniping down key synergies of the opposing decks with their control elements. Key example cards would be things like fatal push, Inquisition of Kozilek, and tarmogoyf.

Tempo's on the other hand is focused on more ephemeral 2-for-1 attempts and added value plays when it comes to their control elements, often control effects stapled onto creatures, or control cards that hit more than one target or give additional benefits like card draw, while their creatures tend to be less focused on combat reliability and more on power and/or evasion to push through damage, or on just being a creature body efficiently attached to a tempo type control effect (like a bounce or tap-down or even protecting their creatures or helping their creatures push through damage with evasion or something). Key example cards would be things like remand, Sprite Dragon, and Merfolk Trickster.

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

Tempo does exist in spirits, but Modern has always been traditonal combo vs big mana vs aggro with one or two solitary control decks. Calling Tron control is fine, as would be calling it combo. Sadly Modern's issues stem from the imbalance. Control iscreally hard in a diverse meta, and all control decks, bar a few like Lantern or 8 rack, have been UWx. One deck can't carry the control. Control and combo get disproportionately better with selection, card selection in Modern is poor. Combo can live with this, control often can't. Pioneer will go the same way, eventually. Hence Modern's Modern's issues of ships passing in the night.

I guess tempo is really aggro control hybrid. Classic tempo is Delver. The difference between burn or prowess and tempo is the control elements and very few decks have them in the absence of force/daze. Both decks make plays that are short term. Pioneer has mono u deck on the fringes which is Tempo, but generally tempo is not a major Modern strategy.

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Post by th33l3x » 1 year ago

To me GTron is close to a pure ramp deck. 8 tutors for fetching the pieces needed to ramp, a sweeper to buy time and then a bunch of huge threats+filler cards in cantrips.

Granted, Baby-Karn and Ballista have massively improved Tron's curve, but ramping to 7 mana on turn 3 is still the name of the game.

UTron is a combo control deck with ramp elements. GTron is much closer to pure ramp imo.

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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

I remember a deck in mtgsalvation.... Ashton Kutcher's Monkey Grow deck, it seems to be an attempt to copy the play pattern of the Tempo Thresh deck in legacy. Not sure if Monkey Grow is still played today.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

Tempo has at times been playable, but outside of Treasure Cruise was never top tier.

I do feel like the format is open enough to brewing at the moment, but as a paper player it's rather difficult to do right now. Been trying to make Painters Servant work since Oko personally. Aether Gust has been a nice tool in boosting it, Torbran as well and both benefit from naming Red.

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

You need a grindstone for that. Sadly not legal in Modern. Gets Painter's Servant working real quickly though....

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

The Fluff wrote:
1 year ago
I remember a deck in mtgsalvation.... Ashton Kutcher's Monkey Grow deck, it seems to be an attempt to copy the play pattern of the Tempo Thresh deck in legacy. Not sure if Monkey Grow is still played today.

link
I will admit. MTGSal name Ashton or Jordan, his real name, did do well with several decks, including putting Eldrazi Aggro on the map. I even built his RUG Deck, or how he calls it - Counter Cat. I built it and tested it. It was okay. A lot of things had to go right for you and some things had to go suboptimally for the opponent. I guess you could say that about any match, but I didn't want to risk running it at FNM. I did loan it to my friend, who is a super talented player, and he did somewhere between 3-2 and 4-1 on average with it. While that's good, it's worse than his average at that FNM spot, as well as mine.

Players like Jordan can take advantage of their skill and their knowledge of the format over some huge percentage of players. It is similar to that for me, when I play at FNM, people expect me to win. Sure there's a few times a Pro Player comes by and then it's close, but the average person at FNM can be beaten, even through some variance, in Modern by making mostly good plays. While I know I've gotten lucky with Elementals, I also realize that most players couldn't duplicate that, even if they drew the same as me.
Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
Tempo has at times been playable, but outside of Treasure Cruise was never top tier.

I do feel like the format is open enough to brewing at the moment, but as a paper player it's rather difficult to do right now. Been trying to make Painters Servant work since Oko personally. Aether Gust has been a nice tool in boosting it, Torbran as well and both benefit from naming Red.
This was the point I was getting at. Nothing against Tempo. I don't want to talk %$#% about anyone's deck. But many people here judge a deck based on GP or Pro Tour (I know, not anymore since they're all Arena Standard). Skred won a GP. Merfolk won a GP. A tempo deck hasn't unless it had 4 Ancestral Recall in the deck. Treasure Cruise is an amazing card. This marked the first time that I ran Burn in Modern. I ran Burn with 4 Ancestral Recall because it had a positive matchup vs. Delver, even if Rhino Pod was tough. It had game vs. Affinity and Amulet Bloom, 2 of the other top decks at the time.

I love Painter's Servant. I played Imperial Painter for my first few years of Legacy, so it has a place in my heart. It would be cool to see it in Modern, but I just don't know how all of that would work. I guess I'm asking for a decklist, lol.

*This last part is just my opinion, but I feel one of the reasons that Tempo hasn't been good in Modern is because of its matchups. Modern has always been dominated by Aggro. Aggro decks normally beat Tempo because they are going straight to the point, no BS, just trying to run you over without any disruption. I know this is an oversimplification, but Aggro normally should have a good matchup vs. Tempo. Tempo beats Control, but there's been few Control decks in Modern and the matchup usually is pretty close in Modern. I'm not sure if Tempo is known for beating Ramp or not, but in my testing at that time, Counter Cat had trouble with Tron, Titanshift, and a bit with Amulet too. That's not a good place to be, unless you're crushing the number 1 played archetype - Aggro. Even with the matchup that should be favored, Combo, while I do think it's favored for Tempo in Modern, it's also closer than it should be. This could also be because the Combo decks are often focused on many different things.

Now I will get to the card pool. Yes, WotC has not printed stuff that allows Tempo to flourish. They probably figure that Delver has been the best or nearly the best deck in Legacy since the beginning. We don't need it in Modern. Just some thoughts - not how I feel about what should be or shouldn't be. And I could be completely off-base.
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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
I love Painter's Servant. I played Imperial Painter for my first few years of Legacy, so it has a place in my heart. It would be cool to see it in Modern, but I just don't know how all of that would work. I guess I'm asking for a decklist, lol.
I don't have a final list yet, and testing basically isn't happening until paper opens back up :/ Basically though, rather than trying to combo with Grindstone, use it as a value card to power up other cards that can take advantage of manipulating colors. For example if you can name basically anything when you've got a Stonecoil Serpent as a generic payoff card. Torbran and Aether Gust are notable value cards if you can name red. There's some other notable cards in other colors, largely depending on what exactly you want to play. It's one of those things where with a core of colorless cards, it's pretty open how you build it (Stonecoil+Painter are probably the true core here), and I've been trying to explore those various options.

My only real previous attempt that I took to paper events involved Oko and that didn't go so well since it was underpowered compared to other Oko decks (and also a rules nightmare).

Edit: Crimson and Cerulean Wisps are also strong in this type of deck oddly enough. At least in a UR build. Anyways, lots of ways it can potentially go, there's a surprising amount of cards out there that have decent Painter interactions even when not just getting a combo win. It's a 2 cmc artifact that can power up your other cards, making it a decent role player.

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

I am quite happy to not have tempo in Modern, but the downside is what people call a lack of interaction with enemy plans. Tempo interacts with enemy spells by using instants. Prison affects enemy choices with permanents. Both are by and large minor players in Modern, alongside Hatebears, which are a sub type of prison with a clock. Control, the last type of deck that has a game plan of stopping opponent plays and reducing their choice, is basically just UWx.
This means that there are not many decks that have a game plan of affecting enemy plays first and foremost and making their own plays as a secondary aspect. People do what they want, by and large, until someone wins via a haymaker. Some decks do pack interaction, but it is a smaller part of their plans than elsewhere.

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Post by Simto » 1 year ago

Modern Horizon 2 confirmed for next year between Q3 and Q4. Get ready lads.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

Simto wrote:
1 year ago
Modern Horizon 2 confirmed for next year between Q3 and Q4. Get ready lads.
My body is ready. (damn I wish I could do a gif here)

Looking forward to Wrenn and Seven. :thinking:
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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

Now this is slightly O/T at times, but indulge me a little.
MH2 has Enemy Fetches. At rare.
Significance?
(a) the access to the format increases, along with other formats
(b) the set sells like free hot cakes served by Natalie Portman in a mini skirt at a Star Wars convention- the only way they sell harder is if they came with the ability to remove the Star Wars sequels from history. The set will be huge, and likely draw a few people back to Mtg.
(c) the value of the rest is depressed massively.
(d) the quality of the remainder does not matter any more- so I would expect a powered down output post MH1 and all its cock ups. Big splashy edh mythics, these at rare and a few nice things for draft - who knows maybe a few older tolerance cards- something innocuous like Meekstone to appease people like me- a few expensive 5cc walkers, something for Lore fans perhaps, but no Hoogy type mistakes. No W6 and a half. All they have to do is get enough splash for the spoiler season, and enough for the VIP stuff to be worth something.
(e) They will charge more for the set than MH1- fetches mean people will buy.

All conjecture, but I think anyone expecting MH1 level mistakes will be proven wrong. If I were WOTC- I would be aiming for "safe" and fetchlands plus big EDH mythics would be the way I would aim for. Maybe a return to Snow.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
All conjecture, but I think anyone expecting MH1 level mistakes will be proven wrong. If I were WOTC- I would be aiming for "safe" and fetchlands plus big EDH mythics would be the way I would aim for. Maybe a return to Snow.
Safe and snow do not belong in the same sentence.

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Post by AvalonAurora » 1 year ago

I'm going to predict some safe color shifting or hybrid mana of existing things in Modern, like perhaps they'll print things like Force Spike which already has Mana Tithe in the format, like how they printed Nature's Chant in Horizons 1.

We'll probably get filler changelings again as well for jamming into tribal if they are playable outside of the limited environment, and working in the limited environment with any tribal cards they include.

I wouldn't be surprised to see some 'size' variation stuff from Golgantikari and/or Segovia following up on Segovian Angel as some more of putting some mechanic combinations and keyword combinations at cmcs they usually don't turn up on.

We'll also get more mode(s) choosing stuff like Archmage's Charm and Kaya's Guile, some of which might actually be modern playable.

They'll probably be more careful about stuff related to mana, such as cost reductions or things that too easily enable goodstuff 4+ color decks given what happened with Arcum's Astrolabe and Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis, as well as more careful about stuff related to artifacts, due to related reasons.

I'm hoping we'll get stuff that helps out control and tempo, and increases the diversity of control decks.

I suspect that now that it's more generally allowed, they'll also play around more with colored artifacts and colorless non-land-non-artifact cards.

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
All conjecture, but I think anyone expecting MH1 level mistakes will be proven wrong. If I were WOTC- I would be aiming for "safe" and fetchlands plus big EDH mythics would be the way I would aim for. Maybe a return to Snow.
Safe and snow do not belong in the same sentence.
Aside from astrolabe, what else about snow is an issue? Off the top of my head, I can't think of a single card in Ice age, Cold snap or MH1 that is an issue in any format because it is snow. Dark depths, but that could just as easily be non snow, and is an issue because it combos with stage and hexmage. Snow itself does nothing, and by and large there are very few snow playable in older formats. Ice Fang is good, but not broken. Skred is ok. Scrying sheets ok, the man land ok. It is basically astrolabe as an issue.

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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

AvalonAurora wrote:
1 year ago
We'll also get more mode(s) choosing stuff like Archmage's Charm and Kaya's Guile, some of which might actually be modern playable.
would be nice to get more of those. I play Kaya's Guile one in the main, two more in the side.

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as for Dark Depths. I think it's not an issue, because the card is not legal here.
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Post by robertleva » 1 year ago

We are overdue for some new man lands. I would sure love to see some of those.
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Post by Simto » 1 year ago

robertleva wrote:
1 year ago
We are overdue for some new man lands. I would sure love to see some of those.
Keep an eye out for Zendikar spoilers then :)

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

drmarkb wrote:
1 year ago
Aside from astrolabe, what else about snow is an issue? Off the top of my head, I can't think of a single card in Ice age, Cold snap or MH1 that is an issue in any format because it is snow. Dark depths, but that could just as easily be non snow, and is an issue because it combos with stage and hexmage. Snow itself does nothing, and by and large there are very few snow playable in older formats. Ice Fang is good, but not broken. Skred is ok. Scrying sheets ok, the man land ok. It is basically astrolabe as an issue.
Snow is extra efficient cards, especially the MH ones, that are only balanced out by having a lack of options in playing a critical mass of snow tagged items. Without real drawbacks to playing snow, any time a good snow card is printed, all snow cards are powered up because it's a very parasitic mechanic. It's similar to infect in that the balance is in having a lack of options. Even at curve (for the format) snow cards contribute because they power up the other ones that are above curve.

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Post by robertleva » 1 year ago

REgarding the zendikar spoilers (just now looked at full list):

Just go ahead and get full sets of those flip basics. They are viable if not outright staples of any format they are legal in. I would probably get extras if I cared about slinging cards for cash.
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