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

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cfusionpm
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

I don't know if I would call Modern "fine." It's still "buy playsets of expensive new Mythics or be at a competitive disadvantage."

That isn't necessarily a problem if those cards only come around once in a while, at a slow pace. But it seems like it's every set, all the time. Combine that with the threat of ban hammer for these cards (or the decks they enable), and it makes a very icky feeling buying into nearly any competitive Modern deck that's not some linear racing pile.

Money no object, Modern feels great.

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Post by robertleva » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
I don't know if I would call Modern "fine." It's still "buy playsets of expensive new Mythics or be at a competitive disadvantage."

That isn't necessarily a problem if those cards only come around once in a while, at a slow pace. But it seems like it's every set, all the time. Combine that with the threat of ban hammer for these cards (or the decks they enable), and it makes a very icky feeling buying into nearly any competitive Modern deck that's not some linear racing pile.

Money no object, Modern feels great.
Yep, Pioneer is the same as well. It's pay-to-keep-up-MTG at it's finest right now. Uro piles now need Omnath - another expensive card. Yay. I am blessed enough that I can get what cards I want, but it feels a bit hollow and empty lately. They need to pace out the must-have cards to SOMETIMES not be mythics...
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Post by Simto » 1 year ago

The good cards are usually also good in Commander which certainly doesn't help with the price either.

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Post by Bearscape » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
I don't know if I would call Modern "fine." It's still "buy playsets of expensive new Mythics or be at a competitive disadvantage."

That isn't necessarily a problem if those cards only come around once in a while, at a slow pace. But it seems like it's every set, all the time. Combine that with the threat of ban hammer for these cards (or the decks they enable), and it makes a very icky feeling buying into nearly any competitive Modern deck that's not some linear racing pile.

Money no object, Modern feels great.
That's a problem in all formats and I put it under the ongoing "Hasbro ruining a 30 year old franchise out of greed" category, not a problem with Modern per se. From a pure gameplay perspective I think Modern is pretty good now.

So yea as you said, Modern is good if money is not an issue. Ask your playgroup if they allow proxies!

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Post by th33l3x » 1 year ago

Hard disagree. Modern is absolute trash.

The minor problem coming out of the latest set is Death's Shadow decks getting a 2cmc 10/10.

The major problem is Uro/Omnath/Field of the Dead decks.

I have now legit quit magic because of those decks. Can't fight them on a value axis, because Uro and Field. Can't race them, because both Uro and Omnath get ridiculous amounts of life. Omnath gaining 8 life out of a fetchland over a turn circle is completely absurd. I've had them on the brink of death numerous times only for them to go Omanth-Fetch and jump completely out of reach. It's common that they drop Omnath at 2-4 life and I concede 2-3 turns after with them at 20+ life.

They can force trough everything they want at will with Veil of Summer. There is simply no point in playing against these decks as a midrange deck or as a non-uro control deck. Lightning Bolt? What a %$#% joke of an unplayable card that has become.

WocT have continued their policy of shoving their product down their base's throat with 0 regard for what happens in the formats I care about (standard, modern).

I sold my entire 20 year old, 10 000+ bucks collection late last year because a string of insane cards (Oko, Veil, Urza, Astrolabe) were making both standard and modern into uninteresting, bland formats.

My mistake was sticking around online to dumbly, optimistically wait for improvements, sensible bans, etc.

But no. The stupidity continues. And I'm now also quitting this game online. It has seriously become a bad game. A low quality product not worth anybody's time or money. If they had started out this way, mtg would have insta-died in 1994.

Edit: about diversity: To me, a good meta isn't only about diversity, but also about having some chance in most matchups. The extreme case of this would be a very diverse meta with, say 20 decks, that all have an average 50% win rate, but each matchup being either 100% or 0%. There is no "play" to the metagame. Certain decks will just very reliably crush certain other decks, and most probably lose to a third kind of deck. There's no 55-45 or 50-50 matchups. Decks are becoming so absurdly consistent at what they are doing. Death's Shadow now has 8 shadows. Uro/Omnath decks now have even more payoff cards for just making land-drops. And all the triome lands they need to make the most ridiculous, previously unplayable 4c manabases work. I mean Astrolabe was banned for making mana fixing too easy, and did it put a dent in UGx control decks? (Urza decks notwithstanding). Hardly. These decks still just play whatever spells they want, UGRW Omnath, UUGG Uro, UUUG Cryptic, UUU Charm. Even post Astrolabe, they continue to just laugh at the "pain" multi-colored mana-bases should cause as a payoff. This and many other aspects, to me, mean the game has grown to a point where it's own set of rules doesn't work propperly anymore.

I just dont give a %$#% anymore (well, technically, this blurb right here is the very last %$#% I am giving about this game, so there you go). I'll read some responses to this post (in this mostly dead thread, alas), and then this game is done for me.

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Post by robertleva » 1 year ago

A pattern does seem to be developing and it will end with a Uro / Omnath / Field ban. WOTC no longer seems to care about printed super busted cards, letting them destroy their formats for a while, then ban them off when the next set rolls around. Rinse repeat and your customers start to get really fed up.
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Post by Amalgam » 1 year ago

We can only pray magic is actually playable after COVID is over.
I only hope paper magic is still alive then as wizards seem to be doing a real good job at killing the game

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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

Amalgam wrote: We can only pray magic is actually playable after COVID is over.
I only hope paper magic is still alive then as wizards seem to be doing a real good job at killing the game
Paper magic seems to be doing fine here in Athens, less popular but events at the stores I was going keep firing, so I expect it to have a resurgence when the virus is under control again.

As for your second sentence, Magic went through harder times before, when it didn't have major formats other than Standard and Legacy for people to turn to. Don't get me wrong, some current design philosophies - especially for Green - are not sustainable, but you got to remember that there is some lag of about a year between recognizing that you pushed the envelope too hard and fixing it.

Hopefully, Ikoria was the last one of those major mistakes. As much as Omnath is a mistake for Standard - and is a stupid design in general, it's just a strong card for Modern.

As for the "pay to keep up" crowd of @cfusionpm @robertleva and others, when was this any different? Also, since when is 60-80 euros/dollars per 3-6 months expensive in the world of Magic? And that time frame is a huge exaggeration, since you don't really "need" the new cards to compete at FNM level, which is where most of us are playing. Also, given the new model of Set/Draft/Collector's boosters prices are at the lowest they've ever been. Zendikar still has some supplies issues, especially in the US, but singles prices aren't anywhere close to what they would've been a few years before.

So, unless you have some "need" to keep updating 3 or more decks I truly don't see an issue when compared to what Magic was doing the years before.

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

The pay model debate is interesting. Std has always been pay to play and keep up, but not so much older formats until recently. One of the benefits of playing prison style decks- thing Ponza- is that they do not upgrade the landkill with busted mythics. Older formats have not been pay to play after the initial investment, but it is heading that way now unless you are on a niche deck. Modern is especially vulnerable, as is Pioneer, as they both lack key essentials of stax, prison and landkill strategies, and do not have the combos available to win via non creature damage, so every busted mythic creature is often needed...................

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Post by pierreb » 1 year ago

Well omnath go multi-ban in everything relevant (except modern. modern is in limbo ban-wise).

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

pierreb wrote:
1 year ago
Well omnath go multi-ban in everything relevant (except modern. modern is in limbo ban-wise).
29 unique new cards printed in 2019 and 2020 have now been banned, spanning 50 separate bans (same card in multiple formats=multiple bans). That's in addition to older cards getting banned due to new printings like Lattice due to Karn.

Eldraine alone is now tying Mirrodin block for the most bans ever, if you're willing to grant the artifact lands as one single ban. Otherwise it ties Mirrordin itself in cards at 6.

Omnath was basically banned from Arena. And really, all this does is show why bans don't work. Once cards are printed assuming other cards exist, as you remove those assumptions all previous balance tuning flies out the window. Bans only work as a last ditch effort to salvage a format, they can't work to tune a format.

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Post by robertleva » 1 year ago

Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
Amalgam wrote: We can only pray magic is actually playable after COVID is over.
I only hope paper magic is still alive then as wizards seem to be doing a real good job at killing the game
Paper magic seems to be doing fine here in Athens, less popular but events at the stores I was going keep firing, so I expect it to have a resurgence when the virus is under control again.

As for your second sentence, Magic went through harder times before, when it didn't have major formats other than Standard and Legacy for people to turn to. Don't get me wrong, some current design philosophies - especially for Green - are not sustainable, but you got to remember that there is some lag of about a year between recognizing that you pushed the envelope too hard and fixing it.

Hopefully, Ikoria was the last one of those major mistakes. As much as Omnath is a mistake for Standard - and is a stupid design in general, it's just a strong card for Modern.

As for the "pay to keep up" crowd of @cfusionpm @robertleva and others, when was this any different? Also, since when is 60-80 euros/dollars per 3-6 months expensive in the world of Magic? And that time frame is a huge exaggeration, since you don't really "need" the new cards to compete at FNM level, which is where most of us are playing. Also, given the new model of Set/Draft/Collector's boosters prices are at the lowest they've ever been. Zendikar still has some supplies issues, especially in the US, but singles prices aren't anywhere close to what they would've been a few years before.

So, unless you have some "need" to keep updating 3 or more decks I truly don't see an issue when compared to what Magic was doing the years before.
It's not so much the cost, it's the nagging feeling of diminishing returns that I never used to feel.

I have heard in the past people making the argument that Modern (and presumably Pioneer) need better, more universal answer cards that will take care of most of the future "problem cards". I never really agreed with that position, instead favoring threats over answers because it leads to more fun magic overall. Now though, I am starting to see their point. The cycle of new sets bringing format busting cards is now the norm.

So to combat this new normal, we need some universal answers to be printed to "steady the ship" so to speak.
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Post by th33l3x » 1 year ago

robertleva wrote:
1 year ago


I have heard in the past people making the argument that Modern (and presumably Pioneer) need better, more universal answer cards that will take care of most of the future "problem cards". I never really agreed with that position, instead favoring threats over answers because it leads to more fun magic overall. Now though, I am starting to see their point. The cycle of new sets bringing format busting cards is now the norm.

So to combat this new normal, we need some universal answers to be printed to "steady the ship" so to speak.
tbh I feel like the answers in modern aren't that lacking. And if they print very strong answers now to get ahead of future powerful permanent prints, we could have a long, very control-heavy period.

They have printed answers now and then that have somewhat kept pace with the rest of the format. Fatal Push was a good print, Force of Negation was a good print, Drown in the Loch, Dovin's Veto, Assassin's Trophy, Mystical Dispute, etc. I always feel like there are very good, versatile, flexible answers in modern. Good enough to compete with just about 99% of threats.

There are very few problematic cards in the format at any given point, even now. Many become problematic in combination with Veil of Summer. Every threat they print has to be regarded as "How powerful is this if it can be forced through with Veil of Summer?" And the answer for many of those cards is "absurdly broken".

They could ban Veil.

They could make minor upgrades to "existing" removal. Make an instant-speed Dreadbore for example. Terminate's playability is long gone anyway.

Print Counterspell into modern. At this point, I really don't understand why they havent done that. Modern's power level is clearly high enough for that card. Mana Leak and Logic-Knot are playable as 1-2-ofs, but Counterspell would be a good addition (I think. I have no data on that obviously).

I dunno. As stated above, I'm through with this game for now. Maybe I'll check in in a year, let a couple sets/bans happen and then see where things are at.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

th33l3x wrote:
1 year ago
They have printed answers now and then that have somewhat kept pace with the rest of the format. Fatal Push was a good print, Force of Negation was a good print, Drown in the Loch, Dovin's Veto, Assassin's Trophy, Mystical Dispute, etc. I always feel like there are very good, versatile, flexible answers in modern. Good enough to compete with just about 99% of threats.
There's two types of answers. One is generic answers in your deck that might catch 80% of things if tuned correctly, these are the sorts of cards you just mentioned. That adds interaction to individual games and promotes deck diversity. Modern is close to where it needs to be with those. The other sort of answer is more niche, and would be considered safety valves. Things that primarily exist in your sideboard to deal with specific strategies and keep them from running over the format, these can be lower efficiency at times so long as they're really good when you want them. Rest in Peace, Ghost Quarter, Thalia, etc... are examples of these cards. Modern, and honestly, the entire game is lacking on these at this point. Even what Legacy has with better ways to find the best of the best is still not keeping up to threats that need more niche answers.

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Post by robertleva » 1 year ago

Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
th33l3x wrote:
1 year ago
They have printed answers now and then that have somewhat kept pace with the rest of the format. Fatal Push was a good print, Force of Negation was a good print, Drown in the Loch, Dovin's Veto, Assassin's Trophy, Mystical Dispute, etc. I always feel like there are very good, versatile, flexible answers in modern. Good enough to compete with just about 99% of threats.
There's two types of answers. One is generic answers in your deck that might catch 80% of things if tuned correctly, these are the sorts of cards you just mentioned. That adds interaction to individual games and promotes deck diversity. Modern is close to where it needs to be with those. The other sort of answer is more niche, and would be considered safety valves. Things that primarily exist in your sideboard to deal with specific strategies and keep them from running over the format, these can be lower efficiency at times so long as they're really good when you want them. Rest in Peace, Ghost Quarter, Thalia, etc... are examples of these cards. Modern, and honestly, the entire game is lacking on these at this point. Even what Legacy has with better ways to find the best of the best is still not keeping up to threats that need more niche answers.
I think you may have isolated the problem: we need too many niche answers. I'm not really sure how to fix that.
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Post by Arkmer » 1 year ago

robertleva wrote:
1 year ago
Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
th33l3x wrote:
1 year ago
They have printed answers now and then that have somewhat kept pace with the rest of the format. Fatal Push was a good print, Force of Negation was a good print, Drown in the Loch, Dovin's Veto, Assassin's Trophy, Mystical Dispute, etc. I always feel like there are very good, versatile, flexible answers in modern. Good enough to compete with just about 99% of threats.
There's two types of answers. One is generic answers in your deck that might catch 80% of things if tuned correctly, these are the sorts of cards you just mentioned. That adds interaction to individual games and promotes deck diversity. Modern is close to where it needs to be with those. The other sort of answer is more niche, and would be considered safety valves. Things that primarily exist in your sideboard to deal with specific strategies and keep them from running over the format, these can be lower efficiency at times so long as they're really good when you want them. Rest in Peace, Ghost Quarter, Thalia, etc... are examples of these cards. Modern, and honestly, the entire game is lacking on these at this point. Even what Legacy has with better ways to find the best of the best is still not keeping up to threats that need more niche answers.
I think you may have isolated the problem: we need too many niche answers. I'm not really sure how to fix that.
This is sort of what I get to in my thoughts. It becomes a dead end very quickly. We can't print more efficient things than what's already in Modern. A one mana Trophy? Unrestricted Push? Path that doesn't give a land? 3 mana WoG? What are we even going to print?

We have to go the other direction but that means bans. No one wants to ban more things, that makes people nervous- and rightfully so. I don't like bans but I often find I am suggesting them (it's half the reason I try not to post too often). If we can't print a better removal, if we can't cover more angles of attack, if we can't stuff more into our lists but we still need more because the power level is too high... what tools do we have apart from more bans?

I find myself in a position to be highly pro-removal but also very against printing better removal.

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Post by AvalonAurora » 1 year ago

Maybe some efficient removal that also counters all abilities and prevents the activation or triggering of more abilities until it resolves of the target, which deals with ETB abilities without being a counterspell done before the thing is cast? Something like:

Anti-Summoner Curse wbr
Instant
Split second
Destroy target creature or creature. Counter all abilities whose source was that target.

And other sorts of new answers designed to deal with excessive value engines that only care about being countered or discarded?

Or something like reducing the color pie restrictions on counterspells and discard, making it so blue is merely the 'universal card types' counterspell color and black the 'universal card types' discard color, but you'd get things like, say:

Green can counterspell creatures and planeswalkers, and can discard artifacts, instants and sorceries
Red can counterspell instants and enchantments, and can discard sorceries and planeswalkers
White can do bounce-counters or give the opponent something in exchange for countering them (like letting them draw a card, or gain a bunch of life), and can discard legendaries or random cards
Black can counterspell instants and planeswalkers
Blue can 'discard' creatures, enchantments, or artifacts into their owner's library

And perhaps red, white, and green might have various options for countering abilities rather than spells, perhaps in repeatable forms with some kind of cost (like discarding or mana costs from a permanent or taxing the opponent's use of such things), or offering a bonus effect useful on an instant as well as the counter of the ability, like drawing a card or gaining a bunch of life or creating a nice token.

I think there are many ways new answers could be added to the format to make things more flexible against too many and too diverse of threats. It just requires some creativity on Wizards' part and thinking about the kinds of threats one might have to be facing and trying to come up with ways to effectively answer significant chunks of that, especially any chunks that are currently lacking in effective to the metagame answers.

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

Arkmer wrote:
1 year ago
I find myself in a position to be highly pro-removal but also very against printing better removal.
Removal is good but it's not what the format needs. What is needed are hate cards, to illustrate the difference: Thalia and Leyline of the Void are hate. Abrupt Decay and Force of Vigor are removal.

Also, I do disagree with too many color pie changes, but I think the current color pie division is unsustainable. Hence why we're seeing every color get removal, and many effects that would be on spells moved to permanents to attempt to add interaction (and this has been a gradual shift over time), WAR walkers for example are the far superior way to make enchantments in terms of gameplay although WAR had balance issues outside of that.

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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

Arkmer wrote:
1 year ago
We have to go the other direction but that means bans.
Well, I wouldn't mind Veil and T3feri gone (and Opal back), buuuuut too many bans have been going around and Modern is at a good spot at the moment, if a bit Green heavy.
Arkmer wrote:
1 year ago
I find myself in a position to be highly pro-removal but also very against printing better removal.
A Vindicate style removal should be fine imo, and as others mentioned there's a ceiling to hate cards. More cards like Cleansing Wildfire is great, but I don't think more RiPs is great.

Also, make prison great again.
AvalonAurora wrote:
1 year ago
Or something like reducing the color pie restrictions on counterspells and discard, making it so blue is merely the 'universal card types' counterspell color and black the 'universal card types' discard color, but you'd get things like, say:
Blue's only advantage at the moment is it having dominance of the stack. Everything else has become irrelevant or co-opted by green (see countering abilities being in Simic for some reason instead of Azorius). One of the major problems of the past years has been the ever expanding arsenal of Green "because creatures" and that White is still in soul searching mode.

The color pie balance restrictions are fine imo, and there's no need in giving colors more stuff. Rather they should restrict Green's overall effectiveness and let colors do their niche abilities more often (see White Counterspells, Blue Stifles etc.)
Aazadan wrote:
1 year ago
Also, I do disagree with too many color pie changes, but I think the current color pie division is unsustainable. Hence why we're seeing every color get removal, and many effects that would be on spells moved to permanents to attempt to add interaction (and this has been a gradual shift over time), WAR walkers for example are the far superior way to make enchantments in terms of gameplay although WAR had balance issues outside of that.
I don't mind as much the focus on permanents like Skyclave Apparition and I think the WAR walkers are fine outside of T3feri, and an argument can be made that Karn shouldn't have the fetch from exile clause. The rest though? Great successes, Ashiok and Narset are great and specific hatepieces that are good to have.

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Post by Amalgam » 1 year ago

Honestly bans aren't going to fix anything, modern is being broken by standard almost every 1-2 sets. Do we really want to have the same number of bans that standard is currently seeing? because honestly it's kind of a joke.
There needs to be a more permanent solution for the game as a whole or there is simply no point playing this game anymore

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Post by Aazadan » 1 year ago

Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
I don't mind as much the focus on permanents like Skyclave Apparition and I think the WAR walkers are fine outside of T3feri, and an argument can be made that Karn shouldn't have the fetch from exile clause. The rest though? Great successes, Ashiok and Narset are great and specific hatepieces that are good to have.
All WAR walker failures are on the development side. As designs however they're fantastic and brilliant and do a lot of the things the game needs at this point, in a way the game needs to do them. I hope to see it again in the future, but they're going to have a hell of a time printing enough of them and players weren't fans to say the least (though again, that's on the development team).

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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

The thing about answers is they are no good if you have the wrong one.
Modern lacks tutoring and selection, and problem permanents need immediate answers. Enlightened tutor would be great, but by and large better selection means better combos unless you have force of will available.
Modern has some strong answers in black, green, some good bounce in blue, but mainly for creatures and its counters are not that good. Removing a walker or dude after etb triggers is not a path to success.
We have debated path endlessly, it is garbage for my money and I have heard nothing to make me think otherwise, ramping your opponent is rather bad, I hear. But creatures are not the issue. The issue is the answers for lands and spells are too weak.
Armageddon is the sort of card to make ramp players cry and make WW good. Stopping spells is essential. Meddling mage is good, but fragile. 4cc Gideon's protection is all well and good but not for Modern. Pithing needles for walkers are not going to win the walker war unless they cantrip.
You need to get card advantage out of nevermore for it to be playable at 3cc. Broken walkers need better answers beyond removal.

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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

Skyclave Apparition looks like a good answer card to a lot of things. Opponent not getting the card back is an incentive to use it.
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Post by drmarkb » 1 year ago

Still too weak for me.
We need, as mentioned above, hate cards.
Removal is decent, it is just not what we need.
Cards saying 'we can't use planeswalkers' would be a start. Cursed Totem too.

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Post by robertleva » 1 year ago

Skyclave App is cool. It's the best of the Oblivion-Ring-on-body guys. One tiny bonus is the double white permanent is actually meaningful to devotion count. Getting back a vanilla token after you waste a resource killing the skyclave feels bad. Not being able to kill a token left behind is the cards worst feature, and this is the balance you will find yourself striking.

Having a cap of 4cc is acceptable, it hits omnath.
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