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

User avatar
Wraithpk
Posts: 177
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: Connecticut, USA

Post by Wraithpk » 1 year ago

On the topic of pillars for UW Control, as someone who plays a lot of control, it's not a single card. It's Path, it's Detention Sphere, it's T5feri, it's Field of Ruin, it's the sweepers. The true "pillar" of UW Control is the concept that the deck can answer anything. This is why control decks with white as a secondary color have almost always been more successful than the control decks without white. Grixis Control and Blue Moon have holes. They can't deal with resolved enchantments, and they don't have exiling removal. Sultai also doesn't have exiling removal, and they don't have broad permanent answers like D Sphere and T5feri.
Modern
ubr Grixis Shadow ubr
uwg Bant Stoneblade uwg
gbr Jund gbr

Pioneer
urIzzet Phoenixur
rMono-Red Aggror
uwAzorius Controluw

Commander
bg Meren of Clan Nel Toth bg

User avatar
motleyslayer
Posts: 844
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: he / him
Contact:

Post by motleyslayer » 1 year ago

Wraithpk wrote:
1 year ago
On the topic of pillars for UW Control, as someone who plays a lot of control, it's not a single card. It's Path, it's Detention Sphere, it's T5feri, it's Field of Ruin, it's the sweepers. The true "pillar" of UW Control is the concept that the deck can answer anything. This is why control decks with white as a secondary color have almost always been more successful than the control decks without white. Grixis Control and Blue Moon have holes. They can't deal with resolved enchantments, and they don't have exiling removal. Sultai also doesn't have exiling removal, and they don't have broad permanent answers like D Sphere and T5feri.
As someone who's played a lot of Grixis decks (mostly control and Shadow after that deck became good), the biggest weakness of Grixis Control compared to UWx control decks is pretty much that. Resolved enchantments are a nightmare. Yeah you get the discard to hopefully discard them, you don't always have that. Cards like Path to Exile and Celestial Purge are just so good at permanently dealing with a lot of stuff now

User avatar
tronix
Posts: 32
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by tronix » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
I read an argument earlier that the true blue pillars are things like T3feri and T5feri, not SV/Opt. Or Path. Or maybe some combination. I'm not sure about this issue because one of the other top-tier blue decks uses Looting alongside blue cantrips (Izzet Phoenix), and the other blue deck only uses 2-3 copies if they use any, instead relying on Opal and other artifact synergies (Urza's). I wonder where that leaves UW Control, unquestionably a top-tier deck, in terms of pillars. Is it just a strong deck on its own synergies? Or are there certain pillars which other decks could use that make UW Control work?
tbh i dont think there is much to take away from focusing on colors and the prevalent cards within them. right now we see a single blue based control deck standing alone without much question that anything not UWx based in that archetype is inferior. the 2-color UW cards are instrumental of course, and i think there are some decent arguments for a couple cards holding the deck up (cryptic, various walker combos, sweepers/path, snap, or even field come to mind). opts staple inclusion as almost incidental support being only slightly better than alternatives doesnt do much to convince me it should be cited as particularly influential.

the other blue spell slinging deck is clearly leveraging lootings and manamorphose to much greater effect. i dunno its just a hard sell convincing me blue cantrips that can best be described as 'serviceable ' qualify as a 'pillar' that the format balances upon.
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
Do you think this is acceptable for Modern? I played Neoform at a MCQ on Sunday and many rounds were similar to this. Most Magic players don't enjoy this and seeing KCI get so much hate for being less than 8% of the meta shows that hate is and can be a reason (there is always another justification, but at least PART of the reason) to ban a card.
admittedly my exposure to neoform isnt that extensive. ive played it in....probably less than 5 matches piloted by players intrigued by the novelty more than anything else. there is such a thing as being too fast, which might not be containable given the responsive tools (more widely available). however i stand by my assertion that such combo decks are underrepresented, and if within reason, can play a role in counterbalancing certain aggressive strategies.

are lopsided games unappealing given the little player engagement? definitely. its not surprising that glass cannon combo decks have historically been maligned. its just that we, playing modern, have been conditioned to accept such a big presence of aggressive creature strategies, typically including combo elements, as the 'norm'. as such decks can kill you quickly, without killing you quickly, they are well suited to drag racing on the 'turn 4' track. as time passes i question what is being crowded out or is absent as a result, and what can be done to change things. if neoform is too fast then its too fast, but if not then a glass cannon combo that cant stand up to much opposition sounds alright in moderation.
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
What do you make of this? Could he be referring to hogaak? I think yes.
And I think this could be a slight indicator for an incoming ban.
i mean maro doesnt have the best track record for being 'in tune' with current play experiences, and he can be sort of a clown. i dont think hes talking about deathrite shaman though....
bant iceblade
GDS

User avatar
cfusionpm
With that on the stack...
Posts: 1109
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: California, USA
Contact:

Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
FB_IMG_1565115788096.jpg What do you make of this? Could he be referring to hogaak? I think yes.
And I think this could be a slight indicator for an incoming ban.
Obviously he is talking about Hogaak. But more importantly, I think the biggest takeaway from this is that they still are terrible at designing things for a format they still do not fundamentally understand.

User avatar
FoodChainGoblins
Level 47
Posts: 816
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: Riverside

Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
FB_IMG_1565115788096.jpg What do you make of this? Could he be referring to hogaak? I think yes.
And I think this could be a slight indicator for an incoming ban.
Obviously he is talking about Hogaak. But more importantly, I think the biggest takeaway from this is that they still are terrible at designing things for a format they still do not fundamentally understand.
Who really knows? They could be genius. They could have been looking at a way to ban Bridge from Below for good. They may have been looking for a justification to feed %$#%$#% to us in the first ban announcement.

But honestly that's probably not the answer, as they allow another graveyard strategy to be pretty silly in its own right with Creeping Chill, Dredge pre-Hogaak. Dredge will still be a top 3 deck. Right now, it's probably the best as Hogaak Dredge or Dredge Gaak as the Pros like to call it.

The other cards in MH were really a hit! The Horizon lands, named aptly after the set, were amazing additions. No longer is that effect only in Green or White decks (I played 4 Horizon Canopy in BG Elves). Wrenn and Six...I don't have to mention what a hit that was. Goblin Engineer, Plague Engineer, Urza, Force of N, Knight-Captain of Eos, too much to list all...
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

User avatar
idSurge
Posts: 1121
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
Who really knows? They could be genius. They could have been looking at a way to ban Bridge from Below for good. They may have been looking for a justification to feed %$#%$#% to us in the first ban announcement.
Occam's Razor, please. Maro is clearly talking about Hogaak.
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
Do you think this is acceptable for Modern? I played Neoform at a MCQ on Sunday and many rounds were similar to this. Most Magic players don't enjoy this and seeing KCI get so much hate for being less than 8% of the meta shows that hate is and can be a reason (there is always another justification, but at least PART of the reason) to ban a card.
No (in reference to NeoForm) if it actually becomes a thing, only due to London Mull (which is comically now getting hate even in Standard, dont say I didnt tell you Twitter...) then just as most people didnt see or fight through KCI, NeoForm will eat a ban.

Make no mistake, the London Mull is terrible for MAGIC. Not Vintage, not Legacy, not Modern. Its terrible for every format other than Limited, because drafting has its own variance baked right in.

Games will be diced by the dice roll more (even if its 1%!) games will be more repetitive, and games will boil down to 'I have this, you got the hate? Well I got the answer and I go off'.

"Well just ban those decks then" they cry.

Sure, say goodbye to deck after deck, after deck.

Its a terrible rule.
UR Control UR

User avatar
Ym1r
Posts: 153
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by Ym1r » 1 year ago

Wraithpk wrote:
1 year ago
On the topic of pillars for UW Control, as someone who plays a lot of control, it's not a single card. It's Path, it's Detention Sphere, it's T5feri, it's Field of Ruin, it's the sweepers. The true "pillar" of UW Control is the concept that the deck can answer anything. This is why control decks with white as a secondary color have almost always been more successful than the control decks without white. Grixis Control and Blue Moon have holes. They can't deal with resolved enchantments, and they don't have exiling removal. Sultai also doesn't have exiling removal, and they don't have broad permanent answers like D Sphere and T5feri.
I do agree in the case of the current UW control/metagame. As I said before, I think currently if you are not play UW in control, you are just not doing it right (be that straight UW or Esper). It is just so much better than the rest it's not even funny.

BUT, I don't agree that this has always been the case and that W was always the strongest color. There have been periods in modern's metagame that other control decks have seen success. Grixis control in particular had at some point a very good period with player like Corey Burkhart and Michael Majors putting up good results, and the deck being represented in multiple tournaments. In addition to that, Sultai does have broad permanent answers: Abrupt Decay, Assassin's Trophy, and Maelstorm Pulse. In fact, Sultai has the best broad answers. The main reason Sultai hasn't been very successful is that it is easier to twist these strategies towards a Rock shell rather than a Uxx shell (i.e. if you play G why not play Tarmo, if you play B why not TS/IoK, and there you have a midrange deck that doesn't need U all of a sudden).
Counter, draw a card.

User avatar
robertleva
Posts: 484
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by robertleva » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
FB_IMG_1565115788096.jpg What do you make of this? Could he be referring to hogaak? I think yes.
And I think this could be a slight indicator for an incoming ban.
Obviously he is talking about Hogaak. But more importantly, I think the biggest takeaway from this is that they still are terrible at designing things for a format they still do not fundamentally understand.
Furthermore, they lack the guts to make the hard choices that would do the most good for the format.
Robert Leva
Creator of Modern's 8Rack Deck
Image

User avatar
robertleva
Posts: 484
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by robertleva » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago


Bridge was banned. I believe Hogaak will be too as well. I suspect the format is going to look great, because it's already is outside of Hogaak.
We have a Tier 1 (if you leave Hogaak aside) with UW Control, Jund, Eldrazi Tron, Tron, Izzet Phoenix, Urza, Humans and possibly many Tier 2 decks. That's pretty darn good if you ask me!

The decisions that are needed are being made, albeit Hogaak should have been banned earlier.
But to a sizable portion of the populace, the "lay people" if you will, the needed decisions AREN'T being made. Bridge was flat out wrong. It was the card they can ban and then say "Look see, we are serious about banning GY decks. Mmhmm. Yep. We sure are serious about taking care of the problem. Nothing to see here..."

It was a cop out / hail mary type of ban that they HOPED would turn enough people off of the deck to give them some breathing room. Didn't turn out so well for them, and now we have to ban Hogaak itself, while the real problems of the format go unaddressed. It's quite annoying.
Robert Leva
Creator of Modern's 8Rack Deck
Image

SaberTooth
Posts: 7
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by SaberTooth » 1 year ago

I just dont understand people who wants neobrand banned at the moment

If you consider that is correct to ban the deck, ban something from cheerios too, and footsteps of the goryo, and even pili-pala combo

Fringe decks are that, until they prove that they are good enough

In the case of hogaak... i understand that looting is very powerful but at the same time, all the spells used in modern that "restrict" deck construction are really good, so a chain ban is out of the question. Why think too much when you can ban the card that makes the deck exist an move on? The better draws of this deck dont contain looting anyway XD (stitcher into satyr or another stitcher into hogaak with the posibility of vengevines and ghasts)

User avatar
Necrofish
Posts: 65
Joined: 1 year ago
Answers: 2
Pronoun: he / him

Post by Necrofish » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
FB_IMG_1565115788096.jpg What do you make of this? Could he be referring to hogaak? I think yes.
And I think this could be a slight indicator for an incoming ban.
I think it is fairly obvious that he is talking about Hogaak here. And there really is no shame admitting it. They have to take risks designing cards and sadly this time it broke modern, hard.
At least they are acknowledging it. They tried to tune it down with the Bridge Ban but it was not enough. Likely they will ban Hogaak directly unless they find a way to nerf specifically Hogaak deks that does not involve banning Hogaak.

Regarding the London Mulligan.
I really, really like playing with it. It feels way better to mulligan down to 6 now. But it honestly seems to bring more problems with it than it fixes. If your deck plays on Card Quality you win from this mulligan change, while Card Advantage decks gain nothing.
Wydwen is much too cool for you.

User avatar
motleyslayer
Posts: 844
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: he / him
Contact:

Post by motleyslayer » 1 year ago

in regards to the London Mulligan, I still don't know where I stand on it.

As someone who primarily plays thoughtseize type decks, part of me thinks that it's great when people mulligan lower so I can just rip their hands even further apart. That can also lead to people just having better hands, as they can sculpt their hands better. Thus having better hands. I've seen people before just keep sketchy hands because they didn't wanna mulligan

In regards to Hogaak, hopefully this shows that they know he was a mistake and will deal with him soon

User avatar
cfusionpm
With that on the stack...
Posts: 1109
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: California, USA
Contact:

Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
I predict Hogaak will be banned and Modern will keep on being very good, diverse and interactive(especially with such a good Jund deck) for many, many months.
What metrics are you using to determine that Modern is interactive? Everything seems to point to the opposite of that. Are you perhaps influenced by your personal, local meta?

User avatar
idSurge
Posts: 1121
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Necrofish wrote:
1 year ago
If your deck plays on Card Quality you win from this mulligan change, while Card Advantage decks gain nothing.
Thats the thing. It favors strategies which are already too strong or are problematic if made more consistent.
UR Control UR

User avatar
ktkenshinx
Posts: 571
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: West Coast
Contact:

Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
I predict Hogaak will be banned and Modern will keep on being very good, diverse and interactive(especially with such a good Jund deck) for many, many months.
What metrics are you using to determine that Modern is interactive? Everything seems to point to the opposite of that. Are you perhaps influenced by your personal, local meta?
What is our definition of interaction here? I know this thread has had this conversation more times than I remember, and I also seem to recall people rarely even define their terms, let alone reach an agreement. I feel like most of the definitions focus heavily on a narrow type of spell-based, reactive, primarily blue interaction. I don't think this can possibly be the "right" definition; it's simply too narrow and doesn't capture the dynamics of many fun, non-blue games.

At a fundamental level, interaction surely just means your cards affecting your opponent's cards. But it also probably means more than that. For instance, G Tron, a deck few people would describe as interactive, has tons of interactive effects. Karn has two modes that target opposing cards, Ugin as a ping and a sweeper, O-Stone is a sweper in its own right, Ballista pings creatures or planeswalkers, Karn TGC can pick various interactive bullets out of the Karnboard, Relic hits the GY with two separate modes, and even Ulamog targets two things when its cast. How do we separate that level of interaction from something more people would view as interactive, like Kitesail Freebooter/Meddling Mage (at a lower level) or Cryptic Command/TS/IoK at a higher level? I think a piece of this is gameplay and how decks/games play out, but what would we be trying to measure here?

I focus on this definition question for two reasons. First, we need to have shared language and understanding if we're talking about widely used buzzwords. Second, if we could agree or get close to agreement on the definition of something like interaction, we might be able to measure it in different metagames. This would be really grounding for a lot of otherwise subjective debates about Modern health.
Over-Extended/Modern Since 2010

User avatar
idSurge
Posts: 1121
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
I feel like most of the definitions focus heavily on a narrow type of spell-based, reactive, primarily blue interaction. I don't think this can possibly be the "right" definition; it's simply too narrow and doesn't capture the dynamics of many fun, non-blue games.
Your deck needs to be playing.

1. Removal
2. Discard or Counters

If you are not checking off both, you are not playing an interactive game. If you only play removal for the hate that counters your strategy in the first 3 turns, you are not playing an interactive game. If you only play Counters which protect your otherwise fragile combo (Pact for example) then you are not playing an interactive game.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

In before 'my prison lock is interactive' and 'tron is a control deck' nonsense. :D
UR Control UR

User avatar
Bearscape
Posts: 213
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by Bearscape » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
Bearscape wrote:
1 year ago
Banning Looting would not kill all graveyard strategies. Cathartic Reunion, Chart a Course and Tormenting Voice are all comparable but obviously weaker effects. On top of that, the closer a graveyard deck leans towards being fair, the less they would suffer from having to switch to a cmc2 enabler. Arclight Phoenix would stil be a tier 1 deck without Looting, whilst Goryoshoal would suffer greatly from being slowed down a turn. If you want to promote interactive magic, there are no downsides to banning Faithless Looting.
I agree banning Looting definitely promotes a certain definition of interactive Magic, i.e. people who want more Humans, Jund, and UW Control. But a) this has uncertain metagame impacts (I suspect Tron would get a LOT better), and b) I don't think Wizards wants to promote that specific definition of interactivity at the expense of a ban. They care about diversity in Modern. This couldn't be clearer. They believe Looting promotes a wide variety of GY decks that would otherwise be bad without it; interactivity is not a piece of that calculation.

As for your suggestion about Looting replacements, there are MASSIVE differences between CMC 1 and CMC 2 enablers, not to mention the flashback ability. It's absolutely disingenuous to suggest something like Izzet Phoenix would be Tier 1 off CMC 2 enablers that lacked flashback. That's why Glimpse of Nature Elves would be busted but Beck // Call Elves is garbage. Or why Counterspell would be amazing and Cancel variants are almost universally unplayable. Those extra costs matter. I'm fine with arguing for a Looting ban on the merits that Looting is breaking the metagame (but that's a case that needs to built on its own). I don't think we can plausibly make a case that Looting has easy replacements in the CMC two enablers that aren't even direct comparisons because they lack flashback. Maybe we're okay with the GY decks dying out, even if Wizards probably isn't, but we shouldn't pretend the Looting replacements will keep top-tier GY decks at their same tier.
I don't believe *just* humans, jund and UW would benefit from a Looting ban, I believe all arctypes in Modern would benefit from it. As one example, any deck regardless archetype that wants to get value from the graveyard currently has to calculate in the large amount of gravehate being ran even mainboard. Also, could you elaborate what kind of distinctions you are making in interactivity when you talk about "that specific definition of interactivity"? EDIT: as I typed this post you elaborated on this. As for Tron potentially becoming too strong, that should never be an argument to not ban something.

I do want to claim that the more fair graveyard decks could function with a cmc2 enabler, even though I am well aware of how big the downgrade is. I have to admit that saying Phoenix would still be tier 1 after a Looting ban was a silly and empty statement, as of course a Looting ban would be the biggest shake-up since Splinter Twin's ban and there's no way of saying what that meta would look like. However, Phoenix has so much going for it between Manamorphose, Thing in the Ice, Aria of Flame and Finale of Promise, the explosive Arclight Phoenix plan has kind of moved to the background. I would be very surprised if that shell would completely disappear without Looting.

User avatar
Bearscape
Posts: 213
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by Bearscape » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
I predict Hogaak will be banned and Modern will keep on being very good, diverse and interactive(especially with such a good Jund deck) for many, many months.
What metrics are you using to determine that Modern is interactive? Everything seems to point to the opposite of that. Are you perhaps influenced by your personal, local meta?
What is our definition of interaction here? I know this thread has had this conversation more times than I remember, and I also seem to recall people rarely even define their terms, let alone reach an agreement. I feel like most of the definitions focus heavily on a narrow type of spell-based, reactive, primarily blue interaction. I don't think this can possibly be the "right" definition; it's simply too narrow and doesn't capture the dynamics of many fun, non-blue games.

At a fundamental level, interaction surely just means your cards affecting your opponent's cards. But it also probably means more than that. For instance, G Tron, a deck few people would describe as interactive, has tons of interactive effects. Karn has two modes that target opposing cards, Ugin as a ping and a sweeper, O-Stone is a sweper in its own right, Ballista pings creatures or planeswalkers, Karn TGC can pick various interactive bullets out of the Karnboard, Relic hits the GY with two separate modes, and even Ulamog targets two things when its cast. How do we separate that level of interaction from something more people would view as interactive, like Kitesail Freebooter/Meddling Mage (at a lower level) or Cryptic Command/TS/IoK at a higher level? I think a piece of this is gameplay and how decks/games play out, but what would we be trying to measure here?

I focus on this definition question for two reasons. First, we need to have shared language and understanding if we're talking about widely used buzzwords. Second, if we could agree or get close to agreement on the definition of something like interaction, we might be able to measure it in different metagames. This would be really grounding for a lot of otherwise subjective debates about Modern health.
I agree with this definition of interaction. I also want to add combat math as a footnote; In theory both players could have zero spells in their deck and duke it out with 40 creatures 20 lands and play some highly interactive magic. I think interactivity is a scale and not a binary when classifying a deck.

So now I wonder why you think I only want to promote spell-based interaction with a Looting ban. Looting promotes strategies focussed on blanking interaction. Spot removal only works if it exiles, combat math becomes less important as creatures recur, or put so much power on the board that combat math becomes irrelevant. Discard and countermagic also puts things in the graveyard, greatly reducing the amount of valid targets. From your own example of Tron, two out of five interactive elements of tron (Ballista and Ostone) are not much more than an expensive Fog for Looting decks.

Interaction works because you trade resources. Faithless Looting fundamentally limits this by being card disadvantage itself, promoting you to build a deck that does not care about hand card advantage, where most of Modern's available interaction actually, well, interacts with. Then on the flip side, Faithless Looting gets so much virtual card advantage through the graveyard, it easily becomes Ancestral Recall with flashback, and your interaction has to take out heaps of cards down with it to possibly keep up.

User avatar
Misguided1
Posts: 8
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: IN, US

Post by Misguided1 » 1 year ago

Yea, as a traditional control player in the past, I have to say I agree with gkourou here. Personally, I feel like the drag race decks and things like burn are uninteractive (I personally hate burn more than pretty much any other deck). E-tron, while only running 2 MB removal spells and 2 more SB, has been surprisingly interactive, and I realize there is a scale here versus just a black/white definition, but the deck has a lot more decision trees than I realized when I first picked up the deck, and a lot of those decisions affect the opponent.

I never thought about the uninteractive deck vs interactive deck creating an interactive play experience, but I also have to agree on that point.

So to reiterate, for my personally, my stance on interactiveness is based on how much a deck wants to just "go off" (Neoform/storm/vizier/burn) versus a deck that wants to stall or hamper their opponents gameplan while enacting their own.

User avatar
Ym1r
Posts: 153
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by Ym1r » 1 year ago

I generally agree with most of the statements being made, I think, and it was discussed in the past as well, that we need to define interactivity in some form of scale or spectrum. Currently, I think we can say that we have some decks that are unquestionably interactive, some that are debated, and some that are consensually uninteractive. Maybe this could be used as a starting point to discuss what is and is not interactive.

Current Tier 1 decks that are unquestionably interactive are: Jund and Azorius control. I don't think we really need to debate this, a midrange deck with removals, discards, and interactive planeswalkers on one hand, and a U based control deck with counters, removals, and mass removals on the other.

Then we have the aggressive interactive Tier 1 decks: Humans and E.Tron. Humans, while a creature based aggro deck, plays several pieces of interaction through creatures (Kitesail Freebooter, Meddling Mage, Deputy of Detention, Reflector Mage), and offers a lot of in-combat interaction through Aether Vial. Even if someone argues that cards like Meddling Mage is not interactive because it forces people to actually NOT play something, I would argue that it also matter that it's a card that can be interacted upon easily, with conventional methods of interaction.
E. Tron presents a more difficult case, but I would argue that it is also an interactive deck. In many ways it plays like Big Jund. Has bodies that interact, like Ballista, Endbringer and TKS, plays 3-7 pieces of removal (Dismember, Blast Zone and All is Dust), sometimes plays interactive PWs (Ugins), and the new Karn offers other ways of interacting with the board state.

The next big aggressive strategy that has some levels of interactivity is of course UR Phoenix, and there it becomes a bit trickier. Current versions play at 5-7 pieces of removal (Bolt, Flame Slash, Lava Dart) that mostly doubles as a way to close out a game. As many have argued, I also view TiTi as a piece of interaction, because it does deal with the board, and currently it is often played as that. In any case, however, Phoenix is one of the questionable additions that we would have to debate upon.

Burn and Tron are two other cases that have to be debated upon. Burn is actually a linear strategy that doesn't care to interact too much with the board state. HOWEVER, it often does just that, and makes for interactive games, especially when it's paired against other aggressive strategies, where it often assumes the role of a control deck. Burn then, can move in the spectrum depending on its MU, (something that contributes to its success of course). Tron issues have been stated, while it does play interactive pieces, often its interactive pieces are also gaming-winning pieces. It doesn't care to constantly trade or interact with what happens on the board, but rather to get the 1 piece of interaction that would win the game. So then, both decks are up for debate but for different reasons.

Finally we have Hogaak, Neoform, and Urza Thopter Sword that only want to go-off as someone already said, and there we can all agree to the fact that these decks are inherently uninteractive.

As such, I want to refute the argument of cfusionpm that all metrics point to the opposite in regards to the interactivity of modern. Even without a scale set, we can see that there is AT LEAST room for debate and interpretation, and that, if anything, we have more Tier 1 decks that lean towards interaction (Jund, UW, ETron, Humans, Phoenix) than the other way around (Hogaak, Burn, Tron Urza - I don't consider Neoform a Tier 1 deck).

Suggestion: Maybe an interactivity scale should be on a XY scale, where on the X axis we measure levels of interaction of a card (i.e. creature, permanents, damage face, etc), and on the Y a common purpose, i.e. in burn bolt's purpose is face rather than interaction, on Jund it is creature removal, and create an arbitrary measuring system for that.
Counter, draw a card.

User avatar
The Fluff
is this so?
Posts: 1945
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: Unlisted
Location: Gradius Home World
Contact:

Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

motleyslayer wrote:
1 year ago
Wraithpk wrote:
1 year ago
On the topic of pillars for UW Control, as someone who plays a lot of control, it's not a single card. It's Path, it's Detention Sphere, it's T5feri, it's Field of Ruin, it's the sweepers. The true "pillar" of UW Control is the concept that the deck can answer anything. This is why control decks with white as a secondary color have almost always been more successful than the control decks without white. Grixis Control and Blue Moon have holes. They can't deal with resolved enchantments, and they don't have exiling removal. Sultai also doesn't have exiling removal, and they don't have broad permanent answers like D Sphere and T5feri.
As someone who's played a lot of Grixis decks (mostly control and Shadow after that deck became good), the biggest weakness of Grixis Control compared to UWx control decks is pretty much that. Resolved enchantments are a nightmare. Yeah you get the discard to hopefully discard them, you don't always have that. Cards like Path to Exile and Celestial Purge are just so good at permanently dealing with a lot of stuff now
agreed with both posts.

white has some of the best sideboard cards as well. Rest in Peace, Stony Silence, Runed Halo, Kor Firewalker.. and those are just from the top of my head. Celestial Purge, I always stuff two or three of this into the sideboard of decks with a white splash.

Although not yet in popular use. Winds of Abandon is a great card as well. A poor man's path to exile early game, and a 6 cmc plague wind mid-late game.
Image
AnimEVO 2020 - EFZ Tournament (english commentary) // OE 2016 // POF 2018
want to play a uw control deck in modern, but don't have Jace or snapcaster? please come visit us at the Emeria thread

User avatar
ktkenshinx
Posts: 571
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: West Coast
Contact:

Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

First, my MC4 data article is up: articles/1024-mc4-data-deep-dive-hogaak ... eyard-hate

Big takeaways include: T8s give limited insight into tournament/metagame pictures, MCs are further limiting, Hogaak was really, really dominant, and graveyard hate was pretty warped. Interesting stats include Hogaak having more 8-2+ representatives at MC4 than Eldrazi at PT Oath, Hogaak having the most favorable matchup win rates of any top deck while also having the highest overall MWP, and midrange/control decks running 7-8 total GY hate between SB and MD to be successful. Yuck.

As usual, a point I emphasize int he article, all limitations around MC-level data and one-event samples apply.
idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
Your deck needs to be playing.

1. Removal
2. Discard or Counters

If you are not checking off both, you are not playing an interactive game. If you only play removal for the hate that counters your strategy in the first 3 turns, you are not playing an interactive game. If you only play Counters which protect your otherwise fragile combo (Pact for example) then you are not playing an interactive game.
I agree things like FoV/Nature's Claim don't really count. Nor does Pact of Negation in most cases. But I disagree that decks need both removal and then discard/counters. So only Ux or Bx decks can be interactive? That can't be right and doesn't accurately represent the game experience. There are countless Limited boardstates where neither player is using discard/counters but have tons of interesting onboard effects through creatures, walkers, and permanents. This definitely can lead to interactive games. It doesn't always lead to interactive games (Karn + Wurmcoil + Ugin on board is not particularly interactive), but it certainly can. We can't exclude those options because then we're all but saying W/R/G can't ever be fully interactive. That simply mismatches my play experience in both Constructed and Limited across all formats.
Bearscape wrote:
1 year ago
I don't believe *just* humans, jund and UW would benefit from a Looting ban, I believe all arctypes in Modern would benefit from it. As one example, any deck regardless archetype that wants to get value from the graveyard currently has to calculate in the large amount of gravehate being ran even mainboard. Also, could you elaborate what kind of distinctions you are making in interactivity when you talk about "that specific definition of interactivity"? EDIT: as I typed this post you elaborated on this. As for Tron potentially becoming too strong, that should never be an argument to not ban something.
I agree all archetypes would benefit in a technical sense, but that just seems like an inevitability for any sweeping ban. If you knock down top-tier pillars, lower competing decks often benefit. They don't always benefit, as we both know; sometimes, the lower-tier decks are just bad and remain fundamentally bad even after their competition is cut down. We shouldn't ban cards solely because we want to open up space for competing decks. Keyword being SOLELY. We can always race to the bottom on bans to try improving decks, but that's a losing formula. The banned card really needs to be committing other format violations to trigger the ban in the first place. As for Tron, I don't introduce that as a counter-argument to a ban suggestion. I'm simply emphasizing we don't know what happens after a major pillar gets banned. If our main goal is to increase interactivity, we need to think of what happens after a ban; Tron and big mana taking off is a risk to consider. If our main goal is to rein in an overly dominant deck, however, then the consequence is less important because the offense is immediate.
Bearscape wrote:
1 year ago
I agree with this definition of interaction. I also want to add combat math as a footnote; In theory both players could have zero spells in their deck and duke it out with 40 creatures 20 lands and play some highly interactive magic. I think interactivity is a scale and not a binary when classifying a deck.
100% agree on including forms of creature/permanent interaction. It is decisive to me that Limited has extremely interactive board states and yet has very little discard/countermagic interaction. It's often just creatures and permanents with abilities slugging it out in rewarding, complex games. Constructed and Modern surely have similar states that I am sure we have all experienced.
So now I wonder why you think I only want to promote spell-based interaction with a Looting ban. Looting promotes strategies focussed on blanking interaction. Spot removal only works if it exiles, combat math becomes less important as creatures recur, or put so much power on the board that combat math becomes irrelevant. Discard and countermagic also puts things in the graveyard, greatly reducing the amount of valid targets. From your own example of Tron, two out of five interactive elements of tron (Ballista and Ostone) are not much more than an expensive Fog for Looting decks.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but did I say spell-based interactions? I think I said it would promote interactions ala Humans, Jund, and UW Control. Of those three, only UW Control is a clear spell-based interaction deck. Jund is a hybrid. Humans is all creatures. Looting promotes decks like that at the potential expense of graveyard strategies, which we know Wizards views (correctly or incorrectly) as healthy in Modern... maybe sans Hogaak.
gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
I know there are people here that disregard creature combat and combat tricks, saying it's not interaction, but hearing interaction is only discard or counterspells is at least wrong. Creature combat is interaction. For example, I think Spirits vs Humans is a highly interactive game of magic. Same with Humans vs Tron. Also, Eldrazi Tron is not an uninteractive deck, as a couple of people here are saying. The previous E-tron vs Jund match in the last MC was highly interactive and I also think this matchup is interactive.
Also, things like Thing in the ice flipping opposing creatures, many Tron stuff as @ktk mentioned (Ugin, the spirit dragon minus, Karn Liberated, Ulamog, etc) are also interaction. Lantern's Coddex Shreder is interaction.
I agree with all these cases of interaction, particularly those involving creatures and certain permanents. Karn and Ugin are a little iffy because there are board states where they don't feel too interactive to the opponent when they are played. But there are also board states where they lead to interesting decisions, e.g. dropping T3 Karn against a series of attackers where it might just function as a removal/life gain card. I'll also agree that there are narrow, hardline interactive definitions which exclude the complexities of something like E-Tron vs. Humans, which might look like a goldfish slugfest in theory, but can be a very rewarding game depending on the boardstate.
Misguided1 wrote:
1 year ago
Yea, as a traditional control player in the past, I have to say I agree with gkourou here. Personally, I feel like the drag race decks and things like burn are uninteractive (I personally hate burn more than pretty much any other deck). E-tron, while only running 2 MB removal spells and 2 more SB, has been surprisingly interactive, and I realize there is a scale here versus just a black/white definition, but the deck has a lot more decision trees than I realized when I first picked up the deck, and a lot of those decisions affect the opponent.
I also agree this is a spectrum/scale, not just a black/white definition. That said, I don't think decision-making is necessarily part of interaction. I've discussed this in the past, but I view three separate axes of decks (all of which are spectrums) which we use interchangeably but are not actually equivalent:
  • Fair vs. Unfair: I view this as cheating the natural rate of resource gain in Magic, e.g. casting more spells, having more mana, drawing more cards, etc.
  • Linear vs. Nonlinear: I view this as decision points in a game and how many decision points your cards represent. Something like Cryptic Command/Snapcaster has a ton of modes and decisions at any given time you can cast it. Something like Dismember/Push still has lots of decisions (when to use it, hold it vs. cast it, combat trick vs. proactive removal, etc.) but maybe less than the multi-target Command. Slippery Bogle does not represent too many decisions.
  • Interactive vs. Noninteractive: I view this as cards affecting an opponent's cards. Something like old-school Dauthi Slayer is highly noninteractive. KCommand or CCommand are the opposite.
In theory, we could design a 3D plot of those metrics and put all Modern decks on there to see how metagames look. But to do that, we need slightly more concrete definitions of each term.
Ym1r wrote:
1 year ago
I generally agree with most of the statements being made, I think, and it was discussed in the past as well, that we need to define interactivity in some form of scale or spectrum. Currently, I think we can say that we have some decks that are unquestionably interactive, some that are debated, and some that are consensually uninteractive. Maybe this could be used as a starting point to discuss what is and is not interactive.
Absolutely. All these definitions (See above) are spectrums. Black/white definitions are rarely accurate for anything, let alone Magic/Modern analysis. I also agree with all your deck classifications in this post, particularly the challenges in classifying Tron/Burn because their gameplan often plays less interactively than their spells on paper.
Suggestion: Maybe an interactivity scale should be on a XY scale, where on the X axis we measure levels of interaction of a card (i.e. creature, permanents, damage face, etc), and on the Y a common purpose, i.e. in burn bolt's purpose is face rather than interaction, on Jund it is creature removal, and create an arbitrary measuring system for that.
I like this idea but think it's really hard to measure this objectively. You'll get different answers depending on who you ask. Notably, I think the actual pilots of the decks will be more adept at explaining various corner cases where their cards are used more interactively than outsiders think.

One way to do this that I have been thinking about is to look at actual recorded coverage of these decks at a high level. Then we could see how a sample of these decks actually use their cards in real events. The N on this would probably be pretty small, unfortunately. I feel like there are other ways we can get at this without watching 1000 matches or polling 1000 players. I'd love to get at this just by looking at decklists. Not sure how though... any thoughts?
Over-Extended/Modern Since 2010

User avatar
Wraithpk
Posts: 177
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: Connecticut, USA

Post by Wraithpk » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
I know there are people here that disregard creature combat and combat tricks, saying it's not interaction, but hearing interaction is only discard or counterspells is at least wrong. Creature combat is interaction. For example, I think Spirits vs Humans is a highly interactive game of magic. Same with Humans vs Tron. Also, Eldrazi Tron is not an uninteractive deck, as a couple of people here are saying. The previous E-tron vs Jund match in the last MC was highly interactive and I also think this matchup is interactive.
Also, things like Thing in the ice flipping opposing creatures, many Tron stuff as @ktk mentioned (Ugin, the spirit dragon minus, Karn Liberated, Ulamog, etc) are also interaction. Lantern's Coddex Shreder is interaction.
Humans and Spirits aren't interactive just because of combat math and blocking, though. They're interactive because they have removal, discard, and counters attached to the bodies of their creatures. Kitesail Freebooter is discard. Reflector Mage and Deputy of Detention is removal. Spell Queller, Rattlechains, Meddling Mage, and Mausoleum Wanderer are counters. That's what makes these decks interactive.

As for my definition of interaction, it's when a primary or secondary function of what your deck is doing is trying to stop what your opponent is doing. Decks like Jund and blue control decks obviously have that as a primary function. Decks like Delver-style tempo or Humans-style fish decks have their aggro plan as their primary function, but disruption as their secondary function to give their creatures the time they need to cross the finish line.

I think there's also an important distinction that people forget in this discussion, and that's the difference between interaction and anti-interaction. Interaction is trying to stop your opponent's plan. Anti-interaction is trying to stop your opponent from stopping your own plan. When Hogaak brings in Force of Vigor and Assassin's Trophy, they're not trying to interact, they're trying to stop their opponent from interacting. Same when a deck like Grishoalbrand brings in Leyline of Sanctity, or when Ad Nauseum brings in Pact of Negation. Hexproof creatures, "can't be countered" spells, and Protection are all anti-interactive mechanics, and I personally believe that mechanics like this that punish people for trying to be interactive are the worst designs in Magic.

As for Tron, it's not really an interactive deck, even though it may appear like it is on the surface. Control and Tron have the same end goal: to reach a point where they're so far ahead that they can't lose anymore, and play a hay-maker that you can't beat. The difference is that Control tries to interact with you and prevent your plan until the game reaches the late game, where they take over, while Tron wants to skip that entire early interaction period of the game and jump straight into the late game where they overwhelm you with their finishers that you can't beat. So while I would classify Tron as combo/control, it's actually quite linear and uninteractive.
Modern
ubr Grixis Shadow ubr
uwg Bant Stoneblade uwg
gbr Jund gbr

Pioneer
urIzzet Phoenixur
rMono-Red Aggror
uwAzorius Controluw

Commander
bg Meren of Clan Nel Toth bg

User avatar
cfusionpm
With that on the stack...
Posts: 1109
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: California, USA
Contact:

Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Using incidentally, or accidentally interactive elements in order to advance your own game plan, without needing to take further consideration of what your opponent is doing is not something I consider highly interactive. I guess if we nit pick things, anything can be interactive. But most of this "interaction" serves to either further a relatively linear game plan, prevent opponents from interacting with that relatively linear game plan, remove obstacles of that relatively linear game plan, or prison-lock opponents through static effects.

I feel that calling Modern "highly interactive" is incredibly disingenuous and greatly misrepresents what is happening in the format. Though, fully distorting what "interactive" means to the point where you could conceivably defend things like 4x Chalice, Karn+Lattice (plus Bridge/Cage/etc) as interactive, you could definitely say Modern is "interactive." I just do not agree with that definition whatsoever.

The original assertion was "decks like Jund" and that absolutely is not the case in Modern.

User avatar
ktkenshinx
Posts: 571
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: West Coast
Contact:

Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

Wraithpk wrote:
1 year ago
Humans and Spirits aren't interactive just because of combat math and blocking, though. They're interactive because they have removal, discard, and counters attached to the bodies of their creatures. Kitesail Freebooter is discard. Reflector Mage and Deputy of Detention is removal. Spell Queller, Rattlechains, Meddling Mage, and Mausoleum Wanderer are counters. That's what makes these decks interactive.
I agree with this and think it links nicely to the point I made about Limited earlier. In Limited, we see lots of these little effects stapled to creatures, either as ETB abilities, static effects, or recurring ones. These create interesting, interactive boardstates with lots of intricate synergies. Other permanents, particularly planeswalkers, also represent interactive on-board elements. Not all planeswalkers fit this definition but many do.
As for my definition of interaction, it's when a primary or secondary function of what your deck is doing is trying to stop what your opponent is doing. Decks like Jund and blue control decks obviously have that as a primary function. Decks like Delver-style tempo or Humans-style fish decks have their aggro plan as their primary function, but disruption as their secondary function to give their creatures the time they need to cross the finish line.
I don't like this definition because it's really hard to describe a "secondary" function of a deck. Primary is a bit easier and is generally defined by the deck's win conditions. Secondary gets really tough. Tron has a secondary controlling/interactive function, particularly in aggro matchups, but I don't think anyone here believes it's an interactive deck in the same way as Jund.
I think there's also an important distinction that people forget in this discussion, and that's the difference between interaction and anti-interaction. Interaction is trying to stop your opponent's plan. Anti-interaction is trying to stop your opponent from stopping your own plan. When Hogaak brings in Force of Vigor and Assassin's Trophy, they're not trying to interact, they're trying to stop their opponent from interacting. Same when a deck like Grishoalbrand brings in Leyline of Sanctity, or when Ad Nauseum brings in Pact of Negation. Hexproof creatures, "can't be countered" spells, and Protection are all anti-interactive mechanics, and I personally believe that mechanics like this that punish people for trying to be interactive are the worst designs in Magic.
Agreed. Definitions of interaction must include this nuance. Unfortunately, this can be tough to capture through just looking at decklists. We might need to look at common gameplay to filter this out, but then that gets us into an area that can be very subjective.
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
I feel that calling Modern "highly interactive" is incredibly disingenuous and greatly misrepresents what is happening in the format. Though, fully distorting what "interactive" means to the point where you could conceivably defend things like 4x Chalice, Karn+Lattice (plus Bridge/Cage/etc) as interactive, you could definitely say Modern is "interactive." I just do not agree with that definition whatsoever.

The original assertion was "decks like Jund" and that absolutely is not the case in Modern.
I don't think anyone here is seriously saying that Chalice/Karn/Bridge are interactive. But I do think people, myself included, are saying that a heavily creature/permanent-oriented matchup like Humans vs. Spirits or Humans vs. E-Tron can be very interactive despite lacking the traditional interactive elements of Jund vs. UW Control. Just like how Izzet Phoenix, this kind of aggressive combo/aggro/tempo deck, can role switch to something much more controlling against decks that are weak to Bolt. Definitions need to capture this nuance. Decks like Death and Taxes have tons of interaction points despite having zero counterspells or discard magic.

At this point, I don't even want to address the question of whether or not Modern is interactive until we have a definition and measurement framework. Even if it's not perfect! We just need to be speaking a similar language, or at least be able to define our own terms, when having this conversation. Otherwise "interactive vs. uninteractive" just becomes a proxy for "things I like vs. things I don't like" very quickly. Then we can't even compare periods of Modern to each other. For instance, I'd love to figure out some definition of interactivity and then compare late 2015 Modern (widely regarded as a very interactive period of time) with current 2019 Modern. But we can't do things like that with any transparency or objectivity unless we have a share understanding of terms.
Over-Extended/Modern Since 2010

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic

Return to “Modern”