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

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Post by Aazadan » 7 months ago

I'd much rather they had banned Emry (or even Astrolabe back then) than Opal and kill all current and potential artifact decks, as a bonus the Underworld Breach deck would be dead as well. They just decided to ban 2 high profile cards, without delving deeper on what made the Oko Urza decks so broken.
I argued back then that Astrolabe was the ban. But, they went with Opal and still had to ban Astrolabe months later. Part of me feels like Opal should be unbanned as a result, but I also know that's not an argument WotC is ever going to listen to. Because as far as they're concerned, Affinity is a small price to pay to remove a card that has historically been an include in broken artifact decks whether or not it was the key enabler. And they're pretty ok with fair decks taking splash damage, just like how Ad Nauseam was wiped out.

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Post by robertleva » 7 months ago

They do not want the acceleration of Mox Opal in this format (see SSG). I have to agree with them here. Artifact control decks of the future will run it and it will be on the chopping block eventually no matter what. WOTC has already stated in previous communications that artifact control strategies being dominant in the format leads to unfun meta overall and it made bans accordingly.

Any way you slice it, Opal needs to just stay gone, even if the reasoning behind its original banning is flawed or obsolete.
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Post by Bearscape » 7 months ago

9 out of 10 times when things go wrong in Magic it's because of free mana. Opal and SSG are good bans even though I miss Affinity.

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Post by The Fluff » 7 months ago

the only constant thing is change. Also glad for the bans of opal and ssg. Although I feel evil for saying it.. after selling opal set for thousands of pesos to someone else a few years ago. Also that guy I saw on facebook selling plenty of SSG is doomed, if he still had some left.
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Post by Tzoulis » 7 months ago

Opal isn't "free", yes it's easy to activate but it needs significant concessions in your deckbuilding at least 19 other low cost artifacts. Also, what broken artifact decks? KCI? It'd still need to be banned with Emry and Astrolabe in the format. Oko Urza? As I explained just above - and it seems you're not even willing to entertain my arguments - the free rolls of Oko and Goose coupled with 2 more broken cards is what pushed the deck so far above everything else. All those "broken" artifact decks were broken because of other cards that would;ve been or needed to be banned either way, not Opal. Without Opal (and now Astrolabe) unless they print something significant Modern will never have a legit Artifact macro archetype - no Hammertime isn't an artifact deck. Also, Mox Amber isn't a substitute.

Affinity was dead long before Urza, and it was dead because Modern has Legacy level artifact hate, but the format's artifact decks relied on the speed provided by Opal.

The fact that Astrolabe is no longer in the format and doesn't allow the Whirza Prison decks to run 6 Islands, a few Shocks, fetchlands and 1-2 Sanctuaries along with Blood Moons in the SB should be enough to at least entertain the thought that Opal is appropriate for Modern.

PS: Artifact lands suck, they're useless and huge liabilities, proposing them as a way to help artifact decks will only hurt them.

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Post by motleyslayer » 7 months ago

I used to think artifact lands should never see the light of day in modern but I think I might be changing my mind on them. Would they break modern too much?

fast mana like mox opal is just too much for modern IMO. I mean I liked affinity as a deck but it was pretty dead before Urza, as has already been said.

I also really love seeing other decks pop up now after the bans. My buddy was streaming and even got paired against lantern

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Post by The Fluff » 7 months ago

the artifact lands could possibly give affinity some life again. Just like how pauper affinity relies on artifact lands to be competitive. I also saw some people in reddit trying builds of affinity without opal, with some minor success.
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Post by Tzoulis » 7 months ago

Affinity doesn't need or even want the artifact lands. What's it gonna do with overcosted 2/2s and 4/4s? It needs speed, since it's an aggro/combo deck, which it doesn't have without an accelerant like Opal. Unless they print some serious help for artifact decks including affinity for artifacts - itself a Delve level dangerous mechanic - there's absolutely no point in unbanning the artifact lands.

Also, why do we wanna save Affinity specifically and not the whole macro-archetype? Opal was played specifically on all sorts of artifact decks, which at most of the time were healthy inclusions in the meta, most of the time it wasn;t even the top deck. The broken decks would still be broken without Opal, unless you're willing to argue that KCI, Oko, Sanctuary were playing second fiddle to Opal in their respective decks.

You're willing to put up with "oppressive" or "unfun" cards that build their own (macro-) archetypes, see Primeval and Tronlands/Karn/Balista, but for some reason Opal should remain or even should have been banned earlier. All archetypes have had a card banned from them at some point in Modern, but other than Twin, Opal is the only ban that completely destroyed a macro archetype, so what gives?

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Post by robertleva » 7 months ago

Jitte should come off the list. It helps the kinds of decks that we want to help and does nothing to help the pushed degenerate strategies.
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Post by cfusionpm » 7 months ago

There are numerous things that could, and should, come off the list. I hope that they would adopt their "experimental" desire on other formats, besides Vintage, but it's doubtful they will. Which is sad because A) other formats could DEFINITELY benefit from such experimentation, and B) Despite what bitter old school players may thing, Vintage absolutely does not matter whatsoever.

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Post by robertleva » 7 months ago

WOTC is just horrid at managing its IP. I don't know what else to say. In 2021 we have myriad examples of other companies doing things successfully and listening to their player base. Other companies talk to their customers and it's assumed there will be official forums and responses.

WOTC does none of that and just churns out sets, almost blindly at this point. I have no idea why anyone is still even buying paper packs.
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Post by The Fluff » 7 months ago

Classic Affinity list that did well a few years ago, 2018. It's the reason why I thought artifact lands could help Affinity to revive again.

https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=19877&d=328450&f=MO

the arti lands could potentially make this list even more explosive. Cranial Plating and Ravager would also be stronger, when lands are also artifact.
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Post by Bearscape » 7 months ago

I don't like how vague WotC is being about the Universes Beyond cards being legal in Modern. So far I would assume no, but a WotC rep on reddit refused to either confirm or deny it (maintaining corpspeak with "not standard legal is all we're saying"). I expect a huge divide in the community in any format where that stuff will be legal.

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Post by cfusionpm » 7 months ago

It's my understanding that they will hold the same legal status as The Walking Dead. AKA "All 'eternal' formats.

It's ironic that these mess of cards finally draws a line in the sand for people (myself included) who frequently use "eternal" and "non-rotating" interchangeably. Eternal is every card ever printed, unless explicitly banned (Vintage, Legacy, Commander). Whereas Modern is very specifically defined as Standard sets from a fixed point forward. Modern Horizons opened the gates for product to join directly in, bypassing Standard, but these kinds of products seem MUCH more aimed at Commander (with Legacy splash damage) than ever intending to go in Modern.

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Post by stille_nacht » 7 months ago

I mean Affinity wants artifact lands because it makes Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas playable. Whether that would be enough to make the deck good is questionable, given that for the time affinity was OK in legacy it was because Tezz t3 was pretty likely.

Also, interesting how the current meta is shaking out. Notable that both Tron and DS don't seem to be doing that well aside from 1 or 2 good placements in the modern leagues despite a lot of (well as I perceived it) sentiment that DS would be the best deck and Tron would be strong.

I wonder if Dredge is back as a persistent threat in the meta now that a lot of incidental GY hate is less worth running in the MB. It's been doing well in the last few weeks, but I don't know if that's a good indicator to be honest.

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Post by robertleva » 7 months ago

With no paper tourneys to skew public perception of what is good to play folks are jamming any old thing., similar how to Pioneer is. I'm sad to see Dredge but then again, Dredge and Tron are basically the pillars of Modern. /cringe
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Post by Wraithpk » 7 months ago

Here's a spicy question for you all: could DRS come off the list now? Before you say, "But they just banned it in Legacy," remember that it's better in Legacy than Modern for the same reason that Delver is better in that format: playing a 1 mana threat and protecting it until it wins the game is a good strategy in Legacy, but not in Modern. One of the canaries in the coalmine when DRS got banned was that Burn was splashing black for it, and I don't think there's any chance they do that today.

Would it be good? Yeah, I think so, but I don't think it would dominate the format today. At the end of the day, DRS is just a fair value creature. A very good one, true, but still outside of the power level of Modern? It definitely was when it got banned, but Modern is at a completely different level today. Just like SFM, I think it might be ok now.

So what decks would want it? Elves and Jund for sure. Jund was the deck that got it banned before, so would DRS make Jund too good now? I think that seems unlikely. Bant Blade decks probably want it instead of Noble Hierarch. Does it make them too good? Probably not.

So what does everyone think? Is it DRS's time to return?
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ubr Grixis Shadow ubr
uwg Bant Stoneblade uwg
gbr Jund gbr

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urIzzet Phoenixur
rMono-Red Aggror
uwAzorius Controluw

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bg Meren of Clan Nel Toth bg

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Post by cfusionpm » 7 months ago

I would love nothing more than to see DRS as a nice Uro replacement for "value creature and self-contained engine," but I think that like Uro, it just does too much for too little. I would happily try to jam it in something like Sultai Control, or even pushing the remaining Omnath piles into 5c. Especially with DRS's mana fixing capabilities.

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 7 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
7 months ago
I would love nothing more than to see DRS as a nice Uro replacement for "value creature and self-contained engine," but I think that like Uro, it just does too much for too little. I would happily try to jam it in something like Sultai Control, or even pushing the remaining Omnath piles into 5c. Especially with DRS's mana fixing capabilities.
I agree.

Personally, I feel like DRS is fine, but there's no chance that WotC unbans it. Even if multiple cards from a new set broke Modern and Modern was all turn 2-3 decks, they wouldn't. So, they definitely wouldn't now. I mean, if they're not even going to look at the card, Bridge from Below, again, then they certainly are not unbanning DRS.
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Post by Wraithpk » 7 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
7 months ago
I would love nothing more than to see DRS as a nice Uro replacement for "value creature and self-contained engine," but I think that like Uro, it just does too much for too little. I would happily try to jam it in something like Sultai Control, or even pushing the remaining Omnath piles into 5c. Especially with DRS's mana fixing capabilities.
The big difference between Uro and DRS is that DRS stays dead, and it dies to more removal than Uro did. It wasn't just that Uro was great value, it was that he was really hard to get rid of. DRS also doesn't generate any value ETB, you have to untap with him.
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
7 months ago
I mean, if they're not even going to look at the card, Bridge from Below, again, then they certainly are not unbanning DRS.
The difference here is that Bridge is a fundamentally unfair card that is only playable if it's doing degenerate things. There's no upside to unbanning it, it's either unplayable or it's enabling some broken graveyard engine. You're never just playing Bridge in a fair deck for value. DRS, on the other hand, is a "fair" (I think you could debate that all mana dorks are somewhat unfair, but I digress) value creature that gets played in fair decks. The question around his unbanning is whether he's outside the power scope of the format, which I don't think he is anymore. The next question, then, is does he make any current deck tier 0, and I also don't think he does this. The decks that gain the most from it are Elves, Jund, and Bant Stoneblade, none of which are on the top of the meta right now. Some decks that currently play Hierarch would switch to DRS, some would stick with Hierarch (like Humans and Infect), so it would actually improve the diversity of mana dorks for decks that want them.

I dunno, the more I think about it the more I like the idea of giving DRS another shot.

BTW, anyone know what happened to Gkourou? It looks like all his online accounts are deleted, hope he's ok.
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ubr Grixis Shadow ubr
uwg Bant Stoneblade uwg
gbr Jund gbr

Pioneer
urIzzet Phoenixur
rMono-Red Aggror
uwAzorius Controluw

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bg Meren of Clan Nel Toth bg

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Post by cfusionpm » 7 months ago

Wraithpk wrote:
7 months ago
cfusionpm wrote:
7 months ago
I would love nothing more than to see DRS as a nice Uro replacement for "value creature and self-contained engine," but I think that like Uro, it just does too much for too little. I would happily try to jam it in something like Sultai Control, or even pushing the remaining Omnath piles into 5c. Especially with DRS's mana fixing capabilities.
The big difference between Uro and DRS is that DRS stays dead, and it dies to more removal than Uro did. It wasn't just that Uro was great value, it was that he was really hard to get rid of. DRS also doesn't generate any value ETB, you have to untap with him.
That's definitely true. But being able to play him on Turn 1 and then have Planeswalker-level utility just seems like a bit much. Like I said though, I would absolutely LOVE it, I just don't think there's a snowball's chance in hell WOTC would ever do it.

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Post by motleyslayer » 7 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
7 months ago
Wraithpk wrote:
7 months ago
cfusionpm wrote:
7 months ago
I would love nothing more than to see DRS as a nice Uro replacement for "value creature and self-contained engine," but I think that like Uro, it just does too much for too little. I would happily try to jam it in something like Sultai Control, or even pushing the remaining Omnath piles into 5c. Especially with DRS's mana fixing capabilities.
The big difference between Uro and DRS is that DRS stays dead, and it dies to more removal than Uro did. It wasn't just that Uro was great value, it was that he was really hard to get rid of. DRS also doesn't generate any value ETB, you have to untap with him.
That's definitely true. But being able to play him on Turn 1 and then have Planeswalker-level utility just seems like a bit much. Like I said though, I would absolutely LOVE it, I just don't think there's a snowball's chance in hell WOTC would ever do it.
that's my issue with DRA, it has planeswalker utility at only 1 mana. I still don't know if I'm 100% opposed to an unban but it seems really good, probably too good. But I guess the format has changed a lot since it was banned, now creatures often do need a good ETB to be good in most cases

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Post by robertleva » 7 months ago

I think DRS would have a lot more impact than Jitte for example. Black has no acceleration options except DRS. It would be heavily played in a number of black strategies. Jitte might see some play, but not a ton I dont think.
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Post by motleyslayer » 7 months ago

I don't like Jitte in modern either really. My big issue with it is that it doesn't even need to connect to a player to be able to get counters, it triggers on dealing damage and it itself gets the counters to use at any time. So often the game could be about Jitte and not much else

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 7 months ago

Wraithpk wrote:
7 months ago
The difference here is that Bridge is a fundamentally unfair card that is only playable if it's doing degenerate things. There's no upside to unbanning it, it's either unplayable or it's enabling some broken graveyard engine. You're never just playing Bridge in a fair deck for value. DRS, on the other hand, is a "fair" (I think you could debate that all mana dorks are somewhat unfair, but I digress) value creature that gets played in fair decks. The question around his unbanning is whether he's outside the power scope of the format, which I don't think he is anymore. The next question, then, is does he make any current deck tier 0, and I also don't think he does this. The decks that gain the most from it are Elves, Jund, and Bant Stoneblade, none of which are on the top of the meta right now. Some decks that currently play Hierarch would switch to DRS, some would stick with Hierarch (like Humans and Infect), so it would actually improve the diversity of mana dorks for decks that want them.

I dunno, the more I think about it the more I like the idea of giving DRS another shot.

BTW, anyone know what happened to Gkourou? It looks like all his online accounts are deleted, hope he's ok.
TBF, there are a lot of differences. Bridge from Below was never played until Hogaak and Looting broke it. Hogaak saw a quick demise, pulling Looting down with it. Nobody argues that Bridge was the ban that solved Modern, unlike the Hogaak and Looting bans that actually helped Modern quite a bit.

Deathrite Shaman saw a lot of play. My favorite spot for it was in the Birthing Pod deck. Yes, I know Pod is banned, but DRS just saw too much play. Like cfusionpm said, it's too much for too little and if I kept all of the posts that people BLASTED me for saying it dies to Lightning Bolt (28% of decks at the time), you would realize it's not an argument. Even if you could sneeze in order for it to be exiled, it still wouldn't get unbanned.

At times when Modern was too unfair and blazingly quick, I tried to ask people if Deathrite Shaman was okay. I figured when Jund is absolute TRASH, it's a solid time to ask. Nope! Nobody was convinced, except likeminded people to myself. WotC considers it a 1 mana planeswalker, so that says a bunch. Right now, Modern got a whole lot more fair with the recent bannings, so I feel like it would be a worse time to ask. (I preferred to ask when Jund players were consistently losing more than 50% of their matches)

I hope GKourou is good too. I know he used a different screen name here on mtgnexus. He probably just moved on with his life. I've sold tons of my cards, as long as really lost my love for the game. So I don't even know if I'll play again or even post or watch Twitchtv.
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