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

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Post by cfusionpm » 4 months ago

I feel like Griephemerate is just going to be this season's NeoBrand. Super annoying, possibly unbeatable, but who knows if it will be an actual meaningful force. And if it is, it'll just eat a ban. I don't think it'll be as scary as people thing, but who knows. We're inherently awful at evaluating cards! :crazy: :explode: :party:

Like, it's definitely obnoxious and awful, but I'm curious exactly how much of a problem it would actually be. The inherent card disadvantage is a real cost for pretty much anything other than a dedicated 8-Rack deck.

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Post by iTaLenTZ » 4 months ago

There is no card disadvantage when playing Griephemerate. You trade 2 cards to get a 3/2 menace on the board while discarding your opponent's 3 best spells. My friend and I stopped playtesting it because of the non-games it creates. He doesn't want to play against it any more and I fully understand.

The entire deck is build around synergies and creating card/board advantage. Ephemerate is not as dead as a card in the midgame as some like to make out. Using it on a Wasteland Strangler can be game winning.

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Post by EonAon » 4 months ago

Simto wrote:
4 months ago
Break the Ice
Just %$#% ban the tron lands Wizards and be done with it instead of this %$#%.
How much tron hate did they just release in this set? I think it was what 3 to 4 cards?

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Post by drmarkb » 4 months ago

I think Robert has it with Modern's identity being one of format shake and ban, and that won't really change ever as it is due to the answers vs threats matrix. This set at least offers some unfun (tm) cards for Johnny Bigmonster, and it is not before time.
I get the idea that they want Modern to be no RL legacy, which is not a good format but at least has something going for it in that it supports more than endless attack, attack, walker remove attack, as well as offering stuff to those who want to play linear strategies. The problem is the match up lottery, as ever, will define Modern in a way it does not with younger and older formats. As an idea, aiming for no RL Legacy might keep Modern going a bit longer.

Not sure about Grief being banned- but as a purveyor of main deck Leyline pillow forts and Enduring Ideal builds, in amongst my lockdown strategies, as well as having a penchant for mono b (I used to own 8 rack and have a couple of non Modern mono b decks), I can say I welcome the card, from both sides..

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Post by robertleva » 4 months ago

They do seem to be giving Modern a no RL legacy feel with MH2 but it remains to be seen if they embrace it or get the ban hammer out.
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Post by cfusionpm » 4 months ago

iTaLenTZ wrote:
4 months ago
There is no card disadvantage when playing Griephemerate. You trade 2 cards to get a 3/2 menace on the board while discarding your opponent's 3 best spells. My friend and I stopped playtesting it because of the non-games it creates. He doesn't want to play against it any more and I fully understand.

The entire deck is build around synergies and creating card/board advantage. Ephemerate is not as dead as a card in the midgame as some like to make out. Using it on a Wasteland Strangler can be game winning.
Which is why I said outside of a dedicated shell. If you can turn 1 Grief + Eohemerate, it's a 3 for 4, you are trading 3 cards (Grief, exiled card to cast, and Eph) for a body and 3 Thoughtseizes. Which is great value and miserable. Outside of this exact scenario though, I don't know how obnoxious or good it actually is. A lot of people make obnoxious things seem worse than they are, or awful things look better than they are. We'll know in a few weeks!

I think the real thing is if it's worth mulliganing to 4 for W land + Grief + black card + Eph.

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Post by robertleva » 4 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
4 months ago
iTaLenTZ wrote:
4 months ago
There is no card disadvantage when playing Griephemerate. You trade 2 cards to get a 3/2 menace on the board while discarding your opponent's 3 best spells. My friend and I stopped playtesting it because of the non-games it creates. He doesn't want to play against it any more and I fully understand.

The entire deck is build around synergies and creating card/board advantage. Ephemerate is not as dead as a card in the midgame as some like to make out. Using it on a Wasteland Strangler can be game winning.
Which is why I said outside of a dedicated shell. If you can turn 1 Grief + Eohemerate, it's a 3 for 4, you are trading 3 cards (Grief, exiled card to cast, and Eph) for a body and 3 Thoughtseizes. Which is great value and miserable. Outside of this exact scenario though, I don't know how obnoxious or good it actually is. A lot of people make obnoxious things seem worse than they are, or awful things look better than they are. We'll know in a few weeks!

I think the real thing is if it's worth mulliganing to 4 for W land + Grief + black card + Eph.
4x Grief
4x Ephemerate

This is the actual shell. You can build around this and go a whole bunch of different ways, but this the new "hogaak of mh2". Expect bans or rules change.
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Post by Simto » 4 months ago

robertleva wrote:
4 months ago
Expect bans or rules change.
Only after they've sold a lot of packs :)

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Post by Bearscape » 4 months ago

Holy overreaction batman, could people wait until the cards are actually released?

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Post by cfusionpm » 4 months ago

robertleva wrote:
4 months ago
4x Grief
4x Ephemerate

This is the actual shell. You can build around this and go a whole bunch of different ways, but this the new "hogaak of mh2". Expect bans or rules change.
But I mean, you have to be playing a lot of black cards to facilitate casting it for free, and white mana to cast Ephemerate. And to be Turn 1, that means 14+ W sources. Right now, there are 0 meaningful WB meta decks, and Esper Control doesn't want to mess with Ephemerate. So if one wants to put this into an off-meta deck in hopes of making it good, awesome! Let's see what happens! If it's too good, ban it! A single counterspell or killing it with the blink trigger on the stack completely fizzles the "combo" and leaves them wasting 3 cards to Thoughtseize once. I think whether or not it's a problem depends 100% on how many stubborn aggressive mulligan players are going to try and jam it, just like when NeoBrand was new.

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Post by Albegas » 4 months ago

I don't think the absence of a good BW deck is much of a defense. I could see this fitting in a BW midrange deck using SFM and/or Dark Confidant to offset the card disadvantage and still have game even without mulling into the combo. The combo is also devastating on the play where your only outs are the U and W elements from the same cycle and FoN. That being said, I'm remaining optimistic. I'm not 100% sold on Grief ruining the format, and if Grief is banned and is the worst thing to happen as a result of MH2, this will look a lot better than MH1

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Post by Tzoulis » 4 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
4 months ago
But I mean, you have to be playing a lot of black cards to facilitate casting it for free, and white mana to cast Ephemerate. And to be Turn 1, that means 14+ W sources. Right now, there are 0 meaningful WB meta decks, and Esper Control doesn't want to mess with Ephemerate. So if one wants to put this into an off-meta deck in hopes of making it good, awesome! Let's see what happens! If it's too good, ban it! A single counterspell or killing it with the blink trigger on the stack completely fizzles the "combo" and leaves them wasting 3 cards to Thoughtseize once. I think whether or not it's a problem depends 100% on how many stubborn aggressive mulligan players are going to try and jam it, just like when NeoBrand was new.
There's also the Force of Will conundrum: You need ~16 other black cards to reliably evoke it. Also, a FoN/Solitude on Ephemerate/Grief is a 3 for 3, so you both mulliganned to 4.

I'm more interested in a UBx tempo deck with Dauthi Voidwalker [/card] (maybe Rogues) with Remans, Counterspells and Drown in the Lochs.

Might try (again) to brew a midrange-y artifact deck, but I doubt it'll go anywhere. Might try a Boros Midrange too with Recruiter, but I doubt it'll get anywhere.

I'd keep an eye out for Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer [/card] and Strike it Rich [/card]. Especially for Strike, it ca power out stuff like Simian Spirit Guide [/card].
Albegas wrote:
4 months ago
I don't think the absence of a good BW deck is much of a defense. I could see this fitting in a BW midrange deck using SFM and/or Dark Confidant to offset the card disadvantage and still have game even without mulling into the combo. The combo is also devastating on the play where your only outs are the U and W elements from the same cycle and FoN. That being said, I'm remaining optimistic. I'm not 100% sold on Grief ruining the format, and if Grief is banned and is the worst thing to happen as a result of MH2, this will look a lot better than MH1
Putting too many 4+ CMC cards in a Bob deck is asking for trouble, so while it might become a thing, I reckon it'll be more annoying/feel bad than OP.
Last edited by Tzoulis 4 months ago, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by cfusionpm » 4 months ago

Albegas wrote:
4 months ago
I don't think the absence of a good BW deck is much of a defense. I could see this fitting in a BW midrange deck using SFM and/or Dark Confidant to offset the card disadvantage and still have game even without mulling into the combo.
Sure? I mean, those decks have never been good, so hooray for interactive midrange decks getting a boost?
The combo is also devastating on the play where your only outs are the U and W elements from the same cycle and FoN.
Sure? But so was NeoBrand. Except Grisselbrand wins the game. And while a 3/2 and 3 discards is good, you still got a lot of turns left to actually win the game after the stars need to align in the first place. I could imagine it's a lot like TTB/Emrakul. A lot of times it "wins" on the spot. And more times than you'd think, it doesn't get the job done, and you've exhausted all your resources trying to be cute.
That being said, I'm remaining optimistic. I'm not 100% sold on Grief ruining the format, and if Grief is banned and is the worst thing to happen as a result of MH2, this will look a lot better than MH1
Definitely agree here. So far nothing looks TOOOOO obnoxious besides this and Dauthi Voidwalker.

It almost feels like this set could have been called "Answers Masters" :rofl:

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Post by Bearscape » 4 months ago

The deck design space of Grief/Ephemerate goes further than just having to be heavily BW. As @cfusionpm said, you are probably playing some kind of interactive midrange deck. You need plenty of Ephemerate targets, and the 3/2 Menace body of Grief has to actually be relevant, i.e. you should be playing a bunch of beatdown creatures. What I think is important to mention, is that simply evoking Grief would probably be really bad in those shells (midrange deck 2 for 1ing itself just for a Thoughtseize).

There is only a 15% chance you have both Grief and Ephemerate in your opening hand. And on top of that you need a black card to pitch.

T1 Grief + Ephemerate is indeed insanely power and, frankly, an obnoxious interaction I'm not looking forward to being blown out by. But saying "this is the next Hogaak", a deck that flipped over its entire library on turn 2, before the set is even out, is a little silly. MH2 will undoubtably have a massive effect on Modern, and I think having measured responses gives for better discussion than immediately predicting bans and claiming tron is dead for the tenth time.

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Post by The Fluff » 4 months ago

saw someone post on reddit that BB elf might be getting banned again, because she could cascade into Profane Tutor.

anyway, I think it's too early to predict. Better wait for everything to be revealed.
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Post by robertleva » 4 months ago

Bearscape wrote:
4 months ago
The deck design space of Grief/Ephemerate goes further than just having to be heavily BW. As @cfusionpm said, you are probably playing some kind of interactive midrange deck. You need plenty of Ephemerate targets, and the 3/2 Menace body of Grief has to actually be relevant, i.e. you should be playing a bunch of beatdown creatures. What I think is important to mention, is that simply evoking Grief would probably be really bad in those shells (midrange deck 2 for 1ing itself just for a Thoughtseize).

There is only a 15% chance you have both Grief and Ephemerate in your opening hand. And on top of that you need a black card to pitch.

T1 Grief + Ephemerate is indeed insanely power and, frankly, an obnoxious interaction I'm not looking forward to being blown out by. But saying "this is the next Hogaak", a deck that flipped over its entire library on turn 2, before the set is even out, is a little silly. MH2 will undoubtably have a massive effect on Modern, and I think having measured responses gives for better discussion than immediately predicting bans and claiming tron is dead for the tenth time.
I don't think it's quite as rigid as you imply. The shell is quite flexible in reality.

-You can be mono black (control or aggro) and just splash white for ephemerate
-You can be esper blade, just make sure you use black removal suite instead of white
-You can be jund and splash white or just use Malakir's Rebirth
-You can be junk, again use black removal, ephemerate gets more targets
-You can be orzhov stoneblade (brews)

The list goes on into new territory with new MH2 cards. Who knows what busted ass deck can take advantage of grief combo because it doesnt take up much deck space.


So yeah, expect to see grief combo all over the place. Now picture getting hit with it on turn 1 before you have even played a card. It's so devastating you are basically ruined right there. Dont forget, after he is done ripping 3 cards from your hand he's still on the table swinging at you. And oh look! I drew another ephemerate. I'll cast it when you try to kill the grief, or maybe I'll bounce it during your draw step for lulz! Talk about unfun! When combos are unfun + busted af = ban hammer.
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Post by Simto » 4 months ago

Looks like there was a big Phyrexian creature type errata on MTGO. I wonder what effect that will have on modern. It'll certainly be cool to make a Phyrexian tribal themed deck in commander though hehe.

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Post by robertleva » 4 months ago

Simto wrote:
4 months ago
Looks like there was a big Phyrexian creature type errata on MTGO. I wonder what effect that will have on modern. It'll certainly be cool to make a Phyrexian tribal themed deck in commander though hehe.
Sorry can you elaborate? I dont follow.
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Post by Albegas » 4 months ago

The Fluff wrote:
4 months ago
saw someone post on reddit that BB elf might be getting banned again, because she could cascade into Profane Tutor.
I remember saw one brought up the interaction of cascade and Profane Tutor, and they brought up a good point. Sure, you can BB or Shardless Agent into Profane tutor, but what are you really grabbing? They're usually run in fair midrange decks built on redundancy in threats and answers, none of which are usually backbreaking on their own and would still need to be cast using mana. Not only that, you'd have to run a card that's generally not great to cast on its own until late in the game when you have the spare mana to suspend it. So, while you certainly could run it in a BGx midrange shell, it's not about to make BUG Midrange a T4 violator, and I just don't see it boosting classic Jund out of the hole it's been buried in over the years. If anything's going to break Profane Tutor (and that's a big if in my opinion), it's more likely be an As Foretold deck or some other combo deck than any fair decks
robertleva wrote:
4 months ago
Sorry can you elaborate? I dont follow.
I think he's talking about this:
Looks like a bunch of cards are being errata'd to being Phyrexian as part of their creature type. They did something similar with Living Weapon in MH2. It looks like none of the oracle pages on Gatherer have been updated yet though, so hopefully there will be some sort of announcement. I doubt it'll matter in Modern or any format barring EDH

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Post by robertleva » 4 months ago

I think Piercing Rays is a sleeper in MG2. 1W exile creature at sorc speed is already okish. The forecast makes this card back breaking against decks like jund that want to top deck fatties for days. Assuming it will be used in a UW control shell, you can probably reduce the count of Supreme Verdicts and run this.
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Post by Simto » 4 months ago

Yeah, I saw a thread about it going live on MTGO on the Salvation forum. I'm sure there will be some sort of announcement about it.

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Post by Bearscape » 4 months ago

robertleva wrote:
4 months ago
Bearscape wrote:
4 months ago
The deck design space of Grief/Ephemerate goes further than just having to be heavily BW. As @cfusionpm said, you are probably playing some kind of interactive midrange deck. You need plenty of Ephemerate targets, and the 3/2 Menace body of Grief has to actually be relevant, i.e. you should be playing a bunch of beatdown creatures. What I think is important to mention, is that simply evoking Grief would probably be really bad in those shells (midrange deck 2 for 1ing itself just for a Thoughtseize).

There is only a 15% chance you have both Grief and Ephemerate in your opening hand. And on top of that you need a black card to pitch.

T1 Grief + Ephemerate is indeed insanely power and, frankly, an obnoxious interaction I'm not looking forward to being blown out by. But saying "this is the next Hogaak", a deck that flipped over its entire library on turn 2, before the set is even out, is a little silly. MH2 will undoubtably have a massive effect on Modern, and I think having measured responses gives for better discussion than immediately predicting bans and claiming tron is dead for the tenth time.
I don't think it's quite as rigid as you imply. The shell is quite flexible in reality.

-You can be mono black (control or aggro) and just splash white for ephemerate
-You can be esper blade, just make sure you use black removal suite instead of white
-You can be jund and splash white or just use Malakir's Rebirth
-You can be junk, again use black removal, ephemerate gets more targets
-You can be orzhov stoneblade (brews)

The list goes on into new territory with new MH2 cards. Who knows what busted ass deck can take advantage of grief combo because it doesnt take up much deck space.


So yeah, expect to see grief combo all over the place. Now picture getting hit with it on turn 1 before you have even played a card. It's so devastating you are basically ruined right there. Dont forget, after he is done ripping 3 cards from your hand he's still on the table swinging at you. And oh look! I drew another ephemerate. I'll cast it when you try to kill the grief, or maybe I'll bounce it during your draw step for lulz! Talk about unfun! When combos are unfun + busted af = ban hammer.
All the decks you're naming are midrange decks; there will be few matchups where those kinds of decks are willing to 2 for 1 themselves just for a Thoughtseize. Look at Unmask in Legacy; only combo decks play it. There is also a real cost to running a card like Ephemerate; it's a nice way to get 2 for 1'd if your opponent uses removal in response, and it's an abysmal topdeck. You'll also need turn 1 white, so even if you splash just for Ephemerate, you need to adjust your manabase accordingly. Finally, as I already said, with 4 Ephemerate and 4 Grief in your deck, the odds are less than 15% that you can perform the combo on turn 1. Again, I think the card is really powerful (and frankly I'm not a fan of its design), but you're only looking at the best case scenarios.

Honestly, now you mentioned Malakir Rebirth, I actually think that combo is way more feasible. Monocolored, and Rebirth can partially go in the land slot.

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Post by robertleva » 4 months ago

We are probably looking at Malakir Rebirth in 8Rack over Ephemerate. We will be running the new Voidwalker as well and Malakir hits both that and Grief. It also doubles as a land, allowing you to shave a land or two. Epehem version may pan out better not sure, only time will tell.
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Post by drmarkb » 4 months ago

Simto wrote:
4 months ago
robertleva wrote:
4 months ago
Expect bans or rules change.
Only after they've sold a lot of packs :)
This is the way.

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Post by drmarkb » 4 months ago

robertleva wrote:
4 months ago
Simto wrote:
4 months ago
Looks like there was a big Phyrexian creature type errata on MTGO. I wonder what effect that will have on modern. It'll certainly be cool to make a Phyrexian tribal themed deck in commander though hehe.
Sorry can you elaborate? I dont follow.
Phyrexian is now a card type for all the infect dudes (glistener, agent etc.) as well as Plague Enginner. They have all had the type phyrexian added to them.
Net result, resolve a game 1 Engineer and Infect's dudes, Nexi and all (which also has the erratum), are dead, baring anthems.

Not the death of the deck in Legacy, for sure, since the deck has headed towards 4 STP in the board as standard. The modern version will just have to run removal, or accept G1 vs Engineer is curtains.

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