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

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Absolutely. Both Jund and Blue Moon have interaction, but on that line from less interactive to more, that sequence of discard, Goyf, Lily, go, would likely be less interactive. Again it's that sliding scale, and that's fine.

To me, it's going to be pre-t3feri UW or Esper draw go, that would be at one end and....like Bogles, at the other.
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Albegas wrote:
1 year ago
as a counter example, Jund also has many lines where you know exactly what you're doing regardless of what your opponent is on (T1 discard → T2 threat → T3 Lili hand fits this I believe), but it's not because it doesn't interact. It's because it's using a proactive form of interactivity.
There is a key piece of interaction here though: that T1 discard. Do they have an answer? Do they have a threat? Which do you take? Why do you take it? As someone who dabbled in discard decks for a few months (GDS), this decision tree is extremely difficult much of the time, and is shaped heavily by what is in both your and your opponents' hands. Maybe what you see from the discard says it's a green light to then drop Goyf into Lili. Maybe you need to slow down and play defensively because they have double removal or something. It's not nearly as straightforward as going cantrip, cantrip, flip, attack.
So if I'm understanding your initial point, I believe the message you were trying to get across was that playing a deck using reactive interaction (as opposed to proactive decks that can set the pace early on) is the weakest way to play. Am I close to the mark?
Yes.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
Albegas wrote:
1 year ago
So if I'm understanding your initial point, I believe the message you were trying to get across was that playing a deck using reactive interaction (as opposed to proactive decks that can set the pace early on) is the weakest way to play. Am I close to the mark?
Yes.
I'm not sure this has ever been an optimal line in Modern or even Legacy. Maybe in certain matchups, sure, but not as an overall deck strategy. Indeed, one reason Twin was so strong is that you could always represent the combo while not having it, gaining a virtual proactive, tempo, threat advantage even if you just had reactive spells. CounterTop and Delver/Blade/Arcanist decks also present similar proactive lines far better than purely reactive competitors. I struggle to think of decks in high-powered formats that simply want to answer questions posed by other decks. Even the best "control" options want to stick some kind of early threat or engine before hunkering down. Are there examples where a reactive deck that did not set early paces were ever as good or better than the proactive decks that could set a pace?
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
CounterTop and Delver/Blade/Arcanist decks also present similar proactive lines far better than purely reactive competitors. I struggle to think of decks in high-powered formats that simply want to answer questions posed by other decks. Even the best "control" options want to stick some kind of early threat or engine before hunkering down. Are there examples where a reactive deck that did not set early paces were ever as good or better than the proactive decks that could set a pace?
Outside of very narrow (within the context of a formats life) no, you would be correct that any deck which wishes to remain top teir, must have some proactive elements.

Jund of today is interactive. It also has some of the strongest proactive cards in print.
UW of today can be interactive. It also has some of the strongest prison type walkers in print.
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Post by Albegas » 1 year ago

I think that's just the nature of Modern, if not MtG as a whole. You need to turn the corner at some point, preferably sooner rather than later, and barring some instant speed wincon like Secure the Wastes (which seems to fall out of favor as quickly as it gains it) sorcery speed threats usually do it faster and more consistently than instant speed ones. This is especially true in Modern, a turn 4 format, and when I say that, I don't refer to the criteria. In this format, you either need to be able to secure the win T4, turn the corner T4, or strip the opponent of the ability to win T4. I know some users don't like having to switch to sorcery speed answer/threats, especially in such an early stage of the game, but the reality is that Modern really doesn't forgive durdling for too long after T4, and the tools to play a nearly pure flash deck and reach T1 status just don't exist in Modern.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
Albegas wrote:
1 year ago
So if I'm understanding your initial point, I believe the message you were trying to get across was that playing a deck using reactive interaction (as opposed to proactive decks that can set the pace early on) is the weakest way to play. Am I close to the mark?
Yes.
I'm not sure this has ever been an optimal line in Modern or even Legacy. Maybe in certain matchups, sure, but not as an overall deck strategy. Indeed, one reason Twin was so strong is that you could always represent the combo while not having it, gaining a virtual proactive, tempo, threat advantage even if you just had reactive spells. CounterTop and Delver/Blade/Arcanist decks also present similar proactive lines far better than purely reactive competitors. I struggle to think of decks in high-powered formats that simply want to answer questions posed by other decks. Even the best "control" options want to stick some kind of early threat or engine before hunkering down. Are there examples where a reactive deck that did not set early paces were ever as good or better than the proactive decks that could set a pace?
Perhaps you have nailed down exactly why myself (and let's be honest, lots and lots of other players) were so upset by the Twin ban, and the subsequent falling-to-pieces of any semblance of reactive tempo control decks for the past 4 years. Because without that proactive threat, the interactive control shell (in general) is just not good. And the only way it becomes remotely good today is with a giant pile of hate cards and prison locks, forcefully printed in UW colors.

Because Twin allowed for the mediocre control shell to do its control thing because of the fear generated by the combo. It was able to cause opponents to hold back plays and not over-extend. What deck today has that effect? Even against something like UW, it is almost always the correct choice to just jam your thing as fast as possible and hope they don't have the right answer on time. I know that's exactly how I lose when playing with UW.

There is no longer a deck that someone can play which elicits fear and respect; that causes the opponent to slow down and interact. At least not anything that isn't tuned to kill as soon as humanly possible (like Infect, Neobrand, etc)

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Albegas wrote:
1 year ago
This is especially true in Modern, a turn 4 format, and when I say that, I don't refer to the criteria. In this format, you either need to be able to secure the win T4, turn the corner T4, or strip the opponent of the ability to win T4. I know some users don't like having to switch to sorcery speed answer/threats, especially in such an early stage of the game, but the reality is that Modern really doesn't forgive durdling for too long after T4, and the tools to play a nearly pure flash deck and reach T1 status just don't exist in Modern.
All of which is true, and is the ultimate source of dissatisfaction with the format I would argue.

When people complain about 'not enough true diversity' its because their Tier 3 pile does not answer these questions.
When people complain about 'not enough interaction' its because their Tier 2 pile does not answer these questions.
When people complain about 'I had no play' its because of things like NeoForm, and Tron, and Hogaak.
When people complain about London Mulligan essentially boiling some match up's to 'do you have leyline? Do you have nature's claim?' its because of these questions.

I would argue that at no point in Modern's current ban list history has it been as powerful, and hostile to anything that is not presenting a near lock on the game as early as we have now.
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Post by Albegas » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago

Yes.
I'm not sure this has ever been an optimal line in Modern or even Legacy. Maybe in certain matchups, sure, but not as an overall deck strategy. Indeed, one reason Twin was so strong is that you could always represent the combo while not having it, gaining a virtual proactive, tempo, threat advantage even if you just had reactive spells. CounterTop and Delver/Blade/Arcanist decks also present similar proactive lines far better than purely reactive competitors. I struggle to think of decks in high-powered formats that simply want to answer questions posed by other decks. Even the best "control" options want to stick some kind of early threat or engine before hunkering down. Are there examples where a reactive deck that did not set early paces were ever as good or better than the proactive decks that could set a pace?
Perhaps you have nailed down exactly why myself (and let's be honest, lots and lots of other players) were so upset by the Twin ban, and the subsequent falling-to-pieces of any semblance of reactive tempo control decks for the past 4 years. Because without that proactive threat, the interactive control shell (in general) is just not good. And the only way it becomes remotely good today is with a giant pile of hate cards and prison locks, forcefully printed in UW colors.

Because Twin allowed for the mediocre control shell to do its control thing because of the fear generated by the combo. It was able to cause opponents to hold back plays and not over-extend. What deck today has that effect? Even against something like UW, it is almost always the correct choice to just jam your thing as fast as possible and hope they don't have the right answer on time. I know that's exactly how I lose when playing with UW.

There is no longer a deck that someone can play which elicits fear and respect; that causes the opponent to slow down and interact. At least not anything that isn't tuned to kill as soon as humanly possible (like Infect, Neobrand, etc)
I can't say that this is wrong. As you say, Twin brought an interesting dynamic that punished overextending like no other deck that has existed in Modern. UW only punishes overextending by getting extra value from Wraths and by making comebacks harder. Meanwhile Twin punished it by straight up winning, which is clearly a more severe punishment.

However, when I played Twin, I was a relatively fresh competitive MtG player, and as years go by, one thought lingers in my mind. When people played against Twin and avoid overextending, how often was that the right move? There always seemed to be a lot of games where conservative players lost to the tempo package because they didn't realize that the correct move was to at least try and push for the win while the Twin player had less mana and a smaller chance of actually having Twin in hand. At a glance, it seems like the reason more players are willing to overextend against UW than against Twin isn't because UW is less capable of fighting back against it (though it is true that it's incapable of punishing overextending like Twin did) but because the removal of that fear makes it more clear that risking the overextending to close the game is simply the better move. At the very least, I often tell my more casual friends that when against any sort of control plan, giving up turns by doing nothing out of fear of getting countered is often worse than at least trying to jam something that can turn the table, and Twin simply seems to take that dynamic to the extreme: Jam the threat at the risk of losing, or risk losing to the temp package while holding back and protecting oneself from the combo.

If the tone of my post isn't clear, I'm not trying to assert a particular claim. I genuinely want people's feedback on whether they think that most players were playing against Twin correctly (i.e. they played more conservatively than against contemporary control decks, and that was a correct move) or if they think that Twin's severe punishment of overextending caused players back then to be too cautious and lose games that they might have otherwise won by overextending if they weren't worried about losing on the spot. I sincerely doubt that this inquiry will lead to any sort of inspiring revelation, but it would satiate my curiosity.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

Albegas wrote:
1 year ago
I genuinely want people's feedback on whether they think that most players were playing against Twin correctly (i.e. they played more conservatively than against contemporary control decks, and that was a correct move) or if they think that Twin's severe punishment of overextending caused players back then to be too cautious and lose games that they might have otherwise won by overextending if they weren't worried about losing on the spot. I sincerely doubt that this inquiry will lead to any sort of inspiring revelation, but it would satiate my curiosity.
I feel most feared the overextend and simply would not push in. This is exactly why the post sideboard plan was at all functional, because as we know, Twin without Twin, is Blue Moon, and that is not something that wins via 'intimidation'.
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Albegas wrote:
1 year ago
When people played against Twin and avoid overextending, how often was that the right move? There always seemed to be a lot of games where conservative players lost to the tempo package because they didn't realize that the correct move was to at least try and push for the win while the Twin player had less mana and a smaller chance of actually having Twin in hand.
It is probably right to just jam it anyway, but the feelbads of jamming and losing were often outweighed by the psychological need to "feel" right. Kind of like how, mathematically, you should absolutely, every time, always switch your choice in the Monty Hall Problem, but it just feels wrong.

I did the math on a fairly stock Twin list many years ago, using a hypergeo calc and combined odds percentages. The chance of having a turn 4 combo (creature + Twin + 4 lands that make RR) was somewhere between 13-33%, depending on play/draw, and seeing/drawing 0-2 additional cards. So on average, somewhere between 20-25% of the time. This means that 75-80% of the time, it is correct to push, pressure, and extend into them. But people don't do it because of that 1/4 chance that they just die in the backswing. You still hear the false horror stories all the time, even today, of people claiming "Twin always had the combo" and "It's super reliable, they always have it turn 4" and it's just not mathematically correct whatsoever. Never mind that often 4-6 of the 10 combo pieces come out games 2 and 3 of any remotely interactive matchup.

Side note, as a thought experiment, I could totally construct a deck using today's cards and run that same series and see if it would be any different. Though I don't know how the list would look, and might even be right to run wonky stuff like Peek. The previous lists were extremely tight, but they also were filled with stuff like Electrolyze, which is laughably unplayable today. Also, unsure how to incorporate London Mull...

If you're curious, these were my findings:
Numbers Breakdown
Show
Twins - 4 copies
Have Twin by turn 4
On the draw (no scry/draw effects) - 56.5%
On the play (no scry/draw effects) - 52.7%
On the draw (drawing 1 extra card) - 60.0%
On the play (drawing 1 extra card) - 56.5%
On the draw (drawing 2 extra cards) - 63.4%
On the play (drawing 2 extra cards) - 60.0%

Combo creatures - 6 copies
Have combo creature by turn 3
On the draw (no scry/draw effects) - 68.2%
On the play (no scry/draw effects) - 64.0%
On the draw (drawing 1 extra card) - 72.1%
On the play (drawing 1 extra card) - 68.2%
On the draw (drawing 2 extra cards) - 75.4%
On the play (drawing 2 extra cards) - 72.1%

Lands - 23
Have 4 lands by turn 4
On the draw (no scry/draw effects) - 68.2% (ss=11)
On the play (no scry/draw effects) - 58.6% (ss=10)
On the draw (drawing 1 extra card) - 76.4% (ss=12)
On the play (drawing 1 extra card) - 68.2% (ss=11)
On the draw (drawing 2 extra cards) - 82.9% (ss=13)
On the play (drawing 2 extra cards) - 76.4% (ss=12)

R sources - 13
Have RR by turn 4
On the draw (no scry/draw effects) - 75.2% (ss=11)
On the play (no scry/draw effects) - 69.6% (ss=10)
On the draw (drawing 1 extra card) - 80.0% (ss=12)
On the play (drawing 1 extra card) - 75.2% (ss=11)
On the draw (drawing 2 extra cards) - 84.1% (ss=13)
On the play (drawing 2 extra cards) - 80.0% (ss=12)

Probability of having 4 lands, RR, creature, and Twin by turn 4
(P(Twin)*P(Creature)*P(4Land)*P(RR))
On the draw (no scry/draw effects) - 19.5%
On the play (no scry/draw effects) - 13.8%
On the draw (drawing 1 extra card) - 26.4%
On the play (drawing 1 extra card) - 19.7%
On the draw (drawing 2 extra cards) - 33.3%
On the play (drawing 2 extra cards) - 26.4%

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 1 year ago

All I'm saying is that when I want to watch Modern coverage that has many lines to take, I go back and watch Modern around 2014. Birthing Pod vs. Twin, Twin vs. Jeskai Control, Birthing Pod vs. Jund, Jund vs. Twin, Jeskai Control vs. Jund, etc. These matches between players of Reid Duke, Jacob Wilson, LSV, and more's stature playing them is just amazing to watch.

I am a Combo player saying this. Think about that for a second.
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Post by robertleva » 1 year ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
All I'm saying is that when I want to watch Modern coverage that has many lines to take, I go back and watch Modern around 2014. Birthing Pod vs. Twin, Twin vs. Jeskai Control, Birthing Pod vs. Jund, Jund vs. Twin, Jeskai Control vs. Jund, etc. These matches between players of Reid Duke, Jacob Wilson, LSV, and more's stature playing them is just amazing to watch.

I am a Combo player saying this. Think about that for a second.
That's the type of meta you can have IF you get rid of the damn graveyard degeneration that has taken over Modern via Faithless Fking Looting. Which ever deck is abusing looting the best is the best deck in Modern. It has been that way for over a year now. Twin probably does need to come back, but that's not the biggest issue facing modern now.
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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
I did the math on a fairly stock Twin list many years ago, using a hypergeo calc and combined odds percentages. The chance of having a turn 4 combo (creature + Twin + 4 lands that make RR) was somewhere between 13-33%, depending on play/draw, and seeing/drawing 0-2 additional cards. So on average, somewhere between 20-25% of the time. This means that 75-80% of the time, it is correct to push, pressure, and extend into them. But people don't do it because of that 1/4 chance that they just die in the backswing. You still hear the false horror stories all the time, even today, of people claiming "Twin always had the combo" and "It's super reliable, they always have it turn 4" and it's just not mathematically correct whatsoever.
Twin did not always have the combo, On my experience playing it years ago. Some games I died to aggro not able to find the red enchantment. My deck wasn't optimized.. cannot afford snapcasters, but I did have a playset of scalding tarn and used almost the same other spells as other people used in their main. Hmm, and still remember having electrostatic bolt in the sideboard for killing spellskites on game 2. Good memories. :)
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Post by robertleva » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
It's the same as KCI. People cried for Ancient Stirrings, KCI was banned, then Stirrings was/is just a good card. Hogaak will be banned, then Looting will just be a fine card to exist. Izzet Phoenix is on the downswing, as London Mulligan and War hurt it inevitably, and the other Looting decks, such as Mardu Pyro, Hollow One, or Goryo's are just Tier 2-3 decks.
It's no coincidence that many of the same people (from channel fireball articles for example) calling for looting to be banned ALSO want Stirrings. These cards are out of place in Modern's power level where the Blue 1cc cantrips Ponder and Preordain are deemed too powerful. Get rid of these stupid cards that add nothing to the format except degeneracy. That is what the huddled masses want, regardless of what the elite types that post on this forum would have you believe.
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Post by LeoTzu » 1 year ago

kddncn wrote:
1 year ago
LeoTzu wrote:
1 year ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
1 year ago
Manamorphose X 3, Faithless Looting, flip Thing in the Ice to Awoken Horror, bounce creatures, attack for 7 is just not going to fit the bill of being interactive for most Modern players.

Whether it's an amazing play or not is more debatable...
This is interesting. Using 4 cards to sweep a board and attack with a big beefy creature is non-interactive, but if you say, cast Bolt, Fatal Push, Bolt to clear the board and attack with Tarmogoyf, that's interactive Magic.

It's not that I disagree with you. You're totally right. The "flip thing ASAP and beat" plan in Phoenix definitely isn't interactive. Jund clearing the board with a ton of removal and swinging in with a big Tarmo is, but we sort of have this idea that the "interactive" way is the good way and the "non-interactive" way is bad and they both produce some pretty similar results.

edited last sentence
Just pointing out, the line from phoenix costs net R and leaves you down a card and provides 5 cards worth of selection, a one sided tempo board reset, and a 7/8. Jund's plan requires RRB and is -3 cards w/ no card selection to connect with (usually) a 4/5. The material differences in these lines even if the outcome ("connect with a beefy boi") is pretty different. Sure, in comparison, the person playing vs Phoenix gets to redeploy their threats, but the phoenix player has a huge tempo advantage and sees a ton of extra cards.
Well, in the scenario presented, the UR player is down 3 cards because the cast 3 Looting (which is highly unlikely) and unless they pitched Phoenixes, they're just down cards.

I don't necessarily believe the decks are the "same," but was more just highlighting that one way of clearing the board swinging in for a ton of damage is considered "good" gameplay, while another is "bad" gameplay. I find it interesting, especially when we're considering the idea of interactivity and what actually constitutes interactivity. I generally agree that Jund being prevalent in the metagame is much healthier for the format as a whole, rather than UR Phoenix, and that if we're trying to creating a scale of interactivity, Jund is highly interactive, while Phoenix varies from being completely linear to somewhat interactive depending on the matchup, but sometimes similar results can be achieved while playing an "uninteractive" game.

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Post by kddncn » 1 year ago

LeoTzu wrote:
1 year ago
Well, in the scenario presented, the UR player is down 3 cards because the cast 3 Looting (which is highly unlikely) and unless they pitched Phoenixes, they're just down cards.

I don't necessarily believe the decks are the "same," but was more just highlighting that one way of clearing the board swinging in for a ton of damage is considered "good" gameplay, while another is "bad" gameplay. I find it interesting, especially when we're considering the idea of interactivity and what actually constitutes interactivity. I generally agree that Jund being prevalent in the metagame is much healthier for the format as a whole, rather than UR Phoenix, and that if we're trying to creating a scale of interactivity, Jund is highly interactive, while Phoenix varies from being completely linear to somewhat interactive depending on the matchup, but sometimes similar results can be achieved while playing an "uninteractive" game.
Case was 3x Manamorphose, 1x Looting. If you switch it to 1x manamorphose into 3x Looting, they're both less likely to make the play unless they have Phoenix(s) in hand, but also now see 7 cards worth of selection, go down 3 cards, gain a one sided board reset, into a 7/8 (now at mana cost parity of RRR). That still often seems materially better than the Jund outcome on a play Phoenix is almost never going to make.

As I've posted elsewhere, I have a pretty broad view of interactivity. I find it, personally, better to think of Phoenix as an unfair strategy rather than an uninteractive one due to the effective mana advantage cards like TitI + Manamorphose can generate. But, I also feel like Manamorphose is basically one step below git probe and I wouldn't bat an eye if WotC banned it.
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Post by LeoTzu » 1 year ago

Gotcha. I read that wrong as 1 Manamorphose and 3 Looting. My bad.

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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

robertleva wrote:
1 year ago
That's the type of meta you can have IF you get rid of the damn graveyard degeneration that has taken over Modern via Faithless Fking Looting. Which ever deck is abusing looting the best is the best deck in Modern. It has been that way for over a year now. Twin probably does need to come back, but that's not the biggest issue facing modern now.
I think its probably close. In my dream world Looting and Stirrings are banned, and Modern actually leans back toward the diversity of that old Jund/Twin/Pod/Affinity meta. Which also had Tron, Infect, UWx, and so on.

Then again, with the number of people who this very day misunderstand how cards are good and why, and what that does to deck building...I dont know that I have much hope.

I quit Standard with War of the Spark, it was a short run, but at least Dom/Guilds of Ravnica was good.

I quit Modern with Modern Horizons, because it just didnt do it, there isnt enough reason and there never will be, to not be playing Looting/Stirrings/Vial or UW with T3feri and Narset. Throw E-Tron back into the Top Tier? I look for the exit.

I'm slowly inching into EDH, but I'm positive that wont hold me either. We have had only brief window's of 'good' (to me) Magic in Modern since 2014. Its just been so long, and a ton of the blame needs to be put on Looting, and Stirrings.

EDIT: And seriously PLEASE consider pushing back on the London Mull folks. Just think about the consequences for Modern.

We already have dig that disregards Card Advantage.
We already have a ton of decks that dont care about Card Advantage.
We have now a Mull rule that reinforces deck's that dont care about Card Advantage, and instead pushes us even heavier to have the explosive early game (Turns 0-2) that we know for some decks can be game defining.

There is no way 'but I can find my hate card' is enough to help fair decks in this format. The London Mull is the worst thing to happen to Modern since 2015.
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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

Re: Stirrings/Looting ban idea
I preface this by saying there's a difference between what Wizards should do (i.e. "prescriptive:" us advising their actions) vs. what Wizards is likely to do (i.e. "predictive:" us describing their actions). I am currently speaking from the latter perspective but will switch to the former in a second.

From a predictive standpoint, I'll say it is extremely unlikely Wizards bans these cards. They literally said Stirrings was fine in the KCI update after a year where KCI was the most prevalent GP T8 deck and G Tron was number three (Humans was second). Stirrings decks made up 27% of GP T8 decks in 2018 and Wizards viewed that diversity (G Tron, KCI, Amulet Titan, Hardened Scales, RG Eldrazi, Lantern) as acceptable. They literally address this in the KCI update, which on the one hand shows Stirrings to be on some kind of watchlist, but also shows its 2018 usage was totally above board:
One factor we consider is that Ancient Stirrings, unlike more general card selection spells like Ponder and Preordain, brings deckbuilding restrictions. When we examine the effect of powerful cards, we consider whether they are increasing or decreasing the number of viable decks in the environment. In the current state of the metagame, the build-around nature of Ancient Stirrings supports decks that look very different from a simple collection of the strongest rate cards, and that otherwise may not exist. The recent resurgence of a new generation of Amulet Titan decks is a good example of this.
In this paragraph, Wizards explains that THEY do not view it the same as P&P, and view it as necessary to decks "that otherwise may not exist." They even cite Amulet Titan as a good example of a Stirrings deck, despite that being a big mana/combo controversial deck for some. If we're arguing against Stirrings, we need to acknowledge where Wizards stands on it.

As for Looting, they conspicuously omitted it from the Bridge ban and said they were okay with GY decks, were fine with Dredge in the beginning of the year (using MC2 as an example), and said they were targeting a specific, GY-based combo deck. I'm sure if/when Hogaak gets banned, we'll see more on Looting and get more insight into their thought process. But, predictively, neither of these datapoints, nor the overall metagame numbers, remotely support a ban.

From a prescriptive standpoint, there are certainly some benefits to depowering Stirrings and Looting decks. But there are also metagame and diversity risks. From a diversity standpoint, there is no guarantee the decks using these cards will all still be strong. Anyone that claims otherwise is either hand-waving the issue or lying. It's at the least an open question and, if history is any indication, points to the decks becoming worse without their enabling cantrips. Looting decks would be hit particularly hard if they switched from a CMC 1 enabler with CMC 3 flashback to CMC 2 enablers without flashback. So from a diversity standpoint, all of those decks would be hit pretty hard and we don't know how that impacts the metagame.

From a metagame perspective, we also have no idea how the post-banning metagame would look. Again, anyone who is saying "the metagame will be X,Y,Z after we ban Cards A and B" is either hand-waving a complicated issue or deliberately misleading readers. We can't predict what the metagame will look like after single, targeted bans/unbans, let alone sweeping pillar bans. I think it's an interesting topic we can explore, but anyone who just defaults to believing a no-Looting/no-Stirrings Modern will be a Jund/Ux Control/Humans/etc. paradise is being disingenuous. That is an extremely complicate issue and it is being simplified to prop up an argument that needs a ton of evidence.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

100% its an open question.

I personally feel a ban on Looting will competitively kill UR Phoenix, will slow Hogaak/Dredge/Mono R Phoenix and probably kill Mardu Pyro/Hollow One.

A Stirrings ban, will competitively hurt Scales, and G-Tron but kill? I'm not sure.

You are right though, we cannot predict it. I mean its like people saying 'Jace was great' without looking at the context of

Teferi
T3feri
Force of Negation
Narset
Field of Ruin

The metagame is a very complex system, and I doubt anyone can make a prediction with any real confidence. About all I can do is say 'if we hurt these decks, does it by association power up these other decks?' but its a very tough (impossible?) argument to make.
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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
EDIT: And seriously PLEASE consider pushing back on the London Mull folks. Just think about the consequences for Modern.

We already have dig that disregards Card Advantage.
We already have a ton of decks that dont care about Card Advantage.
We have now a Mull rule that reinforces deck's that dont care about Card Advantage, and instead pushes us even heavier to have the explosive early game (Turns 0-2) that we know for some decks can be game defining.

There is no way 'but I can find my hate card' is enough to help fair decks in this format. The London Mull is the worst thing to happen to Modern since 2015.
is it really that bad? we've been having fun with it locally over here.

I can find sideboard cards more easily in game 2 as well.
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Post by idSurge » 1 year ago

I think it pushes even more power into the first 2 turns, which is the exact opposite of what I think Modern needed.
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Post by LeoTzu » 1 year ago

idSurge wrote:
1 year ago
100% its an open question.

I personally feel a ban on Looting will competitively kill UR Phoenix, will slow Hogaak/Dredge/Mono R Phoenix and probably kill Mardu Pyro/Hollow One.

A Stirrings ban, will competitively hurt Scales, and G-Tron but kill? I'm not sure.

You are right though, we cannot predict it. I mean its like people saying 'Jace was great' without looking at the context of

Teferi
T3feri
Force of Negation
Narset
Field of Ruin

The metagame is a very complex system, and I doubt anyone can make a prediction with any real confidence. About all I can do is say 'if we hurt these decks, does it by association power up these other decks?' but its a very tough (impossible?) argument to make.
Yeah, this is pretty much how I feel. UR Phoenix's busted plays involve Thing in the Ice turn 2 into 4 spells on turn 3, with at least one of them being a Looting to pitch Phoenixes. Without Looting, the deck probably just becomes fringe. Looting is important because that deck wants a very specific card in its grave and the rest in its hand. Izzet Charm is the next best option, but 2 mana basically shuts off the deck's most busted plays. UR probably evolves into something the leans more heavily on Thing and Aria, but looses most of its explosive capabilities. My guess would be that it would be fringe playable at that point or just become Blue Moon at that point.

The other Looting decks could probably pivot to a slightly slower, but possibly still competitive version of their current builds, since plenty of option exist in tossing cards in your grave if you just want quantity over selected cards to end up in the grave (Hedron Crab, Satyr Wayfinder, Cathartic Reunion). Mono-R Phoenix just swaps to Prowess. It barely needs the Phoenix to remain competitive.

All in all, I think Looting being out of the format would most likely be a net positive for the format. Humans becomes a lot better and most of the busted decks would be knocked down a peg. NeoBrand would still be around, but that deck falls apart if you can toss a monkey wrench on their key play.

I doubt they'll do anything about Looting though, as others have stated. So, until then I'll keep jamming Phoenix. It's not the deck that I REALLY want to play... but I'm still having a good time with it. The things I'd like to be doing in Modern just aren't good enough, unless I want a have a fun time at FNM with some silly nonsense, but I think that's just something you have to come to terms with if you want to enjoy Modern as it is.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

gkourou wrote:
1 year ago
It's the same as KCI. People cried for Ancient Stirrings, KCI was banned, then Stirrings was/is just a good card. Hogaak will be banned, then Looting will just be a fine card to exist. Izzet Phoenix is on the downswing, as London Mulligan and War hurt it inevitably, and the other Looting decks, such as Mardu Pyro, Hollow One, or Goryo's are just Tier 2-3 decks.
Did you have a problem with Gitaxian Probe's ban hurting random irrelevant Tier 2-3 decks? Did you support it anyway?

Though, it appears you still have me blocked, so I won't expect a reply.
Stop the hyperbole.

The only problem Modern is facing now, is that it has too many 1 drops, whatever 1 drop this is. Wizards needs to find further ways to make the avg(CMC) of the format bigger. JTMS, BBE unbans were successful at that. I remember people said JTMS would be useless. Where are they now? It's being played at a Tier 1 control deck.
Jace is one of the worst cards in the deck. Literally worse than every other planeswalker option, and often worse than Cryptic Command as something to spend your 4 mana on. Jace did not make UW good. Search, Field, Force, Opt, Teferi, T3feri, Narset, Veto, and a million other cards did. Jace is there because sometimes 1 big Teffy and 2-3 Colonnades aren't enough win conditions. You are fooling yourself if you think Jace is the reason UW is good. Some builds don't even play him after Terminus fell out of favor.

Side note: BBE did nothing to make Jund better. It held continued irrelevance until getting multiple additions from Horizons. The current builds want nothing to do with her.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
Jace is one of the worst cards in the deck. Literally worse than every other planeswalker option, and often worse than Cryptic Command as something to spend your 4 mana on. Jace did not make UW good. Search, Field, Force, Opt, Teferi, T3feri, Narset, Veto, and a million other cards did. Jace is there because sometimes 1 big Teffy and 2-3 Colonnades aren't enough win conditions. You are fooling yourself if you think Jace is the reason UW is good. Some builds don't even play him after Terminus fell out of favor.

Side note: BBE did nothing to make Jund better. It held continued irrelevance until getting multiple additions from Horizons. The current builds want nothing to do with her.
Interestingly, this is a great point for reasons I'm not sure were intended. Many players and prominent pros were either convinced BBE would make Jund a thing again, certain JTMS was too good for Modern, or certain JTMS was unplayable. Basically all of those strong opinions were wrong. BBE is playable but by no means the thing Jund needed; that was W6. JTMS was unquestionably appropriate for Modern, absolutely playable, but not nearly as decisive as many hoped. Many evaluators, authors, pundits, and community members were totally wrong about these cards when and before they were unbanned. And these were cards that either had storied, multi-format contexts or, in the case of BBE, were actually Modern-legal for years! They were still wrong when evaluating them in the 2018 context.

All of this emphasizes how hard card evaluation and metagame predictions are when it comes to new cards. It's possible to predict metagame evolutions from month to month. I think in 2015, I got something like 70% of my metagame predictions correct over those 12 months on Modern Nexus. But predicting the impact of new/unbanned/banned cards is significantly harder.

The lesson should be clear for anyone trying to say "New card X/unban Y/ban Z will have effect A/B/C on the metagame." These types of statements reduce an intricate, complex issue to a meaningless generalization in order to prove a point and distract from the underlying complexities. Just look at all of MH for an example of this. There were so many Reddit and Twitter and forum posts about how underwhelming and Commander-focused the set was, and all of that was wrong. Those people missed a Tier 0 monster, missed W6 in Jund, missed Urza as the cornerstone of a new deck, underestimated FoN, didn't realize how broken FoV would be in unfair decks, etc. I'm not saying those people were stupid or dishonest. They were just wrong because this is a really complicated topic. Everyone should remember these complexities when trying to generalize about the effects of a major format change.
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