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

Aazadan
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Post by Aazadan » 3 months ago

I'm nowhere no California, the places I've liked have also sold fast but the prices aren't absurd. 150k gets you something really reasonable. 200k gets into mansion territory and depending on neighborhood average appreciation of 4 to 6 percent per year.

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cfusionpm
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Post by cfusionpm » 3 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
3 months ago
I'm nowhere no California, the places I've liked have also sold fast but the prices aren't absurd. 150k gets you something really reasonable. 200k gets into mansion territory and depending on neighborhood average appreciation of 4 to 6 percent per year.
Wowzers. Let's just say that 200k here wouldn't even get you a 500sqft studio with the way the market is right now....

Back on the Modern train, my Monkeys should be coming in the mail soon. The build feels so naked without Cryptics, but the low-aggressive versions seem to be where it's at. But as I said, once Bauble is banned and the lists slow down a bit, my textless Cryptics will be patiently waiting!

In other news, Monkey spiked to $175 on MTGO, and is currently settled back in around $150. Huzzah. What a world we live in.

At least my paper is starting to come together... 2 Monkes down, waiting for 2 more....
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The Fluff
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Post by The Fluff » 3 months ago

nice deck.

amazing how you were actually able to get two of them. :o

you got them from trades?
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Post by Simto » 3 months ago

Oooh boy, those old border Archmages Charms look dope. Deck is nasty!

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Post by drmarkb » 3 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
3 months ago
drmarkb wrote:
3 months ago
On monkeys...
I now have a delver shell- legacy delver shell- unused. Why? I don't want to loan suboptimal builds. So those Volcanics are gathering dust.
I simply won't be beaten into this brown shower for all- buy or you deck becomes strictly worse.


Yeah, I bought expensive MH2 cards- retroframe fetches and lots of them- and bought other cards that get used in multiple decks like Saga.
But monkey pirates? No.
For me personally, if I think about it as trading with an intermediary (IE selling, and using profits to buy), I feel I can justify the Monke. This Delverless Delver deck is probably the coolest and best thing I have seen in a long time. I sold enough random stuff to have 3 Ragavans coming my way; hopefully before next Friday. Will see if I get to order a 4th!

But yeah, this Bauble, DRC, Murktide, Monkey, Bolt, Heat, CS, Iteration deck feels like a reincarnation of Treasure Cruise Delver decks of the past. The depth and breadth of both threats and answers make this extremely compelling, and probably the most I have felt excited for Modern in YEARS. I don't have to force myself to like draw-go UW, I don't have to relegate myself to 1-4 FNM records week after week. I can finally play something that is both good and I enjoy it.

I assume Bauble will be the ban target if this (and Bauble decks in general) remain "too good." At which point I can pivot back to a more Blue Moon control build, but retaining Ragavans and Murktides as excellent threats.
I completely understand why you can justify them, and your excitement at Modern with a deck you enjoy.
Bauble may well have a target on it, because they are not going to be printing suppression field effects that are much better. It enables a lot. I guess there is a possibility of better spirit/chains/leovold effects,but not Suppression Field or too many better Ouphe/Stony silence effects.
There may be a fair few targets for bans in 6 months, though, I would guess it is safe for a while.
As I said a few times, the advantage of untiered rubbish have played for a while (I guess you coukd have called RG ponza a t2 deck at one point) is that it never gets much in the way of bans, whilst tending to be tunable against some of the format big beasts. Obviously it will have one or two unwinnables, but then Modern has always had some.

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Post by drmarkb » 3 months ago

Albegas wrote:
3 months ago
On the subject of golden monkeys, what seems weirdest to me as far as finance goes is that the EV of an MH2 set booster box is still roughly $430 dollars. Forgive me if this is more of a finance thread question, but when the EV is that much higher than the retail price, shouldn't the prices of singles be dropping more as more packs are ripped, especially since MH2 isn't a limited print run like MH1?
I know this is partially answered, but since it us finance, and finance is my thing, I can add a few points.
EV calcs are a bit screwed, because the retro etched foils are much higher than you can actually sell them for. Market price of retro etched foils is much lower than listed prices for those fetches. A lot of cards are just static as the set attracted masses of purchasers trying to flip, hoping for TS remastered style shortages. That product is a huge risk to open now, so it is not bring opened. The sketch cand extended cards have limited demand, but a high nominal price.
People want Monkey, Endurance, retro fetches and will pay big bucks. Other stuff like Cradle, Solitude, Saga is in demand but the market is meeting the demand.

There is a huge regional discrepency between US and EU prices, with plain jane plebs fetches pretty low on the US side but not in the EU side, with massive variation between places on the same continent. The dealers sold out of retro fetches and monkeys and are left with flat sales elsewhere.

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Post by cfusionpm » 3 months ago

The Fluff wrote:
3 months ago
nice deck.

amazing how you were actually able to get two of them. :o

you got them from trades?
Indirectly. Trades themselves were basically impossible. Sold off a couple money cards and used profits to buy in FB marketplace and eBay. Cheapest was $120 for 2 (still in the mail), one for $65, and one for $68.
Simto wrote:
3 months ago
Oooh boy, those old border Archmages Charms look dope. Deck is nasty!
They absolutely are! But be mindful that the "etched" foils look considerably worse by comparison.
See:

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Post by Simto » 3 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
3 months ago
But be mindful that the "etched" foils look considerably worse by comparison.
Etched foil looks %$#% terrible.

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Post by cfusionpm » 3 months ago

While this doesn't affect Modern, their justifications are surprisingly honest.
As we watched, we saw an interesting pattern emerge. Though decks like Izzet Phoenix and Jeskai Control represented a metagame share that usually indicates a dominantly powerful deck, their win rates have generally been fair and healthy. For example, Izzet Phoenix was approximately 30% of the metagame in the July Strixhaven League Weekend, which is a very high percentage for one deck to claim. But its win rate there was only 51.5%, far from dominating or threatening. This matches our internal data, which consistently showed Izzet Phoenix with a win rate a bit above 52% and Jeskai Control a bit above 51% in high-level Best-of-Three play.

Given these lower win rates for Izzet Phoenix and Jeskai Control and the presence of multiple other archetypes with strong records against both decks and the rest of the field, we expected to see the metagame share of these decks decline over time. Though we saw some reduction—the combined metagame share among high-level players in Best-of-Three ladder play declined steadily from 17% in mid-June to 14% more recently—these two decks have remained the most played there, usually by a good margin.

When evaluating a format, our goals are generally to create a balanced, fun, and diverse metagame. While decks like Izzet Phoenix and Jeskai Control are not showing win rates that threaten balance, their steadily high metagame share is certainly harming deck diversity, which in turn reduces the fun of the format. While we are seeing some motion to correct this, the rate of change is too gradual to quickly address the format imbalance. To improve format diversity, Brainstorm is suspended in Historic.
Translated: "These decks weren't actually too good, but based on gut feelings and personal interpretations, we're effectively banning Brainstorm anyway because we don't like it."

While their described rationale is... Let's say dubious... I appreciate them outright telling us this is a subjective judgment call, and not actually meaningfully driven by data. Instead of trying to sell us bold face lies like they did with Twin.

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... nouncement

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AvalonAurora
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Post by AvalonAurora » 3 months ago

It is driven by data, the data just happens to be popular metagame balance, rather than deck performance. Even if a deck isn't dominant, they don't want it to be too much more common than other decks in the same archetype or take up a large metagame share, even if the deck isn't actually doing anything bad or broken.

Of course, basing ban decisions off of this sort of thing is a bad idea IMO, because I suspect that rather than giving other decks in related archetypes (and I mean overall sweeping things like control, aggro, combo, ramp, rather than things like decks based around x popular card or mix of cards), it seems more likely to just kill off whatever decks are actually viable in that archetype in the current meta, with nothing actually able to replace it, and cause other archetypes that it normally preys upon to run rampant and break the game and require their own bans, or for the decks that preyed upon them to be properly returned to their place with an un-banning of their banned bits. Neither situation would increase deck diversity. Increasing deck diversity would require adding good enough mixes of cards in the same archetype that the same deck wouldn't want to use too much enough to create other viable decks in the same archetype. So new cards, not bans, are the answer to decks that aren't showing abusive win-rates, but are showing unwanted metagame shares. Of course, this would require actually understanding the metagame well enough to design multiple decks for each archetype that are all balanced with each other, which I don't think WotC can pull off deliberately with any reliability.

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cfusionpm
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Post by cfusionpm » 3 months ago

But it's not "driven by data," it's "looking for data to support a predetermined outcome they've already decided on." Which is something I've been saying for years. Their only consistency is that they do what they want, when they want, for whatever reason they want, and then pick and choose how to defend it after the fact.

I'm just glad they're finally telling this to our faces instead of pretending it's anything else.

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Post by Arkmer » 3 months ago

Would anyone be against WotC announcing a "No Change, we see Phoenix and Jeskai control are still hugely popular but their internal win data percentages do not support their popularity"? Basically just telling the player base "hey, these are very beatable, you guys need to try harder".

I'm going to agree that the actions taken seem to be very underhanded. They admit they can see a problem slowly fixing itself but decide to do a fix anyway. Isn't that an over correction? Does that mean they had a conclusion in mind and just decided on what data justifies it? I think yes and yes. On the other hand, I wish we could just see this data normally; I'm still annoyed that they hide data and only allow 5-0 dumps to be seen.

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EonAon
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Post by EonAon » 3 months ago

Admittedly Brainstorm, Ponder, and Preordain are always going to be problematic in any format they are legal in since they do a hefty workload for very little mana, even if they are sorcery speed let alone instant in Brainstorm's case. The only reason Serum Visions isn't on the banned list is that it cantrips first before it problem solves and its still pretty awesome as a card.

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Post by Simto » 3 months ago

I still think it's %$#% of Wizards to create Historic and not just push Pioneer more as that "new eternal format". Historic is such a weird format to me and I don't like the random injection of random old cards.

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Post by EonAon » 3 months ago

Simto wrote:
3 months ago
I still think it's %$#% of Wizards to create Historic and not just push Pioneer more as that "new eternal format". Historic is such a weird format to me and I don't like the random injection of random old cards.
To be fair Pioneer came out at THE worst time in the games history, and including it into a product that they had no true plans to do initially since it was just starting up would have been hard to execute. Both modern and pioneer this last year have felt the lack of in store play.

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cfusionpm
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Post by cfusionpm » 3 months ago

Simto wrote:
3 months ago
I still think it's %$#% of Wizards to create Historic and not just push Pioneer more as that "new eternal format". Historic is such a weird format to me and I don't like the random injection of random old cards.
I don't know if they intended for Historic to be as popular as it's become. It seemed more like an afterthought of "oh crap, they can't dust their cards, what do we do after rotation???" sprinkled with a bit of "well, what if we just also throw random cards in it to spice it up more than just Standard Of The Past???" But give Arena players something to do when Standard was a dumpster fire, while simultaneously forcing them to buy artificially-pushed, new format staples every few months, and you've basically got the philosophy behind Modern Horizons in a flashy and popular client. And it's a model that both spices things up and makes obscene amounts of money.

For Historic in particular, I've personally never considered it a "real" format. And until I can play it in sanctioned paper, I will continue to believe that.

And as for Pioneer... I'd almost rather see paper adaptation of Historic before we ever see Pioneer return. As far as I can tell, it's as dead as Tiny Leaders.

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Post by Albegas » 3 months ago

Arkmer wrote:
3 months ago
Would anyone be against WotC announcing a "No Change, we see Phoenix and Jeskai control are still hugely popular but their internal win data percentages do not support their popularity"? Basically just telling the player base "hey, these are very beatable, you guys need to try harder".

I'm going to agree that the actions taken seem to be very underhanded. They admit they can see a problem slowly fixing itself but decide to do a fix anyway. Isn't that an over correction? Does that mean they had a conclusion in mind and just decided on what data justifies it? I think yes and yes. On the other hand, I wish we could just see this data normally; I'm still annoyed that they hide data and only allow 5-0 dumps to be seen.
This basically happened in Pioneer. Prior to the ban of Inverter and friends, none of the top decks (all of which were combos) had problematic win rates according to Wizards. Despite this, player participation was dropping so low that events online couldn't even fire off because people were sick of seeing the same 3-4 combo decks all the time. The ban announcement even states that player participation was the driving force of the ban, not win rates. Brainstorm's suspension strikes me as a direct result of looking back at that moment in Pioneer and saying, "If the high meta shares aren't dropping fast enough, better to take action now than to find out one day that no one's playing the format anymore".

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Post by Aazadan » 3 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
3 months ago

Back on the Modern train, my Monkeys should be coming in the mail soon. The build feels so naked without Cryptics, but the low-aggressive versions seem to be where it's at. But as I said, once Bauble is banned and the lists slow down a bit, my textless Cryptics will be patiently waiting!

In other news, Monkey spiked to $175 on MTGO, and is currently settled back in around $150. Huzzah. What a world we live in.
MarduSmall.JPG
JundSmall.JPG
Those are what I'm on right now, got to play a Wednesday night Modern event last night, took the Mardu one for a spin. Found Soulfire Grand Master was insane, especially when paired with 6 damage Unholy Heats, and even won the round that got me 3-1 by looping Lightning Bolts back to my hand while in turns.

At the same time though, I found Lingering Souls to cost too much to do too little. Soulfire Grand Master, Prismatic Ending, and Kaya's Guile were all decent reasons to be in white, but the Lingering Souls really aren't needed and instead I can focus on some other cards that are a bit more synergistic with that package.

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Post by drmarkb » 3 months ago

Yes, I remember that in Pioneer- bans made specifically not on winrate. This has always been the case- the infect shoal pitch deck of the first Modern did not have a nuts win rate, but it could win on turn 2 too often.

If your deck is too popular, it will be banned in some way. It is a simple mixture of "Is it too good?" *and* "Is the deck too ubiquitous relative to the format" *and* "is there an issue with the card execution in an event setting" with a brake of "is the issue a pillar of the format that people play the format for?". You then find at the card level "is the card in too many strategies?"

Too ubiquitous for the format will be relative- a deck taking 15 percent of the Standard meta is not a problem by itself. A deck taking 15 percent of a Modern or Legacy meta may be (watch out UR aggro in both)
Too good is easy to determine- win rate.
The tricky thing is "format pillar"- i.e. brainstorm is an issue in Legacy, but it has been saved. The vintage format is based on 1 ofs that are busted Power, because they are "pillars of the format".
Execution of the card is difficult- Sensei's D Top in Legacy, or Second Sunrise had their supporters.
The last one is super hard- individual cards seeing play in too many archetypes is super subjective.

I am not going to talk about past Modern bans- iirc Twin talk is banned anyway, and probably one or two more contentious bannings- but I will say that plenty of cards are banned in formats on things other than power level, and we have seen that time and again. They really probably get data based on event attendance and feedback from surveys that would be helpful, but they won't share that sensitive stuff.

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Post by Simto » 3 months ago

I think Wizards showed pretty clearly they're not afraid of banning format pillars when they killed Mox Opal in modern too.

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Post by Aazadan » 3 months ago

drmarkb wrote:
3 months ago
I am not going to talk about past Modern bans- iirc Twin talk is banned anyway, and probably one or two more contentious bannings- but I will say that plenty of cards are banned in formats on things other than power level, and we have seen that time and again. They really probably get data based on event attendance and feedback from surveys that would be helpful, but they won't share that sensitive stuff.
The real ban is based on fun and tournament attendance. Everything else are attempts at placing quantifiable or semi quantifiable metrics on what meets a definition of fun. From a deck being too prevalent, to being too fast and consistent, to simply creating a miserable tournament experience.

That's how they're going to ban or unban in any format. To their credit though, they are at least using data as part of their decision making process.

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Post by cfusionpm » 3 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
3 months ago
To their credit though, they are at least using data as part of their decision making process.
I don't believe this is the case though. They are not sifting through data in order to look for trends on which to act. They're making gut feeling decisions on how to act and then looking to see if the data backs them up or not. These are two very, very, very different approaches.

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Post by Aazadan » 3 months ago

cfusionpm wrote:
3 months ago
Aazadan wrote:
3 months ago
To their credit though, they are at least using data as part of their decision making process.
I don't believe this is the case though. They are not sifting through data in order to look for trends on which to act. They're making gut feeling decisions on how to act and then looking to see if the data backs them up or not. These are two very, very, very different approaches.
Which is including data in the process is it not? That's still different from acting on a gut feeling without data to back it up.

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Post by cfusionpm » 3 months ago

Aazadan wrote:
3 months ago
cfusionpm wrote:
3 months ago
Aazadan wrote:
3 months ago
To their credit though, they are at least using data as part of their decision making process.
I don't believe this is the case though. They are not sifting through data in order to look for trends on which to act. They're making gut feeling decisions on how to act and then looking to see if the data backs them up or not. These are two very, very, very different approaches.
Which is including data in the process is it not? That's still different from acting on a gut feeling without data to back it up.
True, I misread your post. But I still don't give them any credit for it. They're still not following any kind of consistent data-driven regiment when it comes to bans, and all meaningful data is purposely hidden from us.

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Post by Ed06288 » 3 months ago

I feel deck building is slightly homogenized. I'm seeing too much Lurrus and Urza's Saga. I don't like that most fringe decks consist of some flavor of Bg/x with Lurrus. Ragavan is played too much too. Ragavan is played in Izzet tempo, Rakdos Lurrus, Jeskai Stoneblade, and Obosh builds. It literally sees play in aggro, midrange, and control builds. Some decks can even run combinations of these cards. Hammer time can play both Lurrus and Urza's Saga. I want to see cards limited to seeing play to just one or 2 decks.

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