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

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FoodChainGoblins
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
Look guys, I hate to break it to you but...Opt and Serum ARE as good as Wizards will let us have. Someone there wakes up screaming that Storm beat them 6 years ago, and the starts shaking as they think about having to hold up mana for Twin, or playing removal against SFM.

Just accept it.

As to a lot of this back and forth otherwise, you know your wasting keystrokes cfusionpm. You know it.

RE: Listening to grinders? I'm afraid not. People need to start seeing these ppl for what they are. I listen to a few here or from MTGS when I still went there, and a select few on Twitter who don't write for the big sites. Why?

They are biased, have a conflict of interest, and outside a tiny % are plainly wrong about the format.

No, understanding your own deck, understanding other decks, that's all you really need. The insights from SCG and CFB shills are very very rare. I'd pay ktk and h0lydiva before I paid for SCG Premium.
You're right, even if I hate to say it. Remember, this is the format that started with Sword of the Meek banned and Rite of Flame legal. It really doesn't matter if Faithless Looting is better than 5 cards on the current ban list. It matters what Wizards wants for this format and what they believe will make them the most money. Whether this is correct is up to interpretation.

I have a friend who proved to me that Battlecruiser magic actually will not be profitable for WotC in the "middle" term or long term. It is only very temporarily profitable. I wish I could remember what he said. I haven't talked to him for over a year since he moved.

Although I take what Grinders and Pros say with a grain of salt, I do respect their opinions and quite often agree with them. Maybe this is just my bias? Maybe I am just agreeing with the players that already believe in the same things I do? I am willing to admit that. And yes, KTK and HOLYDIVA, among many others, have voices that I respect tremendously - ktk for crunching numbers and being unbiased and holydiva for jamming so many matches that she knows what's going on more than 99% of other Modern players.

[mention]gkourou[/mention] - in my opinion, Preordain was banned because it found the combos for certain decks too often. I believe that WotC tried to nerf the decks in this order.
1. Storm - public enemy number 1. Players just don't like seeing Storm be successful and the ability, Storm is an 11 on the scale of 1-10 to never come back with 10 being the highest. Maro admitted this.
2. Infect - the mono Blue Infect list with Blazing Shoal and Ponder proved to be too strong. Sam Black played this deck with Gitaxian Probe as well to amazing success.
3. Twin - they probably wanted to nerf Twin a bit too, but the first 2 decks were public enemy #1 and #2.

Remember, Preordain was not banned by itself. It got banned at the same time as Ponder. They were lumped together, similar to how Dig Through Time was pre banned when Treasure Cruise got too good. The card Preordain was never given a chance in Modern without Ponder ALSO legal. Now I agree that Dig should have been banned, but honestly I can't refute that it simply wasn't given a chance; just like Preordain was never played in this format without Ponder and Probe. We don't know if Preordain is fine without Ponder, similar to how WotC did NOT know if Sword of the Meek was okay in a format with Dark Depths banned.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Amulet Titan, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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Post by Simto » 2 years ago

Can't we all not just get along? hehe

Just relax a bit guys

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

gkourou wrote:
2 years ago
I agree. I didn't include Infect because the announcement of the banning of P&P, said "we are banning them to neuter blue-red combo decks" and obviously Infect is not one, so I did not think of that, but yeah, you are probably right.
I know, Preordain is not an egregious offender, like Ponder itself and if it was modern legal, not much would change, all of the blue decks would just be a wee bit more consistent, and that's that. The format would not break, or warp around the card at all. I agree.
So, I guess you understand why am I asking if Wizards would unban Twin if Preordain was legal and why do I think that the possibilities of a Twin unban are lower with Preordain in the format? Do you agree? Disagree?
I do feel it's less likely to unban Twin. I actually don't know which one I prefer if given only a single choice. Part of me wants to see the sort of meta that Twin promotes. Part of me thinks that when Wizards finally solves some bans and unbans, then Twin may be one of the strongest things to be doing. I think I mostly prefer Preordain just because it didn't get a chance to be in a deck without that deck playing 4 Ponder first.

All I know is that for the first 3 years that I went to a new LGS (after my old LGS went bankrupt), I went 3-1 or better every time. People literally thought I could win with a "ham sandwich." I played all sorts of decks as well, including many that were Tier 2 or below. I felt like I could leverage play skill. In the past 2 years, my average record is somewhere between 2-2 and 3-1. Not to mention, I Day 2 GPs less than 50% now and have had some terrible records at GPs recently that have made me look in the mirror and consider quitting. I'm not the one to continue to play this game if I suck, sorry. I'm not used to that. Now I am the first to admit that I've gotten worse. Other players have gotten better. But it still doesn't change the HUGE gap in how often I used to win, while having fun with numerous decks (sure, some turned out to be broken like Summer Bloom and KCI). No, I don't think it's all about winning at the FNM level, but it sure helps when the game play is not even that fun to me.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Amulet Titan, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
I think it pushes even more power into the first 2 turns, which is the exact opposite of what I think Modern needed.
sorry for late reply. Hmm, I see that's also a valid point.
Are combo decks giving you a bad time?

Well, but somehow people in my group liked the London mull because it allowed more exciting match.. what I mean is I mull to a decent hand.. my opponent mull to a decent hand. So that way I can see if the decent hand of my deck can beat the decent hand of my opponent. Can see if my deck is good enough, or is lacking some things. Anyway, take what I said with a grain of salt as it's just our personal experience here.
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Post by Depian » 2 years ago

It doesn't even have to be pure combo, decks like Hogaak or Dredge can mull to 4 cards and still develop a strong plan as if they kept a good 7 hand, that's something that other decks simply can't do. The pure combo deck that comes to mind is Neoform, at least for me.

Of course London Mulligan improves gameplay for all decks, the 4 card hand from Merfolks is not going to be 3 lands and 1 Merrow Reejerey but more likely 2 lands + 2 early game spells and will play better than the 3 lands hand, on the other hand, Hogaak will be able to cast 2 suppliers and a Hogaak very early, Dredge will be flipping half their library soon enough to put a lot of pressure and Neoform might still win on T1.

I actually like the London Mulligan because it definitely prevents non-games like Merfolk having to keep 3 lands + CMC3+ or some other clunky hands but the effect it has on Modern and eternal formats, empowering strong synergies between 2 cards has to be considered. Dredge can work with 2 lands + Neonate/Looting/Cathartic Reunion + a Dredger so it's also extra beneficial that they can tuck stuff that doesn't do anything in hand like Creeping Chill or Narcomoeba

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Post by Mapccu » 2 years ago

While I am an advocate of several cards coming off the banned list, like SFM and even twin (don't shoot me forum), let me play the other side of the argument for a minute.

GGT was banned, they set it loose and dredge was really just too consistent with it. By banning it again they were able to dial the deck back enough to where it wouldn't be as big of an offender.

Sword of the meek was banned, it was set loose with minimal impact, and now we have Urza decks performing actually pretty well. That tells me that their assessment of the card in a vaccum was correct - this is a very powerful effect.

JTMS was on this list for years because of what it did to standard and it was a powerful card in legacy (which is inherently a much stronger format because it's all of modern plus some silly older cards). Jace had minimal impact, and now we have UW performing very well. Is he the card that did it? No, but it's a very powerful card that is hard to overcome for a lot of decks.

BBE was banned (you can argue for the sins of DRS) and was let loose with Jace to give multiple archetypes a shot in the arm. Did BBE make jund some kind of monster? No...but w6 is bringing the deck back and BBE actually plays well with it. This tells me they correctly identified the cards power level.

In summary, I think there are some things that could definitely be added (hogaak) and some things that can come off (SFM) but I'm willing to wait at least a little bit. As someone who finally finished my playset of splinter twin the week before the ban due to monetary constraints - bans feel horrible. Especially ones that just ruin an entire decks foundation. A lot of these cards are not as innocent as they seem. I'm not going to be casting ponder for my second land drop, I'm going to be casting ponder for my allosaurus rider...I'm not even being cheeky here as that's exactly what I'd do with the card. I understand it's frustrating to see decks like KCI, amulet, hogaak, eldrazi from time to time but it's going to happen when you have so many cards available and an growing pool every so many months. I think wotc has actually done a very good job of developing a format and policing it. I can't always spike a 15 round event with my kitchen brew - but I'm not really mentally capable of outsmarting the millions of players who are collaborating on building finely tunes lists either.

For the record cards like hogaak would be fine without the rest of the free recursion we have coming out of the yard. I'm not a fan of the resiliency of the deck and that's why I've actually said when MH1 was new I wanted to see multiple pieces banned (on mtgsalvation). I don't like the playstyle of stuff like bloodghast or vengevine honestly because the answers to those cards lead us to crap like anger of the gods which just really sets a high bar for other creature decks.

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

Good post Mapccu, but it shows a few things. Yes they may have been able to say those are strong cards...but the context is hugely relevant.

Bitterblossom was once banned too. Still does little.

Jace - Not the card. The power of the deck is Teferi, T3feri, Narset, FoR. I mean its comical really, what other deck can and does, get away with 4 FoR?

ThopterSword - Not the card. The whole deck competitively revolves around a single card. Urza, Lord High Artificer. Sword especially is a powerful (I guess) effect, but only really once you get infinite mana at which point MANY cards break.

BBE - Again, not remotely enough. Jund took in a king's ransom in cards (and money from Jund players!) thanks to Modern Horizons and W6 alone was probably enough to kick the archetype up a few tiers.

Lets not forget it was not long ago Jace/BBE came off, and they did precisely as little as some of us expected. Strong cards are not the issue, as its strong (broken?) cards that make Modern what it is.

Several of us just want consistency within the ban list at this point one way or another.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

gkourou wrote:
2 years ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
gkourou wrote:
2 years ago
I agree. I didn't include Infect because the announcement of the banning of P&P, said "we are banning them to neuter blue-red combo decks" and obviously Infect is not one, so I did not think of that, but yeah, you are probably right.
I know, Preordain is not an egregious offender, like Ponder itself and if it was modern legal, not much would change, all of the blue decks would just be a wee bit more consistent, and that's that. The format would not break, or warp around the card at all. I agree.
So, I guess you understand why am I asking if Wizards would unban Twin if Preordain was legal and why do I think that the possibilities of a Twin unban are lower with Preordain in the format? Do you agree? Disagree?
I do feel it's less likely to unban Twin. I actually don't know which one I prefer if given only a single choice. Part of me wants to see the sort of meta that Twin promotes. Part of me thinks that when Wizards finally solves some bans and unbans, then Twin may be one of the strongest things to be doing. I think I mostly prefer Preordain just because it didn't get a chance to be in a deck without that deck playing 4 Ponder first.

All I know is that for the first 3 years that I went to a new LGS (after my old LGS went bankrupt), I went 3-1 or better every time. People literally thought I could win with a "ham sandwich." I played all sorts of decks as well, including many that were Tier 2 or below. I felt like I could leverage play skill. In the past 2 years, my average record is somewhere between 2-2 and 3-1. Not to mention, I Day 2 GPs less than 50% now and have had some terrible records at GPs recently that have made me look in the mirror and consider quitting. I'm not the one to continue to play this game if I suck, sorry. I'm not used to that. Now I am the first to admit that I've gotten worse. Other players have gotten better. But it still doesn't change the HUGE gap in how often I used to win, while having fun with numerous decks (sure, some turned out to be broken like Summer Bloom and KCI). No, I don't think it's all about winning at the FNM level, but it sure helps when the game play is not even that fun to me.
Yes, I do get what you are saying about Twin and I agree that when Wizards finally solves some bans and unbans, then Twin may be one of the strongest things to be doing. It's just that I don't want to see another powerful 1 drop getting unbanned, because I don't like a 1-cmc dominated format all that much.

You know, you getting worse results may be a result of dedicated - all in combo decks in Modern becoming less and less good. I want to say all in combo decks, like Neoform or maybe Storm, Ad Nauseam, RG Valakut are different than high synergy decks, like Izzet Phoenix or the current Hogaak decks. The first decks, the strictly combo decks, have become worse and worse since War of the sparks I feel like. Just look at UW Control vs Storm. A highly favourable matchup for Storm, now is a very easy one for UW Control, because of Narset, Teferi, Force of negation etc. Going from 30-70 to 70-30 is an important thing and that's a reality for the matchup. Even if Narset and Teferi won't mind you that much, FoN definetly will.
To that end, what are the best heavy combo decks in Modern right now? we once had so many. I think there aren't any at the Tier 1 I believe. Neoform could be a good low tier deck, RG Valakut is dying, Storm is nowhere to be found at a GP level, Ad Nauseam the same, Devoted Druid I believe is more of a meta call to beat Hogaak (but I may be wrong). I struggle to find Tier 1 combo decks, and I think this is the first time in Modern this is happening.
Again, my opinion is that I divide heavy combo decks and high synergistic decks, so if someone says Phoenix or Bridgeless Hogaak is a combo deck, well, I don't agree.
So, maybe you could go more into the high synergistic decks than strict combo decks(even if I know you play Hogaak, which is a graveyard deck and also a high synergistic deck), should be the answer. Then again, besides Amulet Bloom, which I loved, I haven't been much of a dedicated combo player like you.

Again, thanks for the great discussion. I love calm voices like that and conversations like that(and I do hate the opposite)!
I played all kinds of decks. Here's some of the decks I remember playing.

I played Esper Goryo's to a 5-0 at FNM. I played Bogles to a nearly 69% win rate, which I thought wasn't too impressive at the time. Nowadays, I realize how amazing that I did that for a year with a deck that isn't actually that good. I played UB Faeries. I played RUG Scapeshift for 3 months. I played Storm for 3 months. I played Grishoalbrand for nearly a year when all put together. The same for Titanshift. I played Jeskai Ascendancy, yes with Treasure Cruise. I played Bloom Titan when it wasn't considered a "thing" and then later when it was considered a "thing" - probably for about 3 months when put together. I played RUG Delver with Disrupting Shoal. I tried so many decks for fun. Players at my LGS never would know what I'd be playing, but if they looked at the flavor of the week, it would often be that. Yes, I played decks like Dredge with GGT and UR Eldrazi with Eye of Ugin and my win percentages with those decks was higher, but I also played a lot of crappy decks. The "win with a ham sandwich" was a player from my LGS saying, not mine. I was trying to tell him that a deck I was playing was actually good. I think it was RG Cragganwick Cremator and he said that I could win with a ham sandwich.

I actually played a lot of Hogaak. I went from winning an 81 person tournament to 1-3 at FNM the next week at a 24 person tournament. I did very well with it, but it's tougher to win with combat (since Bridge was banned). Yes, I went from 14-2 with Neoform ot 18-6 now after having my ass handed to me, but I am more apt to play better decks nowadays. I'm kind of hedging against my own poor luck by playing a deck that can win through some poor luck. A Tier 3 or 4 deck will have a hard time doing that, so until I'm winning a bunch, I'll chill on them for a while. In my opinion, Neoform is Tier 2. All of my losses came to not drawing the 1-8 cards I needed to win or my opponent having multiple Grafdigger's Cage. I think that's a fine place to be, although I have to analyze the chances of drawing 1-8 cards during a game (1-8 Pact/Rider or 1-8 Neoform/Evolution).
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Amulet Titan, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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Post by TheAnswer » 2 years ago

Mapccu wrote:
2 years ago
While I am an advocate of several cards coming off the banned list, like SFM and even twin (don't shoot me forum), let me play the other side of the argument for a minute.

GGT was banned, they set it loose and dredge was really just too consistent with it. By banning it again they were able to dial the deck back enough to where it wouldn't be as big of an offender.

Sword of the meek was banned, it was set loose with minimal impact, and now we have Urza decks performing actually pretty well. That tells me that their assessment of the card in a vaccum was correct - this is a very powerful effect.

JTMS was on this list for years because of what it did to standard and it was a powerful card in legacy (which is inherently a much stronger format because it's all of modern plus some silly older cards). Jace had minimal impact, and now we have UW performing very well. Is he the card that did it? No, but it's a very powerful card that is hard to overcome for a lot of decks.

BBE was banned (you can argue for the sins of DRS) and was let loose with Jace to give multiple archetypes a shot in the arm. Did BBE make jund some kind of monster? No...but w6 is bringing the deck back and BBE actually plays well with it. This tells me they correctly identified the cards power level.

In summary, I think there are some things that could definitely be added (hogaak) and some things that can come off (SFM) but I'm willing to wait at least a little bit. As someone who finally finished my playset of splinter twin the week before the ban due to monetary constraints - bans feel horrible. Especially ones that just ruin an entire decks foundation. A lot of these cards are not as innocent as they seem. I'm not going to be casting ponder for my second land drop, I'm going to be casting ponder for my allosaurus rider...I'm not even being cheeky here as that's exactly what I'd do with the card. I understand it's frustrating to see decks like KCI, amulet, hogaak, eldrazi from time to time but it's going to happen when you have so many cards available and an growing pool every so many months. I think wotc has actually done a very good job of developing a format and policing it. I can't always spike a 15 round event with my kitchen brew - but I'm not really mentally capable of outsmarting the millions of players who are collaborating on building finely tunes lists either.

For the record cards like hogaak would be fine without the rest of the free recursion we have coming out of the yard. I'm not a fan of the resiliency of the deck and that's why I've actually said when MH1 was new I wanted to see multiple pieces banned (on mtgsalvation). I don't like the playstyle of stuff like bloodghast or vengevine honestly because the answers to those cards lead us to crap like anger of the gods which just really sets a high bar for other creature decks.
I know you're playing devil's advocate, but we need to avoid patting Wizards on the back for somehow seeing years into the future and pre-banning cards that eventually, with the printing of new cards, became playable in Modern.

Sword of the Meek is totally a harmless card; it was only the printing of a pretty powerful engine card that also created an infinite, 3 card combo with Thopter Sword that the deck even became a viable thing. Do not praise Wizards for having kept Sword banned for years because of this. It was tame when it was released, and probably could have been tame before that, though I don't have any data to back that up.

Jace is absolutely a powerful card, but it was never even allowed to exist in the format. I understand that it was a huge PR nightmare to have to ban such an expensive card from Standard, and they didn't want to need to put players through that whole shebang of taunting them with the powerful 'walker only to ban it shortly after, for a second time. Jace was definitely the most controversial unban we've ever seen, but the following time has proven that Jace is simply a factor in Modern, and not the all-defining card people were scared he could be. I'd even say we could have survived with him a little earlier, but that isn't really important now. We are where we are. The important thing is that Jace was pre-banned due to poor development of Standard, and when it became clear that Modern was fast enough that Jace wouldn't take over the show, he became unbanned. He even wasn't that prevalent until the printing of other core UW control cards, which powered up the archetype that was most likely to play him. Let that sink in - with just Jace, control didn't rise to the power level that it would see with Search's and Teferi's printings.

BBE I'm going to have to completely disagree with you on. It absolutely was banned for DRS's sins. Jund was a monster street RtR, and they didn't want to ban a newly-printed card, so they tried to kneecap the archetype by hitting an older core piece. My evidence is that they eventually needed to ban DRS anyways, and then did not go back and unban BBE because it would have highlighted either their ignorance or the role that marketing plays on B&R decisions. Secondly, you cannot in good faith say that the printing of Wrenn and Six somehow justifies a banning from years ago, which was overturned a year before the card was even printed. Is BBE good? Sure, it's card advantage in a deck all about the grind for a reasonable (if a little high by Modern's standards) price. Is their faulty assessment that it should be banned in the era of DRS somehow justified due to the printing of a very powerful 2 mana planeswalker almost a year and a half after the card was re-released back into Modern? Absolutely not.

I understand the desire to play devil's advocate about bans, but we need to be realistic about the differences in time between when a card was initially banned and the landscape when they were unbanned.

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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

TheAnswer wrote:
2 years ago
I understand the desire to play devil's advocate about bans, but we need to be realistic about the differences in time between when a card was initially banned and the landscape when they were unbanned.
I think we should also take into account the era in which cards were banned as well, and how that may or may not hold any relevance today, with the massive shifts in the meta from top to bottom. When most cards were banned, Modern looked absolutely nothing like it does today. So why are these old cards not revisited by WOTC? We already know they don't test Modern and only loosely think about the surface level when designing cards. I guess it's too much to ask for them to spend effort re-evaluating old cards, when they don't even do that for new cards?

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Post by TheAnswer » 2 years ago

Not sure where you're getting any of that, they do indeed spend time on Modern, just not as much as Standard because Modern is 100% more difficult to test for. And do we know they don't test the banned cards? Has Aaron Forescythe told us exactly how they decide what to unban? What if they do try out each of the banned cards every so often, just without telling us because then they would build expectation that something is coming back? Would that make you happier, hearing that they tried Twin and found it wouldn't help the metagame as it exists now?

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Post by Arkmer » 2 years ago

TheAnswer wrote:
2 years ago
Would that make you happier, hearing that they tried Twin and found it wouldn't help the metagame as it exists now?
I don't think it would change many people's opinions. Similar to AF saying the because UW is T1 that we can't unban SFM. Maybe they did play a few test games with it, maybe not, but we were not happy with the answer given.

Unfortunately, transparency on that particular level requires more work, not less. On the other hand, I think it was Goldfish (third party) that was told to stop tracking every MTGO game to build a meta (someone back me up on that claim), that seems like effort to stop transparency. Basically, I'm just saying WotC has been stifling info for awhile and intentionally. I see no reason to assume they'll give us insight into something if they don't need to. Especially because no matter what they show us, someone will be upset about something.

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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

TheAnswer wrote:
2 years ago
Has Aaron Forescythe told us exactly how they decide what to unban?
This was actually a massive topic I spent a lot of time talking about previously: when to unban.

So far, nobody has come to a conclusion as to when that time is right. Many of the things I heard in those discussions included:

"Can't unban now, too much chaos, new set/rules change/etc let the format settle and work itself out!"
"We shouldn't unban anything with XYZ doing so well, we should allow that to be banned first and see how the format settles!"
"Everything is great right now, nothing should be unbanned because that could potentially mess things up!"
You get the idea.

Essentially we, the forum community, came to the conclusion that there are zero states that Modern is, or could be in, that would indicate we should unban something. Which is baffling.

I noted that the majority of previous unbans all followed the same pattern (other than two, which I'll get to after). Basically, everything was unbanned alongside a massive and predictable ban.

Feb 2014: Deathrite Shaman is banned, Wild Nacatl and Bitterblossom is unbanned.
Jan 2015: Treasure Cruise, Dig through Time, and Birthing Pod are banned, Golgari Grave-Troll is unbanned.
April 2016: Eye of Ugin is banned, Ancestral Vision and Sword of the Meek are unbanned.

The only other unbans in all of Modern's history include 2012's Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle (though I wasn't playing at the time, unsure of the specifics surrounding its unban, other than it was part of the initial ban list and was unbanned fairly quickly) and 2018's Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Bloodbraid Elf.

Jace and BBE broke with tradition of combining a big ban with a big unban. Many of us thought this was a taste of things to come, especially with both of them having lackluster impact after years of doomsaying (especially about Jace). We thought this would open the door for things like Stoneforge Mystic or even the return of Splinter Twin (especially given its dubious failures as a ban). But it's now been a year and a half, with two (and likely going to be three) additional bans, with no unbans. So... *throws hands up* who knows why they unban things. Who knows why they do anything. It's one of the reasons I constantly harp on their complete inconsistency with rules and precedent. They just do what they want, when they want, for whatever reasons they want, whether it fits with pattern or not. And it's an extremely difficult realization to make when one is so dissatisfied with the format, the way it is handled, and the direction it is headed.

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

Arkmer wrote:
2 years ago
Unfortunately, transparency on that particular level requires more work, not less. On the other hand, I think it was Goldfish (third party) that was told to stop tracking every MTGO game to build a meta (someone back me up on that claim), that seems like effort to stop transparency.
Thats correct.

As to the unban question, its easy. Its a shake up tool, instead of ban's. They dont do it because card's that can, should, come off. They do it to shake things up.
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
Essentially we, the forum community, came to the conclusion that there are zero states that Modern is, or could be in, that would indicate we should unban something. Which is baffling.
This is correct. There is and always can be an excuse to not unban a card. Stoneforge Mystic is the poster boy for this. It often makes me wonder why they didn't give Sword of the Meek the same treatment, considering they can just say that a colorless card could go in any deck and make X Tier 1 deck too strong. People think I bought Sword of the Meek for speculating, but honestly even more than that, I bought them as a statement that WotC won't unban cards. Hindsight is 20/20 and they actually DID unban Sword, so it ended up a nice pay day for me. But I did not expect that, just like when I talk about potential unbans here. I don't expect any of them. I literally expect Modern to devolve into a turn 2 format some day with that little Kor on the ban list.
idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
As to the unban question, its easy. Its a shake up tool, instead of ban's. They dont do it because card's that can, should, come off. They do it to shake things up.
People (ME) need to realize this more. Sad, but true.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
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Post by metalmusic_4 » 2 years ago

idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
ktkenshinx wrote:
2 years ago
I agree they have shifted heavily on bans, but it's unfair to say they won't revisit old choices. They unbanned BBE and JTMS well after this shift, one of which was banned as part of a broken Modern deck, not just a pre-format ban. That's a clear signal of revisiting old decisions.
There was unban's prior to the Twin ban, which to me is the cut off of a paradigm shift within Wizard's approach to Modern, and its Ban List. We know why those (and other) cards came off the list, but none of them said 'we have reviewed our prior choices in terms of Ban Logic, and have found ourselves lacking in regards to SFM.'

They can and do still review things, thats a given, but not in a holistic 'does this make sense now' approach. At least not that we have ever been communicated with to believe from what I can remember.

(No, I'm not going to look up all the ban verbiage.... lol)

EDIT: In fact, I would absolutely love for them to write a complete review of the ban list, and provide their current logic around what sits on it
OMG this thread is moving fast right now.
A complete comprensive FRESH review of the ban list would be amazing! I agree they do unban cards occassionally (good call) and are now trying to weaken but not kill decks (generally sucessful so far with only bridge as a point to debate). When KCI had to get a ban, KCI had to be the card IMO. it would have just evolved if it had been anything else. Hogaak is in the same situation and the deck would have survived if they had not banned bridge, but without hogaak or bridge I think the deck will effectivly die. More important than this one deck is the ban list. THE BAN LIST MUST STAY AS SMALL AS POSSIBLE. If the birthing pod ban had started off as a seige rhino ban, something else would have had to be banned not long after. Then what, resto Angel? Kiki-jiki? So on and so on. Birthing pod was probably the right call for that ban then and so is hogaak now. BBE vs DRS is the comparison we are living in now with bridge vs hogaak.
But I digress, a full detailed review of the B&R list won't be released to us but I very much believe if that was done they would find some things worthy of being released.
cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
who knows why they unban things. Who knows why they do anything. It's one of the reasons I constantly harp on their complete inconsistency with rules and precedent. They just do what they want, when they want, for whatever reasons they want, whether it fits with pattern or not.
Damn, this is so true. Just throw in a comment about shake up bans and, "they can't ban that new card because they are still making money selling it," and I think we've nailed it.
Last edited by metalmusic_4 2 years ago, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
People (ME) need to realize this more. Sad, but true.
The sooner one accepts that our views and desires are not going to align with a for profit corporation's, the better for our mental state. No way does Wizard's plan 3+ years in advance when thinking about the ban list and what could or could not come off. Just no way. We get cards like Hogaak.

No, the banlist is for true mistakes, but also the management of reprint equity, and hype. Thats all.
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
People (ME) need to realize this more. Sad, but true.
The sooner one accepts that our views and desires are not going to align with a for profit corporation's, the better for our mental state. No way does Wizard's plan 3+ years in advance when thinking about the ban list and what could or could not come off. Just no way. We get cards like Hogaak.

No, the banlist is for true mistakes, but also the management of reprint equity, and hype. Thats all.
I still can't get over how Jace's unban conveniently timed with a miraculous reprint in Masters 25 a month later. It's like they're not even trying to hide it anymore. They just don't care if they can't make money off it.

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Post by idSurge » 2 years ago

If they had not preprinted him, people would have complained about unban's without reprints, you know that.

They cannot win when it comes to reprints, its a complete non issue to me. There IS however equity in reprints, and unban's are part of that. The secondary market matters.

We have an in print STANDARD Foil going for $1000.
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Post by Ym1r » 2 years ago

cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
People (ME) need to realize this more. Sad, but true.
The sooner one accepts that our views and desires are not going to align with a for profit corporation's, the better for our mental state. No way does Wizard's plan 3+ years in advance when thinking about the ban list and what could or could not come off. Just no way. We get cards like Hogaak.

No, the banlist is for true mistakes, but also the management of reprint equity, and hype. Thats all.
I still can't get over how Jace's unban conveniently timed with a miraculous reprint in Masters 25 a month later. It's like they're not even trying to hide it anymore. They just don't care if they can't make money off it.
I am genuinely surprised at how much people forget this. Don't wanna go off topic, but nowadays culture of people becoming fans or even freaking hooligans of companies and feeling entitled to things from companies (or often feeling entitled over other people because they are associated through products by companies). A very standard example of this is Apple. People forget that we leave in a capitalistic market and companies mostly, if not exclusively, exist for the exploitation of workers and consumers for profit. I mean, you/we can enjoy the products, sure, but still it's for profit what do you expect? Even charity is for profit.

So yeah, if Wizards is planning to unban Jace why not add him in a product? This is something far from confirmed, btw, that there was any association between the two, but at the same time, why is this even a bad thing? They have product, they want to sell product, they find ways to sell said product.

It's like people feeling "entitled" that Wizards "owes" them a Twin unban, or a good blue reactive spell or whatnot. Well, companies care for peoples' feeling inasmuch it helps them push the right type of sales and increases their sales. Besides that, it is just so baffling that people believe that, even worse, within a small subset of a product (modern format), an even smaller subset of this subset (banned cards), have some sorts of entitlement. As the popular meme goes, "You don't hate Wizards for not unbanning Twin, you hate capitalism".
Counter, draw a card.

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Post by witness » 2 years ago

cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
Feb 2014: Deathrite Shaman is banned, Wild Nacatl and Bitterblossom is unbanned.
Jan 2015: Treasure Cruise, Dig through Time, and Birthing Pod are banned, Golgari Grave-Troll is unbanned.
April 2016: Eye of Ugin is banned, Ancestral Vision and Sword of the Meek are unbanned.

The only other unbans in all of Modern's history include 2012's Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle (though I wasn't playing at the time, unsure of the specifics surrounding its unban, other than it was part of the initial ban list and was unbanned fairly quickly) and 2018's Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Bloodbraid Elf.
Observation: Prior to the banning of Splinter Twin, bans appear to have been timed to shake up the format ahead of Pro-level events, and unbans appear to have been timed to coincide with bans. From the GGT unbanning article: "When cards are banned from a format, Wizards investigates whether there is a banned card that, if not banned, might add new decks to competitive play."

Observation: In this era, Wizards 'saved up' potential unbans until a ban appeared necessary, in order to salve some of the sting of having a card or deck banned.

Observation: After the Splinter Twin ban and subsequent player outcry, Wizards seems to be shy of banning cards to shake up the format. However, their desire to shake up the format periodically, especially before large public events, appears to be intact. From the Jace unbanning article: "Modern's return to the Pro Tour, shining a spotlight on the format, makes this a great time to revisit past decisions and see if they still make sense in the current era."

Speculation: Shaking up the format appears to now be an unban consideration, rather than (or at least more strongly than) a ban consideration. In this era, Wizards is 'saving up' potential unbans until they feel the need to shake up the format.

Observation: Recently, cards entering the modern cardpool through Standard and Modern Horizons have significantly shaken up the Modern metagame, introducing entirely new decks and ensuring that large public events do not feel 'stale' or 'solved'.

Prediction: Wizards will be largely successful in 'disrupting' Modern through newly printed cards over the next few years, and will not unban any cards in that time.

Speculation: If Wizards becomes confident in their ability to consistently disrupt Modern through Standard and Modern Horizons products, they will eventually shift their unban criteria back towards the idea of 'swapping in' potential unbans when the inevitable mistakes (such as Hogaak) slips through.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 2 years ago

metalmusic_4 wrote:
2 years ago
But I digress, a full detailed review of the B&R list won't be released to us but I very much believe if that was done they would find some things worthy of being released.
I do think Wizards could release a statement on some cards that are never coming off and explain why. This could guide future discussion. Cards like Skullclamp, Glimpse, Dread Return, Misstep, etc. could go on here, which would be a way of indirectly highlighting cards that maybe could come off in the future.
Damn, this is so true. Just throw in a comment about shake up bans and, "they can't ban that new card because they are still making money selling it," and I think we've nailed it.
As IDS and I have reminded before, please consider Occam's Razor when making these kinds of cynical, suspicious arguments about Wizards' bans. Is there a chance Wizards chose to ban Bridge instead of Hogaak to not hurt MH1 sales? Sure, there's definitely a chance. But the simplest explanation is they banned Bridge instead of Hogaak for the literal reason they cited in their article. In summary, they noted:

"As new card designs that have synergy with the graveyard are released over time, Bridge from Below is the most likely key card in the deck to become problematic again."
"This should open additional avenues for other decks to interact via creature combat, creature removal, or graveyard removal, and may also force graveyard decks to include more interactive cards, further slowing themselves down."

They were totally wrong about Hogaak being acceptable, but that doesn't mean the Bridge ban was wrong. For one, it's possible an Altar/Bridge/Feeder/Looting deck would still have been very broken even if Hogaak got banned. Second, although FCG has disputed this point, I will emphasize the OVERWHELMING majority of pros/authors I read agreed the Bridge ban was sufficient in the 1-2 weeks after the update. It was only after further testing they realized Hogaak remained super broken. Hindsight is 20/20 and it's easy to accuse Wizards of sandbagging the real ban to boost sales, but a much simpler explanation is that they simply got it wrong. A company is MUCH more likely to be incompetent and make mistakes than to have hidden, sinister agendas.
cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
I still can't get over how Jace's unban conveniently timed with a miraculous reprint in Masters 25 a month later. It's like they're not even trying to hide it anymore. They just don't care if they can't make money off it.
idSurge wrote:
2 years ago
If they had not preprinted him, people would have complained about unban's without reprints, you know that.

They cannot win when it comes to reprints, its a complete non issue to me. There IS however equity in reprints, and unban's are part of that. The secondary market matters.

We have an in print STANDARD Foil going for $1000.
I cannot emphasize IDS's point enough, which is one we have made before. If Wizards had unbanned JTMS with no reprint, people would have been furious about a $400+ card and blamed Wizards for mismanagement. When Wizards unbanned JTMS with a reprint around the corner, people accuse them of profiteering. It's lose-lose on all fronts for Wizards. Also, as Ym1r posted below, who cares if they are making money off the game? This is a for-profit company with publicly traded shares. Their bottom line is profit. We don't get any Magic or Modern if they aren't making money. I I'm fine with profit being one of their potential motives, as long as its not a sole motive in any decision. Finally, there's no actual evidence to suggest this other than circumstantial timing. The simplest explanation is a coincidence at best, or a "hey, JTMS is also getting reprinted soon" as reason #55 why they unbanned him in their R&D meeting.
Ym1r wrote:
2 years ago
It's like people feeling "entitled" that Wizards "owes" them a Twin unban, or a good blue reactive spell or whatnot. Well, companies care for peoples' feeling inasmuch it helps them push the right type of sales and increases their sales. Besides that, it is just so baffling that people believe that, even worse, within a small subset of a product (modern format), an even smaller subset of this subset (banned cards), have some sorts of entitlement. As the popular meme goes, "You don't hate Wizards for not unbanning Twin, you hate capitalism".
I largely agree with this, but also don't think capitalism has much to do with any particular unban or ban decision. Maybe indirectly insofar as they need people to play the format and if the format is broken and unenjoyable, they can't fill TO seats. But that's a little indirect for my tastes and doesn't even create a scenario where the profit-driven motive is any different from the player experience motive. Neither of us want a %$#% format.

As for entitlement, that is definitely an issue in all fan-driven communities. It's especially true where there are different subsets of fan loyalty and commitment. Magic has a hyper-informed and vocal minority of pros, and a slightly less informed (in many cases) but no less vocal minority of online users. I'm sure this accounts for less than 5% of the total Magic-playing population. Wizards needs to make decisions for everyone and it's easy for vocal, minority interest groups with vested format engagement to feel like they are the only group that matters. Hence why MH1 got initially blasted for being a Commander set as a stupid meme (note on this: that meme was totally ridiculous and wrong - card evaluation is hard and people need to stop being so skeptical just to win upvotes). I expect this is just a human issue because we see it in all franchises, so I'm not sure what Wizards can do to stop this in Magic/Modern. Probably nothing.
witness wrote:
2 years ago
Observation: Prior to the banning of Splinter Twin, bans appear to have been timed to shake up the format ahead of Pro-level events, and unbans appear to have been timed to coincide with bans. From the GGT unbanning article: "When cards are banned from a format, Wizards investigates whether there is a banned card that, if not banned, might add new decks to competitive play."
Very interesting observation. I've never noticed that quote before. This does suggest unbans and bans should coincide, although there are definitely a few unbans (Valakut, BBE/JTMS) that happened in vacuums. At the least, it shows Wizards will often consider unbans at the same time as bans, which helps us predict timing.
Observation: After the Splinter Twin ban and subsequent player outcry, Wizards seems to be shy of banning cards to shake up the format. However, their desire to shake up the format periodically, especially before large public events, appears to be intact. From the Jace unbanning article: "Modern's return to the Pro Tour, shining a spotlight on the format, makes this a great time to revisit past decisions and see if they still make sense in the current era."


Speculation: Shaking up the format appears to now be an unban consideration, rather than (or at least more strongly than) a ban consideration. In this era, Wizards is 'saving up' potential unbans until they feel the need to shake up the format.
I agree this remains a motivation, especially the shakeup unban bit. The ban shakeup met with extreme, vocal, negative backlash across all viewable Modern communities I know. If nothing else, that's bad for business in a community-driven game. I suspect Wizards is done with the pre-PT shakeup ban for good but will continue to use unbans to shake things up and shine spotlights on the format.
Observation: Recently, cards entering the modern cardpool through Standard and Modern Horizons have significantly shaken up the Modern metagame, introducing entirely new decks and ensuring that large public events do not feel 'stale' or 'solved'.

Prediction: Wizards will be largely successful in 'disrupting' Modern through newly printed cards over the next few years, and will not unban any cards in that time.

Speculation: If Wizards becomes confident in their ability to consistently disrupt Modern through Standard and Modern Horizons products, they will eventually shift their unban criteria back towards the idea of 'swapping in' potential unbans when the inevitable mistakes (such as Hogaak) slips through.
I sort of agree with this, largely because at one point, Wizards was very vocal about not adding cards to Modern through supplemental sets. I can't find the quote, but some R&D or design/dev member said they are confident Standard-legal products can introduce Modern cards without bypassing Standard. They were hesitant for many years to do an MH1 product, and now they did just that with the likely promise of more to come. This suggests Wizards' confidence in shakeups through new products is at least malleable, and might extend to their confidence in unban shakeups. If so, we could continue to see unbans at key moments even with products introducing new Modern playables.

I'll end by reminding everyone how impactful new Standard sets continue to be for Modern. Basically every new set has introduced potent new tools or complete new decks. I understand unbans have a symbolic importance, and even a metagame one, but at the same time I respect Wizards' ability to introduce new competitive effects into Modern... even if by mistake or coincidence.
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
2 years ago
Their bottom line is profit. We don't get any Magic or Modern if they aren't making money. I I'm fine with profit being one of their potential motives, as long as its not a sole motive in any decision. Finally, there's no actual evidence to suggest this other than circumstantial timing. The simplest explanation is a coincidence at best, or a "hey, JTMS is also getting reprinted soon" as reason #55 why they unbanned him in their R&D meeting.
Stoneforge Mystic was reprinted as GP promo and could have easily been unbanned then. She also could have been included in Masters 25, Eternal Masters, or Ultimate Masters. But whatever. It's not about what's right or what makes sense. It's what makes dollars and cents. Stoneforge is nothing more than a meme at this point.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 2 years ago

cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
ktkenshinx wrote:
2 years ago
Their bottom line is profit. We don't get any Magic or Modern if they aren't making money. I I'm fine with profit being one of their potential motives, as long as its not a sole motive in any decision. Finally, there's no actual evidence to suggest this other than circumstantial timing. The simplest explanation is a coincidence at best, or a "hey, JTMS is also getting reprinted soon" as reason #55 why they unbanned him in their R&D meeting.
Stoneforge Mystic was reprinted as GP promo and could have easily been unbanned then. She also could have been included in Masters 25, Eternal Masters, or Ultimate Masters. But whatever. It's not about what's right or what makes sense. It's what makes dollars and cents. Stoneforge is nothing more than a meme at this point.
I think either I didn't make my point clearly or you missed it. I'm just saying Wizards didn't unban JTMS because of a pending reprint. It was either purely a coincidence or just one of dozens of reasons they unbanned him. As for SFM, we already know why they don't unban her. It's a silly explanation we can and should argue against, but it's neither sinister nor profit-motivated. If anything, it's just incompetent or ignorant:



I know you replied to his Tweet and are familiar with it, but I just want it here for the record.
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 years ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
2 years ago
cfusionpm wrote:
2 years ago
ktkenshinx wrote:
2 years ago
Their bottom line is profit. We don't get any Magic or Modern if they aren't making money. I I'm fine with profit being one of their potential motives, as long as its not a sole motive in any decision. Finally, there's no actual evidence to suggest this other than circumstantial timing. The simplest explanation is a coincidence at best, or a "hey, JTMS is also getting reprinted soon" as reason #55 why they unbanned him in their R&D meeting.
Stoneforge Mystic was reprinted as GP promo and could have easily been unbanned then. She also could have been included in Masters 25, Eternal Masters, or Ultimate Masters. But whatever. It's not about what's right or what makes sense. It's what makes dollars and cents. Stoneforge is nothing more than a meme at this point.
I think either I didn't make my point clearly or you missed it. I'm just saying Wizards didn't unban JTMS because of a pending reprint. It was either purely a coincidence or just one of dozens of reasons they unbanned him. As for SFM, we already know why they don't unban her. It's a silly explanation we can and should argue against, but it's neither sinister nor profit-motivated. If anything, it's just incompetent or ignorant:



I know you replied to his Tweet and are familiar with it, but I just want it here for the record.
Yeah, we definitely know why. That doesn't make it any less embarrassingly ignorant and categorically wrong.

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