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Unstable Q&A with Mark Rosewater
 
The Dos and Don'ts of Silver-Border Commander
 
Word of Command: Un-believable
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from mtgnorin »
    Cfusion, I was in 10 (maybe 11) tournaments, 3 different stores, in a row... Place 1-2. This is not possible if you have less experience or a new player. Tom ross and other pros do the same in much larger tournaments. Its not luck only. But Luck is a part of it and you need it

    A comment from the SCG article:

    Jason Morgan: "If one were to observe that big mana decks were on a downswing and choose to take BGx midrange deck to a RPTQ a few years back, and then proceed to get paired against the only two Tron players in the room while watching another player on 73 of the same 75 cards qualify while dodging the Tron matchup, how is this not a matchup lottery? Point being, choosing what you want to lose to, making a correct call based on recent meta trends, but still getting paired against that matchup enough times to torpedo your tournament is a thing that happens more frequently in modern than any other format. That is just not acceptable for a high level competitive format. There is already enough variance in this game that can invalidate weeks of preparation, hard work, and correct analysis by simply the luck of the draw. Having that extra layer of matchup variance is purely frustrating, not charming, in my opinion."
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Modern Prices Discussion
    Quote from jwf239 »
    TCGplayer prices are clearly a pipe dream of the sellers at this point. They will drop, just slowly. The "Recently completed" ebay listing feature is what I am using to track what I believe to be the best current price during this time of flux. I'm not sold on ancestral vision recovering any better than horizon canopy. Both are from around the same time period and most of the value was due to the low supply. They also see similar amounts of play. Whatever one does I see the other doing. It appears the supply is outweighing the demand and they will both start to trickle down. I agree thoughtseize, cryptic, and vial will suffer the smallest drop though.

    Ancestral Vision is a card that sees no play in any deck for more than a year, and never really saw strong success ever. I'm honestly surprised it's still as high as it is. I should have sold my copies long ago, but stubbornly held on "just in case." Even if I sell today, I'd be taking about a $100 loss, so I might as well just hang onto them.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Anyone who is so jaded by a single bad year of Modern (2016) that they can't see any positives in 2017 is probably just looking for an axe to grind.

    Not everyone's 2017 has been all sunshine and rainbows.

    You don't have to enjoy Modern now or at any future time period. In fact, I don't think Modern is the format for you. Based on what you have said about matchup variance, sideboard slots, blue control, and a certain preferred type of gameplay, Legacy is almost definitely a better format for you. See Jadine's excellent article today for more on this and the different skills required in Modern.

    Very true. If only the format weren't prohibitively expensive and had any reasonable support in paper.

    That said, you do have to be open to how Modern is very healthy by non-cfusion standards. It's the difference between saying "I don't like Modern" (totally fair but you don't really say this) and "Modern is objectively bad" (this is not even defensible today and is mostly what you say). You keep repeating the same tired anti-Modern arguments even as the format's finishes/events no longer support those kinds of criticisms. They were true in 2016. 2016 kinda sucked. But they are untrue today and have been untrue for most of 2017.

    If you enjoy high-variance, lopsided matchups, where the pairings board usually matters more than your in-game decisions, then Modern is the place to be. I can see how people would find this "fun" and "healthy" because many people are getting wins they have no business earning. It's great for new players and lower skilled players, which likely make up most of the playerbase.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Anyone who is so jaded by a single bad year of Modern (2016) that they can't see any positives in 2017 is probably just looking for an axe to grind.

    Not everyone's 2017 has been all sunshine and rainbows.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from Spsiegel1987 »
    Bolt snap bolt is a top tier deck----but the format is still not good enough for you

    I can only control what I play. I can't control what others play. And the games I play with other people have been some of the most unsatisfying experiences I have ever had in Magic. Much of that has to do with the incredibly toxic nature of most of the top decks and the overwhelmingly polarizing lopsided matchups presented. I find that tremendously unfun, and am expressing my opinions as such. I am entitled to that just as much as Lantern players are entitled to enjoy their pile of misery called a "deck." Shocked

    Multiple people received flaming/trolling violations because they feel your negative attitude is warping this thread...

    That sounds more like people with an ax to grind who would prefer personal attacks over calm discussions. They are the ones getting the warnings for their own actions (just as I have received some for my own actions in the past).

    Seriously, like GK said, you're going to ignore all the good that happens in-between the GP's and then reserve judgement to see if something is busted in a GP?

    I'm curious how these trends will play out at an actual high level event. There are all sorts of small or local trends that never make their way to the big stages. Sometimes they do. I just wish we had a better GP schedule (like maybe 1 a month all year) so we wouldn't have these horrendous gaps and crunches of 2-3 events in one weekend every 3-4 months.
    Quote from Ym1r »
    Every type of event with its value, but nullifying the value of an event by calling it a "glorified FNM", when we have competitors at the level of BBD and JT, I don't think it is the right approach.

    Those few people have long since moved on to bigger and better things. None of them show up on the "Leaderboard," which collects the points of the top 100 players who frequent the SCG circuit. The ones that are left stay there for... whatever personal reasons they have. But looking up and down the leaderboard list, there's not a lot of names (any?) that jump out as regulars at top GP tables or PT appearances. Even Caleb Scherer, arguably one of the game's best storm player, doesn't have GP appearances. Now, most of these people actually work for SCG and may be contractually bound to NOT play in other events, but for whatever reason, they simply don't. Just as most big name GP/PT players, grinders, and pros don't take the time to go to SCG events.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from shadowsaotome »
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from gkourou »
    @cfusion always being negative about the format, because whatever reason is not helpful. To be honest, whoever is not seeing signs of improvement in this current Modern format must be totally biased. Even me, who thought the meta was not good at all 3 months earlier, I got to say that the format is heading into a good direction.
    I'm holding judgement until we see what things look like at the next GP and PT, instead of the random brewing grounds of the smaller SCG events. We've only had 2 Modern GPs in a 5 month period, with both of them happening on the same day and more than 3 months ago. The next one is still several weeks away, with it being the last one before the PT.


    So just to clarify, from your perspective the only paper tournaments that hold any statistical value are GPs and the PT?

    SCG Tournaments have value, but are a skewed and limited representation of the game. They are often dominated by a small portion of the same people who, regardless of what they are playing, often stomp their way to the top tables (and Top 8s) due to smashing all the weird brews and FNM-level play usually seen. They're definitely fun to watch (and Cedric/Patrick is the best commentary duo in any "sport"), but the days are usually full of sloppy play and wonky brews that may or may not have any relevance to the overall representative metagame. They're smaller tournaments with a lower overall skill level, and attendance is usually limited to locals of the midwest and east coast USA. Plus, most of the top players in the SCG circuit have done little to nothing of significance outside of that circuit. It's like a big FNM and should be treated as such. It has value, but not nearly as much as a GP.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from gkourou »
    I got why the Modern era from 3 months ago looked grim, but this one is moving better.
    Also, we do have several PTQ's/RPTQ's/SCG's to at least have some opinion about the format..

    All I can say is that perception is reality, and if people can control the perception, they control the reality. We will see how it looks and what choices are made when pros come from all over the world to play in a large paper tournament with the intent to do the best, most broken, and most powerful things.

    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from gkourou »
    @cfusion always being negative about the format, because whatever reason is not helpful. To be honest, whoever is not seeing signs of improvement in this current Modern format must be totally biased. Even me, who thought the meta was not good at all 3 months earlier, I got to say that the format is heading into a good direction.
    I'm holding judgement until we see what things look like at the next GP and PT, instead of the random brewing grounds of the smaller SCG events. We've only had 2 Modern GPs in a 5 month period, with both of them happening on the same day and more than 3 months ago. The next one is still several weeks away, with it being the last one before the PT.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from Ym1r »
    As I said, they are the data from mtggoldfish : https://www.mtggoldfish.com/metagame/modern#paper

    Of course, don't take these data 100% at face value, they require some further investigation because they include all the known 5-0 league decks.

    Goldfish pulls their data from MTGO Leagues, meaning their data is 100% unreliable for anything. They even talked about it on a recent podcast how they would like to (and probably will soon) implement separate paper and online meta pages. It's not worth even acknowledging this site as long as their aggregate numbers include these artificially pushed League lists.

    Quote from Ym1r »
    It can play several styles, and tempoing is indeed one of the best ways to approach it, but it usually plays out as a tempo control deck, rarely tapping on your own turn.

    The absolute best plan of action for this deck 90% of the time is to Serum/Bolt/Path something turn 1, kill or counter something turn 2, and tap out to slam a Geist turn 3. If you have the ability to do that, it is almost always the correct play. Without a quick clock and early pressure, the deck is exposed for how weak and narrow it is at actually playing a control role.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Could a Twin/Kiki type deck come back at this point?
    I could imagine a Breach/Emrakul version of the deck that either ran Kiki/Exarch out of the side or vice versa. You could run Kiki/Exarch main to draw in creature removal, then side into Breach/Emrakul, or run the Breach version main, have them take out their removal, and side into Kiki/Exarch. Iduno. They all still seem pretty clunky.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Is Jeskai Queller the closest to "Control" that we get? A deck with 3 Cryptic Command, 1 Spell Snare, and 2 Logic Knot. A deck with no sweepers and no card draw, outside of Cryptic Command and Electrolyze. This reminds me of a friend who asked to borrow "Esper Control" again. I told him that the deck I let him borrow is Esper Goryo Gifts, not Control. An Island in the deck list does not mean Control, although that could be very well what it comes down to some day, sadly enough. I realize that it's just semantics and Jeskai Control plays Aggro, Control, Midrange, and Tempo all pretty well, but I would say it plays Tempo the best of the bunch. 4 Bolts, 4 Lightning Helix, 2 Electrolyze, and nearly a handful of Snaps makes up a pretty burn worthy deck as well.

    Jeskai Queller is what I have sleeved up and ready for whenever I actually make time to play Modern. It is not anything remotely close to what you could call "Control." It's essentially "Big Delver," in that it wants to tap out for a threat and ride a combination of burn and tempo plays to victory. It can sort of play a control role, but that's not what it wants to be doing. It's a backup plan against slow grindy decks (something that doesn't really exist anymore). In fact, in a recent Great Nate video, he talked about seeing lists that cut Electrolyze for Jeskai Charm (something I think is pretty cool, as I have often been extremely underwhelmed by Electrolyze). It continues the trend of making the deck more explosive while still being able to disrupt the opponent (unlike Boros Charm, which can protect your stuff and deal big damage, but can't interact with opponent's board).

    If I had to classify the deck, it's Jeskai Midrange, or just Jeskai Geist, which is an archetype that has been around in Modern forever. This is also the deck that initially drew me into Modern after discovering Great Nate's videos on Jeskai after Dromoka's Command made Jeskai Tokens essentially unplayable in Standard anymore. The main changes in the deck from then to now are the removal of Leak/Remand for Logic Knot, and the the removal of Young Pyromancer and Restoration Angel for Queller and more Cryptics. Otherwise, it's basically the same deck.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from Ym1r »
    1) Blinded from meaningful data? So now 5-0s are meaningful data or not?
    2) Shows misleading data? We have long before agreed that 5-0s should be excluded (and they are) by most analyses.
    3) Paper events are a random eclectic collection of people? Modern events are the most attended events out of all formats. Several people have been consistently doing well in modern. This doesn't really show what you describe.
    4) GPs are the best source for competitive stats? Sure, but what about the SCG events? Or are they worse than GPs for some reason, even though they have similar attendance? And for these we get full Day 2 metagame analysis and top 32 decklists
    5) Confusion, chaos and lucky guesses? Who is confused? For over a month now none is complaining (except you of course). None is confused or chaotic. I see very well structured arguments and ideas regarding modern. People have found ways to tackle the metagame (see 5C humans) in innovative ways. Where is the confusion or chaos in that?
    6) Wizards calls it healthy? Yeah they do. And so do a lot of people, so does SCG and other major tournament organizers, so (it seems to me at least) does the community of this forum.
    7) Sold out in January 2016? I am pretty sure you can sell everything now and you will not have lost a single penny. On the contrary.

    Come on, I know you hate the format for whatever reason, but you can do way better than this post. Using big words like chaos and confusion doesn't provide anything in the discussion besides polarization and flame.

    1&2) Yes, 5-0s are mostly meaningless, mostly because it's not a swiss pairing system. Under the old 10-lists posting, through enough random samples, they used to somewhat be helpful. Now that they are actively misrepresenting proportions (a deck could be 90% of the format and only get 1 listing, while a deck could be 1 of hundreds and also get a listing), they don't just NOT represent the format, but they ACTIVELY misrepresent the format.
    3) SCG events used to be made fun of as the little sibling of paper tournaments, whose results should be taken with a grain of salt due to their limited geographic locations, much smaller size, and overall influence by an incredibly small number of regulars playing alongside what is essentially an FNM crowd. We have propped them up because of the change in GP scheduling (2-3 events crammed in a single weekend, spaced several months apart) as well as the aforementioned reduction if meaningful data. SCG events are where groups of locals test our their weird brews to see if they do anything. If it does well, they take it to the real stage: a GP.
    4)GPs are larger events with a more diverse playerbase which include players from all over the world joining, instead of seeing the same East Coast and Midwest SCG Regulars alongside their FNM-playing locals. There are also far more high end pros and top players with bigger stakes and more pressure to do well.
    5) Well, considering we don't have any true representation of the format, since nearly every paper event is different from another, we can only guess what the next event will look like. We can choose to take a deck to hose one of the perceived top decks, we can play some random fast linear deck that doesn't care what the meta is, or we can try to play the perceived best deck and cross our fingers. Either way, without good data representations, choices that are affected by metagame data (deck choice, sideboard construction, etc) are HIGHLY susceptible to random chance of getting it right, getting it wrong, and hoping to be paired accordingly.
    6) If "healthy" means "I have no idea what is good, so let's just play whatever and hope for the best" then I do not agree with that definition of "healthy." Especially when a format is so heavily influenced by lopsided matchups and silver bullet hate cards.
    7) If I ever got to a point where I needed a couple thousand dollars, I would have. Luckily my wife and I have a good income and I haven't needed to. Many of those cards live in Commander decks these days (as well as some random URx Modern thing sleeved up and ready to go, if needed), but most just sit in binders and boxes in my safe.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from BlueTronFTW »
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    This would make an interesting analysis if I wasn't already invested in analyzing some other decks for this thread (T4 violations mostly), but has anyone else noticed a dramatic uptick in positive Modern coverage from the content mill? I'm struggling to find major articles that criticize Modern or suggest bans.

    When we are blinded from meaningful data, purposely shown misleading data, our paper events are a random eclectic collection of people who have no idea what the metagame is or have specifically engineered hate decks for what they *think* the metagame is, it all combines into a roulette wheel of results for each event then of course the image is that the format is healthy and diverse.

    Also remember that our GPs (best source for competitive stats) are months and months apart from each other, with multiples crammed into a single weekend. So even their results aren't free from being a product of chaos, confusion, and lucky guesses. This is what Wizards calls a "healthy" format. Blind us and confuse us, then call that chaos "diversity." Had I known the direction the format would go, I would have sold out of Modern in January of 2016.


    Are you waiting for us to beg you not to sell out of the format or something? Seems like we can't finish a few pages on this thread without a post by you making a claim along those lines.

    I'm expressing the frustration, mostly about the reduction of data, which misrepresents what is going on in the format and causing purposely orchestrated chaos. Then that chaos is being branded as "health" and "diversity." If you think that is a good thing for the format, then you and I have vastly different goals and aspirations for this game.

    If you have a problem with me personally, please use the Ignore button.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    This would make an interesting analysis if I wasn't already invested in analyzing some other decks for this thread (T4 violations mostly), but has anyone else noticed a dramatic uptick in positive Modern coverage from the content mill? I'm struggling to find major articles that criticize Modern or suggest bans.

    When we are blinded from meaningful data, purposely shown misleading data, our paper events are a random eclectic collection of people who have no idea what the metagame is or have specifically engineered hate decks for what they *think* the metagame is, it all combines into a roulette wheel of results for each event then of course the image is that the format is healthy and diverse.

    Also remember that our GPs (best source for competitive stats) are months and months apart from each other, with multiples crammed into a single weekend. So even their results aren't free from being a product of chaos, confusion, and lucky guesses. This is what Wizards calls a "healthy" format. Blind us and confuse us, then call that chaos "diversity." Had I known the direction the format would go, I would have sold out of Modern in January of 2016.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    This will make it easier for players to tell when to ship deck pieces because there is a chance that their beloved deck will be gone soon. Then again, "redacted" was around SO long before that it would have been a good decision to just run it until Wizards has had enough, because it seemed like they had 5 years of tolerance for it. There just has to be some sort of line or else in the end, it just comes down to "Wizards does what Wizards does" like always. Frown

    I have long since stopped trying to make sense of their bans. They do what they want, when they want, for whatever reasons they want. Also, certain decks of the past were often heralded as the poster-child examples of what the format should be in terms of power and speed. Some crossed lines, but some walked a very thin line without ever actually crossing it. However, after getting the ax, the floodgates seemed opened to ban anything for any reason. Combined with the loss of any meaningful data, we have been (and will continue to be) completely in the dark as to what will be banned, when it's banned, and why it's banned. These past two years have been complete chaos across multiple formats.

    We're scrambling like chickens with their heads cut off and Wizards likely loves it. We are creating an artificial sense of diversity because of a combination of nobody knowing the true picture, people building targeted hate decks with fingers crossed on other matchups, and a reluctance to buy into decks that may or may not be banned. If this is what Wizards considers "healthy" for a format, I might as well sell all my staples now...
    Posted in: Modern
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