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  • 7

    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from gkourou »
    I agree. The "it's keeping the format in check" was a great response by mr. Forsythe overall. The truth is that I was always under the impression that WOTC values decks(and cards) that keep the format in check, but the Splinter Twin ban made me question those beliefs.
    With that said, it's good to know that they think highly of a card like Chalice of The Void(this is important because it may be extended to include cards like Blood Moon and other similar cards) and that they have faith in those cards keeping the format in check.

    PS/Edit: Still though, a Turn 1 Chalice Of The Void under Simian Spirit Guide is another story and kind of offensive, but this is just the Ape's potential problem.

    It's worrying though, that they would place a higher value on cards that literally do not allow you to play the game, while continuing to chastise reasonable countermagic by saying it makes the game "unfun."

    You're mixing format benchmarks. I'm confident Wizards doesn't care about premium countermagic being unfun in Modern. They care about it in Standard, and that's the bottleneck to Modern entry.

    Overall, the format is probably fine if for no other reason than that this thread is arguing about bans like Company and Chalice again. Whenever that happens, it's generally an indicator that the format is fine. When people pile on only 1-2 cards, it generally indicates a ban is pending.
    Posted in: Modern
  • 0

    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from Billiondegree »
    Why are draw-go decks considered too strong but Chalice of the Void, a card that can counter half of the cards in certain decks on its own, is still allowed?

    Prison style cards are way more oppressive than one-time counters, even if your entire deck is filled with them.

    I'm sure Wizards doesn't care about draw-go decks in Modern. Forsythe already stated that Modern is going to have different strategies than you would see in Standard: "Offer different types of decks and gameplay than what you typically see in Standard." (http://magic.wizards.com/en/events/coverage/ptsoi/where-modern-goes-from-here-2016-04-24) The issue is that cards which could help a Modern draw-go strategy need to go through Standard. Cards that are an appropriate power level for Standard are rarely enough to make waves in Modern, which is why draw-go strategies (which would depend on stronger countermagic) are unlikely to be improved too much in the near future. I'm hoping Fatal Push signals a shift away from this issue, but we'll have to wait and see.

    Related: cards like Chalice wouldn't see play in Standard but are okay in Modern. Why? See the quote I mentioned above.
    Posted in: Modern
  • 4

    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    Again, I'll emphasize that in my years of tracking metagame stats I never saw a period of time where more than 8 or so decks (estimating) were Tier 1, and even there, some of the Tier 1 decks were clearly better. If you see 10+ decks in Tier 1, be very skeptical; it is very unlikely all those alleged Tier 1 decks are legitimately in the same power bracket. It's more likely that the tier math has changed and that said tier math is misleading.

    EDIT: I'll also add that prevalence is correlated with performance but only to a point. I remember doing the math back when we had both the prevalence stats AND the MWP stats and the correlation was around .4. That's a considerable correlation in social sciences but a fairly dubious one in mathematical or physical sciences, and suggests the two are very strongly related but other factors are still at play.
    Posted in: Modern
  • 2

    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from idSurge »
    First: Lantern, you are beholden to nobody. I (and others) asked for criteria just so we could make sense of what was done, but in the end this is a hobby for all or most of us.

    Second: We need to try to establish what tiers are. You can see over the last several pages some discussion around this.

    Are they representation?
    Are they power?
    Are they performance and results?

    Or is it a combination? I dont think we can base it on power, as thats difficult to judge. Nor can we base it on representation, because not everyone is going to flip to Jund, from some Jank, just because they are told Jund is tier 1.

    The most fair metric, will be results.

    If we had a way to track data for Top 8's and 5-0's, that would be ideal to see general trends, but even those numbers as HolyDiva outlined could EASILY be skewed by a few grinders in the case of MTGO.

    People need to stop being completely infatuated with tiers, and I know I do it too, but decks that are not Tier 1 can have play, even if not popular.
    Quote from egoblinsw »

    This. I play goblins in legacy, and in terms of MWP it's very very good. But because representation is low, it rarely breaks T8. Low representation decks underperform in results based metrics.

    There is no good dataset for MWPs. Data either comes from single players (small N, player skill can matter more than deck performance, high matchup variance, etc.) or from single events (similar issues as above, notably with sample and match variance). This would have been feasible in the days of MTGO replays and scraping software, but it isn't now.

    I really don't get why people are trying to reinvent the wheel given Modern's current information sources. The prevalence-based tiering system was largely accurate and largely liked, and that has been true for years. If we had access to stuff like MWPs or matchup-specific data then great, I'm sure many would happily use it. Same if we had Day 1 to Day 2 to Top 8 conversion rates. But we don't have any of that information, especially not on a consistent basis. Because of that, prevalence-based metrics are the next best thing. Those metrics also aren't inaccurate. Even when we did get conversion rate data and MWP information, it rarely changed the top-tier picture too much, and few sleepers like Amulet Bloom and Lantern were missed.

    It's a bummer that Modern Nexus is behind with consistent metagame updates. Mainphase's updates are frequent but they have small Ns and questionable (maybe even arbitrary) cutoffs. Hopefully the format can get the best of both those worlds soon, or someone steps up to fill in those gaps.
    Posted in: Modern
  • 0

    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from Varyag »
    Quote from prismatic elf »
    Quote from idSurge »
    Quote from prismatic elf »
    I thought I read one time that MTGGoldfish got some beef by wizards for some meta charts and was ask to stop posting them was that true?


    I think they datamined MTGO, and saw data down to match up levels.

    Regardless I think it's up to Lantern or whoever to explain the criteria, until then we are speculating on the intent.

    Thanks, that was it. I agree with you.


    The Goldfish case was interesting, they used bots to "watch" games and record results. I wonder how many games and how large a sample size it was. But it was large enough for WotC to strong arm them into stopping it, so the data must have been good.

    I wish somebody with programming knowledge would make some new bots to do the same so that we can see the true data instead of all the guesswork and the incomplete and therefore dubious 5-0 lists.

    Can't be done. Wizards changed the MTGO client and its replay function. Bot scrapers can't even access the replays to scrape them.
    Posted in: Modern
  • 8

    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from LeoLeft »
    I think this new tiering system better reflects the uncertainty we have of all decks true positioning in the meta. This will displease those who want a clear picture of the best of the best for better spiking purposes, I believe that the way Wizards obscures data prevents us from having the resources to give iron clad tiers the way people want.
    How did Sheridan manage to do this before? I believe he used more strict cut-offs and created his own weighted system of balancing online to paper data, but with so much other data being withheld (true winrates and online metashares) this was essentially the most statistically sound and objective way of creating the illusion of solid clear cut tiers. Trying to do too much with too little.
    It's been pointed out a few times but I still find it funny that Divas wake up call about mtgo dailies (she herself contributed 2% to UR aggro) went largely unnoticed.

    The meta information is flawed, the emperor has no clothes.

    And yet, the tiering system frequently predicted the top decks at all major events, as well as the MTGO regulars. People love to believe the metagame has secret Tier 3 decks that are actually Tier 1. They love to believe they can unlock some elusive metagame system that reveals a new picture of Modern's best deck. Sadly, in almost all cases, what you saw was what you got and the top tier decks really were exactly what they seemed to be. This is true now and it was true three years ago.
    Posted in: Modern
  • 0

    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from genini2 »
    What about Death Shadow Jund which existed in its entirety before popping up over night?

    It only popped out overnight because Probe and GGT got banned. Those two bans totally changed the format, hurting Dredge and removing both Infect and Death's Shadow Zoo from Tier 1. That fundamental shift made the new DS variants, DSJ and Grixis Shadow, viable, even if all the cards in the deck were legal beforehand.
    Posted in: Modern
  • 5

    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    I've never understood why players insist that there are these non-Tier 1 decks that are secretly Tier 1 and are just underplayed. It's super rare; basically just Amulet Bloom (which we had as Tier 2 for a year before its breakout PT) and Lantern Control (legit out of nowhere). Just go back and look at the historical Tier 1 lists on these forums. It's a who's who of Modern regulars that consistently have great showings. The list have very few misses (i.e. a deck was secretly amazing and the tiers missed it for a long period of time, or a deck was actually bad and stayed Tier 1 too long).
    Posted in: Modern
  • 4

    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from Teal53 »
    With so many decks in the top two tiers what would people's opinions be of going to established and developing in similar ways to vintage/legacy lists are on here? Or do the tier lists add something more worth retaining?

    Most of the decks in the top 2 tiers at the moment could very easily be called 'decks that aren't going anywhere' or 'decks you're likely to see at a large tournament'.

    I'm not sure about the new system's specifics, but if the site uses an established, replicable, and transparent scoring/grading system, then tiers are fine. In my opinion, tiering should be as objective as possible and also use the best statistical methods available given the data. If this can happen, the subjective "established" and "proven" division should not return; Modern did this years ago when I first got here and we moved away from it.

    On the other hand, if the system doesn't make sense or doesn't meet those above benchmarks, then tiering becomes much less helpful. I am not as familiar with current format data as I was with it in the past, but I sincerely doubt there are truly this many Tier 1 decks. The most I ever saw when doing updates was maybe 8-9 (estimate; don't quote me). With so many Tier 1 decks, I suspect it's because the new system uses a very broad definition of Tier 1 that might not be as helpful as people think it is. Personally, I prefer narrower definitions that establish tiers with more confidence. No system is perfect without the full dataset, but I'd be cautious about a system that had so many Tier 1 decks; it's unlikely all Tier 1 decks are truly as viable as each other if the tiering is so wide.
    Posted in: Modern
  • 4

    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from Lilijuana »
    Quote from DaveJacinto »
    Quote from Lilijuana »
    Quote from Kovo »
    I look forward to a new tiering system. Had some qualms with the existing one (not a criticism of Sheridan).


    Had some qualms myself, and about Sheridan also. He was the one most vocally pushing the "only GOOD decks in Modern are Tier 1 decks" mantra, and apparently he reinforced that w/ his tiering system.

    If this change is real and going to stick I wholeheartedly applaud it.
    I don't want to revive some old issues but I'm genuinely curious about what were the problems you saw in the old tiering system and how do you think it will be solved.


    I never had a problem w/ the tiering system before. I did have a problem w/ Sheridan stating on multiple occasions that the only good decks in the format were the Tier 1 decks, and I said as much to him about it.

    Now just look at the difference in perception one gets from the Modern format when you look in one case and see a Tier 1 w/ only 5-6 decks in it and then you look at a Tier 1 w/ 15 decks in it. It makes the format look much more alive and open when you see more decks listed in the top tiers. It does not seem so restrictive a format to get into, and it OPENS up the perception that a lot more styles of decks are viable as winning decks.

    I don't know how much Sheridan had to do himself w/ the old system, but the change in tiering now coupled w/ his departure makes me think he wasn't just using hard data to tier decks but he was letting his own opinion about what made a deck "good" influence how he tiered them. That then influenced the perception of many readers/players and directed conversations down a certain line about decks and the format as a whole.

    Overnight we have gone from from 11 Tier 1/2 decks to 31. Look at all the possibilities. It also gives a different perspective of the health of the format and a different baseline upon which to base our assessment of that health.

    This is pretty off base. As another user said, if anything, I was too data-driven and should have used more subjective opinions to drive tiering. I'll also say that in an ideal world, we would use performance metrics to drive tiering, not prevalence, but sadly we don't have that data. Additionally, I'll add that my metagame updates were exceedingly clear that we were talking about prevalence, not performance, and the tier definitions reflect that.

    Finally, I'll say I enjoy the new tierings but think they overstate how many decks are truly viable. Without the PT data and the performance metrics, we'll never know how viable decks truly are, but I suspect it's much LESS viable for many decks than we want to believe. At least, at the GP, Open, and Comp League levels.
    Posted in: Modern
  • 8

    posted a message on Temporary 4/24/17 banlist discussion thread
    Quote from Fiddlyr »

    If we have the status quo, I still think banning Thoughtseize achieves more of Wizards' goals less painfully and more elegantly than the risk associated with SFM or JTMS unbanning.

    It's so scary that people believe this. Banning generic answers might be one of the worst possible ways to address longstanding Modern problems. Too many linear matchups? Too much matchup diversity? Too many "sideboard wars"? Not enough fair decks? A Thoughtseize ban makes every single one of those problems worse. Thankfully, I'm fairly confident Wizards knows what a horrendous idea this is and how much it would hurt the format. It doesn't even make historical sense given the performance of TS for years relative to the performance of DS. I bet it's not even on the table in their next meeting.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 0

    posted a message on Staff transition and farewell
    Quote from ashtonkutcher »
    You're the only user I've followed on this forum, and I still read all your posts. Good to know you'll still be around in some capacity. Whatever your life changes may be, I'm sure it won't hurt in terms of stress levels to have the responsibility of moderating the banlist thread off your hands. Godspeed!

    Thanks, dude. And thanks for all your hard work for the Nexus. I know elements of it aren't quite where they should be now, but your work is always great and I'll always read your content. Keep up the great brewing, close readings, and other analysis.
    Posted in: Modern
  • 1

    posted a message on Staff transition and farewell
    Quote from Lantern »
    Quote from rcwraspy »
    what's the over/under on ktken's infraction count as a normal user?

    kidding aside, I always thought Modern was lucky you were one of its mods. Hope those life changes are good ones.

    I wish we could track that info... The admins might be able too. He was global so its gotta be higher than not...
    Quote from rcwraspy »
    what's the over/under on ktken's infraction count as a normal user?

    kidding aside, I always thought Modern was lucky you were one of its mods. Hope those life changes are good ones.

    Not sure how many infractions I'll get...

    BUT I can definitely promise to submit reports so Lantern, Torpf, CWP, and the new staff are all very busy!
    Posted in: Modern
  • 4

    posted a message on Temporary 4/24/17 banlist discussion thread
    Quote from bizzycola »

    So you leaning on the position that metal misstep would be ubiquitous right? My counter to that would be So it is TS/IoK, the best answer against 1cc targeted discard is to run 1cc targeted discard to discard your opponents discard.

    Those cards aren't currently ubiquitous. You only run them if you are playing black. The only reason they are on an upswing is because another black card, DS, is pushing black decks more than they were pushed before. Pre-DS black decks with TS/IoK weren't a problem. If there is a problem now, it's because of the DS element, not the discard element. Also, even if we look at the decks running TS/IoK, it's still not a majority of decks and not a majority of the metagame.

    With MM, you don't have to do anything to play the card. Anyone can play it. IoK/TS aren't even good answers to themselves; many discard decks board out copies in the mirror or against other TS/IoK copies. By contrast, MM is always a good answer to itself. MM is even more problematic in answering most of Modern's answers (Push, TS, IoK, Path, Bolt) but not addressing the range of actual threats. This likely means it benefits decks trying to protect threats more than decks trying to answer threats, which is a further problem that just aggravates one of Modern's most persistent complaints.

    I'm not even sure if these are serious arguments anymore or if we just ran out of things to talk about. Is there really a contingent in here that wants to do some combination of banning TS and/or IoK, and/or unbanning MM? What problems does any of that possibly solve?
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 3

    posted a message on Temporary 4/24/17 banlist discussion thread
    Quote from bizzycola »
    Quote from gkourou »
    We dont need to tone BGx down by banning sth, we need to make UW better by unbanning a card.


    Still hoping for urban SFM & Preordain and printing counter spell in Hours.
    The longer Wizards are inactive on Modern unbans the more it seems like Jace has a grave.


    If mental misstep is forever going to be banned I don't see JtmS ever being off the list, both are widely considered design mistakes and JtmS is the way stronger Mistake.

    Misstep is significantly more offensive and problematic than JTMS. This was true historically in every format where either were legal, remains true in even the most rudimentary tests, and is even true just theoretically. Modern is full of design mistakes; it's a powerful, non-rotating format. But there's a difference between design mistakes like Goyf, Temple, Opal/Ravager, Liliana, etc. (i.e. strong cards for a strong format) and design mistakes like Misstep (i.e. a broken card that broke basically every format where it was legal).

    JTMS may not be unbanned. But JTMS's fate is totally independent of MM's, the latter of which will never be unbanned.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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