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Jaya Ballard Returns
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Re: Chalice
    The rebuttal to all these anti-Chalice arguments is that the card never sees regular play. It's like Blood Moon: it can theoretically be a knockout, but in practice, it has little format impact. There are plenty of decks that play around both cards. Indeed, THE hallmark Chalice deck of Modern (ETron) sees very little play right now, in no small part because Chalice isn't well-positioned. And no other decks really play Chalice because those decks, and Chalice itself, aren't well-positioned either. Overall, this is just another example of people picking a card they personally dislike and reframing it as a format problem.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from LEH »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Re: matchups
    One definite issue we have is a lack of good data about real matchup percentages. Claims of 50/50 vs. 70/30 matchups are hard to test when our data is so throttled. It basically forces us to rely on anecdotal information instead of real matchup data. That said, there is enough consistent performance at top Modern tables and big events that it seems very unlikely there are as many 70/30 matchup-lottery games as people claim. I suspect the reality is exactly what I computed in an earlier analysis; matchups in Modern are about 3%-5% more variable than Legacy. This means that 1 in 20 to 30 games at a GP could be really affected by variance.


    While it's always going to be a guesstimation on exact MU percentages, I dislike the view that "anecdotal" information is seen as next to useless on this forum particularly when it stems from multiple individuals whom all have 100s if not 1000s of games under their belt and all saying the same thing. At what point does anecdotal information become "Qualitative data"?

    Data like that is not anecdotal. Let's get more of that please! I'm talking about users who complain about matchups without posting any numbers to back up their claims. Some people track matchups in a spreadsheet. We want more of that in this thread. Others just recall negative or positive experiences in recent games and extrapolate it to the entire format. That's the anecdotal information I'm fighting against.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Re: matchups
    One definite issue we have is a lack of good data about real matchup percentages. Claims of 50/50 vs. 70/30 matchups are hard to test when our data is so throttled. It basically forces us to rely on anecdotal information instead of real matchup data. That said, there is enough consistent performance at top Modern tables and big events that it seems very unlikely there are as many 70/30 matchup-lottery games as people claim. I suspect the reality is exactly what I computed in an earlier analysis; matchups in Modern are about 3%-5% more variable than Legacy. This means that 1 in 20 to 30 games at a GP could be really affected by variance.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from cfusionpm »

    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.

    This myth has been addressed in numerous articles and by past analyses. You don't like Modern. We get it. I don't understand why you feel a need to keep repeating these same criticisms over and over again despite so many sources saying things aren't as dismal as you make them out to be. You are basically saying that people who like Modern, and those who are good at it aren't skilled and just benefit from luck when I have already showed top players are just as likely to place in Modern events as Legacy ones.

    Your criticisms are flat out inacccurate. I urge all users in this thread to see that these are irresponsible and unfounded claims and to look at actual results and the content-sphere consensus about Modern. The format is currently healthy, popular, enjoyable, and favors skilled players with intensive matchup knowledge and deck experience.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    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.

    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.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from Colt47 »

    Here is a question: has anyone found a dependable backup source to MTGGoldfish for meta data? I'm a bit skeptical of the percentages on the site due to WoTC pushing to make information harder to get, which is why I've not really been quoting anything from there. I get that wizards wants to manipulate the public data to help influence a more even spread of decks, but that can hide important details about the meta like if a deck is really taking over. I don't even know if I can trust that 7% of the meta number for Gifts Storm or Jeskai Control. I'd hate to have to go around and do the numbers manually from looking at the tournament decks making Top 8-16.

    I don't think there are any. All the big sites like TCDecks, Goldfish, MTGTop8, MTGDecks, etc. have the Leagues as part of their data-scraping algorithm, and include those Leagues in their final counts. It's too bad Nexus abandoned the metagame analysis because it would be really useful today. Instead, we have to rely on random data entrepreneurs to post their metagame numbers to here/Reddit at unpredictable intervals. I've seen at least three such metagame analyses claiming to be "definitive" that then abandoned the project after a few weeks or months.

    Re: GP vs. SCG events
    On the one hand, there are appreciable differences between the events and we want to be careful in extrapolating too much data from smaller events to larger ones. On the other hand, in most cases, the aggregate paper metagame tends to be relatively predictive of what is going to happen at a coming GP. They don't tell the whole story, because people tend to identify a metagame trend and adapt to it in a GP, but they do tell part of it. Affinity is a great example of this: if players see that a metagame is vulnerable to Affinity in the weeks leading to a GP, it tends to overperform at that GP.

    That said, I am also convinced that some Modern critics actively look for GP to suck. We've seen this happen for the last two years. Here's the standard arguments we see after every single GP:

    1. "This GP was not diverse at all; too polarized to certain decks."
    2. "This GP had the wrong kind of diversity; two ships passing in the night Modern. It was all linear/uninteractive decks."
    3. "This GP was diverse for some players, but I can't play the type of deck (often blue-based control) I want to play."
    4. "This GP was diverse for some players, but there are no reactive decks. Everything is proactive."
    5. "This GP was diverse for some players, but the control decks aren't 'real' control."
    6. "This GP was surprisingly diverse by all counts, but it won't last. The next GP will not be diverse."

    You also get similar arguments with large SCG/paper events, except you can add "This isn't representative of GP at all!" to the list.

    Since February 2016, I've seen many Modern critics look at every single GP and give one or more of those arguments. Typically, the argument changes as Modern proponents provide evidence and analysis, forcing the critics to shift their goal posts. Of course, to some extent, these arguments were true for much of 2016. 2016 was a bad year for Modern. But they have not at all been true in 2017. The format has improved throughout the year with every single metagame cycle. 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. It would be one thing if we went through a 2-3 year horror story like Standard, after which I too would have no trust in Wizards. But I'm willing to stay optimistic and analyze the actual tournament results after just a single year of Wizards mismanagement. Most players are too, which is why I think the format is widely regarded as healthy (INCLUDING BY WIZARDS) and widely enjoyed.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    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. Brendan DeCandio had a notable exception in the last few months, but Lax handily dispatched his argument shortly thereafter. Brendan also has a recent track record of leaning towards controversial positions, so I'm not sure how much I trust him as a barometer. Other historically negative authors have embraced Modern and most articles seem very positive.

    Analysis idea: take a sample of major websites like SCG, CF, TCG, mintcard, etc. Count the number of Modern articles in a time period before a ban, and/or at different time periods in Modern's history. Then code the articles based on negative Modern press (e.g. comments like "Modern is not diverse" or ban suggestions) vs. positive Modern press (e.g. comments like "Modern is the best/most diverse ever" and the absence of ban suggestions). Then compare. I expect this is mostly a good indicator of a healthy format and will probably only have 1-2 periods where the general atmosphere does not reflect Wizards' stance on the format.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Re: Frontier
    Format was clearly invented by companies trying to sell excess stock and, thankfully, most players realize it. Comparing any data from Frontier to Modern is meaningless because the card pool is different and there's no incentive to solve or push the metagame.

    Re: Push ban
    Are we really back to this in a format full of small creatures and decks running small creatures? This is up there with the Thoughtseize ban suggestion: people run out of creative ways to address perceived Modern issues so they suggest zany, nonsensical bans. Wizards just said the format was healthy and nothing has changed since that update. If anything, it's more diverse now. People need to stop inventing problems that aren't part of the format.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from Shockwave07 »
    You know this maybe off topic for the modern meta/banlist topic, but it's strange to me hearing about Energy talked about as one deck, when there are actually two or three (Temur being the obvious front runner). But this would be an argument arguing whether to call Jund and Junk the same deck in modern based on the same core (and actually this would be a lot closer to the same deck!).

    Not sure how this impacts modern, other than the way they are thinking of better answers.

    They didn't care about variants in past format health assessments, whether in Standard or Modern. I don't see why they will care about it now, unless it isn't hurting attendance.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from genini2 »
    Quote from h0lydiva »
    Titanshift is trending up, not down. It's happening right now as we speak.

    Jeskai might be tier 1 popularity wise depending on how you look at things. It's 100% not tier 1 power wise. I've played it in different times, last one the other day on stream. It's a fun deck, a cool deck, and a not very good or powerful deck, ultimately. Eldrazi Tron and Titanshift utterly murder you in any game in which everything doesn't line up perfectly for you.


    Tiers are only a measure of popularity. In and of themselves they indicate nothing about powerlevel.

    This is sort of true. With few exceptions, the best decks in Modern tend to also be Tier 1 decks. By "best decks" I mean those with the best matchup spectrum against the most top-tier decks. This is less true now because we have so little data that it's hard to tell what decks are good/prevalent and metagame appropriately, but it was definitely true in most Modern eras.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Standard continues to suck. Check out the horror of GP Portland and the Standard decks in the SCG Open and Cassic. What Modern-related implications do you think are in the pipeline? Is it a lack of strong answers? If so, better answers could filter into Modern after entering Standard. Is it a lack of color balance? Archetype diversity? I'm just curious how you think Wizards' R&D response to the *****show of Energy is going to play out for us. Thoughts?
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from AppleRobot »
    No one talking about how storm needs a ban now? oh my

    We're still tracking the deck's T3 win-rate which is currently around 12%. Storm ban talk is directly related to whether or not it is top-tier (it is) and whether or not it consistently wins pre-T4 (unclear, hence the tracking). I expect this will remain an open question until the PT.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from gkourou »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    http://www.starcitygames.com/events/coverage/4193_day_2_metagame_breakdown_.html

    I know it's a team Open so the meta is different, but that's still a beautiful metagame.


    Also, in this metagame, Energy decks in standard seem to have exactly 54% of the metagame. Now, talk about awful.

    Even if the meta is different, I agree that the metagame looks great!

    Yeah, I think GP Portland is an energy mess too. Hopefully this further pushes R&D away from the horrible design philosophy of the last 2-3 years and back to more of the generic answers and interactive cards that make Magic what it is. It also further drops the chances of a January unban; Wizards will probably dedicate more time to solving the mess of Standard.

    Also, slightly unrelated, I was not thrilled to see Tom Ross added to play design. On the one hand, he knows many formats and is probably a solid add. On the other, he's one of the worst ban maniacs in the last few years, infamously predicting a Nahiri ban 6 months out from Nahiri's May 2016 debut. He had some other doozies too. This kind of bad judgment worries me, even if Tom isn't involved in R&D decisions.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    http://www.starcitygames.com/events/coverage/4193_day_2_metagame_breakdown_.html

    I know it's a team Open so the meta is different, but that's still a beautiful metagame.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    A few days ago, a user stated something to the effect of "If Storm is a T4 violator, so too are Counters Company and Affinity." That last time, we saw this was not true with either deck. Affinity averaged a 6% T3 win rate in an n=3000 2015 sample, and Counters Company averaged 3.6%. Accounting for possible sampling error, that means Company is likely to have a real T3 win% between 0% an 10.7%, which means there is only a 4% chance it matches the win % of the last known T4 rule violator of Amulet Bloom (which averaged 17%-18%).

    One argument against this is that Affinity's 6% T3 win rate happened in the more interactive 2015 era, so perhaps Affinity would see an increase in the allegedly less interactive 2017 period of Modern. So I re-ran the analysis for Affinity in summer-fall 2017 and saw how things looked. In those approximately 60 games sampled from major paper events, I found Affinity averaged a 5.3% T3 win rate. Accounting for possible sampling error, that means the true Affinity T3 win rate is somewhere between 0% and 14%, meaning there is only a 3% chance it matches Bloom's 17%-18% T3 win rate from 2015. Statistically speaking, it is very unlikely Affinity is a real T4 violator, both looking at 2015 and 2017 data. In fact, given that my sample finds Affinity at a 5.3% T3 win rate, and the n=3000 sample had it at 6%, I'd say 6% is a very good estimation for Affinity's T3 win rate.

    Also, some Storm update. I supplemented Caleb's Twitch data with data from recent major paper tournaments. This brings our N up to 175.

    Storm avg T3 win rate: 12%
    Storm T3 win rate range: 7.2% - 16.8%
    Chance that Storm has same T3 win rate as Bloom: 19.3%

    As we keep adding data to the Storm sample, the T3 win rate keeps falling. It has dropped from something like 14.5% down to 12% flat, which has also dropped its chances that it mirrors Bloom's win rate: 36% a few weeks ago to 19.3% now.

    The next step will be figuring out Infect's/Bloo's/DSZ's T4 win rate. This could totally change our results; if those decks averaged a lower T3 win rate than Bloom, that would shift the bar lower and could dramatically increase the odds of a Storm banning. Or it could mirror the Bloom T3 win rate, in which case the odds won't shift much. Stated differently, maybe the T4 rule "cutoff" isn't 18% (Bloom) but is actually 14% (Infect/Bloo/DSZ), in which case the chances of Storm matching that 14% cutoff are much higher. Or Infect/Bloo/DSZ are all at 18% too, and nothing changes. Either way, I will be interested to see and report the results. No promises on an exact timeline.
    Posted in: Modern
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