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    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from damagecase »
    I believe you mean, unbanned. And I don't rightly care. Its a topic of conversation. My point with DRS is not so much that it's banned or that it could be unbanned but rather that the precedent set by it isn't a good one and it was one of the initial cards that set modern down this path. And if that is what you read into it, you need to get your intuition fixed. I play mostly fish now.

    Well, you have a BG Rock with a heart next to it at the top of your signature, and so far none of your arguments have made much sense about DRS's unbanning. So either you secretly want it for BGx, which would at least explain why you want it back, or you're just willing to ignore all of the initial reasons for its banning and Wizards entire diversity ban criterion to advance some strange argument that no one else is making. Is it just for the sake of "conversation?" I just don't get it. Do you even have answers to my questions of what decks does DRS actually help right now? Or what format problems does it fix?
    Posted in: Modern
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    posted a message on Modern Cheeri0s - Puresteel Equipment Storm
    Quote from LeoninKha »
    I like Faith's Shield, it can protect you from other Grapeshot decks and / or protect your Engine

    Shield isn't great in this deck or this metagame. It doesn't protect our engines from either countermagic or discard. Song does both. That's a huge problem because the biggest threat to our deck (DS strategies) all play 6-8 discard spells plus a fast clock. Sure, it can save you from Eidolon, but Song even counter Eidolon without losing you percentage points against discard strategies.
    Quote from Crush2200 »
    Quote from LeoninKha »
    I like Faith's Shield, it can protect you from other Grapeshot decks and / or protect your Engine
    as long as you don't bring it in against burn's eidolon and they have leyline of punishment in play

    Almost no competitive Burn lists play Leyline. Maybe this is a local metagame thing for you, but on MTGO or at most larger events, they basically don't exist.
    Quote from Shaffalahien »
    Recently I've started useing 4 discard inquistions/thoutsizes I m pretty happy with that, of course still runing mentors which are second best card I think.

    They do a lot of work don't they? I had solid results with them in Vancouver. I tried squeezing in 5 recently, but at 5 protection slots the engine lost a lot of reliability.

    Yeah, 5 protection spells is too many. You lose too much consistency early on and produce too many dead draws. I do like the idea of discard as a SB plan in certain matchups, but I doubt I'd go 5+ in the 60 at any time. Too much combo dilution.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from damagecase »
    I'm pretty sure, if you look at the win numbers, it under performed. Yes it was always there but it didn't put up wins like say Twin did. DRS never caused jund to win before turn 4. People just played it because it was good and interactive. BTW, isn't SFM usually played in the same deck as DRS? I mean you guys are talking about Deathblade builds when you refer to how impactful DRS is in Legacy. Yeah, impactful with a bunch of other banned cards and stuff not even in modern...

    Why do you even want DRS banned? What format issue is it addressing? Or are you just claiming it should be unbanned because it would be safe in the format? Because right now, the only thing I read in your arguments is that you are a BGx player and you personally want the card.
    Posted in: Modern
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    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more! (3/13 update)
    Why on earth are we discussing DRS? It doesn't address any of Modern's few remaining challenges and directly slots into numerous top-tier decks. It was also demonstrably broken during a period of Modern's history and those conditions haven't changed much since then (Jund was Tier 1 for the entirety of 2016; DRS decks would happily use DRS). It's such a silly nonstarter. When these kinds of cards are reintroduced to the dialogue, I know Modern is in a pretty good place.
    Posted in: Modern
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    posted a message on Modern Cheeri0s - Puresteel Equipment Storm
    Quote from Shaffalahien »

    I really recommend giving the 3-4 noxious revival package a try for just this reason. It deals with all of the DS discard/removal, and if unnecessary for that purpose it helps your combo as well.

    I'm on 2 NR main and 2 threats, with +1 NR in the board.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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    posted a message on Modern Cheeri0s - Puresteel Equipment Storm
    That's really good to keep in mind. Thanks. I struggle a little bit with sideboarding, so I'm working on fixing up my SB skills. I'll definitely need some good practice, hopefully once school winds down to a close, I'll have some time where I can head off to FNMs.

    I was thinking about picking up some leylines, the list I'm basing mine off of has 4 leylines SB, but also doesn't run SSG. Is that recommended? I don't know if anyone at locals is using Death Shadow or not. I'll have to go scout it out a little more. Though, after I graduate, I'll be moving to one of the best stores in the state, so... Woo! There'll almost certainly be Death Shadow and Jund there.
    Quote from Crush2200 »
    That's really good to keep in mind. Thanks. I struggle a little bit with sideboarding, so I'm working on fixing up my SB skills. I'll definitely need some good practice, hopefully once school winds down to a close, I'll have some time where I can head off to FNMs.

    I was thinking about picking up some leylines, the list I'm basing mine off of has 4 leylines SB, but also doesn't run SSG. Is that recommended? I don't know if anyone at locals is using Death Shadow or not. I'll have to go scout it out a little more. Though, after I graduate, I'll be moving to one of the best stores in the state, so... Woo! There'll almost certainly be Death Shadow and Jund there.
    I used leylines for awhile, but mulling to hit one led to some crap hands that died from straight beat down. Proactive discard or a multi threat sideboard seems a more consistent path forward. Some of the others have put in a lot more reps and other thoughts

    Leylines were spotty before DS decks. Against traditional Jund and Abzan, you didn't have to worry about fast clocks so you could reasonably keep 7 card hands with Leyline and no engine (as long as they had SV or Retract/Opal) and still be reasonably confident you'd stay alive long enough to draw action. You still ran into issues with dead Leyline draws later in the game or during a combo sequence, but at least you were in good shape if you opened with Leyline. Because when Leyline is active, Abzan/Jund have far more dead draws and might be stuck on slower hands with discard/Lily that can't close games quickly. Sometimes opponents keep an opener with TS/IoK/Lily plus lands and something like Ooze, in which case Leyline virtually mulls them to 4.

    DS decks change this, especially DS Jund. Even if you turn off their discard, you still lose to fast clocks that kill you by T4. This is anywhere from 1-3 turns faster than you would see in the traditional BGx matchup. That means Leyline is only good in the roughly 15% of games where you have engine + Leyline + land in your opener, and very bad in the other 85% of games. It's even worse topdecked, because any given draw matters much more against a faster deck.

    Even against traditional BGx, I was off Leyline and on Outcome. Outcome dodged IoK, recovered from discard if topdecked, and was the only thing that could save you from an active Lily if you were handlocked. Outcome is too slow for DS decks, but the concept lives on: you need something that both protects you from early discard and doesn't create dead draws later. Threats fit this bill much more than Leylines.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from Varyag »
    I was looking at the colorless Eldrazi Tron list that is nearing 5% of the meta and it struck me how many cards from the same set it runs. Enabled by the super easy ramp provided by Eldrazi Temple and to a lesser extent the Tron lands, it churns out things other Tron decks had to be quite tuned to produce. RG Tron devotes a lot of slots to enabling its combo, whereas U Tron has been refined for a long time.

    Don't you guys think it was a design mistake (and sort of boring, from a deckbuilding perspective) to print so many synergistic and stupidly powerful cards and enable them to run on what is in some ways a perfect manabase?

    Matter Reshaper
    Thought-Knot Seer
    Reality Smasher
    Endbringer

    So many 2 for 1 effects stuck on large bodies, cast for pennies. I mean, just look at that curve. Every card is a slap to the face and they just get more ridiculous in their abilities each turn. Endbringer can barely fit all the shenanigans on the card itself, lol.

    Just to be clear, I'm not complaining that its unbeatable, but I do think its powercreep and not of the interesting variety. Its practically a green beatdown deck with a number of overpowering effects tacked on every single creature... just because?


    This is ultimately just a "State of Modern" issue, so it's merged with the main thread.
    Posted in: Modern
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    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more! (3/13 update)
    I'm not sure where this thread is going other than prohibited "ban ___" or "deck ____ makes me mad" territory. Can someone clarify this for me? This topic will likely just be merged with the State of Modern thread.
    Posted in: Modern
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    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from Kovo »
    Quote from Rogomatic »
    Quote from Kovo »
    Revolt Zoo with SSG is the real deal. Seriously. 12 damage turn 1 and like 4 bodies on the field.

    And what happens if you don't draw into the magical fairyland opening? :p


    Happened 25% of the time when I tested against it. Other times it was on turn 2 or 3.

    We can't weigh results like this too much. I'm still enjoying a 35% T2-T3 win rate on Cheeri0s, but no one can breach an Open/GP T32 with the deck. Barely any T8s at smaller events either. This just underscores that personal experiences with "broken" decks need to be taken with many grains of salt.
    Posted in: Modern
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    posted a message on Explain Modern to Me
    Quote from JamesPrzytul »
    So I picked up 3 modern masters 2017 boxes.

    0 goyfs, 0 liliana, 0 cavern, 2 snaps (have 1 prior), 1 of each zendikar fetch (already have playset of each khan/onslaught fetch), 2 blood moons, 4 death's shadow. (Crappy boxes I know)

    Here is what I am wondering...

    First, what is modern's critical goldfish turn? What turn does a deck in modern typically attempt to win?

    Welcome to the format! Always exciting to get new players on board.

    Re: goldfish turn
    If you're an aggro or combo deck, you should be goldfishing no later than T4. Affinity, Burn, Merfolk, Dredge, and Ad Nauseam are good benchmarks here.
    For basically all other decks (ramp, midrange, tempo, proactive control, etc.) your goal should be T5. Abzan, Jund, Bant Eldrazi, Death's Shadow decks, Valakut, and others are good examples.
    Also, it's okay to win later if you virtually win by T4 or T5 in goldfish scenarios. Virtual wins include T3 Karn into T4 Ugin, 10 trillion life on T4 with Abzan Company, or a Bridge/Lantern/Bell lock with Lantern Control on T4.

    Re: win-turn in games
    In real matches, most games end around T6. Roughly 45% of games go longer than T6, and roughly 40% end earlier, with about 15% right in the middle on T6 itself.
    I enjoy playing decks relying on a toolbox.

    Definitely see FoodChainGoblins' suggestion here:
    Toolbox decks are Abzan Company and Kiki Chord. Unfortunately, you'll need to pick up most of the cards.

    Kiki Chord - http://articles.mtgcardmarket.com/building-kiki-chord/

    Abzan Company - https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/576218

    Also, check out the official "What Deck Should I Play" thread for more help:
    http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/modern/602713-what-deck-should-i-play-thread
    Posted in: Modern
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    posted a message on [Deck] Pillow Fort Prison- White-X Enchantment Control
    Thread stickied!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on [Deck] BR Vampires
    Thread stickied!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Thread stickied!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on [Primer] RG Ponza / Modern Land Destruction
    Thread promoted to Developing Competitive! Also, changed thread name.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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    posted a message on Colorless Eldrazi Stompy
    Thread stickied!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Grixis Midrange/Control - "Blue Jund" (5/2016 - 3/2017)
    Thread locked and archived. Please continue the Grixis discussion in the more centralized Grixis Control thread:
    http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/modern/tier-2-modern/603567-grixis-control
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more! (3/13 update)
    I'll also add that I don't think the Twin and DS comparison is appropriate, even if I've made it myself and see where it comes from. A much more appropriate examples is Delver in Legacy. It's a staple in numerous decks that enable those strategies. Rather than reduce diversity, its presence in a variety of different strategies increases net diversity by making otherwise unplayable strategies/colors better. We'll need to see how this plays out from a metagame standpoint, but if the data supports it, I'll fully support the comparison of DS/Modern with Delver/Legacy. This would frame DS in a much more positive light but, again, it's dependent on how DS actually plays out in the numbers.
    Posted in: Modern
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    posted a message on Modern Cheeri0s - Puresteel Equipment Storm
    Grixis Shadow is even scarier than Jund Shadow from a matchup perspective. Same discard, same fast clock, same removal, but also Snapcaster to buy back the disruption and Denial to stop the Retracts? Bolt instead of Tarfire too? Yuck. My poor MWP is falling like a stone.

    If the metagame keeps shifting away from Jund Shadow to Grixis Shadow, I'm much more inclined to try the black splash for Herald and drop Foundry entirely. I'm sure four colors isn't going to work, but UWB might. Although Herald really falls flat against Jund Shadow for a variety of reasons (e.g. Goyfs are too big, Ghor Clan + Battle Rage tramples over it, Lily sacs it, etc.), it lines up much better against Grixis. Herald beats up Tasigur, Angler, Delver, Snapcaster, and whatever other threats they are using.

    No idea what this manabase would look like, because BB is still a major problem with Herald. Assuming I stick with 3 SV, I can envision really awkward scenarios where SV on T1 can't develop into either Herald or Paladin on T2. Maybe something like this:

    1 Hallowed Fountain
    1 Godless Shrine
    2 Seachrome Coast
    1 Plains
    1 Fetid Heath
    4 Flooded Strand
    4 Marsh Flats
    1 Polluted Delta
    (+1 Concealed Courtyard)

    At 15 lands, this manabase only has three lands (Shrine, Heath, Plains) that can't cast T1 SV or Song. It has zero combinations of two lands that can't develop into T2 Paladin though, and zero combinations of two lands that can't activate Heath. Unfortunately, it has numerous land pairings that can't lead to a T2 Herald (Fountain + Coast, two Coast, Plains + Fountain). It also has 9 fetches and only 6 mana-producing lands, which isn't my favorite for longer games. At 16 lands with Courtyard, you reduce the number of T2-T3 lines that don't produce Herald, but you also make T1 SV/Song worse.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from Spsiegel1987 »
    It's most likely the way it's going and what will happen, I can't really defend it if so many decks feel obligated to slot it in.

    It won't fix the format, we're going to have a multitude of new issues once that ban takes place, Brisbane GP showed where the meta was heading.


    It's too bad really, because DS could be a good regulating force in Modern to reduce unfair deck shares. Especially ramp. Unfortunately, we can all envision a scenario where players forget their previous hate for ramp/combo and shift it to DS, and Wizards shortsightedly bans something because they perceive it as a diversity reducer. If DS went into Sultai, Grixis, and Jund decks but made all those strategies more viable, I'm personally comfortable with that. I'm even more comfortable with it if it increases format interactivity and allows unbans. But again, we can all see the scenario where players and Wizards gets upset with this and move towards a ban. It would be Twin all over again.
    Posted in: Modern
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    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from Barachai »
    Quote from DaveJacinto »

    The one and only culprit would be the DS itself. In my honest opinion if we need to ban DS it says more about the format than the card itself.

    This, many times over. If a one mana beatdown-only creature is in serious contention for banning, something is decidedly off in the format.

    I personally feel like it's the lack of both fast combo and good control.

    DS obliterates fast combo. Those decks are absolutely not checks on DS strategies.

    That said, control would be a check. DS decks, even the newer ones, struggle with concentrated removal and card advantage. A DS ban would underscore Modern's lack of viable controlling options. It would also underscore Wizards' absurd failure to print strong answers for years in a Standard format plagued by threats and battlecruiser Magic design.
    Posted in: Modern
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    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from pierrebai »
    Just bannning traverse the ulvenwald and street wraith would bring the deck down a notch and would allow to see if it's enough for it to be good but not dominating.

    Traverse allows them to find their next threat too easily. Wraith is a zero-mana permanent pump (for both shadow and marginally goyf) that doesn't cost a card.

    The complaint I hear is that Death's Shadow itself just slots into everything. Jund Death's Shadow uses Traverse and Wraith, but Grixis and Esper don't. Abzan and Sultai do, but again, the common thread here is DS slotting into everything.

    The question remains: to what extent is the current DS uptick a reflection of hype or a reflection of power? What's the equilibrium point?
    Posted in: Modern
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    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from Wraithpk »
    Sheridan, do you think you could extend your data out to top 32 as well, just so we get a bigger picture?

    Not enough data. Very few events report outside of T8. Those that do aren't typically reporting Day 2s or Round 1s. It only got worse after Wizards stopped publishing Day 2s and then even dropped the Top 100 in recent GP.
    Posted in: Modern
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    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more! (3/13 update)
    On the topic of skilled Modern players, if anyone is interested in watching Ari Lax navigate a really complicated board state, he has a great Eldrazi Evolution vs. Kiki Chord matchup here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNW02fgQTn4&index=4&list=PL5d1KNNFArSOwzVd4j4Sh6aYKbHgKxM_P

    Game 2 starts at 8:00 and you get to enjoy a mess of Flickerwisp, Deceiver Exarch, Restoration Angel, Deadeye Harpooner, and Kiki-Jiki triggers, all surrounding an active Nahiri. Really enjoyable stuff!
    Posted in: Modern
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    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more! (3/13 update)
    New thread! I'll kick off the discussion by reposting the numbers I put in the old thread:

    --------------------------------

    Finishing up some numbers on conversion rates and performance, using Day 2 to T8 data and Round 0 to T8 data from 8 different tournaments spanning 604 decks. Here were the top 10 most-played decks in the Day 2/Round 0 pool:

    1. Burn
    2. Abzan
    3. Gx Tron
    4. Death's Shadow Jund
    5. Affinity
    6. Titan Valakut
    7. Bant Eldrazi
    8. Grixis Control
    9. Merfolk
    10. Abzan Company
    Not many surprises here. It's basically the MN Tier 1 list with some Tier 2 standouts. Next, here were the top 10 highest performing decks based on their weighted conversion rates from the Day 2/Round 0 pool to the T8. This weighting tries to account for small Ns:

    1. Death's Shadow Jund
    2. Abzan
    3. Ad Nauseam
    4. Titan Valakut
    5. Affinity
    6. Bant Spirits
    7. Merfolk
    8. Eldrazi Tron
    9. Bant Eldrazi
    10. RG Ponza
    Here we see many Tier 1 lists but not all, and a mix of Tier 2 and Tier 3 options. If you're interested in high-performers, these are the decks for you. They overrepresented their Day 2/Round 0 share in the T8, suggesting strong conversion rates and high performance levels. Some aren't surprising, like DSJ, Bant Eldrazi, and Affinity. Others are more interesting, like Bant Spirits and RG Ponza.

    Finally, here were the decks that had the worst performance relative to their Day 2/Round 0 share. These are the "biggest loser" decks which are overrepresented in their tiering relative to their performance level (or, vice versa, underrepresented in their T8 share relative to their Day 2/Round 0 numbers):

    1. Burn
    2. Gx Tron
    3. Jund
    4. Grixis Control
    5. Infect
    6. Revolt Zoo
    7. Griselbrand
    8. Elves
    9. Dredge
    10. Bogles
    Again, a mix of lists throughout different tiers. Some aren't surprising; people have been saying Burn isn't good for a while, and this reinforces that conclusion. Gx Tron is also poorly positioned due to a rough DSJ matchup and other factors. Similarly, Grixis Control makes the list, confirming what I and others have been saying for a while: the deck is overrated and doesn't have the performance to back up its tiering. Also, RIP poor traditional Jund!

    Conclusion: play lists in the second category. Avoid lists in the third.
    Posted in: Modern
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    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Thread locked and archived. Please continue the conversation in the new State of Modern thread:
    http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/modern/773038-state-of-modern-thread-bans-format-health-reprints
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more! (3/13 update)
    Welcome to the State of Modern Thread!

    Lately, Modern community members have expressed interest in talking holistically about the challenges and problems facing Modern. Whether or not Modern has "challenges" or "problems" is up for debate, but what is clear is that people want to talk about all of these issues in one unified setting.

    As such, Modern staff are opening this thread as a replacement for the old "Banlist Discussion" thread and the "State of the Meta thread." You can use this thread to talk about any and all of these varied Modern issues and their intersection. This thread will be heavily moderated, so be sure to read the rules before posting; anyone who posts in this thread is assumed to have read and understood these rules.

    Allowed topics
    1. Bans, unbans, and all things related to the banlist and banlist policy
    2. Metagame health and diversity
    3. Reprint suggestions and reprint philosophy
    4. New cards and design philosophy
    5. Prices and Modern finance
    6. Archetype definitions
    7. Format health, successes, and challenges
    8. Anything that constructively relates to these different issues

    Prohibited topics and behavior
    1. All MTGS forum rules and Modern subforum rules apply here.
    2. Rules spotlight: No flaming (insulting other users) or trolling (baiting other users into a hostile response). Posts must be civil and respectful.
    3. Rules spotlight: No spamming. Posts must be constructive, on-topic, and supported with evidence and argumentation.
    4. No format bashing. If you don't like Modern, that's fine, but constructively/respectfully explain why and be optimistic.
    5. Similarly, do not use this thread to voice grievances, complaints, and personal gripes without constructive/respectful suggestions.
    6. If you see a user flaming, spamming, trolling, or breaking any other rule, report him/her instead of responding to it.

    The mod team will strictly enforce these rules. Please make this a place where people are unafraid to post constructive thoughts.



    Update from the 3/13/2017 B&R Announcement:
    No changes

    Next B&R Announcement:
    April 24, 2017

    Current DCI Modern Banned List


    Here are some reasons that cards are banned in Modern:


    The following are links to WotC's in-depth explanations as to why cards have or have not gotten banned since the beginning of the format:

    March 2017 no changes
    Gitaxian Probe and Golgari Grave-Troll are banned
    Eye of Ugin banned, Ancestral Vision and Sword of the Meek unbanned
    Summer Bloom and Splinter Twin banned.
    Birthing Pod/Treasure Cruise/Dig Through Time banned, Golgari Grave-Troll unbanned
    Bitterblossom/Nacatl unbanned. DRS banned
    Addition of Second Sunrise
    Addition of Bloodbraid Elf and Seething Song
    Removal of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
    3rd Banned List change with explanations
    2nd Banned List change with explanations
    1st Banned List change with explanations
    Community Cup Announcement with the Initial Ban List.



    Old threads:
    3/13/2017 - 3/23/2017
    12/8/2016 - 3/13/2017
    9/28/2016 - 12/10/2016
    7/18/2016 - 9/30/2016
    4/4/2016 - 7/18/2016
    1/16/2016 - 4/4/2016
    7/13/2015 - 1/16/2016
    1/19/2015 - 7/13/2015
    7/14/2014 - 1/19/2015
    2/9/2014 - 7/14/2014
    1/20/2014 - 2/10/2014
    6/23/2014 - 1/20/2014
    4/22/2013 - 6/23/213
    1/27/2013 - 4/22/13
    9/20/2012 - 1/27/2013
    7/19/2012 - 9/20/2012
    1/9/17
    Posted in: Modern
  • 2

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from wpgstevo »

    edit: If you are writing an article, an afterword regarding the implications of the rankings here with respect to tier ranking. Does this metric (the second list) better indicate the strength of deck than the tiering system?

    You need both. Prevalence-based tierings help you build sideboards and determine what decks you need to beat. Even if Bant Spirits is secretly good, you shouldn't prepare your sideboard for it. Performance-based tierings help you decide what decks are good and bad at any given time. Even if Burn sees lots of play, it turns out it's pretty bad.

    The former is easier to create and we can basically calculate them at any time. The latter is much harder and requires Day 2 and Round 0 data, which isn't consistently published and requires lots of scouring.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 4

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Finishing up some numbers on conversion rates and performance, using Day 2 to T8 data and Round 0 to T8 data from 8 different tournaments spanning 604 decks. Here were the top 10 most-played decks in the Day 2/Round 0 pool:

    1. Burn
    2. Abzan
    3. Gx Tron
    4. Death's Shadow Jund
    5. Affinity
    6. Titan Valakut
    7. Bant Eldrazi
    8. Grixis Control
    9. Merfolk
    10. Abzan Company
    Not many surprises here. It's basically the MN Tier 1 list with some Tier 2 standouts. Next, here were the top 10 highest performing decks based on their weighted conversion rates from the Day 2/Round 0 pool to the T8. This weighting tries to account for small Ns:

    1. Death's Shadow Jund
    2. Abzan
    3. Ad Nauseam
    4. Titan Valakut
    5. Affinity
    6. Bant Spirits
    7. Merfolk
    8. Eldrazi Tron
    9. Bant Eldrazi
    10. RG Ponza
    Here we see many Tier 1 lists but not all, and a mix of Tier 2 and Tier 3 options. If you're interested in high-performers, these are the decks for you. They overrepresented their Day 2/Round 0 share in the T8, suggesting strong conversion rates and high performance levels. Some aren't surprising, like DSJ, Bant Eldrazi, and Affinity. Others are more interesting, like Bant Spirits and RG Ponza.

    Finally, here were the decks that had the worst performance relative to their Day 2/Round 0 share. These are the "biggest loser" decks which are overrepresented in their tiering relative to their performance level (or, vice versa, underrepresented in their T8 share relative to their Day 2/Round 0 numbers):

    1. Burn
    2. Gx Tron
    3. Jund
    4. Grixis Control
    5. Infect
    6. Revolt Zoo
    7. Griselbrand
    8. Elves
    9. Dredge
    10. Bogles
    Again, a mix of lists throughout different tiers. Some aren't surprising; people have been saying Burn isn't good for a while, and this reinforces that conclusion. Gx Tron is also poorly positioned due to a rough DSJ matchup and other factors. Similarly, Grixis Control makes the list, confirming what I and others have been saying for a while: the deck is overrated but doesn't have the performance to back up its tiering. Also, RIP poor traditional Jund!

    Conclusion: play lists in the second category. Avoid lists in the third.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 0

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from wpgstevo »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    For every Amulet Bloom and Lantern Control, there are a dozen Faeries, RG Ponzas, Goblins, Allies, Tezzerators, Mono U Trons, 4C Gifts, Slivers, Eggs, and many, many other decks that are just as poorly positioned and sub-optimal as their standings indicate. As I said in a previous post, I suspect about 90%-95% of Tier 3 decks are exactly where they belong. 5%-10% are better.
    This might be the case, but how would we ever know whether its 1% or 25%? Especially given just how long a deck like amulet bloom or lantern control hung around until multiple good performances forced pros to practice the deck and show what the skill ceiling looked like. Until a pro demonstrates the skill ceiling, we just won't know which decks are underperforming their skill ceiling.

    I don't have a good way of analyzing which decks have a potentially undemonstratedly higher skill ceiling than their ranking implies, anyone got ideas on this? What attributes or features in decks like amulet bloom and lantern control can we use to help identify other decks whose skill ceiling has not been reached?

    I back-of-the-napkinned 5%-10% based on a quick breakdown of previous Tier 1, 2, and 3 listings, identifying Tier 3 (or untiered) decks that ultimately breached Tier 1 or Tier 2 after "discovery." I then took that number as a percentage of all the decks that didn't breach those tiers, excluding any deck that didn't hit a baseline metagame percentage in the first place. If I include those bottom-of-the-barrel options, it's actually about 1% or less of decks. Excluding those, it's about 5%-10%, depending on where you set the cutoff.

    Of course, there's no way to know this with certainty. IN THEORY, it is true that ANY of those untiered decks could be secretly Tier 2, 1, or even 0! But that's a nonsense approach which leaves us with nowhere to go. If instead you use historic data to make an estimate, it's in that range. A more accurate estimate would be between <1% and 10% of Tier 3 or lower decks, if you really want to look at every single deck in Modern circulation.

    EDIT: I'll also say that people put WAY too much weight on Bloom as some breakout deck. We tracked this as Tier 2 as early as 2014; its MTGO performance was impressive. If anything, this is a testament to the tiering system, which caught Bloom as Tier 2 before most people acknowledged it. The only real stunner was Lantern Control. Bloo was also a breakout hit.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 0

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from h0lydiva »

    I'm sorry but at this point I don't take metagame numbers any seriously when discussing the strenght of a deck. I know people, some here, put a lot of good work at it, and I respect it and enjoy it. But Amulet Bloom, Lantern, DS, even Bloo and others were strong decks before they started to see shares, and in the case of my own deck, Bloo, I know for a fact that it was stronger than metagame shares even showed. In its case, many people thought it was a joke brainless deck, in Amulet Bloom's, hard to play, in Lantern's case, janky and hard to play. In DS's case, we just ignored it while it was already busted until Sam Black decided we were not ignoring it any longer.

    For every Amulet Bloom and Lantern Control, there are a dozen Faeries, RG Ponzas, Goblins, Allies, Tezzerators, Mono U Trons, 4C Gifts, Slivers, Eggs, and many, many other decks that are just as poorly positioned and sub-optimal as their standings indicate. As I said in a previous post, I suspect about 90%-95% of Tier 3 decks are exactly where they belong. 5%-10% are better.

    Now, if you know your metagame and can choose a deck to beat that known metagame, tiers matter a lot less. There's this guy in Japan who gets T8 in 1-2 Modern events every week with Nykthos Green, and he's been doing it for at least 2 years. But in open fields and large events full of unknown opponents, they matter a lot more.

    EDIT: I'll also say that some Tier 2 decks are potentially as viable as some Tier 1 decks, but just haven't caught on. That's not true for all Tier 2 decks, but it does apply to some.
    So no, metagame numbers are fine to see, well, how a metagame looks. But to say a deck is bad because it doesn't show doesn't fly to me. And the opposite. Jund has been an awful choice for I don't know how many months, and only now has finally dropped out of tier 1. I guess a lot of people that straight refused to believe Jund wasn't good have finally accepted it. And there are a lot of examples like these.

    This isn't quite right. Traditional Jund was actually really good for most of 2016 but isn't as good now when you have DS Jund competing for spots. I suspect Traditional Jund is still better than many give credit, just as DS Jund isn't quite as good as its standings show, but this is the new BGx equilibrium for now. And again, it's not because Jund was secretly bad in 2016. It's that DS Jund has taken old Jund's share.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 0

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from Billiondegree »
    I know its not a really good reason, but one concern for having both Preordain and Serum Visions legal in modern is that a lot of decks would end up playing both and since the effects are the same except for doing things in a different order, players could mix up the order when playing one of the two.

    For example, cast Serum Visions scry first then draw. Or the opposite.

    Might happen or might not, but it could lead to many judge calls.

    If R&D thinks this is a reason to keep Preordain banned, none of them should be working on R&D. I appreciate logistical issues being a good reason to ban cards, but the bar for that should be tournament-wrecking logistical issues like those surrounding Sunrise and Top. Judge calls because players can't read their cards should never be an issue.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 0

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from MemoryLapse »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    "No changes" for Modern was expected. An unban would have been nice. A ban would have been outrageous.

    I'll be pushing hard for controlling/reactive blue decks to get their unban soon. Lots of numbers to publish and discussion to spark!
    What card do you think would change things if unbanned? You can't possibly mean jtms.

    I'm still on team Preordain. It helps blue decks find generic answers, it helps them find specialized answers, and it helps them find win conditions. It also does this in the early stages of the game, avoiding many non-games that cause many blue decks to be so weak in Modern. There are more Tier 2 controlling blue decks (Grixis Delver, Grixis Control, Jeskai Control) than Tier 2 combo decks (Ad Nauseam, Gifts Storm), and those controlling decks have higher average shares and more consistent appearance in the top-tier. This leads me to believe their benefit from Preordain would outweigh the combo decks' benefit from Preordain.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 2

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from rogue_LOVE »

    Yep, I'd say that's a very good case for a facepalm. I was just saying I don't think the first case you brought up is that bad.

    Although I agree those quotes are as facepalmy as they get, the Opt case is also bad. I don't think Opt would have been at all problematic in Standard, and I don't trust the Wizards Standard testing process for a minute. The last few Standard seasons have been very polarized (at best) and totally broken (at worst), including flagrant testing failures like a lack of strong answers and missing Copy Cat. Opt's failure to make it through the testing process feels very much like a problem with the process and not the card. That sucks for Modern because we're stuck getting cards through Standard.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 1

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from rogue_LOVE »

    I actually don't think this is quite as facepalmy as that. Even though I have no doubts that Opt would be fine in Standard power-level wise, I can see the case for hesitating on a 1-CMC instant-speed cantrip-with-a-little-filtering when you're in the early stages of experimenting with Prowess and you've just printed Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time (not to mention Tasigur and Angler). Given that, the wording of his post sounds 100% reasonable to me; he didn't say "Opt is too good for Standard," he said "...it was not the right time for it."

    Stoddard and the rest of R&D/D&D don't like these cards in Standard. See his "Development Risks" article:

    http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/latest-developments/development-risks-modern-2015-05-22
    Quote from Sam Stoddard »

    That being said, there are three kinds of cards that we are very careful about printing in Standard both because we don't particularly like what they do in Standard...

    He then proceeds to talk about "cheap and efficient card filtering." He then drops this gem:
    Quote from Sam Stoddard »

    his is one of the risks of having cheap card filtering, and one of the reasons we moved away from doing it in Standard. We print cards like Anticipate, but I don't think we will make another one-mana cantrip with card selection attached to it any time soon. It just doesn't incentivize the kinds of games we want to see play out.

    This is exactly as face-palmy as it seems and it's impossible to not think of Opt in that context.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 0

    posted a message on Is it time to bring back old school Extended?
    Quote from icehippo »
    With the rise in popularity of Frontier...

    I challenge this notion of a "rise in popularity." Article coverage of the format has been virtually nonexistent these past weeks, most of the major events dropped all their Frontier side events after many didn't fire, and even Japanese Frontier tournament attendance is still much lower than it is at Japanese Modern events. I focus on the Japanese attendance issue because this is the target audience for Frontier and many of these events are launched by the company that pushed Frontier in the first place! But when a Sunday Frontier event draws only 16 people and the Modern one is still drawing 38, or 13 for Frontier and 30 for Modern on the same day, that points to some underlying problems. Indeed, in the Hareruya circuit and tracked tournaments, Frontier attendance is about equal to Standard attendance; Modern is still ahead on most days.

    If Frontier can't gain traction in that core target market, there's no way it's going to succeed elsewhere. This is what happens when companies launch formats primarily to sell unpopular stock.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • 0

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from wpgstevo »
    Preordain on the level with Mental Misstep? Can't fathom how one would reach that conclusion, unless one thought Mental Misstep to be safe. Sometimes I've wondered if MM would be safe, but I've never played with the card so I'll trust everyone's disgust with the idea (and its banning in Legacy). Infect with MM seems rough.

    Honestly, some of his analyses aren't what I would call "thorough." It takes him about 50 words to dismiss both P&P and he never even mentions their application in non-combo decks. SFM, JTMS, BBE, and Twin get a more in-depth treatment but, again, it's hardly comprehensive.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 0

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from AvalonAurora »

    Did WotC really ever say Opt was too powerful for Standard while they recently printed Oath of Nissa?

    Yup.

    https://twitter.com/samstod/status/602502299726970880
    Quote from Sam Stoddard »

    @Walaoumpa For example, I tried Opt in Origins for a while, but Delve + JeskaiAscendency + MonestaryMentor meant it was not the time for it.

    This underscores how terrified Wizards is of blue.

    In other news, Shaun McLaren makes some unbanning cases today (premium):
    http://www.starcitygames.com/article/34778_Should-We-Unban-Anything-In-Modern.html

    Interestingly, he thinks Twin and BBE are safe unbans but JTMS and SFM are "safe-but-risky-longshots." Everything else is either a no-fly to him or risky and improbable (e.g. Majors believes Preordain is in the same risk bracket as Mental Misstep).

    If nothing else, I'm happy to see authors and players are having the conversation about unbans. It's an important start to actual change.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 2

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from idSurge »
    Completely agree colt, that card really shows how blue has lost its way.

    I'm going to ask Maro, Sam and Forsythe about that...
    Quote from AvalonAurora »
    Quote from Colt47 »
    I think blues problem is that other colors have been usurping its powers and benefits too much. Green just got LifeCrafter's Bestiary, and even though it's not exactly the most playable modern card, it illustrates the issue well enough. At this rate Wizards may just have to reinvent blue to give it a new lease on life while still keeping it true to what the color is supposed to represent. It's sort of funny looking back at Time Spiral block and realizing that colorshifted cards never really left.

    I was under the impression that green was always secondary in that kind of stuff after blue, what with stuff like Mirri's Guile, and likes doing card draw focused around creatures and lands as well. I think the problem is more that green got something like that without blue getting something as well that is either slightly more flexible, or slightly better (but focused around instant/sorcery rather than creature/land), since it's the sort of thing that is supposed to be primarily blue.

    An additional problem is that blue lost both its stronger cheap selection spells (things like Opt were deemed too powerful in recent Standard sets) and its countermagic (Mana Leak was long considered too good for Standard). Hopefully the recent calamities of Standard seasons will help get Wizards to swing the pendulum more towards the middle. Modern would greatly benefit as a result.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 0

    posted a message on Modern Cheeri0s - Puresteel Equipment Storm
    Looking at the results, the best placing Cheeri0s decks are all UWr, and it looks like we are running into the most trouble in Day 2s against the increased DS Jund concentration. Based on this, I want to drop the core list down to 19 equipment from 20, drop the Hurkyl's Recall, and maybe drop 1 Song. This frees up three slots for three threats, or 2 threats and +1 SV.

    Has anyone tried Thopter Foundry against DS Jund? I'm very tempted. It bombos hard with Retract, but attacks DS Jund on three axes simultaneously: chumping Goyfs and Shadows, gaining life, and presenting an aerial clock. K Command ruins your day, but the other removal doesn't hit Foundry.

    For those splashing black, are you doing it with Foundry? Or are you going UWb with no way to hardcast Grapeshot outside of Opal?
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • 0

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from Aazadan »
    I know there's very little talk about unbanning SDT, and even the occasional talk about banning it in Legacy, but that's a card I want to talk about for a bit.

    The original justification for banning SDT was due to tournament logistics, but we have far fewer modern GP's now, and it's not a tournament format. While Modern is still popular it's mainly at smaller events where logistics aren't as big an issue and the format fights durdling well.

    Would we finally get a real control deck in the format if we unbanned SDT, and probably swap banned Counterbalance? It would open up a Miracles deck into the format, albeit a Miracles deck that lacks the CB lock, Council's Judgment, or the best counterspells in the game. It seems to me like it could bring a few new decks in, and likely slow the format by a couple of turns. It would also help to fix the sideboard problem by letting players see more of their deck.

    It's definitely a powerful card, but I think it could do good things potentially. What am I missing?

    As long as paper MTG doesn't use a chess clock system, the logistical issues are too steep. Wizards unquestionably has data on this from old Extended and I sincerely doubt they want to revisit that data in Modern:

    http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/latest-developments/behind-september-2008-br-changes-2008-09-05
    Quote from Latest Developments from 9/2008 »
    The constant activating of Sensei's Divining Top bogs games down, which ultimately leads to an increase in the number of matches that go to time and beyond, which in turn leads to tournaments running much longer than they have historically. Furthermore, the Top encourages players to maximize the number of shuffle effects they play in a deck and the constant shuffling, cutting, presenting to an opponent to repeat the process, and then continuation of a turn exacerbated the situation.

    Even if Wizards swap-banned CB (which they've never done in any case, so this itself is kind of a moot point), Top would still cause these issues in Modern because selection is so bad. Top would be such a dramatic improvement over everything else that many decks would use it. And even if only a handful of decks used it, it only takes that small handful to break a tournament and cause rounds to go long.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 1

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from wpgstevo »
    Would it be then fair to say that, in your estimation, the "Overall metagame %" isn't indicative of a deck's strength/viabiliity? Even if it wasn't the only indicator, the fact that two decks can share the exact "Overall metagame %" and have such a wide disparity in how you characterize them, it follows that "Overall metagame %" is one of the less important indicators (in your estimation).

    Agree/disagree? Just a feature of the dataset?


    I wouldn't say "Overall metagame % is one of the less important indicators." It's still important. Many decks with similar shares are similarly viable. But there are exceptions, like Ad Naus vs. Jeskai.

    Without MWP numbers, the best way to determine deck strength would be as follows. First, find the deck shares for overall, paper, MTGO, Day 2, and major event T8. Then rank those shares within each category. Then, find the conversion rate between Day 2 and T8 and rank those too. Finally, calculate an average (or weighted average) of those rankings. That average ranking would be the best proxy for their overall metagame strength.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 0

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from acc95 »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Based on everything, I'd say Grixis is as viable as some of the better Tier 2 decks like Merfolk and Ad Nauseam, but not as viable as the Tier 1 decks. All the other reactive blue decks are Bad with a capital B. This is a pretty steep decline from 2015 Modern, and I doubt Wizards intended it.
    I really don't understand how Ad Nauseam is one of the better decks while Jeskai Control is bad. Both are Tier 2 and both are currently 2.1% decks. The "tier 2 decks are bad decks" vibe I usually feel in this thread is annoying to be honest. I can understand that Tier 1 decks are better, I agree they are, but Tier 2 decks are by definition above average (isn't Nexus tier points system based on est. deviation?), yet many simply dismiss them altogether. I mean, some will even argue Eye of Ugin Eldrazi was the only good modern deck ever (not calling names here). Can we please have a serious conversation on this subject without derailing into Twin talk? This goes far beyond blue reactive decks.

    Review the numbers in that post. Ad Nauseam had a very respectable Open performance and some great Day 2 to T8 conversions. Not a single copy of Jeskai Control, Midrange, or Copy Cat even made T32, despite collectively sending 5 people to Day 2. Again, the GP picture complicates this because we don't have the Day 2 #s, but the data we do have shows that Ad Naus and Jeskai had the same numberof T32 appearances (Ad Naus at 27th for Vancouver, Copy Cat at 28th for Brisbane). With two equal GP performances and a massive disparity in Open performances, Ad Naus emerges here as the better deck by a considerable margin.

    This is a serious conversation even if you disagree with elements of it. You also don't need to engage it if you don't want to; numerous other topics were discussed over many of the past pages.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 1

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from wpgstevo »
    I guess if you're just looking at it through the prism of comparing the decks to Twin, I suppose all other decks would appear to be Bad with a capital B. This, in my mind, is similar to players who want Pod back because of how "bad" coco decks are.

    The difference is that Wizards didn't make any specific suggestions or promise about the post-Pod decks. There was no "supplanting similar decks" comment in that announcement. It was much more general: "Over time, this creates a growing gap between the strength of the Pod deck and other creature decks." Non-Pod creature decks definitely increased after Pod's banning, which means this goal was successful. So although I might sympathize with ex-Pod players who want Company to be Tier 1, that's just their personal preference. It's not a Wizards goal; Wizards wanted non-Pod creature decks to succeed after Pod's banning, and they did. By contrast, Wizards seemed to specifically believe that supplanted blue decks would come back to pick up some Twin share. That promise was not fulfilled, which is at least one problem and shortcoming of the ban.
    But then I thought they would release preordain and/or sfm on the jan announcement, so I'm not sure WotC is really keen on any unbans at all. If that's the case, all the complaints of how much worse non-twin decks are than twin (in fact, twin was banned for being too good) isn't really serving a purpose.

    I expected the unban would follow in April or July. Last year, we had two big bans in January, and then two great unbans (and a necessary ban) in April. This year, we had another pair of big bans in January, so I expect Wizards will consider unbans in this coming announcement, depending on their assessment of metagame health.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 0

    posted a message on Modern Cheeri0s - Puresteel Equipment Storm
    Quote from Shaffalahien »

    Bob...seems...great! Just seeing them grumble over whether to let it live might be well worth it. Drawing extra cheeri0s for 0 life would be pretty groovy. Going to begin the testing now. With Herald MD I don't dig it, but everything else is 2 or less, so well worth it against the heavy removal MU's at least.

    Quote from KTROJAN »
    Yeah the fact that they'll almost always burn their removal on bob made him appealing to me.

    I'm nervous about Bob's ability to improve our current worst matchup: DS Jund. It hurts us, doesn't threaten to win the game, and isn't guaranteed to find gas. That's really risky against a deck with disruption and a fast clock. I do think Bob would be solid against decks like traditional Jund, Abzan, or Grixis, but DS Jund is a different beast.

    How bad is Wind-Kin Raiders? It's on-color and generally comes down a turn earlier than Herald, but it dies to Bolt. Then again, DS Jund doesn't really play Bolt, so that's more a general weakness than a specific one for that matchup. Raiders also hits for 4 instead of 5 so it's slower, which might outweigh coming down a turn earlier than Herald.

    Freejam Regent? Comes down a turn earlier than Herald and is on-color (I play a maindeck Foundry). This is playable T1 with some SSG builds too and is spectacular with Rugged Prairie. Regent doesn't die to Bolt and, with a little mana investment, actually clocks faster than Herald.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • 3

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from wpgstevo »
    Jeskai's 3rd place in an SCG classic doesn't get it out of the Bad with a capital B category?

    I think we have different views on what constitutes a great deck, a good deck, and a bad deck. At least part of our disconnect is based on what achievements are required to no longer be "Bad". I'm sure there are lots of tier 2-3 decks that would qualify as "Bad" under your evaluation, which seems wrong on the face of it.

    Classics aren't very impressive to me, and also have no Day 2 data. On top of that, Jeskai was awful at both the GP and Open level, so one Classic performance doesn't change that narrative.

    The issue isn't with Tier 2 decks being bad or worse than Tier 1 options. That's inevitable and okay in any format, let alone Modern. The issue is that Wizards banned Twin (in part) to free up "supplant[ed]" decks doing similar things, and those decks did not pick up any of Twin's share and have a virtually identical performance to their performance before the ban. The issue gets worse when Wizards unbanned two cards to help controlling decks and those cards made very little impact (one sees some play, the other sees zero). The current state of blue seems to be at odds with the goals of those two banlist changes.

    Now, let's say Wizards had been a little clearer with its Twin intentions. If they had said "our goal with this ban is to reduce the number of top-tier blue decks seeing play; right now, they make up 20% of the format and we want that number closer to 10%-15%" (or something to that effect), then we'd have a different discussion. In that case, the ban would have actually been a success and we'd be stuck arguing about if that was a good or bad goal in the first place. But as it stands, we don't really know the goal in the first place. All we know is that it was to remove Twin and, in all likelihood, to shake up the Pro Tour. Wizards mentions enough other motivations in that update for us to assume this wasn't the only goal, which leaves us in a scenario where we believe some goals were accomplished (PT shakeup, Twin dead) and others weren't (supplanted decks more viable).

    Based on what we do know, I'd say the Twin ban had three goals:

    1. Remove Twin from the format
    2. Improve decks supplanted by Twin ("They can also reduce diversity by supplanting similar decks.")
    3. Improve decks that had bad Twin matchups ("Decks that are this strong can hurt diversity by pushing the decks that it defeats out of competition.")
    (4. Shakeup the PT (not explicitly stated but evidence strongly points to this being one of a few motives))

    In those regards, #1 was successful but perhaps too successful; Exarch would have been a better ban. There's no way Wizards wanted to utterly kill Twin but were cool with not utterly killing Eldrazi. This was almost definitely a miscalculation on their end. #2 was probably successful, but many (not all) would argue that this has made a less interactive and enjoyable format. #3 was not successful at all. #4 was also successful in shaking up the PT, but now the PT is no longer a factor so it needs to be revisited.

    I'm hoping AF's coming announcement clarifies this issue. Right now, the Twin ban reads to many as both distasteful (some people hated it, others loved it) and ineffective (other blue decks never improved or got more viable). If the Twin ban was just distasteful but ultimately effective (i.e. Wizards wanted to reduce blue's total share, not just blow up Twin), that would give us clearer direction about how to interpret the issue.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 2

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from wpgstevo »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    For me, this quote speaks directly to reactive blue decks. People who try to get Mana Leak and Cryptic Command working in a format with all the other Tier 1 staples (Ravager and Opal, Eidolon and Guide, Valakut and Titan, Temple and Smasher, Death's Shadow and TS/IoK, etc.) are on the back foot from the beginning. I believe Corey Burkhart is an exceptional Modern player, not because he wins by playing Grixis Control/Midrange, but because he wins despite playing Grixis Control/Midrange. Due to personal preference and experience (plus other factors I'm not aware of), Corey elects to play a worse deck without the powerful cards and wins in spite of that choice.
    I think you might be overstating the challenges facing blue. The new metagame numbers are out and at least grixis appears to be underplayed/overperforming - and is tier 2 despite this.

    As I understand the presentation of the data, "paper meta %" refers to topX placements. If that is the case, conversion rates are saying blue is underplayed:

    Grixis Control Tier 2 Paper % 3.30% Converted from Day2 1.20%.
    Jeskai Control Tier 2 Paper % 2.60% Converted from Day2 1.50%.
    Grixis Delver Tier 2 Paper % 2.70% Converted from Day2 2.10%.
    Esper Control Tier 3 Paper % 1.20% Converted from Day2 1.10%.
    Faeries Tier 3 Paper % 0.90% Converted from Day2 0.00%.

    An alternative explanation might be that these decks have better tier 1 matchups than they do against the broader metagame.

    I'm not trying to say blue is the best colour in modern, but rather that it's just not in the dire condition often described.

    It's tough to know without the actual MWP and matchup data. We only have Day 2 data for the two SCG Opens, so the sample is kind of small. Based on that, we see Grixis Delver only had 3 Day 2 appearances and Grixis Control had 2 appearances. But then an impressive 50% of the Grixis Control and 33% of the Grixis Delver pilots made it to T8. The only decks that performed better on that metric were GW Company and Ad Nauseam at 100% and 75% respectively. Next up were Bant Eldrazi (27%), DSJ (17.4%), and Burn (14.3%).

    If we look at their T8 appearances relative to their Day 2 appearances, Grixis Control overperformed by 4.9% points and Grixis Delver overperformed by 4.3% points. The only decks that had higher overperformance rates in the T8 relative to the Day 2 were Bant Eldrazi (+11.5% points) and DSJ/Ad Nauseam (both +9.9% points). Burn was just below the Grixis decks at +3.3% points.

    Unfortunately, this is complicated by the lack of Day 2s at the two GP, where we had 0 Grixis decks in the T8 and an unknown number on Day 2. We do know that Grixis Control had at least two pilots on Day 2 at Vancouver, both of which missed T16, so we can chalk that Day 2 to T8 conversion to a 0%. GP Brisbane had 0 in the Top 32, so we have no idea what the performance was. I suspect it was bad though relative to its Day 2 showing. Taken as a whole, these GP stats suggest to me that Grixis' true performance is actually lower than its SCG Open numbers, but not quite as bad as the GP numbers alone suggest. It's somewhere in the middle.

    As for the other blue decks, they underperformed on all those metrics at all those events, so I'm leaving them out of the conversation for now.

    Based on everything, I'd say Grixis is as viable as some of the better Tier 2 decks like Merfolk and Ad Nauseam, but not as viable as the Tier 1 decks. All the other reactive blue decks are Bad with a capital B. This is a pretty steep decline from 2015 Modern, and I doubt Wizards intended it.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 2

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    In a great article, LSV gives some deck-building and deck selection advice that speaks to many Modern players who feel their deck isn't viable. This certainly applies to those who are struggling to get Tier 2 and Tier 3 decks working against some of the better Tier 1 options.

    http://www.channelfireball.com/articles/the-5-worst-decks-ive-ever-played/
    Quote from LSV »
    Don’t get too clever. We played [Garbage Tog] despite having the Counterbalance/Top/Tarmogoyf/Bob deck, and it made no sense. The idea was that Tog + counters + removal + the Trinket Mage package could answer everything, but instead it answered nothing. It was the epitome of how we used to approach deck building, where we went to great lengths to avoid playing the best deck, and it’s an embarrassing reminder of how that goes wrong. If you take anything out of this article, it’s that you should just play great cards and good decks, and not try and one-up the competition the way we used to.

    For me, this quote speaks directly to reactive blue decks. People who try to get Mana Leak and Cryptic Command working in a format with all the other Tier 1 staples (Ravager and Opal, Eidolon and Guide, Valakut and Titan, Temple and Smasher, Death's Shadow and TS/IoK, etc.) are on the back foot from the beginning. I believe Corey Burkhart is an exceptional Modern player, not because he wins by playing Grixis Control/Midrange, but because he wins despite playing Grixis Control/Midrange. Due to personal preference and experience (plus other factors I'm not aware of), Corey elects to play a worse deck without the powerful cards and wins in spite of that choice.

    I fully acknowledge that in large non-rotating formats like Modern you can't answer everything, which is one reason the reactive blue decks struggle. But the reactive blue decks with proactive wins (Jeskai Nahiri, Ux Delver, Copy Cat, etc.) still struggle even though they have a reactive shell built around a proactive core. This gets back to LSV's quote, which suggests (correctly, I believe) that the combination of reactive and proactive options in these decks is just not very good. It comprises weak cards in a format of powerful cards, and that hamstrings the color.

    Incidentally, this quote also explains why white decks are so bad in Modern too.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from damagecase »
    This is kind what I have been saying, at least in the same vein. The reactive archetype seems to be something WOtC didn't want in the format. Whether it is because it was considered unfun or overpowered or both, I have no idea. For whatever reason WotC went away from it and there isn't anything the banlist can change about that. The cards needed are not in the format and to think it's merely coincidence is pretty naive.

    There is a big difference between them not wanting it and them wanting it but the strategy not working despite their desire. A year ago, Wizards explicitly stated they wanted to improve attrition-based and controlling decks when they unbanned AV, so your conspiracy theory seems to not hold water. Do you have any actual statements from Wizards suggesting this to be the case in Modern?
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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    posted a message on Modern Cheeri0s - Puresteel Equipment Storm
    Quote from KTROJAN »

    The issue isn't that it dies to removal it's that it dies to removal lol. Nice

    I don't know why you're being so aggressive and sarcastic about this. I stated it very clearly but I'll try it again:

    Mentor dies to all removal BUT ALSO wins the game in 1-2 turns. This fast clock outweighs Mentor's fragility to removal.
    Herald dies to less removal BUT ALSO doesn't win the game for 4 turns. This slow clock does not outweigh Herald's resilience to removal.

    I'll also add that double black is pretty painful on the manabase. Mentor is on-color.
    If the issue is it's a slower clock I'd reply only sometimes. In the cases where the opponent has inquisition, bolt, push, or tarfire it's a faster clock because, well it's alive. Perhaps t2 you try to go off cast a 0 and your guy gets bolted or it doesn't but you just fizzle. In that senerio you might be better without mentor. It dodges a lot of issues and can be a cheap threat (with actual abilities) much like the idea of a delve fatty.

    Again, you should totally test it and let us know how it goes. I will say that if you do test it, you need more than the standard 19-20 equipment to support the 5 improvise cost, so I'd look at the lists that include higher artifact counts as a starting point.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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    posted a message on Modern Cheeri0s - Puresteel Equipment Storm
    Quote from KTROJAN »

    Mentor dies to literally everything, the only real kill spell you mention is path, terminate is on the decline, and Lili is seeing even less play now that Ds jund has taken the place of old jund. Artifacts aren't the hard part to hit and a mana base could be built to hit bb if needed. The point is he is a beater that gets around almost all of the sb hate/kill spells in the meta as well as takes a card from the opponent if they can't answer it.

    Dying to removal isn't the issue. Remember the key plus of Mentor; it tends to win the game in 1-2 turns if not answered. The issue is that Herald dies to a bunch of removal AND doesn't win the game for at least four turns. Also, if Herald dies, all your artifacts are probably in play so you can't even draw an engine as an out. You would need Retract plus the engine. That's a lot of downside.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't test it. More testing is always welcome! I'm just saying it doesn't pass my "taste test" for what is appropriate in this kind of deck and what doesn't really fit.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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    posted a message on Comprehensive Modern Tiered List
    Quote from Kathal »
    Big problem is, that you cannot log in with third party accounts (facebook, reddit, twitter,...) anymore, which sucks to be able to establish any non outside communication with the authors/team.

    Greetings,
    Kathal

    You can always try the Facebook page or the Twitter account to hit them up through those channels.
    Posted in: Modern
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    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from Colt47 »
    Quote from bfrie »
    Also, claiming that fetches are bad for the format implies that the downsides created by them are greater than the upsides. Your claims have been that removing them increases diversity in playable lands and increases diversity in card selection, but i have yet to see you suggest even one land cycle or 1 card that becomes playable after fetches are banned, and i certainly havent seen any explanation about why having random crappy dual cycles see play is worth watching people lose due to not drawing their colors


    ... You actually need an example of what lands suddenly see more play? O o

    Yes. What lands would see more play and why would that represent an improvement to the format? In particular, how would that diversify the format?
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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    posted a message on Modern Cheeri0s - Puresteel Equipment Storm
    Quote from KTROJAN »
    I saw some lists running black and am curious if anyone has tried herald of anguish? The fact that only path and terminate really hit it seems useful as well as a great back up plan for beat down.

    Seems really clunky. BB would be hard to come by even in the splashed builds, and even then we need either five equipment in play or four equipment and three mana. All that for a clock that still dies to Lily, Path, and Terminate and is, at best, a four turn clock on its own. At least clocks like Mentor threaten to end the game next turn if unanswered. I'm not even sure about the matchup where Herald shines. It's too slow against fast decks like Burn and Affinity and too low impact against slower midrange like DS Jund and Bant Eldrazi. Where do you envision the card succeeding?
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from CharonsObol »
    We've just read through pages of discussion about how underpowered blue and white are in the format. And certain strategies (like permission) are nowhere to be seen.

    The blue/white issues has absolutely nothing to do with fetchlands. Nor does the permission issue. Those are definitely problems, but they aren't at all related to the problem you are talking about here. In fact, they'd probably be in bigger trouble without fetchlands.
    There's no denying that Goyf is the most efficient green creature ever printed, so it's hard to deny that decks have incentive to play it whenever they need an aggressive creature. I'm not sure how to make my point any differently; they're all different strategies with different lines of play, but they all opt to use Goyf. Why would anyone use anything else?

    I don't care if it's efficient. Bolt is efficient. Snapcaster is efficient. TS, IoK, Path, Decay, etc. are all efficient. This is a powerful format, so efficiency alone doesn't matter. What does matter is that many other decks could use Goyf and don't. So your question of "Why would anyone use anything else?" actually has plenty of answers. I just listed a number of green decks, green aggro decks, green midrange decks, and green value decks that choose not to use Goyf even if they could. So again, Goyf isn't the problem you make it out to be.

    Re: removing powerful cards to free up other options
    I'm not going to touch the whole removing Bolt/IoK/other_powerful_card argument because so few people make it and there are more pressing Modern issues worth discussing. Wizards also doesn't give that line of argument any credence. Not even the most ardent Modern opponents bring this one up on any regular basis. So we'll just chalk that up to personal disagreement.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from CharonsObol »
    I don't disagree about wanting a middle ground, although I disagree with where that middle ground should be. I actually want to see manabase innovation; small changes in manabases tend to not interest me because they have a low impact on the average development of a boardstate.

    That's just personal preference then. I'll only say that the current manabase status quo in Modern seems to be working just fine, so I would argue that the burden of proof falls overwhelmingly on those that want it changed. The format is diverse and popular and there's significant strategic and color diversity.
    The Brainstorm/Tarmogoyf effect absolutely happens in Modern. Tarmogoyf is an expensive card because it's functionally irreplaceable and readily splashable. Yes, I concede to you that there are more than just goodstuff decks in Modern. But you're intentionally ignoring the negative impact that goodstuff cards can have on a format. If Tarmogoyf cost GG instead of 1G, it wouldn't be played as often, nor would it command a $100 price tag. It would also help distinguish green's color identity from the other colors in the pie.

    I'm not inventing a diversity problem. I'm suggesting that the fetchlands narrow the range of playable cards, which they absolutely do.

    Please give an example of where the goodstuff problem is a problem in Modern. Tarmogoyf absolutely doesn't count. You can play green without Goyf (Tron and Titan Valakut), you can play aggro without Goyf (Burn, Affinity), you can play green creature decks without Goyf (Company decks), and you can play midrange, even green-based midrange, without Goyf (Bant Eldrazi). All of those decks could easily add Goyf but they don't, underscoring how this goodstuff problem isn't real when it comes to Goyf.

    Who cares if powerful cards or fetchlands narrow the range of playable cards? Modern has tons of playable cards! The problem of "not enough playable cards" isn't one many are claiming. That's doubly true in Modern right now, which many regard as extremely diverse and enjoyable. You can always increase the range of playable cards by removing the more powerful options. That doesn't necessarily make a format more diverse, more skill-testing, or more enjoyable. Indeed, it often has the opposite effect.
    You may not like reductio ad absurdum, but it's philosophically important. When there is no discernible endpoint to the logic that you're employing, you end up with unintentional consequences. If your goal is minimize the influence from manabase variance, eliminating the variance through rules changes seems like a more effective way to implement that goal than functionally requiring everyone to play fetchlands.

    I did define an endpoint. Fetchlands reduce variance but don't homogenize manabases and still allow for some manabase differences. That's a good middleground for me, even if you personally disagree with it. Similarly, fetchlands add a little time but SDT adds much more. The added fetch time is fine and doesn't seem to affect tournament logistics. The added SDT time was so problematic it got SDT preemptively banned.

    That approach is also a bad one with most arguments. For instance, I could easily take your idea about removing fetches to diversify manabases and apply it to other cards. Removing Bolt to open up other removal. Removing TS to open up other discard. This isn't actually productive and doesn't lead us anywhere helpful. I've explicitly defined endpoints to avoid this. I've also interpreted your endpoints so I know your fetchland argument probably doesn't apply to TS/Bolt/other cards.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from CharonsObol »
    Isn't the logical extension of this to simply eliminate manabases entirely and do something similar to Hearthstone? Giving each player "guaranteed" mana every turn but fixing the rate at which it appears in your pool?

    Or we could just take the middle ground: fetchland manabases are a good mix of some skill without making mana decisions a big deal. I enjoy seeing small changes in manabases, like deciding whether to add a 4th Temple Garden or a Tomb, Horizon Canopy, or Wildwood. Or swapping a Swamp for an Urborg. Most players probably enjoy that too. But we obviously don't need to take that to the extreme and remove all manabase construction just to make an absurd argument. I'll also emphasize that a post-fetchland manabase would still be "solved" by the massive MTG community and would ultimately be no more/less skill-testing than the current fetchland manabase. The format, however, would lose access to a lot of decks with no certain end. Why would anyone take that big risk for a problem that many don't care about or even acknowledge as a problem?
    This also isn't wrong, but you've cherry-picked your examples. For example, it's hard to deny that Legacy is a Brainstorm-dominated format, and yet Legacy Merfolk, Affinity, and Burn don't run it, despite all of them being competitive strategies.

    I don't care about Legacy. I care about Modern and am talking about Modern. In Modern, this Brainstorm/Tarmogoyf effect doesn't really happen. There are many decks that share colors and strategic orientations that don't splash just for a goodstuff card because fetchlands let them. There are plenty of non-goodstuff decks using fetchlands in Modern, and plenty of non-fetchlands decks doing non-goodstuff things in Modern. This argument appears to invent a diversity problem that doesn't exist.
    I mostly agree with this. I don't think that shuffling issues are the primary driver for wanting fetchlands banned in Modern. However, your exact argument could also be made for Sensei's Divining Top, which I'm hoping that we can both agree should never be let out of its cage in Modern.

    You're making the same style of argument you made above. I rarely, if ever, mention logical fallacies (it's generally annoying on forums), but this is the second instance of reducto ad absurdum in the same post.

    Fetches takes less time than Top, so they are fine. Top almost necessarily takes much more time than fetches because they are often used in tandem with the fetchlands. That means you spend some amount of time on fetches (which is the same amount of time you use in a fetchland world sans Top), but then you add the before-and-after Top activation. Plus all the Top activations when fetchlands aren't even at play. Clearly, this takes way more time and that's why Top is a problem and fetches aren't.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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    posted a message on Modern Cheeri0s - Puresteel Equipment Storm
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Quote from serenechaos »
    Ktkenshinx what would you suggest if I need to replace PtE? Both of my teammates are playing white in San Antonio.

    As in, you can't run the 3 Paths in the board and you want a replacement?
    Quote from ashtonkutcher »
    Quote from serenechaos »
    Ktkenshinx what would you suggest if I need to replace PtE? Both of my teammates are playing white in San Antonio.
    You're all playing a deck that wants the same card at a Team Unified Modern event? 🤔

    If it's a Team Unified Modern scenario, I'd use Dismember instead. Worse vs. Eidolon in Burn but acceptable elsewhere. You can also use Vapor Snag but it's not a permanent answer and it's terrible against Vial decks.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from CharonsObol »
    Quote from Colt47 »
    It really hurts the game itself with how modern is getting support. I agree with a lot of people that they need another way to legalize cards for the modern format. Well, that and fetch lands are an abomination that need to be exiled from all formats and not just modern. The later looks like I'll just have to begrudgingly deal with, though. :p
    Don't worry Colt, I'm with you. Fetchlands are terrible for Modern and Legacy, and banning them would make both formats better.

    For those people asking, fetchlands reduce variance. A reduction in variance is not equivalent to a reduction in skill; it's simply a change in the way skill manifests itself in the game. The problem isn't just shuffling time; it's that manabases in Modern are largely idiot-proof. If Modern didn't have fetchlands, small problems with your manabase would become readily apparent, because you would lose a lot of games. With fetchlands, small problems with your manabase go largely unnoticed, costing you a few life over the course of a full tournament.

    Fetchlands also enable "goodstuff" decks, because if you need black mana, you can use your Wooded Foothills to go get a Blood Crypt or an Overgrown Tomb. When this happens, the range of playable cards for a given function narrows, thus reducing card diversity in the format. For those of you who haven't played Legacy, there's a joke about Tarmogoyf being the best blue creature ever printed; the reason for that is the blue decks that play it both enable Tarmogoyf quickly and they largely aren't penalized for playing a green creature in a blue deck. The same thing happens in Modern. The most powerful spells see play in decks that are able to easily splash for them, and eliminating fetchlands in the format would go a long way to curbing greedy manabases.

    Incidentally, fetchlands are one of the primary reasons that burn is a police deck in Modern (it's a police deck in Legacy too, but for different reasons). Burn is a lot less effective at taking an opponent from 20 to 0 than it is taking an opponent from 15 to 0. The greedier your manabase gets, the better burn becomes.

    And before all of you complain, I understand that 3-color decks are hallmarks of the Modern format. So was Splinter Twin, frankly. And I have no faith that WotC will ever ban the fetchlands from Modern. But like Colt, I do believe that Modern would be a better place without them. There would be fewer greedy manabases. There would be a wider range of playable cards. There would be more skill (and higher variance) in building a consistent manabase. And of course, there would be less shuffling.

    Your arguments aren't necessarily wrong, but they also aren't necessarily examples of skill. Building a good manabase is absolutely a skill, but it's not a skill I care about watching at high level events. I want a deck's resources to run smoothly so I can see them play spells and interact. I suspect most viewers and players are the same. I'll also add that even a no-fetchland manabase would quickly be solved through Magic's wealth of informative sources, so this skill wouldn't even be very impressive. There are plenty of rules and resources for players to tune manabases and between theory articles, netdecking, and testing you would still figure out the manabases even without fetches. As a result, this skill would quickly fade from interest (and it probably isn't very interesting to begin with for many).

    Moreover, who cares if goodstuff cards are being played? Modern has a crazy number of Tier 1 and Tier 2 playable decks with a variety of different creatures. There are very few non-negotiable goodstuff cards and plenty of diversity. Most of the top decks aren't even goodstuff decks to begin with. For instance, take Tarmogoyf. There are plenty of green decks, aggro decks, and midrange decks that don't play Goyf even if they could easily splash for it. I struggle to think of Tier 1 or Tier 2 decks that use greedy manabases to splash for a certain goodstuff card they wouldn't otherwise play in their strategy. It's not like Merfolk, Affinity, and Burn play Goyf. This is also true of other so-called goodstuff/powerful cards.

    The shuffling issue is annoying in paper. But it's not an issue online and, from a viewership perspective, it doesn't seem to hurt Modern views. So all in all, fetches are fine.
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from gkourou »
    I would be SO curious to learn if mr. Aaron Forsythe and mr. Sam Stoddart are aware of the issues all of the Blue based control/attrition decks are facing at the moment. If they don't think they are facing any problems, I believe we would like to know as well.
    • Where do they stand on blue based control/attrition decks in Modern? Do they think those decks need help or not?
    • Is there a chance an incoming unban is to come to help them out?
    • What do they believe about the Splinter Twin banning? Did it fail/did it succeed?
    I was trying to reach mr. Forsythe on Twitter(well, the same question was asked by a lot of users), but he did't answer us up to now.

    I believe it's crucial to collectively ask him alltogether. At least us blue mages. Please try to contact him @ twitter if you would like to.

    It appears Forsythe is aware, but they're unable to commit to official statements or articles yet. I expect a Stoddard piece soon.

    Great to hear. That makes me want to hold off on my article until I hear his statement; that context might be critical.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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    posted a message on Modern Cheeri0s - Puresteel Equipment Storm
    Quote from serenechaos »
    Ktkenshinx what would you suggest if I need to replace PtE? Both of my teammates are playing white in San Antonio.

    As in, you can't run the 3 Paths in the board and you want a replacement?
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • 1

    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Quote from XXu7 »
    Are you leaving Serum visions out of this list on purpose? Looks like a mandatory 4of in any Jeskai/UW list. We'll need to do some digging/filtering here...
    Quote from 0wnjei »
    Quote from XXu7 »
    Are you leaving Serum visions out of this list on purpose? Looks like a mandatory 4of in any Jeskai/UW list. We'll need to do some digging/filtering here...


    I think you're right about SV. It is 98% of the time our 1st turn play.

    Friendly reminder that 4 SV should be basically mandatory in all blue-based combo lists, especially a deck like this. That is all!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • 2

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from Colt47 »
    It really hurts the game itself with how modern is getting support. I agree with a lot of people that they need another way to legalize cards for the modern format. Well, that and fetch lands are an abomination that need to be exiled from all formats and not just modern. The later looks like I'll just have to begrudgingly deal with, though. :p

    Fetchlands are iconic and critical Modern cards. See their inclusion in MM3 at rare. Fetches also don't create any shuffling problems online, which is probably where a lot of coverage is going in the future as Magic moves to an e-sports model. This bodes well for Modern, a high-power and diverse format that already draws lots of views on Twitch.

    My response to people who don't like Modern fetches is similar to my response when people don't like Goyf, Snapcaster, Lily, Bolt, etc. If those cards are too powerful or create a play experience you fundamentally dislike, then this might not be the best format for you. Those cards (moreso, what those cards represent) are just so integral to Modern's identity.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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    posted a message on Modern Cheeri0s - Puresteel Equipment Storm
    Quote from slax01 »
    I've been away, so not testing or playing, but based on the posts in this thread, I'd be extremely comfortable saying that the answer is jamming more threats. Serum visions is simply not good enough to help against DS. It neither digs deep enough, nor does it give actual card advantage to combat hand shredding.

    On the one hand, I agree that SV alone isn't enough. As you said, it's not card advantage, so it's not a strict counter to discard the same way AV is currently or TC was back in 2014. On the other hand, SV is absolutely part of the answer to disruption. Setting up a strong draw with SV isn't quite Brainstorm in Legacy, but scrying gas to the top of your deck does hide it from discard for a turn. Digging three deep through garbage also helps you recover from a discard spell; DS Jund doesn't give you the luxury of living through three dead draws in most cases. So yes, although we need to augment SV with a harder threat, we also need SV as part of that answer.
    Mentor is the obvious choice, but I think the 3-cost is a dealbreaker personally. Personally I would use maverick thopterist, but I'm partial to the guy so this may be my bias than a real answer. bastion inventor feels kind of irrelevant in a board stuffed with big butt goyfs and shadows. I also strongly think that real card draw is the go-to answer vs discard: namely, thoughtcast and reverse engineer. This does slow down the deck and potentially interrupt the combo though, but if we can't win without them its better to go with a bad plan B than a terrible plan A.

    Mentor is better than Thopterist because it can actually close out a game on a counterswing. Thopterist is almost never going to do that. If an opponent has removal, Thopterist's upside is a pair of 1/1 flyers that aren't typically fast enough to win even with Bone Saw. If an opponent doesn't have removal, Mentor's upside is a lethal threat next turn. We need to play to our outs, and our out against DS Jund is sticking a dangerous engine that threatens lethal if an opponent can't answer it.

    Agree that Inventor is terrible. It can't even fight Goyf without equipment.

    I don't hate Thoughtcast and Reverse Engineer, but they aren't maindeckable over SV, and they aren't good in the sideboard unless we increase our threat density. 8 engines and some number of TS/RE isn't going to punch through disruption. 11-12 engines might.

    Incorporating these ideas, here's where I'd start my sideboard.


    Mentor and TS make up the anti-DS Jund package. I'm dropping 1 Silence because the countermagic decks are less common today than they were a month ago. I'm doing -1 Truth because Chalice decks are less common, and Outcome is gone because it's too slow against DS Jund. I'm using TS instead of RE because it's less dead during the combo and because our basic Plains is going to cause problems with RE's mana cost.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from KarmaHoudini »
    Quote from wattsup »


    EDIT: source for Jace never being in modern.


    This is false. Jace was in modern briefly following the formats creation, and was banned after the community cup. Note that the community cup wasn't the only source of testing that was going on prior to the banning of Jace, but it was the only major modern event.

    http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/latest-developments/modern-proposal-2011-05-27

    The Community Cup was a laughable form of testing data collection. Team Unified Modern is one of the most artificial ways to determine if a card is healthy or not. Indeed, three cards from that post-Community Cup proposal have since been unbanned, one of which is top-tier and fine (Valakut), one of which is barely playable (AV), and one of which sees next to no play in top-tier strategies (BB).

    Are you saying that other testing was down outside of the CC? If so, what was that testing? I've heard this claim before and it's wholly unsupported by evidence.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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    posted a message on Modern Cheeri0s - Puresteel Equipment Storm
    @M2xxU: thanks for the report! Great to hear your experience, even if DS Jund ruined your day.

    In fact, it looks like DS Jund is the deck that is going to be a problem for us, and the deck which is going to keep us out of T8s at major events. In your average 9 round IQ or other larger event, you're overwhelmingly likely to hit one DS Jund matchup, not to mention the other interactive decks which aren't quite favorable, so we need to figure out a gameplan.

    For me, Paradoxical Outcome is out. It's too slow against DS Jund, which kills a non-interactive deck by T4 after ripping up its hand. That's too bad because Outcome was so good against regular BGx Midrange, but just doesn't cut it here. One alternative is Leyline. Although Leyline does beat DS Jund's discard, it increases variance and leads to dead draws and bad openers. I'm nervous about running it. Another alternative is to jam threats. This is historically one of the best ways to beat BGx after Keranos-style card advantage effects, and I think it can work here. I'm feeling 3 Mentor in the SB, but am open to other ideas.

    Finally, if we want to improve DS Jund, we need to play 4 SV. SV is amazing agaisnst discard and is one of the best and most versatile ways to defeat discard in both G1 and G2/G3.

    EDIT: also, here's the list that beat Cheeri0s at the SCG Classic last weekend.
    http://sales.starcitygames.com//deckdatabase/displaydeck.php?DeckID=112258

    Holy disruption. In the MD alone, we have 4 IoK and 3 Clique to target the hand, 2 Snares and 4 Spellstutters as countermagic, 1 Disfigure/Dismember/Cut/Throat and 4 Push as spot removal, 3 Lily, and 4 Snapcaster to buy them back. This is the matchup where I want more threats, not just Leylines.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from Cereberus632 »
    Spiegal, the homogonizing argument is only made in reference to GSZ/Twin, and while I am saying DRS is comparable to Jace (self contained win condition etc. and (DRS) in combination with Veil stunts any creature deck that plays only 1 Creature a turn. Both are slow win conditions that take a couple turns to get going, and can be removed 'relatively' easily.)

    Your focusing on that element i.e Twin and GSZ (and lesser extent Punishing Fire) and ignoring how I am also asking to compare Jace/DRS as part of the 'argument'.

    The DRS and JTMS comparison misses the critical point that JTMS has never been legal in Modern and DRS was objectively the card that broke BGx in 2013 and early 2014. The bar to unban a card that was banned due to results is much higher than the bar to unban a card that was banned with few/no results. PF stifling aggro is a similar issue. GSZ is more open because it was banned with only one event of results and in the hypothetical scenario you suggested would be a reasonable unban idea to discuss. So would BBE.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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    posted a message on Modern Cheeri0s - Puresteel Equipment Storm
    Quote from KirkForADay »
    Non Cheerios player reporting in. Just confirming that SCG messed up, and the second place was actually Faeries. The deck was well represented though. I played against it during the open when I was on Merfolk, and got paired against it in round 8 of the classic - he wanted the ID to get in to top 8, and I was more than happy to sit another round out.

    Thanks for the insider scoop. Hopefully SCG fixes that in the near future, but still cool to see the Cheeri0s player hit T8. Do you know what he lost to in the quarterfinals?
    Quote from Shaffalahien »


    This is the list I tested for the SSG deck.

    T1 1%
    T2 23%
    T3 37%
    T4 12%
    T5 7%
    T6 7%
    T7+ 14%

    Really fast, and very consistent. I had forgotten how wonderful it was to play with so many cheeri0s. 2 engine fizzle rates were below 2% Smile I had also forgotten how it was to play with only 8 engines. 8% of the T7+ games were due to mulling to oblivion.

    How many games did you test out? I'm curious because I want to compare it to my own numbers with the SV list and see if the distribution is much different.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • 0

    posted a message on [[Official]] SCG Modern Discussions
    Quote from Godec »
    Quote from Ayiluss »
    Quote from Spsiegel1987 »
    I really would be unhappy if Jace was unbanned

    I will quit Modern if this happens.

    That said there were one UW Control in top 32 of Scg open and one Jeskai control in top 16 of Scg classic. That's enough for me.


    I'd bet it'd bring in more players than it pushes out. Death's Shadow as the gatekeeper deck doesn't inspire me with confidence for the format.

    Quote from idSurge »
    Quote from Ayiluss »
    Quote from Spsiegel1987 »
    I really would be unhappy if Jace was unbanned

    I will quit Modern if this happens.

    That said there were one UW Control in top 32 of Scg open and one Jeskai control in top 16 of Scg classic. That's enough for me.


    Why would you quit over a card that will rot in players hands as often as its cast?

    "HAHA I TAP OUT AND CAST JACE"
    "I swing with my 2 6/7 Goyfs, one kills Jace, the other kills you."
    Quote from GoST- »
    I guess that happens if we're assuming that the Jace player did nothing but make land drops for the 1st 3 turns until he plays Jace.

    Again, thread reminder:
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    No more ban talk here. I understand that banlist discussion happens during the more open tournament discussion in event threads, so no one is getting warned/infracted. But any posts after this one dealing with bans/unbans will be moderated accordingly.

    Take it to the State of Modern thread:
    http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/modern/764899-state-of-modern-thread-bans-format-health-reprints
    Posted in: Modern
  • 0

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from Kovo »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Quote from Kovo »
    Has anyone actually defined what a blue deck is for them? Seems people are crying over no blue decks, but I dont see any clear definitions over what they consider a blue deck. I dont want high level definitions. Get to the nitty gritty.

    When I say "reactive blue," it's shorthand for:

    -Blue-based control or attrition decks
    -Blue-based controlling combo decks
    -Blue-based disruptive tempo

    Modern would be better off as a format if at least one of those decks was a sustained Tier 1 presence. These are deliberately broad categories because any of them could fill the gaping hole. Unfortunately, all of them (spanning over 50 distinct decks) are bad and have been bad since August 2016.


    Ok, and using your definitions (which I assumed were the case), do decks like that exist right now, and which ones are they (I understand they are not Tier 1, but Im talking Tier 3+).

    Im not trying to make you work for nothing. Im going somewhere with this.

    No additional work. I already have the numbers for an upcoming article. They do exist in Tier 2, Tier 3, and under Tier 3. During the Twin era of 2015, any given month had (on average) 22.4 non-Twin blue decks that appeared in some capacity. If you included Twin, it was 27.8 decks. During 2016, any given month had (on average) 24.4 non-Twin blue decks that appeared in some capacity. This is slightly more than the non-Twin blue decks in 2015, but slightly less than the total Twin + non-Twin number of unique decks.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 4

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from Kovo »
    Has anyone actually defined what a blue deck is for them? Seems people are crying over no blue decks, but I dont see any clear definitions over what they consider a blue deck. I dont want high level definitions. Get to the nitty gritty.

    When I say "reactive blue," it's shorthand for:

    -Blue-based control or attrition decks
    -Blue-based controlling combo decks
    -Blue-based disruptive tempo

    Modern would be better off as a format if at least one of those decks was a sustained Tier 1 presence. These are deliberately broad categories because any of them could fill the gaping hole. Unfortunately, all of them (spanning over 50 distinct decks) are bad and have been bad since August 2016.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 0

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from CharonsObol »

    White's (in)visibility problem is really glaring to players that want to play white. And we've been waiting on WotC to do something for literal years. It's like praying for rain during a drought. If you think the blue problem is more visible because WotC is causing it with poor ban list management, that's a fair, but myopic viewpoint. Insofar as Modern has problems at all (which on its own is up for debate), WotC has caused all of them. Some are caused by ban list management, but at this point, most of them are caused by WotC R&D.

    I don't disagree. White has problems and Wizards caused those too. I just don't know if SFM solves those issues without creating new ones. I'm very confident Preordain goes a long way towards helping blue without breaking anything. And honestly, if it really broke some awful combo deck (which I think is very unlikely), I'm comfortable banning something from the combo deck if it promotes diversity. White's issues need to be fixed through new cards and reprints (larger design issues).
    The blue cards that are currently on the ban list are there because WotC wants them there, not necessarily because they're too powerful for the format. That wouldn't be a problem, except as you point out, WotC has given blue players no alternatives; blue players are just stuck looking at a bunch of cards printed in the Modern-era that they aren't allowed to use.

    Eh, TC was too powerful. P&P were at the time. DTT was probably too powerful if Legacy/Vintage are any indication, but we'll never know. JTMS never got a chance, and Preordain should be revisited. So it's a mix of legit bannings and less legit ones.

    What would you advise to address white's issues?
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 0

    posted a message on Comprehensive Modern Tiered List

    I believe they updated the spreadsheet but maybe didn't post the new link. Like I said, reach out to them on Twitter or other online channels and let them know. I also talk with them but it's important to get community member input too.
    Posted in: Modern
  • 0

    posted a message on Comprehensive Modern Tiered List
    Quote from Luke71 »
    Great. Modern Nexus was last updated on 12/31 and we are in March. Ridiculous. I hope they make this sticky.

    That's not accurate:
    http://modernnexus.com/metagame-breakdown-jan-17/

    It is true that the length of time between updates has increased and I've mentioned this to the new MN team. I encourage you and others to Tweet them or comment on their articles (or reach out on Reddit or whatever other online venue you prefer) to communicate your concerns.

    If nothing else, it's exciting to see other Modern players and sites thinking more about data-driven approaches than they used to. It might not be MN but it's the MN philosophy!
    Posted in: Modern
  • 2

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from D90Dennis14 »
    ^^
    Those aren't aren't particulary competitive White decks besides D&T.

    Blue has: Grixis Delver, Grixis Control, Jeskai Control/Flash/Saheeli, Esper/UW Control.
    All of them are more competitive than "Souls Sisters" or "Martyr Proc".

    Oh, don't get me wrong. From a metagame standpoint, white is in basically the same bad situation as blue. But the big difference is that white's Modern failures have been an ongoing problem that Wizards has passively ignored for years. From a banlist perspective, the only unban that could help this situation is SFM. By contrast, blue's Modern failures have been a recent problem in the last 6-8 months that Wizards actively created with recent format changes. From a banlist perspective, there are multiple possible unbans that could help this situation. All of that makes the blue issue more visible and, I would argue, more pressing.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 0

    posted a message on Modern Cheeri0s - Puresteel Equipment Storm
    Not even a Day 2 appearance at the SCG Open, but two T8s in the Classic!
    http://sales.starcitygames.com//deckdatabase/displaydeck.php?DeckID=112258
    http://sales.starcitygames.com//deckdatabase/displaydeck.php?DeckID=112270

    These lists are identical, which could be accurate or could be an error on SCG's part. I'll just assume they are identical for now.

    Based on this plus the other performance we've seen, the most successful Cheeri0s lists appear to be UW or UWr lists running 3-4 SV and maindeck Song. 15-16 lands appears to be the best configuration, 1 GS and 2 NR seems better than 2 GS and 1 NR, and 19-20 equipment appears to be right. I strongly agree with 2 NR and 4 SV in this current metagame. They dramatically improve the DS Jund matchup by increasing consistency, recovering/finding pieces, and reducing variance. Outcome was great tech vs. Jund and Abzan but is way too slow and clunky against DS Jund. This means Leyline is back in; although it leads to bad variance situations, it's better to gamble on the Leyline nut draw than try to piledrive through as many as 16 pieces of interaction plus a fast clock.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • 3

    posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from Kovo »

    But Tier 3 decks are harder to win with and require more effort and practice, so supposedly they dont count.

    The vast majority of Tier 3 decks "are harder to win with and require more effort and practice" because they are weak, poorly-positioned, or just bad. This means their matchup distribution even with a flawless pilot is just less favorable than the matchup distribution of a stronger, better-positioned, or outright better deck. There are definitely some Tier 3 and lower decks that are secretly better than their tiering indicates, but they are rare exceptions.

    Wizards made two unbans to help an archetype directly, plus a ban to open up the archetype (among other objectives). A year later, the archetype is still bad. That's a problem.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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