Quote from CrazyMike366
When you think about it, the Banned List is really just a policy, with WotC acting as the government that implements and legitimizes the policy, and us as players acting as the public living under the policy and proposing changes.
From an academic perspective, the policy analysis process goes like this (Public Policy, Simon):
Verify, define and detail the problemEstablish evaluation criteriaIdentify alternative policiesEvaluate alternative policiesDisplay and distinguish among alternative policiesMonitor the implemented policy
We don't really ever get past step 3. We get tied up in proposing too much and evaluating too little, so we accomplish nothing. Kind of like our current Congress.
How it applies to Modern
WotC defined the problem as a need for a non-rotating format that isn't bound by the Reserved List and the barriers to entry that justified the 'Eternal' class in the old DCI ratings format. Modern was created to solve that problem.
2. Evaluation Criteria:
WotC establishes evaluation criteria through their banning announcements. The first 2-3 announcements provided the bulk of the criteria, but every announcement demonstrates continuation of policy, new implementation of policy, or a deviation from previous policy.
Examples of the policies can usually be broken down into 'rules' if WotC is specific enough in their announcements. I posit that the following 'rules' can be accepted based on their announcements:
a. The Turn 4 Rule
b. The Format Warp Rule
c. The Metagame Dominance Rule
d. The Alternative Suppression Rule
e. The Negative Externality Rule
Sometimes people can disagree on which policies are valid. For example, I posit that the Cross-format Relevance Rule is dead because WotC unbanned Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. This represents a deviation from the established criteria to me.
3. Identify alternatives:
We as players should assess the state of the game, voice our concers, and propose new bannings or unbannings based on how the format is meeting our needs. Sometimes this is adding or abolishing a criterion altogether and sometimes it is applying an existing criterion to a particular card for banning or unbanning. The key here is finding evidence to support claims. Testable analysis is the golden standard, but some claims don't lend themselves to measurement very well.
For example, we have the schism between those who feel cross-format relevance is dead, and those who believe it is still a core tenet. Cards like Ancestral Vision, Jace the Mind Sculptor, Stoneforge Mystic, Bitterblossom, and Sword of the Meek are disputed cards that fall under this category. Statistical analysis largely fails here...a card is either relevant in other formats or it isn't, and the rule itself is either valid or it isn't.
As another example, I find that the Turn 4 Rule is still being violated and want answers on how frequently it can be violated before it must be addressed. I see a few decks like Infect as potentially problematic in that it seems to regularly goldfish at a pace that breaks the Turn 4 Rule. Some people disagree. Fortunately, we can use statistics to figure this out by testing the decks, calculating stuff, and comparing it to the lowest acceptable value we've seen so far...in this case, Epic Experiment Storm with Seething Song.
4. Evaluate Alternative Policies
Now this is where we start to run into trouble. Its very hard to make an assertion one way or the other if there is insufficient data to support or dismiss it. Science tells us that we should be doing hypothesis testing...if we take this action, then this response should occur.
We had a few good discussions about dredge going early this banning round, and there's some stuff that occasionally pops up with BB, SFM, and most recently Ponder and Preordain, but they tend to die out quickly because those who don't support the change will complain and refuse to participate rather than contributing by disproving.
Once we get an alternative proposal with momentum we can get some matchup data on how it performs against a gauntlet of decks taht represent the current top tier and after that try an experimental tournament on Cockatrice to make some overarching observations about the proposed changes. Was the card played by the decks we thought would play it? Were any decks better/faster than we thought they would be? What were win percentages like among archetypes and how did they differ from what the gauntlet predicted? Did any decks splash for it unexpectedly? etc
5. Display results
After we get a couple alternatives with fleshed out data, we can start to make meaningful comments on direction by comparing them. Which of these proposals was the best? Which of these can we try combining? Which of these can we rule out?
If WotC was inspired to change the list based on this process, the next step would be seeing if it confirmed or disputed the results the initial testing led to. Then the whole process starts again with the next Banned List update.
The proposed format rules for the current testing session will be put here.
5/29 - What cards will you be interested in tested next?
The gauntlet will be re-worked after PT: Valencia.
Gauntlet JunkMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
Creatures - 171 Birds of Paradise3 Deathrite Shaman1 Scavenging Ooze4 Dark Confidant4 Tarmogoyf4 Knight of the ReliquarySpells - 192 Thoughtseize3 Inquisition of Kozilek3 Path to Exile3 Abrupt Decay4 Lingering Souls4 Liliana of the VeilLand - 241 Forest1 Swamp1 Plains1 Godless Shrine2 Overgrown Tomb1 Temple Garden4 Marsh Flats4 Verdant Catacombs1 Misty Rainforest2 Stirring Wildwood2 Tectonic Edge1 Horizon Canopy1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth1 Vault of the Archangel1 Gavony TownshipSideboard1 Bojuka Bog1 Celestial Purge1 Life from the Loam1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence1 Nature's Claim1 Choke1 Qasali Pridemage1 Sigarda, Host of Herons1 Stony Silence1 Sword of War and Peace1 Tectonic Edge1 Thrun, the Last Troll1 Unflinching Courage1 Voice of Resurgence1 Zealous Persecution
Gauntlet JundMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
Creatures - 164 Dark Confidant4 Deathrite Shaman4 Tarmogoyf1 Scavenging Ooze1 Huntmaster of the Fells1 Thrun, the Last Troll1 Thundermaw HellkiteSpells - 183 Thoughtseize3 Inquisition of Kozilek4 Lightning Bolt2 Maelstrom Pulse2 Abrupt Decay1 Terminate3 Liliana of the VeilLand - 244 Raging Ravine4 Blackcleave Cliffs4 Verdant Catacombs2 Overgrown Tomb1 Stomping Ground2 Swamp1 Forest1 Mountain1 Marsh Flats1 Misty Rainforest1 Treetop Village1 Blood Crypt1 Kessig Wolf RunSideboard - 151 Olivia Voldaren2 Sowing Salt2 Slaughter Games1 Shatterstorm2 Rakdos Charm2 Obstinate Baloth1 Bonfire of the Damned1 Boil1 Ancient Grudge1 Huntmaster of the Fells1 Extirpate
Gauntlet Melira PodMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
Lands - 233 Forest3 Gavony Township1 Godless Shrine4 Misty Rainforest2 Overgrown Tomb3 Razorverge Thicket1 Swamp1 Temple Garden4 Verdant Catacombs1 Woodland CemeteryCreatures - 284 Birds of Paradise1 Cartel Aristocrat3 Deathrite Shaman1 Eternal Witness4 Kitchen Finks2 Melira, Sylvok Outcast2 Murderous Redcap1 Orzhov Pontiff1 Phyrexian Metamorph1 Qasali Pridemage1 Ranger of Eos1 Reveillark1 Spellskite2 Viscera Seer2 Voice of Resurgence1 Scavenging OozeOther Spells - 92 Abrupt Decay4 Birthing Pod3 Chord of CallingSideboard - 151 Aven Mindcensor2 Dismember1 Harmonic Sliver2 Lingering Souls1 Abrupt Decay1 Cloudthresher1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence1 Obstinate Baloth1 Shriekmaw3 Thoughtseize1 Voice of Resurgence
Gauntlet Blue TronMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
Creatures1 Platinum Angel1 Sundering Titan2 Wurmcoil Engine3 Solemn Simulacrum4 Treasure MageSpells - 161 Spell Burst3 Repeal4 Condescend4 Remand4 Thirst for KnowledgeArtifacts - 101 Oblivion Stone2 Mindslaver3 Talisman of Progress4 Expedition MapLands - 231 Academy Ruins1 Oboro, Palace in the Clouds1 Tectonic Edge1 Tolaria West4 Urza's Mine4 Urza's Power Plant4 Urza's Tower7 IslandSideboard - 153 Dismember1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn1 Eye of Ugin1 Oblivion Stone2 Pithing Needle2 Relic of Progenitus2 Spell Pierce2 Spellskite1 Contagion Engine
Gauntlet UWR ControlMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
Creatures - 33 snapcaster MageSpells - 314 electrolyze4 cryptic command3 spell snare3 lightning bolt3 mana leak2 lightning helix2 sphinx's revelation2 path to exile2 think twice1 shadow of doubt2 supreme verdict1 wrath of god1 ajani vengeant1 Gideon JuraLand - 264 scalding tarn3 arid Mesa2 hallowed fountain1 glacial fortress1 sacred foundry1 steam vents2 sulfur falls3 island1 mountain1 plains3 tectonic edge4 celestial colinnadeSideboard - 152 spellskite2 stony silence2 sowing salt2 celestial purge2 relic of progenitus1 shadow of doubt1 surgical extraction1 disenchant2 counterflux
Gauntlet Gruul ZooMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
Creatures - 324 Burning-Tree Emissary4 Experiment One4 Flinthoof Boar4 Ghor-Clan Rampager4 Goblin Guide4 Kird Ape4 Tarmogoyf2 Vexing Devil2 Scavenging OozeSpells - 92 Dismember4 Lightning Bolt3 Pillar of FlameLand - 194 Arid Mesa4 Copperline Gorge1 Forest4 Misty Rainforest2 Mountain4 Stomping GroundSideboard2 Volcanic Fallout2 Blood Moon2 Deglamer2 Faerie Macabre1 Pillar of Flame1 Sulfur Elemental2 Torpor Orb3 Vines of Vastwood
Gauntlet RobotsMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
Creatures - 264 Vault Skirge4 Steel Overseer4 Arcbound Ravager4 Ornithopter4 Signal Pest3 Etched Champion2 Memnite1 Master of EtheriumArtifacts - 124 Cranial Plating4 Mox Opal4 Springleaf DrumSpells - 64 Thoughtcast2 Galvanic BlastLand - 164 Blinkmoth Nexus4 Inkmoth Nexus4 Darksteel Citadel3 Glimmervoid1 IslandSideboard - 151 Grafdigger's Cage4 Spellskite2 Spell Pierce2 Thoughtseize2 Ancient Grudge2 Blood Moon1 Galvanic Blast1 Whipflare
Gauntlet ScapeshiftMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
Creatures - 62 Snapcaster Mage4 Sakura-Tribe ElderSpells - 294 Scapeshift3 Cryptic Command2 Firespout3 Search for Tomorrow4 Remand4 Peer Through Depths2 Izzet Charm4 Farseek3 Lightning BoltLand - 254 Misty Rainforest2 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle3 Island3 Forest2 Mountain4 Stomping Ground4 Steam Vents1 Flooded Grove2 Breeding PoolSideboard: 152 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir2 Nature's Claim2 Counterflux1 Dispel1 Negate4 Obstinate Baloth2 Wurmcoil Engine1 Lightning Bolt
Results of the Gauntlet test will go here.
Quote from CrazyMike366
Golgari Grave-Troll is unbanned.
2.Generate deck lists
I suggest we focus on the fastest aggro variant, the fastest combo variant, the most resilient combo variant, and perhaps even a control variant. The way Modern seems to be working, the 'right list' is probably going to be one of those. Then start weighing the pros and cons and doing preliminary testing in an attempt to reach an informed consensus. First post a list, then move to a goldfish to see how its working, then try playing against yourself on cockatrice with a 'top deck' or two from a recent pro event. We should take a week or so to find a consensus before moving on.
Quote from Lord Ruby34I can't help you brew this decklist because I'm not familiar with dredge in general, but I love what you're doing. If you'd like you can contact me when you run the gauntlet. I'm not a bad living end player, and I imagine that matchup would be hilarious and worth testing.
Quote from BlippyTheSlugcool deck:
Dredgevine - The_Co (3-1) Modern Daily #4877321Magic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
1 Blood Crypt1 Breeding Pool1 Darkslick Shores1 Island2 Misty Rainforest1 Overgrown Tomb4 Scalding Tarn2 Steam Vents1 Swamp4 Verdant Catacombs2 Watery Grave4 Bloodghast4 Drowned Rusalka4 Gravecrawler4 Hedron Crab1 Skaab Ruinator2 Stinkweed Imp4 Vengevine3 Viscera Seer4 Bridge from Below4 Faithless Looting2 Glimpse the Unthinkable4 Izzet CharmSideboard4 Abrupt Decay3 Ancient Grudge1 Gnaw to the Bone3 Inquisition of Kozilek2 Maelstrom Pulse2 Ravenous Trap
Quote from the_cardfatherThug seems inferior on many levels. I think I would try to jump start myself with Glimpse or Grisly Salvage
Quote from ktkenshinx
1. Do we want to modify the maindeck/sideboard of the gauntlet decks? If so, how?
Quote from LuesetoI was talking about the particular version ktkenshinx posted. with 3 conditional removals in the 60, you aren't likely to be able to react to a DRS/dark confidant/tarmogoyf in time. If you are not playing shackles, you'd have to go with more removal, and if you use it, adapt the manabase of course, no one here is talking about using shackles with darkslick, glen and tar pits..
Quote from ktkenshinx
One last question remains: The UBx Faerie list itself. I would like to agree as much as possible on a list before we start testing. Here is a starting point, a list that Mike submitted in the banning discussion thread. I am open to any tweaks:
UB Bitterblossom FaeriesMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
Creatures - 164 Spellstutter Sprite3 Vendilion Clique4 Mistbind Clique4 Scion of Oona1 Snapcaster MageSpells - 184 Bitterblossom4 Cryptic Command3 Thoughtseize2 Inquisition of Kozilek2 Mana Leak1 Doom Blade1 Smother1 Ultimate PriceLand - 263 Mutavault2 Sunken Ruins4 Secluded Glen2 Misty Rainforest2 Marsh Flats2 Watery Grave4 Island2 Swamp3 Darkslick Shores2 Creeping Tar PitSideboard - 152 Deathmark2 Echoing Truth2 Extirpate2 Trickbind1 Surgical Extraction3 Spreading Seas2 Steel Sabotage1 Threads of Disloyalty
So the big questions are:
1. Do we want to modify the maindeck/sideboard of the gauntlet decks? If so, how?
2. Do we want to modify the maindeck/sideboard of the UB Faeries deck above? How?