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Nov 16, 2018tronix posted a message on [POLL] What cards do you want banned or unbanned in the November 26, 2018 announcement?Posted in: ModernQuote from ernest_theweedwhackerguy »Why was GSZ and Stoneforge Mystic banned in the first place?
Was it a JTMS-esque reason(it wiLL Be tOO GooD in MoDErn)?
you mock it, but there was a very real fear of caw blade. it was close enough to the standard season that it would have been a massive blunder to create a format only to have it turn into caw blade mirrors. we can look at it in hindsight and laugh at the ridiculousness, but tbh i dont think i would have made a different choice had i been in wotc's position at the time.
also extended was also going on at this time, which was being ruled by none other than caw blade and faeries. so they had a modicum of proof that they shouldnt lets those cards into their new extended format.
GSZ was banned for diversity among green decks. since it was banned in the same wave that hit the likes of ponder/preordain, cloudpost, and blazing shoal; its clear that wizards was having a kneejerk reaction and wanted to swing the format in an entirely different direction. i cant fault them for that, but the manner in which those bans were done (all at once, a month after the format started) brings into question whether wizards overreacted and hit cards that werent really problematic.
i mean who can really tell if green decks wouldnt have just diversified on their own given time, or likewise if preordain would have been fine on its own without seething song and rite of flame.
Nov 15, 2018Posted in: ModernQuote from idSurge »Quote from tronix »by BR do you mean the mardu phoenix shell?
Close, but more all in on the Phoenix plan. I think something with Young Pyromancer, Arclight Phoenix, and the full 4 of Collective Brutality could be awesome.
Once Twin is not unbanned, and Wizards disappoints me again thats what I'm going to mess with. I do think the all in Red (Runaway) is too soft to removal/gy hate, and the UR version has by default worse interaction (counters are worse than discard) so I 'think' that BR will be better.
yeah i agree, discard just pairs naturally with a card like phoenix. the mardu shell with lootings, manamorphose, lingering souls, discard, brutality, bolts, etc looks interesting. i know one of the weaknesses of the traditional mardu pyro deck was poor closing speed, having the arclight package fixes that.
i was tempted to pick up a set of arclights so i could mess around with grixis colors going all in on AV since its 'free' when you cast it, but then i remembered im horrible at brewing. so ill just wait until more knowledgeable folks figure it out. even with the hype phoenix decks wouldnt be showing up unless something good was going on. i cant remember a card that has elicited this much brewing in a long while; possibly deaths shadow, but that had other factors at work.
Nov 13, 2018tronix posted a message on [POLL] What cards do you want banned or unbanned in the November 26, 2018 announcement?yeah i would expect around goyf levels of play. even if it only got to like the levels of tireless tracker, thats still far more influence than thopter sword.Posted in: Modern
i can understand the argument that sfm is safe BECAUSE there is a lot of ways to deal with it. but beyond that the old 'it dies to doomblade' argument falls short because it would mean you are playing against a deck with removal. if the opponent wants to trade resources, sfm is fine in that setting.
the other end of the spectrum, where sfm as a standalone play isnt as powerful as the decks trying to play past you. alright, but what does that have to do with a midrange creature? youd have to be under the assumption that midrange decks are unplayable, and that is demonstrably false.
Nov 13, 2018tronix posted a message on [POLL] What cards do you want banned or unbanned in the November 26, 2018 announcement?eh, i would say bant was underrated before supreme phantom. clearly not as good as now, but there were just few chances where people would move into it because there were better decks rising up at the time.Posted in: Modern
the first two places i would try SFM is:
-BWx (likely abzan) with discard + lingering souls
-GWx (likely bant) with hierarchs + collected company
like a bant flash deck using SFM sounds pretty sweet. you gotta tap out for SFM, but past that you get to pick and choose how to play on your opponents end step.
queller -> activate sfm put feast/famine in -> equip -> swing for 4 + sword trigger (opponent discards, you untap lands) -> hold up mana for another instant speed play
id play that deck
Nov 13, 2018im sure some will try it out to some success. its not like company plays no value creatures. knight of the reliquary, tireless tracker, witness, courser, etc. these all have their own upsides, and im dubious of any claim saying stoneforge isnt at least on that power level. it may not be the best thing going on before turn 4, but we see decks built to operate past that point.Posted in: Modern
also equipment has the effect of making cheap dorky creatures more relevant later in the game. GWx company decks (combo or otherwise) have plenty of those in birds + noble.
imo stoneforge is just a solid roleplayer for some midrange strategies. i wouldnt expect people to be tripping over themselves to build around it, but it not being an upgrade for anything? i just cant buy that.
Nov 13, 2018making conclusions based off of one tournament isnt very helpful, ill give you that, but ask yourself why GP results matter at all. for every format. consider what it is they provide for the game, and especially for the formats the grand prix circuit supports.Posted in: Modern
if you think modern grand prixs are important for the health and success of the format; then the results should matter. because the truth of the matter is that large tournaments are an extension of player perception, even if the reality is that the vast majority of said players never take part. perception translates to interest, which in turn means more bodies at the LGS level.
if there is a disconnect between what we see at the local level, and at the GP level it creates dissonance. you start placing conditionals on your play experience (X decks are only good if..., the meta is diverse if..., etc). this damages the integrity of the format because the modern one person is playing might not be the modern that someone else is playing. ultimately it drives a wedge between how players can relate to one another, and the idea of shared experiences is a powerful motivator.
sorry for waxing philosophical. i just work in the UX/HCI(human computer interaction) field, which includes a lot of balancing the practical and the fact that humans can be very impractical. MTG is a game after all, so wizards has to consider stuff like player perception.
Nov 12, 2018yeah i dont think its time to call anything definitive yet. i think its right to give dredge the benefit of the doubt just like many other decks were given. however what we are seeing are not data points in its favor. if even our pattern recognition is kicking in here where we dont have a lot of data to work with, just imagine what wizards might be seeing.Posted in: Modern
tbh i believe the format was moving in this direction already. dredge just seems to be the straw that broke the camels back or w/e.
for those in the 'just play cards good against your opponents deck' or 'its just a natural in the meta to adapt' camp. you are missing the point. the point is that none of these decks in question, including dredge, are represented enough to warrant skewing a deck in one direction or another. the fact that dredge isnt just dominating and taking over the format is the issue in itself. for the majority of modern players no real meta exists, and it becomes doubly so if you move beyond the local into tournaments that are truly open fields. mtgo is a unique case because you actually CAN meta to some degree because of all the bandwagoning and inbreeding in events.
so the field is open, but the set of decks at the top of the format contains multiple disparate but linear strategies, each demanding a unique set of answers AND bringing tools of their own to play back against them. do you not see how diversity shields these decks? or how its innately easier to prepare for opposing hate rather than doing the hating yourself?
that is why people are worried about dredge. because its a deck that is abusing the GY so resoundingly through the dredge mechanic that you absolutely need hate against it (or hope to go under them). its just the format itself works against you being able to.
Nov 12, 20184 RIPs is unusual for UW control. normally you only want/need 2, then you can diversify those other slots with similar acting effects with more efficacy in other matchups. though if you want to hate on the GY zone, nothing is stronger.Posted in: Modern
bojuka bog is a pretty normal inclusion for a land tutor package. much like tron might play Scavenger Grounds. relics are also a regular inclusion into tron's main deck - at least it became so with the advent of mono-G.
Surgical looks to be at an all time high usage though. i cant verify that, but i cant remember ever seeing people just straight up playing 3-4 of them. its good in a lot of matchups in modern, but its worrisome because of the decks its good against. as in people are seeing more of the combo/GY stuff that needs serious cheap and decisive interaction therefore they play more. i mean just look at Nikachu's merfolk list from the challenge. 4x mistcallers main with no cursecatchers and 4x surgicals in the side. you cant seriously tell me that this is a normal build for merfolk.
then of course there are people playing these cards in the main deck, which outside of cases like relics in tron or ponza or 1-2 nihil spellbombs in black midrange decks for the artifact card type - its not normal.
McWinSauce, one of the most consistently posted UW players on mtgo, posted a write up reddit about his 7-2 run in the PTQ (the results arent posted on wotcs website as of yet). he describes his experience and how it lead him to play RIPs in the main, emulating the player from the previous mtgo challenge. he legitimately thought making the UW deck significantly weaker by including RIPs was the right call. the irony of it all was that he didnt even play against dredge during the tournament, just hollow one.
Nov 11, 2018i think modern decks are more resilient to hate, or disruption in general. so some cards, say like thoughtseize, give you less bang for your buck. still good, but added together its noticeable. i mean if these decks like kci, dredge, hollow one, hardened scales, etc. werent good at fighting through resistance, they wouldnt be top tier decks.Posted in: Modern
i brought it up earlier, but i think its a matter of consistency. decks that have a single minded strategy, or close to it, build their deck to execute that one thing. other decks arent - the oft referred to 'drawing the wrong half of your deck'. so what would make this potentially a problem now when it hasnt in the past? the only conclusion i can think up is that generic, main deckable, disruption/interaction is less potent; therefore it places more pressure on those sideboard cards to show up.
wizards has gone out of there way to print some 'helper' cards like damping sphere, amulet of safekeeping, infernal reckoning etc, but its not enough. they are still too narrow.
maybe its like KT pointed out with that twitter comment, and that its not specific to modern. however to this day ive never seen one comment about legacy sideboard squeeze. yet its a bigger format with even more degenerate stuff going on. id say a large part of it is because of blue, but answers in general from olden days of magic were notoriously good at ignoring or invalidating text boxes. however it isnt feasible to port that into modern, and i think a good portion of people wouldnt want it if it were offered.
its because of this that i voted to unban twin, sfm, gsz, preordain, and punishing fire.
-twin and gsz because they give rise to powerful creature decks - which is the easiest axis to interact with in the game.
-sfm is a cheap threat that is consistent at playing its needed role - simply put its the ideal midrange card. a new/better option for decks looking to ride the line between proactive and reactive sounds like a positive change to me.
-preordain because it offers a generic cantrip to anyone who isnt taking part in using stirrings or lootings; its a minor upgrade to existing options, but because the selection is frontloaded is ideal for finding disruptive components when you need them. it helps combo, but id argue those decks are already brimming with consistency tools meaning the impact is diffuse. as in one deck upgrading 4/4 cards with X effect, and another upgrading 4/12.
-lastly punishing fire is just a much needed check against opponents flooding the board with garbage, and it offers GRx a unique position in the format. the idea that it would decimate tribal decks is nonsense to me, tribal decks of the past just werent in the same league. fewer creature options, and less means to deploy them.
Nov 11, 2018unbans: gsz, preordain, punishing fire, twin, sfmPosted in: Modern
Nov 10, 2018maybe it is a problem that exists outside of modern. but that in itself doesnt trivialize or invalidate complaints about the modern format based on it. primarily because modern is uniquely situated to where it could be addressed without jumping through too many hoops. the tools are out there, and formats do and have existed where the issue isnt as prevalent. whereas for standard its something they have to address with shifts in their fundamental design philosophy; which involves trial and error. in the mean time, they could work to make modern a stabilizing force in the game. as in 'hey we keep effing up standard, but modern still has it good'. legacy cant fulfill that role, even though it seems it isnt suffering from this hypothetical problem (just other ones), because of the reserved list.Posted in: Modern
id say that modern is already doing this to an extent, like i mentioned before though its a matter of the direction modern is heading; not where it is right now.
Nov 10, 2018yeah the wildcard (huehue) you arent considering is arena.Posted in: Modern
without arena i agree that fetchlands are in the 'someday maybe' territory, along with some other high value reprints. however viewed through the lens of arena, stuff like raising the cost of standard is less of a factor because in the game there isnt a difference between a $1 rare and a $100 rare.
like nobody though onslaught fetches were going to be reprinted in a standard set...until they were. as much as you say people grumbled about the cost of standard at the time, the period where khans was standard legal was successful/popular. in fact i dont think its unreasonable to claim that more people felt secure buying into the format at the time because of the fetches since they were getting in on the ground floor for cards that were almost guaranteed to hold long term value.
also, one of the stated reasons for fetches not seeing standard printings is that dealing with non stop shuffling is a pain in the ass. but, again, arena means this matters less.
its plausible that wizards will decide to move the arena format in a different direction (for the mana base) for the sake of identity. but i do think that if wizards is envisioning a fetch + shock format, and they already have the shocks around, then they might go out of their way to move up the timeline for reprinting so the format can hit the ground running.
for example one of the appeals of a non-rotating format is that cards will likely retain their usefulness past whatever standard season (yeah i know, obvious). wizards could therefore use the printings of the fetchlands as a selling point to get people into a new game they are desperately trying to promote right now. essentially saying 'hey get in on arena now and you can take part in collecting a mana-base that is almost guaranteed to be the gold-standard indefinitely'. arena may be dirt cheap compared to paper, but ive seen people already express dismay at having to grind from the ground up each season. that won't change for standard, it is what it is, but a consolation would be knowing that your arena-modern mana is set.
does that make any sense? or am i just over thinking things?
Nov 10, 2018Posted in: ModernQuote from idSurge »I don't think looting is the issue. Go ahead and hit Ghast if you need to.
Stirrings is offensive, again though, hit it if you want.
In the end, Modern is bursting at the seams, and it's the 'fair' decks suffering for it.
The problem isn't solved with bans.
yeah i agree with you. its a problem that i think is endemic to the format as a whole. playing against such wide ranging strategies includes experience/knowledge of them, but also the ability to leverage it. so it comes down to consistency, which you get with either cheap selection tools or redundancy. wizards doesnt like games playing out too similarly, but not all decks can build redundantly - at least to the same extent/effect. so some decks suffer for it. it just happens that these decks are the ones hoping to interact.
its not too bad at the moment. its not like no fair or interactive decks are at or near the top of the format. the pattern of events in modern over this last year speaks to something that is getting worse over time, and wack-a-mole bannings wont get to the root of it.
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