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  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Quote from idSurge »
    This is so painfully true I almost dont even want to get into it. If you played a UR deck that was not Storm, inside the last year, you ALREADY played a suboptimal 'I'm diverse Modern!' but not really good deck. Phoenix didnt change that. Phoenix just showed what a good UR deck actually looks like.

    By current measures, Phoenix appears to be much more than merely a "good UR deck." Its shares are currently in the Pod/TC/DRS range, I.e. a range of legitimately broken decks, not simply good ones. Modern has not seen these shares between Eldrazi Winter and today, so there is clearly some anomaly in the deck's performance. That said, I do believe the share is (someehat) artificially inflated by the echo chamber of pro and online opinion, which drives a certain type of competitive player to pick up this certain kind of proactive/reactive, consistent, rewarding, and resilient deck. Add in a healthy Standard and the engaging Arena platform, and it's little wonder that many of the better players at big events just audible to a reliable deck like Phoenix.

    BUT, artificial inflation factors aside, the Day 1 to Day 2 to Top 32 jump at the previous GP is an unambiguous indicator of a real performance edge, not just a "good" UR deck.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    I'm a little puzzled why we are still arguing about Phoenix's performance metrics. They unequivocally show overperformance. We can pose better questions (with possible answers) following from the previous weekend:

    1. Why did IP overperform so much?
    1a. A combination of better players gravitating towards it and the deck just being naturally powerful and consistent.

    2. Will IP continue to overperform?
    2a. Probably, for the reasons listed in 1a. Those reasons have already been tested and tried. IP may take a metagame % hit as more people pivot against it, but such a hit is unlikely to be sustained or significant.

    3. Can the metagame adapt to keep Phoenix lower?
    3a. At the local level, probably; individual players can readily adapt to an expected field of known opponents. At the regional/GP level, it's doubtful; if you want a standout "best deck" to audible on, IP is where you want to be. At the MC, almost certainly not; pros will flock to IP because it's the kind of deck they like, they have been so busy jamming Standard/Arena they have less time to prepare, and all quantitative/qualitative signs point to IP being the top Modern contender.

    4. Will a card from IP eat a ban?
    4a. DRS BGx, TC Delver, and Pod were all at similar +/- 20% Day2/T8 metagame numbers when respective cards got banned from those decks. Twin was lower, but there was a PT shakeup factor at play there that won't be at play with IP; the MC is actually before the May B&R update. But the DRS/TC/Pod precedent is pretty clear. TC is a particularly telling example because the card got banned over a roughly 3-4 month period of legality and dominance. IP is putting up similar #s in a similar time-frame. If those numbers are sustained, it's unrealistic to bet against a ban.

    5. What card will be banned from IP, if any?
    5a. It's tough to predict. The TC precedent might suggest Looting (as a draw engine) or Phoenix itself (as the new card that broke the old shell). If MH has Careful Study, Looting seems like a possible ban target with a clear replacement. That said, this undermines Wizards' goal of minimizing ban damage. A looting ban hits a ton of Modern decks, and although some vocal players dislike those decks, it seems unlikely that Wizards will take such a sweeping approach. Manamorphose is a "cuter" ban target, but Wizards has never pulled the trigger on these indirect kinds of ban targets in the past. I've seen those kinds of suggestions made for everything from Bloom through KCI, and they never happen. Phoenix itself is a very targeted ban, and we already know Wizards is willing to ban Standard-legal cards to promote a format's health: see all the Standard bans in the past few years for evidence of this. Based on this, I'd bet on a Phoenix ban itself if a ban happened, followed by Looting as a possible alternate target.
    Quote from cfusionpm »

    I wish people thought this in 2015.

    I don't understand why you are relating this current conversation about IP to the 2015 Twin case. I don't know of many players (i.e. the "people" you talk about in this post) who wanted Twin banned in 2015 (i.e. "who thought this in 2015"). Almost everyone I heard from or talked to were shocked, mad, puzzled, or indifferent. VERY few people wanted a Twin ban. And that's because we've already largely established that the Twin ban was heavily influenced by Wizards' desire to shakeup the upcoming PT. I get that you want the card unbanned; it's been something you and idSurge have tirelessly promoted for over 3 years now. But I don't know why you are bringing it up right now when we are discussing a specific and current issue with present significance to Modern's current state.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Do you enjoy modern right now?
    Quote from ktkenshinx »

    I won't say much about your other points, but this one here is a classic sign of burnout (as idSurge said). I can guarantee you this isn't a Modern-specific issue, as we have an extensive, large N dataset showing that neither grinders nor top pros nor average joes/janes do measurably better/worse from an MWP/standings perspective in Modern vs. Standard or Legacy (not sure about Limited). Anyone is capable of succeeding in any of these big Constructed formats. If you are suddenly experiencing significant difficulties with a format, there are probably a series of small to large issues with your format engagement that are leading to those difficulties. Possibilities include attitude, tunnelvision, autopilot, deck/card choices, lack of perspective, self-expectation, and many others. Goodness knows I've had most/all of those. In fact, I had a similar performance drop in the recent year and did take a break from both Modern and Standard before returning and feeling better. But I don't think any of us would be able to point to a specific thing to work on.

    That said, from my own personal experience, the number one culprit for me and some friends/players I know tends to be attitude issues. This includes cynicism at formats/decks, unwillingness to self-analyze and admit mistakes, taking losses really hard, and general saltiness. Again, I don't know if that's at play with you, but I know it's a rampant issue in this game and community. That makes it a good starting point for self-diagnosis.

    I know I've had issues with all of these things, but I've always had some of those issues at all times. Yes, success breeds a positive attitude, but part of that positive attitude can also be ignorance of why you've really been winning. I try to have no delusions about that.

    I was 2-1 in a 6 round tournament with Dredge 2 weeks ago. I was facing Mono Red Phoenix. My first game went like this...
    1. Creeping Chill, Narcomoeba, Prized Amalgam, land, land, Conflagrate, Golgari Thug - I mulligan the slow hand.
    2. Creeping Chill, Narcomoeba, Prized Amalgam, Life from the Loam, Life from the Loam, Cathartic Reunion - I mulligan because I need 2 lands.
    3. Creeping Chill, Narcomoeba, Prized Amalgam, land, Golgari Thug - Nonfunctional hand.
    4. Creeping Chill, Narcomoeba, Prized Amalgam, Conflagrate - no land.
    5. Creeping Chill, Narcomoeba, Prized Amalgam - I'm not kidding. I remember this hand like it was the back of my hand.
    6. Narcomoeba, land - keep, I doubt I'll find a 1 card hand that has land and then draw Faithless Looting off the top. Scry Prized Amalgam to the bottom.

    In Round 1, I drew just bad enough to not get there against a very strong Eldrazi Taxes draw in games 1 and 3 on the draw. In Rounds 2, 3, 5, and 6, I drew literally the absolute nuts. My tournament report is in "Dredge" for reference. I shuffled about the same way the whole tournament, outside of Round 4 when I tried different methods, including semi-riffle shuffling my deck. I nearly asked a Judge to shuffle my deck this round because no matter how I shuffled my deck, I knew it would do the same thing, but I assumed I'd draw differently in Games 2 and 3. Sure, this match was an extreme version of what I feel has been happening a bunch in Modern, to me AND to my opponents as well. I dredged 3 Creeping Chill on turn 2 against Burn; he scooped on the spot. I played a strong deck. I shuffled well in 5 rounds. I certainly didn't play perfectly. I feel if I had, it's possible that I could have just barely lost in Round 1, but after analyzing part of the match on Twitchtv, I actually didn't see anything differently I could have done, other than not shuffling my opponent to turn 2 Thought-Knot Seer on the play after a mediocre hand by me.

    *You may have noticed I was able to utilize the copypasta option to describe my hands, despite intensive shuffling. I realize that part of this is playing 4 ofs, but the variance is real in that round. I have never, never mulliganed to 2 in my life and especially not rightfully so!

    Those hands sound awful and I doubt there was much you could do to prevent those situations. I had a similar situation in Arena the other day where I had three back-to-back BO3 series with Simic Nexus (25 lands+4 Opt) where an opening 7 had either no lands or a single Forest with no playables, my 6 had literally all lands, and my 5 had a single land. Needless to say, I was very unhappy after those essentially free-win games for my opponent, and I was incredibly salty about the shuffler, variance, luck, etc. But, as with your case at the GP, these kinds of things are guaranteed to happen in a card game. Sometimes you can't win a game. Period. No amount of diagnosing will prevent a loss. That's why the absolute best players on earth tend to hover in the 60%-65% MWP for all formats across a large enough sample. They are going to lose games by no fault of their own, and that's on top of losses to misplays, getting straight outplayed, or tight games that come down to tiny edges where someone's eventually gotta win.

    I've seen a lot of players online and those I know personally get frustrated when their performance doesn't meet an expected standard. For many of those players, the expect standard is unrealistic. Common scenario: someone wants to win 100% of games due to their own tight gameplay. Any deviation from that leads to attitude issues about variance, the shuffler, bad luck, bad matchups, lucksack opponents, opposing "nut draws", etc. But those deviations are natural and part of the game. The subsequent attitude issues, however, are not. They are natural to humans, yes, but not to Magic mechanics. Unfortunately, those human attitude issues tend to lead to later losses and gameplay shortcomings which could've been avoided with a more positive disposition. Indeed, this is where many (not all) pros have an advantage: they can pivot in major events after significant losses (like my Simic Nexus or your Dredge draws) that would turn the average player into a salt mine.

    Pivoting from misfortune is a major Magic skill, but it's not a strict mechanical gameplay skill. Similarly, having realistic expectations is a skill, but also not a Magic mechanics skill. That means knowing and accepting you will lose games without recourse. It also means understanding that a 60%-65% MWP is good at major events. It also means knowing that a 65% MWP can go 2-4 drop at a GP and not be a bad player, or have a cold streak on Arena/MTGO/at an LGS and not be a scrub. If you want to see a Twitch streamer that has changed my own attitude towards Magic, watch Ben Stark. He is unerringly positive and realistic in games, he accepts losses with grace, he admits his own faults, and he's not afraid to admit when a game is simply lost when there is nothing he could do about it. And in those cases, he doesn't let it take his performance in subsequent games.

    Last note. As idSurge has said, as izzetmage always reminds us, and as I have said in basically every combo/Ux control/Ux midrange thread I have ever posted in, PLAY CANTRIPS. Also, play decks that support cantrips! If Magic is a card game that revolves around variance, you are doing a disservice to yourself by not doing what you can to minimize variance. Cantrips are one way to do that and probably the best/most consistent way to do that. Modern has plenty of viable cantrip-heavy decks, and if variance is something that you know will tilt you into oblivion or just make you pissed, those decks are the way to go. But even there, you'll still just lose to things outside of your power and it's important to accept that, move on, and keep playing.
    Quote from gkourou »

    PS: Is this thread going to replace the Modern metagame/bans discussion? If yes, and if the mods think this is wrong, they should let us/me know, and we will stop it immediately Smile

    Not a mod anymore, but I doubt this thread is intended to replace State of Modern. That's why I am largely avoiding ban talk and primarily focusing on enjoyment issues, like FCG's situation above.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Do you enjoy modern right now?

    ***The truth of the matter is that I can outplay mtg players in Limited when it's the first time I've seen the cards in the set, Standard when I know only what's highlighted online, and Legacy when I don't know updated deck lists or results, but I can literally outplay NO ONE in Modern. It's really sad. I probably play Modern 20-30 hours per week and other formats 20-30 hours a month at the very most. For others who outplay players with their Merfolk list and 5-0 every week, I am happy for you. I envy you. I wish I could be like that (again, because I was like that just 2 years ago).

    I won't say much about your other points, but this one here is a classic sign of burnout (as idSurge said). I can guarantee you this isn't a Modern-specific issue, as we have an extensive, large N dataset showing that neither grinders nor top pros nor average joes/janes do measurably better/worse from an MWP/standings perspective in Modern vs. Standard or Legacy (not sure about Limited). Anyone is capable of succeeding in any of these big Constructed formats. If you are suddenly experiencing significant difficulties with a format, there are probably a series of small to large issues with your format engagement that are leading to those difficulties. Possibilities include attitude, tunnelvision, autopilot, deck/card choices, lack of perspective, self-expectation, and many others. Goodness knows I've had most/all of those. In fact, I had a similar performance drop in the recent year and did take a break from both Modern and Standard before returning and feeling better. But I don't think any of us would be able to point to a specific thing to work on.

    That said, from my own personal experience, the number one culprit for me and some friends/players I know tends to be attitude issues. This includes cynicism at formats/decks, unwillingness to self-analyze and admit mistakes, taking losses really hard, and general saltiness. Again, I don't know if that's at play with you, but I know it's a rampant issue in this game and community. That makes it a good starting point for self-diagnosis.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Quote from metalmusic_4 »
    Ktkenshinx, I agree with most everything you just said except for at the very end you said to not look at.twin for comparison. I understand what happened with twin very well. (with the pt shack up, it had won two pt before and their were several varients taking up descent Meta game share and so on.) I think we should compare this to twin as much as those others. The two cant help but draw comparisons. Pheonix is a resilient UR shell that kills quickly, cantrips a lot, controls the board (with bolt, lightning axe and thing in the ice instead of bolt, remand and cryptics) before winning with a difficult to deal with threat and is generally called the best deck in the format during its time. That sounds alot like twin to me. Twins meta game share was lower than this however, but I see enough similarities and minor enough differences that make me think it makes for a decent enough comparison. I agree the other decks you named are good comparisons (except TC delver, TC was broken and deserved what it got. DTT we could discuss), but I think twin fits in this discussion too. The probe ban also fits here if we are targeting faithless looting.

    My question boils down to: I see enough to compare pheonix to twin as well as those other decks, so would you please expand on why twin is not a good enough comparison on par with the other decks you named?

    You can certainly compare the decks on function, role, and play style. The banning comparison just isn't very strong because Phoenix's performance seems to be exceeding Twin territory and entering Pod, TC, and DRS territory. Just use those clearer comparisons. There's also no secondary PT shakeup factor at work in a potential Phoenix-targeted ban, in stark contrast to the Twin case. This is almost necessarily true if for no other reason than that the ban date will literally be after the PT. We actually saw decks hit Twin shares in the past and avoid a ban, especially in a short window. But we have never seen decks sustain current Phoenix numbers for even a 3-4 month period and survive a ban update. TC Delver is a perfect example of a URx deck dominating due to new tech in a 3-4 month period, hitting that 20%+ range, and then getting a ban. Use those better and cleaner TC, Pod, DRS, and BBE examples, not the muddled and messy Twin one.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from whocansay »
    Oh great, more Twin comparisons. Like Drowsy said, KCI wasn't banned to increase metagame diversity.
    It's not unwarranted. Literally every justification WOTC gave against Twin can be levied against Phoenix. Every, single, one. Either Phoenix is fine, and the criteria for banning Twin was a load of crap. Or Phoenix will be banned at the next announcement.

    Many of us already know that the Twin ban was in part a load of crap Wizards packaged to justify a PT shakeup ban. That's why they changed their ban timing in the future, made some public statements about Modern goals, and have been more conservative with bans ever since. Bringing Twin into this current conversation doesn't really have bearing on the Phoenix situation. TC Delver, DRS BGx, and Pod are all much better examples, given the level of Phoenix performance we are seeing now. The ban announcement is also after the MC, so the shakeup factor isn't even on the table.
    All that does is further support a ban. Do you feel Phoenix should be banned?

    There are 3 more GP and an MC before the May ban update. If this current trend continues, then something needs to be banned.

    Re: Eldrazi Winter comparisons
    I don't understand why people keep mentioning or thinking about Eldrazi Winter in Phoenix discussions. The comparison is not even close. Eldrazi was approaching 40% of GP Day 2 numbers when Eye got banned. One GP saw it at 47%. It averaged 5 T8 slots in the 4 major events that happened during its run. For more on the unprecedented, outrageous, and almost comical Eldrazi dominance, I encourage people to read through my old 2016 articles that documented the disaster:
    http://modernnexus.com/sifting-through-the-grand-prix-eldrazi-rubble/
    http://modernnexus.com/modern-metagame-breakdown-2516-362016/

    Phoenix does not remotely compare to Eldrazi Winter by any metric I have seen or know about. That said, it does compare very well to previous metagame diversity violators like Pod, TC Delver, DRS BGx, and BBE Jund. I think people are so appalled with the current Phoenix dominance that they are jumping to the most hyperbolic comparison they can think of (Eldrazi). But really, this is probably just another Pod/Delver/BGx situation that we've dealt with in four previous decks throughout Modern history. Remember that Phoenix was still only 21% collectively of just the weekend's events (https://www.reddit.com/r/ModernMagic/comments/b27w1z/combined_day_2_metagame_percentages_from_bilbao/). And that includes an SCG event, which we have no reason to believe Wizards cares about, and excludes data from previous GP that would undoubtedly be considered in a banlist discussion.

    If people want something banned from Phoenix specifically, look to these past examples of similarly dominant decks (Pod, DRS BGx, TC Delver, etc.). Don't look to Twin (a much lower share because of a PT shakeup factor), don't look to Eldrazi (which was almost twice as bad), and don't look to previous cries for bans that didn't pan out (Stirrings, Opal, GDS, Humans, and other Modern topics never reached this current Phoenix level).
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from whocansay »
    Oh great, more Twin comparisons. Like Drowsy said, KCI wasn't banned to increase metagame diversity.
    It's not unwarranted. Literally every justification WOTC gave against Twin can be levied against Phoenix. Every, single, one. Either Phoenix is fine, and the criteria for banning Twin was a load of crap. Or Phoenix will be banned at the next announcement.

    Many of us already know that the Twin ban was in part a load of crap Wizards packaged to justify a PT shakeup ban. That's why they changed their ban timing in the future, made some public statements about Modern goals, and have been more conservative with bans ever since. Bringing Twin into this current conversation doesn't really have bearing on the Phoenix situation. TC Delver, DRS BGx, and Pod are all much better examples, given the level of Phoenix performance we are seeing now. The ban announcement is also after the MC, so the shakeup factor isn't even on the table.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    KCI was banned because of the gameplay it produced, not just the power level. If it won quickly, it would have been tolerated for much longer.
    Quote from whocansay »
    Oh great, more Twin comparisons. Like Drowsy said, KCI wasn't banned to increase metagame diversity.

    KCI was banned because of the gameplay it produced, not just the power level. If it won quickly, it would have been tolerated for much longer.

    I can see that. A player sitting around drooling or using the restroom while his opponent maneuvers half of a crucial turn is very bad game play, especially when watched on stream. I just think that sometimes, some people get caught up with thinking they have a chance against 3-4 creatures, but not against 1 recurring artifact. But that's too bad. I am one of those players that takes joy in my opponent's brain going into nowhere land while I draw my deck. Wink

    We know exactly why KCI was banned. There's no need to speculate. The reasons are explicitly stated in a Wizards article that is less than 2 months old: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/january-21-2019-banned-and-restricted-announcement

    Specifically, Wizards cited the following reasons:

    1. KCI was "...posting more individual-play Modern Grand Prix Top 8 finishes than any other archetype, despite being only a modest portion of the field."
    2. KCI showed "...no signs of the Ironworks deck's dominance at the GP level slowing down..."
    3. (MOST IMPORTANT) "...the primary reasons for banning a card from the Ironworks deck are its raw win rate and high GP Top 8 conversion rate..."
    4. (ALSO IMPORTANT) KCI was banned for a "...highly polarized Game 1 (pre-sideboard) win rate, sometimes long turn length, and difficult rules interactions as secondary factors."

    Phoenix and KCI aren't exactly comparable. Phoenix is by FAR the most-played deck at these recent events, so its T8 conversion is close to expected and not particularly surprising. A better comparison for a possible Phoenix ban would be Pod, TC, DRS, or BBE, examples that included a deck with 20%+ Day 2 metagame shares that also had 20%+ GP/PT T8 shares. Phoenix does not seem to be overperforming relative to its prevalence, unlike KCI. It's just a known best-deck that everyone seems to agree is a best deck and as a result it is wildly overrepresented relative to other strategies. This brings us back to the classic Pod/TC/DRS/BBE ban scenarios of past years.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Everything I and others have said about Phoenix for months still holds true (e.g. low variance, high ceiling, low floor, proactive w reactive elements, strong MWP spread, etc.), but I actually think there's another reason for Phoenix's success. This is the success of Arena. When Standard sucked, there was little reason to play it instead of Modern, and I theorize we had more Modern diehards sticking to their same rotation of 1-3 decks and/or casual Modern players who avoided Standard entirely. But with Arena being so successful, partially due to an awesome Standard, people aren't spending as much time in Modern MTGO or FNM venues as they used to. This is especially true for highly visible pros who need to double down on Arena and Standard testing on Twitch. As such, if you suddenly need to play Modern at a GP, you might have less testing, less time, and less investment in the format now than you once did.

    All of this makes a deck like Izzet Phoenix even more appealing because it's a consensus best-deck that overlaps with a familiar Standard play style and doesn't take a lot of money or play investment to get going. Add in the echo chamber effect of pros and grinders and regular players all repeating the same sentiment for the same reasons, and you have yet another element of the perfect storm of Phoenix dominance.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Bilbao has a horrible T8, made even more horrible by the fact that European GP are typically more interactive and control-focused than American ones. Unfortunately, as I and others have said, it's just so easy to gravitate towards the high-ceiling, low-floor, cantrips-heavy, low-variance, proactive with reactive element style of Phoenix. Its matchup spectrum appears mostly in the 50-50+ range per CFB articles and its overall MWP is respectable at 53-54%. It's also an easy jump from other formats and it's a natural choice for spikier players. Due to these factors, the MC is probably going to be overrun with this deck.

    Wizards will likely take action on May 20 at the next scheduled update IF the LA and Bilbao trends continue. That said, there are still 3 Modern GP between now and the MC, so there is time for format change to occur. It's hard to tell how much of the current Looting dominance is real performance vs. an echo chamber effect of online communities endlessly meming the same narratives about Modern decks. We went through a 2018 period of Stirrings dominance that eventually died down, so we really need to wait until May to get a better picture. That said, in the short term, 2019 Looting does appear to be overpefroming even Stirrings at its 2018 height.

    If nothing changes between now and early May (the MC is the last weekend of April), and if a ban happens, the obvious target would be Looting itself. This is a card that R&D members admitted in a recent video was a topic of conversation. Hopefully it doesn't come to that, but the LA and Bilbao pattern is ugly.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Quote from gkourou »
    @ktk, those colours won't help people that much though. I think we would need a colourless and one hybrid mana to be efficient.

    Revival or Consecrate cost would be fine and mostly in-pie for both effects. Pushed for Standard but appropriate for MH or a similar product.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Quote from The Fluff »
    On Phoenix. Perhaps we need more graveyard removal that are enchantments like Planar Void, to slow down the faithless loot decks. Maybe void or something similar to it will be printed in MH1?

    Void is too specialized. Effective contemporary GY hate needs to be templated like Knight of Autumn, a modal spell that is never dead and still advances your board state and gameplan. Alternately, you need creature removal that exiles or bottoms creatures. Something like:

    Grafdigger's Strike 1W/B mana
    Instant
    Choose one or both:
    -Exile target creature if its power is less than or equal to 3.
    -Exile up to three target cards from a graveyard.

    Tweak numbers as needed, or adjust power to CMC, toughness, etc. And, disclaimer, I'm more about stats and metagames than design. That said, this is the general kind of tool Wizards needs to print (again, don't get too caught up on the #s) in order to create effective, modal answers to different Modern threats. BO1 Arena design will thankfully push design in this direction, as will Wizards' increasing understanding that Modern needs specialized cards.

    EDIT: Changed the cost due to GK's suggestion. Really pushed but a great idea!
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    The last few posts have underscored one of Modern's (Magic's?) biggest issues: inconsistent definitions of important, common terms. The following terms are supposed to be important but, in practice, have become largely meaningless as we all have different understandings of their definitions:

    Fair vs. unfair
    Linear vs. non-linear
    Interactive vs. non-interactive
    Midrange vs. tempo vs. control vs. disruptive aggro etc.
    Tier X vs. Tier Y
    Warping vs. format-defining
    Broken vs. powerful

    There are probably others I haven't mentioned here too. These definitely COULD be meaningful terms, but most people who cite them aren't speaking the same language. I'm not even suggesting there is necessarily a right or wrong answer here. I'm simply saying that people aren't using the terms the same way. This makes it challenging to have productive conversations about many hot-button Modern issues. I know that I and others have at least tried to agree on some definitions in the past, just so we are understanding the terms in the same way, but I've found most people in this thread aren't super interested in those conversations. Until we have a shared understanding of those definitions, we will probably have more disagreements about topics that we might actually be in agreement about.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Do you enjoy modern right now?
    Quote from Bearscape »
    Ok so that comment was mostly just an innocent jab but of course matchup lottery is a thing, that's just common sense. If there is a wide array of decks that people play, playing linear decks is a winning strategy. It's not even a complaint; without standard's limited cardpool or legacy and vintage's format warping cards, modern's wideness inherently promotes linear decks and I don't expect any banning, unbanning or new printing to change that

    When the linear noninteractive decks then also become the most consistent and powerful strategies, giving little payoff for trying to beat the field, that is where I say modern is going wrong

    On the one hand, it's almost necessarily true that a diverse field favors proactive strategies that don't try to react to a predicted set of threats. On the other hand, we still see major events like GP Toronto's February 2019 T8 with two unambiguously interactive decks (BG Rock). As I said in another thread, it's easy to find a major result example for most Modern narratives that one wants to see. That ultimately means the true Modern picture is probably somewhere in the middle of those views. Both the reddit and our poll appear to reflect this, with most people enjoying Modern but still identifying issues that need solving.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Do you enjoy modern right now?
    Quote from Bearscape »
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Yeah, thank GOD that deck lost favor at my store. But instead I have to deal with monumental disparity between streamlined tier decks and wacky random brews, or decks way out of favor. Just this last week, I lost a tight round 1 against Eldrazi Taxes (hi RIP and Leyline against GDS), so I go into the loser's bracket and play Bant Pile of Planeswalkers, then Grindstone combo, then Eldrazi Stopmpy. Awesome. Why do I even bother trying to pick my deck or tune my sideboard for anything. Meanwhile, the other half of the room was all Humans, Spirits, and Phoenix.


    Man with such a matchup lottery, it almost sounds like you would've been better off playing something extremely linear that can mostly ignore the opponent's gameplan Wink

    For what feels like the two dozenth time, matchup lottery is not a real effect. There is no difference between top player MWP in Modern vs. other formats at either the SCG or GP level. The ceiling and spread are both statistically identical. Either so-called matchup lottery doesn't exist at all in Modern, or it has no impact on MWP for top players. This is true of both average grinders who attend lots of events and true of the top 50ish players in the world. Either way, it's not something to complain about. Philosophically, it's also not something to complain about because we know Modern will always be, and has always been, Wizards' diversity format. They want as many random, diverse decks viable as possible, which necessarily leads to less predictable fields. If one doesn't like diversity, Modern is not the format for that player. There are many legitimate things to complain about in Modern, and I have stayed largely silent in this thread and the State of Modern thread recently while people identify those legitimate areas of grievance. But matchup lottery is not one.
    Posted in: Modern
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