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Magic Market Index for Dec 21st, 2018
 
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  • posted a message on [POLL] What cards do you want banned or unbanned in the January 21, 2019, announcement?
    Quote from DarthDrac »
    On past history, Wizards won't ban Arclight Phoenix or Hollow One, they would go after an enabler Faithless Looting Manamorphose or Burning Inquiry. The same applies to KCI; Scrap Trawler, Ancient Stirrings or Ichor Wellspring are more likely. I don't want any of the first 3 banned, nor do I want Ancient Stirrings to take the hit, since the next degenerate play-style will just be a bunch of Aether Vial decks and I hate Vial.

    What I think Wizards need to do is have a better answer, of the banned cards at present only one of them would work, that is Mental Misstep. However Mental Misstep counters Mental Misstep, which means apparently everyone (except they didn't in standard) ends up running it, even in tight linear decks... So they need a spell like Misstep, but not Misstep, it needs to be a free counter, pay life and reveal an island or some such, since it has to answer turn 1 plays.

    Or you just ban Faithless Looting, Ancient Stirrings and Aether Vial, slow the format right down and lose all trust, until somewhere in the 12000+ modern legal cards someone finds something else broken...

    If past history is any indication, Wizards isn't going to ban three multi-deck enablers when none of those cards or decks are collectively or individually creating known banlist violations. The sole exception is KCI, which can be handled through more surgical bans. This isn't whack-a-mole, ban-the-best-Modern-deck format management. Wizards isn't going to nuke format confidence or imperil diversity with this kind of 3+ card ban update. They will conservatively target an actual offender, e.g. KCI, and unban appropriate cards, e.g. SFM. All these other expansive and overreaching ban suggestions are largely just vocal minorities wanting to impose their own format management style to address personal gripes.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Quote from Pistallion »
    It was pretty much 100% Scrap Trawler and the slight innovations of Nass to include stuff like buried ruin, inventors fair and EE. Thats why I Think Scrap Trawler should be banned because it's the real reason the deck is busted. The reason why it goes infinite and the reason why it's resilient to all non persistent grave hate.

    Old eggs could exist without both KCI and Scrap Trawler but is no where as good

    I also think Trawler is the ban target. KCI itself is another option, but something like Wellspring is too cute and indirect.

    That said, this isn't necessarily the banlist update where all these changes happen. The February update would also be possible. But I do wager we'll see some changes before March.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    So tired of those posts getting made to Reddit and/or shared on social media. I disproved the last one about Ensnaring Bridge and it looks like this one is just as fraudulent. Posts like that just increase ban mania, uncertainty during an already uncertain period, distrust, and misinformation. They are terrible for the community and I wish Reddit was more responsible in shutting down or editing such information once it has clearly been proven false.

    I'll also add that information consumers have a responsibility to be more discriminating. It takes about 15 seconds of running this through any free photo forensic software to identify glaring signs of a faked screenshot. It literally says it's a photoshopped image in the metadata. I don't know about you, but I don't run my screenshots through photoshop before posting them.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)

    As I posted in that thread, I hope someone with more time/bandwidth than I can pool their GP Oakland sample with my sample to get N even larger. I give all the matchup and sample Ns plus percentages, so this should be methodically easy, albeit time consuming.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [POLL] What cards do you want banned or unbanned in the January 21, 2019, announcement?
    As someone who always supports "no changes" both from a predictive and advisory standpoint, I'm betting on some kind of change in this update, especially 1+ unban. A ban is also on the table, but it's a little harder to predict because there are no clearly violated criteria right now. I'm also not sure if Wizards will do a dual ban/unban, a single ban, or a single unban; there are precedents for all of those approaches. So I guess my firmest prediction is some kind of change in this update or the next, but I'm not 100% sure about what that would be or even exactly when. If I had to guess, it would be an SFM unban, which flagrantly doesn't fit in any of the top decks, and a KCI-focused ban, as the deck is potentially violating multiple criteria in small ways. That last one is still tricky.

    GP scheduling will likely affect the timing too. There's a Modern GP on February 8, followed by a giant Modern stretch on March 1-3, March 15-17 (Tampa AND Bilbao), and then AGAIN on March 29! That's a lot of Modern! If you're Wizards, you probably want your big unban to happen before that month so you can get people pumped up and ensure attendance.

    Based on all that, I'd be betting on "some changes" including at least one unban in either this update or the February update. March Modern Madness is too big to fail and Wizards will likely want to promote it as much as possible.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Quote from KTROJAN »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Quote from KTROJAN »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Quote from KTROJAN »
    Shadow is tempo not midrange

    Traditionally, tempo decks deploy threats and then protect the threats and/or disrupt the opponent while the threat wins. Midrange decks tend to disrupt first and then deploy threats on a safe board, although some will still seek to protect a deployed threat later. See the difference between traditional Delver builds (T1 Delver/Swiftspear, hold up protection/removal) and old school BGx (T1 DS into T2 removal/Bob into T3 Lily into a clock). GDS can certainly role-shift in matchups, but it's more fundamentally a midrange deck than a tempo deck.

    So traditionally gds is tempo. That’s why it plays stubborn denial to protect its big threat it played on t2. Gds isn’t midrange imo.

    The line of T2 GDS/Angler/Tasigur into Denial is way less common than the line of T1 removal/discard into T2 removal/discard/cantrip into T3 threat. You just need to look at the decklists to verify this, with few top-placing lists running more than 3 Stubs. Instead, they run 6 discard and 6+ removal, plus all the cantrips. Even without watching a single game, we can tell that the odds of drawing deployable threat into Stubs is way lower than the other play patterns.

    That doesn’t change the fact that DS plays a threat and then protects it. They don’t look to grind out games they look to end them. They don’t often need the t2 stub when they go disruption, disruption, and then threat. They look to fade 1 turn then protect the queen. While smashing face (sometimes killing in 1 turn with tbr).

    It's possible you responded before my edit, in which case I encourage you to read Reid Duke's Thoughtseize and Fatal Push series on CF. He defines GDS as "black midrange," a definition I agree with based on both observed play patterns, deck composition, and historical classifications. Also, to put it simply, it's frikkin Reid Duke master of Midrange. If he calls it Midrange, it's Midrange.

    See here for where he sets up GDS as Black Midrange and defines the archetype: https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/thoughtseizes-and-fatal-pushes-part-i/

    See here for his dig into GDS as a Black Midrange deck specifically: https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/thoughtseizes-and-fatal-pushes-part-iii-grixis-deaths-shadow/

    I was a little more open to this archetype debate until I remembered this article and Duke's position. I'm just unwilling to argue with his classification given that man's knowledge of Magic, Modern, midrange, and these decks. Coupled with all the other elements I and others posted about, it's pretty clearly the proper classification.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Quote from KTROJAN »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Quote from KTROJAN »
    Shadow is tempo not midrange

    Traditionally, tempo decks deploy threats and then protect the threats and/or disrupt the opponent while the threat wins. Midrange decks tend to disrupt first and then deploy threats on a safe board, although some will still seek to protect a deployed threat later. See the difference between traditional Delver builds (T1 Delver/Swiftspear, hold up protection/removal) and old school BGx (T1 DS into T2 removal/Bob into T3 Lily into a clock). GDS can certainly role-shift in matchups, but it's more fundamentally a midrange deck than a tempo deck.

    So traditionally gds is tempo. That’s why it plays stubborn denial to protect its big threat it played on t2. Gds isn’t midrange imo.

    The line of T2 GDS/Angler/Tasigur into Denial is way less common than the line of T1 removal/discard into T2 removal/discard/cantrip into T3 threat. You just need to look at the decklists to verify this, with few top-placing lists running more than 3 Stubs. Instead, they run 6 discard and 6+ removal, plus all the cantrips. Even without watching a single game, we can tell that the odds of drawing deployable threat into Stubs is way lower than the other play patterns.

    EDIT: In addition to these observations, I'll add that Reid Duke classifies it as midrange in his Thoughtseize/Fatal Push series. All those datapoints point to it being midrange, not tempo: https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/thoughtseizes-and-fatal-pushes-part-iii-grixis-deaths-shadow/
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Quote from KTROJAN »
    Shadow is tempo not midrange

    Traditionally, tempo decks deploy threats and then protect the threats and/or disrupt the opponent while the threat wins. Midrange decks tend to disrupt first and then deploy threats on a safe board, although some will still seek to protect a deployed threat later. See the difference between traditional Delver builds (T1 Delver/Swiftspear, hold up protection/removal) and old school BGx (T1 DS into T2 removal/Bob into T3 Lily into a clock). GDS can certainly role-shift in matchups, but it's more fundamentally a midrange deck than a tempo deck.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Reddit thread is up. I made some small edits to the post but didn't make a lot of changes overall from yesterday. Thanks to everyone who looked it over! I assumed, hopefully correctly, that a lack of major feedback here is because there weren't too many significant issues.

    Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/ModernMagic/comments/afmpyd/2018_top_deck_matchup_win_percentage_review/
    Blogpost: https://mtgmodernmetrics.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/2018-top-deck-performance-review/

    Re: SCG Day 2
    Phoenix is a very strong deck. It runs a crap ton of cantrips and has extreme velocity, making it the exact kind of turbo-xerox consistency machine that pros gravitate towards. It has a relatively low floor to success and a very high ceiling. I think I talked about this before, but again, I expect these qualities will drive more and more top players towards this deck in the absence of other options. It doesn't hurt that the deck is strong against some other strategies in the field.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The People's Pod
    Quote from Xanian7 »
    Quote from Lectrys »

    Because my aim is to quickly combo off--opponents not killing Vannifar are signs that they may not have removal, and I believe we should punish those players as quickly and harshly as possible--I've left in only the best hate bears. Hate permanents are now common enough in Game 1 that I've put Deputy of Detention in the maindeck. Knight of Autumn has been a barely-good-enough Swiss army knife. Scavenging Ooze is a graveyard-hating bear that can get enormous. Magus of the Moon sometimes harms my plan, but I can still combo off with the 1-drop chain as long as I don't use up my land drop for the turn until after Scryb Ranger bounces a Forest, and it's very powerful against some decks and starts.

    Losing singletons pre-combo has occasionally been troublesome, but those slow down my combo at worst--though, occasionally, the loss of turns has cost me the game against faster decks. Note that a Scryb Ranger in play can also be turned into the combo in 1 turn, and Phantasmal Image enables the 2-drop and 1-drop chain without Scryb Ranger.

    So for the 1-drop chain, I think I'm missing something.
    1-drop -> Scryb, untap pod
    Scryb -> Rallier, get back scryb and untap pod
    Scryb -> Deceiver Exarch, untap pod
    Exarch -> Resto, blink Rallier to get back Scryb (or just blink exarch), untap pod
    Exarch -> ??? Ranger of Eos? But now what?

    Also, how's the manabase working out for you? It seems really rough and extremely vulnerable to field of ruin and any land disruption whatsoever

    Don't sac Exarch. Sac Rallier and get Resto Angel, flickering Exarch and untapping Vannifar. Now sac Resto for Kiki Jiki and copy Exarch, pointing triggers at Kiki and creating the army.

    For mana, you really should be able to go UGw and keep a stable manabase. UGWR is definitely hard to support though.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on The People's Pod
    I think this deck will actually be viable. Vannifar is Bolt-proof and, courtesy of Chord, produces a Twin-like effect on opponents who want to use their mana. This creates artificial tempo advantages which the Vannifar player can use to just create pressure. The basic Chord toolbox shell is also viable in itself (see Cragenwick decks most recently), which gives me further confidence in her success.

    As for names, I wouldn't get too cute with it. This deck will almost certainly be called Vannifar Pod if it makes it big, or something to that effect.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Soft-publishing this here for feedback and edits:
    https://mtgmodernmetrics.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/2018-top-deck-performance-review/

    It's a 2018 summary of all the compiled GP/SCG data we have about matchups and MWP. I'll publish to Reddit on Monday after incorporating feedback. I request that people keep this under wraps until it's finalized. Please note the limitations section and don't just parrot about how N isn't 10,000. Nothing drives me crazier.

    Here are the summarized MWPs for top decks with N>300 from the past year with sample size and 95% confidence interval for the MWP:

    KCI: 56.9% (N= 693, 53.2%-60.5%)
    Dredge: 55.1% (N= 314, 49.6%-60.6%)
    HS Affinity: 55% (N= 460, 50.5%-59.5%)
    Bant Spirits: 53.9% (N= 323, 48.4%-59.3%)
    Counters Company: 53.7% (N= 419, 48.9%-58.5%)
    Humans: 51.8% (N= 1520, 49.3%-54.3%)
    UW Control: 51.6% (N= 888, 48.3%-54.9%)
    Gx Tron: 51.5% (N= 1026, 48.4%-54.5%)
    Hollow One: 50.8% (N= 494, 46.4%-55.2%)
    Storm: 50.1% (N= 425, 45.4%-54.9%)
    Grixis Death’s Shadow: 50.1% (N= 485, 45.7%-54.6%)
    Infect: 49.6% (N= 510, 45.3%-53.9%)
    Burn: 49.6% (N= 1136, 46.7%-52.5%)
    Jeskai Control: 48.4% (N= 833, 45%-51.8%)
    Titanshift: 47% (N= 483, 42.5%-51.4%)
    Jund: 46.3% (N= 734, 42.7%-49.9%)
    Mardu Pyromancer: 46% (N= 678, 42.3%-49.8%)
    Affinity: 44% (N= 609, 40.1%-47.9%)

    I'm not going to try and translate the matchup win% matrix here because there's too much going on there. Check out the post for details about those matchups.

    Looking forward to feedback!
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Quote from idSurge »
    Yeah I remember, and I think a lot of people around here at least hung on your website and words at the time, its why it was such a body blow when the hammer came down.

    One of the issues is that I placed too much emphasis on overall metagame share to predict bans, when GP/PT T8s were a better predictor. I've adjusted since then, which is one reason I and others in this thread have successfully and confidently defended a "No changes/No bans" standpoint when it comes to metagame/format diversity violators since Eldrazi Winter. This, despite crap like people calling for bans on Humans, GDS, Gx Tron, and other decks that appeared to be the "best" but were unequivocally not violating the best ban indicators we had. T4 rule violators are harder to assess because it requires access to data we don't have. Other ban criteria, e.g. battle of sideboards, are also more opaque.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Twin talk is again completely out of control. Maybe it will be banned in the next iteration of this thread.
    Quote from Wraithpk »

    I didn't say that every ban was related to this. First of all, in the initial banlist they basically banned all the best decks from Extended. After the first Modern Pro Tour, they banned a bunch of cards from all the best performing decks. About a year later, the two best decks were Jund and Storm, so BBE and Seething Song got banned. A year after that, Jund was still the best deck, so DRS got banned. A year after that, putting aside the obviously broken Treasure Cruise, the best deck was Pod, so that got banned. The next year, Twin was the best deck, so it was banned. I'm not saying that all of these bans weren't justified, but WotC was obviously actively pruning the power of the format to keep it more modest. It wasn't really until Pod when people were grumbling about this, and until Twin when there was a sizeable backlash. The backlash of the Twin ban caused them to back off being so aggressive with their bans, and I would say that everything that's been banned since has been justified.

    This is a more interesting discussion point. For reference, here's the original quote that Wraith appears to be clarifying:
    Quote from Wraithpk »

    Let's not kid ourselves here, Twin got banned because WotC was in the habit of banning the best deck every year to keep Modern's power level in check, and Twin just happened to be the best deck of 2015. The community outrage over the Twin banning is precisely why WotC has let up on their bans. I have no doubt that GDS would have been banned last year, and probably Humans and KCI this year, under their old way of doing things. And under their current more conservative approach, Twin probably wouldn't have been banned.

    Emphasis added. This bolded statement is sort-of, kind-of true, but not in any meaningful sense. It's true in the sense that the real ban criteria of "T4 rule violation" and "metagame diversity violation" tend to also be associated with best decks. That is, if your deck is strong enough to be 25% of the metagame, it's probably the best at the time. But it's not true in the sense that a best deck at any time is in danger of a ban, with the sole exception of Twin. You can't use "best deck" and "metagame diversity violator"/"T4 rule violator" as synonymous.

    Up until Twin, all of the metagame diversity violators were pretty stark and extreme. BBE Jund exceeded 25% of the metagame. DRS BGx was 20%-25% depending on what stats you looked at. Pod and TC were in the 20% range. Comparing prevalence exceeding 20% to deck prevalence in normal, healthy Modern (where nothing sustains >15% for longer than a few months), and it's clear this is a few deviations over the norm. Twin was obviously questionable from a metagame share perspective, and I've already argued multiple times with extensive evidence, whether or not one agrees with it, that the true reason to ban Twin was to shake up the PT. But as you said, since then, Wizards has stopped this practice.

    If we are going to talk about historical ban context, we need to use the known methods, quotes, metrics, and standards that Wizards used at the time. This means we should not infer that a "best deck" was banned when Wizards literally offered explanations for each ban that cited a series of reasons that did not include that deck being the best. The exception to this was Twin, when I and others did some intensive digging to build extensive cases for ulterior motives. But that case-building cannot be done with a single paragraph.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [POLL] What cards do you want banned or unbanned in the January 21, 2019, announcement?
    Quote from whocansay »
    Is there any other deck out there that fights through hate as effectively as KCI does?

    No. Not major decks, at least. It somehow manages to sustain an unprecedented win rate and GP performance while also promoting a clear battle of sideboard by demanding specific hate that is all but required to win. No other Stirrings deck has the same performance metrics which is why the conversation should continue to be focused on KCI.
    Posted in: Modern
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