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  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    At this point, Hogaak Bridge has all the hallmarks of a broken deck, except a major paper finish/presence. If it enjoys this kind of performance at the upcoming GP, it will have more than enough data points to justify a ban. If it doesn't, it might still have enough data points based on MTGO alone; GGT was banned without too much Dredge dominance at the GP level.

    As other users have noted in the swirl of ban talk around Hogaak, none of this should change our ban method. Waiting for more data to validate a ban theory has proven a significantly more reliable and accurate method of predicting bans and brokenness than the knee-jerk responses we typically see. We should not change that method in the future regardless of how Hogaak turns out.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [M20] Core Set Magic 2020 Previews: Modern Discussion
    Quote from Kathal »
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but this line only works out, if you have double Amulet, since initial land + Field = 4 mana and not 6.

    Greetings,
    Kathal

    You're right. I edited it for a T3 line instead. Good catch.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [M20] Core Set Magic 2020 Previews: Modern Discussion
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from Taleran »
    Huh this feels like it will do something


    Is the sacrifice line a triggered ability that can be abused with Amulet of Vigor to get the 3 mana first?

    Yep. This card is very good with Amulet of Vigor and totally nuts with multiple Amulets.

    EDITED: I was wrong with my first post.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Re: graveyard hate prevalence
    To some extent, there isn't anything necessarily wrong with maindeck or prevalent graveyard hate. It's not like the graveyard is a niche resource anymore. There are so many strategies which use it to some extent. I expect sweepers are dead in fewer matchups than graveyard hate, which doesn't mean the format is broken, but does mean we need to recognize the graveyard as an important gameplay element. The problem arises in two situations. First, it comes up when decks have too much graveyard hate. This is the Mirrodin-era precedent with artifact hate. It's probably fine to have 2-3 MD GY hate spells and maybe 1-2 more in the SB. But requiring 8 is probably too many and a sign of warping. Second, we face a problem when drawing that GY hate is the only way to win a matchup. This is Wizards' initial ban rationale in the GGT ban, that games come down to who draws GY hate and who draws the counter to GY hate. If that is happening on a significant scale, that's also a problem.

    Re: Hogaak Vine
    There are no results from this weekend that will, or should, change my position. Our ban method should not change until we have consistent results from multiple venues over a longer time range than two weeks. It doesn't matter if the people calling for a Hogaak Vine ban end up being right and the card gets banned in July or later. If the ban mania method hits the target once every 1-2 years, we don't suddenly adopt it and ignore the literal dozens of misses this method produces. That method of asking for bans within two weeks of a breakout deck was wrong on so many strategies in the last two years. Instead, we stick with the data-first method, which successfully predicted the KCI ban and every "No changes" since 2017. This method may well point to a Hogaak Vine ban in a few weeks after we get some paper data and/or more sustained MTGO results. I would rather we use the accurate method that is sometimes slower to identify true problems than the inaccurate method that quickly indicts numerous strategies that ultimately are proven innocent.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Quote from idSurge »
    I would be very against card patching, as I just do not believe Wizards would be able to get it right.

    Would Goyf see play a 2G? (Assuming it saw play today) probably not. Being on the treadmill of constant updates, constant tweaks, and thats before set releases...its a terrible life, and anyone that games semi-competitively online is well used to it from any number of 'I just want to play but you keep changing it' competitive online games.

    Quote from The Fluff »
    What kind of card patching exactly.. is it increase cmc?. Games on paper would be awkward as when I for example play a Goblin Guide, what's written on the card is R but I had to tap two mana because WoTC "patched" it to become 1R. Patching the rules text of a card would be even worse.. I would pretty much prefer bans to patching.

    I'm less talking about cards like Guide and Goyf, which have never been banned, and am instead talking about cards that were banned in one format or another. Patching would just be an alternative to banning. Of course, as you both suggest, this opens up the can of worms to patching for all kinds of balance reasons, not just bans. I too am not entirely confident Wizards would do this right. It's just the direction I eventually see the game going in the distant future.
    Quote from DaveJacinto »
    Patching in paper doesn't make any sense at all. It would just be an extreme mess with rules and whatnot. The effects on the secondary market would be so huge that it's unthinkable. Besides it would just make their Design team more loose on doing real testing, like HS does. Actually it is the number one reason I dislike HS. I'd just quit if they started patching things up.

    Unless you mean that we'll just kill paper magic before that happens. If that's the proposal then by all means do it. Even if Arena is cool and all, and it was the reason I returned from my hiatus, I can't stand the idea of not playing paper magic.

    Like I said in my original post, the concept of patching forces us to entertain an entirely new idea about digital vs. paper Magic. It might be something that happens in the distant future, and we just don't know how "distant" that is. It's just the direction I see the game eventually going, much like in 2017 it was clear that Arena was going to be the all-in bet for Magic's future, and in early 2019 it was clear that Wizards would promote Arena-only esport style events with no paper component. I am confident Wizards and Hasbro continue to have these discussions about paper vs. digital Magic, and I am confident it is an extremely complicated issue that none of us have enough inside information and perspective to understand. Patching is just a small piece of that conversation and one I eventually see happening with Magic. Also, logistics aside, I would much rather Wizards patch cards than ban cards, if we had some guarantee (unlikely) that the only time a card would be patched is if it would otherwise be banned. Of course, as I've acknowledged a few times, Wizards could start patching for lots of reasons, which creates a lot of potential risks and rewards we'd have to consider. Obviously, this isn't a near-future prediction; just a distant future idea that I predict will one day happen in place of bans.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Quote from Depian »
    Quote from Nyzzeh »
    They don't test past standard, that's why the ban list exists, to ban problematic cards. Don't know why people are so afraid of bans. Bans are also what mantains the format fresh and evolving. Don't be afraid of bans. I guess I'm so used to "bans" aka buffs and nerfs in other online games that it's just a natural process to me.
    Half the bans wizards makes don't even outright kill the deck, just downgrade them from tier0 to tier1-3.


    If cards were free, bans and unbans could be made with much more ease and less risk (JTMS comes to mind, unbanning it was dangerous in part because of its price and the economic implications, it had to come with a reprint to alleviate the increase in demand)

    In terms of gameplay, you are correct, bans are made to fix something problematic and improve the game experience so being able to fix those quickly should be positive. But when your playerbase has already invested money to get their cards, making these changes becomes a challenge since you now have to keep in mind other things besides how good the format will look afterwards, otherwise you could take away motivation from some players (even if their cards didn't plummet in price, having to move to another deck is not easy in paper and usually takes some time) resulting in less people attending tournaments, even if gameplay had improved. That's why WotC has to always be cautious with B&R announcements affecting paper magic.

    Arena could be the environment where WotC is quicker in terms of bans and unbans since the economic and logistic repercusions are diminished or almost gone. I know, crafting new cards requires game resources but you can get them for free in a reasonable amount of time so players don't suffer too much if a card gets banned like Nexus of Fate did.

    I still believe the way of the future will ultimately be a form of card patching, where Wizards can adjust problematic cards to not ban them outright. This would be the end of feelbad bans as we know it and is the way every digital game I know of handles similar balance issues. This would require an even heavier investment in Arena, however, as well as a total paradigm shift to how we think about paper vs. digital Magic. It's also not a panacea. Bad patches can still happen, especially if Wizards starts both nerfing problems AND buffing struggling archetypes. This would create its own set of risks and benefits. But ultimately, it would eliminate the need to ban cards outright.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Quote from ed06288 »
    Somewhat related, I don't know why wizards created arclight phoenix, prized amalgam, or hollow one, cards that enable recursive graveyard strategies. Dredge was already problematic.

    They don't test for Modern.

    Arclight Phoenix made an archetype in Standard and even Prized Amalgam was in a fun Standard deck (UR Zombies). Had a local 12-0 at a GP into 12-3 with UR Zombies during its Standard run. Skaab Stitching or something like that, lol. They may have thought that Hollow One could do something in Standard?

    Wizards literally does not think at all about other formats. London Mulligan? That's terrible news for Modern and Legacy, the 2 formats I play the most.

    I'm fine with allegations that Wizards doesn't test new cards in Standard-legal sets for Modern. They've literally said that in Play Design articles. But the allegation that Wizards "does not think at all about other formats" with the citation of the "London Mulligan" is patently incorrect. They literally tested the rule at a Modern MC prior to releasing it, and explicitly cited Modern results in evaluating it. I don't know how much more they could have realistically acknowledged Modern in that rollout.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    I might be on the ban mania train at this point. I'm just so tired of watching things be the way they are. This isn't good Magic. And by "good Magic" I mean it actually feels like Magic. For example, Gitaxian Probe is a card I like having banned because it's not good Magic. It's borderline free for perfect information and it make you play 56 card decks. This isn't "good Magic."

    Speaking from my own definition of ban mania, I want to be clear that not all calls for bans are ban mania. As a term, "ban mania" specifically refers to framing an issue that is fundamentally about the metagame, format, cards, decks, strategy, etc. as a ban policy issue, doing so with minimal or no evidence, and/or doing so out of dialogue with known Wizards ban criteria/decisions. This encompasses most of the ban calls we have seen aimed at decks since 2017: GDS, E-Tron, CoCo, Storm, Humans, Gx Tron, UWx, Dredge, Bridgevine, etc. all come to mind. Even KCI ban talk was initially ban mania because it lacked evidence for many months. But once there was significant evidence against KCI, in the form of disproportionate T8 performance and MWP stats, the initial ban mania became just a ban argument. Ban arguments are okay. Ban arguments can, in fact, be positive if driven by reasonable arguments and framed as cases or conversations. As long as you're engaged in that dialogue, it can be healthy and interesting to discuss bans.
    In the same vein, I'm having a harder and harder time enjoying Modern. I dislike how Modern is defined by degeneracy (however you choose to interpret the word, it's how Modern has felt to me for a long time). I'm tired of there being these insane cards that enable so much absurd things. I'm tired of how UW is now my only control option for the most part. I'm tired of the gymnastics of testing new decks in an effort to enjoy this format again. When I first started playing the format the deck diversity was great and there were options, oh so many options. Now I feel like I have to be playing a deck I dislike playing in order to do well. I don't want to play Dredge, Phoenix, Humans, Tron, maybe Amulet. I don't want to feel forced into playing UW if I want to play Control. Maybe I just dislike how this is another phase in Modern's history, and I need to suck it up and just keep going. But at this point, I can even enjoy playing the format anymore. I don't feel like the format is diverse anymore. I feel like my options in order to compete keep getting smaller.

    Maybe I'm not a fan of the Graveyard Check people were talking about earlier. I'm I being unfair to the format here? I just can't get behind the format and need something to reinvigorate my interest once more.

    I don't know your local scene or what venue you play in, but I always encourage players to think in terms of what they are likely to face from week to week, not what they are likely to face in a hypothetical major paper tournament. It's easy to get sucked into believing that only the Tier 1 decks of any given time are viable, and we tend to define such decks as those which T8 a GP or SCG Open (maybe; some people are STILL skpetical of these events). For one, it's always surprising just how many decks are in T8 contention. Second, very few of us actually play in these kinds of 15 round events. We are more likely to play in 8-rounders or smaller. I find if players pick for those events in known metagames, they have more success and enjoyment.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Re: Challenge results
    As I wrote in the Reddit post, the Challenge results are both laughably bad (32% Hogaak Vine = lulz) and relatively isolated. Did Hogaak have an outrageous debut at this single Challenge? Absolutely, and it would be misleading to deny that. But it's just as misleading to oversell the results of a single Challenge. For one, it's a single datapoint on the debut weekend of a deck. There are so many factors that both artificially increase (e.g. players don't know how to play against it, SB decisions, hype, etc.) and decrease (card availability, untuned decks, pilots don't know tricks with the deck, etc.) prevalence in such a single datapoint. Given these limitations, it's hard to draw a meaningful conclusion. Second, it's not even a major paper event. It's "just" an MTGO Challenge, which we have routinely (and rightfully) questioned as representative of the metagame on any given weekend. Significant paper results or repeat online results are needed to really figure out where the deck stands in the metagame.

    Re: ban decisions
    Wizards has issued one emergency ban in over a decade (Felidar), which was more of an oversight acknowledgement than a response to a pattern of troubling results. There is no way we see emergency ban action based on a single Challenge. Wizards has repeatedly shown, despite the blaring ban mania in online communities, that they will wait for sustained results before acting on a ban.

    I encourage community members to stick to the proven method of ban analysis: waiting for more data and taking a long, conservative view of the format. Recognize the metagame's ability to adapt and acknowledge that most decks have more weaknesses than we think. This method has produced consistent predictions of changes and no changes for years now. Even if Hogaak Vine is ultimately bannable, that does not mean we throw out the proven, conservative method and revert to a ban mania mindframe. If you throw enough darts at a board, eventually you'll get a bullseye even if your technique is horrible. That doesn't mean we look at the bullseye and say "NAILED IT" with all of our bad technique throws. We stick with the technique that works.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Quote from hokerjoker »
    it uses hogaak brodge from below and altar of dementia to have a combo kill outside the combat step. Look at Kanister streaming the deck it seems pretty broken imo. Every single obnoxious deck that isnt Tron is centered on abusing faithless looting.

    I've seen these kinds of comments and assessments for literal years. A recent comparison was last summer when numerous authors, players, and posters in the older version of this thread (including players who rarely ever raise ban alarm) brought up the same fears about Bridgevine. Like basically every episode of ban fear and ban mania before, that too passed with no significant metagame impact and, obviously, no banning. The overwhelming majority of such fears don't pan out because Modern is a remarkably robust and adaptive format. Similarly, there is significant incentive for authors, commenters, streamers, pros, and even average community members to hype up these kinds of decks for clicks, views, upvotes, reputation, accolades, etc. Don't buy into this hype. Wait for results and trust that the overwhelming majority of such fears will be unfounded, the deck in question actually isn't that good/broken, and the metagame will adjust to most emerging strategies.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [MH1] Modern Horizons Discussion Thread
    Quote from Bearscape »

    -biggest failure I still think is how this set was hyped up as THE Modern set. Together with the months of blueballing, discovering we have to share the spotlight with commander product rejects and cute but never intended to be playable callbacks like Ponder Mage is a tad frustrating.

    I want to pose to you the same question I posed to others: where did your hyped expectations come from? Was it a specific Wizards quote? Was there an article you read or a citable stream/podcast/interview you heard? I'm just going to paste my take on this from a different thread. Some elements of this quote won't apply here, but the vast majority of what I said here can be taken as a response to your quoted "biggest failure":
    Quote from ktkenshinx »

    I really don't understand the negative reception to MH. It feels like many of the people who are disappointed set their own expectations and standards based on personal preferences, and then when Wizards failed to meet those subjective, personal, impossible expectations, they were disappointed/frustrated. Can people who are unhappy with MH actually cite a Wizards pitch, advertisement, promise, or claim that justified expectations of stuff like Sinkhole at uncommon?

    From what I've found, here was the most definitive promise Wizards made about MH: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/announcing-modern-horizons-2019-02-28

    "Powerful new options mixed with flavorful updates for favorite characters means Modern Horizons is going to be a wild ride. The set is full of cards that build up favorite Modern strategies, create new ones, and bring plenty of flavor to matches where Modern cards are legal."

    Breaking this promise down, I'd identify five distinct expectations we should have:

    1. "Powerful new options"
    2. "Flavorful updates for favorite characters"
    3. "Cards that build up favorite Modern strategies"
    4. Cards that "create new ones"
    5. Cards that "bring plenty of flavor to matches where Modern cards are legal

    Three of these have unquestionably been met: 1, 2, and 5. Two of those objectives are flavor-based, not even power-based, and #1 has plenty of cards that fit the mold. 3 and 5 remain to be seen. I will remind everyone that even pros and pundits are notoriously inconsistent at card evaluation. Almost everyone missed the impact of stuff like Narset in non-rotating formats. Literally every author I've read missed Arclight Phoenix as a Tier 1 Modern enabler.

    If someone can point me towards a different promise or advertisement by Wizards that promised something else/more, I'd love to read it. But most people who are disappointed with MH are not citing a claim that was unmet.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Quote from ashtonkutcher »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Only one author I know of actually mentioned her: Gottlieb on SCG.
    so u don't reading me anymore 😢

    I am bad and feel bad.

    Re: Pod
    I did play in that era, and Pod was definitely too prevalent. That's why I was unsurprised to see almost all of the ban rationale point to prevalence and dominance, with design space limitation as a distant, secondary factor. It's annoying to see prominent Magic personalities, most recently Hoogland, citing that reason as a strike against the Pod ban when it was clearly not as influential as the meta/T8 dominance factor.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    My issue with these "new toys" is that many of them are just not good enough to do anything meaningful in a format as brutally fast, efficient, and punishing as Modern.

    I will again remind you and everyone else that even the best players are very inconsistent at card evaluation. If we go by the Jeff Hoogland metric of "brutally fast, efficient, and punishing" (terms I regularly hear when I've seen his stream), we would not expect to see things like Narset appearing in Ux strategies.

    I'm not sure where we even disagree on this. Narset sees play exactly because it is punishing and efficient. It is a difficult-to-remove card which significantly neuters one of the top decks and considerably hurts several others that rely on cantrips or looting effects. Same goes for new Teferi, Ashiok, and Karn. They appear like they will have a greater impact on Modern than anything in Horizons and have been picked up by players almost immediately.

    Narset has no impact on the board-state when it enters and is a terrible T3 play in numerous matchups. At the time, that's probably why most players dismissed her. In hindsight, it's easy to see why Narset is good in Modern and why everyone got it wrong. But at the time of WAR's release, there were very, very few players to my knowledge that knew how good that card would be. PVDR didn't even mention her in his review, Lepore missed her too, Maynard didn't talk about her, Dominguez identified probably the most cards that might be playable and STILL missed her, etc. Only one author I know of actually mentioned her: Gottlieb on SCG. And he ranked her at #9 and said "What is really holding Narset back in Modern is how few archetypes are presently built around card advantage and selection," which is basically the opposite of part of your assessment. All of this is to say that the "fast/brutal/efficient" test is not always good in Modern, and that card evaluation is very difficult and inconsistent. MH could have many more Narset scenarios where the overwhelming majority of evaluators just miss a great card.
    I am attacking the design space because it is often the main justification for Stoneforge, and was a justification for Pod. I honestly was not around much when Pod was legal, so I don't really know specifics or player feelings, just that "design space" was often a talking point, in addition to its dominance.

    Either way, the bottom line is it's frustrating to see cards break design space, such as new Karn, when considerably less powerful things (like Stoneforge) are deemed "too good" for Modern.

    Especially since WOTC nerf equipment anyway. So its disingenuous you expect the new Swords to be on the level of Fire and Ice if this argument was true.

    Again, I am not aware of any Wizards sources where design space limitations are "the main justification" for the SFM ban or her continued banning. I know people like to claim they say this, but where's the citation? Here are the only sources I am familiar with where Wizards officially weighs in on the SFM ban.

    Original ban rationale: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/latest-developments/welcome-modern-world-2011-08-12
    "Stoneforge Mystic has by now made its mark on every format from Standard to Legacy, and Stoneforge-based blue control decks regularly do well in Legacy tournaments. Porting such decks into Modern was a trivial affair, and resulted in very powerful decks. We prefer to just ban this card rather than risk yet another format dominated by Stoneforge Mystic."

    Mike Flores on two-drops: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/top-decks/pardon-imposition…-2013-07-02
    "The banned Squire, Stoneforge Mystic, is so good they didn't even have to give her 2 power. She has dominated almost every format they let her play in, so hey—preemptively pink-slipped in Modern. "

    Stoddard on development mistakes: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/latest-developments/developmental-mistakes-2014-06-13
    "The cards where we are wrong and that ended up much more powerful than we had expected are some of the most iconic cards from the last decade—Primeval Titan; Jace, the Mind Sculptor; Stoneforge Mystic; Bitterblossom; Bridge from Below; Tarmogoyf; etc. These cards are not always the most fun to play with or against, and we have subsequently had to ban them from some formats, but the cards still exist in the same form they did when we printed them."

    Forsythe Twitter: https://twitter.com/mtgaaron/status/1087393927454326785
    "As @mtg_ianduke mentioned in today’s article, WU Control has the 2nd-most Modern GP Top 8s recently, behind KCI. Jeskai Control is third. Hard to justify a Stoneforge Mystic unban in that environment."
    "We have the wider results as well. Control is doing fine by all accounts."


    Are there others out there I haven't heard from an official Wizards employee? If there are, please let me know. But I don't think I've seen others. And if these represent the only Wizards quotes on the matter, you'll note none of them mention design space as a limiting factor for an SFM unban. It's all about power level.

    Now, the power level justification for an SFM ban is ridiculous. Many of us, you and I included, have been saying that for a while. But if we want to criticize inconsistencies or problems with the SFM ban, let's focus on the real reason Wizards is keeping her banned: a perception of power level. They do not mention design space once, so there's no reason to attack this as the "main justification" for her remaining banned.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    My issue with these "new toys" is that many of them are just not good enough to do anything meaningful in a format as brutally fast, efficient, and punishing as Modern.

    I will again remind you and everyone else that even the best players are very inconsistent at card evaluation. If we go by the Jeff Hoogland metric of "brutally fast, efficient, and punishing" (terms I regularly hear when I've seen his stream), we would not expect to see things like Narset appearing in Ux strategies. Good players miss card evaluations because it's a hard business. Some MH cards are clear hits: FoN, FoV, Canopy lands, Ouphe, and a few others. Many, many more are uncertain. We'll need to see actual lists and tournaments to weigh in on the set's power. There's nothing predictive about saying a set and its cards aren't good enough for Modern. That's the default, null hypothesis for every set and you'd be right for 95%+ of cards in a set.
    And after getting New Karn Wished last night, multiple times, getting narrow sideboard hate cards that locked me out of the game, I had to revel at the fact that Birthing Pod and Stoneforge Mystic are banned because they "limit design space" for creatures and equipment, but Karn and Stirrings don't apparently limit design space for colorless cards. Oh, and at least Twin won the game on the spot, instead of making you have to decide if you're going to concede, or slog out several turns of unbearable, unplayable nonsense to hope to get out of it, because your opponent has not displayed a win condition. Also, I can't wait for Force of Negation after getting T1 Chalice'd on the draw with SSG. Modern is a great format.

    Maybe this is your personal opinion, but it feels like another rehash of Hoogland sound bytes. I literally heard him complaining about the Birthing Pod and SFM "design space" ban decision in the last 2-3 days in an AM stream. Same for Stirrings/Karn/colorless design space, in that same stream. Collectively, these are more arguments that just aren't in dialogue with the stated reasons for Wizards' decisions. From the Birthing Pod ban: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/banned-and-restricted-announcement-2015-01-19

    "Over the past year, Birthing Pod decks have won significantly more Grand Prix than any other Modern decks and compose the largest percentage of the field. Each year, new powerful options are printed, most recently Siege Rhino. Over time, this creates a growing gap between the strength of the Pod deck and other creature decks. Pod won five of the twelve Grand Prix over the past year, including winning the last two. The high percentage of the field playing Pod suppresses decks, especially other creature decks, that have an unfavorable matchup. In the interest of supporting a diverse format, Birthing Pod is banned."

    In this ban justification, we see about four reasons for banning Pod, only one of which suggests a design space influence to the ban:

    1. "Birthing Pod decks have won significantly more Grand Prix than any other Modern decks"
    2. They "compose the largest percentage of the field"
    3. "Each year, new powerful options are printed... this creates a growing gap between the strength of the Pod deck and other creature decks." (Design space reason)
    4. "The high percentage of the field playing Pod suppresses decks, especially other creature decks, that have an unfavorable matchup"

    It's extremely disingenuous to try discrediting the Pod ban based on just one of its four justifications while ignoring the other three, especially when the other three are consistent measures used by Wizards for banning cards. I suspect the design space consideration, #3 above, is far less influential than #1, #2, and #4. This is because Wizards consistently cites #1, #2, and #4 as reasons to ban a card, rarely citing #3. They certainly never cited #3 in the Song, BBE, DRS, TC, Twin, Bloom, Probe, GGT, and KCI bans, but they cited variations of #1, #2, and #4 in most of those. It's fine to criticize a ban like Pod, but at least do so on the actual terms of the ban. Just attacking it because of the "design space" reason is very misleading.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Quote from javert »
    Gotta say I'm also disappointed by MH, looks like 60% draft fodder, 20% Commander and 20% Modern maybes. Laughed at the Commander Masters meme.

    My idea of a MH draft is to pick some Fatal Pushes or Accumulated Knowledge at common, Sinkholes and Berserks at uncommon and Armageddons or Back to Basics at rare. I'm surprised that even in the set for Spikes they didn't dare to put land destruction that actually cuts people of mana.

    But whatever, at least my Life from the Loam deck will lose by having different cards uncast in the hand this time.

    I really don't understand the negative reception to MH. It feels like many of the people who are disappointed set their own expectations and standards based on personal preferences, and then when Wizards failed to meet those subjective, personal, impossible expectations, they were disappointed/frustrated. Can people who are unhappy with MH actually cite a Wizards pitch, advertisement, promise, or claim that justified expectations of stuff like Sinkhole at uncommon?

    From what I've found, here was the most definitive promise Wizards made about MH: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/announcing-modern-horizons-2019-02-28

    "Powerful new options mixed with flavorful updates for favorite characters means Modern Horizons is going to be a wild ride. The set is full of cards that build up favorite Modern strategies, create new ones, and bring plenty of flavor to matches where Modern cards are legal."

    Breaking this promise down, I'd identify five distinct expectations we should have:

    1. "Powerful new options"
    2. "Flavorful updates for favorite characters"
    3. "Cards that build up favorite Modern strategies"
    4. Cards that "create new ones"
    5. Cards that "bring plenty of flavor to matches where Modern cards are legal

    Three of these have unquestionably been met: 1, 2, and 5. Two of those objectives are flavor-based, not even power-based, and #1 has plenty of cards that fit the mold. 3 and 5 remain to be seen. I will remind everyone that even pros and pundits are notoriously inconsistent at card evaluation. Almost everyone missed the impact of stuff like Narset in non-rotating formats. Literally every author I've read missed Arclight Phoenix as a Tier 1 Modern enabler.

    If someone can point me towards a different promise or advertisement by Wizards that promised something else/more, I'd love to read it. But most people who are disappointed with MH are not citing a claim that was unmet.
    Posted in: Modern
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