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  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    Quote from gkourou »
    Sorry for the double post! I asked Corbin Hosler(me and a couple of friends) to publish all Day 2 decklists, and he did deliver!

    Just freaking WOW! https://www.channelfireball.com/grand-prix-toronto-day-2-deck-lists/

    PS: Twitter is a strong tool! Just 3 or 4 of us can ask for anything, and gentle people like Corbin do deliver! I kindly ask from you to regularly tweet Wizards to publish all Day 2 decklists from now on!
    Here is the tweet as well: https://twitter.com/Chosler88/status/1094890812633161728

    This is truly awesome. One could derive some valuable and very comprehensive MWP data from this data dump. I'm not going to do so myself due to lack of time and the likelihood that someone else does it; there's no reason to duplicate work that should have an identical end product. That said, I might compare final deck records to number of byes, which is a project I imagine other people won't gravitate towards.

    Izzet Phoenix continues to cement itself as the reigning Modern deck, with GDS as a close second. Both of these decks are proactive, play a crap ton of cantrips and consistency effects, and have a rare and welcoming combination of a relatively low skill floor and a very high skill ceiling. I expect many pros and grinders will gravitate towards these decks, especially Phoenix which has an even lower floor than GDS (if for no other reason than it's less punishing if you misuse your resources, i.e. life). These are the kinds of high consistency decks that both Modern regulars and Modern occasionals will love.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from tronix »
    im not seeing how anything in that top8 is random. none of the decks are jank, and they all align with the perceived 'winners meta'.

    Yeah, take the 20 or 30 or so "good" decks in Modern, throw them into a hat and pull out 8. Ta da! You're now metagaming for Modern!

    I'm not sure what this means or how it is a relevant response to tronix. He appears to be talking about a perceived "winners meta," which you quote. The Tornoto T8 has significant overlap with recent other GP T8s, which aligns with his comment about an observed winners meta:

    GP Toronto T8 and GP Overlap
    BG Rock (1 in GP Portland T8)
    Tezzerator
    Dredge
    Jund
    GDS (1 in GP Portland T8)
    UR Phoenix (1 Oakland T8, 2 Portland T8)
    UR Drakes (See above)
    Titanshift (1 in GP Oakland T8)

    Dredge is an MTGO mainstay with significant metagame presence, and I think we can all agree that it's a highly prevalent deck. Jund is more of an outlier, but even that was a T8 deck at GP HK. That said, I happily concede that a Tezzeret Prison deck is definitely the biggest outlier and is a clear "play what you want" Modern choice. But overall, 5 of the GP Toronto T8 decks were GP T8 repeaters from the last few months, plus Dredge which has remained a frequently played deck for months. That makes 6 more or less expected decks with established competitive pedigrees plus two outliers; hardly a throw-in-a-hat picture like you claim.

    PS: Unban SFM.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    Team Events are historically unreliable indicators of metagame health and composition. But here's more interesting Modern news:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/magicTCG/comments/amsxee/new_modern_product_announcement_coming_this_month/
    https://mobile.twitter.com/maro254/status/1092137659101675520
    Quote from "Maro on Twitter" »
    Replying to @TolarianCollege
    Something I’ve said on my blog - this product is this year’s innovation product and was created through our very first Hackathon. If you guys don’t love it, I’d be floored. #WotCStaff

    This could be the long-desired set that allows cards to enter Modern while bypassing Standard. Or it could just be desired reprints to lower prices. Either way, this should be a net gain for Modern players, and we should see it announced this month.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    The war on blue is a myth. See Teferi, Search, Opt, and Nexus. The war on control is a myth too. See Settle, Teferi, Search, and others. But the war on data? That is a very real platform that Wizards continues to push to this day, and I feel it receives far less attention than all the other unproven allegations.

    Here's the latest nonsense in Wizard's war on data:
    https://mobile.twitter.com/magicprotour/status/1089361097860120576

    Although I don't believe data restriction was a primary motive (that honor almost certainly goes to budget and staffing), it is very likely that a further data embargo was at the least a welcome byproduct if not an intentional contributing factor. It's just another way to limit our access to meaningful numbers to allegedly limit ability to solve a format.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Jeskai Control
    Quote from rickster_ »
    Tron crushes control. The one time that I did better than 50% vs tron was when I was playing UW with 4x spreading seas, 4x field of ruin, 1x ghost quarter and 2x gideon of the trials. You either suck up the loss to tron or play a different deck.

    Against mill, people were playing one eldrazi in the sideboard.

    Quote from TomCourtenay »
    How do you guys manage the Tron matchup ? I have 3 Field of Ruin in the mainboard as well as 2 Negate, 1 Wear // Tear and 2 Stony Silence in the sideboard. I'm not sure how to sideboard in this matchup : do you think Vendilion Clique would be good ? How about Dispel also (I don't think it would do much). I guess it's all about speed, so I'm tempted to keep the burn spells to race them.

    I can attest that Tron is a horrible matchup for Jeskai. In the 2018 MWP analysis I posted (https://mtgmodernmetrics.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/2018-top-deck-performance-review/), I found Gx Tron to be heavily favored against Jeskai Control with an overall MWP of 28.7% and a 95% confidence interval on that MWP of 19.2%-38.2%. The sample size for that was 87 games at the GP and SCG Open levels. It's such a bad matchup that, as rick attests, I might not even try to waste slots at improving it too much. Just let it suck and lean on your better matchups.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    Quote from Hypothesizer »
    Here is an article which confirms that Wizards of the Coast are testing new cards in Modern:

    https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/play-design/m-files-ravnica-allegiance-monocolor-2019-01-25

    The commentary about Tithe Taker just mentions that they considered whether it should be a Human because of Modern. However, there is a direct statement in the commentary about Electrodominance:

    "...Can Modern handle that pressure? Most likely. Are you certain? We tested it in Modern, and it should be fun and powerful but not oppressive..."
    Quote from idSurge »
    Thats a nice change.

    So glad you mentioned this article. Here are some other relevant quotes:

    Re: Tithe Taker
    "Noting that Modern has a strong Humans deck, we want to make sure nothing gets too oppressive or breaks in any format"

    Re: Electrodominance
    "We tested it in Modern, and it should be fun and powerful but not oppressive. Some risks are worth taking."

    Great to hear they are testing cards for Modern and actively considering Modern in the D&D process. I look forward to more examples of this in the future.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    Quote from Timba »
    Quote from idSurge »
    Quote from 13055 »
    I mean, technically it's the truth. The restriction is to lands, which make up a third of your deck, and Artifacts, the most broken card type, oh and certain Planeswalkers that you definitely shouldn't be able to cast on T3. You can't run Stirrings in a Green Stompy list, but technically Ponder/Preordain could be used in any deck that ran Blue.


    I really dont like the 'restrictions' arguement.

    Tron - Colourless Walkers, Creatures, Lands, Artifacts.
    G Affinity - Creatures, Lands, Artifacts.
    RG Eldrazi - Creatures, Lands, Spells!
    Lantern - Lands, Artifacts
    KCI - Lands, Artifacts
    Colourless Eldrazi - Lands, Artifacts, Creatures

    In a non-rotating format, the restriction of Lands, Artifacts, some of the most pushed creatures of all time, spells (Devoid) and Walkers cast outside of curve?

    Those are not meaningful restrictions.

    I have to say that Stirrings has restrictions on card colors, not types to make this conversation look sane.

    I also don't think this is much of a restriction. It's very easy to build Gx(x) decks in Modern with our manabase, and the fact that Stirrings decks at 30% make up more of the GP T8 dataset than any other pillar shows this isn't much of a restriction.

    Again, I'm all for defending Stirrings as an acceptable and appropriate card in Modern. I think it's fine and I think it's okay that we have four pillars: Stirrings, Looting, SV/Opt, Hierarch. But the so-called "deck-building restrictions" are really not a good defense of Stirrings. I accept that Wizards stated it as an argument but it's a bad one, much like Forsythe's argument against SFM's unbanning is a bad one.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    Quote from idSurge »
    Furthermore, Preordain and Ponder both have restrictions. They can only look at 3-4 cards.

    Also I don't think many people are actually considering Ponder for an unbanning any time soon. Yes, if the Preordain "project" is successful, then yes, maybe we will look at Ponder in the future. But right now, I think many Modern players believe Preordain to be a less powerful card than Ancient Stirrings.


    Based on 'SFM cannot come off, look at UW' from Wizards, I'll NEVER hold out for Preordain or Ponder, ever.

    Agreed. P&P has way too much to overcome. Wizards already noted their scrutiny of card selection spells in the KCI ban update and actually called out those cards as examples of more problematic cantrips: "One factor we consider is that Ancient Stirrings, unlike more general card selection spells like Ponder and Preordain, brings deckbuilding restrictions." That's pretty damning from my perspective.

    P&P also go into far more than just UWx Control decks. If that factor alone is holding back SFM per Forsythe, that factor plus Storm, GDS, UR Phoenix, Ad Nauseam, and others is unquestionably too much weight for P&P to escape from. I'm going to stick with GSZ/SFM unban hype from now going forward.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    Furthermore, Preordain and Ponder both have restrictions. They can only look at 3-4 cards.

    I don't think this is a defensible definition of a "restriction." It's also definitely not a "deck-building restriction" as Wizards used to describe Stirrings. We can disagree with whether or not Stirrings is actually as restricted as Wizards claims, but claiming that Preordain has either restrictions generally or deck-building restrictions specifically is incorrect.
    Quote from idSurge »
    Quote from 13055 »
    I mean, technically it's the truth. The restriction is to lands, which make up a third of your deck, and Artifacts, the most broken card type, oh and certain Planeswalkers that you definitely shouldn't be able to cast on T3. You can't run Stirrings in a Green Stompy list, but technically Ponder/Preordain could be used in any deck that ran Blue.


    I really dont like the 'restrictions' arguement.

    Tron - Colourless Walkers, Creatures, Lands, Artifacts.
    G Affinity - Creatures, Lands, Artifacts.
    RG Eldrazi - Creatures, Lands, Spells!
    Lantern - Lands, Artifacts
    KCI - Lands, Artifacts
    Colourless Eldrazi - Lands, Artifacts, Creatures

    In a non-rotating format, the restriction of Lands, Artifacts, some of the most pushed creatures of all time, spells (Devoid) and Walkers cast outside of curve?

    Those are not meaningful restrictions.

    On the other hand, this is a legitimate issue with the alleged deck-building restrictions of Stirrings. We've also talked about it before. Something like 30% of GP T8 decks in 2018 were Stirrings decks, spanning at six distinct decks: Amulet Titan, KCI, Gx Tron, RG Eldrazi, Lantern Control, and Hardened Scales. I'm all for defending Stirrings on various grounds, whether appropriate power level, overall diversity gain for Modern, lack of individually offensive decks, etc., but its so-called deck-building restrictions are not an axis on which I want to debate Stirrings.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    Quote from idSurge »
    I honestly would not doubt it. Look at the KCI announcement and tell me they did not hit nearly every single note we have discussed in this thread?
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Quote from 13055 »
    Quote from metalmusic_4 »
    Quote from idSurge »


    Plenty of tweets dunking on Wizards logic with SFM, but I still see people saying its too good. I dont get it, at all.

    So I read this tweet as "Not right now" and that is positive enough. Meta will change and that point will no longer hold water at some point. I am not overly distraught by that tweet.


    The problem with the tweet is that it shows a lack of understanding of how these top tier decks operate. UW and Jeskai Control do not have the option to run SFM etc., and to claim that UWx's success prohibits SFM from being considered for unbanning is either intentionally misleading to mask some other data that prohibits SFM, or spring woefully uninformed preconceptions of those decks.

    Nobody panic! Forsythe was laughably wrong about Sword in 2015 and indirectly admitted his mistake by unbanning Sword a few months later. It's great that he's even opening up lines of communication here and we need to keep constructively engaging him. Whether you agree or disagree with his assessment, make your constructive voice heard and keep this topic on the agenda!

    Maybe he makes these kinds of statements on purpose in order to guage community response for the B&R team to act in the future. /tinfoil hat

    I don't think it's quite that tinfoil hatty, but I do think Wizards is a lot more plugged into community conversation than we give them credit. Their update hit on a lot of concerns we've seen on articles, Reddit, Twitch, Twitter, this thread, and other conversation platforms. This gives me confidence Wizards will continue to look at these datapoints in deciding on bans. Of course, this also applies to unbans. It's awesome that Forsythe is at least bringing the SFM issue to the table, even if it's initially in the negative. That gives SFM proponents room to work with and arguments to address. Overall, a great day for Modern and Wizards communication.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    Quote from 13055 »
    Quote from metalmusic_4 »
    Quote from idSurge »


    Plenty of tweets dunking on Wizards logic with SFM, but I still see people saying its too good. I dont get it, at all.

    So I read this tweet as "Not right now" and that is positive enough. Meta will change and that point will no longer hold water at some point. I am not overly distraught by that tweet.


    The problem with the tweet is that it shows a lack of understanding of how these top tier decks operate. UW and Jeskai Control do not have the option to run SFM etc., and to claim that UWx's success prohibits SFM from being considered for unbanning is either intentionally misleading to mask some other data that prohibits SFM, or spring woefully uninformed preconceptions of those decks.

    Nobody panic! Forsythe was laughably wrong about Sword in 2015 and indirectly admitted his mistake by unbanning Sword a few months later. It's great that he's even opening up lines of communication here and we need to keep constructively engaging him. Whether you agree or disagree with his assessment, make your constructive voice heard and keep this topic on the agenda!
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    Quote from Wraithpk »
    I personally would have preferred a Scrap Trawler ban. That only hits KCI, but allows the deck to continue to exist at a much lower power level instead of completely nuking it.

    I understand this logic and would have been happy with either. That said, I also understand why Wizards just took the shot at the deck's biggest offender. The deck is so problematic on so many levels that only a full KCI ban properly prevents it from being a problem in the future. This way you don't have to risk any issues with Sai, Thopter Sword, Emrakul or whatever other engine pieces/payoffs break the deck in the future. True, a Trawler ban addresses some of the archaic rule issues Wizards pointed to, but only the nuclear options decisively addresses other issues like win rate and GP T8 conversion going into 2019. It does suck to have decks wiped out though, and I am sorry for KCI players who had cards, money, and time invested in this strategy. Thankfully, many of their staples will pivot into other viable top-tier strategies.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    Quote from 13055 »
    Oh hey didn't see that Aaron actually Tweeted about that. Yeah that's not a great sign.
    Quote from idSurge »
    Quote from 13055 »
    Oh hey didn't see that Aaron actually Tweeted about that. Yeah that's not a great sign.


    Yeah, going to go farm up some Gold/Packs/Wildcards in Arena I suppose there's nothing coming out of the ban list, ever.

    As pokken pointed out, Forsythe made a similarly outrageous statement regarding Sword of the Meek and then unbanned it a few months later. That said, I too am worried that Wizards is overly conservative with unbans in a format that they don't fully understand or experience as most players do. It's great that he explicitly engaged the SFM issue, as this will spark more conversation and hopefully push R&D to reconsider.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Doing the overnight shift feedings for the newborn means I won't get to see the results till around noon PST. Looking forward to never having to play against KCI, brewing terrible decks with Stoneforge after selling my extra copies for exorbitant markup, and complaining that Twin is still unjustly banned. See you all after the announcement!

    Turns out body doesn't want to sleep.

    Anyway, what a depressingly underwhelming update. Lots of info on KCI, and absolutely nothing on the status of the format or any indication of unbans.

    Emphasis added. A lack of unbans is depressing, but the update has critical information about the status of the format. See just a selection of quotes below:

    "Given that Modern has looked healthy and diverse at many levels of play outside of Ironworks's dominance at the Grand Prix level"
    (R&D believes that Modern is currently healthy and diverse, except for GP, at multiple levels. This likely includes MTGO, GP, and smaller venues)

    "As a category, we think these are generally healthy provided they appear in small doses and have reasonable win rates."
    (Opal and Stirrings decks are not overperforming by any metric Wizards bases B&R decisions on. This notably includes metagame share and MWP)

    "As Modern stands, our metagame data does not indicate a need to impact the other Ancient Stirrings or Mox Opal decks."
    (Stirrings and Opal decks are currently at acceptable levels in Modern)

    In summary, Wizards said that Modern is healthy and where they want it to be, except for KCI. Plus KCI and Stirrings are being monitored. That's quite a bit of information when all Wizards needed to do was just post the rationale for banning KCI itself.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Quote from Depian »
    Quote from shadow2000 »
    So next B&R is March 11th, this is followed by 3 gps in the same month for modern. Not saying it means anything but just throwing it out there since an unban is a way to upset the meta without killing peoples decks outright


    Because of those 3 GPs and the fact that today there were changes, I could certainly bet that the next announcement is going to be "No changes" unless some absurd broken deck surges like Eldrazi Winter did

    I 100% agree. In fact, I would say that basically no amount of perceived brokenness would result in changes occurring in that update. Remember that in Eldrazi Winter we had a triple GP March and Wizards still didn't ban Eye/Temple/Eldrazi-card going into that month. This was a slightly different scenario because the planned B&R update was already set for April, not the middle of the GP stretch, but I think the precedent still holds. I would expect Wizards to look at format health after March and then make unbans (and bans, if anything really goes crazy) at that time.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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