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The Limited Archetypes of Ixalan
Treasure Cruisin' with Monored Burn
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  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from tlhunter07 »
    Hey guys, do we think UW Control or UWR Tempo (like a Jonathan Rosum-esque list) would be better to take to an open meta (like an SCG Open or a GP)?

    Jeskai is significantly better in an open metagame. This is true both in theory (proactive Plan Bs are strong in unknown metagames) and in practice (UW has bad results in 15 round tourneys, Jeskai has been sending a bunch of players to T8/T16). Jeskai is even better with GDS experiencing a downturn.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on {XLN} Ixalan spoiler discussion for Modern
    I'm confident Growing Rites and Opt will both be duds. You can't transform it on command, and only at the end step. Opt is interesting but it has no home. Modern is a format where you either need to dig deeper (Serum Visions) or use the Graveyard (Thoughtscour). Scry one, draw one is only good when you have another instant at the same cost. SO it looks promising in a control build until you remember that these builds would be running Snapcaster and he would prefer you filled up the graveyard, not hide the card away.

    I don't disagree with Rites, but the Opt assessment seems way off. Digging +1 in Modern control is way less important than holding up mana for answers. Control decks, especially on the draw, no longer need to tap out on T1 for a cantrip. They can also Snapcaster/Opt on an opponent's T3, instead of tapping out for Snap/SV on their own T3. Finally, you don't get a blind draw off Opt, which is critical in a Modern format that demands specialized answers. Overall, Opt will be a strong card in control, GDS, and other strategies.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Opt is a spectacular reprint. Combo lists will likely prefer the greater dig of Visions and Sleight, which means control and tempo decks will benefit from the selectivity and instant-speed nature of Opt. The T3 Snapcaster sure got a whole lot better! Great bone thrown by Wizards.

    Also, I'd wager that Opt's reprinting means Preordain and Ponder are probably off the unban menu indefinitely, if they were ever on that menu at all.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from gkourou »
    Modern Challenge, 3 Sept. 2017 Metagame Breakdown


    Winner: Eldrazi And Taxes
    Runner-Up: Jeskai Control (Draw-Go)

    Naya Kiki Chord: 1
    B/W Smallpox: 1
    Titanshift: 1
    Grixis Shadow: 1
    Burn: 1
    Death and Taxes: 1

    Affinity: 3
    Lantern Prison: 2
    UW Control: 2
    Abzan Midrange: 2
    Jeskai Control: 1
    Grixis Shadow: 1
    Bant Knightfall: 1
    D&T: 1
    UR Storm: 1
    UR Kiki Exarch: 1
    Abzan Devoted Company: 1
    RG Ponza: 1
    Amulet Titan: 1

    Titanshift: 4
    UW Control: 2
    UR Storm: 1
    UR TTB-Emrakul: 1

    Results like these really undermine a lot of the Modern critics' arguments. Indeed, almost all the recent Modern data undermines their arguments, which is why most of the posts identifying Modern problems tend to avoid citing data and tourney finishes.

    I do agree with an earlier poster that Modern would benefit from reducing its dependence on sideboard answers to win games. This is just another way of saying Modern needs more generic answers, which I think most people here agree it does. But on the scale of format problema, that's like a 3-4 on a scale of 1-10. Many of the critics treat it as a 9-10, which just isn't warranted when you actually look at the results from past months. Because it's only a 3-4, I'm comfortable waiting for those answers to naturally trickle into the format from Standard; play design has made it clear they will keep coming.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from Pokken »

    In legacy the best blue 1-drops are in 60%+ of the decks, because blue is insanely overpowered.

    And yet, those exact kinds of tools (filtering and protection) play extremely important roles. They prevent the linear ridiculousness from taking over the format (without the need for endless bans) and they allow for much more engaging and decision-based gameplay between players. If the problem is simply color (and not their function) then Wizards should print some kind of analogous tools in other for Modern. Black has some amazing things, green has some amazing things, white has some amazing things, red is fairly lackluster, and everything in blue is banned. I don't understand the animosity in the color specifics for a format that allows for a vastly-diverse, skill-testing, and powerful metagame to exist in relative harmony, without the need for ban after ban after ban. Never mind the fact that Legacy gets flooded with supplemental cards every year as well (something that could greatly benefit Modern as well, given the bland, powered-down nature of cards forced to enter through Standard).

    If Legacy were a supported format like Modern, I guarantee almost all the things blue mages love about that format would get banned. Similarly, the format would be even more warped towards a few strategies, once pros dedicated time to solving it like they do for other formats like Modern and Standard.

    I don't think anyone here disagrees that Modern would benefit from more generic answers. But that doesn't justify the claim that Modern is a non-interactive format. There are plenty of top-tier interactive decks, and interactive blue decks, including one that appeared so broken we talked about banning elements of it for most of May and June. Want to be interactive? Play that deck. Or Jeskai. Or BGx. You have options.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Lol, I've heard a lot of bad arguments about legacy and modern but I think "no, actually Legacy is less diverse" is the worst.

    It IS less diverse. There is zero tournament data to suggest otherwise. The overwhelming majority of top decks are blue FoW and BS strategies.

    Re: "Modern too linear"
    This allegation is not supported by recent tournament results either. Grixis DS, Jeskai Control, and BGx are just a few top-tier decks that are highly interactive. Play them. This thread remains a place where a few disenfranchised players, seemingly all blue players, continue to harp on the same alleged Modern issues with zero data. The data does not support their arguments and hasn't for months, but the same tired arguments continue month after month.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    The Legacy fetishization is really annoying. Sure, I too enjoy Legacy and love that it tests traditional MTG skills in an environment with low variance matchups. Many people here enjoy that element too. But I don't at all like Legacy's metagame and dependence on blue. There's very little room for brewing and deck improvement; you can technically use more cards than in Modern, but good luck being competitive with anything but a few top strategies, many of which are blue. This means many players, myself included, must conform their playstyle to the very narrow band of top Legacy decks. In Modern, you really can play anything and find anything to fit your playstyle while not sacrificing competitiveness.

    Legacy has advantages over Modern and Modern has advantages over Legacy. The categorical "Legacy is best" talk, however, needs to stop because it just doesn't accurately represent the format. Blue mages will certainly prefer Legacy because they can both play what they want and be rewarded heavily for that choice. Everyone else will generally be displeased with Legacy's relative dearth of options. And don't talk to me about how Lands and D&T and Nic Fit are counterexamples to Legacy's blue dominance. Those are small metagame slivers in a format overwhelmingly defined and dominated by FoW and BS. Modern has no such hegemony.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from Skitzafreak »
    Quote from sisicat »
    What metagame? You mean your 100+ different deck metagame in a GP? How do you metagame that? How do I achieve the 90% win rate needed to top 8 the GP I need for the weekend? If I could play against Eldrazi Tron 15 times with Affinity in a GP, I wouldn't be having this discussion about Modern being too diverse. It's not like those MTGGoldfish metagame representation numbers are accurate, they base it mostly on MTGO decklists from comp leagues that are cherry picked. This EVOLUTION OF THE METAGAMEdoes not happen in practice the way you say it does. Unless I deliberately sink excessive amounts of cash to cleanout the community of certain cards that are favorable against my deck of choice, I cannot reliably predict what I play against in a large tournament when there are 100+ different decks that are viable and capable of winning a tournament of any size. This diversity is beneficial to the replayability of the format, but it is very detrimental to people who must win at all costs.

    So first off, one of the necessary skills for Modern is knowing your deck, and the decks being played. Let's dive into that a little deeper.

    Knowing Your Deck

    It seems pretty self explanatory. You need to know how your deck functions, what it's strengths and weaknesses are, all that jazz. But it's not as simple as "I'm playing Eldrazi Tron and that's weak to Affinity." No, you need to delve further into why it's a weakness. Eldrazi Tron is weak to Affinity for two reasons. The first, is that Affinity is a fast aggro deck that can go extremely wide, so E-Tron has trouble disrupting that. The second reason, is E-Tron's premier sweeper, All is Dust, does literally nothing against Affinity. SO by examining the deck's weakness a little further we have improved the information we have. Eldrazi Tron can be weak to deck that are fast and go wide, and decks that invalidate All is Dust. This is a gross oversimplification of what knowing your deck entails, but if you are switching what you play in Modern every week, you aren't going to gain this necessary skill, and as such, it will effect your performance and make you do worse at tournaments.

    Knowing What You're Playing Against

    First, I'll mention that I am not saying you need to know the exact 75 cards every opponent you play against is using. As you said, the metagame can be 100+ decks in size, and expecting that is ludicrous. But you need to be able to know the format well enough, that you can make good assumptions about what your opponent's deck does if you face something you aren't use to. Opponent start by fetching and shocking a Watery Grave to Thoughtseize you? Most likely you're against Grixis Death's Shadow, though it could possibly be an Esper Control opponent trying to find out what they're playing against. Island into an Aether Vial? Well I suppose it's time to go Fishing this round. Just a Wooded Foothills? Well my first guess would be on Burn, since the green decks would rather be running Windswept Heath, though whatever land they fetch will definitely give you more information. Do you Thoughtseize your opponent and see a Ghostly Prison? Well I guess we're deal with some Prison style deck. Or it could be a strategy using Enduring Ideal. Better play towards me being against both until I have better confirmation on one or the other.

    Modern rewards players who aren't lazy. Modern rewards players who put the time into knowing their deck, and knowing the decks they can play against.

    Interestingly, BBD just wrote an article that basically restates your main points. Braun-Duin&articledate=8-31-2017

    People who succeed in Modern are those who have mastered their deck and know the field, i.e. format experts and specialists. People who fail are those that don't take the time to learn their deck and its matchups, i.e. format dabblers and, incidentally, many pros who don't have the time to commit to Modern.

    Always refreshing when a top level player like BBD just restates and affirms an argument many of us have made for years.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Let's try not to discuss custom cards in this thread. There are plenty of other places to discuss them, but State of the Meta is not one of them. -- CavalryWolfPack

    This represents a change from the broad State of Modern parameters when we first envisioned the thread. It is also allowed under the current rules in the first post. Why change it? This topic frequently dovetails with banlist discusssion, design philosophy, and Modern issues, which is why we allowed it here in the first place.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from acc95 »
    Sadly, all this discussion won't do much at all. Unless someone here is on Magic R&D :p They will probably ban whatever problematic land arises before giving Modern better land hate through Standard. They could achieve that if priorities were different, but eh. I'll take whatever comes our way. After all, the format is doing fine.

    Not a mod anymore, but we need to remember that the purpose of discussion is not necessarily to influence D&D/R&D. Wizards is no more/less likely to look at an MTGS custom card than they are to look at our ban/unban rationale. I push back here because the suggestion appears to be "there's no point in discussing this because Wizards won't act on it," but that should never be a reason for us to avoid any topic in this wide-reaching thread. If that's not your intent then disregard. If it is, we should avoid those kinds of unproductive suggestions.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from mtgnorin »
    Maybe we need only another bloodmoon? 3 mana but colorless? So it can be used more and big mana becomes more problems?

    Blood Moon causes too much incidental damage to other decks, will never be in Standard, and leads to non-games. I already suggested an alternative that I think would fit the land-hate role without wrecking other decks. Modify cost as needed.

    Prismatic Moon 1G or 2G
    Nonbasic lands lose all abilities and have T: add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

    This provides a blanket Moon effect without shutting down an entire deck, allows counterplay, and could easily get through Standard.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from idSurge »
    Honestly, I see it as (tron) a potential problem. It's something that is unique in what it does, and with the fact we have a long Dev cycle I would rather have better answers now, than not.

    That's all.

    And no, playing the game is not a sacred cow either. I have no issue with prison or lock decks, or things like Turns that prevent one from playing.

    For me, I don't view Tron as a problem in itself. There are ample ways for fair deck to attack a Tron engine, whether through deck choice (e.g. combo, D&T), colorless hate (e.g. Quarter), and/or on-color hate (e.g. Seas, Fulminator, Moon with a clock, etc.). People who are complaining solely about Tron are mischaracterizing the matchup.

    The problem arises when you have limited hate slots and try to shore up your matchups against Tron, E-Tron, AND Titanshift all at the same time. That's a big challenge because hate cards against one are often bad against the other. Contrast with a generic answer like Push or Bolt that is generally strong against all decks of a certain type (aggro, in those cases). There isn't a land-hate equivalent.

    I think it's reasonable for players to want better generic answers to land-based decks. It's not reasonable to want those decks banned when their only sin is beating your pet strategy. But insofar as people just want more hate options, it's a fine request.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from h0lydiva »
    Storm is pretty much a T3 deck. It is extremely likely to win on T3 if you don't kill the creature they play on T2 (if they play it). Making it no different from many other T3 decks of the past, meaning you have to interact to stop them. Even if they are playing against interaction and choose to not play the creature in T2 they can still win on T3 by playing the creature and going off. They need a very specific hand to do that (land, creature, ritual, ritual, manamorphose, gifts) but when they go that route they have spent turns 1 and 2 playing up to 3 cantrips to sculpt such hand.

    If unimpeded, Storm will kill you on T3 an stupid amount of the time, and this is straight T3 kills, not counting the games where they can go for goblins and not kill you but effectively put you in a no-outer.

    In fact, Storm can kill in Turn 3 through disruption. It is a turn 3 deck, there's no doubt about that. Yes, against specific decks they are going to play a more careful game, but most T3 decks would do that when facing a foe that could stop them.

    For the purposes of banning, it only matters if the deck is consistently winning before T4 in real games. Theory doesn't matter; only the MTGO stats, and potentially paper stats, do. No one has those but Wizards, but in my own experience, Storm is only winning on T3 in lesa than 10% of games. That is well under eveything we know about the T4 rule cutoff.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Play advantage in modern is one of its worst aspects
    Quote from Tvtyrant »

    I don't have your mtg chops, but I am pretty sure the new rule did actually do just that.

    The new rule came out, and infect immediately climbed the charts leading up to the gitaxian probe ban. Same month the new rules is implemented it went from tier 2 to tier 1 and quickly took over the format.

    I literally wrote that article and have no idea what you're trying to say here. Infect is a paltry 4.5% of the metagame in that update. It's not even close to taking over the format at that time. It ultimately does become huge, but that had very little to do with Paris mulligan, and everything to do with the format becoming dominated by Drege, DSZ, and big mana, all of which were easy Infect matchups. Blossoming Defense also helped, which entered the Modern card pool in October. Trying to attribute this rise to Paris mulligan is inaccurate, at best, and deliberately misleading, at worst.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Play advantage in modern is one of its worst aspects
    Quote from Tvtyrant »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Quote from Tvtyrant »
    MTGO seems easy, just reduce the play by 5 minutes clock time. Now durdly decks want to be on the draw to not time outx aggro wants the play but is prone to timing out. Paper is probably unfixable, the changes people have suggested are too easy to game.

    Reducing the game time not only doesn't fix the problem of p/d advantage, but it hurts slow decks and makes them harder to play. This proposed change just makes Modern more linear and would do little to address the complaints in this thread.

    The best solution would be a combination of predetermining p vs. d, as in chess, and a small boost to those on the draw (like Hearthstone's coin). A bonus scry 1 might work.

    So now every combo deck is going to see 15 cards at opening? Don't have a winning hand opening, mulligan + go second for scry 2 and a six card hand.

    I doubt it would work out like you claim. Everyone was terrified the Paris mulligan rule would improve combo or Delver decks and break multiple formats. Didn't happen. Most of the time, these kinds of doomsaying predictions don't pan out because many other decks benefit from the change as well.

    I'll also add that I just said "might work," not "would work." You could easily play around with the bonus (e.g. scry on the 7 but no bonus on subsequent mulligans).
    Posted in: Modern
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