2019 Holiday Exchange!
A New and Exciting Beginning
The End of an Era
  • 1

    posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    From what evidence we have, Wizards places significant weight on T8s at the GP level. From what I remember, they have never cited an SCG event, and I have no idea how they would even weigh a team event. Day 2s are also infrequently cited. The GP DFW T8 is the most important data point of the weekend.

    Speaking of which, I can figure out a few of the T8 lists based on Tweets, but not all. What's the breakdown?
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 1

    posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)

    What is my record? Wink

    (it must be terrible; I predicted the Stoneforge Unban every B & R announcement since 2013 until the last 2 when I did NOT predict it anymore cuz I got tired)

    Not sure off the top of my head. It was easier to audit Nyzzeh's predictions because they are less active in these threads unless discussing ban stuff; fewer posts to check.

    I don't include unban predictions in that record because I have no idea about the logic which governs unbans. I think bans are much more predictable; unbans seem to happen in both unstable and stable metagames whenever Wizards wants.
    P.S. - Are you playing a lot now? I know you like some Cheerios, which seems pretty well placed in this meta. Grin

    Not too much, actually. More Arena than anything. But I'm always game to rev up the MTGO Cheeri0s list again!
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 1

    posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Also, GP Dallas-Forth Worth coverage is live: https://www.twitch.tv/channelfireball

    MCQ Results from yesterday: https://twitter.com/ChannelFireball/status/1144808075553120263

    Top 64
    Hogaak: 18
    Izzet Phoenix: 10
    Humans: 6
    E-Tron: 4
    Burn: 3
    Mono R Phoenix: 3
    Jund: 2
    Counters Company: 2
    Jeskai Saheeli: 2
    Affinity: 2
    Other: 12

    1. Hogaak Bridge
    2. Orzhov Eldrazi Taxes
    3. Hogaak Bridge
    4. E-Tron
    5. Esper Mentor
    6. Izzet Phoenix
    7. Izzet Phoenix
    8. Thopter Sword
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 5

    posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Quote from Nyzzeh »
    Wait a minute, just after the deck gets released and abused and is obviously broken and I point that out most of you call me a flamer or a troll, and now you are all saying it should get banned. LOL.
    Next time, learn from the master...
    Then I make 1 mistake out of 10 and people call me bad because I have a 10% failure rate. Suuuure :).

    You have predicted and/or called for bans/nerfs on Tron cards, ETemple, Chalice, Past in Flames, Traverse the Ulvenwald, Dredge, and now Hogaak Bridge. That's one hit in Dredge, five misses (Tron cards, Temple, Chalice, PiF, Traverse), and one ommision (no KCI). If Hogaak gets banned, you'll be 2 for 7 or 2 for 8, depending on how you score. This is exactly what I was referring to when I talk about throwing darts at a board. If you throw enough, you are bound to hit and then give acclaim to predictive skills when the record clearly shows a less flattering hit rate.

    Again, Hogaak may be capital B Busted. It may be bannable. But that doesn't mean we change proven ban prediction methods because the hysteria and alarm was right one time in 10+.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 2

    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 Archives
  • 1

    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 Archives
  • 1

    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 Archives
  • 3

    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 Archives
  • 1

    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 Archives
  • 4

    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 Archives
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.