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  • posted a message on [MH1] Modern Horizons Discussion Thread
    Quote from Spsiegel1987 »
    Midrange and Shadow decks nearly nonexistent in SCG tournament. The archetype as a whole needs an influx of good spoilers, or now needs more attention from RnD the way blue was given the past few years.

    DRS like card or bust for this set!
    Quote from Godrik1374 »
    Here it is (=

    Pretty sad to see as a Shadow / BGx player lol..

    With more than half of the set left to go, I think there's still a very good chance we get some BGx staple throwbacks. Frontrunners include fixed Sylvan Library, DRS, Hymn, and/or Deed. There might also be some new spin on Goyf, Flayer, or Ooze as another high value/rate clock. Tons of cards left to help out the archetype.

    I also wonder if they will print one monarch card in the set. That could probably create a new deck on its own, if it was playable.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from Spsiegel1987 »
    As a therapist in real life, I have to say I've never seen ptsd occur from the banning of a card before.

    I mean, did the twin ban fail? Yup. Does blue have a bunch of good, viable tier 1 and tier 2 decks? Yeah. You're making this hard, man.

    It's more a matter of I don't want someone misquoting or misrepresenting, to me, what my beliefs or views are or should be.

    I think you are the person who is best able to explain your views. I also don't think anyone in this thread would be able to explain those views beyond "Want to play Twin," "Want to play Snap/Bolt URx," "Don't like Modern decks perceived as too linear," and "Haven't liked many Modern metagames/top tier decks in the past few years." And honestly, I think it would be significantly less generous than that. If you feel like your beliefs are misrepresented, you should explain them.
    All I want in Magic is to play a competitive Snap Bolt deck, which is what I'd spent the last 3 and a half years searching for (and found a few before Probe and Push took away Delver, Geist became irrelevant, and Moon ain't what it used to be, no matter what wincon you shove in, etc). All the while, having people tell me to play these other things that are nothing like it, and to shut up and enjoy it because it plays islands. Whatevs. I play bad decks and no longer care about winning.

    This is a relatively specific desire. Wanting a top-tier, GP-viable Ux reactive deck is not; Wizards does have an obligation to make such decks viable in Modern. They have fulfilled that obligation. Such a Snap/Bolt/URx deck, however, is not a Modern or Wizards obligation. It is especially not something Wizards owes the format when such decks are viable in all but the largest events. As most of us don't play those regularly, if at all, any of our needs should be relatively met when it comes to viable (at the level we typically play) URx decks.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Blue doesn't need more help. I know that folks like CFP will point out that URx is doing much worse than UWx, but that's not a plausible indictment of blue's viability. That's just a complaint about a specific pairing.

    Remember when diversity of blue reactive decks used to matter? And how a deck was banned over such a view? I guess that doesn't matter anymore right? Just "shut up, take UW and like it"?

    I think you'll enjoy the format more if you move past the Twin ban. I've already agreed it didn't meet its stated goals on diversity and merely reshuffled blue diversity at a GP/PT/MC level. The failure of the Twin ban to accomplish this goal does not indict the format as heavily as you often frame it. If you want to play a top-tier blue deck that is viable at the GP level, you can do so with GDS, Phoenix, UW Control, or Storm. Each of these decks will fulfill different Ux experiences. If you want to play a blue deck that is viable at more local levels, as I can't imagine you play exclusively GP, there are many more options out there.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [MH1] Modern Horizons Discussion Thread
    Quote from izzetmage »
    It seems more likely that 248 is Tranquil Thicket and 245 is Secluded Steppe, and the remaining lands are also cyclers.

    I need Forgotten Cave for Wrenn and Six Loam...

    I'm down with some cycling lands!
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [MH1] Modern Horizons Discussion Thread
    Looking through the number crunch gives us one tool to potentially predict new throwbacks. We know that Wizards is referencing old cards in the titles of new cards (e.g. Cabal Therapist, Giver of Runes, Force of Negation, Pondering Mage, Umezawa's Charm, Deep Forest Hermit, etc.), some of which contain references as the first word (Cabal, Force, Pondering, Umezawa's) and some as later words. Here are some throwbacks/reprints based on first word predictions which are still live in the set:

    Daze throwback: live between Choking Tethers (44) and Exclude (48)
    Brainstorm throwback: live between Bazaar Trademage (41) and Chillerpillar (43)
    Swords to Plowshares throwback: live between Splicer's Skill (31) and Wall of 1000 Cuts (36)
    Wasteland throwback: live between Sunbaked Canyon (247) and Waterlogged Grove (249)
    Rishadan Port throwback: live between Prismatic Vista (244) and Silent Clearing (246)

    This doesn't necessarily mean the card throwback is in, or that the card throwback will necessarily have the reference as the first word. It just gives a little hype and hope for those cards in these slots. I think all of these throwbacks minus maybe Rishadan Port are extremely likely in a set that has called back to most other major eternal staples. This is just one method of trying to predict their inclusion.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)

    It's a matter of fact that Pro Players running GDS stated they were more than 50% against UW Control.

    What is the source for that? I normally don't request a specific citation, but if we're discussing objective MWP stats in a tournament for which 100% of the matchups are known, I need to see a source. The source is particularly important because Henke calculated the GDS vs. UWx matchup at 9/24 or 37.5% at the MCII. When we combine that with my GP sample from last year, where GDS was 43.6% vs UW Control (24/55), we get a combined sample of 33/79 or 42% MWP. The confidence interval on this is 30.8%-53.4%. This does not support the assertion that it is secretly a favorable matchup. There's a small chance that the matchup is truly 50% and our GP/MC sample is just estimating low, about an 8.5% chance, but that's fairly unlikely. It's statistically very unlikely that the matchup is favorable at 55%+ (1.4% chance).
    Quote from Lear_the_cat »
    I think after MH Blue will have more than enough tools to be very strong. Playable planeswalkers from War were mostly blue, I think other colors also need some support.

    Blue on its own is definitely fine. It just got Narset, little Teferi, Ashiok, and Veto in WAR alone. It's about to get FoN and Charm assuming there are no other hits in the set. There's a popular, or at least vocal, opinion that blue is struggling and needs some support in Modern. UW Control is consistently a top 5 deck at most events with significant recent performance in both paper and MTGO venues. Blue doesn't need more help. I know that folks like CFP will point out that URx is doing much worse than UWx, but that's not a plausible indictment of blue's viability. That's just a complaint about a specific pairing.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    By the way, GDS is a perfectly reasonable deck. People don't get this, but if you're a good player it's secretly quite good against Ux too.
    Quote from Spsiegel1987 »

    Good deck in general? Yes.

    Good in this meta? No.

    Good against UW? No.

    Secretly good against UW? No

    Good at your local FNM because the UW players there are bad? YAS, QUEEN!

    We can agree GDS is a good deck in general. Whether or not it's good in this metagame is a bit more of an open question, because I don't know if we can define a "this metagame" for all people. The metagames will vary between a GP, an SCG Open, a large regional/local event, MTGO queues, Challenges, FNMs, etc. There are probably metagames that it is good for and bad for.

    I can unambiguously say that GDS is probably not favored against UWx. In an aggregate of my own MWP data and data compiled by Tobi Henke from GP this year, GDS is about 40%-60% against UWx. That's not unwinnable by any means, and I'm sure good players can bring that closer to the 45%-55% "slightly unfavorable" range, but it's not a secretly good matchup by all indicators I've seen.
    Quote from cfusionpm »

    This set was supposed to represent cards to be inserted into Modern that were too powerful for Standard. So it's at least a little head-scratchingly confusing to see Edict after they just introduced a strictly better version into Standard. It's another representation of disconnect at R&D.

    Not every card in the set needs to match that definition. There's no statement I am aware of that says 100% of cards in this set need to be too powerful for Standard. The set is just generally geared this way. For instance, FoN would be obscene in Standard. Wall of One Thousand Cuts literally wouldn't see play. Nor would Goatnap. Plenty of other cards are probably at an appropriate Standard power level on their own: see Nature's Chant or Man-o'-War. The existence of these cards doesn't suggest any "disconnect at R&D." It just shows that the set was never intended to consist of cards that are solely for Modern and otherwise too powerful for Standard. Unless you are aware of a specific promise Wizards made in this regard, this seems more like a case of audience misinterpretation than false advertising or disconnect.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [MH1] Modern Horizons Discussion Thread
    Path of God better not steal the Swords to Plowshares throwback/reprint in the set. I don't think it will because it's clearly more of a Wrath/Path homage than Swords, and white still needs some instant-speed spot removal. The Swords throwback has potential to be one of the best cards in the set, if done right.

    I am also excited for the throwbacks (reprints??) on Daze, Wasteland, and Brainstorm. Daze is probably reprintable without modification, and would be a big boon to various species of tempo blue decks. Wasteland is probably not reprintable, but I could see a Wasteland that only hits nonbasics without basic land types. This would benefit Modern while not creating 8Wasteland Legacy situations unless you're facing poor Lands. As for Brainstorm, I still have hopes for "draw 2, top 1" at instant speed on a CMC 1 or 2 card, either of which would be playable AS AN INSTANT. Sorcery draw 2 top 1 is also probably playable at 1 CMC.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    I have no issue with people complaining about Counterspell's absence in MH. That's a reasonable thing to complain about, much like it's reasonable to complain that SFM is still on the banlist.

    The problem is that many people who are complaining about Counterspell's exclusion (a specific issue) or SFM's legality (a specific issue) translate this frustration into complaints about Wizards' competence, format knowledge, design ability, etc. (extremely general issues). The bar to indict Wizards on these counts is extremely high and almost certainly unmet. Look at how many Standard cards have reshaped Modern in the past few years. Look at how the format has naturally and consistently adapted to allegedly broken decks even as the community has shouted for dozens of bans. These are clear signs that Wizards knows how to manage Modern in a way that pleases many players and keeps the format popular. This is because, as I noted earlier, Wizards has a long view of the format and a deep understanding that Modern tends to self-correct and arc towards dozens of viable strategies. Wizards doesn't need to meddle and they know it.

    I understand that some players are dissatisfied with Modern because it does not match their vision of non-rotating Magic. A the same time, Wizards has made Modern's vision and execution very clear. Complaining about the current state of Modern or the state of Modern for the last 3 years would be like Standard players complaining that they can't play T3 engine combos. Or a Legacy player that wants to be play tribal aggro. In these cases, the complainants want something that is fundamentally incompatible with a defined format they are playing. Thankfully, we can point them elsewhere. It's easy to direct these complainants to another supported format where their needs are met. When people complain about the usual Modern issues, however, it's hard to point them elsewhere because the other options either don't fulfill those desires, or are visibly under-supported. Wizards has sold Modern as the non-rotating format of choice, which necessarily needs to appeal to hundreds of competing desires, play-types, game experiences, etc. It's inevitable that some people feel excluded or unheard. This does not mean Wizards isn't listening; as I noted earlier, their online presence is massive. It just means they didn't adopt feedback in a way that some players wanted.

    As for MH, the negativity remains unwarranted for the reasons I have discussed. First, we have less than half of the set. That alone should be a full-stop to negativity as it only takes 1-2 cards to make a set format-shaping. Second, players of all calibers are notoriously inconsistent at card evaluation. We don't know which revealed cards are sleeper hits, fool's gold, or legitimate homeruns. Even the best players in the world are notoriously variable as card evaluators. Finally, previews are curated experiences that appeal to multiple audiences. Our forum and much of the Reddit r/modernmagic community (i.e. places where complaints are vocal) represent only a small subset of that audience. Previews geared towards our audience aren't going to happen every day of the week. They will be interspersed throughout the season. Anyone is capable of understanding these reasons, but so many people are quick to jump to wild conspiracy theories, reckless accusations, and personal axe-grinding that this gets lost in the fray. We can do better.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    I find your defense abstract would you like to actually defend specific points. For instance, their justification for no counterspell in their own stream? This criticism isn't coming out of a vacuum. I mean I don't think you actually personally believe counterspell is too good for Modern so I be surprised if you want to die on this hill.

    Counterspell is totally fine in Modern. Wizards' omission of Counterspell from MH does not mean it isn't appropriate in Modern. It also does not mean Wizards isn't listening to player feedback. I did not reply to a post you made about Counterspell. I replied to a post you made in which you expressed your beliefs that "I honestly don't think they care and wanna fix things", "If they actually cared it wouldnt be that hard to do a decent job," and other suggestions about a perception of Wizards' incompetence.

    I have no issue with people criticizing the specific exclusion of a card from the set. It's a narrow criticism, but it's understandable as long as you are in dialogue with Wizards' actual cited reasons for doing so. I have a big issue with the wild extrapolation of "It sucks that Counterspell isn't in MH" to "Wizards doesn't listen to feedback, doesn't care, doesn't want to fix things, and is willfully or negligently doing a bad job." Those kinds of allegations have a very high bar and are simply not supportable given how much visible outreach (to say nothing of the invisible outreach) they do.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [MH1] Modern Horizons Discussion Thread
    The negativity towards this set, whether in this thread or the Reddit comment sections, is just unwarranted.

    1. Less than half of the set has been spoiled. Wizards obviously started with some big ones like FoN, but it's been much slower since then. It is like this every preview season as the previews are a curated experience that need to appeal to various players. Wizards intersperses exciting cards to keep hype high.

    2. All Magic communities frequently miss powerful cards. Powerhouses like WAR Narset were under-appreciated by most evaluators until people started playing the set. LSV, Joel Larsson, MTG Goldfish, Dylan Donegan, Emma Handy, and a half dozen other writers barely mentioned Search for Azcanta in their Modern reviews (or didn't mention it at all). I don't remember reading a single Modern review of Rivals that included Arclight Phoenix. Card evaluation is hard and people need to play cards to figure out if they are actually good or bad.

    3. There are numerous eternal staples that Wizards has not yet referenced or remade for Modern. Some, like FoN and FoW are clearly on-mark. Others, like Mom and Giver, are more open. Still others, like Pondering Mage, are clearly just references and probably not as powerful. But any number of the remaining throwbacks, most of which are obviously absent right now, could be very strong. Examples include Daze, Wasteland, Brainstorm, Hymn, Port, and others. I am excited to see these cards, and it will only take 1 to have a huge impact.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Quote from Joban8 »
    You'd think that the same people who allegedly monitor format health would have an expert understanding of the modern infrastructure and which existing cards would be most efficacious when it comes to filling in gaps, balancing the color pie, bolstering lower tier archetypes, etc were they ever reprinted into modern. Instead of utilizing those existing cards, which have concrete data, and opting to make MH a majority compilation of brand new unknown variables is a sign of either ignorance or ineptitude, in my eyes. I won't damn the set until everything is laid out on the table, but I'm going to have some serious trust issues come June 14 if all we have is a set with sweet EDH toys and one solid land cycle.
    Quote from cfusionpm »

    I have literally been saying this for years, and constantly mocked for it. But time and time again, they show that their understanding of the format is embarrassingly thin and almost entirely dictated by spreadsheets and data sets of names. There is no deep and fundamental understanding of the actual format meta or how the decks interact with each other, outside of the absolute most basic, surface level observations. Is this set what it finally takes for others to see that?

    It's very easy for players to criticize Wizards' understanding of the format if we focus on misses without context. I prefer to look at the big picture since 2016. The most telling example of this is banlist management. Every few months since Eldrazi Winter, vocal subsets of the player community have clamored for bans. Pros have joined in (LSV and GDS is an infamous example). SCG casters regularly talk about bans and format health at every single event. I stopped counting the number of times authors tangentially mention bans in articles or Tweets, and I have seen literally dozens of ban suggestions made by players, authors, commentators, pros, observers, and other community members. These have included Tron lands, Mox Opal, GDS, Cavern, E-Temple, Company, SSG, Teferi, Baral, Manamorphose, Moon, Bridge, Hierarch, Stirrings, Looting, Inquiry, and many more. It's a widely established meme at this point. But throughout all of this, Wizards has ignored most outcry and only banned three cards: Probe (a card so broken it is banned in every non-Standard format), GGT (a surgical nerf to a still viable, top-tier deck), and KCI (a demonstrably broken deck by objective, predictable measures).

    I argue this conservatism is because Wizards has a much deeper and broader understanding of format dynamics than most players who get caught up in the day to day grinding and comment mill. Wizards understands that barring extreme situations, the format arcs towards diversity and two dozen viable decks of all archetypes and colors. Bans aren't necessary. Targeted shakeups aren't necessary. Basically every new Standard set has trickled format-defining cards into Modern and Wizards knows this will continue to happen. Wizards also understands that this broad viability is central to Modern's widespread appeal, even if individual players from enfranchised, knowledgeable, and experienced cohorts disagree or dislike the format. Not all players will like this. Notably, players who prefer the powerful cantrips and countermagic of Legacy will probably not like this and will describe this format as high variance and low skill, even though I have disproven this claim more times than I can count with analyses of player/pro MWPs across formats.

    Unfortunately, because Wizards does not support Legacy to the same extent as Modern, all players who prefer non-rotating formats generally are funneled into Modern specifically. This means that players who would probably prefer a Legacy environment can't really enjoy it. Standard and EDH players don't have this issue; they can just stick with the formats they want to play, especially with Arena offering such a great Standard experience. But because Modern is a top-down response to the problems of the Reserve List, it is the de facto nonrotating format of Magic and that will never appeal to all the players who could theoretically enjoy nonrotating Magic. This means there will always be critics, especially vocal, enfranchised, and experienced players who want a defined metagame, a 50/50+ deck, a specific type of strong interaction/selection, etc. Wizards just understands they can't please everyone and instead chooses to promote a format where two dozen decks can T8 a GP, and they understand this is possible with hands-off management.

    Honestly what makes it disgraceful is that it aint hard for WOTC if they care about this stuff to sign up to some Forums like this, Cruise multiple Reddit for Magic and sit in Discords. This isn't the 90s or early 00s. If they actually cared it wouldnt be that hard to do a decent job. If they wanted to do some research and find out what people think about various decks it be easy. But I honestly don't think they care and wanna fix things.

    Again, these kinds of criticisms are likely not grounded in reality. Wizards has visible representatives on Reddit and Twitter. They repost articles on the mothership from dozens of websites. A prominent R&D member is a mod alum of this website. It is implausible that they do not know about the feedback. They simply did not process the feedback how you and others might have preferred. It's frustratingly common to see people, both online and in person, criticizing large organizations for decisions with thousands of moving parts. They are obviously listening and engaging the community. It takes just a cursory look at even the last B&R announcement, where they explicitly mentioned Modern concerns, to realize this.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Modern vs Legacy
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from Bearscape »
    Quote from cfusionpm »

    Fateseal is just OK
    Bounce a creature is sometimes really awful (etbs)
    Brainstorm ain't the powerhouse it is in Legacy

    I *strongly* disagree, especially on the last point. If you get two Brainstorms and a shuffle in, the game is over.

    If you and your Jace live long enough to do that, sure?

    If you are untapping with a JTMS, two Brainstorm activations, and a shuffle, you are almost definitionally living "long enough to do that." When Ux gets the JTMS and Teferi going for multiple turns, it tends to win. This is both because JTMS/Teferi help them win and because their survival is an indicator that the game is stabilized in Ux's favor. If you slam JTMS on T4 into a dangerous battlefield or game state, then yeah, you're probably going to lose. But that has nothing to do with the power of JTMS' abilities in different situations.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Quote from metalmusic_4 »
    Counter spell will remain on the wish list, that's okay. We should focus on all the new toys and not on our seething resentment of a few poor choices by WOTC. Well, until all the spoilers are out anyway.

    As I said in the MH thread, I am still optimistic for other throwbacks. We've seen throwbacks at varying power levels to a huge range of eternal format staples and icons. This includes fetchlands, Mother of Runes, Cabal Therapy, Ponder, Preordain, FoW, Goblin Welder, Jitte, Strix, Sneak Attack, Flusterstorm (actual reprint), and a Mox. I'm probably missing some other relevant ones. This makes me very optimistic for the following reprints and/or throwbacks:

    -Swords to Plowshares
    -Hymn to Tourach
    -Rishadan Port

    (List expanded since last post). The throwback for these cards could be Pondering Mage-bad or it could be closer to FoN/Giver of Runes. It would just take one hit on this list, let alone multiples, to have a major format impact. With so many cards to be spoiled, I am hopeful we see many or all of these references/reprints. Note that some of these reprints wouldn't happen, like Brainstorm. But Brainstorm variants are possible. Same with most of these cards on the list.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [MH1] Modern Horizons Discussion Thread
    Force of Rage lol Red and White got shafted.

    Force of Rage is very disappointing. A Pyrokinesis version would have been so much more valuable. I don't understand why UBG got obvious policing/answer cards and RW got weird stuff. I'm curious to see the design decisions there.

    Counterspell exclusion is unsurprising (I thought it was a goner the second we saw FoN and Prohibit in the same set), but the rationale is particularly disappointing. Forcing players to use mediocre effects in place of a good one does not make those mediocre effects better. If Wizards banned Bolt tomorrow, URx decks and Jund wouldn't suddenly switch to Lighting Strike. They'd just be ****ed on that slot. Same thing if they banned Thougthseize; Thought Erasure/Duress/Despise don't suddenly become replacements. It's also puzzling because Modern Ux decks don't really use that many counterspells. It's Cryptic Command at 4 CMC, Logic Knot at 2, and a smattering of Leak/Veto/Stroke also at 2 for most decks.

    I'm still optimistic. There are still enough slots left in the set that we can hit gold. Cards that could be hits would be the throwback for Swords, Wasteland, Brainstorm, Hymn, Stifle, and/or Daze. I expect we'll see most of these, if not all. We already have references, at varying power levels, to FoW, Ponder, Preordain, Mom, Flusterstorm (actual reprint), Cabal Therapy, Jitte, Strix, a Mox, Sneak Attack, and fetchlands. It just takes one of these other throwbacks to make a huge format impact.
    Posted in: Modern
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