Fatal Push broken?

Modern forum

Posted on Aug. 22, 2017, 11:45 p.m. by Lowenstein

I'm not sure if this already has a thread, but here goes.

Fatal Push is an instant-speed, 1 mana, basically kill any creature spell. For Standard, it's different, but as a Modern player, it seems way too good.

Decks like Death's Shadow that use Fatal Push, you crack a fetch and you've got an opponent's creature dead. Awesome for black decks, a bane for others.

Do you think it is too broken?

seuvius says... #2

If path to exile caan exist in modern then so can push.

August 22, 2017 11:59 p.m.

filthyc4sual says... #3

No, I think fatal push keeps the broken stuff in check. Now black has an answer to Goblin Electromancer, Sram, Senior Edificer, Heritage Druid, Death's Shadow, etc.

I tend to think that the more good control cards a format has, the better.

August 23, 2017 midnight

rothgar13 says... #4

This is a joke thread, right? It has to be a joke. I can't believe that someone would actually have this opinion.

August 23, 2017 12:07 a.m.

GlistenerAgent says... #5

It's pretty great.

It's very hard for a removal spell to fit the definition of "broken", though. That's reserved for things that are manipulative of the game engine, usually. Dark Ritual is in the discussion for "broken". Terminate and Fatal Push are not.

August 23, 2017 12:19 a.m.

Lowenstein says... #6

Haha don't judge - I've been away for a few years - and saw it and thought it was kind of weird. Just wondering. Y'all say it's not overpowered, so that's what I was curious about.

August 23, 2017 12:20 a.m.

DuTogira says... #7

Not overpowered? Not overpowered? Path to Exile ramps your opponent, which while not always relevant, is highly so in the first few turns of the game. This made it slightly less preferred than Lightning Bolt was before Fatal Push was printed, and rightly so. Fatal Push warped the meta singlehandedly though. Tron went from R/G to G/B just for push. Eldrazi tron rose back up to the ranks of tier 1 simply because a good half of its creature base cannot be hit by Fatal Push. Death's shadow aggro (formerly grixis delver) stayed at the top of Tier 1 after the probe ban simply because push created a meta where bolt-proof creatures were king; after all, you can't afford to run creatures that might die to both bolt and push. Jund and Junk decks of all flavors maintained their spots in the meta. Meanwhile, infect completely fell off the map along with U/W control builds. Affinity endured because its so fast and already can interact with removal via arcbound ravager, but it did lose a good 1% hold on the meta.
Fatal Push might not be completely borked, but its definitely powerful enough to warp the meta. It's probably not ban worthy... but like I said its powerful.

August 23, 2017 12:35 a.m.

TheAnnihilator says... #8

Tbh, I think Push has been totally format warping and even fringes on overpowered. Yes, Path exists, but it has real downsides of giving a land and being in White. It was always the main draw to play white in modern, with not much else but sb cards, and now Push overshadows it by being slotted into Black decks (which are the strongest in Modern imo due to the most efficient and least costly overall disruption in Thoughtseize, etc). I could absolutely see a call for banning it eventually, but I don't think it has the following to happen. It's also a "fair" card, and those are always under the radar for bannings because it doesn't do anything "unfair", its just hyper-efficient at what it does, which is trading 1-for-1. Inherently fair and interactive.

Push has not only powered up Grixis/Jund Shadow, but it's helped put Infect and Goyf decks out of meta. Is this a problem? I don't know. Maybe. Either way, it makes a huge mark on the format, and it's not so hard to see if you look just at the surface.

August 23, 2017 12:36 a.m.

TheAnnihilator says... #9

I always thought Modern needed a 2-mana, instant "destroy target creature" spell in black, but we got it for one mana instead (basically). That's why it's just a tad too prevalent.

August 23, 2017 12:44 a.m.

DuTogira says... #10

Before anyone makes the argument that Path and Bolt both are in a greater % of decks than push, I would like to point out that all decks that hold 6%+ shares of the meta either run creatures that play around push by being high cmc, run so many creatures that they dont care about push, or can stop you from pushing their creatures. Thus, path sees more play than push because it can hit the creatures that push cant, but thats not meta warping because at least with path you get a land out of it.
Double checking my statement on U/W control... i guess it didnt fall off the map, so I'm wrong there. Sorry.

August 23, 2017 1:33 a.m.

Lowenstein says... #11

Yeah, last two guys I agree with. I sold my competitive infect deck because it couldn't do anything really. It definitely has changed modern a lot.

August 23, 2017 1:38 a.m.

hwagner says... #12

It's definately insane to think that Tarmogoyf is no longer the best creature in the format, and Delver of Secrets  Flip decks are even more scarce. Modern has changed a lot in the past year. Lightning Bolt use to be considered the single best card in modern by many. Now it is rarely played outside of Burn and Titan Shift. Fatal Push caused some of these changes although not all. We've been getting a lot of bannings in the past year and the format is still adapting. New fringe decks are on the rise it seems every couple of months. So I think we need more time to decide if Push is truly too powerful for the format. I personally don't think it is but time is the true testament.

August 23, 2017 3:01 a.m.

dthoreson813 says... #13

Nothing is actually broken. Just have to find ways around things that seem broken.

I think counter spells are broken. :-) (yes, I absolutely <3 control).

August 23, 2017 5 a.m.

Dabean27 says... #14

Nothing is broken? Eye of ugin disagree

August 23, 2017 11:48 a.m.

filthyc4sual says... #15

So does Treasure Cruise

August 23, 2017 11:53 a.m.

landofMordor says... #16

I think I'm with TheAnnihilator and DuTogira. Push is format-warping, but not necessarily in a banworthy way.

What I mean is, Push beats Goyf/Delver/GGuide/etc, and fails to hit Gurmag Angler, Eldrazi, and control finishers. Now, Goyf especially was totally bonkers powerful, the very definition of format-warping. Jund decks were king because of it and other black disruption. And the other decks were under-represented. Now, tier one decks seem a little more balanced, even if Infect and decks like it got shafted in the process.

I don't really mind a format-warping card, if it carves out a little space in the meta for underplayed decks. Yeah, now they're overplayed, maybe, but they weren't a year or two ago, and that's what makes Modern such a healthy format.

August 23, 2017 2:40 p.m.

Slowgod says... #17

Does push work on Gideon Jura (when he's a creature obviously)? I'm uncertain if he retains his 5 cmc?

August 23, 2017 3:46 p.m.

DuTogira says... #18

He retains his cmc. So it works on 4 mana Gideon's and under. Doesn't work on 5+ gideons

August 23, 2017 4:49 p.m.

It's not push alone. It's push in addition to Thoughtseize. It's Thoughtseize in addition to Inquisition. It's Inquisition in addition to Death's Shadow. It's Death's Shadow in addition to Street Wraith and Angler and Tasigur and Liliana of the Veil. It's Lili in addition to Kolaghan's Command. It's Street Wraith. Terminate and Abrupt Decay, Maelstrom Pulse. Lingering Souls and Kalitas. Fatal Push in a vacuum is fine. Modern is just too black leaning right now.

August 23, 2017 5:34 p.m.

TheAlexGnan says... #20

All that isnt really true though. Just to establish some facts: Fatal Push ] is not overrepresented in any way shape or form in the meta. It doesnt gain value, only tempo. It is a reactive card. Its powerful at what it does, but it has a ceiling insofar as it only ever kills 1 creature.

The top archetype, Death's Shadow midrange, in any of its iterations, is predominantly black. But plenty of other decks most in fact, run neither push, nor black.

This discussion is a result of lack of understanding and/or knowledge of the meta.

August 23, 2017 5:59 p.m.

DuTogira says... #21

That's just it though. If I play a goyf and you push it, and play a death's shadow on your turn, who comes out ahead?
Push isn't netting value, but there is a certain point where a card can be too high tempo. I'm not saying push is there, but if tempo were irrelevant compared to value, force of will wouldn't be a legacy and vintage staple.
This discussion is about whether push is broken, and the community concession is "not quite." That said, push is inarguably an extremely powerful card and the singularly strongest piece of removal black possesses.

August 23, 2017 8:32 p.m.

Xica says... #22

Fatal Push is highly overvalued, thanks to its position in the current meta.
It is as broken as Spell Snare, yet not a single person complains about this counterspell.
Both cards are good because the format has a heavy focus (to say the least) on cheap creatures (and spells in general).

The power level of Path to Exile is much higher.
It exiles, and it DOESN'T ASK QUESTIONS.
All the whiners tend to forget how much exile is worth in a format that has a large amount of graveyard decks with recurring threats, not to mention stuff like Kitchen Finks, or Kolaghan's Command.
Push also falls flat on its face against anything with delve, creatures played in skred... etc.
There is a very good reason why control decks favor Path to Exile over Fatal Push.

Fatal Push is the kind of card that makes me smile (alongside Fragmentize, Natural State & Abrupt Decay) - since the more dead cards against Platinum Angel people play, the better it is for me.
All hail the glory of Madcap Experiment! XD

August 28, 2017 8:46 p.m.

TheAlexGnan says... #23

In this mera push is better than snare, but i always think of snare wenn i see push. Interactive spells need to generate either tempo or value to make up for needing a target. A creature will always deliver value, its "target" is the opponents life total.

That's why a removal spell's power ceiling before being broken is much higher than for proactive spells.

August 29, 2017 6:51 a.m.

Xica I hate to say it, but Spell Snare is NOTHING like Fatal Push. Snare only has one window for use (when the target is on the stack), only hits exactly 2-CMC spells, and will sit dead in your hand if it doesn't meet BOTH of those conditions. Push is relatively unconditional (hitting everything up to 4 mana on the usual, which is more than enough in the Modern format at large), can be used whenever the target is on the battlefield (as opposed to just on cast), and is typically never a dead card, even hitting manlands. Push's power level is so much higher than Snare that the only thing they even have in common is the number 2.

August 29, 2017 11:54 a.m.

Xica says... #25

TheAnnihilator i have to disagree.
Countering 2 cmc spells is undervalued.
Everyone realizes that it counters all the good stuff like Dark Confidant, Snapcaster Mage, Tarmogoyf, Boros Charm, Atarka's Command, Eidolon of the Great Revel, Sylvan Scrying, ...etc.
It counters half the power staples of modern.

What people who don't play control, do not realize is the fact, that for 1 mana it wins counter battles.Negate, Remand, Mana Leak, all fall victim to it, meanwhile it is cheap, thus its not that rare that you can just pay the , to not get this spell countered.

Yes i agree that its nothing like Fatal Push.
One is removal, the other is a hard counter, they are incomparable.
However both cards abuse the fact that modern relies a LOT on cheap spells & creatures.And both cards are blank if they face "non competitive" cards like Reality Smasher, Stormbreath Dragon, Goblin Dark-Dwellers, Hollow One, or any of the creatures with delve in their cost.


Fatal Push is good against the brand of decks that are all the rage lately, the tempo decks with few creatures that are misbranded as control, be it jeskai, or grixis.

August 29, 2017 12:18 p.m.

TheAlexGnan says... #26

TheAnnihilator i view that quite differently (concerning Spell Snare).

Counters as opposed to removal only work at one time (casting), yes, but they also circumvent several weaknesses removal like push has. Prime examples areVoice of Resurgence, anything out of burn or sakura tribe elder. Second, Spell Snare hits every card type, which is relevant in a lot of matchups (again: Burn, Gifts Storm, any control matchup). I bet if we take tier 1-2 decks, the number of valid targets is pretty close.

The real difference: Spell Snare is friggin old! The card is just there, part of the format. Same as bolt. Those have been around so long nobody questions them, and there is no need to.

And to put that argument to rest: Fatal Push is not better than Lightning Bolt. The reason push replaces bolt in some decks is that those decks dont care about the burn mode. Push is the better REMOVAL spell, but far from the better spell per se.

I think push fits very well into modern actually. Its very good, but not too good by any stretch.

August 29, 2017 12:26 p.m.

TheAlexGnan says... #27

Xica explain to me e.g. what push does against grixis control that bolt wouldnt do 10 times betterpls... If you're gonna give examples (there are plenty good ones) pls think about them. Grixis isn't one of them...

August 29, 2017 12:30 p.m.

TheAlexGnan says... #28

And obviously i meant to begin that with "Xica, i view that..." :D

August 29, 2017 12:32 p.m.

Xica says... #29

I said that i agree that Fatal Push is extremely useful against grixis death's shadow lists, and its perfect against decks that try to ride Celestial Colonnade to victory.

My objection is that a card is not broken, just because it hates well on the decks with the big share in the current meta.

By the same logic Rest in Peace, Torpor Orb, Spellskite are (or have been) even more broken.

August 29, 2017 12:36 p.m.

Xica says... #30

TheAlexGnan
Most people (at least around these parts), do not realize that Lightning Bolt is junk removal spell.
Its a good burn spell, but as removal its pretty bad.

I had people who called me idiot for not running 4x bolt over Path to Exile when in color, as bolt is "better removal".
I can easily imagine that the very same people would say that anything that replaces bolt in the deck they "netdeck from the pros" must be broken.

August 29, 2017 12:41 p.m.

TheAlexGnan says... #31

Xica you underestimate people "around these parts".

Lightning Bolt is literally THE BEST burnspell in the format. Even if it didn't hit creatures, burn would still run a playset.

Let that sink in.

The fact that it hits creatures at all could be viewed as a bonus.

Imo, it makes limited sense to compare push and bolt. If you want removal, obviously push. If you want reach, bolt. Good card pool.

August 29, 2017 12:48 p.m.

Xica says... #32

I don't think i underestimate people who call me idiot for not playing cards that provide reach, when all they do in the deck is win more.
while it needs good removal.

All the name calling is then supported by linking meta shares of Lightning Bolt.
At least i would expect win/loss ratio as a reason to play it.
And providing some reasoning, beside so many people say its good then its good - would not plunge my already small respect for the "tunnelvision spike" into the non existent region.

August 29, 2017 12:55 p.m.

TheAlexGnan says... #33

Alright, forget about other people. Still evaluating Fatal Push here. I'm actually really interested in that discussion because to me its far from clear what deck should run how many in place of what (mainlyopposed to other 1-2cmc removal).

August 29, 2017 4 p.m.

Xica says... #34

In my humble opinion if you want removal for 1 mana, you run Path to Exile, but since "no one plays white" i would list my opinion about other options.
Vendetta is not played for some mysterious reason in death's shadow deck... why? mirror?
Victim of Night is insane if you can provide the colors, probably the best destroy in black
Murderous Cut is a must play as a 1-2 of
Blue's best is probably Reality Shift - i would consider playing it in death's shadow lists, exile goes a long way and a 2/2 is brickwalled by all of their creatures.

Terminate is good
Dreadbore is better (not accounting for hasty Reality Smasher, which has its own protection anyways), but that may be because i fear cards like Liliana of the Veil & Karn Liberated like devil fears

August 29, 2017 6:58 p.m.

Xica says... #35

Hmm i nearly forgot Devour Flesh against Death's Shadow decks, especially the grixis variant...

August 31, 2017 5:18 a.m.

filthyc4sual says... #36

Problem is, they can just sac Snapcaster Mage

August 31, 2017 7:55 a.m.

DuTogira says... #37

The problem with all of those but vendetta is that they cost 2, not 1. Modern is a heavily tempo based format, and spending one extra mana on your removal... well it'll lose you games.
Vendetta has the same problem as push anyway; it can't hit big creatures because you lose too much life doing so.

August 31, 2017 10:11 a.m.

Xica says... #38

DuTogira
I would say that if you can do turn 2 Death's Shadow on the back of Vendetta then its probably worth it.
(In grixis where you can expect to survive long enough to swing with it thanks to stuff like Stubborn Denial)

Modern (despite what some might say) is not legacy or vintage.
Having a 2 mana removal is perfectly good, if you are not playing an aggro/tempo deck where you are very limited on mana even if the game goes long.
The only problem with removal that costs more than 1 mana comes from the current warped meta. If you don't have to expect stuff past 4 cmc Fatal Push suddenly becomes much better. (Just like in a format where most power card & counterspells are 2 mana Spell Snare seems perfect.)
When eldrazi occupy the meta share of death shadow decks, then Fatal Push is much less favourable, because Reality Smasher.
If planeswalkers are a significant threat Dreadbore is much better...
...against RG tron, would you pick Fatal Push or Dreadbore?

In my humble opinion for decks that can provide mana for it, paying an extra mana to increase the versitality of removal spells is worth doing.


P.s.: If you are casting Murderous Cut for 5 mana you are doing it wrong...

August 31, 2017 4 p.m.

DuTogira says... #39

The debate isn't whether two mana removal is acceptable in modern. Abrupt Decay already proved it is. Rather, the point here is that there is no good reason to run a 2 mana removal spell if you have a 1 mana removal spell that effectively does the same job better.
In DSA, Vendetta is probably better in the early turns but almost certainly becomes worse in the late game where you need to stabilize on health. In almost every other archetype Vendetta is worse than Fatal Push 9/10 times.
Push is worse against eldrazi, yes, but that's also a corner case for 9/10 games.
I'm not saying push is hands down the best black removal spell in modern, that's objectively untrue. I am saying it's the most consistently high perfoming black removal spell in modern though, and that this is due to the combined facts that it costs 1, is an instant, and hits 9/10 modern playable creatures.

August 31, 2017 4:15 p.m.

Xica says... #40

DuTogira
Still modern is not the you "lose/win on turn 3, if it goes long turn 4" format.
I have some issues with people declaring cards unplayable or useless just because they love their tempo or aggro decks, and are not willing to consider any other archetype.

As the state of the format is Grixis death shadow decks make up larger share of the meta than all the other decks that have black.
Based on this i would say that Vendetta is worth more than a despising handwave.
I also highly doubt that modern meta shares will be dominated by down to earth (mana costed) decks for the foreseeable future.
It doesn't take that much for the popularity of decks to change, just remember Siege Rhino that took abzan from obscurity to most played deck - and increased the popularity of other midrange strategies, by showing that the archetype is worth its salt.

Tl;Dr - a situationally powerful card - even when it hates on most of the meta that is warped to play a single archetype is not broken.

August 31, 2017 4:41 p.m.

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