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PurePwnage I recently removed it. It may sound counterintuitive but Prison was oftentimes a half-measure that hopefully slowed down opponents enough to get to the lock combo, which we would then become very dependent upon. By shifting from Prison to Sphere of Safety and protection, we reorient the mid game from Ghostly Prison to the lock combo and the late game from the lock combo to Sphere of Safety/Leyline of Sanctity.
September 24, 2021 5:50 p.m.
I agree with all but Once Upon a Time being unbanned. I for one would dread playing OuaT Tron but there’s also CoCo, Elves, Infect, Bogles. OuaT was used in Prime Time decks but OuaT was banned for ubiquity, like Green Sun's Zenith. It certainly has a better chance of unban with Primeval Titan out of the picture, but that doesn’t solve what made OuaT a problem.
Ban Primeval Titan
September 21, 2021 10:31 a.m.
I think the notion that cards should be banned primarily for being unfun is against the spirit of the format. That takes away agency from players. There are plenty of annoying cards and decks. Maybe I find Mox Opal annoying but Mycosynth Lattice to be rather fun. Banning a card for being unfun is going to frustrate those that find it fun and the best explanation that could be given is ‘Well your opinion is in the minority.’ Bans should have some sort of backing with data to support it. Maybe it’s the consistency of speed. Maybe it’s the ubiquity of play. The only ban I know of that Wizards did primarily for being unfun would be Aetherworks Marvel. Wizards chucked more data into that announcement than any other to my knowledge. CYA That article was so long because that’s what happens when you turn over every stone and find the only explanation left is ‘y’all don’t like it.’ Any other article would just spit out the data to support the ban and be done with it.
I think it’s dismissive of combo decks to say a card should be banned if it only exists to do broken things. There should be a speed/consistency threshold. To say you can’t make infinite mana? You can’t cheat a big creature into play? Who’s using Ad Nauseam to do anything fair? Is anyone running Vizier of Remedies without Devoted Druid? Puresteel Paladin? Amulet of Vigor? Goryo's Vengeance? Blazing Shoal is, in my opinion, the most unbannable card. Lattice would be but admittedly, Karn would have to take its spot on the bus. Bridge was a strong component of Hollow One when it had Faithless Looting. Then Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis and Altar of Dementia came along and broke it wide open. They tried to weaken it with a Bridge ban but ultimately hit Hogaak anyway. I think they should have unbanned Bridge when they banned Hogaak. Or at least Golgari Grave-Troll?
I suppose a repeatable artifact tutor is okay even if a creature one is not? I stand by saying if something wasn’t a problem until X comes along, X made the problem. Lattice made Karn a one card combo. Karn falls into the same space as Stoneforge Mystic and Birthing Pod. To that end, if Pod means WotC has to check every creature they make, doesn’t Karn mean they have to check artifacts and Mystic mean equipment?
The more I think about Jitte, the more inclined I am to say it should stay banned. Giving every creature deck Jitte is not as conducive to format health as giving white creature decks Stoneforge.
September 21, 2021 12:53 a.m. Edited.
SynergyBuild I checked out a video explaining the Trickery deck and I concede, that is ridiculous. I had imagined it as being just as frail as something like Treasure Hunt + Lightning Storm. But the more cascade heavy variant would be trying you with that nonsense every single turn. Trickery is on par with Hypergenesis.
I maintain that Karn was the proper ban. The ‘only exists in the format to do broken things’ is applicable to any combo deck. Decks playing Thassa's Oracle probably aren’t looking to do ‘fair’ things. If Teferi, Time Raveler also could tutor for Knowledge Pool, I don’t think that would make Pool broken. Karn was the problem. The tutor doubled as a damned combo piece! That’s silly! If you could humor me for downtown hyptheticalville, if we errata Karn’s static ability away and add Null Rod to the format, I don’t think anything gets banned.
I definitely agree that Oko is far from safe to plug in right now. But I see it as a card where the meta may evolve to a point that it can accept Oko. I’m simply differentiating cards I think are up for discussion at some point or not. I don’t know what it would take to make the Oko conducive to Modern and whether that says anything good about the format. Oko doesn’t strike me as a Hypergenesis, Tibalt's Trickery, Dread Return, or Summer Bloom type of ban. And there are definitely different types of bans. I see Oko like Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Splinter Twin, or Umezawa's Jitte where we look back every couple years and wonder ‘Is it safe now?’ I agree I wouldn’t have any to see his stupid face any time soon but I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be seeing Jace and Stoneforge Mystic (talk about a linear play pattern). If we unleashed entirety of the ban list, maybe a Delver Oko build would be the one challenger amid a sea of combo decks. But I don’t think Oko would be very meaningful there. Modern would immediately become degenerate and some refer to Modern as Legacy-lite already. While I think the unleashing of absurd combos would be the totality of that transformation, perhaps releasing Oko is the first step in that direction. A direction that is ultimately unhealthy for the format. Aka: Where other bans are absolute, consensus, and thoroughly unquestionable, Oko is at least up for discussion.
September 19, 2021 10:59 p.m.
SynergyBuild I can’t say I really understood how the Trickery deck worked. Could you enlighten me?
Oko, Thief of Crowns is certainly annoying but with Arcum's Astrolabe banned, perhaps in a Modern where Mishra's Bauble is banned, Oko may come back? Perhaps it’s not a matter of what is in the format right now or banned. Regardless of what changes could make it happen, I think there are cards next to Oko, like Birthing Pod and Splinter Twin which are cards I believe fall into a category of being worthy of discussing. Then you have cards like Gitaxian Probe, Hypergenesis, and Chrome Mox which fall firmly out of said discussion as far as Modern is concerned and can probably stay banned on consensus forever and always.
Karn/Lattice is certainly a powerful late game for Tron and I agree that it shouldn’t exist in the format. We already see consistency as the rationale for most bans Ponder, Preordain, Birthing Pod, Green Sun's Zenith. It strikes me as weird that it was not the tutor that got banned but the target. I think that Karn needed the boot. I believe Mattice was doing nothing until that came along.
September 19, 2021 4:13 p.m.
SynergyBuild I’d sooner see KCI than Second Sunrise unbanned. Most are aware of how infamously long Eggs turns we’re back in the day (when Eggs didn’t even run KCI). Many forget that it wasn’t uncommon to be going off on turn 2-3 with Sunrise.
Safe unbans would include:
After that you have the tier of discussion, cards which are probably not safe but warrant investigation and testing. These would be:
I’m not saying this second listed section is safe to unban. I am saying that I could see the format work it’s way to a point where these could be unbanned.
September 19, 2021 10:53 a.m. Edited.
I think Intrepid Adversary had the same pitfalls any true lord would. And that’s probably why Thalia's Lieutenant outclasses it. If Humans were tightened down, they could probably work it in but as is, Humans aren’t looking for much.
Spectral Adversary is much more than a bad Rattlechains. It sits between Rattlechains and Brazen Borrower. That versatility of applications is valuable enough to consider for Spirits (which plays Borrower). Just like Intrepid Adversary and Bloodthirsty Adversary, it only has one potential home.
I wouldn’t know how to analyze these from the Standard lens but I think it would go something like this:
September 11, 2021 12:32 p.m.
I think that’s generally true but a bit more nuanced. I think Spectral Adversary and Intrepid Adversary have a shot in Modern. I can’t speak to Tainted Adversary and Primal Adversary as they lack homes and as such probably have less of a shot in the format. Intrepid Adversary gets outclassed by Thalia's Lieutenant in the one home it could have and Humans is really tight and probably not looking for redundancy. A similar case goes for Bloodthirsty Adversary which would only serve as redundancy for the bigger Goblin Dark-Dwellers in land destro which is much more fringe than Humans and Spirits. I think blue has the best shot in Modern as it has a home and really comes down to whether the tribal body is more impactful to its deck than the split utility efficiency of Brazen Borrower. I think the offensive and defensive versatility is promising.
September 10, 2021 7:03 p.m. Edited.
1) Blue - Versatile offensive and defensive utility, relevant tribal body, evasion makes the most use of its +1/+1 counters, effective blink target
2) White - Scalable anthem, relevant tribal body, middling body, not viable blink target, potentially highest power output dependent on board state
3) Green - Far less tribally relevant body, most singular power output also opens lands to wraths, best for on the ground combat, viable blink target with middling returns
4) Black - tribally relevant body, second best singular power output, less defensive bodies makes it virtually exclusively offensive, viable blink target
5) Red - haste is good (for a turn), can only plateau or decrease in value with scale, spell based effect mitigates any tribal potential, viable blink target
We’ll ultimately see where they all land.
September 10, 2021 4:09 p.m.
As a Prison player, salt and ‘dick moves’ are a workplace hazard.
1) In response to a turn 1 Island into Aether Vial I played a Pithing Needle on Vial. That agitated the opponent but he scoffed and folded to a turn 3 Ghostly Prison. Game 2 went a bit longer but Sphere of Safety drew out a toss of the hands and a salty scoop. Not so much a story of a ‘dick move’ but lots of scoffing, eye-rolling, and shrugging.
2) Same deck going against Grishoalbrand. They went for a turn 1 Faithless Looting (back when it was legal). I saw enough to respond with a turn 1 Pithing Needle on Griselbrand. He stated that that ‘wasn’t how the deck wins’. Mkay. He managed to reanimate Griselbrand on turn 2 with Goryo's Vengeance. I responded with Runed Halo on Griseldaddy. I never got to find out how his deck wins. I’m my experience, whether it’s myself or my opponent, one player allows the other to dig their own grave. I don’t know whether he was trying to be condescending or throw me off my mental game but I had never had anyone give live commentary on my play.
3) Same deck against Bogles. I don’t want to dismiss this player but I wonder how locked into a solitaire mindset Bogles players find themselves in. I don’t recall the whole game as it had been years but I know I was 2-2 paired up against a 4-0 so perhaps this player thought they were sailing to an undefeated finish? They would be denied by what had to be the most interactive opponent they had on the night. They learned the hard way that Runed Halo and Porphyry Nodes in fact do not target. They stuck around long enough in game 1 to see a win-condition and then just folded game 2 after getting shut out by Sphere of Safety. They weren’t super salty but I had had a judge called over so many times in a game. I think they were just put out that a middling record stuck around long enough to knock them off an undefeated perch and likely top prize over a split. With a middling record, I got nothing but practice. Was that a ‘dick move’ on my part?
September 10, 2021 1:06 a.m. Edited.
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