Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Dec 5, 2012

What’s Wrong (and Right) with Modern

What’s Wrong (and Right) with Modern

Accepting the New Guy

At one point or another, we’ve all been the new guy. The sheepish, shy, frightened kid in a classroom, who is afraid to be assertive and make themself known to their classmates, who may get picked on for being new. Or, maybe you’re the new person at your local game store, kind of afraid to talk to anyone, and even more afraid to play against anyone. It’s not the best feeling, but it’s one that with time, we overcome and usually grow stronger having experienced it.

I’m the new guy here at ManaDeprived. I play for the love of playing, judge for the love of judging, and write for the love of writing. Am I nervous right now as I expose myself to a new audience? Of course! But, having been the new guy enough times in my life, I’m ready to share my thoughts with you, so we can all grow together.

Let’s talk about another new guy – Modern. The most accepting of us (including me, shamelessly) are in love with the format and the possibilities that lie therein. Others are quietly ignoring it, and others still will find any excuse to make fun of it and kick it to the curb. For any of these viewpoints, valid reasons (and concerns) exist to validate each person’s excitement or hatred of Modern. Today, I want to highlight some of these views, shed some light on why they exist, and propose some options to help you get to know – and accept – the new guy.

Viewpoint #1 – Variety in the Format

As one could expect in an eternal format with an ever-growing card pool, variety in deck selection certainly exists. Sure, some archetypes are well established (what constructed format doesn’t have them?), but a ton of opportunities exist to become a Modern entrepreneur. With the lack of a set rotation, deck brewers and deck tuners can innovate without fear of their beloved cardboard becoming useless a year or two down the road. If you prefer net-decking and net-deck-tweaking you can rest assured that established archetypes remain viable for years to come (Disclaimer: power level and success rate not guaranteed) and that your hard-earned money is not spent for naught.

Regardless of the type of deck you enjoy playing, Modern has the tools you need to succeed. Like playing Combo? Pester Kiki-Jiki – I’m sure you two can become buds. Prefer raw Aggro? Grab some robots and smash! Like a more Control-oriented build? Caw-Blade could be your new best friend (though playing it properly can be difficult to master). The breakfast lover in you can even crack some eggs and enjoy a Second Sunrise or two. Simply put, Modern has variety, and the possibilities for deck-building and playing are vast even in a Jund-dominated format! Go rogue and attack the metagame, use a pre-established archetype, or hybridize the best parts of a couple decks; the tools are there to make the most of your preferred style of play.

Viewpoint #2 – The Jund Dilemma

If you’ve been following the Modern metagame over the past few weeks you probably know of at least one deck in the format: Jund. Jund is a combination of some of the most efficient spells available and are the best at what they do and as such, Jund provides a great bang for your buck, if you’re willing to shell out, well…a lot of bucks to play it. The two staples of the deck – Dark Confidant (aka Bob) and Tarmogoyf – will usually run you at least $550 to buy, and that’s only a portion of Jund’s cost. But, if your finances can allow, Bob and Tarmogoyf provide insane card advantage and raw power on the battlefield that can certainly justify their high cost.

Jund is a great all-around deck. It has very few, if any, bad matchups. The deck plays an efficient game instead of a strictly degenerate game; rather than abuse graveyard-based strategies or other combo-orientated strategies, Jund plays an interactive, efficient game plan that can simply outmatch an opponent by playing aggressively-costed, high-power spells. Take Bloodbraid Elf, for example: for four mana (2RG), you get a 3/2 body that can attack immediately and Cascade into any number of powerful spells (Lingering Souls, Lightning Bolt, Dark Confidant, Maelstrom Pulse, Blightning, Tarmogoyf, Abrupt Decay, Liliana of the Veil…I could go on). Bloodbraid Elf provides insane advantage to Jund decks. With such powerful spells in the deck, along with the ability to play an early, mid, and late game, Jund has become the definitive powerhouse of the Modern metagame.

Now for the obligatory Jund rant: it’s everywhere. Roughly 20% of day two competitors from Pro Tour Return to Ravnica played the deck, and even more played it at the recent Grand Prix in Chicago. The deck induces head-scratching and under-your-breath swearing from deck builders, as they think “If I can’t beat Jund, is it worth playing this deck?” Calls for bans of cards from Bloodbraid Elf to Dark Confidant have been floating around the social atmosphere, and while I don’t see many bans coming in the future, the general argument supporting these rumors is that some of the cards in Jund are simply too good at what they do.

When a deck has virtually no bad matchups, the deck is going to be popular, almost to the point of annoyance. Personally, I think that point has been reached, and when I see a turn two Bob played in Modern, part of me dies inside, not because I hate the deck itself, but because I hate playing against it over and over again. The deck certainly won’t be going anywhere soon (save a banning or an unbanning), and I’ve heard more than one Magic player say that they won’t play Modern because of Jund’s dominance in the metagame. I’m not of that mindset but would like to see fewer Jund mirrors at the top tables and a breath of fresh air to hit the format (more on that later). While Modern is an extremely fun format in which to build decks (and usually play them), there isn’t the same excitement we saw at onset of the format in Philadelphia about a year ago. Something needs to change to keep the relationship between Modern and its players fresh.

Viewpoint #3 – Cost Prohibition

I informally polled some of my local players about why they haven’t hopped on the Modern bandwagon yet, and a fair number of them said that the format is just too expensive to afford. While valid, I want to offer a counter-point here: so is Standard. A typical Bant Control deck in Standard will run you at least $700 right now, and with the exception of Jund ($1000 or more, in some cases), most current competitive Modern decks cost around the same amount.

Now, I understand that many players already spend a lot on Standard, and that’s a fair point. In fact, part of the problem with costs in Modern is that it can be significantly harder to acquire Modern staples (through trading, borrowing, etc.) than Standard staples, and more cash is ultimately spent on Modern than perhaps on Standard in the short term. However, I think that calling a format too expensive to play is a bit unfair when they are likely basing at least some of their argument on the price of Dark Confidant and Tarmogoyf.

As the format picks up steam, the supply of Modern cards within local communities should increase, especially with the release of Modern Masters in 2013. Modern Masters will be a limited-release set that promises to reprint some of the most iconic (and thus expensive) Modern cards (Bob, Tarmogoyf, and more). Grand Prix Las Vegas, in 2013, will feature Modern Masters Limited as the format of choice, and it has drawn a huge amount of buzz. We’ll see how long the print run of Modern Masters lasts, but it should help drive costs down and interest in Modern up.

Many competitive decks exist in Modern that don’t require you to break the bank. Take some of the money invested in Standard and invest in some Modern cards. Over time, your collection will build, and you won’t have to worry about them leaving the format, save a banning or an unbanning, like you do for Standard every with rotation every October. Alternatively, find a very good friend to let you borrow a deck. Don’t let cost alone sway you from what is a format full of possibilities.

Viewpoint #4 – The Banned List Blues

From listening to my local players, reading articles, and watching and playing the format, I can hypothesize that the general perception of the Modern banned list is that it is far too excessive and doesn’t allow certain archetypes, like a true control deck, to blossom. The existence of powerful deck strategies across all archetypes would help keep the format fresh and exciting.

While I applaud Wizards for using caution at the onset of the format, I think Modern could use some refreshing. Pros and amateurs alike have called for unbannings of certain cards, bannings of others, and a general re-shaping of the banned list. Decks need to exist that put up a strong fight against Jund, and as it stands right now, I fear that Jund will become more and more popular until the archetype becomes what Caw-Blade was in Standard a few years ago: a deck that says “Play me or you just lose.” I’ve seen the Jund mirror; it’s about as boring as Sherlock Holmes without a good case to crack. I’ll elaborate on my thoughts to fix the banned list when we get to my suggestions below.

Viewpoint #5 – Nowhere to Play…Why Bother?

Raise your hand if there is a Modern tournament in your area within the next two weeks and you don’t live near Toronto. Okay…only mine is up. This is, in my opinion, the most poignant reason as to why Modern isn’t picking up steam. From what I have heard from my Magic friends, Legacy only picked up steam when StarCityGames added it to their weekly Open Series circuit. The only reason I can play Modern in the next few weeks is because my local Tournament Organizer (TO) is running a tournament…even then, that’s the first interaction I’ll have with Modern in a competitive environment in over a month. Simply put, there are not many opportunities to play competitive Modern that would justify spending a fair amount of money on a deck, unless you decide to travel to grind PTQs and hit every Grand Prix you can.

Luckily, Wizards is trying to change that. Starting in January, Modern will be a supported FNM format, and my TO has already promised to run Modern at least once a month if enough interest in the format exists. I can only hope that with the support of Friday Night Magic and the release of Modern Masters in the coming months, Wizards will succeed in generating some new-found interest in the format as a whole. I can’t wait for FNM in January and I know I’m not the only one. More possibilities for local-level Modern will encourage growth from the ground up.

Suggestion #1 – Advocate the Format!

This first suggestion is short, sweet, and simple: If you’re excited about Modern right now, and especially when it becomes supported at FNM, get your local play group into the format! Let them know why you like the format, and help them put a deck together! It doesn’t have to be a tier-1 masterpiece, just something that lets them have fun on a Friday night.

Also, talk to your local tournament organizers and judges and advocate the format to them. The first step to a more regular Modern scene is to let organizers know that you want to see it played. If you, and others in your area, talk to your store owners, organizers, and players, you’ll be headed in the right direction towards growing your local Modern scene.

Suggestion #2 – Change the Banned List!

There has yet to be a competitive, “true” control deck in Modern, Caw-Blade is the closest we’ve got. The dominance of Jund makes it nearly impossible that we will see it in the metagame anytime soon. I feel that something needs to be done to the banned list in order to make the format a little more diverse and fresh.

Here is what I would suggest:

BAN:
Bloodbraid Elf

UNBAN:
Jace, the Mind Sculptor Ancestral Vision

I’m not 100% sold on banning Bloodbraid Elf, especially if both of the above unban suggestions were to come to fruition. I really just want a true control deck to finally make some headway and stand a chance in the competitive atmosphere. Jace, without the Stoneforge Mystic + Batterskull issue, wouldn’t be oppressive in Modern, and Ancestral Vision would provide some much needed card advantage for the archetype. If Bloodbraid Elf were to meet the ban-hammer, I’d be curious to see what this does to Jund…I still think it would be highly competitive, but I think there would be healthy competition in the Modern metagame. Another card that I could see unbanned is Green Sun’s Zenith…more Valakut/Scapeshift decks would probably pop up, but I don’t see that move shifting the metagame in an unhealthy way, and it could provide additional variety to creature-based strategies.

Let me know what you think of these suggestions in the comments.

Suggestion #3 – Create a Modern Tournament Circuit

Right now, the only ways to play competitive Modern are during PTQ seasons (luckily, one is coming up starting in January – look for events in your area), very few StarCityGames IQs, or a Grand Prix, if you’re lucky enough to have one near you. Legacy seemed to take off after StarCityGames created an Open Series for the Legacy format. If a major store or website created a regular tournament circuit for Modern in various regions (US, Canada, Europe, etc) interest in Modern would increase as would the incentive to buy into and play the format. Provide tangible prize support and players will support tournaments. It happened to Legacy, and I’m sure it can happen with Modern. Time will tell if such a circuit will ever exist, but I would happily pay $40 to play in a Modern tournament near Baltimore or Washington.

Final Thoughts

Modern has its flaws right now: it’s often expensive, not easily accessible, and can be less than exciting to play in the current metagame. But, there are some really great things going on with the format as well: the potential to explore and create decks is high, giving deck builders plenty of opportunity to try new things. Add to that upcoming FNM support and the release of Modern Masters next year, and I feel that the tools are in place to help spark new interest and growth in the format. Naturally, as Modern tries to expand into a popular, widely-played format, it’ll take some work on all levels to help ensure its long-term success. This article highlights my suggestions on how we, as a community, can help make Modern great.

I welcome feedback, both about the format and my article in general. Being the new guy, I’m looking for acceptance as well and I’ll do what I can to make sure that you get something out of what I write.

Until next time,
-Tom

  • AmandaStevens

    For once an article on Modern that isn’t just “get over the cost of the format and play Jund.” I have been getting a bit bored of listening to a lot of the complaints about the format. It’s too expensive? Wait, isn’t your Standard deck also super pricey? Oh, and my Modern deck isn’t subject to just becoming garbage in a few weeks. 
    I digress. I like the solutions you put forth. I would really like it if TCG Player or SCG put some sort of Modern event together that wasn’t just a Win-a-box side event.  Hopefully, we some unbannings soon, but I doubt Bloodraid will make it onto the Ban unlist until Wizards sees it the same way they saw Wild Nactal .

  • TravisHall

    Unbanning Jace and then banning the one card that kept him in check in standard would be a very bad idea.
    I *HEART* Modern.

    • BrianBenns

      TravisHall I was thinking the exact same thing.

  • Semulin

    Just getting into Modern myself, and I quite enjoyed this read.  Well done!  Looking forward to more from you in the future.

  • Jay Lansdaal

    I like the article, but dislike your bannings. Here’s why:Banning BBE would not help much, I’m afraid. Yes, you’re lowering the quality of Jund’s topdecks, but people can already play BUG, which is basically just Jund without BBE, but with Snapcaster Mage. No cascading into creatures, but you always get the removal spell for their creature. 
    Unbanning Jace might help, but it needs some support, and that support is not Ancestral Visions. Unbanning Visions will fuel non-interactive decks to the point where even discard isn’t good against them anymore, and that is not a side effect I would want with my unbannings.
    You might actually be able to unban GSZ, but then you’d probably have to ban Dryad Arbor. Rampant Growth for 1 might be a bit too powerful in this format (Scapeshift would eat that up). 
    Other than that, this was a nice read, and I’m excited to see more of your stuff on this here site. 
    JL

    • wingmanmtg

      Jay Lansdaal Thanks for the feedback :)  I definitely think something needs to change on the banlist, and, being a natural blue mage, I figured Jace and Visions were logical choices.  However, maybe that would be a bit OP.  Time will tell.  Thanks!

    • BenCurran

      Jay Lansdaal How exactly would Ancestral Vision fuel combo decks? Turn 5 is far too late for a combo deck to wait to draw cards.

      • Jay Lansdaal

        BenCurran I said non-interactive decks, not combo decks – sorry for the confusion there. With Visions, you can play a mono U control deck, counter/destroy everything your opponent plays, and never run out of gas/counters. These kind of decks seem to be the kind of decks Wizards does not want to be viable. Right now, with BBE and discard  running around, you can take away their relevant answer against your threat, and ride it to victory. With Visions, they’re a big favorite to draw out of the disruption.
        More in relation to your comment, I actually could see combo decks board in Visions against a deck like Jund. No need to race, just need enough cards that discard doesn’t hurt there either.

        • BenCurran

          Jay Lansdaal Personally I would say that such a mono-U deck is in fact very interactive, because everything it does is in reaction to the opponent’s strategy.
          However, I am also very biased towards control decks.
          Furthermore, I would say that Ancestral Vision would be good for the format for precisely the reason you said: Jund can’t practically hope to answer it. The reason Jund is so popular is because there is nothing in the format that they can’t deal with. However, when your opponent is guaranteed three cards in the near future, “Shred his hand, then kill him” becomes a much worse strategy.

        • BenCurran

          Personally, I would say that such a mono-U deck is in fact very interactive, because everything it does is in reaction to the opponent’s actions. And, to be fair, Jund’s line of “Thoughtseize your spells, kill your creatures” isn’t much different. People just get too bent out of shape when counterspells are involved.
          Furthermore, I would say that Jund’s inability to answer Ancestral Vision is a good thing. Jund just has answers to everything in the format, which is why it’s so popular. Adding something that they can’t deal with to the mix should knock them down a few pegs and balance the format.

        • Jay Lansdaal

          BenCurran It’s not so much reacting as it is negating. I’m not saying I think Jund is much better, but people do get bent out of shape when they feel they get no chance to play at all – and this matters to Wizards. At least against Jund, creatures do battle. They are not mono discard/removal, which is what Visions makes possible. These Blue based ‘do nothing’ decks are something Wizards doesn’t want to see, I’m sure.
          Did you ever play against Faeries in its prime? That did not feel like ‘interactive’ magic, and they even played all kinds of creatures!
          I do agree Jund is a bit too good, but I don’t think it’s just Jund. You can easily build 5 different kinds of ‘Jund’, in different colors, that all do the same kind of thing. There’s a bit of a deeper problem with the format, and *I* don’t think unbanning Visions is the answer.

        • BenCurran

          Jay Lansdaal Fair enough. I meant no disrespect, I just have a difference of opinion. Then again, I greatly enjoyed playing the Nephalia Drownyard control decks of last year’s standard, despite hating the rest of the format. I really like “do nothing” blue decks, and I would like to see them return, even though I recognize that some players would not.
          However, I would like to know what you think the deeper problem is. If I had to name one, it would creature power creep, and it seems to me that you’re suggesting the same thing. In that case, wouldn’t unbanning an awesome non-creature spell, one that could enable decks that don’t just turn dudes sideways, be a good thing?

        • Jay Lansdaal

          BenCurran No disrespect picked up here, don’t worry. Just trying to emphasize that mine was just an opinion, and we can differ on those :) 
          I actually don’t think creature power creep is the biggest issue (although it does tie in with the main problem), as that just means we end up playing more creatures, which I don’t think is bad. I think the problem is we get to cast all these awesome spells in the same deck, and we can’t be punished for it. The mana is too good. I might write an article on how to fix this – and it’s not Wasteland, like many people seem to think.

  • Fenaris

    I love Modern as a format.  It has the potential to be shaped to be a format to replace Legacy as a premier Static format. (As much as I enjoy Legacy, I realize the ability to sustain it is not possible).
    Anyone who wants to scoff at the price of Modern is completely off their rocker.  Jund may be pricey (since it’s the baseline deck) but take a look at some other Modern Archetypes (TCGPlayer Mid Prices)
    $300 – $500
    Splinter Twin – $500 – http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=1066406 – GP Lyon T8Scapeshift – $350 – http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=1073119 – MTGO Premier 2ndInfect – $550 – http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=1068849 – GP Chicago T16Pod – $525 – http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=1068837 – GP Chicago T8Pyro – $320 – http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=1066407 – GP Lyon T8Affinity – $400 – http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=1066410 – GP Lyon T8
    Sub – $300
    Living End – $200 – http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=1073092 – MTGO Daily 4-0Soul Sisters – $110 (!!) – http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=1073131 – MTGO Daily 4-0Tron – $225 – http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=1068836 – GP Chicago T8Second Breakfast – $290 – http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=1062590 – PT RTR Winner

  • Zoltok

    Maybe the Mana Deprived series will end up supporting Modern the same way SCG supports Legacy? Canada becoming the place where Modern is played? Aw yeah.

  • DavidSchnayer

    agree with many points but from what happened in standard – it would be bad to ban bbe and unban jace, they actually serve to balance each other nicely. i’m very tempted to say that lingering souls and deathrite shaman are on the verge of becoming a problem cards – more so then bbe, partially because how well they work together.

    • wingmanmtg

      DavidSchnayer Valid points, for sure.  I do think *something* needs to change, in the end.  Call me a blue mage.  :)

      • DavidSchnayer

        wingmanmtg DavidSchnayer I am also a blue mage, ill play blue in any format where i can (uw if at all possible… but not the one that currently exists in modern.)
        i currently feel like modern is stuck in a place where there are 2 main decks, jund and affinity (neither deck i have felt the urge to play in a tournment, despite owning all the staples), that you need to be prepared for or just lose – however there clearly are many other decks that are workable and can win.

  • AbonCamus

    (TL;DR warning)
    I was a huge fan of Modern when it was announced and definitely did a lot to try to increase interest at my store. Oddly enough, I fucking hate the format now for a reason similar to why I hate 1.5 now(I’ve actually sold off duals and FoWs after playing for 18 years…that’s how much I hate 1.5). What is the big issue for me? WotC does everything they can (it seems) to push the creature deck status quo. While I think that there is nothing wrong with “pure control” strategies(ex: muc) having prominent places in a format, I am pretty sure that r&d disagrees. Overall, their general ethos has generally related to the latter strategies leaving newcomers soul-crushed and, thus, less likely to remain interested in the format.
    The fact that they’d be so intent to pander to babies with an eternal format is a bit strange to me, since the lipn’s share of profit is derived from new sets, but I suppose mtgo has influence, so perhaps pandering is warranted from a business standpoint.
    As far as the unbanning suggestions go- they seem fine. It should be kept in mind that some of the pre-emptive bannings, like Ancestral Visions, might’ve come to be because of cards that are going to be appearing in upcoming sets. With the latter consideration in mind, any notions of B&R adjustments are likely wishful thinking. In all honesty, the whole power-creep paradigm(progressively more ridiculous creatures that inherently outclass any new non-creatures power cards) has ruined eternal formats for me. 1.5 used to be a format where games were often exciting from the start and could either be long interesting chess matches where all different kinds of insanity could happen or could be over before a third land drop in some cases. In short, 1.5 was a great format for durdling. Now, it is dominated by various shades of faceroll strategies or the grindiest of grindy control decks, which I am pretty sure can’t be rightly blamed on goyf(how some sourcers bitched about goyf), but is more feasibly related to the sheer number of insanely good creatures that are 3cc or less. When the best and cheapest spells ever printed, like BS, StP, Daze, FoW and so on are combined with the cheapest and best creatures ever printed, uninteresting times are ahead.
    Modern has a similar dynamic as described above, except there are less good spells to make anything that tries to buck the status quo competitive. Even though the current design paradigm is not remotely sustainable, I don’t see it being abandoned any time soon, so Modern is going to continue to be a shitty.
    Old combos, like eggs [and probably heartbeat next] will resurface and shake up the format briefly before getting hated-out by decks that turn dudes sideways and that is probably the way it is going to stay.
    (If anyone wants to discuss my ridiculous assertions with me, feel free to go to my FB page and do so. I’d be interested to see what some think of my ramblings)

    • BenCurran

      AbonCamus I wasn’t around to play the “old” Legacy of which you speak, so I can’t compare, but the current Legacy is definitely the best format we have at the moment. 
      Also, I very much agree with your stance on pure control. It is a valid strategy that should be allowed to exist. Not everyone likes turning creatures sideways all day. And I never understood the whole “soul-crushing and discouraging to newcomers bit.” When I first started to play, I hated losing in general. It didn’t matter what deck I played against.

      • AbonCamus

        BenCurran AbonCamus I definitely understand the allure of 1.5 to a lot of players at the moment because it basically offers every strategy and every peace of hate for them. The thing with the business of newer players getting discouraged is that dudes like you and I are members of the silent majority in that we don’t vote that we prefer to have our creature doom bladed- over having one leaked. Personally, I do not even see these polls. The various ways that design has addressed the “unfun strategies” in Standard formats has definitely changed the face of the game when you compare what someone can do in 1.5, versus what someone can do in Modern. Extremely grindy control/locks used to keep things balanced. Frankly, I think BBE should get banned, in Modern if only to encourage innovation because the format is going to flounder for the same reasons that 1.x did when they shrunk it too much.

        • BenCurran

          As long as Wizards keeps trying to make Magic easy for new players, those problems will exist. I mean, we play Go Fish as kids, but adults playing a card game would probably choose Bridge or Hearts — something with actual strategy, because they now have the attention span and reasoning skills that they lacked when they were young.
          It’s the same with Magic: “Look at all these cool creatures I play!” is fun when you’re just learning, but there needs to be something more substantial to the game in order for it to maintain its appeal.
          That’s what I get from Legacy: EVERYTHING matters. What lands you fetch, when you fetch them, when you Brainstorm, how you Brainstorm, everything is important, and the slightest misstep will decide the game.

  • JeffHoogland

    “like a true control deck, to blossom”I see what you did there. Love me some bitterblossom.

    • wingmanmtg

      JeffHoogland In hindsight…of course that’s what I meant!  :P

  • wingmanmtg

    Thanks for reading, everyone – feel free to leave me feedback on Twitter, as well – wingmanmtg  – cheers!

  • Bernie

    TBH, I think unbanning Jace TMS would be enough to change modern in all the ways you want.  here’s why:
    1) Unban Jace.  People now have an incentive to play control
    2) People have started playing control!  Oh no, now there’s some counterspells around to hose combo decks
    3) Combo becomes worse (otherwise known as balanced).  Jund’s hand disruption, while good, isn’t the force it used to be.
    4) Jund is forced to play thoughtseize over inquisition (because jace!), and now can die to normal aggressive strategies because it has to lose more life.
    5) Everybody realizes that BUG control is OP and I’m happy :D
    Quick aside:  If you feel that strongly about modern, try and get a store to do a large modern tournament.  Talk to me on your own time, but I know some people in the area who could be convinced.

    • wingmanmtg

      @Bernie We’re actually doing one in the area on Sunday.  Not sure about expected attendance or prize support, but I know I’ll be slinging.  Pretty sure you’re in Toronto though for the GP – Modern for everyone!

  • BenCurran

    As I started reading this article, I was thinking of my ideas to change the ban list. Then I saw that yours are exactly the same. Wizards didn’t even try to justify those bannings in the first place. “We know you hate Jace right now, so banning him will make you like us.” and “Ancestral Vision sees play in Legacy.” were the sad excuses for logical reasoning they used. Complete BS, and let’s hope WotC has the decency to admit their mistake.

  • Guilherme Oliveira

    Since I don’t have much time to play magic as I want, I’ve come to decide that modern would be a great format for me. Since standard rotates so often and the cost is as high as some things in Modern, the eternal part of Modern attracts me a lot. Since then, I only play modern or draft and it doesn’t bother me at all. Their are really cheap and competitive decks so, why doubt of such a format?

  • Bro_city

    Hate to be that guy, but jund has one super terrible matchup – RDW/Burn

  • sithholocron

    BAN:Bloodbraid ElfUNBAN:Jace, the Mind SculptorAncestral Vision
    Banning Bloodbraid Elf would do nothing to the format. Unbanning Jace would me white blue control decks would dominate again. When Modern was being tested out by the pros behind closed doors even they said JTMS and with stoneforge mystic just destroyed the format and that;s why they are banned and probably will forever stay banned since there is nothing like the power of control in modern as their is in legacy.

    • Uff_Dog

      sithholocron Actually, the pros said that Stoneforge Mystic and Jace 2.0 were dominating 4-block Extended, thus providing the impetus for switching PT Philly from Extended to Modern.  Since Stoneforge and Jace were dominating Legacy, Extended, and Standard at the time, it was advisable to ban them in Modern rather than risk seeing yet another format be dominated by the pair.
      http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/ld/155

  • NameEmpty

    You can play a real control deck right now: http://mtgpulse.com/event/11384#158305

  • X

    Un-ban ALL the things!

  • AK__

    Would it be possible to have a ban list of Mental Misstep/Skullclamp/Artifact Lands if Force of Will was printed for Modern?

    • BrianBenns

      AK__ I think that meta would be very unfun for the general public but I dont know if it won’t be balanced.

      • AK__

        BrianBenns I guess that’s why I play Legacy and think Modern decks feel underpowered and derpy. C’est la vie…

        • BrianBenns

          AK__ Did you like when misstep was in Legacy?  It seemed pretty brutal….(not a legacy player myself)

        • AK__

          BrianBenns Woof, no way, especially since I mostly play storm. Maybe I wasn’t clear before. I want to know whether if you unbanned everything except for Mental Misstep/Skullclamp/Artifact Lands and printed Force of Will, would that be a viable meta?Put another way, if Force of Will keeps broken things in check for Legacy, why can’t it do the same for Modern?

        • BrianBenns

          AK__Oh woops totally thought you meant the opposite (unban all those things you listed)  My bad!  In that case, yes I would probably love that meta

  • evanwhitehouse

    What lgs do you go to? I also live in the Baltimore/Washington area and would love to attend the modern fnm’s if it’s nearby.

    • wingmanmtg

      @evanwhitehouse Sorry I just saw this!  I actually play my weekly FNM at a store called Beyond Comics in Gaithersburg.  I usually serve as head judge, as well, for what it’s worth.  Our FNM on the 11th is Modern, and, while I’ll be en route to GP Atlantic City, I’m sure good times will be had!

  • EthanLewis

    I think if you unbanned Jace, you wouldn’t be able to ban Bloodbraid. I mean, yes, Bloodbraid’s a pain in the ass, but it’s not exactly the one card in Jund that makes it insane, it’s the combination of all of them and they way they work together. Albeit there are no real synergies within Jund (except for Liliana with the addition of Lingering Souls), if you put the best cards in the format into one deck, you’re going to have one solid deck. But, if you unbanned Jace, he’d keep so many things in check! He would be the control deck’s card advantage, as opposed to Bloodbraid being Jund’s, and Bloodbraid would be one of the few cards that can answer a Jace the turn he hits the table. Jace is ridiculously powerful, and I feel as though any power of that level needs a match. In this case, Bloodbraid would be that match.

  • AbonCamus

    Honestly, the only reason that the format seems as stagnant as it is, is because the majority of players have no fucking clue about the possibilities of the Modern card pool…brewing for an Eternal format is hard work and a sizable mental-index of good cards is pretty much essential; hardly a wonder why the format seems resistant to innovation.

Share This