A couple days ago (yesterday for me) Aaron Forsythe tweeted:

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Of course, the Modern MTG community lost its shit. I suppose, in defense of the Modern Community, it’s one thing to have a broken format, but it’s another thing to have a broken format, acknowledge it, and be like, “OH WELL deal with it for the next 3 GPs.” Understandably, People freaked out, I’ll save you the details, but suffice to say it’s not all very nice.

The Basic Talking points are as follows:

Why would you admit to this and then do nothing about it?

Why are you doing nothing with three Modern Grand Prix coming up before April (Detroit, Bologna, Melbourne all on March 4-6th)?

Are you intentionally ruining Modern?

Add a sprinkle of expletives to each of these questions and then copy and paste several hundred times. You get the picture. Our community is passionate but kind of bad at expressing their issues with Wizards without coming off like entitled babies. Trust me we aren’t the only hobby that has this problem.

I don’t want to excuse the disrespect, it’s not necessary, but I do want to say that the Modern community has a right to be up in arms about this. We feel like we’ve been burned again. As a Legacy player myself I’m used to getting ignored and left out of product releases, but Modern is supposed to be a format that gets the attention of Wizards. It’s the newest competitive format by about 18 years. It’s so popular in fact that SCG switched their events to include, and then OVERTAKE, Legacy as the secondary draw to their open events. Ask many LGS owners and they’ll tell you Modern is as strong as Standard if not stronger. Why would Wizards no want to make Modern a high priority?

Monster You Created

Where did this start? Players have been upset at least since last winter aka Cruise Winter, when Wizards admitted they just don’t even test Modern. SCG Philly was Lousy (see what I did there) with Insectile Aberrations. You could either play Pod or Delver or donate $30-40 to people who were. For that matter so was GP New Jersey for Legacy. Two tourneys that could have been saved by an emergency ban.

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Read the whole this here.

I mean seriously, guys? Why not just say we don’t really care that much? Why not at least lie to us? WHY NOT, I DON’T KNOW, JUST PLAYTEST THE DAMN CARDS IN MODERN?

If the R&D team is frustrated with having to deal with these issues and the player outlash every other set, why not just do it right and check yourself?

Combo Winter Solutions

Back during the nefarious Combo Winter WotC banned a lot of cards in standard (then known as Type 2) that were still in print. They actually offered players packs for those cards if they opened them. You could send them back in mint condition for a pack of the current set. They screwed up and they took it upon themselves to fix the problem and offer their community a reprieve from some epicly bad R&D. I was 17 at the time so my wherewithal to put a stamp on an envelop and get free packs was lost on me. I also worked at a comic shop so Magic was essentially free for me.

But if they ban Eye of Ugin and Eldrazi Temple, now or in April, players should get a chance you get some value on these cards. Even if its just a pack. Look to Hearthstone, when a card gets nerfed, you are able to dust the card for full value for a bit of time after it happens. Magic should offer us something for the same. Something like send us your banned cards and we will send you a Judge Promo pack for your playsets for two months after a ban. Maybe that’s too much, but SOMETHING!

Emergency Banning 

I’m calling for an emergency ban. I have no authority to do so, and WOTC has already declared they will not do it but hear me out. This is a vote of no confidence from my end (the end of the people playing your game). At the end of the day, I respect WOTC for staying the course, but I disagree with them. They should emergency ban Eye and put Temple and Simian Spirit Guide on watch.

I’m not here to argue the merits of banning Temple or Eye, I think they both should go, and Guide as well, but let’s see if the deck is as oppressive with only four Sol Lands. I am here to tell you why action is necessary.

With March 4-6 GP weekend showcasing Modern to the world you really need to make sure players feel like it’s safe to play this format and that they Pre Reg for these events. As it stands now, Pre Reg numbers have stagnated. This is not the “format diversity” WOTC was looking for when they banned Twin and Bloom. In fact it’s the opposite, in this meta they might actually be fair.

A Stance on Fast Mana

Modern has two main rules: No turn three consistent kills, no Previous Format Boogiemen. They need to add a rule, no fast mana before turn two. This kills Temple, Eye and Guide. Man dorks are fine since that can’t add mana until the next turn, same with Rituals since you can’t cast them until turn two. We should not have access to two mana on turn one. Chalice on one on the play is not Modern Magic, in fact it’s effectively a turn one kill versus many decks. I think Chalice is fine in Modern, but it’s totally not fine before your opponent can muster a mere U for Spell Snare.

Going Forward with Modern

How ready are you to enter a big Modern tourney? I’m not playing until it’s safe to play something other than Affinity and Eldrazi. This doesn’t mean that they must ban the deck but it means there better be no less than three decks in the next top 8 that has coverage.

Honestly I think it will be safe in April, but I want action now! I want to feel like tuning into GP Detroit. I’m definitely not going now. I was excited for the Pro Tour, I want to see innovation and figure out if a deck has weaknesses. As it stands Eldrazi’s only foil is Eldrazi. And who wants to buy into a format whose best deck is getting banned in two months?

Can we get a Future Future League for Modern? I think that would restore some faith in this format. At least WotC wouldn’t look like they were ignoring their newest competitive format.

Tinfoil Hats Off

Finally, I want to insert my conspiracy theory here: There will be a new format, it just won’t be called “Eternal”.

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That is a totally nothing statement from Aaron Forscythe about “Eternal”. It neither confirms or denies that WotC is working on some “Unreserved” format to replace Legacy. I won’t believe otherwise until a more direct statement is made. #trustnoone

Zac Clark


Zac Clark is the Founder of Hipsters of the Coast. An avid gamer since his early teens, Zac can often be found in Brooklyn either playing games or taking photos. When he’s not drawing extra cards, wrathing boards and countering spells, he’s taking pictures of other peoples good times and listening to 90’s Music.

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