I had planned to spend today’s article discussing Hogaakvine: what it does, how it does it, how to play against it, and how I’d build decks given Hogaak’s rise. However, that article was mooted this morning by Wizards. Instead, let’s examine what’s happened and where it leaves Modern. Also, once again, nothing got unbanned. This […]

Last week, I unveiled the first part of my Punishing Fire test. With the data compiled and revealed, it’s time for the less-concrete part. The data is the data and speaks for itself. However, that’s not the whole story.┬áMagic isn’t just a numbers game; there are a lot of intangibles. For instance, it’s also supposed […]

And now it’s time for everyone’s favorite part of the banlist test: the experimental data. With 500 matches of Jund with and without Punishing Fire under my belt, I have developed a very strong opinion on unbanning the card. Today, I will reveal the hard numbers and their statistical significance. As always, these data are […]

The time has come to start rolling out the results of my latest foray into the Modern banlist. In the past, the return of this series was hailed with a public vote for which card I’d work on, followed by months of silence while I actually did the work. This time, extenuating circumstances dictated the […]

Each tournament, Izzet Phoenix’s impressive, sustained numbers start to look less like an outlier and more like a pattern. Patterns like these have a history of being addressed by Wizards via the banlist. So how does Izzet Phoenix stack up against past offenders? Do the deck’s decriers have a case for caging the bird? Let’s […]

Every few weeks, speculation begins to rise about the next Banned and Restricted Announcement. Whenever something actually does happen, I frequently see laments over being blindsided and calls for Wizards to implement a banning watchlist. While an official list will never happen as it would unduly influence the secondary market, I do think it useful […]

When it comes to Modern, I’m always up for a surprise. I penned an article last week declaring the death of midrange as a Tier 1 strategy in an aggro-combo metagame. But it seems the meta has already corrected itself: last weekend’s GP Portland Top 8 featured a finals between Grixis Death’s Shadow and BG […]

Birthing Pod may have held the title for a good while, but Splinter Twin takes the cake as Modern’s most controversial ban ever. Even today, players debate its place on the banlist ad nauseam, a discussion seemingly reinvigorated with each new deck and expansion; Twin’s defense league has persisted to the extent of literally becoming […]

Bloodbraid Elf and Jace, the Mind Sculptor have been unbanned in Modern for a week now. Contrary to what we’ve heard since the announcement, the format is just fine, and perhaps even better: it’s fresher, to be sure, with new decks popping up abusing Modern’s newcomers and benefiting from the metagame warp. One development I […]

This is the big one. It’s time to answer the question I’ve been dancing around all month: Is Bloodbraid Elf safe for Modern? Ought Wizards to┬árescind its banishment, to the delight of many? Or should Elf remain locked away, to the delight of many others? There have been a number of narratives running through this […]

Alright, time for the big reveal. With comment section chatter over possible unbannings increasing, it’s time for the hard data to make its own argument. I had less fun with this test than with previous efforts, mostly because I have a long and difficult history with Bloodbraid Elf. That said, the testing was comparatively easy […]

It has come to this. Time to start rolling out the results of the latest banned card test. Conducting this test has been weird for me. Having a hard deadline was actually a blessing as it helped discipline the testing period and we got done much faster than expected. However, this wasn’t a fun experience […]

I am always amazed at how often people make relatively simple tasks hard for themselves. There just seems to be something in all of us that gets suspicious whenever anything is unexpectedly easy. We are ready for conflict. We prepare for projects, lessons, and assignments to be hard. When they’re not, we don’t know what […]

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