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Theory

Assumptions and collectively-held beliefs are fickle and powerful things. They can affect perception and, in a way, become reality if unchallenged. Therefore, it is critical for the skeptical mind to evaluate and investigate these ideas for validity, especially in the wake of recent bannings. After being challenged on long-held beliefs about Splinter Twin’s effect on […]

It is a common trap to look only to hard data when making decisions. After all, numbers are clear and unequivocal. However, they don’t tell the full story of the data. Confounding variables and intangible effects color the results and complicate the data. The data from my latest banlist test indicate that Green Sun’s Zenith […]

Finally, it’s time for everyone’s favorite part of the banlist test: the experimental data. After playing 500 matches with GB Elves over several months, I can finally put some data to the speculation about the impact of unbanning Green Sun’s Zenith. I will be revealing the hard numbers and their statistical significance. As always, these […]

It’s finally time for another banlist testing report. Back in May, readers chose Green Sun’s Zenith as the next banned card to test, which I’ll just call GSZ from here on out. I’ve spent the intervening months grinding games and recording results to test its effect on Modern. This week, I’ll explain my test procedure, […]

There’s an old saw in Standard: play the best deck with the best cards. Standard is about the cardpool’s restrictions and the disparities in card power. Therefore, it makes sense to only play the most powerful cards, or to play as many as can work together. Modern’s far greater size means there are far more options […]

There was much debate a little while back about the Modern bannings. Should Mox Opal get the axe? Is the card selection of Ancient Stirrings too good for Modern? I saw a lot of people making arguments on either side, but I did not see a lot of solid evidence for either case. It was […]

Lightning Bolt once set Modern’s high-water mark: the most efficient and flexible removal spell at its price point, Bolt dictated which creatures did and didn’t see play in Modern almost single-handedly. Today, Bolt’s no longer the end-all-be-all of Modern kill spells. Instead, a diverse array of removal contributes to a colorful patchwork of playable creatures. This […]

I knew when I wrote Colorless Eldrazi Stompy Mini-Primer: Play Tips that I was leaving out plenty of juicy information. Not on purpose, of course; there’s just only so much I can fit in one article, or that comes to me at one time. It’s been recently pointed out to me by spectators that I […]

The Modern community is ruthless in its dismissal of new decks. When one hits the scene (and one frequently does), pundits invariably point out instances of tension on paper: these cards can’t possibly work together, the sentiment goes. And yet, the deck placed high enough to draw that attention in the first place. Tension is […]

Thanks to Wizards’ bombshell unban announcement, Modern is on the cusp of a great age of experimentation. Established and rogue archetypes alike will be examining their 75s in efforts to either combat or incorporate the format’s latest newcomers, and I fully expect some new archetypes to appear in the wake of these powerful additions to […]

David is out for the holidays until next week. In the meantime, please enjoy his article from earlier this year where he presented results from the Preordain ban test. These results were originally presented in two separate articles (here and here), but I’ve divided them into parts for the purpose of easier reading. Part 1: […]

The time has (finally) come to actually reveal the results of my latest banlist test. Looking back, testing two different decks made this harder than it needed to be. Focusing just on Storm would have yielded more satisfying data, though not a more significant result. As you will see, it appears that Preordain would not […]

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