Deep Analysis – Power Up Modern


Welcome back to Deep Analysis!

My article this week was going to talk about dangerous cards in the Modern format however, the more I researched the format and what players are looking for, the more I realized that is past time to move Modern in a more powerful direction.  Many players believe it is time to push Modern more toward the power level of Legacy.  While printing more powerful cards in standard legal expansions could be detrimental to Standard’s health, there are other ways to push the Modern format.

Unban cards

The first thing that could be done to power up Modern is to unban cards from the current banned list.  Below is the current banned list for Modern as of 12/5/16:

Ancient Den
Birthing Pod
Blazing Shoal
Bloodbraid Elf
Chrome Mox
Dark Depths
Deathrite Shaman
Dig Through Time
Dread Return
Eye of Ugin
Glimpse of Nature
Great Furnace
Green Sun’s Zenith
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Mental Misstep
Punishing Fire
Rite of Flame
Seat of the Synod
Second Sunrise
Seething Song
Sensei’s Divining Top
Splinter Twin
Stoneforge Mystic
Summer Bloom
Treasure Cruise
Tree of Tales
Umezawa’s Jitte
Vault of Whispers

Some of these cards coming off of this list would be a problem right now, but some cards on this list could come off.  Below would be the first set that I’d test first:

Bloodbraid Elf
Birthing Pod
Glimpse of Nature
Green Sun’s Zenith
Splinter Twin

I realize that i’m pushing it a bit with this group but I think its time we pushed Modern.  The Legacy / Vintage formats will die at some point due to the cards need for those formats are in such short supply.

With that in mind, why not push Modern to be this era’s power format.  If you like this thought process and want to test it out, run a no banned list Modern event sometime.  I’ve played several games and events like this and, to me, they were incredibly fun and felt somewhat like Legacy at times.

See if your players don’t agree.  Try one of these ‘No Banned List’ Modern events once a month at your FLGS.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Make unique cards from supplemental products legal

I’ve always wondered why they allowed certain cards to be legal in Legacy / Vintage but not allowed them into Modern.  This would provide a higher power level than what normally filters down from standard.  With yearly Commander releases and Conspiracy releases every other year, there could be spots to drop cards in.  Shardless Agent, Baleful StrixRecruiter of the Guard, or even Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast would look to spice up Modern.

Now I agree that some of the unique cards printed in supplemental products could be a bit too powerful (say True-Name Nemesis) but many of them seem safe.  Heck, Wizards could even develop cards in some supplemental products to have an effect on Modern.  That leads me to my third idea

Print cards that could effect Modern (and older) formats

I’m sure I’ll get some backlash for this one but, here is an idea.

This would be a way to print cards at the power level that would be acceptable for older formats.  Being able to develop cards that specifically shift the metagame would lessen the need for to ban cards. Currently the only Modern only product is the Modern Masters release every 2 years currently.  Wizards currently make the set all about the draft experience and only reprints, so some of the themes are not up to the power level of others.

This would cause a problem however.

To do something like this, Modern Masters would obviously have to change the way the set is printed and marketed.  This is how I would go about doing it:

  • Boxes would need to go back to 36 packs.
  • There would have to be fewer reprints (but Wizards would need to do a better job of picking the correct reprints).
  • Print new cards to help infuse new, powerful strategies and help settle the metagame without affecting Standard.
  • Price would need to be no more than $4.99 MSRP
  • Produce would be sold in Big Box Stores at this MSRP to entice FLGS from jacking the price of product up

What do you think?

Which of these thoughts would work best?

Will it take more than one of these to raise the power level and monitor it properly?


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