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By: BlippyTheSlug, Volker Kirstein
Nov 29 2012 10:12am
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Meta Madness:
The Redacted Modern Meta

After looking at the Modern meta online with redacted results for over a month now, Modern seems to be devolving into "nothing but the latest PT/GP/PTQ top decks". Plus Lifegain Aggro, which I'm shocked hasn't "placed in the lists" on paper. 

While these top decks from the latest pro events have always had their (rightful) place at the top of the lists, it's the other stuff I'm seeing less and less of. Quirky decks like Sonic Boom, MBC, Elves, Vampires, etc. Decks that tweak an existing archetype with a unique "twist", like Dryad Militant instead of Aven Mindcensor in Soul Sisters. Decks that showed how vibrant and wide open the Modern format was. I used to see 'em almost every day. Now I'm lucky if I see one a week.

From my point of view, the Modern meta has narrowed considerably from what it was at the end of Q3. Despite this, the online Modern meta, such as it is, is starting to take shape. Even with over half the results being redacted by WotC, some trends are making themselves known.

Robots seems to be on a downswing. Delver seems to be on an upswing after a hiatus. Infect still runneth rampant, but seems to be slowing down a bit.

Before we start looking at the Modern meta, I have to once more remind you that anything I'm working with is based on the very narrow view that I am able to see. A very significant portion of the results are simply no longer being shown. 

This means that any of the following information can only be taken as a vague "general guide", not an in-depth analysis. Good luck.

Here there be dragons.




Archetypal Sub-metas
The Wall of Voodoo











U/x/x Control

Chokin' on the Splinters

So that concludes this oh so narrow peek into the online Modern meta. I hope you enjoyed the Wall of Voodoo. I am very much looking forward to the upcoming PTQ season. Paper results always seem so weird to me after months and months of online event results.

Not too shabby for one hand tied behind my back and blindfolded, eh? I wish it could be more accurate, but you can thank WotC for the redaction of event results. It still annoys me.

Until next time...


All results. All the time.


I didn't think to put in by KaraZorEl at Thu, 11/29/2012 - 21:27
KaraZorEl's picture

I didn't think to put in Realm Razer in a pod deck. What an interesting idea!

This is getting stupid by Justice at Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:50
Justice's picture

Ok, first you misuse the word "censorship" in your original diatribe against Wizards not reporting results. Now, it's onto this juvenile rant.

Sample - a series of subjects chosen from among a population for statistical analysis.

Samples are used all the time in statistics where it's either impracticable or impossible to study the entire population. Still, statistical studies of samples are valid as representative of the entire population for two reasons - 1) proper choice of a sample is easy to make 2) any sampling error can be mathematically measured. Instead of doing either of those things, you just have an emo pout about results being redacted.

Look, the results we have available are probably representative of the decks people are playing across the board, because I can't see any reason why they wouldn't be. If there is any bias in the sample however, it actually works to benefit the purpose of the study, our decision of what to play in the meta, because rewards are higher in the sample, and so competition is stiffer.

Just get over it. Save yourself the time of making pie charts like that in the future, for both our sakes.

U Mad Bro? by Fred1160 at Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:51
Fred1160's picture

Hate to burst your bubble, Justice, but he did not misuse the word "censorship" in his original article.
Take your own advice: just get over it. It really is censorship: Wizards is censoring the information.
They are choosing which data to send out and which data to withhold. That's censorship by any definition
you want to throw out there.

I'm not gonna argue for or by Alphi at Tue, 12/04/2012 - 09:07
Alphi's picture

I'm not gonna argue for or against on the censorship issue, but please, please, BlippyTheSlug, keep up the rant: yes, we should have the full results, especially for Modern. Yes, getting these results is what makes a proper metagame. Yes, a proper metagame makes for a healthy format, provides a point of entry for new players, helps to develop new decks, and more. And in the end, whether others agree or not, it's good that SOMEONE keeps up the rant when Wizards takes away something without even bothering telling the community.

Withheld Information... by Fred1160 at Tue, 12/04/2012 - 13:21
Fred1160's picture

I want to be able to see for myself which decks are performing well, not just the ones that WOTC
deems "okay" for me to see. The way metagames shift and decks morph, sometimes on a dime, I want
to make my own decisions and not be guided by some drone who thinks he's doing "the right thing."

Censorship by Justice at Tue, 12/04/2012 - 16:57
Justice's picture

From Wikipedia: "Censorship is the suppression of speech or other PUBLIC communication which may be considered objectionable..."

Withholding information only amounts to censorship if that information is public. The US Senate not publishing minutes of their deliberations is censorship. Me not telling you what I had for dinner last night is not. Wizards is not a public entity. It's a private one. Whatever happens on their servers is their business.

And I'm still waiting on someone to explain why results from the remaining structured events aren't a valid statistical sample. I'm glad that WOTC still provides data from these, which they're under no legal duty to do. I don't like the idea of the emo college-know-it-all hippes from Southpark coming in and comparing WOTC to the Communist party when in reality we're lucky to have such good support for this game.

I feel like you really missed by Paul Leicht at Tue, 12/04/2012 - 19:52
Paul Leicht's picture

I feel like you really missed a few stereotypes in your fool-headed lead-based ass-backwards jerk-faced trolling. Could you please be more thorough next time? lol...

Now on the serious side: Don't you think it is a little harmful to the community to have this kind of thing pulled out from under their feet with no warning or meaningful correspondence? Sure OK maybe in some strict anal-retentive world with no room for nuance there is a definition of censorship that doesn't include what Blippy and others are talking about but even if you can't be bothered to skip the semantic argument which should bore just about everyone to tears with its irrelevance (Who cares if he is hyperbolic and expressing upset through venting??)

Why not at least address the downside of this. The fact that people who relied on this information to fully inform their readership can't do so any longer? Omission of important relevant data may not be pertinent to you but it is to a lot of others. People who look for the latest ideas to inspire their own bizarre takes on the game. People looking to compete against an ever growing population of players. People who just enjoy seeing how the whole meta online evolves in relation to the rest of the world. And so on.

I know. I know, how dare we defame the glorious Wizards of the Coast!? I am a fan of them myself for the most part, but I am at least open to the idea that not only are they fallible but that they may have goofed big time here. (Not unlike many times in the past, with similarly draconian and stealthily applied decisions.)

Oh nevermind I am just too emotionally involved to be rational. Especially with my encyclopedic knowledge and my college education. (Wait strike that last bit. Dropped out of high school here. Aren't stereotypes grand though? Brought me right back to 10th grade!)

But I am curious about one thing: Where on earth is this Southpark you speak of?

Finally! by Fred1160 at Tue, 12/04/2012 - 18:02
Fred1160's picture

Thank you, Justice, for finally admitting you were wrong. This information is definitely public communication and WOTC chose to suppress it. They considered it objectionable because it led to formats being solved quicker than they thought was good for the game.
Wikipedia is not the most reliable source on the internet, but it's okay most of the time.