Hey everyone! Welcome to another Modern Musings, where this week we are going to be talking about the aftermath of the Pro Tour, as well as some of the reactions to the winning deck. Let’s get to it!
Luis Salvatto Wins the Pro Tour with Lantern Control
I feel like I get to gloat a little bit here, since in my prediction article I called Lantern the second most likely deck to take home the trophy. Boasting aside though, Lantern control is a powerful deck that is due the Pro Tour win. Luis Salvatto deserves all the credit for playing this deck through what must have been a gruelling 14 rounds of Modern—especially since this deck can be pretty exhausting to play, something that Salvatto himself said when he considered playing it for this tournament. I do expect this to spike the price of Lantern Control as well as a the number of players playing it.
Lantern Does Not Need a Ban
Right after Lantern won the Pro Tour, almost immediately after, players on twitter started calling for a ban. I think Aaron Forsythe’s reaction to this was pretty much on point:
A deck winning a Pro Tour ≠ a reason to ban something. #WOTCstaff
— Aaron Forsythe (@mtgaaron) February 4, 2018
I think that Lantern is fine, and has plenty of predators in Modern. Tron is still a miserable match-up, and they still have a difficult time beating Blood Moon and Chalice decks. I do think that this Pro Tour was an ideal metagame for Lantern, mostly due to the fact that the vast majority of decks were aggro or mid-range, both archetypes that Lantern preys upon.
The other reason I think it doesn’t need a ban is that it doesn’t fit really any of the criterion that are usually necessary before a card or deck is banned. Let’s look as some of those:
- A deck has a ridiculously large percentage of the metagame (>30%). Lantern is sitting around 2%
- A deck has a very high win percentage against most of the field (>55%) These are stats that we only kind of have access to, so it’s possible that it’s higher here than I think. From the data we do have though, like top 8 percentage and GP day 2 percentage, it’s probably at sub 50%
- A deck warps the metagame so much by it’s existence that it pushes out other decks of the same archetype because they are less efficient (e.g. Splinter Twin and Combo/Control).
- There is no reason not to play a card in a deck. (e.g. Stoneforge Mystic, Green Sun’s Zenith) This isn’t really relevant to Lantern as it doesn’t really contain any cards like this.
I think with these factors in mind it seems very silly to ban Lantern.
I was definitely surprised at the high conversion rate (% of the same deck that makes it from day 1 to day 2) of the B/R Hollow One decks (83% I believe), especially since that deck is basically one big dice roll. Granted, the deck has a ton of ways to mitigate its own randomness, but it still can get pretty screwed over. I think the most amusing thing about this deck doing well though is that it has caused Goblin Lore to spike pretty hard.
Bans or Unbans?
I actually think that the Modern metagame is in a great place right now, probably the best it’s ever been. No single deck seems to be dominating, though something could be said for the fact the Shadow decks have replaced almost all other midrange. While an unban of something like Bloodbraid Elf might be exciting, I don’t think it’s necessary. If there was a ban right now and I had pick what it would be, I think that Mox Opal would be the choice. Fast mana is not fair and whether or not it’s broken now (it is) is somewhat irrelevant, as Wizards will probably have to ban it eventually. My second choice would be Ancient Stirrings, mostly due to the fact that as time goes on this card gets more and more powerful. Right now it’s looking pretty close to a 1-mana, deeper-digging Impulse. Granted, you do have to build around it, but as the colorless card pool grows this becomes less of a drawback. Ultimately though, leaving things as they are is just fine for the moment, as I think wizards runs the risk of ruining a great thing by changing the banlist right now.
Anyhoo, that’s all for this week! Join me next week when I start exploring the possibilities Induced Amnesia!