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Goat Magic: "Unban Twin!!!" — Is Twin Good in 2020?


This week we had a massive banned and restricted announcement, and while many formats experienced changes, one thing that didn't change is that Splinter Twin remains illegal in Modern. While "unban Twin" has been a meme ever since Wizards banned Splinter Twin to shake up Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch — a Pro Tour that, ironically, was dominated by Eldrazi —  giving us one of the most broken periods of Modern's history known as "Eldrazi Winter." At this point "unban Twin" is no longer just a meme, and it seems that most of the community would legitimately like to see the enchantment unbanned in Modern.

What would happen if Twin was unbanned? Would it dominate the format? Would it even be good? That's what we're going to find out today on this episode of Goat Magic. Seth is playing a 2020 build of Splinter Twin, updated with some new additions like Teferi, Time Raveler to protect Splinter Twin combo and a bunch of new counters like Mystical Dispute and Force of Negation. Meanwhile, Richard is on a gauntlet of top tier Modern decks including the new combo build of Goblins (which is basically Goblin Twin), Bant Control and of course, his beloved Jund deck. How would Splinter Twin stack up against the current Modern meta if it was unbanned? Let's get to the video and find out!

Goat Magic: Is Twin Even Good in 2020?

Decks

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Post-Game Thoughts

So to answer our big question of the week, is Splinter Twin even good in 2020? No, not really. Of course, we only played three matches, so our sample size is small, but apart from beating Jund (which might be the focus of a Goat Magic spin-off "can Jund beat it?" where Richard plays against things like Pauper and limited decks until he finds something Modern Jund can beat), Twin didn't feel especially competitive against the top decks in Modern, and Jund itself was very much a coin flip that could have easily gone the other way. Goblins has both a faster combo and a better lategame, and Bant Control has infinite disruption and Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, which is roughly as powerful as the entire Twin combo, except it only requires one card. While the Jund matchup felt like it was close to 50/50, in the other two matches, Twin felt like a pretty huge underdog. 

Of course, this is one build of Twin over a small sample size, so take the results with a grain of salt. Perhaps it's possible that traditional Twin isn't good in 2020, but there could some very different takes on the combo that we didn't explore. The biggest problem for the deck seems to be cards that have been added to the card pool since Splinter Twin left the format. While Teferi, Time Raveler seems good in Twin, it's also almost unbeatable for Twin, and decks like Bant Control are much better at getting a Teferi, Time Raveler to stick. Fatal Push gives decks like Jund an easy, cheap, main deck answer, Force of Negation allows decks to counter Splinter Twin while tapped out, sideboard cards like Plague Engineer and Veil of Summer can be big problems, and the format in general has sped up to the point where trying to Splinter Twin a Deceiver Exarch on turn four (or even turn five if we try to stick Teferi, Time Raveler first for protection) just isn't all that exciting. 

In the end, Splinter Twin seems safe to unban. No only does it seem unlikely to break Modern, based on how demoralizing some of our matches were today, I'm honestly not even sure that Twin would be a top tier deck in Modern. Instead, in 2020 Modern with a hostile 2020 card pool, Twin seems destined to dwell in the second or even third tier of the format. 

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today! What do you make of these results? Should Splinter Twin be unbanned? Is there something we missed during our matches that could make it scarier than it seemed? Let us know in the comments! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive, or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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