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There's been a lot of talk lately about how "good" of a format Modern is. Is it non-interactive and frustrating?
Is it wildly diverse and healthy?
Frankly? I don't care.
As a player, it's my job to prepare for my upcoming events and perform the best I can in them. Discussion about the health of formats and possible ways to improve them is fantastic, but it does nothing to improve your win percentage in your upcoming tournaments. You can shout until you're blue in the face that "Blood Moon is stupid and unfun!" That doesn't mean all of your lands aren't going to be Mountains for the rest of the game.
Compared to Standard, Limited, older formats like Extended, or even Legacy, Modern is by far the most hostile and volatile format. There are numerous viable decks, with many of them featuring linear elements that are hard to deal with without the proper tools. There are certainly a fair amount of blowout games, many of the matchups play out in very odd ways, and the amount of variety across the various matchups in Modern is astounding.
Whether you like it or not, that's just what Modern is.
You can't metagame in Modern like you can in Standard, nor is every Modern game going to involve combat math like Limited. Many of the Magic skills you've cultivated over your Magic career may never even come into play in any given Modern match. Yet for some reason the same players seem to do well in Modern time after time, often with decks that seem odd to others, while other very good players falter week after week. How do they do it? Are they the luckiest men and women alive? No. They just follow the rules.
Revisiting and Understanding Rules of Engagement
In Modern, more than any other format, defining the rules of engagement in any given matchup is essential for success.
This, of course, is not unique to Modern. We can all understand what it's like playing an aggressive red deck against a control deck, regardless of format. It's likely going to involve pacing your threats around their removal, not leaving yourself crushed by mass removal, and knowing the right spots to play around or into their counterspells. The cards may change, but the general strategy remains mostly the same. We learn it once and can then apply it many times in many different situations. Put simply, the rules are transferable.
Modern, however, with its huge variety of various decks and linear strategies, throws many of the conventional rules completely out the window.
Stabilizing doesn't matter if your opponent just kills you with a flurry of Lightning Bolts.
Board presence doesn't matter if your opponent just kills you with some combination of cards you aren't prepared to meaningfully interact with.
Tempo doesn't mean anything if your opponent is able to make seven mana on Turn 3 with Urza's Tower and friends.
Winning the die roll doesn't matter if your 8-Rack opponent wants you to go first anyway.
The list goes on and on.
Unlike our Standard Ramunap Red against U/B Control example, most of these rules are not transferable. Our opponents aren't often going to have cards as linear as The Rack, Urza's Tower, or Lava Spike in their deck, and how you play against each with your deck of choice is going to vary wildly.