Highlander Magic

MagicPlayer Highlander => Banned List & Rules => Topic started by: Payron on 25-02-2018, 01:05:34 PM



Title: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: Payron on 25-02-2018, 01:05:34 PM
Hi guys,

We would like to have a discussion started about the upcoming Banlist changes. As you know the council discussed and votes for bannings, unbannings and watch list changes. So here is your chance to help us evaluate the meta game and discuss if there needs to be something changed or if maybe a banned card is just to weak for the metagame and is therefore a safe unban.

Just to have an overview here are the cards which could enter or leave the format at 1. April:

Ban watchlist:

Back to Basics
Blood Moon
Demonic Tutor
Dig Through Time
Entomb
Imperial Seal
Mana Drain
Oath of Druids
Tainted Pact
Tolarian Academy
Treasure Cruise
Yawgmoth's Will


unban Watchlist

Gifts Ungiven
Mystical Tutor



The whole banlist can be looked at here http://highlandermagic.info/index.php?id=bannedlist (http://highlandermagic.info/index.php?id=bannedlist)


I would love to get some feedback here :)


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: nuorukain on 25-02-2018, 03:24:35 PM
Rant warning;

Unban both, ban nothing.

About the banning notes; imho the metagame is healthy and nothing on the banned list or archetypes they "represent" is unbeatable by choises on deckbuilding&metagaming. Even though I dislike reanimator being as overpowered as it is, it can still be kept in check relatively easily, if chosen to commit into heavy enough hate, thus entomb is just another bomb for that deck.

Mystical tutor and gifts are as safe unbans as Entomb was. Makes animator the deck to beat, if it already wasn't such. (last unbanning was a pure christmass for animator.).
Gifts, while admittably being extremely strong, is still a 4cc spell, while on neutral game state resolving it is likely to end up into caster of it winning by sheer CA/combo cabability. Then again, that said, there are quite a number of 4cc spells that if unanswered,in a neutral game state, will result into resolver of them practically winning the game in short order. (hello Jace the format sculptor!, you had no answer for that immediately? most likely a good game.)

And just for sanitys sake, pls do remove Back to Basics and Blood Moon from the ban watchlist altogether. There is no point in removing the format&manabase&color balancing aspect that their existence in the format creates. Just fricking remove them from that list entirely already. The greedymanabases.dck's need to be (able to be) punished by their choise. (even though I've played a greedy manabase.dck myself for the past year or two, I'd hate to have Blue/Red lose one of their most potent weapons against me/anything similar)- +those cards are almost blanks in case your opponent plays with highly conservative manabases, + while playign them, you more or less give up your own ability to go apeshit with nonbasics....

And while ranting about the basics/nonbasics. Put Library of Alexandria on the watch list for unbanning. The time when it got the hammer, the format mainly consisted of far slower _decks_ and powerlevel of "everything" was lover. At that time it was possible to go with t1/2 Loa, and simply ride the CA into victory, but at the current speed/power of the format, early Loa, while being strong, is not as automatic road to victory as it used to be! ;)

If you really need to ban something again to feel yourself useful with the hammer(the urge to do something when you got the tools, even when nothing would be needed to be done), then simply ban the Tainted Pact. It simply does not function as it was designed to function flavourvise in our format.
It has the same issue, as the Battle of Wits would have in a format that needed for every deck to be atleast 250 cards strong. It does not have(seriously) the draw back it was designed to have. (atleat I trust that it was designed for a 4'of format).
Even contemplating on banning Demonic Tutor is imho absurd, while you have a same casting cost INSTANT speed version of it in the format. (yeah, the drawback can get you some % of the time, sure, but THAT % I would estimate is far smaller than the upside & of it being an instant.)
Just remove it for being simply stupidly most powerfully offensive tutor in the format. (and cutting the pact, gives a better excuse to bring mystical back too) ;)



Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: Tabris on 25-02-2018, 03:31:11 PM
Due to my already lengthy post at the Fb discussion and trillion other posts I ve made about the same cards, I will just throw my "votes" at the card w/o further explanations.


(should be banned)
no
no
no
no
yes
yes
no
yes
no
yes
no
no

(should be unbanned)

no
yes


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: Doks on 25-02-2018, 04:24:55 PM
Good idea to collect opinions before the banlist changes.

Blood Moon / Back to Basics: Don't ban the non-basic hate enchantments. Rather remove them from the watchlist all together. Because right now, there is no point in even considering a ban of them; multi-colour will run wild if they are gone and then there is really no good reason left to stick with one or two colour decks. Our format needs them right now to stay healthy. If you really want to ban them, consider banning fetchlands in  the same cycle, too.

Demonic Tutor/Dig Through Time/Treasure Cruise/Mana Drain: Don't ban them either. They are basically the core of each controlish decklist in this format. Yes, they all offer strong effects and some of them (especially Dig Through Time and Demonic Tutor) enable some busted line of plays in combo decks. But that's more like a problem of combo/combo-control (I'd count Reanimator as such) decks being pretty strong with the previous unbannings (see below). The pure control archetype will fall out of the meta without them.

Imperial Seal/Entomb: That's what pushed combo/combo-control to Tier 1 status. Not like this was bad in general, but you have to consider archetype specific bans first if they prove to be too strong in the future - and that before you think about removing the good stuff the typical combo colours blue and black offer (see above).

Academy/Oath: Totally banworthy by sheer power level. Not sure if necessary, though. Don't have too much experience playing with/against them.

Gifts: Probably too strong right now because there is so much combo potential to abuse it with. While in the past it was used to set up slow CA enginges (Life from the Loam or the Regrowth / Witness + X + Y package) or slow combos (Academy Ruins + Crucible of Worlds + Thopter Foundry combo), it would currently result in a pretty fast combo win, probably the turn after resolving it EOT. Generally speaking, 4 CMC is a lot for today's game of magic that got really fast. If you can prevent it getting abused, this would be a nice addition to slower decks and especially the ones only splashing blue.

Mystical Tutor: The ban was heavily discussed for good reason. It was at a time Izzet ran wild. It also hit combo decks, but they got more than a replacement in form of Imperial Seal. I'm unsure about it, but is probably better banned for another 6 months until we know how the metagame adapts to the big combo potential right now.


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: Bobz0rd on 25-02-2018, 05:57:53 PM
I agree with removing B2B and Moon from the Watchlist. Those cards are annoying but necessary in the format to keep things balanced. Without them there's no reason to play monocolored or two-colored decks at all and combo decks with four or five colors will dominate.

I also agree with what Tabris wrote on Dig, Cruise and Drain on Facebook. Those are the cards that keep control in the Format. If they get banned, you Ban the control Archetype in general and blue will de downgraded to a support color for Midrange or Combo decks.
I know a fair share of the community thinks that Mana Drain is problematic. Although it can lead to busted lines you need to have the right Setup for it. After all, we only have Counterspell and Mana Drain as unconditional hard counters in the Format and those are crucial for Control Decks.

In general the power level of highlander has been growing in the last years and was pushed even more with the unbanning of Imperial Seal and Entomb. I personally like that development. But due to the rise in power level we have to think about cards that were deemed too strong for some time and reevaluate them. Compared to what Reanimator, Artifact Combo or other srteamlined Decks are capable of in the early turns of the game, even the most powerful plays that fair decks have access to are fine (Dig, Crouse, Drain, DT, TNN, Moon, B2B etc.). Most of the Combo Decks also use those cards but if you take them out of the format, the fair decks will suffer more since combo Decks have a lot of different tools to gain consistency which cannot be used to the same potential by the other Decks - like narrow Tutor effects, Lands, Transmute etc.

I think Control as at its weakest state at the moment. Counterspells have gotten worse (too slow), Creatures and Planeswalker have gotten better. It is pretty tough to keep up with the threats that people present to you and the speed of other decks. Especially if you try to 1 for 1 you opponent for the most part of the game until you can catch up with CA spells.

Combo Decks are now a real player in the Format. I am not sure if those Decks are too strong, but for now, I would sit back and observe how the metagame evolves. We only have a relatively small player Base and only few tournaments compared to the DCI Sanctioned Formats. So I think we should take some more time to evaluate the state of the Format and not use every B/R-Date to try and shake things up.

I think the Format is in a very good Condition right now so I don't see the need to ban anything.

The only thing I would change is to maybe unban Mystical tutor in order to strengthen Control Decks again. I don't know if it would push Combo decks too far though. For the same reason I would not unban Gifts Ungiven. Gifts seems too powerful for Combo Decks. Since those have become tier 1 already, there's no need to push them even more.



Final Verdict:

1. Remove B2B and Moon from the watchlist
2. No Bans needed (yet)
3. Maybe unban Mystical









Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: SpielRaumThrias on 25-02-2018, 08:12:20 PM
Here are my opinions on the cards in consideration for a ban/unban on April 1st:

Back to Basics/Blood Moon:
While I think that Back to Basics is a very annoying card to play against, the fact, that you still get to use your main colours to get rid of the enchantment make it a bit easier to deal with than Blood Moon. The problem of BtB in my opinion is its colour. Because it is blue you can easily pair it with Counterspells that deal with any answers your opponent can come up while simultaneously shutting him out of the game.
Blood Moon on the other hand is just about the most dreadful card to play against since it not only shuts down plan A of most decks, it often also disables any ways of beating it by making answers uncastable.
With cards like Wasteland, Sinkhole, Ruination and the recently introduced Field of Ruins problematic non-basic lands can already be dealt with quite well while it is still possible for the player on the receiving end of those effects to make a comeback.

My conclusion: Ban Blood Moon and Back to Basics


Demonic Tutor:
There is no need to discuss the powerlevel of this spell. Paying 2 Mana to get the best card out of your deck in any situation is a ridiculous effect.  
Despite the obvious strength of this card I still think it is very healthy for the metagame! It is rather easy to cast (and splashed for) which means it doesn’t benefit one colour or type of deck a lot more than another. And while it is certainly more of a cornerstone in combo-oriented decks that can find their pieces more easily, at the same time it is helping “fair” decks find answers to the unfair things other decks might be tutoring up!
You could argue that DT balances itself.

My conclusion: Don’t ban Demonic Tutor

Dig Through Time/Treasure Cruise:

These are the cards on this list I am least certain but also least concerned about.
Both cards are certainly very powerful but come with the downside of being dead draws early on.
Later in the game drawing 3 cards seem fine to me while getting 2 out of 7 might be a bit too strong sometimes. Since traditional control decks are not at their height at the moment and Dig and Cruise are two of their strongest weapons, I consider both of them fine at the moment.

My conclusion: Don’t ban Dig Through Time
Don’t ban Treasure Cruise


Entomb:

This card gave a huge boost to Reanimator strategies while working well with Life from the Loam engines at the same time.
I’d rather give this card some more time to be in the spotlight and let people adapt to it before putting it on the list again but if this was a now or never situation my vote would be to get rid of it again.

My conclusion: Don’t ban Entomb (with a very big BUT!)

Imperial Seal:

You can read my explanation on Demonic Tutor and apply it to Seal aswell.
It is one mana cheaper but costs 2 life (which is a real deal against any creature deck or Burn) and your next draw. In my books that makes it a worse card in almost any cases (disregarding Miracle spells and playing vs Discard). With DT being a safe card for Highlander I think Imperial Seal is even more so!

My conclusion: Don’t ban Imperial Seal

Mana Drain:

Control and Counterspells in general have been falling out of favour recently (most likely because of the Mystical Tutor ban). At the same time setting up the perfect post-Mana Drain turn hasn’t gotten any easier. While Mana Drain still remains one of the best answers for control decks, I think giving them some powerful tools is necessary.

My conclusion: Don’t ban Mana Drain

Oath of Druids/Tolarian Academy:

Even though Oath and Academy function in very different ways they are very similar in other regards.
Both are very powerful if left unchecked and will certainly take over the game but they both demand very specific decks to be built around them. The upside of being able to play with either card is kept in check by the fact that your deck sometimes doesn’t do anything at all if you don’t have your build-around card and that there are plenty of answers to either one.

My conclusion: Don’t ban Oath of Druids
Don’t ban Tolarian Academy


Tainted Pact:

This is the card I would be most happy to see banned.
This card asks very little in regards to deck design in a singleton format in return to being THE best tutor for any midrange deck. Because those decks have mostly redundant cards, the ability to get an answer to basically any situation at instant speed without losing vital parts of your library (like a combo deck would have to do to get a specific card) pushes this card over the edge.
The decks that are most consistent in disrupting your gameplay both with hand disruption and utility creatures while being the best at applying pressure both with creatures and planeswalkers shouldn’t also be the ones getting the best tutor in the format!

My conclusion: Ban Tainted Pact

Yawgmoth’s Will:

Certainly a powerful card, Yawg Will is a mixture of a value card (similar to Dig and Cruise) and a build-around card (similar to Oath and Academy), depending on your choice of deck.
Although Will definitely profits from this “flexibility” I don’t think it is too strong to be banned right now.

My conclusion: Don’t ban Yawgmoth’s Will

Gifts Ungiven:

Although four mana is a hefty investment you get one of the best combo enablers of all time in exchange. Eternal Witness, Life from the Loam, Snapcaster Mage, Regrowth and similar effects are all seeing play already so it wouldn’t take much slots to fit this powerful card in a consistent shell.
Combo decks already got some powerful tools with the unbanning of Entomb and Imperial Seal last time around. Gifts would certainly push those decks even more.

My conclusion: Don’t unban Gifts

Mystical Tutor:

Mystical Tutor definitely had to go with the last bannings and I don’t see a reason to bring it back right now unless you take BtB/Blood Moon or Dig/Cruise away from Izzet Decks.

My conclusion: Don’t unban Mystical Tutor


Although I do obviously advocate to ban the cards I proposed I think it would be an even bigger mistake to make changes (bans or unbans) in regards to any other card in comparison to making no changes at all!


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: DarkLight on 26-02-2018, 12:01:20 AM
BAN WATCHLIST

Back to Basics: I'm fine with this card in the format, at the moment.

Blood Moon: I think this card should be banned, for a few reasons. For example there are only a few options if you are on the draw playing a Non-Basicland heavy deck to interact with a turn 2-3 Bloodmoon. In addition with Magus of the Moon, Price of Progress and Ruination there are just three more cards against Non-Basiclands in RED. RDW and UR decks showing us since quite a while now, by tournament appearances and performances that we should adress any kind of BAN in this direction and in my opinion 'Blood Moon' should be that BAN.

Demonic Tutor: Still don't understand why this card is on the watchlist.

Dig Through Time: I'm fine with this card in the format at the moment.

Entomb: Didn't saw an overwhelming increase of decks, who played that card since the UNBAN, so I'm okay with it at the moment.

Imperial Seal: Same as Entomb.

Mana Drain: This card in my opinion should stay at least at the watchlist for closer observation. It's a two mana disruption+ramp two-in-one spell, if it don't get BANNED there are enough reasons to justify this card for being on the watchlist.

Oath of Druids: I told my opinion about this card for too long and too many times I think so. BAN

Tainted Pact: Same as Demonic Tutor.

Tolarian Academy: I'm too lazy to write something down about this card so i quote myself ...

My opinion:
The most common deck which plays this card at the moment is "Eggs" which is not even close to be a normal highlander deck it's more like Solitaire ... one player is playing an endless turn and finishs with a rediculous combo. This card should be banned just to remove those kind of decks from the format where only one player is playing and the other is just watching.

Treasure Cruise: I'm fine with this card in the format at the moment.

Yawgmoth's Will: I'm fine with this card in the format at the moment.



UNBAN WATCHLIST

Gifts Ungiven: As far as I know one of the main reasons for the BAN was the rediculous synergy with 'Life from the Loam' but since quite a while Wizards likes to print more and more strong graveyard removal so I don't know how threatening this "combo" still is. So I think this card on the UNBAN watchlist is just fine for me.

Mystical Tutor: This BAN in my opinion was one of the biggest fails of the council. UNBAN


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: Bat on 26-02-2018, 10:48:28 AM
Back to Basics - Annoying but necessary

Blood Moon - Annoying but necessary

Demonic Tutor - Remove from watchlist

Dig Through Time - Keep on watchlist

Entomb - More data would be nice, keep it unbanned another 6 months

Imperial Seal - Keep on watchlist - I liked the unban, only problematic interaction is turn 1 into Oath of Druids.

Mana Drain - Keep on watchlist

Oath of Druids - I hate this Card... there is no other card that dictates how the game has to be played when it resolves. And Imperial Seal made Oath more consistent. T1 Seal into Oath, which i observed 4 times at the last volcano Cup, was 4 times a concede from the opponent on turn 4 at the latest. I would like to see this card banned.

Tainted Pact - Almost every time TP resolves, it wins. Demonic Tutor at Instant speed is just stupid and the downside is not really a downside. I would like to see this card banned.

Tolarian Academy - Remove from watchlist.

Treasure Cruise - Keep on Watchlist.

Yawgmoth's Will - Remove from watchlist.


unban Watchlist

Gifts Ungiven - Remove from watchlist

Mystical Tutor - Remove from watchlist


My ramblings now are a bit complicated i guess. I think blue needs to be powered down, or at least not given any new tools like Gifts Ungiven. On the other hand, i want Oath of Druids and Tainted Pact banned. Which would lead to less tools for decks that are not base blue.
Most reasonable would be to ban Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time when banning nonblue cards. I hope this makes sense :>


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: W0lf on 26-02-2018, 10:52:55 AM
Unban skullclamp,Umezawas Jitte and Library of Alexandria.


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: Silberhase on 26-02-2018, 11:52:03 AM
Back to Basics/Blood Moon: I think Price of Progress is the most problematic Non-basic-hatecard. While Back to Basics and Bloodmoon are useless when opponent got a solid board, PoP just can win from nowhere.

Demonic Tutor: I still can't understand why people say this card beeing healthy in this format. It's played in every black deck and often wins games on its own by searching for the best card or finish up with your combo. So please ban this card and noone would consider to unban it anymore.

Dig Through Time/ Treasure Cruise: I think, people underrate this cards immensely. It's just too easy to fill your own graveyard. Even cards like Phyrexian Furnace have hard times to keep this in check. Therefor Treasure Cruise feels too close beeing just an Ancestral Recall and I think Dig Through Times is even better then Cruise. These cards are banned in every other format, even DuelCommander and I guess they also should be banned in Highlander.

Entomb: I'm totally fine with that card, but it's very hard to say, if this ban was right. It gives reanimator a big boost and it's definitely t1, but of course, combo decks never should be the deck to beat. I just would keep it on the watchlist and observe the meta.

Imperial Seal: For all who think, its an update to Mystical: no it's not!!! The ban of Mystical makes Terminus completely unplayable. Also the 2 lifeloss are relevant in certan matchups Imo. Otherwise I think combo decks in general are quite too powerful in the current meta so I would keep it on the watchlist, but it doesn't feel that much beeing abused as Mystical and Demonic Tutor.

Mana Drain: In general I think this Card is too strong and I also think, there are enough counters in this format. Otherwise I think there are mor problematic cards in the format right now and therefor I would keep it on the watchlist. But Consider this card beeing stronger with the stoneforge unban!

Oath of Druids: This is a card which is just an I-win-button and it's only about 'does the opponent has the answer or does he not'. It also just makes non-interaktive combo decks even more consistently. So I think it should be banned.

Tainted Pact: This card is far away from beeing an Demonic Tutor and Im totally fine with that card. So just keep it unbanned.

Tolarian Academy: I understand that it's not always fun for the opponent to play against, but Highlander is an eternal format and imo non-interactive combo decks should also take part of the metagame. There are enough powerful banworthy cards, that would also weaken academy decks so a ban of the academy itself is not necessary Imo.

Yawgmoth's Will: I don't see any reason to ban it.


Gifts Ungiven: I'm not sure if its correct to unban it, but this card is far weaker than cards like Demonic Tutor and Treasure Cruise/DTT for example. So if you ban these cards I think I'm fine with an unban.

Mystical Tutor: The ban was correct Imo and there is no reason to unban it again.


I also would mention some cards not beeing at the watchlist at the moment:

Fastbond: While Tolarian Academy is a build-around-card that creates new archtypes, Fastbond doesn't help making any t3 lands decks more consistently. Its only beeing abused in various combo decks beeing more ridiculous and more frustrating for the opponent. I think it should be banned.

Karakas: this card becomes more and more problematic while even more powerful legendary creatures gets printed. This card is an absurd answer to many legends and almost a stable in every deck, not only in white decks.

True-Name-Nemesis: This card should be at least on the watchlist. This card is very hard to answer and I think its too painful for aggro decks. Although I hardly played decks, who has big problems with that card, I don't think it's very healthy for our format.


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: berlinballz on 26-02-2018, 05:15:27 PM
Hey. All my opinions are based on this outline I wrote: http://metagamemasters.eu/highlander-and-bans-how-do-we-make-the-best-format-even-better (http://metagamemasters.eu/highlander-and-bans-how-do-we-make-the-best-format-even-better). I invite you very much to read it.

I have also created a poll on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/HighlanderEurope/permalink/584398365271411/ (https://www.facebook.com/groups/HighlanderEurope/permalink/584398365271411/)asking the community about whether they think bans are necessary at the moment. The result so far is 36(NOBANS) to 12(BANS), which is a landslide and makes arguing bans seem fairly irrelevant at this point from a community standpoint. Unbans are wanted by the community on the other hand as the poll shows. I will still comment on all the cards because everyone did. THIS DOESN'T MEAN I WANT ANY BANS!

Ban watchlist:

Back to Basics – Should never be banned and never be on watchlist, ban would destroy Highlander and deck diversity
Blood Moon – Should never be banned and never be on watchlist, ban would destroy Highlander and deck diversity
Demonic Tutor – Great card but far from ban worthy, tutors enable many strategies in HL and this costs 2 mana sorcery speed
Dig Through Time – Great card but not too good, needs set up and makes Control decks exist which have a hard time anyways
Entomb – Great card, potentially ban worthy, should be on watchlist but was just unbanned and Reanimator needs to dominate first
Imperial Seal – I am totally fine with this card (slow, -1 card) unless some combo starts obliterating the meta everywhere
Mana Drain – Great card, control needs this card to exist and is almost extinct, deck diversity would suffer from ban
Oath of Druids – Very all in powerful card, unless Oath/Reanimator starts beating us senseless it's fine
Tainted Pact – Great card, skill intensive, not an autowin for combo, tutors enable many strategies in HL
Tolarian Academy – based on my experience it should be banned, but hardly anyone plays it or wins the big tourneys so it needs to stay for now as large parts of the community do not even care about it
Treasure Cruise – Great card but not too good, needs set up and makes Control decks exist which have a hard time anyways
Yawgmoth's Will – Good watchlist inclusion, used by Artifact Combo and Reanimator I think, if they start dominating it could go


unban Watchlist

Gifts Ungiven – At 4 mana I don't see the big deal, magic is very fast now, needs setup I would be okay with seeing it unbanned for a test term
Mystical Tutor – I never understood the ban but with Imperial Seal and Entomb unbanned it of course adds even more tutors. I would still unban it, it's -1 and rarely an autowin.


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: Bobz0rd on 26-02-2018, 09:24:13 PM
Since this is thread is meant to be used for a discussion, I would like to respond to Silberhases post here, since I don't really understand the reasoning behing your suggested bannings.
You wrote that you think Combo is too strong at the moment, but I think that a lot of your suggested Bans would push combo even more. Even if most Cards are used by combo Decks, they are crucial to all the fair decks running around.

I would love to see some opinions on this:

Back to Basics/Blood Moon: I think Price of Progress is the most problematic Non-basic-hatecard. While Back to Basics and Bloodmoon are useless when opponent got a solid board, PoP just can win from nowhere.

Totally Agree. If there's one Non-Basic hate card that could be removed from the format, it is Price of Progress. This Card doesn't only punish you for putting non-basic lands in your Deck, but also punishes you for playing them. It win's out of nowhere and can only be interacted with via counterspells (or dromokas command i guess). I don't think it has to be banned, but watchlisting it, could be a fine move.


Demonic Tutor: I still can't understand why people say this card beeing healthy in this format. It's played in every black deck and often wins games on its own by searching for the best card or finish up with your combo. So please ban this card and noone would consider to unban it anymore.

I can't stress enough, that in terms of bannings/unbannings, you shouldn't only look at individual Cards and decide arbitrarily which card is too strong and which isn't. How do you decide what powerlevel is too much for highlander anyways? A strong feeling you got, because you often lose to a certain card or win with it? Taking into account, what a ban or unban would do to the format and certain archetypes is the much better way and can be understood by way more people.
Regarding Demonic Tutor I see it this way: Yes Demonic Tutor is the best Tutor in highlander, but only combo decks can use this card as an "oops I win" card. Fair decks often get their best anwers to the opposing threat with it or another realtively fair threat in order to close out the game. For control and even more so for Midrange, this card is essential when it come to beating non-interactive combo decks, since you can only put that much narrow silver bullets in your deck without weakening you other matchups too much. Combo Decks on the other hand will still have an abundance of other fringe tutors available (crop, rotation, entomb, fabricate, imperial seal, personal tutor, enlightened tutor, transmute artifact, tolaria west and other transmute cards, expedition map... the list goes on). Those are often too weak (slow) for fair decks. So taking away one (the best) Tutor wont reduce the combo decks consistency very much but will hurt Fair decks and push combo decks even more in comparison.

Dig Through Time/ Treasure Cruise: I think, people underrate this cards immensely. It's just too easy to fill your own graveyard. Even cards like Phyrexian Furnace have hard times to keep this in check. Therefor Treasure Cruise feels too close beeing just an Ancestral Recall and I think Dig Through Times is even better then Cruise. These cards are banned in every other format, even DuelCommander and I guess they also should be banned in Highlander.

Comparing Highlander to other 60 Card Formats and even duel Commander doesn't work out in my opinion. Being able to put four copies of a card in a 60 Card Deck compared to one copy in a 100 Card deck is a big difference. Even the effect of the two cards is much weaker in highlander than in 60 Card formats since the chance of not finding what you need is way higher.
In duel Commander decks always have access to their general, which grants a big boost in consistency. Games play out totally different because decks are built around synergies with that general.
And as I've stated above: I think Removing those cards would kill the control archetype in Highlander completely.

Entomb: I'm totally fine with that card, but it's very hard to say, if this ban was right. It gives reanimator a big boost and it's definitely t1, but of course, combo decks never should be the deck to beat. I just would keep it on the watchlist and observe the meta.

Agree

Tainted Pact: This card is far away from beeing an Demonic Tutor and Im totally fine with that card. So just keep it unbanned.

Agree, there's a real cost to playing Tainted Pact. Trying to use this as a Demonic Tutor is often wrong. Instead you need to rethink after every card you see if that revealed card might do the job for you or if you risk exiling other important parts of your deck in order to get the right card.

Tolarian Academy: I understand that it's not always fun for the opponent to play against, but Highlander is an eternal format and imo non-interactive combo decks should also take part of the metagame. There are enough powerful banworthy cards, that would also weaken academy decks so a ban of the academy itself is not necessary Imo.

Yes, banning Academy would be a big hit for the Deck since it's a card that archetypes are built around. Thus I don't think it should be banned either. However this is the card I am least sure about.
What other cards would you suggest Banning in order to weaken Academy decks while keeping the splash damage to other Archetypes to a minimum?

Yawgmoth's Will: I don't see any reason to ban it.

I don't either.


Gifts Ungiven: I'm not sure if its correct to unban it, but this card is far weaker than cards like Demonic Tutor and Treasure Cruise/DTT for example. So if you ban these cards I think I'm fine with an unban.

Gifts may be weaker overall, but it's mainly a combo card. Taking away DT/DTT/TC in order for Gifts to enter the Format would push combo decks over the top I think. Even without the suggested Bans.

Mystical Tutor: The ban was correct Imo and there is no reason to unban it again.

You said that the ban of mystical made Terminus completely unplayable. Don't you think it would be better to have Terminus and Entreat the Angels back in the Format in order for Decks like UW Control to be good again? Why do you think it should stay banned?


I also would mention some cards not beeing at the watchlist at the moment:

Fastbond: While Tolarian Academy is a build-around-card that creates new archtypes, Fastbond doesn't help making any t3 lands decks more consistently. Its only beeing abused in various combo decks beeing more ridiculous and more frustrating for the opponent. I think it should be banned.

Isn't consistency the bigger Problem when it comes to Combo Decks? To me, Fastbond is mostly a combo Piece, that can also lead to busted start sometimes. If you don't have anything to do with you mana however, this card is stone dead. You mostly need a draw 7 in Order for it to be good. I've seen too many Fastbonds that did nothing than damage my opponent and I'd rather take away cards that increase the consistency of combo decks, than taking away the combo itself.

Karakas: this card becomes more and more problematic while even more powerful legendary creatures gets printed. This card is an absurd answer to many legends and almost a stable in every deck, not only in white decks.

I Agree that many people might underestimate the powerlevel of Karakas. It's a manasouce that can win games on it's own. Rendering a hand - with Tasigur and flip Jace for instance - totally useless often feels too strong. I've lost to this card as much as I've won just because of it and it always felt random. This Cards keeps a lot of otherwise playable and strong creatures out of the Format. BUT! With reanimator being a stong Player in the Format now, I think this Card is needed to keep it in check. If that wasn't the case, I'd be happy to see this card watchlisted and talked about at least.

True-Name-Nemesis: This card should be at least on the watchlist. This card is very hard to answer and I think its too painful for aggro decks. Although I hardly played decks, who has big problems with that card, I don't think it's very healthy for our format.

Compared to all the busted and non-iteractive cards we have discussed in this thread, TNN truly is the least powerful. You don't even have to get it off the board to beat it. Aggro Decks can race this, Flyers can race this, Trample Creatures don't care about it, Doran laughs at it and there are enough cards to kill TNN, which are played in decks already even if this card didn't exist (Liliana, Toxic Deluge, Persecution, Council's Judgement, Diabolic Edict, Sweepers, Skullcrack). I don't see this thing as problematic at all.



Also, thank you Jan (Berlinballz) for your article on Metagamemasters.eu. I like your suggestions and I do agree with you. Bannings should happen on tournament based Data - not on gut feelings we have. If a Deck becomes oppressive we should think about measures to keep it in check - not "randomly" ban cards because we think they are too strong in general.


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: Tavvan on 27-02-2018, 01:56:37 PM
First of all:
I dont think we need changes, right now



Ban watchlist:

Back to Basics
Blood Moon
The "i should have a non greedy Mana Base or i will get shut down by these cards" enables 2 Color Decks to find a place in the Format. Do NOT ban this!!!

Demonic Tutor
Few years ago some decks just splashed black to play this card. This days, decks who play DT tend to have black as a "main" color.
His powerlevel scales with the archetyp im playing. So i find it hard to evaluate it format wise. Banning this probably means other "hard to hate/easy to lose" cards will have to go too.
I personaly like playing with and against it: Do not ban this

Dig Through Time/Treasure Cruise
Even though i love to resolve them, the ability to reduce the mana cost for such effects is to powerfull. But removing them both might hurt the blue decks to much. Maybe ban one of them and leave the other around?

Entomb/Imperial Seal
Everyone did know where these would go, and what those card would do for the decks playing them. I was a great a fan of the unban, and sill am.

Mana Drain
If your opponent can curve out with it, it is harder to deal with, than an early Natural Order.

Oath of Druids
Enables a few decktyps (which is good). But the format has enough ways to beat this decks.   

Tainted Pact
It's not the card, it's the decks that can play this. Those Decks tend to have the best answers (and questions) of all colors and this card is another way to find them. The unbanning of Imperial Seal make me think, no ban needed. But this should go if either B2B, BloodMoon or DT gets banned.

Tolarian Academy
i'm not to familiar playing against this card. Field of Ruins recently got printed and that's another answer everyone could play. But to be true probably they play Acafdemy the turn the go off. The matches i had agains academy alway where clos, and it did not feel more unfair than the stuff, that other Combo Decks can do.

Yawgmoth's Will
Only few decks play this card, and in this decks this card is very powerful. Still it does not push this cards over the top.
For me, this is a clear Not Ban.







Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: derStefan82 on 28-02-2018, 10:00:21 PM
Would like to share my opinion as well. My stronger statement will be about "Oath of Druids" and the combo situation.

I'm playing Oath forever and was the person playing it on the Volcano Cup mentioned before.

1. Oath in isolation

Oath in isolation was never a problem. It's forever in the format but never dominated the format like others did.

Playing Oath forces you to play no creatures which is a huge trade off / deck building restriction comparing to other decks.

There are various decks out there which benefit / need it, Oath Control, Oath Combo, Storm, some Artifact Combo builds.


2. Oath + Imperial Seal

With the unbanning of Imperial Seal I already feared that the discussion about banning Oath will come up again as it is the Deck benefitting most from it.

My personal feeling is that it is good for the format. Let me explain why:

I think playing a combo deck like my version is should lead to a win against pure aggro decks especially decks like RDW that have no disruption at all against combo.

But even with Seal it's not an auto win and you have to mulligan hard, and I play specific win-conditions like Dragon Breath to not give back the turn after turn 3 or yawg will / Fastbond to win directly out of Rune Scared.

So Imperial Seal makes Combo strong but probably to a strength where it should be to have Combo / Control / Aggro in sync.

If people think Oath is to Strong now probably because of Seal and sooner or later the same will apply to for example "Combo"-Reanimator or other Combo decks.

So please think about banning Seal and not Oath if you really want to ban T1/2 crazyness (and make Combo worse again).

---

Back to Basics - fine color greediness should be with a price
Blood Moon - fine color greediness should be with a price
Demonic Tutor - fine and needed for having variance of decks
Dig Through Time - blue seems pretty strong and dig / cruise are probably cards to keep an eye on
Entomb - think combo oriented reanimator decks (ooze...) have some potential to kill very fast (with seal even more)
Imperial Seal (probably the card to watch if combo gets to strong, t1 stuff gets over the top)
Mana Drain - seems ok for me, some times busted but for me cruise / dig feel harder to beat
Oath of Druids - stated above
Tainted Pact - would not ban it, will be replaced by the next best cards and goodstuff is anyway not at it's best right now
Tolarian Academy - strong but requires really specific deck building around
Treasure Cruise - see dig
Yawgmoth's Will - by far not ban worthy, beside havy combo decks not played (and even there often dead / to slow)


unban Watchlist

Gifts Ungiven
Mystical Tutor


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: r4nd0m1 on 01-03-2018, 02:33:50 AM
 

 Hi, thanks for the opportunity to participate.

Very briefly, I think every time a card gets banned, its bad for the format. Its certainly bad for me.
Please ban as few cards as possible and keep the power level high.

NONE of these cards dominate the format as far as I know and they are restricted in the first place.

Back to Basics, Blood Moon
Most manabases have only very few basic lands, even with this in the format. Ban would be rediculous.

Mana Drain, Treasure Cruise, Dig Through Time    
We just lost Mystical and some time ago Gifts, but banning cards wont change the fact that blue is the best color. These cards are iconic and I love to play with them. And i would cry my heart out, if they get banned.

Imperial Seal, Demonic Tutor, Tainted Pact   
They help, but combo is still way less consistent, than in other formats. Other than that, they are pretty fair.

Entomb, Oath of Druids, Tolarian Academy, Yawgmoth's Will 
Reanimator, Oath, Acadamy, TPS are all fringe decks. Only ban, if they dominate.

Gifts Ungiven and Mystical Tutor
They are crazy good, but I still would like to see them in our decks.

Also Birthing Pod, Natural Order, Top, Jitte and maybe Strip Mine, Survival and Scullclamp. Maybe xD

Thanks again, cheers : )









Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: Remi on 10-03-2018, 12:53:38 AM
First of all, I want to say that never ban a card just the sake of making a change to the banned list. The case may often be that there does not have to be any bans. Unbanning is a bit different case... It is refreshing to have new cards to play, and a card that was oppressive years ago, might not be anymore since the cards and decks overall have gotten stronger. Also, rather than looking at a single card and its powerlevel, you have to take a look of how diverse and healthy the meta is. Some cards may look powerful, but they require specific deckbuilding around them (like oath of druids and tolarian academy).


Here is the summary of my thoughts about banlist cards: The only card I would consider to be banned is Tainted Pact. I am not entirely sure if this needs to go, but if something has to be banned, here is your card.

And same for unbanlist cards:
-Mystical Tutor should be unbanned.
-Gifts should stay banned.



I'm going to take a look on each card on the banned list here:


Back to Basics/blood moon LEGAL
It may feel devastating and unfair when you opponent drops either one of these on t2/t3, and all you've got are nonbasic lands in play/hand. These enchantments give some free wins, but I don't think they should be banned. The nonbasic land hate is required in order to keep 1-2 color decks in format. There has to be some cards that keep the 3-5color decks in check. I would not like to see bans that shift the meta towards one that just has monotonic multicolor-midrange-value decks.


Demonic Tutor  LEGAL
Despite the obvious strength of this card I still think it is very healthy for the metagame! It is rather easy to cast (and splashed for) which means it doesn’t benefit one colour or type of deck a lot more than another. And while it is certainly more of a cornerstone in combo-oriented decks that can find their pieces more easily, at the same time it is helping “fair” decks find answers to the unfair things other decks might be tutoring up!
You could argue that DT balances itself.
I don't think there is a reason to ban demonic tutor. Take a look on Tainted Pact instead...there's your candidate if you want to ban a tutor.


Dig Trough Time  LEGAL
This is a strong card obviously, but not in early game. You propably never want to see it in your opening hand (or eve worse, DTT and cuise.). Again, instead of a single card, we need to look the bigger picture...Do we need to weaken the decks that play dig trough time? I don't think so. Being so bad early game, and better lategame balances this card out.


Treasure Cruise  LEGAL
Look the reply on DTT. This is the worse card out of these two


Entomb  LEGAL
This card has been a lot less powerful than I thought it would turn out to be. I have played against it, and with it. It gives a nice boost especially for reanimator, and also has some other uses. I think this was a good unban and brings in diversity. However, it has been around for a short period of time, and I would keep it on watchlist and under observation.


Imperial Seal  LEGAL
I have seen decks in my local meta put this in after unban, and take it out after a while. It is one mana cheaper than DT, but i think people overlook the drawbacks in it. Losing 2 life is relevant, at least in the games i play. Seal also isn't so good draw later in game since you don't get the card that turn, and the turn later it might be too late. Likewise on DT, I don't see any reason to ban this card either. It was unbanned last time, so it should stay on watchlist for another 6 months.


Mana Drain  LEGAL
Do decks that play this cad need to be weaken?
I think Control as at its weakest state at the moment. Counterspells have gotten worse (too slow), Creatures and Planeswalker have gotten better. It is pretty tough to keep up with the threats that people present to you and the speed of other decks. Especially if you try to 1 for 1 you opponent for the most part of the game until you can catch up with CA spells.
Control and Counterspells in general have been falling out of favour recently (most likely because of the Mystical Tutor ban). At the same time setting up the perfect post-Mana Drain turn hasn’t gotten any easier. While Mana Drain still remains one of the best answers for control decks, I think giving them some powerful tools is necessary.
I agree with these quotes, and I don't think Mana Drain should be banned.


Oath of Druids  LEGAL
This card is archetype enabler, same as tolarian academy. just for that reason it should stay unbanned. You can only play it in very specific kind of deck, and it sets massive limitations to deckbuilding. It is not a good draw later in game since it does absolutely nothing until your next turn.


Tainted Pact BAN/LEGAL
This is the best tutor as long as you know how to use it and don't exile your whole deck or some important pieces in your deck. Can't really be used unless you have 3+ colors in your deck, and thereforce pushes people away from building 1-2color decks. It is instant speed, which means you can leave your mana open for counterspell, removal or just to see what your opponents plays on his next turn and then get the best card for it. (DT is sorcery, and often you have to play on t2 when there's nothing on board yet, and you tapout for it.) The instant speed versus demonic tutor is very, very good advantage on tainted pact. You can just leave it in your hand, and go to counterspell if needed. Or to price of progress when your opponents taps out.
Another thing that must not be overlooked, is that tainted pact bypasses all effects that disrupt library searching (aven mindcensor/shadow of doubt just to mention few).
I'm not completely sure if this card should be banned, but this is the card is the most ban-worthy on the watchlist. What i'm saying is that if any card gets banned, Tainted Pact should be first to go.


Tolarian Academy  LEGAL
This card is archetype enabler, and for that reason it should not be banned. It does nothing by itself, and needs a built up board before it is effective. Also, needs deckbuilding around it. Decks that play this card have not been oppressive, and lack consistency. It is a strong card once you have all the required components for it, but it really is not banworthy.


Yawgmoth's Will  LEGAL
I don't see why this card should be banned, or why it should even be on the watchlist.






About unban watchlist:

Gifts Ungiven  BAN
"Search your library for up to four cards with different names and reveal them. "
they keyword in this card is "different", and that does not matter in singleton format. And Gifts is instand speed, which makes it a really strong card...We already have Intuition, which is doing kind of the same but not being as busted and giving you card advantage no matter what. I think this card should remain banned.


Mystial Tutor  LEGAL
Mystical tutor ban was really a surprise not only to me, but to other people I have discussed with. There are many other cards that i thought would have gotten the hammer before this card. What I've heard is that some local meta in Germany was involved with its heavy izzet presence. I don't think Mystical tutor belongs on the list of banned cards.



Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: Vazdru on 10-03-2018, 04:05:32 PM
thanks for your input so far!

what do you think, is playing combo already the strongest line?

We've had
- two copies of Scapeshift in recent MGM Top 8 (+ 9th of Wolf) !
- Reanimator winning recent MGM
- Scapeshift winning Big Kahuna + Buried Alive-Combo second + Reanimator Top 4
- Helm-Combo winning in Slovakia
- Scapeshift winning MGM before (Schuhmacher)
- latest online winning lists are combos (Academy, Oath-Emrakul-Combo, Scapeshift)

Is this already a trend or just happened by accident?

Although everyone seems fine with current meta (like me - btw. I play combo-too  ;)) at the same i personally believe we should lower total number of tutors to reduce the consistency of combo decks which got Imperial Seal as new tool but haven't lost Demonic Tutor to balance this.

So i changed my mind and vote for Demonic Tutor to be BANNED (after some guys convinced me before everything is fine currently and nothing has to be changed) and Gifts Ungiven to remove from WL. I don't believe Demonic Tutor is still necessary for decks with a plan.
Furthermore I support WL-Entry of Tainted Pact although it is not the typical combo-tutor but gives midrange-decks often enough a change to "counter" combos. I think it is worth to be watched and discussed.

What would be your approach to keep those combos in check? Or is it ok for you that most recent winning decks are based on a combo?
Do the decks just need to play more "hate" (gy hate vs Reanimator, life-gain vs Scapeshift) to fix this?


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: Remi on 10-03-2018, 06:02:46 PM
thanks for your input so far!

what do you think, is playing combo already the strongest line?

We've had
- two copies of Scapeshift in recent MGM Top 8 (+ 9th of Wolf) !
- Reanimator winning recent MGM
- Scapeshift winning Big Kahuna + Buried Alive-Combo second + Reanimator Top 4
- Helm-Combo winning in Slovakia
- Scapeshift winning MGM before (Schuhmacher)
- latest online winning lists are combos (Academy, Oath-Emrakul-Combo, Scapeshift)

Is this already a trend or just happened by accident?

Although everyone seems fine with current meta (like me - btw. I play combo-too  ;)) at the same i personally believe we should lower total number of tutors to reduce the consistency of combo decks which got Imperial Seal as new tool but haven't lost Demonic Tutor to balance this.

So i changed my mind and vote for Demonic Tutor to be BANNED (after some guys convinced me before everything is fine currently and nothing has to be changed) and Gifts Ungiven to remove from WL. I don't believe Demonic Tutor is still necessary for decks with a plan.
Furthermore I support WL-Entry of Tainted Pact although it is not the typical combo-tutor but gives midrange-decks often enough a change to "counter" combos. I think it is worth to be watched and discussed.

What would be your approach to keep those combos in check? Or is it ok for you that most recent winning decks are based on a combo?
Do the decks just need to play more "hate" (gy hate vs Reanimator, life-gain vs Scapeshift) to fix this?

To evaluate tournament data better we would need bigger sampling, and to know how big portion of all tournaments everywhere that data contains. It would even help if we knew how big portion the data you mentioned is. Now it seems a coincidence.
From my experience, I don't think combos are being overwhelming. And even if they were, banning DT would be a wrong move.

I don't get the logic where you first unban tutors that are most powerful in combo decks, and then want to ban the tutor that EVERY deck with black mana source can play. How is this supposed to weaken combo against "fair" decks? I think it would pretty much do the opposite. Combo decks have demonic tutor (which often is not the best for named situation) + a ton of fringe tutors. "fair" decks have demonic tutor, and possibly a tainted pact (if playing 3+ colors). Banning DT will hit a deck much worse if that's the only one, or one of the few tutors it has.
And if you're saying there is still tainted pact, you are pushing people away from building 1-2 color decks where tainted pact can't be played.
There is nothing special in demonic tutor: It does not enable miracles, it is not 2+ combo pieces packed into one (like Entomb or Intuition are), it does not hide the card you searched from being discarded, It is a 2 mana sorcery.

Look at monoblue, izzet, jeskai, etc. Those decks had one good tutor which was mystical tutor, and it got taken away.

Rather than trying to ban the tutor that fetches the problematic card, maybe you should look at the problematic card itself: You have 6 Scapeshift decks mentioned there. (Still, I am not claiming any combo pieces should be banned.)


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: Vazdru on 10-03-2018, 06:45:31 PM
just to collect the availabble data (all listed events were held during last 12 month):

MGM #11
After Swiss: Scapeshift on 1 and 2
Winner: Reanimator

MGM #10
Winner: Scapeshift
Runner-Up: Reanimator

Big Kahuna
Winner: Scapeshift
Runner-Up: Buried-Alive Combo

Volcano Cup:
Winner: Oath-Emrakul-Combo

Cloudpost Bratislava HL Cup:
Winner: Helm-Combo

Cloudpost Bratislava HL Cup (Nationals Sideevent):
Winner: Reanimator
Runner-Up: RDW
Third: Helm-Combo

Tiki-Cup:
Finals: Scapeshift vs RDW (Split)

Oulu, Finland:
1. 4c bring to light *DECKLIST* (Scapeshift)
2. 5c oath reanimator
3. grixis reanimator
4. tendrils oath *DECKLIST*
https://deckstats.net/decks/71151/932956-4c-scapeshift-3-3-2018-tournam

.... feel free to add


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: W0lf on 11-03-2018, 10:27:39 AM
Even Reanimator Lists play Dig through Time and Treasure Cruise, pretty obvious what's overpowering.
 
Dig is the best tutor for combo decks in the format, get your combo piece/second Tutor + solution/backup Counter EOT.





Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: haju on 11-03-2018, 02:26:08 PM
I don't get the logic where you first unban tutors that are most powerful in combo decks, and then want to ban the tutor that EVERY deck with black mana source can play. How is this supposed to weaken combo against "fair" decks? I think it would pretty much do the opposite. Combo decks have demonic tutor (which often is not the best for named situation) + a ton of fringe tutors. "fair" decks have demonic tutor, and possibly a tainted pact (if playing 3+ colors). Banning DT will hit a deck much worse if that's the only one, or one of the few tutors it has.
And if you're saying there is still tainted pact, you are pushing people away from building 1-2 color decks where tainted pact can't be played.
There is nothing special in demonic tutor: It does not enable miracles, it is not 2+ combo pieces packed into one (like Entomb or Intuition are), it does not hide the card you searched from being discarded, It is a 2 mana sorcery.
This is the best paragraph I've read about Demonic Tutor in this thread. Banning it would be fatal to Control and Midrange, since  it is taking away the one good tutor these decks are playing. If Scapeshift is to strong, think about banning Bring to Light. If Reanimator is to strong, think about banning Entomb. If you want to ban a more general tutor, think about banning Imperial Seal.

I think, right now doing nothing would be the best for the format. Do not ban anything and do not unban anything. Let's look a little bit longer how the format evolves with the tools given. Whenever there is a new deck to beat a quite loud group demands bans. If I recall correctly, in recent history we had the Artifact Combo Deck, RDW, UR (which was hit by the ban of Mystical Tutor) and now Scapeshift and to some extend Reanimator dominating the format, with people demanding bans to weaken these decks.

Since there are not many frequently tournaments (outside Berlin and maybe some other cities) players and decks adopt new Tier 1 decks very slowly. Give these players some time. Not everybody has a regular Highlander FNM with great attendance.

TL;DR: I would not ban or unban anything.


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: mox-fanatic on 11-03-2018, 09:56:57 PM
just to collect the availabble data (all listed events were held during last 12 month):

MGM #11
After Swiss: Scapeshift on 1 and 2
Winner: Reanimator

MGM #10
Winner: Scapeshift
Runner-Up: Reanimator

Big Kahuna
Winner: Scapeshift
Runner-Up: Buried-Alive Combo

Volcano Cup:
Winner: Oath-Emrakul-Combo

Cloudpost Bratislava HL Cup:
Winner: Helm-Combo

Cloudpost Bratislava HL Cup (Nationals Sideevent):
Winner: Reanimator
Runner-Up: RDW
Third: Helm-Combo

Tiki-Cup:
Finals: Scapeshift vs RDW (Split)

Oulu, Finland:
1. 4c bring to light *DECKLIST* (Scapeshift)
2. 5c oath reanimator
3. grixis reanimator
4. tendrils oath *DECKLIST*
https://deckstats.net/decks/71151/932956-4c-scapeshift-3-3-2018-tournam

.... feel free to add

Big Kahuna
Winner: Scapeshift
Runner-Up: Buried-Alive Combo
3rd: UB-Control
4th: Reanimator

Volcano Cup:
Winner: Oath-Emrakul-Combo
Runner-Up: UB-Control

Hula Cup:
Winner: Esper Control
Runner-Up: RDW

Before beeing crucified because of my opinion: I'm also playing blue cards and I'm not a desperate 4cBlood player.  :)

I added some additional results and want to point out that that the Mannheim Meta is recently dominated by Combo and Control decks, which all have one thing in common: They use blue cards. So in my opinion the council should consider to weaken blue in general, by banning either Treasure Cruise or Dig through Time. However I see no reason to ban both (yet). Non-blue decks like 4cBlood, GreenRamp, GruulBeats, etc. do have really hard times keeping up with the card advantage and have disappeared from the top of the standings recently. So imho the dominance of blue leads to an unhealthy meta (at least in Mannheim).
 
The unban of Entomb and Imperial Seal lead to the rise of Reanimator. I'm not sure if the unban took the deck to the next level or just encouraged players to give it another shot. I would give the meta some additional time to adapt and would not consider banning either of these cards right now. If it keeps dominating the council may reconsider bannning Entomb in the next banning period.

In addition I would consider to weaken Scapeshift, since it is just a dumb one card combo, which needs no specific build around like Oath of Druids for instance. Bring to Light or Scapeshift itself should be at least added to the watchlist to make a potential ban possible if the deck keeps dominating.

So for the upcomming bannings:

Ban: Treasure Cruise or Dig Through Time (I would prefer to see Treasure Cruise banned)
Unban: nothing
Add to watchlist: Bring to Light and/or Scapeshift



Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: Vazdru on 12-03-2018, 02:32:57 PM
some good points

concerning Scapeshift / specific tutors
I basically don't wanna ban a (combo)deck in general but would like to have the chance to lower its consistency if needed.
So I don't vote for wl Scapeshift and/or Valakut but for adding Bring to Light.
I guess wl entry (-> not automatically ban) is needed as Scapeshift performs quite strong in different local metas for quite a long time now (see results above) and Bring to Light is such a specific tutor for Scapeshift.

concerning Demonic Tutor
I'm not conviced yet. Midrange is on the decline while Combo shines more than ever (maybe except the times where TPS was the best combo-deck).
So Demonic Tutor isn't a tutor which balance things imo. I played in Vulcano Cup in the deciding round vs Rector-Combo and won t3 on the play -> T1 land go, he plays tapped land whatever, T2 Demonic Tutor for missing tool - he plays Sylvan Library, T3 I combo (Buried-Alive-Combo) - Demonic made the difference, ban of Entomb wouldn't have changed a thing. Demonic Tutor just get you what needed without any restrictions (Reanimation-Spell, Buried Alive, Force of Will, Discard, Land....) and enforce such scenarios (which could be quite frustrating for the opponent) more than any other card in the format!


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: haju on 12-03-2018, 05:52:40 PM
Sorry, but your one play does not convince me ;) It basically comes down to: Opponent did not interact with combo player on the first three turns and lost. Yes, Demonic Tutor is a very strong (the strongest unconditional) tutor. Obviously, it is (very) good in Combo decks. But it is also very good in Control and Midrange decks. You are saying yourself that Demonic Tutor can get every card whatsoever, like the silver bullet a Control deck is playing or the finisher Midrange needs. None of these decks can play Rhystic Tutor like your deck can. I guess Muddle the Mixture would also be questionable.

I think it is weird to some extend that Imperial Seal and Entomb got recently unbanned, which cards strengthening Combo (and Reanimator) and now that those decks seem to be (I'm still not sure they are) too strong, you want to ban Demonic Tutor? I just briefly scanned through the lists, but if I recall correctly, most of the Scapeshift and Reanimator decks play Imperial Seal. Why not ban it, again (Ctrl+z anyone?)

Why do you want to ban cards that are strong in general (but also played in decks that are totally fine) instead of cards that are strong only in the archetype you want to weaken (and maybe only played in this archetype)?

Last, there will always be moments in Magic that are frustrating for the opponent, e.g., loosing due to a bad draw/mana screw/mana flood, Angle Shooting, salty opponents, and many more. Demonic Tutor is like playing some cards twice (just a little bit better, because up until resolving it can be any card left in your deck) but is Demonic Tutor frustrating or the card you looked for? Also, there is always the other point of view: loosing because you are not finding one of your cards needed in the matchup. Again, most decks cannot reasonably play as many tutors as Combo decks can.


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: Vazdru on 12-03-2018, 09:18:09 PM
c&p from wl changes Jan. 1 2017:

The tutor setting in highlander has always been a controversial object. How many tutors are necessary for a healthy meta? And which one? There were epic debates over the different tutors in the long history of our format. Many people consider Demonic Tutor as best tutor overall and always wonder why Demonic Tutur is unbanned while other has been banned. Our banning policy is founded on following principles five reasons (http://highlandermagic.info/index.php?id=faq). Imperial Seal was also kept banned by an unofficially reasoning #6 - the price barrier. Since the recent judge foil reprint this has been partly fallen away. At least we decided to have an "overall-picture" view on our tutor setting again and to discuss the current one on the whole. That's why we also added Vampiric Tutor to the watch-list. It is argued that the format should have that one good tutor, which has been Demonic Tutor from the beginning, maybe there is time for a reallocation. It is also said that splashing for Demonic is too easy with no real cost, while Vampiric could perhaps remove that reason. Vampiric is more often harder to interact than Demonic, but a successful counter play to nullify Vampiric Tutor costs to its caster a draw and 2 life, which favors opposing control, and aggro strategies.

Both Imperial Seal and Vampiric Tutor seem comparable in power-level to Demonic or Mystical Tutor, but they shine more in combo-decks and decks with clear gameplan but less in midrange-goodstuff-piles. At the cost of 2 life, sorcery rather instant speed, card disadvantage, and the fact that present meta is lacking a combo presence (Vazdru:  ;D ;)) with shift to burn, we should take both under a scrutiny.

Indeed Entomb has a different effect on the game play and it is still comparable to the other new introduced tutors on the watchlist. But Entomb is even more a combo-tutor than the others and usually no option for most Aggro-, Midrange- or Control-decks. Entomb is obviously THE tutor for graveyard-based decks, especially of course for reanimator. We will evaluate how strong those decks perform which could have any use of Entomb in the next months.


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: haju on 13-03-2018, 05:32:37 PM
c&p from wl changes Jan. 1 2017:

The tutor setting in highlander has always been a controversial object. How many tutors are necessary for a healthy meta? And which one? There were epic debates over the different tutors in the long history of our format. Many people consider Demonic Tutor as best tutor overall and always wonder why Demonic Tutur is unbanned while other has been banned. Our banning policy is founded on following principles five reasons (http://highlandermagic.info/index.php?id=faq). Imperial Seal was also kept banned by an unofficially reasoning #6 - the price barrier. Since the recent judge foil reprint this has been partly fallen away. At least we decided to have an "overall-picture" view on our tutor setting again and to discuss the current one on the whole. That's why we also added Vampiric Tutor to the watch-list. It is argued that the format should have that one good tutor, which has been Demonic Tutor from the beginning, maybe there is time for a reallocation. It is also said that splashing for Demonic is too easy with no real cost, while Vampiric could perhaps remove that reason. Vampiric is more often harder to interact than Demonic, but a successful counter play to nullify Vampiric Tutor costs to its caster a draw and 2 life, which favors opposing control, and aggro strategies.

Splashing Demonic Tutor is easy. Correct. But that should be an argument for allowing Demonic Tutor, not against it. Every deck that plays black can play Demonic Tutor. That's good for every archetype.

I also don't get the reasoning for Vampiric Tutor. It is often harder to interact with than Demonic Tutor (an assessment I totally agree with). If (big if) one successfully interacts with it (has a counter play) then it punishes the player more (which is again correct in my opinion). But how do you interact? In the current meta Vampiric Tutor is just strengthening the decks that are (too?) strong; the card disadvantage and the two life are something a Combo deck does not care about if it simply wins with the card it tutored for.

Both Imperial Seal and Vampiric Tutor seem comparable in power-level to Demonic or Mystical Tutor, but they shine more in combo-decks and decks with clear gameplan but less in midrange-goodstuff-piles. At the cost of 2 life, sorcery rather instant speed, card disadvantage, and the fact that present meta is lacking a combo presence (Vazdru:  ;D ;)) with shift to burn, we should take both under a scrutiny.

Since the meta isn't lacking Combo decks any more, there is no reason to include more instant speed tutors to the format.

Indeed Entomb has a different effect on the game play and it is still comparable to the other new introduced tutors on the watchlist. But Entomb is even more a combo-tutor than the others and usually no option for most Aggro-, Midrange- or Control-decks. Entomb is obviously THE tutor for graveyard-based decks, especially of course for reanimator. We will evaluate how strong those decks perform which could have any use of Entomb in the next months.[/i]

That's why I think that Entomb is a great addition to the format. It allows something unique. Still, if (and again I think it's currently questionable) combo decks are too strong, then it would be wrong to ban Demonic Tutor. A ban of a tutor that can only be  (or is mostly) used in Combo decks would be a favorable solution to the dominance of the Combo archetype.


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: mox-fanatic on 14-03-2018, 07:00:07 PM
Regarding to the discussion on un/banning tutors:

I wouldn't like to see Demonic Tutor and/or Tainted Pact on the banned list. This will not improve the situation of the current meta, which is shaped by the strong results of Combo Decks - namely Scapeshift and Reanimator. Imho it would be better practise to ban/watchlist the specific tutors, which are only played by the dominating decks. This would be Bring to Light (Scapeshift) and Entomb (Reanimator). Banning Demonic Tutor and/or Tainted Pact will punish the midrange decks even more, because they have a smaller variety of strong tutors to choose from.



Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: gamble on 18-03-2018, 09:42:01 PM
Hi everybody, my opinion on the banned list is the following:

Looking at the last tournements, a lot decks where somewhat Black Reanimator / Combo Decks, with a more or less controlling blue part.

I.m.h.o. especially the unbanning of entomb  has pushed reanimator / reanimator combo over the top. The main problem I have with it is beeing an instant speed tutor for any creature (or even life from the loam, if needed).
Just compare it with natural Order: I think order is in fact worse in the standard green deck than entomb in a reanimator shell, because it comes down 1-2 turns earler and gives you "any" creature, not just a green one. Natural order was just rebanned, because it prooved too strong.

Mystical Tutor should remain banned, also because it is an instant and enables "miracles".

Emperial Seal however is fine, since it is a sorcery and has the downside of loosing life.

One important thing I have to note is that (partly) Blue seem be very dominant - there are even decks which play maindeck hate against blue (Pyroblast, I am looking at you).
This is definetely I sign that blue is to strong right now.
The most problematic card in my opinion is dig through time. This card often wins on the spot and is difficult to prevent from being cast, even with graveyard hate, without playing blue oneself.

The worst thing one could do now, is the unbanning of gifts ungiven. This would push blue /black shells even further!

If there is something that is underrepresented in the top x of tournements, it is Creature / Value Decks like 4c Blood, Elves, Tokens, etc.
Therefore one could think about Banning the hoser cards, which were named by other users also:
Which are: Blood Moon and Oath of Druids, both of which are nearly unbeatable.

Generally I think, the worse tutors are, the more diversity there is. If there is no demonic tutor anymore, combo decks will probably play the more wacky cards like Gamble or being less consistent in general, which is a good thing for the format.



Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: Remi on 25-03-2018, 12:20:58 PM
Dig is the best tutor for combo decks in the format, get your combo piece/second Tutor + solution/backup Counter EOT.

This is probably the first time I've heard someone claim Dig Trough Time being the best tutor for a combo deck. It is not a tutor, it is a cantrip...and a very slow one.
In 60 card format where you play 4 copies of each card, DTT might work more as a tutor, but the case is totally different in singleton format with 100 cards minimum.
I personally stopped playing DTT in my combo deck because it takes too long to build up the graveyard, and you still don't get the cards you want since it is not a tutor.

After playing more and attending some tournaments in Finland, I dare to claim that the meta is very good and diverse at the moment. I have not experienced "too combo heavy meta" or heard people talking about one. There are few combos here and there, but they are neither overly presented or overwhelming.

I think the most wise decision right now would be to let the ban/unban list remain as it is for another 6 months.


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: Demppa on 03-07-2018, 03:50:40 PM
AFAIK votes from 2 council members can put a card on the watchlist. I think this is problematic because it is obvious there are impatient people in the council.
First, 4C was The Best Deck that needed to be punished. NO was re-banned as a part of this, even if it had more impact in the lists it was designed to support (T2 green decks).
Then the meta evolved to support UR control and Scapeshift. These are decks that prey on midrange. Blood Moon, Back to Basics, and Bring to Light were watchlisted because of this.
This is just the natural cycle of the metagame in whole and rapid responses are disruptive to the integrity of the format.
The Canlander community already thought our banlist is too strict. Then the council goes ahead and watchlists landhate that's integral to the format, and Bring to Light. It's just insane.
Legacy just now got to trying a DRS ban. DRS has been a defining player in the format since its initial printing in 2012.

This is a format with good cards that have strong effects. These strong effects may shape the metagame, at least for a few months. Then the gears of the meta tick to the next step. There will always be the soup du jour and it's not good format design to sharpen the pitchforks right away.

I think the council should be more liberal with unbans rather than bans. The Canlander council is rather conservative with their pointing practices and they have a rather healthy and varied metagame that I envy.


Title: Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion
Post by: Goblin-Diplomaten on 03-07-2018, 08:44:35 PM
Quote
AFAIK votes from 2 council members can put a card on the watchlist. I think this is problematic...

I don't see any problem with cards on the watchlist, they are only getting a closer look at these cards.