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15610 Posts in 1189 Topics- by 582 Members - Latest Member: NicholeMac
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1  MagicPlayer Highlander / General Discussion / Re: The future of highlander on: 10-07-2018, 10:59:43 PM

My opinion:
Our current format lacks a stepping stone to get into and has been lacking it for several years now. I was complaining about the very same issues for the scene in Hamburg a few years back people from southern Germany are complaining about now (player base seemingly disapearing). One possible solution could be a "modern" HL format that hopefully can attract players who will like playing singleton without a commander and some of those players might then later upgrade or further invest into their decks to turn them into decks of our current HL format. Other theoretical options could be proxies (makes torunaments support way harder, kills investment into format, didnt work for vintage at all in the US) or MASSIVE price related bannings (I dont see this as a realistic option at all).   

Obviously the communication this summer was lacking and I would like to ask for an apology on that on behalf for myself and my fellow council members. I understand this was a real bad timing of us to be so silent. In fact I have been lacking time personally to invest into my duties as a council member for some time now and my cards have been collecting dust as well. If there are players interested in working for the format and within the council or you know players that would be great fit please let me/the council know and we should start working on rejuvenating the format on that front as well.
2  MagicPlayer Highlander / Announcements / Re: JK-Series Maintal, March 16th -18th on: 18-02-2018, 11:47:04 PM

The entry fee into the building is just a way to circumvent the gambling laws which sometimes prohibit luck based tournaments to cost more than 15€.  Same reason why there were some sealed PTQs in Cologne with the option to pay with 15€ + 6 boosters.
3  MagicPlayer Highlander / General Discussion / Re: Discuss the state of the Ban- and Watchlist at the moment on: 07-12-2017, 01:41:43 PM

To give you some input to the actual topic as I said trillion times already any thoughts about bannings/unbannings etc. are fruitless unless you have clear criteria where those decisions should lead to. As in what are your parameters for cards to be seen as problematic or what do you want to achieve by doing xyz. Without any guidlines all the decisions/reasons seem arbitrary to people no matter how well reasoned it is. If the council has a goal/standards and the decisions lead to that, its way easier to defend those and prevent those tilting discussions every time.

The goal and standard is pretty obvious isnt it? Make the format the best it can be. Setting up clear criteria (with arbitrary reasoning and decisions to find them btw) will just shift the blame from ban choices to rule choices and will make changes even more cumbersome. In the end some people claim only they themselves know it best and just ridicule everyone posting differing opinions. That being said it makes sense to talk about similiar cards as a group (e.g. tutors, cheat into play cards) and explain by which criteria ban/unban decisions have been made because magic cards have many different criteria on which they can evaluated (e.g. cmc, Instant/sorcery, color, targets, role in meta etc.).

To make you a bit happier here are my personal opinions as stated before:
I am voting/working/arguing for a format with a wieder mix of all all basic archetypes around (aggro, midrange, control, combo). That being said due to the nature of combo decks I prefer a meta where combo archetypes are competitive but not the most common decks (losing or winning once a tournament to Artifact combo is fine, playing 4 out of 7 against it is not). To better understand my ban/unban votes it is important to understand that I follow a stricter decision-making for non-combo cards than for combo cards because I believe that the singleton rule strongly pushes goodstuff decks and makes deckbuilding quite tough for combo decks. This is why I am fine with combo only powerhouses such as Oath of druids, Tolarian Academy, Yawgmoth's Will.
I am somewhat unhappy with Aggro being a bit underrepresented (non RDW Aggro that is) I think the only way to change that would be by banning the fretchland7dual mana base. Such a change woukld have too big of an impact on the format and is out of the sciope of what normal ban list changes should force on our players.

Regarding your wishes for Skullclamp/Library/Jitte. Those 3 cards in my opinion are the worst offenders if you are looking at cards that break mirrormatches.
In Control mirrors Library on Turn 1 is simply not beatable. It is extremely disheartening and unfun for most players. Skullclamp and Jitte are two cards that make attacking and blocking basically impossible. Keep in mind that creature tokens are plentiful nowadays due to planeswalkers, CitP effects and so on. While I believe Jitte to be the smaller problem of the two, Jitte really shines vs aggro. Aggro has a tough stand in our meta (except RDW) and Jitte would make matters a lot worse.     
4  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: On Demonic Tutor and its potential Ban on: 09-10-2017, 02:46:46 PM
Dear Mikko,

thank you for your long post and sorry that nobody bothered to answer. Right now we have the shortest ban list that we have ever had in our format (and I think this is fun for players) so that you can try and build around almost all of Magic's historic cards. You are talking a lot about combo decks - so here are my two cents:

I dont think we can treat combo as a normal archetype. 30% UR decks or 30% 4c midrange decks or 30% UWx control decks will be a fun meta for most players. 30% Storm decks will not be. I strongly agree that Combo needs to be compettive (and some combo decks have always been the last couple of years). It is just that with the singleton nature of our 100 card decks and convoluted combo wins that the deck pilot probably needs a lot more experience with his deck (opposed to playing a goodstuff deck for example). Keeping this in mind we have started to evaluate strict combo deck only cards a lot less harsh when thinking about ban/unban decisions.

Tutoring has been drastically improved the last couple of years. There have been unbans of enlightened tutor, mystical tutor, and now Entomb and Imperial seal. I personally really like strengthening black's color identity towards tutoring btw. Yes Mystical has been banned again as well. I would argue that for UBx combo decks this is somewhat of a sidestep owerwise (at a certain cost of € to be sure!). Still I want to talk about some problems with tutors as well

Problems with tutoring have mostly shown up in Midrange and control decks which are using the tutors to be a lot more flexible towards the metagame by including many tutors and silver bullets. In that respect Mystical tutor for me personally was a little bit too strong. The unban back then was meant to bolster combo decks. Instead it enabled to kill tapped out opponents by grabbing (Cryptic Command, Ruination, PoP, that sort of stuff). At worst the card can be turned into a sort of 7 card impulse for 3 mana (Dig through time). Again, my personal hope is that with the Mystical -> Imperial Seal swap nothing relevant changed for combo.
When it comes to Demonic tutor for most of my time in the council I was for keeping the card around. It is somewhat of an iconic card for our format by now though it not only strong in combo but also in goodstuff decks (by not causing card disadvantage). That being said I voted for a ban a few times now in the recent past. Right now I will not vote far a Ban again I think. If the meta shifts into 4c blood for me (as of a viewpoint right now) the first card to look at should be Tainted pact. It is basically instant demonic in 4c goodstuff but an unplayable card in many combo decks.

Some few council members believe we have introduced too many tutors. Personally I disagree with that viewpoint but I am a bit scared of the powerlevel of Reanimator in capable hands.

Blood Moon/Back to basics in a singleton format are not enough to punish greedy decks. Instead they are "free win" cards in some archetypes only. I would strongly prefer a format where the inherit rules of Magic (mana consistency) made deckbuilding more rewarding by making 4c decks less stable mana wise. For example just normal mulligan rule (instead of free mull) and/or a fetchland ban. However I dont think such a sweeping change would be apreciated by many players of our format. It not something i would like to try and push people to do. But I do believe changes of such a scope would be needed to deal with greedy 4c decks.
5  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: How I voted and why on: 05-10-2017, 09:41:28 AM

What difference does it make if we "beef" on facebook or here around? Also the reach of this website is laughable in comparison to FB. And suggestions on how to fix this mess were made. What are you talking about?

I have told you this several times already: Facebook content can only be seen when logged into facebook. To create reach and visibilty for our format moving "official" dicussion, statements, and information within facebook is miserable. 

I agree that this page is in a sorry state and even more miserable. I am not qualified to make a new page and all the help I tried to offer over the years by establishing contact between professionals and the people claiming to work on this has been rejected. I also proposed fundraiser tournaments to help pay which was also rejected.
6  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: How I voted and why on: 03-10-2017, 05:17:33 PM
I have voted like this:

Mystical Tutor
Back to Basics
Blood Moon
Dig through time

Imperial Seal

After the community argued for more insight in Voting I published my voting intent a few times but never got enough of a response to warrant the effort. As you can see by my votes I wanted to reduce the power level of blue some. In my opinion Mystical tutor and Dig through time are the worst offenders. I could not convince enough fellow council members for the dig ban though it was really close voting wise. Mana Drain also got a lot of votes by other council members. Please keep in mind that not all communities feel thart blue is too strong and that this is represented by council members as well. There was/is a lack of consenus which card is the worst offender. For me it was Mystical tutor. Due to DtT/Cruise/Fact or fiction the card is never dead and there is a plethora of lethal tutor targets (PoP, Ruination, Cryptic, Bonfire etc.) that can be gotten at instant speed for 1 lowly mana whenever the opponent can not interact and victory is 100%. It is this consistency along its high power level that made me chose those two cards.

As for Blood Moon and Back to basics I feel those cards are in a weird spot (my opinion following). Due to the singleton nature they do not really hate out greedy multicolor decks at metagame levels that are fun for  players. Still they give some freewins and especially with library manipulation the downside of a possible dead card is not enough of a detriment. I think gameplay would be imporved by removing those two cards. That said the support for that course seems to be minimal right now (which gives me some pause for thought). What I can not take serious is people insinuating that it is easy and sensible to always play around those cards suggesting mana bases of 6+ basic lands (and 9 fetchies)  which results in half or more of ones deck to be comprised of non basic lands. Which means that the choice is to either fetch a basic and lose versus Wasteland or fetch a non basic and lose vs Blood moon.

I also voted for Demonic Tutor to be banned (but almost nobody else did) and it was rather clear very early on that the card was to stay, so I fogot about it when I made this post.
7  MagicPlayer Highlander / Off-Topic / Re: Invention of the Highlander Format on: 04-07-2017, 10:58:53 AM

I think it is important to stress that 100c singleton has been around forever. I remember playing it at the "Drachenei" store in Hamburg back in ~97. Back then I was just the new kid. How times have changed.
8  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: On Demonic Tutor and its potential Ban on: 22-05-2017, 10:01:05 AM

#Maqi didnt make a point he made a really offensive post calling everybody else dumb and out of touch for not being of his opinion which was completely unneeded. As a fellow council member I expect more of him than shitposting.

Banning Demonic tutor for me has never been about taking away an opressive deck in the meta which most of you are claiming but taking away a tool meant for combo being most effectively used by 4c goodstuff decks (same can be said for Tainted pact).

Banning cards enabling a meta deck might be good on the short term. On the long term you end up with a non-sensical banned list that actively drives away people from the format. When discussing our banned list with potential players the absence of Demonic tutor is the most common talking point.

Regarding RDW I think the deck is quite beatable (outside of the MANY haymaker cards - e.g PoP, Ankh, Blood Moon, Vortex). The biggest problem I perceive is that RDW strongly underrepresented in local small tournaments where people stick to decks they like to play more. Which then seems to lead to players not repsecting the deck enough for big tournaments and choosing to pilot decks soft to RDW. Haymakers and plenty of card draw (or cycling) also enables the UR deck.

I think the best way to hurt both decks is taking away at least Blood Moon.
To reduce the amount of blue in the format we should look at dig through time - another really busted card.
I personally also really hate Tainted Pact though banning that looks really iffy on the banned list. The ruleset of HL coupled with the fetchland/dual mana base really pushges the format towards multicolor goodstuff decks and tainted pact is insane in those (and not a great card in most other decks). I think it is worth mentioning that players have really moved away from combo decks due to the clock/permission of RDW/UR.

9  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: On Demonic Tutor and its potential Ban on: 09-04-2017, 02:04:43 PM

Thanks for the discussion here. As a council member I would like to give my input as well. For a long time I have also been convinced the Demonic tutor is good and needed in the format and that the format is fine with Demonmic arguably being the strongest card in it. However my opinion has shifted recently because I actually started thinking about which decks are enabled by Demonic (and Tainted Pact) the most.

HL as a format is typically full of goodstuff decks because of the singleton nature of the format playing 4 or even all 5 colors. For those decks Demonic tutor and Tainted pact together triple the amount of silver bullets (with Eladamri's call often helping as well) while having a low enough cmc to not turn the tutoring into too much trouble (a state ment which would not be true for Diabolic tutor). However in many games there will be no possibilites to lock up the game with a silver bullet and Demonic T./T. pact is just cashed in for a 'fair' answer. This is why tutors in good stuff decks most of the time do not cause card disadvantage or other downsides. For combo decks such decisions play a very minor role. They mostly care about assembling  thier winning combo and are willing to pay the price.

This is why I am convinced that banning Tainted Pact and Demonic Tutor both would be the right choice. It will remove silver bullet tutoring from greedy 4c midrange decks. Lowering the power of those decks significantly and making 3color midrange/goodstuff decks more apealing in comparision. It will also force players to a bigger extent to make hard card choices while constructing their deck and make an activve decision at the deck list level about which kind of deck archetypes they are expecting the most or need the most help against.

Combo would also lose Demonic tutor but that could be fixed by adding Imperial seal. A card that hopefully has enough of a downside to not attract play in goodstuff decks (though I am not 100% sure about that statement). Being sorcery speed and costing a card (as well as 2 life points) would hopefully be enough to make it a rather unusual choice in a deck like 4c Blood. Reflecting about the latest council discussions in March I think it is a very real possiblity that there will be an Imperial Seal unban sometime in the future. However nothing has been decided and yet and discussions are very open ended. So it is the perfect time to be part of the discussion either here or locally to help make up your own mind (and ours) and let us know about it. 

10  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: My point of criticism to the ban/unban watchlist changes TL;DR; on: 06-10-2016, 03:06:49 PM
Feedback does not need votes to change things. My strongest tool as a council member is to convince my fellows with strong arguments of my position regarding a certain ban/unban. That is true both for fellow council members as well as with my local community and in the internet discussion or at bigger tournaments. In that regard the watch list is important and needed as a list of cards that are actually worth discussing about.

I actually feel the watch list is too small and has not been handled in this way in the past which has lead to some confusion. But cards like Mana drain and Demonic tutor absolutely require to be to be on the watch list for their power level even if you (like me) believe they are of benefit to the format.  

(Personal point of view incoming)
Natural Order unban was terrible and I as a council member am very thankful for the absence of jumping on my neck for the inconsiderate unban. Communities in MTG and elsewhere hate change. There should always be a very good reason to do changes and one should feel very safe that the change will not be reversed quickly because of backlash or power level concerns. Now what happens is that the most active members of the community often strive for changes because it makes things exciting again . As a council member I have to be very careful to not only listen to that drive for change (that I know well myself) but also to big groub of players that play the format less frequently and just get lost be ongoing bans/unbans. It is also very detrimental to the councils authority to frequently "make mistakes" by unbanning cards and then rebanning them half a year later. Still it would be worse of course to keep the mistake in the format to avoid acknowledging that an unban "has gone wrong". In retrospect the Natural order Unban was hasty and ill advised and not good for the format. Still we made the best of it and fixed it by rebanning the card. I wish we would not have made the unban in first place now.

11  MagicPlayer Highlander / Off-Topic / Re: Cockatrice removed "Highlander" game type, 30 emails needed! on: 26-07-2016, 03:24:39 PM

Me too
12  MagicPlayer Highlander / New Editions / Re: Eldritch Moon on: 30-06-2016, 10:46:29 AM

Rabblemaster "attacks" for 1 dmg on the first turn and for 6 on the second and an additional 2 every turn after that, the new guy "attacks" for 4 dmg on the second turn and an additional 2 every turn after that. So yeah, Rabblemaster is more agressive.
13  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: upcoming Ban list votes ChristophO on: 22-06-2016, 07:54:09 AM

My votes what should be watchlisted:
Oath of Druids
Tainted Pact
Tolarian Academy
Yawgmoth's Will
Wheel of Fortune

Gift's Ungiven
Stoneforge Mystic

Please keep in mind that I do NOT feel all those cards need to be Banned/Unbanned. Some cards on that list need to be banned in my opinion; others shouldnt according to me  Grin. I simply think it is important to be able to discuss them. Without prior discussion of past watchlist votings etc. there would also be a few tutors and Mana drain on my list. Howeever I strongly feel those have been discussed Ad Nauseam already and I have made up my mind on them and so should everybody else. Please note that I strongly disagree with the notion to ban tutors. Not so long ago we had way way too much goodstuff only decks. Having strong tutors makes decks other than 4c goodstuff competitive. Rather than neutering all non goodstuff lists by banning certain tutors I would rather look at stuff like LED, Will, Fastbond etc. to tune done especially concerning stuff.

14  MagicPlayer Highlander / Reports / Re: Statistical tournament analysis on: 09-06-2016, 02:51:54 PM

- value of 0 = average placement
- value > 0 = placement below average
- value < 0 = placement above average
- statements like “A value of -5 stand for a better performance than a value of -2.5. (But both are above average)” can be made.
- statements like “A value of -5 is twice as good as a value of -2.5.” cannot be made.

The Z-Value simply gives you dimensionless distance from the average by measuring the distance in units of "standard deviation".
-2.5 means the compared value was 2.5 times the standard deviation of the total population smaller than the average of the total population.

I would rather not know which values were used for that because it would most likely lead to me getting mad Grin
15  MagicPlayer Highlander / Reports / Re: Statistical tournament analysis on: 09-06-2016, 02:42:02 PM

Thanks for writing tools that enable the analysis of known torunaments and decklists within those tournaments. Posting data about card counts here is greatly apreciated.

Sadly the "z-Value" statistical analysis is rather pointless because calculating a standard deviation does not make the slightest amount of sense using tournament placements as measurement metrics. As is the calculated standard deviation in prior posts. Placements necessitate a spread over the range of the field of competition resulting in a mess of calculated data. Calculating a standard deviation the way it has been done only makes sense if one would assume that analyzed subsets should reach roughly the same placements. Which makes sense for analyzing the size of apples fallen from one common tree but makes no sense at all for tournament results of Magic decks during which performance was ordered on a numerical basis (First to last place). In my opinion even if a normalization of achieved points (scored xyz% of avaiable points) or a match win rate would have been used the calculated results would be very doubtful.

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