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14702 Posts in 1080 Topics- by 452 Members - Latest Member: Earleen Brown
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1  MagicPlayer Highlander / General Discussion / Re: The future of highlander on: 15-03-2019, 12:40:29 AM
Some reserved list cards are going for absurd prices.

Allow x amount of recognizable proxies (color prints) in HL decks. This would attract new players to try the format, and maybe even encourages current/old players to become more active as they can play more decks.
2  MagicPlayer Highlander / General Discussion / Re: Round times for Highlander tournaments on: 30-07-2018, 06:55:16 PM
50 minutes is simply too short for this format. Correct me if I am wrong, but the recommended round time for 60 card formats (standard/modern/legacy) is 50 minutes. The nature of highlander is different from these.

You have:
-100 card decks which means shuffling takes more time
-just 1 card each in that 100 card deck, compared to 4-of in 60card deck (take fetching a land for example)
-Singleton decks are not as consistent as 60 card decks with 4of each card, and the games have big variance in difference. This is something that makes GermanHL attractive, but it also often prolongs games.
-free mulligan also makes people mulligan more -> time consuming

You might think 50 minutes is enough if you play aggro vs combo, or aggro vs aggro/midrange (just examples, insert any given "fast" decks).
But when you have two slower decks playing against each other, you'll start to see the downside of 50minute rounds when you keep having 5-10 minutes time for the last game.

50 minute rounds are too short and cause draws too often in matches where 60 minutes would have been enough for either player to win the match. I would suggest changing the recommended round time to 60 minutes.
3  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion 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.
4  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion 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  Wink) 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.)
5  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: 01. April 2018 Ban list community discussion 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.

6  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: On Demonic Tutor and its potential Ban on: 16-05-2017, 01:20:17 AM
Banning Demonic Tutor is a bad idea, Because:

Banning DT would weaken "decks with a plan", and strenghten goodstuff-value decks. Goodstuff decks (that have already been very presented in HL meta) have tons of cards waiting to fill the hole that DT would leave. Combo decks don't really have any good alternatives. Banning DT would lead to less diverse meta.

If you are Looking to ban a tutor that would weaken 3-5c goodstuff-value decks, it would be Tainted Pact:

-Tainted Pact can't really be played by "decks with a plan" because you end up exiling you winning cards with the exile effect. Therefore, it is mostly played only by goodstuff decks.

-Tainted Pact is an instant, which makes it really powerful compared to sorcery speed DT

-Tainted pact bypasses many cards that are used to prevent searching library, like Shadow of Doubt, Aven mindcensor or Leonin Arbiter just to give few examples.
7  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: Banlist changes - Oct. 1st on: 29-09-2016, 10:49:09 PM
Nevertheless the powerlevel obviously rising steadily with each set being printed.

This is indeed true, but the decks that get the most out of it are 4cblood and other goodstuff piles. Very few of the new cards can be used in combo decks for example.
I did a quick look in the last five 4cblood decks (a deck that uses best cards available) posted im Mtgpulse. These following cards in those decks were printed just during the last two years:

Anafenza, the Foremost
Den Protector
Dromoka's Command
Eldricth Evolution
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
Hissing Quagmire
Kolaghan's Command
Liliana, the Last Hope
Nissa, voice of Zendikar
Painful Truths
Siege Rhino
Sylvan Advocate
Shambling vent
Sorin, Solemn Visitor
Tasigur, the Golden Fang
Thalia, Heretic Cathar
Tireless Tracker
(17 cards total)

Then I did a look in some Artifact-combo and Eggs lists. These are the following cards used in those decks combined that were printed in the past two years:

Dig Trough time
Ghirapur Æther Grid
Trail of Evidence
(3 cards total)

And when we look at the watch list, it mostly contains just combo cards. Do you see where im getting with this post?
8  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: Banlist changes - Oct. 1st on: 20-09-2016, 01:40:10 PM
Demonic Tutor - N- Combo is not dominating...Banning combo cards leads to narrow meta.
Fastbond - N- Combo is not dominating, banning combo cards leads to narrow meta.
Mana Drain - N - Blue decks haven't been dominating...this would weaken control and combo too much.
Mishra's Workshop - N- Combo is not dominating so remain on watchlist. Also, banning this would lead to more narrow meta.
Mystical Tutor - N - Another card that would weaken control and combo if banned.
Oath of Druids - N - You need to build your whole deck around this card...Also, combo hasnt been dominating.
Tainted Pact - N - This is a hard's instant-speed demonic tutor. Probably does best in 4c/jund decks. I still dont think it's too big of a problem.
Timetwister - N- Combo is not dominating...Banning combo cards leads to narrow meta.
Tolarian Academy - N- Combo is not dominating...Banning combo cards leads to narrow meta.
Yawgmoth's Will - N- Combo is not dominating...Banning combo cards leads to narrow meta.

Unban Y/N
Gifts Ungiven     -N- It is like super-Intuition and when loam is unbanned, this should stay banned
Stoneforge Mystic -N- This card just is too strong with cards like batterskull or or sword of fire and ice in deck. It was banned for a good reason.

How I see it is that there are a group of people who would like everybody to play only creature-based goodstuff decks (4c being the most succesful one) and want to ban all decent combo and control cards. That leads to narrow meta, which is boring and not good for the format. Is it a catastrophe if combo or control wins a tournament or two? 4c blood has/had been dominating and winning tournaments for who knows how long, and it didnt get any of its cards banned...why is that?

Diverse meta is good for the format
9  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: Poll / Opinions etc on: 31-03-2014, 07:41:05 AM
This is a bit late but here we go:


How do you rate the banned-list on a scale from 1 to 10 (1=poor, 10=great)?

Which mulligan-rule do you prefer?
Free mulligan

How do you rate the free mulligan on a scale from 1 to 10?

How often do you play Highlander (
Several times a week

How often have you played on a HL-GP / -Cup?
I haven't played on those

Which cards are missing on the banned-list and why? (max. the 5 most important ones)
-Mana Drain because it is too powerful, can be "comboed" with any card that requires mana to cast (Cast mana drain on turn 3 to counter opponent's spell and bring your 6 or 7 mana big thing out...)
-True-Name Nemesis because the card was designed for multiplayer and is being unfair in 1v1.
-Sensei's Divining Top because it is too Time Consuming and is played in nearly every deck.

Which cards should be deleted from the banned-list and why? (max. the 5 most important ones)
-Entomb because I dont think this card would be a big problem. It can be only run in limited number of decks and yes, it can be very potent in the right deck, but so can other cards (like the recently unbanned Tolarian Academy). It would also strengthen graveyard-based decks, which are pretty much nonexistent in our current meta except for a few exceptions. I think unbanning this card would provide a possibility for further developing deck diversity.
-Natural Order Should be unbanned because it isn't that strong card as 4 mana sorcery spell that is card disavantage especially when countered.

10  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: What's your view on True-Name Nemesis? on: 30-03-2014, 06:56:24 AM

Ban because it is very uninteresting and unfair card that was designed for multiplayer. In 1vs1 It is just just stupid...

And not even legendary??? Just drop Phantasmal Image and Phyrexian metamorph to roll with 3 TNN.

Also all the other reasons mentioned in this thread.
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