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14647 Posts in 1076 Topics- by 466 Members - Latest Member: Malaysian
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1  MagicPlayer Highlander / Official Announcements / Watchlist changes January 1st, 2019 on: 01-01-2019, 01:10:14 AM
Valid during January 1st, 2019 0:00 CET until March 30nd, 2019 24:00 CET.

Cards, apart from the striked ones, on the following list will be closely observed and are potential candidates for a banning on April 15th, 2019.

• Demonic Tutor
• Dig Through Time
• Entomb
Imperial Seal
• Mana Drain
Oath of Druids
• Scapeshift
• Tainted Pact
• Tolarian Academy
• Treasure Cruise
• True-Name Nemesis

Cards, apart from the striked ones, from the following list are still banned but will be under testing for a potential unbanning on April 15th, 2019.

Birthing Pod
• Gifts Ungiven
• Skullclamp
• Umezawa's Jitte


Imperial Seal:

Imperial Seal remained banned over ten years, until it was reintroduced to the format in October 2017. At the same time, we banned Mystical Tutor. Although we've had some concerns Combo could be too oppressive giving it Imperial Seal as another cheap tutor-spell this worries seemed unrighteous. At least the recent tournament results haven't pushed that concern as the meta seems almost balanced and the top 8 was filled with diverse decks of various archetypes. Furthermore it became clearer that there isn't currently any need of some drastic changes so we decided to concentrate on the other tutors on watchlist as candidates for a ban and cut Imperial Seal from this list as its card loss, sorcery speed and life-loss are often a high price for its versatility.

In recent community-survey Imperial Seal haven't got any top spot for a ban either:

Oath of Druids:

Oath of Druids has been one of the longest watch-list entries, it has been observed since April 2013. It has been used in pure combo decks either as a perfect combo enabler, filling your graveyard with all the cards to go off, or as the tool in more "fair" decks to unleash the real archfiends of Magic, Emrakul or Griselbrand. But with every set printed the list of versatile answers for both of these threats are offered, and so it has become hard for an oath-player to assemble the combo. Although there are still some busted starts from time to time, the deck itself doesn't seem that consistent that it dominates. The card is also used as a side-plan for some Academy- and especially Reanimator-builds, but pure Oath-decks have become a rare archetype in top spots of the field recently.

In mentioned community-survey Oath of Druids also haven't gathered many votes for a ban:

Birthing Pod:

Birthing Pod was added to watchlist in October 2011, pretty quickly after the card was released. Shortly, in April 2012, the card was banned. Five years later, in July 2017, Birthing Pod was reintroduced back to watchlist, and since then, it has been an on and off candidate for unbanning. It became clearer, that this every-turn-repeatable tutor won't get enough unban votes on April so we decided to cut it from unban watchlist and concentrate on the three remaining candidates. We encourage the community to give us more feedback, as it has been done in here:

Council would like to give a big thank you for the feedback it has received so far!

2  MagicPlayer Highlander / Reports / Re: Highlander Tournaments in Berlin on: 01-12-2018, 04:00:56 PM
Friday, November 30th

We made our regular friday tournament a test session for 3 of the 4 unban candidates: Jitte, Skullclamp and Gifts Ungiven.

- Leopold was not prepared for the test session (no Facebook, etc.). We informed him and gave him time for including them as a proxy/ play test card, but he decided not to.
- only 2 players included all of the 3 cards
- we decided to play 4 rounds instead of 3 to have more room for testing

Mentional situations:

Round 1:
- dmg race between Jitte and Cranial Plating
- Jitte got countered - Felix cried
- Nils drew Gifts Ungiven -> was not able/ did not want to cast it because it costs 4
- Felix won Game 1 after 5 minutes with Jitte on board, but opponent was stuck on 1 land anyway (kept 1-land-hand)
- Marvin complains about a very strong 4/1 creature with a Skullclamp on Steffen's board (makes blocking awkward -> afraid of direct dmg spells, which could be drawn by Skullclamp after block)

Round 2:
- Dion G1 vs. Florian with an insane start with Fastbond into Intuition turn 1
- Florian stole Dion's jitte with Dack Fayden -> equip on True-Name Nemesis -> Florian won G1
- Skullclamp hinder a meaningful attack against Steffen + draws him 2 cards -> won him this game
- Skullclamp draws Felix 6 cards, but he lost against Blood Moon
- Gifts Ungiven (Counterspell, Mana Drain, Dig through Time, treasure Cruise) wins Dion G2
- Benjamin finally finds a Skullclamp in his deck -> was completely irrelevant for the game
- Nils drew Gifts ungiven again -> was not able/ did not want to cast it because it costs 4

Round 3:
- Marvin won G1 with of Jitte and Gaea's Cradle (opponent: Crade start was insane, but the Jitte made him concede; he would not have given up against a sword)
- Dion won with Jitte, but describes it as a "speed-up" for the outcome and not the reason for the win

Round 4:
- Dion wins again because of Gifts Ungiven (Crucible of Worlds, Zuran Orb, Memory's Peace, Fastbond)
- Felix lose with Jitte and Skullclamp - more crying
- Nils' Jitte kills Felix' Fauna Shaman and with it his chance to come back into the game
- Dion still winning with insane Gifts ungiven piles (True-Name Nemesis, Eternal Witness, Regrowth, Crush of Tentacles)
- Dion vs. Marvin play 2:1 but announced ID

- won him games
- all 3 cards felt unfair (especially Jitte and Gifts Ungiven)

- Gifts was, because of its costs, barely castable for him

- no interactions with Gifts Ungiven
- barely drew Jitte and Skullclamp and barely played against them
- felt irrelevant for him

- could live with a Skullclamp unban
- strongest card by far: Gifts Ungiven (won him several games)
- Jitte mostly only speeded games up (already good board state -> Jitte = win-more card)

- saddest day of his life
- would burn Jitte

- Skullclamp was a nice add-on for him
- no interactions with Gifts Ungiven
- all 3 cards felt ok for RDW, but could feel not ok for his other decks
- would like to test them more

- described the test session as refreshing/ funny
- even if Jitte was not described as win relevant, it felt for all interviewed participents unbalanced
- after resolving Jitte players often feels focussed on it, even if Jitte is not necessarely relevant
- Gifts Ungiven was described as totally insane and unfair in decks, which could abuse it (mostly Combo) and totally irrelevant and nearly dead in Midrange
- Skullclamp got the most unban votings at the end of the day
- samplesize (especially for Gifts Ungiven) way too small -> min 5/8 would like to test again
- participents of test session would not need more test sessions for Jitte, but definitely for Skullclamp and Gifts Ungiven (+ Birthing Pod)
- some players also prepared with solutions on artifacts
- partially people said, 2 relevant equipments led to distortions that only one tested equipment would not have caused (e.g. only Skullclamp would have caused less adjustment)
- Leopold left because he had a Bye in the last round -> no interview
- Florian dropped from the tournament after round 3 -> no interview

3  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: Results Survey 17/11/2018 (Continental Cup) on: 28-11-2018, 08:03:19 PM
We had also some arguments against bannings/ unbannings of specific cards.

(NO) Ban:

Imperial Seal
- slow
- card disadvantage II
- 2 dmg II
- sorcery
- almost identical to Personal Tutor
- fine
- I don't care
- I don't think it is ban-worthy
- worse tutor than Demonic Tutor
- tutors are fine

Mana Drain
- most tempo decks can't use mana to full extend
- weakest card of the Watch list
- often just another hard counter
- we do not have many counter spells
- I don't mind it
- is necessary for Control II
- makes Control feasable
- Mana not always used
- very powerful, but en par with many cards
- just a counter

- ban would destroy archetype
- deck is not too strong
- deck is not too dominant
- deck is fine
- ban tutors to weaken it instead
- format can adjust to it
- good against RDW
- cool archetype
- needs other bans (e.g. Bring to Light)
- don't ban a whole deck
- ban Valakut instead
- watchlisted!
- deck is at most slightly too strong
- deck should not be destroyed
- makes interesting decks

Tolarian Academy
- ban would destroy archtype
- unique card
- needs a certain set-up
- leave it until deck dominates
- seems ok (even if I never played the deck myself)
- watchlisted!
- decks are not winning tournaments -> why weaken?
- cool card

Treasure Cruise
- first ban Dig Through Time
- Blue needs this
- ban True-Name Nemesis instead
- Eternal formats should have this
- i don't care
- blue deck essential card draw
- it's fine
- mot oppressive
- fine
- cool card

True-Name Nemesis
- only punish passive play styles
- doesn't dominate at all
- don't like the design, but it is ok
- ?? 3-mana-creature!
- card is ok
- cool card

Tainted Pact
- tutors are needed in Singleton formats
- don't think this must go right now, but if a tutor needs to go, ban this
- needs many non-basics
- could be banned if Reanimator and Scapeshift need to be weakened
- i'm 50/50% on this

Demonic Tutor
- iconic (for B) II
- just don't
- mostly used reactively
- we need some tutors to enable Combo
- keeps black attractive for Control decks
- enables many strategies
- helps/ necessesary for Control II
- Tainted Pack is not for basic decks -> more non-basics -> more BM decks
- the spirit of the format
- makes Control feasable
- finds mostly solutions
- tutors are fine

- Reanimator is not too dominant II
- possibility to enable other Combos (e.g. Life from the Loam)
- have not seen it being abused
- Reanimator is not oppressive
- I bought a japanese foil one
- Is Reanimator Tier 1?
- watchlisted
- very powerful, but not good in late game in Reanimator -> ok

Oath of Druids
- unique card
- needs a certain set-up
- no successful archivement in recent tournaments
- ban tutors before this
- deck is not a problem
- deck is good, but not over powered
- not seen too often
- Reanimator is not oppressive
- I bought a japanese foil one
- needs a lot cards in the deck
- many cards cannot be played with it in the deck
- build-around-card
- creatures too strong
- fine
- an interesting Combo deck

Dig Through Time
- blue is fine
- blue is dead without Dig and Cruise
- ban True-Name Nemesis instead
- reason to play Control
- Eternal formats should have this
- not over powered
- blue decks essential card draw
- costs double U
- not oppressive
- fine
- hard to cast
- is ok

(NO) Unban:

Birthing Pod
- makes every creature deck a Combo pile
- stupid
- not more broken cards
- first Birthing Pod wins
- recurring tutor is bad

Gifts Ungiven
- we want to WEAKEN Scapeshift
- makes Reanimator even stronger II
- too good in Combo
- not more broken cards
- please no more tutors
- would put Reanimator over the top
- I don't know
- better than most tutors

- Skullclamp = 1-mana-True-Name-Nemesis
- too strong for Combo AND/ OR creature decks II
- we don't want to warp the format
- draw Skullclamp = win (most of the time)
- pushed creature strategies
- not more broken cards
- does not only favor creature decks (e.g. Tempo, Control)
- No!
- warp the whole game around it

Umezawa's Jitte
- dominates creature mirrors
- warp the whole game around it
- makes Midrange random
- first Jitte wins
- not more broken cards
- NO
- makes creature decks too strong

Interesting addition:
11 participants did not write anything on the back page of the sheet. This can have different reasons like a. overlooked the back page, b. would simply not ban/ unban cards, which was written on the back page. Also: most of the participants, who did not filled out the back page, did barely filled out the front page, too.
4  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Results Survey 17/11/2018 (Continental Cup) on: 28-11-2018, 08:02:58 PM
This survey was hand out at the Continental Cup in Halle, Germany, November 17th. We had 65 participants.

How often do you play Highlander ( rules)?
(absolute frequencies)
more than 50% play at least once per week
more than 90% play at least once per month

Where are you from?
(absolute frequencies)
structured according to play activity
most participents from Berlin, Germany

How satisfied are you with the format currently on a scale from 1 to 10 (1=not at all, 10=very much)?
(absolute frequencies)

(absolute frequencies)
(median -> resistant to outliers)
satisfaction structured according to place of residence
very small samplesizes because of the heterogeneous distribution of place of residence
somehow interpretable are maybe Berlin, Halle and Leipzig (seems satified) and Mannheim (seems less satisfied)

These card should be banned:
(absolute frequencies)
(relative frequencies)

(absolute frequencies)
structured according to place of residence

(absolute frequencies)
satisfaction structured according to wished banned card

(I tried to make the written reasonings as unadulterated as possible, even if there were synonymous formulations (eg "too strong" vs. "too powerful"). Same formulations were simply counted.)

True-Name Nemesis
- design II
- one-dimensional
- uncreative
- this card is banana
- non-interactive III
- game breaking
- boring II
- unfun II
- best creature in format II
- a tool blue creatues / decks should not have/ should not be able to
- every deck needs to add silver bullets for this
- auto-include
- blue beater
- a blue creature should not be the best creature in a healthy format
- great tool for blue
- not needed
- makes games stale
- blue should not have such a strong creature

Dig Through Time
- instant III
- soft tutor
- too cheap IIII
- card advantage and card selection (connected to other advantages) III
- too strong IIII
- broken
- blue is the strongest color II
- too powerful
- leads to non-games

- too fast II
- random
- boring/ stupid
- too strong III
- best tutor in game
- prefers Combo
- two-card-combo with every reanimation spell
- would ban one black tutor (doesn't matter which one)
- Reanimator is no fun
- reanimator is under represented but too strong
- too powerful
- leads to non-games
- scary Reanimator

Mana Drain
- too much upside to Counterspell II
- too strong IIII
- my teammates urge me to vote for ban
- maybe too strong
- counter turn 2
- ramp III
- Counterspell is already too strong
- variance
- we already have enough counter spells IIII
- game is over after Mana is used
- turn-2-random-win
- too powerful
- too fast
- tempo swing can be insane

Demonic Tutor
- unconditional tutor
- too strong III
- easy splashable
- in nearly every deck
- best tutor
- against the spirit of Highlander
- most efficient tutor
- would ban one black tutor (doesn't matter which one)
- "I win"-button
- no skill needed
- too powerful II
- too many tutors in format
- Combo decks on the top
- lowering power level

Tolarian Academy
- non-interactive III
- broken II
- unfun
- generates a lot of Mana
- many decks only function with this
- absurd game starts
- ban, but ban would also make me sad
- without downside
- hard to recover with fast win clock
- deck ist not too powerful, but card itself is
- stupid

Treasure Cruise
- similar to Dig Through Time
- card advantage (connected to other advantages) IIII
- too cheap IIIII
- too strong
- broken ii
- nearly Ancestral Recall II
- blue is already too strong
- too powerful
- leads to non-games
- feels unfair

Oath of Druids
- design failure
- uninteractive II
- unfun
- unfair II
- enchantment/ hard to handle
- leads to non-games
- too fast

Imperial Seal
- too strong
- with oath (?)
- too efficient
- change it back to Mystical Tutor
- would ban one black tutor (doesn't matter which one)
- is not needed
- too many tutors in format II
- too powerful

- unfun
- one-card-combo III
- boring
- one-card-win
- hard to handle
- game breaking
- nearly no cost for the Combo
- too dominant
- too little counter play
- "I win"-button
- stolen games
- easy to build

Tainted Pact
- instant II
- unconditional
- too strong
- would ban one black tutor (doesn't matter which one)
- if Demonic Tutor stays
- too many tutors in format II
- too powerful
- Demonic Tutor with at least some deck restrictions
- clear ban
- too much advantage in every multicolor deck with B
- over powered

Bring to Light
- if Scapeshift is a problem/ weakens Scapeshift III

- weakens (only) RDW II

- non-interactive

Back to Basics
- non-interactive


Price of Progress
- too much damage
- too often game ending
- too cheap
- create spots where you can only lose to this
- feels too unlucky

Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

Stoneforge Mystic
- auto-include in nearly every white deck
- against the spirit of Highlander

The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
- too strong against creature decks

Thrun, the Last Troll
- impossible to handle
- sometimes I have nightmares because of Thrun

Bazaar of Baghdad
- too much value

This card should be unbanned:
(absolute frequencies)
(relative frequencies)

(absolute frequencies)
structured according to place of residence

(absolute frequencies)
satisfaction structured according to wished unbanned card
people seem to be satisfied even if they would unban card(s)

(I tried to make the written reasonings as unadulterated as possible, even if there were synonymous formulations (eg "too strong" vs. "too powerful"). Same formulations were simply counted.)

Umezawa's Jitte
- strengthens creature decks II
- better chances for creature decks
- fine compared to other equipments
- only hits creature-based decks
- not enough good equipments
- buff Aggro decks
- format can handle it
- Smiley
- only slightly better than Swords
- because I want to play it
- only unban, if Stoneforge Mystic is banned
- fair II
- safest unban of all 4 (watchlist cards)

Birthing Pod
- strengthens creature decks
- none of the dominating decks would play it
- would make creatures great
- more creature decks
- if we don't ban anything, this should be banned
- let's test it II
- needs brain to integrate it in a deck
- could be fine
- creature-based decks lose to Path to Exile (?) anyway
- enough solutions in format
- not relevant at the moment
- different times than before ban

- strengthens creature decks II
- creature-based decks and midrange isn't that good anymore
- needs a special setup
- strengthens non-blue decks
- non-blue decks become less and less present
- benefits non-tier decks
- probaly too slow to be busted
- we should try it
- buff Aggro decks
- want to see what will happen

Gifts Ungiven
- Intuition is legal
- similar high-impact cards are legal/ not at critical mass
- reanimator is not very good, but viable
- format is fast enough
- tutor
- format too aggressive
- more diversity
- Why is this even banned?

Natural Order
- without tutors it is fine

Library of Alexandria
- format is fast enough

Mystical Tutor
- consistancy is fun

Sensei's Divining Top

Number of cards to change:
structured according to place of residence

Survey layout:

5  MagicPlayer Highlander / Reports / Re: Highlander Tournaments in Berlin on: 25-11-2018, 02:59:05 PM
Friday, November 25th

1 Jonny S. 12 - UW Midrange
2 Niclas 9 - Mono B Aggro
3 Steffen 9 - RDW
4 Marvin 9 - GWb Aggro
5 Moritz 7 - Grixis Midrange
6 Benjamin 6 - 4C Artifact Aggro
7 Anton 6 - UWr Control
8 Nils 6 - Grixis Tempo
9 Jacob 4 - 5C Combo with Reanimator side plan
10 Karl 4 - 5C Artifact Combo
11 Dion 4 - UG Turns
12 Felix 3 - Rakdos Aggro
13 Tobias 3 - RDW
14 Jan 0 - Mono B Midrange
6  MagicPlayer Highlander / Reports / Continental Cup 1, Halle (93 players) on: 18-11-2018, 08:55:41 PM
Continental Cup Halle 2018

Decklists Top 8:

Rank 1: Max H., Grixis Tempo

Rank 2: Xiaoliang Y.., Jeskai Control

Rank 3: Sven V., Azorius Control

Rank 4: Nils R., Jeskai Midrange

Rank 5: Robin S., RDW

Rank 6: Niclas E., Mono B Aggro

Rank 7: Dalibor S., 5c Reanimator

Rank 8: Christian H. 4C (w/o U) Blood

Final Standings:

Top 8:


Robin (RDW)  vs. Nils (Jeskai Midrange)
Sven (Azorius Control)  vs. Christian (Jeskai Midrange)
Xiaoliang (Jeskai Control)  vs. Dalibor (5C Reanimator)
Niclas (Mono B Aggro)  vs. Max (Grixis Tempo)


Nils (Jeskai Midrange)    vs. Xiaoliang (Jeskai Control)
Sven (Azorius Control)   vs. Max (Grixis Tempo)


Xiaoliang (Jeskai Control)  vs. Max (Grixis Tempo)

Winner: Max (Grixis Tempo)

Meta Breakdown:

Additional lists:

Rank 9: Tobias K., Izzet Control

Rank 10: Patrick R., 5C Artifacts

Rank 13: Luca D., Izzet Tempo

Rank 14: Manuel H., Gruul Midrange

Rank 16: Thomas M., Sultai Midrange

Rank 17: Björn O., Dimir Control/ Reanimator

Rank 22: Alexander R., Esper Midrange

Rank 23: Karl D., 5C Artifact Combo

Rank 27: Florian B., Jeskai Midrange

Rank 28: Cedric Z., Gruul Aggro

Rank 36: Marcel F., Bant Boggles

Rank 39: Paul T., Big Red

Rank 61: Benjamin M., 4C Artifact Aggro

Rank 62: Jonni L., Orzhov Midrange

More content will follow. Leave me a comment if you are interested in another deck lists.
7  MagicPlayer Highlander / Reports / Re: Metagame Masters 13, Berlin (45 players) on: 18-11-2018, 08:47:56 PM
Added Video Coverage to the main post
8  MagicPlayer Highlander / Reports / Re: Highlander Tournaments in Berlin on: 03-11-2018, 11:37:53 PM
Friday, November 2nd

1 Stefan S. 12 - Temur Tempo
2 Jonny 9 - Mono U Control
3 Jacob 9 - RDW?
4 Niclas 9 - Mono B Aggro
5 Nils 7 - Jeskai Control
6 Benjamin 6 - 4C Artifact Aggro
7 Florian 6 - Abzan Midrange
8 Dominik 4 - Orzhov Monarch
9 Stefan G. 4 - Izzet?
10 Leopold 4 - Gruul LD?
11 Hendrik 3 - Gb Ramp?
12 Tobias T. 3 - Mardu?
13 Daniel S. 0 - Big Red?
9  MagicPlayer Highlander / Reports / Re: Highlander Tournaments in Berlin on: 27-10-2018, 12:14:41 PM
Friday, October 26th

1 Marvin 12 - Selesnya Aggro
2 Nils 9 - Jeskai Midrange
3 Florian 9 - Abzan Midrange
4 Felix 9 - Selesnya Aggro
5 Niclas E 9 - Mono Black Aggro
6 Steffen 6 - RDW
7 Benjamin 6 - 4C (w/o G) Artifact Aggro
8 Christoph 6 - Izzet Midrange
9 Jacob 6 - 5C Reanimator
10 Cedric 6 - Dimir Reanimator
11 Jonny 3 - UW Midrange (Drop)
12 Oliver 3 - 5C Reanimator (Drop)
13 Max 3 - Simic Control
14 Leopold 0 - Gruul Land Destruction (Drop)
15 Niklas R 0 - Bant Superfriends (Drop)

10  MagicPlayer Highlander / Reports / Re: Highlander Tournaments in Berlin on: 21-10-2018, 01:22:47 AM
Friday, October 19th

1 Florian 12 - Abzan Midrange
2 Dominik 9 - Orzhov Midrange
3 Felix 9 - Mono G Ramp
4 Jonny 9 - UW Midrange
5 Benjamin 9 - 4C (w/o G) Artifact Aggro
6 Christoph 6 - Big Red 
7 Niclas E. 6 - Mono Black Aggro
8 Jacob 6 - 5C Reanimator
9 Stefan 6 - Selesnya Aggro
10 Oliver 6 - 5C Reanimator
11 Nils 6 - UW Midrange
12 Daniel T. 3 - UW Midrange
13 Marvin 3 - Selesnya Aggro
14 Niklas R. 3 - Gruul Beatdown (Drop)
15 Leopold 3 - Gruul Land Destruction
16 Leon 0 - RDW (Drop)
17 Tobias T. 0 - Dimir Mill (Drop)
11  MagicPlayer Highlander / Reports / Re: Highlander Tournaments in Berlin on: 14-10-2018, 06:26:21 PM
Friday, October 12th

1 Nils 12 - Jeskai Midrange
2 Dennis 9 - Gruul Midrange?
3 Felix 9 - Selesnya Aggro
4 Tobias W. 9 - 4C Scapeshift (w/o W)
5 Marvin 6 - Selesnya Aggro
6 Jacob 6 - 5C Reanimator
7 Stefan 6 - Naya Midrange?
8 Jonny 6 - UW Midrange
9 Daniel 3 - Gruul Ramp
10 Dominik 3 - Orzhov Midrange
11 Matthias 3 - Izzet Control?
12 Tobias T. 0 - ?
12  MagicPlayer Highlander / Reports / Re: Metagame Masters 13, Berlin (45 players) on: 07-10-2018, 09:20:03 PM
Thanks for the data.
Plz give me RDW Decklistsss....!11!!!

You only should miss the one from Werner (3x RDW -> Rank 6 + Werner + your own). I edited the main post and added his list.
13  MagicPlayer Highlander / Reports / Metagame Masters 13, Berlin (45 players) on: 07-10-2018, 04:50:19 PM
Metagame Masters #13

Decklists Top 8:

Rank 1: Jonny A., Azorius Midrange

Rank 2: Justus H., 4c (w/o G) Aggro Control

Rank 3: Nils R., Jeskai Midrange

Rank 4: Felix R., Selesnya Aggro

Rank 5: Anje H., Izzet Control

Rank 6: Jacob W., RDW

Rank 7: Felix K., 4c (w/o W) Reanimator

Rank 8: Hendrik S. Mono G (splash B) Ramp

Final Standings:

Top 8:


Antje (Izzet Control)          vs. Felix R. (Selesnya Aggro)
Felix K. (4c (w/o W) Reanimator)     vs. Justus (4c (w/o G) Aggro Control)
Nils (Jeskai Midrange)       vs. Hendrik (Mono G (splash B) Ramp)
Jacob (RDW)             vs. Jonny (Azorius Midrange)


Felix R. (Selesnya Aggro) vs. Justus (4c (w/o G) Aggro Control)
Nils (Jeskai Midrange) vs. Jonny (Azorius Midrange)

Justus (4c (w/o G) Aggro Control) vs. Jonny (Azorius Midrange)

Winner: Jonny (Azorius Midrange)

Meta Breakdown:

Video Coverage:

Additional lists:

Rank 10: Luca D., Sultai Midrange

Rank 12: Carsten K., TPS

Rank 22: Werner D., RDW

Rank 23: Dominik B., 4c Blood

Rank 24: Benjamin M., 4c Artifact Aggro

Rank 25: Niklas R., Gruul Aggro

Leave me a comment if you are interested in another deck lists.
14  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: Banned&Watch list changes 10/2018 on: 05-10-2018, 09:42:03 PM
Ok. If nobody wants to respond I'll do it.

You got some good points there, Jan, and sure, I could imagine to swap "Scapeshift" with "Valakut". But to understand, why we decided to put Scapeshift on the list requires to understand the train of thought we had in the last weeks. I try to explain it in 2, maybe 3 words. ^^
In the council sits 8 strong persons with 8 strong opinions. Each of us has different solutions of current situations. And each of us thinks different about the current state of the format.
My banning votings for this season were:

The whole point of this votings is, that I think that the amount of tutors (Demonic, SFM, Fetch Lands), cantrips etc gives the format a lot of constancy. It allows (within certain limits ofc., it is still a 100-card singleton format.) relatively same processes with a high success frequency. Even if I see, that Midrange and Control players argue in favor of this constancy (mostly to beat specific scenarios, which are felt as "overpowered"), the biggest beneficiary is still Combo. A resolved Demonic in a Midrange deck is mostly a solution, in Combo it feels often like a Win. Tutors are, especially in a singleton format, very strong. They are always the best card for your situation or simply the best card in your deck.
Here we have Scapeshift. A big part of the community gave the feedback, that this deck is way too constant atm. It feels unhealthy flexible and it has not just striking presence but also impressive tournament results. In local tournaments as well as on a larger basis.

I want to be honest.
1. For me Scapeshift is not a Combo deck. It is a controlish midrange deck with a Combo add-on. The easiness of searching for the Combo makes Scapeshift-Valakut often the main plan, but the deck could just as easily switch to Control deck or throw creatures in the opponent's face. It is strong because it is flexible.
2. On the other hand I think Scapeshift is NOT a 1-card-combo as many people says. Yes, you "only" need Scapeshift. Yes, the other cards do not need much effort for integrating in your deck. But you still need to look for this specific card. You still need to build around this card. And you still need to plan around specific situations (e.g. life gain of the opponent, number of remaining mountains in the deck and previous "fetching", a well-placed Wasteland (or Assassin's Trophy if you insist), counter-backup, etc.). You still need time. That it feel that easy is also a thing we owe to the constancy. Scapeshift itself is under this point of view more unimpressive.
3. I think that, after we would ban the shit out of Scapeshift, we had a similar situation with Reanimator. Not that constant, but very explosive. Especially with cards like Entomb in the format.

With this line you can maybe already imagine that MY way to go is not banning Scapeshift (or Valakut). I would cut off the constancy. I really hoped for a Demonic ban and even if it was really close it still stays in the format. The unban of Seal only beats in the same notch and was completely unnecessary for the already tutor-spoiled format. Even if I think that the whole Combo with and around Scapeshift is not banworthy, it's constancy and the emerging displeasure plays me very much in my antipathy for the tutors. It would take a lot of constancy out of the deck and also prevent the potential threat of Reanimator. It would also allow us to keep a lot (and maybe more) Combos in the format.
We had a lot of discussion and a lot of different ideas. An interesting idea (and maybe a point to make Bring to Light on the WL more comprehensible) was, to remove Demonic Tutor and Bring to Light in this banning session. An idea I heard from several guys in my local store. It makes sense if you see the banned list not as a "meet and greet of MtG best cards", but as a fixing of current potential discrepancies in the format. Wizards do not only ban cards under this point, when you lay the focus on competitive formats. They ban for balancing reasons. Even if this mean to cut unimpressive cards out of the format. In this case this would be Bring to Light. Of course it is much different for Eternal formats, mostly because the maintenance and love of them is much less profitable and therefore balancing less relevant. This, compared with the opinion, that "emergancy"-bans and -unbans should always an absolute exception, sounded as a nice temporary solution. But in the Council this idea met with little favor and was quickly rejected. Therefore, at least for me, Scapeshift as a representative of the eponymous deck, was a logical consequence as a candidate for the watchlist. Regardless of whether I would ever ban it, the deck may be watched and cropped if the community experiences it as disturbing. Therefore, it does not really matter to me whether it should hit Scapeshift itself or Valakut. I, personally, would rather play Valakut more than Scapeshift and can better imagine some cute and fair "3 in your face" interactions with it. I doubt Scapeshift will ever see games if Valakut is banned (tbh vive versa, too...). But overall I do not really care, because both are not banworthy for me.

I know, that this opinion do not reflects everybody's opinion and many surveys shows, that each wished outcome of each person would offend a lot of other persons. That's why you should treat this as that what it is: a personal point of view and not the opinion of the council as a whole. In this case, with this comment, I am not a representative of the council. However, leaving your question completely unanswered would also have been strange and so you have at least my views.
15  MagicPlayer Highlander / Reports / Re: Highlander Tournaments in Berlin on: 29-09-2018, 12:58:20 PM
Friday, September 28th

1 Florian 10 - Jeskai Midrange?
2 Marvin 9 - Selesnya Aggro
3 Nils 9 -
4 Philipp 8 - Izzet Aggro Control
5 Felix 7 - Selesnya Aggro
6 Dion 7 - Artifact Control?
7 Jacob 6 - RDW
8 Daniel 6 - Mono U Spirits?
9 Dominik 6 - Orzhov Midrange
10 Jonny 5 - UW Control
11 Tobias W. 4 - 4C Scapeshift (w/o W)
12 Tobias T. 4 - Artifact Combo
13 Niclas 3 -
14 Benjamin 3 - Artifact Beatdown
15 Mike 3 - Selesnya 2010 Meta
16 Evan 0 - Very fair Abzan

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