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15472 Posts in 1172 Topics- by 541 Members - Latest Member: mickjoff
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1  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / May 1st, 2021 – Ban and watch list changes on: 13-05-2021, 03:16:49 PM
Cross-posted on Facebook:

Clamp in preliminary testing has been warping decks towards smaller creatures, tutoring and anti-clamp tech. It seems to be a card that we can maybe contain with enough hate, unless something really broken comes along. After all, you typically do not have access to more than one clamp.

The question is, even if we can contain it, is it worth it? I have so many decks that I simply cannot play at the moment as they will take a hit from all the anti-clamp meta and in all honesty aren't as good as abusing clamp anyway. These decks were completely passable in the format prior, but no way I can play them in the current state of the format.

If things end up in the place I predict, we are having decks in few different categories 1) Goodstuffs with a heavy slant on dealing with artifacts and/or x/1 creatures, 2) Combo decks that try to punish people going all-in on clamp or anti-clamp and 3) Control with huge hosers to deal with everything and slamming down Night of Souls' Betrayals and Rest in Peaces to shut down entire strategies. This boils down to chaotic format where outcomes of the games are decided by the matchup and individual cards. Either, one player finds Clamp and rides it to victory as one player has no answer, or the other player plays Leovold.

These meta-game warping cards have already been unfun to play against in the past, Leovolds, Teferis, Okos and Opposition Agents are just game deciding on their own, interesting game play stops in the presence of these cards. Now, this is magnified to a whole new scale as the tutors for these cards increase. You need to find the Clamp if you are playing the Clamp deck, or you need to find a hate card for your opponent's broken plays. Tutors of all sizes will see more play and games that are solely decided by these silver bullets will increase.

I feel like the card pool of playable cards have gone down significantly in the last couple of years and now it is even more narrow. I don't think fair aggressive strategies are playable as you do not have access to tutors to do broken things or stop your opponent from doing that.

I do think part of the blame should be placed on tutors. Imperial Seal is an example of a card that either doesn't see play in the format, or sees play everywhere. I just do not think either scenario is good for the format.
2  MagicPlayer Highlander / General Discussion / Re: Round times for Highlander tournaments on: 28-07-2018, 05:56:37 PM
Agreed. Tournament organizers and judges would also absolutely *love* that.

And we actually experimented with 70 min rounds back in 2008 in Ropecon. Winner was determined at 2 am. Here's blast from the past: (sorry, in Finnish).

So what you are saying is that we have no data on 80 min rounds!

Kidding aside, my solution would be to ban fetches, but it is a big change and people hate change, so I do not think it'll ever happen.

Edit:fixed a typo. Damn mobilephones
3  MagicPlayer Highlander / General Discussion / Re: Round times for Highlander tournaments on: 28-07-2018, 08:22:12 AM
Instead of arguing, can't we just compromise and recommend 70-minutes + 5 extra turns?
4  MagicPlayer Highlander / New Editions / Re: Shadows of Innistrad The Clue Edition on: 31-03-2016, 10:58:32 PM
I wonder, how it is possible, that everyone in this thread ignores Pieces of Puzzle. Which is clearly one of best 3cc draw/filter spells in years + it is delve enabler + staple for reanimators decks

I tried to make Uncovered Clues work, but it is so often with these decks when you just need more lands. So horrible to fire these things off when you just want to guarantee the next two land drops.
5  MagicPlayer Highlander / New Editions / Re: Shadows of Innistrad The Clue Edition on: 30-03-2016, 05:02:59 PM

They worked really fast this time. Submitted article this morning.

EDIT: As it was pointed to me, I misread Fork in the Road. It is actually not a rampant growth, but unplayable garbage. Not a huge loss, those cards are rarely played these days anyway.
6  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: Ban the Fetchlands on: 26-03-2016, 01:37:18 PM
I am also with the banning.

I was really hoping the change of mulligan would have been sufficient, but I don't think it had the desired effect. I've written lengthy explanations before and I don't think any of the key arguments have changed.

The small tournament we did was fun, but it was short and merely a single tournament, so there is not much conclusions we can draw from that. Impact on the metagame cannot be estimated until after the banning. Metagame analysis takes so much data it isn't something we can accurately assume from a tournament or two. I think we have enough data now to say that the mulligan switch didn't fix the promblems the fetchland cause.

Only thing we can learn from the testing for fetchless format is the enjoyment people doing it have. It is very personal and impossible to gauge, but it is the best we got. I would love to try my hand at another similar tournament.
7  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: Banned List - Strategy / Guideline on: 23-03-2016, 11:02:13 AM
The more specific you get, the more people will complain about them even if 95% of the population would agree.

I would just state: "We ban cards that make the format less enjoyable", but people would complain about that as well.

Any hard numbers here is never a good idea. There is always going to be huge number of sequences that leads to early kills, but those are incredibly inconsistent. Trying to draw a line what is appropriate turn and consistency for combo decks to go off when the variables are so numerous, is insane.

You guys have earned my trust and then some, so I personally do not care too much what you put there. I didn't even know this "guideline" - thing was a thing until now.
8  MagicPlayer Highlander / New Editions / Re: Oath of the Gatewatch - Top 10 Cards on: 25-01-2016, 03:19:03 PM
As foreshadowed, here is the first part.

Turns out Poromagia had some issues with their blog as they changed the layout recently. Seems like they got it fixed.

I could have used this time to actually playtest a lot of the cards, but schoolwork piled up, so lot of this is a bit too theoretical for my liking. At this rate, I hope I have time to write for the next set.
9  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: Feedback on January 2016 bannings on: 16-01-2016, 03:01:52 PM
Unbanning Gifts Ungiven:
Also constant discussion about this card. Keep in mind that is has been banned before and that there was a big public demand for that. The community as well as the council has biog proponents for both banning and unbanning. My opinion are that there are two big factors speaking against an unban. A) The card is very dangerous because of the Eggs deck. B) The card eats unbelievable amount of game time not when cast but every time a person could cast it and thinks about it, and again on the next turn and then at end step etc.. I think this is also the main reason while many players hated the card back then before we banned it.

Hmm.. I don't think Eggs is the reason Gifts should be banned. I mean, the deck would play it, but it would not be super-amazing-fun-time that suddenly broke the format.

But I do think time constraints are reason enough to keep the card banned. That is something not all agree, but I have a feeling the power level of the card is not reason anymore. We have Dig Through Times and similar cards that are more efficient when it comes to power. The fact that it would boost combo decks is just a plus in my opinion.

Balance has been banned for a long time. The card is unbelievably strong as a protection spell for creatureless combo decks such as Eggs and TPS. My personal opinion is that the effect of the card especially due to the discard clause is too powerful for the cmc of 2 and would not be healthy for Highlander game play.

Balance on the other hand would be utterly broken in Eggs. Just unload all the cantrips on the table, play this and opponents have nothing. Seems fair. Please unban, I want that so bad.

As Dr. Opossum already mentionend, we are currently pondering about reducing the voting threshold for the watchlists. Right now, a card will only be watchlisted if a simple majority of the members votes for the card.

I don't see a huge downside of having a lot more cards on the watchlist. Allows more flexible reactions to the metagame and sparks discussion.
10  MagicPlayer Highlander / New Editions / Re: Oath of the Gatewatch - Top 10 Cards on: 13-01-2016, 10:03:08 PM
I submitted today the first part. Do not know when it will get published. The whole article was over 9000 words at that point. The final count is probably going to be over 10k. When did these start get so massive?
11  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: Regarding the changes concerning IE, CE, glod-bordered cards on: 15-10-2015, 05:09:59 PM
In Finland TOs have practically never allowed those in tournaments. Considering how robust the player base is, taking account how small the scene is in comparison, I don't think not allowing them will kill the format. The real question is how much do the positive aspects of this change matter. That remains to be seen. I would even argue that it is beneficial to the format in the long run if TOs will try sanctioning these every once in a while. After all that is the only real data we can get from this.

That being said, bring these considerations to the local TO. They have every reason to keep their tournaments as large as possible. If your local play group has lots of IE & CE cards, they will not do it. If they go ahead and try, but the tournament size takes a hit, they will revert back.

The change is there to bring us closer to DCI official rules and being able to sanction this would make a world of difference. All of a sudden we go from being small kind of wacky format for being able to play it for your FNM. This change is massive and should not be downplayed. In Finland this is nothing but a positive change, but like I said, we never allowed those cards in the first place so this is obviously not comparable.
12  MagicPlayer Highlander / Off-Topic / Re: Democratic council, so hard? on: 08-10-2015, 12:17:18 PM
all that remains are cosmetical differences.

Maybe Im a "little" pessimistic but I think these differences are bigger than cosmetic and thats why we have different highlanders in the first place. Or is it the lack of direction from WOTC that people in different parts of world created their own 100 singleton communities?

You did rip that part out of the context. The differences are cosmetic if Canadians get rid of their points system in favor of regular banlist. I don't think the differences even as of now are huge and the points system has been criticized for being not on par with DCI, so there is a real chance that it will be changed. After that, merging the two format would be all about if we can agree on a banlist.

Lack of direction from WOTC is a reason, but geographical differences are also a factor. If there are no huge following for a smaller format, like in HL's case, people who want to play similar format rather make their own if they want a way to play with P9 for example. Assuming nobody in their area plays the format already and if they are on the other side of the globe, that is really unlikely.

This does not mean that Canadians think their version is the best possible thing, I certainly do not think our format is superior, but it is much closer to DCI standars which I find to be best for the format. Canadian HL could very well be much more fun than alternatives, but I personally feel that being closer to industry standard is worth giving up on some of the "fun". Not having to buy P9 is also a win in my book. Question now is if Canadians feel the same or not.
13  MagicPlayer Highlander / Off-Topic / Re: Democratic council, so hard? on: 08-10-2015, 09:55:50 AM
Good luck trying to combine commander/canadian/french highlanders with ours... Maybe in 2020 when commander players get bored with their format and want something more competitive or when canadian highlanders impossible to maintain point list gets demolished and they need to ban p9 cards.

Maybe someday in the future we can see GP Highlander, probably not.

You must be fun at parties.

Opening communication for this cannot be a bad thing. Maybe each council will come to the conclusion that it is not feasible, but even then discussion would not go to waste.

If we could come to a reasonable understanding about how to merge our formats and have the best of all worlds, the format would get better. Also, if you listen the CR cast, I think you can hear that Canadians are willing to abolish the point system at some point for the sake of being in line with DCI. They would love to see their format grow and bringing their format closer to DCI means that they would become closer to us. If they forfeit the points system, all that remains are cosmetical differences.
14  MagicPlayer Highlander / Off-Topic / Re: Democratic council, so hard? on: 05-10-2015, 07:20:53 PM
It might also be because playing decks that actually interact with the opponent is more fun.

I don't know, decks that kill your opponent are pretty fun too.
15  MagicPlayer Highlander / Off-Topic / Re: Democratic council, so hard? on: 04-10-2015, 12:47:03 AM
Yeah. The "I don't mind" was my way of saying "I know the current system has it's flaws but I prefer it over the alternatives". I get what you are saying here and I wouldn't even mind giving this kind of process a go if there are people willing to compile those excel sheets and most of the little kinks were fixed.

However, the way I see this going is that I feel that choices could become more random than they are currently. The city I used to live has a robust HL - fan base. They love the format and there is relatively huge tournament held every year by one of the community members. A lot of the people in that town have HL decks but LGS there has no interest of running HL tournaments. They could easily become a big community if this system were implemented but if most of their views are due to one annual tournament, their votes could be really weird. We could see very bizarre cards on those watchlists if we just have a democratic vote.

Again, that might not be the worst thing ever. Hell, might even be exciting. The thing is, implementing this change has a chance to make HL chaotic for a good time. When right now, the reins are firmly in place and no complete overhauls are happening. It is very brave for the community to take that kind of risk unless the format is in dire straits. Also, losing the council would cost us clear ambassadors of the format. What I mean by that is it would become much harder for content creators like Marshall Sutcliffe to contact German HL - representative for an interview. This might not be much of a problem, but on the off-chance that someone high enough in the food chain would want to maybe contact our representative to give HL more exposure we might be hindering ourselves a little. Communication between different HL - formats (Canadian, Australian and us) would also become rather hard. I like the possibility of the three of us working together on some level, maybe even eventually forming a single format to maximize player base and that would become harder with something like 20 people in the "council".
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