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15406 Posts in 1165 Topics- by 515 Members - Latest Member: Lesley5591
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 on: 01-11-2021, 01:00:54 AM 
Started by Rigero - Last post by Rigero
November 1st, 2021 - Ban and Watch List Changes

Changes to the present banned list, effective 15/11/2021:

• Skullclamp


• Umezawa's Jitte
• Secret Lair x The Walking Dead

Single card explanation:

Umezawa's Jitte:

A powerful equipment for sure, Jitte was deemed to be over the limit for a long time. But, in the days of fast, aggressive and powerful tempo decks, the initial investment of 4 mana to get the card going means it is not so over the top anymore. That's not to say it isn't potent. In fact beyond the 1st activation it is anything but weak. Still, during the trial period we got mostly positive feedback on this card and thats why we feel confident Umezawa's Jitte can stay in the format for now.


Clamp in testing was warping decks towards smaller creatures, tutoring and anti-clamp tech. We saw an uptick of Stoneforge Mystic and Steelshaper's Gift being played. Also Urza's Saga, as the newcomer of the format, was used for this. Anti-clamp techs saw various artifact hate and instant based removal being played.
The trial period showed that Skullclamp mostly wasn't healthy for the format because it was warping games, it was included in from a card advantage point of view, and it was also freezing the boardstates into an unfun holding pattern with little to no hope of out-tempo’ing or out-value’ing the card. This was most crucially evident in midrange on midrange matches where advantages gained from Clamp could not be compensated for by the opponent. At the same time, the card pushed out many decks that didn't have a chance to be competitive (in particular control decks that are already lagging behind) due to clamp being in the format.

As Skullclamp has proven to be too powerful for the format as of now we have decided to keep it banned as well as to remove it from the unban watchlist for the time being!

Secret Lair x The Walking Dead:

Back when we announced the banning of TWD Secret Lair, exactly one year ago, we cited feedback from the community and a player desired "protest effect" as reasons for our move.
Earlier this year Wizards declared that upcoming Secret Lair cards will have functional in-Magic printings as part of The List. While TWD was initially excluded Wizards has changed their approach since, stating that it too would see in-Magic printings! (Source:

The ban of the Walking Dead Secret Lair never happened due to power or in-game reasons. Because the original contributing factors for the ban have been taken care off by Wizards, we don't see any more reasons to keep the TWD cards banned. Therefore we decided that future "Universe Beyond"-cards will be legal in our format, too.

Current watchlists:

Ban watchlist:                                              
• Dig Through Time
• Oath of Druids
• Oko, Thief of Crowns
• Opposition Agent
• Tainted Pact
• Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
• Umezawa's Jitte *NEW*
• Underworld Breach
• Urza's Saga
Unban watchlist:                                                  

Additional Topics

Secret Lair Statement:

As stated above WotC announced future "Secret Lair// Universe Beyond"-cards will also see printings in regular sets or on the "List". (Source: Therefore they will be available much more easily and we decided that future "Universe Beyond"-cards will be legal in our format.

Trial-Period Feedback and changes:

We were satisfied with the Trial Period as an instrument to playtest possible unban candidates. As it was the first time, we applied this instrument, we now have the opportunity to evolve this tool and adjust it to the specific needs of our player base.

A large number of players were concerned, that the duration of the Trial Phase was too long. In the possible but hopefully not imminent case of the trial of a meta-breaking card, this would lead to an unhealthy metagame for a long period of time. Therefore, we decided to limit the Trial Period to three months. Some might be concerned that this time span is too short, but we felt that three months are enough to at least get a gist on the effects a possible unban will have on the format without influencing and possibly hurting the metagame for a long period of time.

Possible trial candidates are all cards mentioned on the Unban watchlist, emphasizing its importance. If you see banned cards you would like included on the Unban watchlist and therefore possibly tested in a trial period, please mention them in your feedback of your own Trial Period testing.

Furthermore, the Trial Period will be linked to the Watchlist announcements, giving us the possibility to react to the results of the testing and the community feedback in our upcoming Ban announcement. In this context we want to stress again how vital your input is in the further progression of our format.

To further improve the format and gain valuable information we need your input, worries and opinions on these changes and views on the format. So please do not hesitate to contact any of us via private message or just start a topic in the forum.

Contact us:
Forum (, Email (

Next scheduled Update: 1st February 2022 - Watchlist update

 on: 06-10-2021, 02:27:20 PM 
Started by Rigero - Last post by Rigero
Hello Community,

time runs fast and it‘s been 5 month now since Umezawa’s Jitte and Skull Clamp are on a Trial unban. Time to recap and collect your thoughts about those two cards!
We would like to hear your opinions on them in our format. Should they leave again or should they stay? WHY should they leave or stay? What were your experiences with these cards (as a caster or as an opponent)?
It is important for us to get YOUR reason and not only a "yes" or "no" – vote.

So please give us feedback  here, on Facebook (, directly via PM or via mail (

Best Regards

Rigero - HL-Council

 on: 01-08-2021, 01:02:17 AM 
Started by Rigero - Last post by Rigero
August 1st, 2021 - Watch List Changes

Current watchlists:

Ban watchlist:
• Demonic Tutor                                                
• Dig Through Time
• Oath of Druids
• Oko, Thief of Crowns
• Opposition Agent
• Tainted Pact
• Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
• Underworld Breach
• Urza's Saga *NEW*
Unban watchlist:                                                  
• Skullclamp
• Umezawa's Jitte
• Thassa's Oracle

Single cards explanations:

Demonic Tutor:

The discussion about tutors in Highlander is as old as the format itself. After years on the watch list, we now decided to take Demonic Tutor from the watchlist. Tainted Pact will stay for now. This has the following reasons. First and foremost, we are quite happy with the banned/unbanned status of the tutors today. Of the really powerful tutors Demonic Tutor, Tainted Pact, Imperial Seal, Vampiric Tutor, Mystical Tutor, Enlightened Tutor and Worldly Tutor, the latter two are of a manageable power level, because they create card disadvantage and their scope is somewhat limited. Demonic Tutor and Imperial Seal on the other hand have a maximal scope but are much slower at sorcery speed, which we deem also ok. Vampiric Tutor and Mystical Tutor on the other hand, are not only instant but the breadth of their scope pushes them over the top in terms of power level. Finally Tainted Pact is a somewhat complicated animal. It is instant and has a very large scope, however it restricts deckbuilding to a significant degree and some combos can't really make use of it because they risk to exile other necessary combo pieces. Our experience is, that Tainted Pact is ok in good-stuff decks however the printing of Laelia, the Blade Reforged and related effects prevented a majority for taking it of the watchlist too.

Urza's Saga:

Modern Horizons II introduced many powerful new staples to our format. A standout of these is Urza's Saga. Being a land makes it exceptionally hard to interact with, while generating a board presence and tutoring value engines (Retrofitter Foundry, Skullclamp), hate pieces (Relic of Progenitus, Pithing Needle) or combo pieces (Zuran Orb, Expedition Map, Grindstone). It finds inclusion in all archetypes and might be overly powerful in comparison to the rest of the format. The singleton nature of Highlander emphasizes its strength even more, being a land, threats and value in just one card.
We do want to watch its development closer and have the possibility to take action against it if necessary.

Thassa's Oracle:

In the last update we stated our vision of combo decks in the format. Therefore there is currently no reason to keep Thassa's Oracle on the Watchlist for the moment.

Other Topics

Discussion of Skullclamp and Umezawa's Jitte:

Half of the testphase of the unbanning of Skullclamp and Umezawa's Jitte is now over and at this point we would like to ask you how your feeling are about those cards in Highlander. For that reason we will start discussions here in the Forum as well as on Facebook within the next week and want to encourage you to tell us your experiences with those cards. Additionally, you are welcome to write any of us directly or use the council email for direct feedback.

Use of Proxies in European Highlander:

We noticed the recurring discussions about the use of proxies1 or playtest cards2 in highlander, as the price of decks and cards always increases. That’s why we need to state that we cannot decide for or against the use of those at all. The use of proxies is completely with the tournament organizers and these are usually bound to the specifications given by WotC.
The boundaries between proxies, playtest cards and counterfeits are partly fluid and subjective.
This means there is a possibility for store owners to lose their contracts if they allow those on sanctioned tournaments or even if people play with those in their store. Additionally, the harm of counterfeits3 is imminent and not only hurts the store but is also a legal offense that a tournament organizer cannot permit.

All in all we cannot give any regulations for the use of proxies / playtest cards in the format as we are not in charge here. And of course as we want to support our local games stores we cannot recommend to allow proxies or playtest cards on official tournaments. However, we want to support the use of playtest cards in any casual environment outside of a tournament.
And last but not least we want to distance ourselves from ANY counterfeits. Using, buying, selling etc these is a legal offense and we would never accept these in any tournament nor store environment.

1Proxies = a placeholder card given out by a judge as a replacement e.g. for a marked or damaged card during a tournament; only legal for this specific tournament; c.f.: Magic Tournament Rules 3.4 (status: July 23, 2021)
2Playtest cards = what players really mean if they talk about proxies; a placeholder for a card in your deck, not legal on official WotC tournaments
3Counterfeits = a fake card; something that imitates a card produced by WotC; Proxies and playtest cards that are not immediately recognizable as those are also included here

Dungeon-Mechanic in European Highlander:

Dungeons aren’t cards in the traditional sense, but are regarded more as tokens. They can’t go into your deck, and their main function is as a specialized progress marker. That’s fine in Highlander and they’ll work as normal. We take the very same stance on Dungeons as has been taken in Commander.

Contact us:
Forum (, Email (

Next scheduled Update: 1st November 2021 - Ban & Watchlist update

 on: 08-07-2021, 01:29:47 PM 
Started by Myscah - Last post by pyyhttu
Thanks for the feedback.

Regarding the Learn-mechanic: This has been asked previously and we weren't interested in at that time to change the rules and introducing sideboards into Highlander. Mind that this is also in line with other formats without sideboards. See and

As for Dungeons: Based on what is known now of the mechanic, I don't see a reason why Dungeons couldn't be used. The key phrase here is this from that linked video: "Now Dungeons. They don't go into the deck. You can keep them in your sideboard, but, and this is important, they don't take sideboard slots. You just have access to them. And you bring them in to the game when you venture into the dungeon."

Commander, where sideboards are also not permitted, has landed into similar conclusions:

I hope you are considering this idea and disuss it.

I'll make sure there's an announcement regarding this, and while waiting for the official rules on Dungeons, I opened a discussion point on this on the council boards. They'll chime in on there, if not here.

What I said above, is just my personal opinion.

 on: 07-07-2021, 05:48:59 PM 
Started by Myscah - Last post by Myscah
Due to the fact we are not using any sideboard we miss out several mechanics "Enter a dungeon" and "learn".
In my opinion none of them are overpowered  or would break the Format.
To evolve Highlander Magic I suggest we would give way for another special zones for dungeon and learn cards.

This cards should be seen as created tokens and not actual cards, so we still have a hundred singelton.

I play Highlander since 1994 and see lately the opportunity for this format to evolve without having to fear to wreck itself.

I hope you are considering this idea and disuss it.
I excited to read your replies.

BR Myscah

 on: 25-06-2021, 10:51:50 AM 
Started by DarkLight - Last post by r4nd0m1
You, and everybody else who might be interested, are still kindly invited to join us on Cockatrice playing, testing and talking about new and old cards, decks and strategies, and generally working on the format we all love so much - the best way to play Magic.

If you have been out of the loop for a while, I and others are more than happy to bring you, your decks, your Cockatrice client and everything else you need/want up to speed again.

Server Address:
Server Port:        443

 on: 22-06-2021, 05:26:23 PM 
Started by DarkLight - Last post by DarkLight
I'm primary not interested in just playing. I'm more interested, after this long time of inactivity, in testing out decks, new cards and discuss about it with different people and different opinions. This is not really possible and worth it with this kind of online community,
I don't see a point for now to configure my cockatrice again and reconstruct all these (outdated) decks ...

[Mono Black] Suicide
[Mono Blue] Skies
[Mono Green] Stompy
[Mono Green] Eldrazi Ramp
[Mono Red] Burn
[Mono White] Weenie

[Azorius] Skies
[Boros] Metalcraft
[Dimir] Zombies
[Golgari[ Midrange
[Gruul] Ravaged Lands
[Gruul] Aggro
[Orzhov] Death & Taxes
[Orzhov] Knights
[Rakdos] Goblins
[Selesnya] Hate Bears
[Simic] Merfolks

[Abzan] Midrange
[Bant] Boggles
[Bant] Blink
[Bant] Defenders
[Esper] Midrange
[Grixis] Midrange
[Jeskai] Tempo Prowess
[Jund] Midrange
[Mardu] Super Friends
[Naya] Zoo
[Sultai] Recursion
[Temur] Tempo

[Dune] Pattern Hulk
[Dune] Tokenmania
[Glint] Dark Depths of TwinShift
[Witch] Proliferate

[4 Color] Blood
[5 Color] Royal Blood

[4 Color] Robots
[5 Color] Elves
[5 Color] Zoo

... and possibly building new ones.
Looks like I just remain as observer of the format until something changes in the future, maybe.

 on: 21-06-2021, 03:33:32 PM 
Started by DarkLight - Last post by r4nd0m1
Ah, I just saw this  Roll Eyes

Very nice guide! - please let me add the Sounds and Theme I use.

 on: 21-06-2021, 02:53:43 PM 
Started by DarkLight - Last post by r4nd0m1
We have less players today than 2 years ago, but you can still play a couple hours almost every single day - specially if you wanna play against me.

Also, you can include playing against Canlander players for more variety, which works very well.

Hope to see u soon!  Cheesy

 on: 18-06-2021, 10:02:19 PM 
Started by DarkLight - Last post by DarkLight
Recently I saw the spoilers of 'Modern Horizon II' and I'm considering a comeback to the European-Highlander Format on Cockatrice after around two years inactivity, because some cards looking pretty much fun and could power up some niche decks.
But if the community is still like two years ago I think I will remain staying inactive, because I don't wanna spend the time in deck construction to play always against the same 1-2 players with the same 1-2 decks again.

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