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15072 Posts in 1131 Topics- by 464 Members - Latest Member: ari88
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 on: 01-06-2020, 08:43:30 PM 
Started by Vazdru - Last post by Vazdru
the self-destruction of a flourishing singleton format ??

they banned 14 cards ... in less than 4 months
at least a quite different approach to what happened in Highlander
dc community is partly quite irritated and frustrated
I wonder if they will have those 200+ touranments after corona-crisis again or if this line of action will lead to a shrinkage of the dc community

 on: 14-05-2020, 01:27:03 AM 
Started by SpielRaumThrias - Last post by SpielRaumThrias
This Friday May 15th 2020 is the official release date for Ikoria: Lair of Behemots and with it a lot of exciting new cards become available to play in Highlander.
A lot has been said already about future format staples, the Triomes, or potentially powerful cards like Fiend Artisan, the new Planeswalkers or Lurrus. I therefore won’t bother writing about these cards here because so much has been talked about them already and I don’t feel like I would be offering anything particularly new or interesting.
Instead I want to take a closer look at the Commons and Uncommons of the set that, in my opinion, will see Highlander play. They might not be as flashy as the Rares or Mythics but nonetheless will have an impact on our format.
Without further ado, here are my top 10 Ikoria Commons/Uncommons:

10.Ominous Sea
I am sure this card wouldn’t warrant an inclusion if it was just for the fact that you can make a big Kraken turn 11. Luckily, we have an abundance of card draw in this format and especially with cards like Time Twister or Wheel of Fortune Ominous Sea can unleash a sea monster rather quickly. The main reason to put this card on my list though is the interaction with Greater Good. If you happen to make one Kraken with Ominous Sea you will be able to draw your entire library and winning from there shouldn’t really be a problem.

9.Footfall Crater
This unassuming enchantment can speed up anything from reanimated fatties to Eldrazi that were put into play with Show and Tell or Oath of Druids. Personally, I will try Footfall Crater with Hermit Druid to win the same turn I play it.

8.Boon of the Wish-Giver
6 mana for sorcery speed draw 4 is on the lower end of mana-to-card output. Boon of the Wish-Giver has the huge advantage that unlike other late game card draw spells it is not being stuck in your hand early on because you can just cycle it for the very low price of one mana. It is also not vulnerable to graveyard hate or the diminishing returns of running multiple delve spells like Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise alongside Gurmag Angler and Tasigur. Quite the contrary, Boon can fuel these cards if you cycle it early and is therefore less of a burden on your gameplay.

7.Bastion of Remembrance
This is another nice payoff card for Aristocrats style decks. 3 mana for just one 1/1 is pretty expensive but the ability is not attached to the body which is quite convenient.
6.Memory Leak
3 mana is quite expensive for a discard spell but it has the added value of functioning as a piece of graveyard interaction and can cycle for just one mana if neither is needed. If you are up against a lot of combo and graveyard centred decks and want more interaction (and have already included Cling to Dust) Memory Leak might be the card for you.

Déjà vu. 3 mana. Quite expensive. Powerful effect. Cycling. Nice!

4.Migration Path
This is one of the better cards printed for ramp strategies like Scapeshift or Bant ramp.
How many more times are you comfortable with reading that cycling makes cards like this playable?

3.Easy Prey/Heartless Act/Blitz of the Thunder-Raptor
Okay, I am cheating a bit here because I am actually including 3 cards on place 3 but they are all removal spells so we are good right?

Easy Prey gets a nod because it is a removal spell that checks both the boxes for Deathrite Shaman as well as Scavenging Ooze. And you know, one last time: Cycling.

Heartless Act is certainly the one that will see most play out of the 3 cards. Although it sometimes will fail to kill Scavenging Ooze it is not limited by converted mana cost of its target and has a very neat interaction with your own Thing in the Ice!

Blitz of the Thunder-Raptor gives Blue Moon decks a nice removal spell that can take care of a resolved Planeswalker, something that can be troublesome to deal with right now. It is also a clean answer to cards like Kitchen Finks which is a nice bonus.

2.Call of the Death-Dweller
I am very excited for this card as it singlehandedly reanimates the Cephalid Illusionist + Nomads en-Kor combo. But even if you are not returning any combos (or you know, just Hermit Druid) it is a pretty powerful tool for any creature-based strategy as it provides card advantage and boosts your creature with a deathtouch and a menace counter!

1.Sprite Dragon
Even if this was a Top 10 Ikoria list with no rarity restriction Sprite Dragon would be on it. This is a cheap evasive creature that grows to epic proportions rather quick. I have no doubt that we’ll be seeing a LOT of this Faerie Dragon in the future!

With 7 out of 12 cards on my list having Cycling it is pretty clear that I rate this ability very high. Usually running situational cards can be a liability but when you have the opportunity to cash them in for a redraw their inclusion feels much safer.

Did I miss any major card you think is going to be viable in Highlander? Did I overrate something you think is not going to see the light of day in our format at all?
And last but not least: What are the Commons or Uncommons YOU are most excited about in Ikoria?

 on: 12-05-2020, 11:09:28 AM 
Started by Vazdru - Last post by EduardoBoxenhagen
Companions are explicitely not needing a sideboard according to WoC.

You got a source for that?

 on: 09-05-2020, 12:18:32 PM 
Started by Vazdru - Last post by Myras
I think you should delete the sentence "Companions require a sideboard". It's simply wrong information. Companions are explicitely not needing a sideboard according to WoC. It's Ok that you explicitely ban companions, even though I think it's just stupid to put something directely on the banlist and not on the watchlist. It forces player to move as they had to like when Planeswalkers were introduced.

I especially sticked to this format, because it was barely restricting anything and I strongly believe it being unhealthy blocking new mechanics in advance, even when they seem bad for a format. In my opinion companion (exception Lutri) are not a problem due to theire restrictions. And in addition they are a one time apperearance per game and are quite different from a commander.

I think it's only fear and lazyness driven to ban companions completely.

 on: 01-05-2020, 12:00:39 AM 
Started by Vazdru - Last post by Vazdru
Changes to the present banned list, effective 05/15/2020:

No changes

No changes

Single card explanation (parenthesis -> voting result):

Although we ultimately voted for no changes this time around, there were 2 cards that came close to being banned and 2 cards that came close to being unbanned:

Tolarian Academy (Unban 3x / Ban 3x / Abstain 1x)

The artifact powered land has certainly been one of the most discussed cards for a banning for quite a while now. The deck this card lends its name to is capable of powerful starts and impressive turns where it sometimes draws multiple new hands of 7 cards and then wins with one of many different combos. We are aware that playing against this deck can lead to frustrating situations, where you sometimes have to sit and wait for several minutes while watching the Academy player do his thing before he finally finishes you off. At the same time we do want combo to be a viable archetype in our format and although the highest highs of the deck are indeed very impressive, we do acknowledge that Academy has its weaknesses. Especially blue based tempo decks, which are among the most popular archetyps at the moment, are one of the best tools to fight Academy.
We will continue to monitor the decks performance closely but for now Tolarian Academy stays unbanned!

Oath of Druids (Unban 4x / Ban 3x)

The second close contender for a ban this time is one of the most powerful enchantments in the format. Oath has always been good at cheating out big creatures for very little investment and sometimes you got that little extra value with cards like Life from the Loam. Now the best additional value you can get are flashback spells both printed last year from C19 and MH1: Sevinne's Reclamation and Echo of Eons. You now are able to put something like Fastbond and Crucible onto the battlefield while getting your Emrakul. Or you can draw a fresh hand of 7 cards on top of summoning your big creature.
Nevertheless Oath of Druids is not seing a lot of play at the moment, so we decided to keep it off the banned list for now.

Skullclamp (Unban 3x / Ban 4x)  

This card is the most discussed tool for pushing creature heavy decks, especially tribal decks like Elves or Goblins, into more playable territory. We decided to go with the community vote on this one and leave Skullclamp banned for now!

Umezawa's Jitte (Unban 3x / Ban 4x)

This card is also regularly brought up as a weapon for small creature strategies to go head to head with big creature decks like 4C Blood. Ultimately we think that Umezawa's Jitte will actually make creature-synergy decks even weaker by being able to pick off anything from mana accelerants to lords.

Current watchlists:

Ban watchlist:                                                    
• Demonic Tutor
• Dig Through Time
• Intuition *new*
• Mana Drain
• Oath of Druids
• Oko, Thief of Crowns *new*
• Tainted Pact
• Tolarian Academy
• Treasure Cruise
• Underworld Breach *new*
Unban watchlist:                                                    
• Skullclamp
• Survival of the Fittest
• True-Name Nemesis
• Umezawa's Jitte

Single cards explanations:

Underworld Breach

Underworld Breach is one of the fastest banned cards in Legacy ever and already making waves in Highlander as well. The powerful 2 mana enchantment is enabling a consistant combo deck that abuses Lion's Eye Diamond to cast Brainfreeze over and over again, first targeting yourself to fuel the escape costs and finally to finish off the opponent.
While the deck is very fast and consistant, we think that the current situation, with no high stakes tournaments being played, leaves us with more time to evaluate the powerlevel of the combo.
Furthermore we want to give people the option to adept and prepare for/against this strategy before taking any further steps.  


Intuition has been a Highlander staple for many years now.
Cards like Snapcaster Mage, Eternal Witness and other regrowth effects always made sure that you got the card you really wanted.
Reanimate strategies abused the blue instant to put 2 fatties into the bin and control decks sometimes played the card for it's versatility.
While Intuition has always been a powerful card,the printing of Sevinne's Reclamation last year has pushed the card into new territory, essentially making it a one-card combo enabler.
We do want to watch it's development closer and have the possibility to take action against it if necessary.

Oko, Thief of Crowns:

During our last announcement we wrote the following about Oko:
Oko is one of the most powerful cards of 2019, probably the most powerful one and a mistake that Wizards has admitted they missed during testing. Therefore WOTC came to the conclussion it should be banned in various formats (Standard, Pioneer, Brawl). In Modern, Legacy and even Vintage, Oko makes regular appearances.
Meanwhile the planeswalker has certainly proven to also be impactful in our 100 card singleton format. A lot of people have risen concerns about his power especially against creature strategies. Though we think the card is currently fine for Highlander in terms of powerlevel, we are adding Oko, Thief of Crowns to the watchlist and will continue to closely monitor his performance in the future!

Statement regarding the Companion mechanic:

Companion is the most talked about ability from Ikoria and is creating a lot of buzz among players.

When the mechanic was first introduced, WotC announced that Commander, the biggest 100 card singleton format, would allow Companions even though Commander does not have a sideboard. Additionally, the card Lutri, the Spellchaser was preemptively banned because the singleton nature of Commander means, that every deck is meeting it's Companion criteria right away.

While we already leaned towards not following this example but rather stick to the official rules, which require the use of a sideboard for Companion to work, we wanted to see how the mechanic was dealt with in all kinds of different settings before drawing a final conclusion.
Unfortunately, the ability is already warping every competitive constructed format around itself, leading to repetitive gameplay and frustrated players calling for changes. A free 8th. card you have every single game apparently is way too powerful, even with some built-in restrictions.

We will thus follow our initial approach:

Highlander does not have a sideboard, which Companion requires. We are not going to make an exception to this rule, which means the Companion mechanic does not function in Highlander.
You are still allowed to play these cards in your regular deck, but not as a Companion that starts outside the game.

Changes to publication of Council Announcements

Due to the terms of use of Facebook we will no longer post the official announcements under the User "Highlander Council" but use private accounts of Council members for this again.

Leaving the Council
Thomas Stier, "Maqi", from Germany, Mannheim, is stepping down as a Council member, which he has been since the end of 2012.
We would like to thank Thomas for the dedication and the work he has put into our format for many years and wish him all the best for the future!

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