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Author Topic: Watchlist changes Jan. 1st, 2017    (Read 2245 times)
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« on: 01-01-2017, 11:34:55 AM »

Valid during January 1st, 2017 0:00 CET until March 31st, 2017 24:00 CET.

Cards on the following list will be closely observed and are potential candidates for a banning on April 15th, 2017.

Demonic Tutor
Dig Through Time
Mana Drain
Mystical Tutor
Oath of Druids
Tainted Pact
Tolarian Academy
Treasure Cruise
Yawgmoth's Will

Cards from the following list are still banned but will be under testing for a potential unbanning on April 15th, 2017.

Imperial Seal
Stoneforge Mystic
Vampiric Tutor


Gifts Ungiven
Imperial Seal
Vampiric Tutor


The tutor setting in highlander has always been a controversial object. How many tutors are necessary for a healthy meta? And which one? There were epic debates over the different tutors in the long history of our format. Many people consider Demonic Tutor as best tutor overall and always wonder why Demonic Tutur is unbanned while other has been banned. Our banning policy is founded on following principles five reasons. Imperial Seal was also kept banned by an unofficially reasoning #6 - the price barrier. Since the recent judge foil reprint this has been partly fallen away. At least we decided to have an "overall-picture" view on our tutor setting again and to discuss the current one on the whole. That's why we also added Vampiric Tutor to the watch-list. It is argued that the format should have that one good tutor, which has been Demonic Tutor from the beginning, maybe there is time for a reallocation. It is also said that splashing for Demonic is too easy with no real cost, while Vampiric could perhaps remove that reason. Vampiric is more often harder to interact than Demonic, but a successful counter play to nullify Vampiric Tutor costs to its caster a draw and 2 life, which favors opposing control, and aggro strategies.

Both Imperial Seal and Vampiric Tutor seem comparable in power-level to Demonic or Mystical Tutor, but they shine more in combo-decks and decks with clear gameplan but less in midrange-goodstuff-piles. At the cost of 2 life, sorcery rather instant speed, card disadvantage, and the fact that present meta is lacking a combo presence with shift to burn, we should take both under a scrutiny.

Indeed Entomb has a different effect on the game play and it is still comparable to the other new introduced tutors on the watchlist. But Entomb is even more a combo-tutor than the others and usually no option for most Aggro-, Midrange- or Control-decks. Entomb is obviously THE tutor for graveyard-based decks, especially of course for reanimator. We will evaluate how strong those decks perform which could have any use of Entomb in the next months.

Hermit-Druid-Combo, Helm-Combo, Buried-Alive-Combo, Splinter-Twin-Combo seem to be accepted by a big part of the highlander-community as elements of the meta. Grindstone + Painter's Servant combo seems at least comparable to the mentioned combos in terms of speed and power-level. We will rediscuss if Painter's Stone at six mana is still too strong for highlander.

The Council has decided to temporary take Gifts Ungiven away from the Watch list. Many compare it to Intuition. That is not correct. Intuition classically searches for a specific card and 2 Witness effects (alternative 3 cards with the same or a very similar effect). Gifts allows us one more specific card with the same Witness count, because independent of what combination the opponent gives to us, the direct access to 2 wish-cards are enabled. With increasing importance of the graveyard, Gifts becomes rapidly a 4-card-tutor. It is not only able to find the missing combo piece, but the whole combo. Additionally, it is easily splashable.
Still, we are aware of the higher mana requirements of this card, so that Gifts is not a “Fast-Tutor”. Parallel to our evaluation of the tutor cards (in the format and on the Watch List) we want to distract ourselves from this card, which could lead alone to an overload by Combo or Control in the current format for now.

Other Changes:

New Council Member

Since Tabris has left the council in May we have been looking for an appropriate candidate to close this gap somehow. Payron has been on our watchlist of potential council members for quite a while already. As he joined our forum in February 2008 he is a member of the first days and proofed his dedication for our format since that time constantly. He has an excellent reputation as well-accepted and -connected community member of Erfurt, one of biggest and most active communities in Germany besides e. g. Berlin, Mannheim, Frankfurt and Würzburg. He delivers content for our format which is quite rare. Recently he launhced a Youtube Channel to present highlander for a bigger community and raise the degree of popularity of our format. We welcome Payron as new council member as of Jan. 1st 2017

The current council members are:

ChristophO - Christoph, Germany, Hamburg, * 1983
Dalibor - Dalibor, Slovakia, Senec, * 1979
Dr. Opossum - Stephanie, Germany, Berlin, * 1987
Maqi - Thomas, Germany, Mannheim, * 1982
Nastaboi - Juha, Finland, Espoo, * 1982
Payron - Jan, Germany, Erfurt, * 1988
pyyhttu - Tuomas, Finland, Helsinki, * 1982
Vazdru - Gerry, Germany, Karlsruhe, * 1975

Far below the earth
Where the demons hunt the souls of those that sleep
In the city of the Vazdru and the Drin
Where the black flame burns inside the palace fountain.
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