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Author Topic: Bannings in HL    (Read 15431 times)
zimagic
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« on: 20-08-2007, 04:30:18 PM »

Following on from discussiong here:
http://www.themanadrain.com/index.php?topic=33923.msg481904#new

and here:
http://www.themanadrain.com/index.php?topic=32570.msg481882#new

I'd like to encourage a debate on bannings in the Highlander format  and the differences between the current list and the list which is generally being taken for reference, the Legacy list. Most people's criticisms are raised with a knowledge of the format and an understanding of the powerlevel of the cards being discussed.

Asi in particular on The Mana Drain has raised questions about some of the current HL bannings and lack of other bannings.

For reference here are the differences between the two lists:
Banned in HL (Legal in Legacy)
Crop Rotation
Dust Bowl
Lion's Eye Diamond
Mystical Tutor
Power Artifact
Protean Hulk
Trinisphere
Umezawa's Jitte

Banned in Legacy (Legal in HL)
Bazaar of Baghdad
Black Vise
Channel
Demonic Consultation
Demonic Tutor
Dream Halls
Earthcraft
Entomb
Frantic Search
Goblin Recruiter
Grim Monolith
Gush
Hermit Druid
Illusionary Mask
Land Tax
Mana Drain
Metalworker
Mind's Desire
Mishra's Workshop
Necropotence
Oath of Druids
Replenish
Time Spiral
Windfall
Yawgmoth's Bargain

How much are each of these cards overpowered in a HL format in themselves and not in multiple copies as in Legacy? Goblin Recruiter is obviously not as strong as a singleton as it is in multiple copies, providing a constant and depandable form of CA advantage and board pressure, if it hit, for a deck that ran no other form of refilling it's hand and a high count of cards to hit with it's ability.

More worrying would be cards like Bazaar of Baghdad, Demonic Tutor, Entomb, Mishra's Workshop, Necropotence, Oath of Druids, Yawgmoth's Bargain that have consistantly proven themselves to be either cogs or locii for degenerate combos and have a well-above-average power-level.

From the other side, there is some mystification as to the presence of certain cards on the HL list: Crop Rotation (now that academy is gone), Dust Bowl, Mystical Tutor (given the lack of any other tutor bannings), Power Artifact, Protean Hulk (an interesting debate about this: degenerate tutor or crap rare?) & possibly Umezawa's Jitte.

Looking forward to the discussion!
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Sturmgott
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« Reply #1 on: 20-08-2007, 04:49:00 PM »

First of all: A translation of the reasoning behind our latest (un-)banning decisions will be available by Wednesday this week.

Second: Now that Academy is no longer permitted (after about two years of being legal Stax Decks finally proved to be too influential on the metagame), Crop Rotation has been unbanned.

But I would like to hear some other people's view on this before I fully join the discussion. Thanks for joining us and helping to make this new forum an interesting place hopefully for all Highlander players!
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Vazdru
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« Reply #2 on: 22-08-2007, 03:50:18 PM »

First of all I want to note that the mentioned highlander banned list has been discussed a good many times. There are a lot of different views how to get the list better and better. Therefore it wasn’t even possible for the two biggest highlander communities in Germany to get a common banned list yet.

In my opinion especially Dust Bowl, Mind over Matter (after banning Academy), Trinisphere (vs. Workshop) and Jitte have to be unbanned soon. But how do you convince people (with bad experience) to unban cards they never use? Let’s say it’s hard  Wink

Highlander is an absolutely different world to legacy so it’s almost impossible to compare the legacy and highlander banned list although they match in some points. For example Frank is right to say Oath of Druids isn’t that broken in highlander like asi tried to tell us. I should know because I played my Oath.dec in the last Highlander GP and some tourneys before and have seen lots of Oath-Players around who've lost vs a random token deck, R/G and so on. Imo the most broken card in highlander is Gifts Ungiven and Life from the Loam which both arent’t on the legacy banned list. On the other way round Gush, Recruiter, Mind’s Desire, Replenish and so on are -like you said- obviously no problem for the highlander format.

Bargain, Necro, Oath or Bazaar are long time unbanned and have never been dominating highlander. You won’t find them in many Top 8 lists of the three Highlander-GPs (all of them with around 100 players each) - maybe in 2 or 3. Why? Cause the banned list allows to generate lots of competitive decks. For example Red Deck Wins is quite strong in highlander because it is imo the most consistent deck in the meta, also R/G works quite well – both decks have no problem with one-ofs like Oath, Bargain, Necro and so on. 

So let’s go to a card discussion than to a banned list discussion in general. HIGHANDER definitely needs a specific banned list! Which cards in special would you like to ban/unban zimagic?

I belong to the second largest highlander community in Germany (after magicplayer.org). We play highlander magic since the beginning of MTG and we use actually following banned list. The differences to magicplayer.org are marked. I think both banned lists are far from being perfect, but it shows clearly the different views on the format people have.

Ancestral Recall
Balance
Black Lotus
Crucible of Worlds
Demonic Tutor

Flash
Gifts Ungiven
Hermit Druid

Imperial Seal
Intuition
Land Tax

Library of Alexandria
Life from the Loam
Mana Crypt
Mana Vault
Memory Jar
Mind Twist
Mox Emerald
Mox Jet
Mox Pearl
Mox Ruby
Mox Sapphire
Skullclamp
Sol Ring
Survival of the Fittest
Timetwister
Time Walk
Tinker
Vampiric Tutor
Wheel of Fortune

Missing in our list:
Crop Rotation
Dust Bowl
Fastbond
Mind over Matter
Mystical Tutor
Trinisphere
Umezawa’s Jitte
Strip Mine
Tolarian Academy
Worldgorger Dragon
« Last Edit: 22-08-2007, 03:55:23 PM by Sturmgott » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: 22-08-2007, 04:07:25 PM »

The discussion that zimagic pointed us to on themanadrain.com was lately rather going in a more general direction as to find the right criteria upon which banning decisions should be made. It is my experience that discussing single cards is often not very productive as different people have many different views on single cards.

Imho it is easier to agree upon these criteria first.

And to say it openly: While almost all German Highlander players already play according to MagicPlayer.org, there is a small village in the far south corner of the country whose inhabitants constantly refuse to be assimilated Wink
I guess there's no more than 20 players who belong to this "2nd largest German Highlander Community", just to give you an idea of the dimensions we're talking about here.

The biggest problem - and the main reason why a unification with these "troublemakers" wasn't possible yet, lies in the fact that these guys play with 30 rather than 20 life, and that's what their list is based upon.

Yet 'they' have up to now been the most acive participants in German Highlander discussions so far, and partially the discussions with them have led to the great banned list reset in January 2006. As such, their input - as we now seek to find from people outside of Germany - was very valuable and also desired. We're far from being perfect and the more input we get from you, the PLAYERS!, the better will our decisions be in the future!
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« Reply #4 on: 22-08-2007, 05:18:02 PM »


And to say it openly: While almost all German Highlander players already play according to MagicPlayer.org, there is a small village in the far south corner of the country whose inhabitants constantly refuse to be assimilated Wink
I guess there's no more than 20 players who belong to this "2nd largest German Highlander Community", just to give you an idea of the dimensions we're talking about here.


We have had highlander tourneys with round 100 players in our small village in the far southwest corner of Germany in former times too - long before anyone even thought about organizing a highlander GP the first time Wink The only problem we have is the lack of enthusiastic organizers (like Frank Grin) nowadays. Btw. there are belonging by far more than 20 people to that 2nd largest community - but however, back to topic  Roll Eyes



The discussion that zimagic pointed us to on themanadrain.com was lately rather going in a more general direction as to find the right criteria upon which banning decisions should be made. It is my experience that discussing single cards is often not very productive as different people have many different views on single cards.


For me it's too abstract and theoretical to discuss the right criteria for your banning policy. I think you've made a good job and i undersign the principles the "Highlander Rat" established. I think the more interesting and difficult part is to subsume this criteria for every single card...for some it seems easy for some imo impossible.

Let's start with...uhmm...maybe Trinisphere? A banned Trinisphere and unbanned Workshop must be a bit confusing for people who check the magicplayer.org banned list the first time. Isn't it so, zigmagic?
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zimagic
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« Reply #5 on: 23-08-2007, 06:29:08 PM »

The discussion that zimagic pointed us to on themanadrain.com was lately rather going in a more general direction as to find the right criteria upon which banning decisions should be made. It is my experience that discussing single cards is often not very productive as different people have many different views on single cards.

For me it's too abstract and theoretical to discuss the right criteria for your banning policy. I think you've made a good job and i undersign the principles the "Highlander Rat" established. I think the more interesting and difficult part is to subsume this criteria for every single card...for some it seems easy for some imo impossible.

Let's start with...uhmm...maybe Trinisphere? A banned Trinisphere and unbanned Workshop must be a bit confusing for people who check the magicplayer.org banned list the first time. Isn't it so, zigmagic?

Just popping in to check up on various replies, but I can't stay long (in fact this is probably the worst time to get involved in format discussions as I'm moving house, but anyway!)

I have to say that in terms of banning policy you really have only two options: Ban the degenerate combo kill pieces or ban the cards that facilitate/get them.

IF there is a degenerate combo issue, then the enablers should be the first hit with a ban hammer. The queries/concerns/headscratching from certain areas regarding the presence or omissions of certain cards from the current B&L list are mostly based on the powerlevels of cards that needed to be restricted in T1 & banned everywhere else still being legal in this format.

If anyone has a compelling arguament as to why this is the case, a lot of the confusion will go away. Funnily enough, "It just is!" probably doesn't work.  Grin

There will still be arguaments but I'd be happier seeing someone taking, say, Survival of the Fittest, as a random example, and proving that it is ban worthy than simply saying "But that's the brokenzorz!!! How can it not be banned?" Other groups have banned this very card. What's different? Someone mentioned the Storm mechanic as "having no place in singleton/highlander" That's a pretty strong opinion for a mechanic that, excepting Mind's Desire, is legal everywhere. Results seem to have shown that potential for domination is possible if certain cards are present in the HL format and they have now been addressed.

As regards the Trinisphere / Workshop issue, have a look at T1. Which is restricted, which is not? And why? One gives you the other and a way to work around it's drawbacks (in most cases) but Trinisphere wrecks more decks and warps the game so much more than Workshop does. Most decks can survive a first turn Workshop, can the same be said of Trinisphere?

That's about all the time I have for today kids! Keep talking, I'd love to log in next to a our banned list vs your banned list discussion.
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« Reply #6 on: 23-08-2007, 08:46:41 PM »

Hi zimagic,

have you read http://www.magicplayer.org/forum/index.php?topic=31 already?
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« Reply #7 on: 31-08-2007, 12:30:16 AM »

i think LFTL should be careful watched... its very abusive Smiley especially with cycle lands, wasteland.

it can easily be fetched with intuition, gifts.. etc..
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« Reply #8 on: 31-08-2007, 01:35:58 AM »

Well, sure LftL is one of the best cards in the format. But winning with Wasteland recursion this way is a) very slow and can b) very easily be disrupted. It is indeed a very strong card, but in no way broken. The only argument I currently see to observe the card is how it influences control matches.
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« Reply #9 on: 31-08-2007, 01:46:51 AM »

i think LFTL should be careful watched... its very abusive Smiley especially with cycle lands, wasteland.

it can easily be fetched with intuition, gifts.. etc..

...that's why you have to add shred memory, cremate and/or coffin purge to your 5c Control  Grin, LftL-Engine it's very often the matchwinner and "depressive" for the opponent to watch to

the same reason for banning jitte (fun-breaking card, randomness, always deciding aggro-mirror) could be used for banning LftL the same way, just exchange aggro with control  Wink
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« Reply #10 on: 31-08-2007, 03:10:32 AM »

Sure the LftL is very match defining in control mirrors. But control decks need yard removal, and if one knows how to play vs. Life from the Loam - that is do NOT try to remove LftL, but remove cycling lands/wasteland instead - the card loses quite some of its power.

And for the comparison to Jitte: Life from the Loam does not occur randomly in control mirror - it's a card both players battle for.
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« Reply #11 on: 31-08-2007, 11:02:44 AM »

Sure the LftL is very match defining in control mirrors. But control decks need yard removal, and if one knows how to play vs. Life from the Loam - that is do NOT try to remove LftL, but remove cycling lands/wasteland instead - the card loses quite some of its power.

Maybe you're right but the combination of Gifts and LftL brings often a huge card- and landadvantage - especially if you can protect the engine. Like you said it isn't just easy to remove LftL (cause of instant card draw e.g. Cyleland) so sometimes you have to handle/remove much more cards -> e.g. cyclelands, wasteland, ghost quarter, maze, karakas, volrath's and some more
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« Reply #12 on: 31-08-2007, 12:09:53 PM »

well, the problem isnt LTFL + wasteland.. its the the LFTL itself. cycle cards allow for continued use of the card without teh drawback of skipping your draw card (drawing phase). algo it gives you a land drop every turn, which is quite important.
it lets you "explore" your deck, which is as almost good as having draw advantage, especially if you build a dck around LFTL, with, lots of flashback, regrowth, recollect,  etc.. volrath, academy ruins..

i´m not saying you should ban it, but rather keep a close look at it.  Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: 21-11-2007, 01:37:17 AM »

maybe a usefull addition to the bannedlist: all wishes, because there is no sideboard? last night i came across one playing wishes... i hope there will be a universal banned list for HL soon  Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: 21-11-2007, 08:12:50 PM »

maybe a usefull addition to the bannedlist: all wishes, because there is no sideboard? last night i came across one playing wishes... i hope there will be a universal banned list for HL soon  Smiley

MP Banned List is the universal banned list for HL you looking for Smiley

btw. it isn't necessary to ban the wishes, there is still the possibility to "wish" a removed card (Tainted Pact, Swords to Plowshares, Dissipate etc), of course you can't "wish" a card of your collection
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