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Author Topic: Tournament Highlander is dying slowly...    (Read 22367 times)
Maqi
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« Reply #15 on: 01-08-2012, 11:16:32 PM »

Very good topic!

I wanted to start something similar to this a while ago... but didn't do it. I guess mostly because of time constraints.

Here in Mannheim we still have a solid player base. But a slow and steady decline in numbers is also definetely to be noticed.

I for myself am planning to do a Highlander column. Discussing card choices, deck archetypes etc.

I hope this can be a small part in the puzzle to "revive" Highlander.

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Dreamer
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« Reply #16 on: 06-08-2012, 05:24:08 PM »

I'm not much of a tournament player, EDH has definitely made a big dent. Here in Tapiola we've managed to reclaim a couple lost souls, but people still like doing silly things for some reason. As far as decktypes go, we haven't seen Bant or 4-5c monsters in ages - most people play monored or 2c aggro or control/ramp decks with at most three colours.

But I agree that apart from EDH cannibalism the lack of articles and other content plus focal websites is kind of a problem. Dead forums everywhere, a good portion of the content is in German (which most of us Finns can't read). Pauper suffers somewhat similar problems even though their forum is a bit more active, but there just isn't terribly much content, and the forums lack things like archetype primers and the like to give new players a handle on what is even played, let alone why. This makes getting in on the format kind of hard - what can you do in this format in the first place, why is it fun, where do I go to discuss it and so on?

I'd say if we want an international presence, a unified main site with a single international forum where things can be posted to would be ideal. Concentrate the traffic to one site, link all external content to that one place (see article threads on the Source), strive to produce whatever content is made in English so it is accessible to as many people as possible, and start tinkering together resources that help a new player map out the format is a decent plan of action?
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MMD
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« Reply #17 on: 07-08-2012, 11:54:56 AM »

Most complaints on magicplayer.org is about special HL rules (banned list, mulligan, gold cards etc.) but somehow I don’t think that this is the main reason why HL tournament attendance is decreasing. IMO those things are just the most superficial topics and it’s the easiest thing to whine about it.

If I sum up some of opinions and proposals the approach could be:

a)   generate useful content (primer, reports, statistics, discussions etc.) in English language
b)   focus on one international page (magicplayer.org?) or at least link external content there
c)   convince casual players to join if they are interested to play a casual but competitive 1on1 tournament format and advertise Highlander (at least refer to b) in other forums
d)   rebuild this homepage including forum and blog or create/use a better one
e)   Improve tournament organisation ( e.g. next HLGP incl. trials, online tournaments on a regular level, etc.)

How can we manage that?

Everyone who wants to improve the current situation can help to work on the first three topics. I will take over the reporting (standings, T3, tournament reports) of the monthly tournament in Dortmund on this page as first step. If I find time I will also write a primer or at least a deck discussion topic. But the homepage and tournament management is something which is beyond my possibilities.

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« Reply #18 on: 07-08-2012, 12:28:38 PM »

Previously I was trying to find a way how to make casual tournament. However I havent found any way how to do it. Special banlist for single tournament is not the good way. Refusing players because they are profesional players is also not a good way.

I agree on those points:
a) It can be done. There are events in our country which are reported only locally (if they are reported...)
c) Good point, but I people are fairly able to find why is Highlander more "cool" than EDH.
d) Im in. If you need some graphics I will gladly help.
e) This can be done with new webpage.
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malz77
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« Reply #19 on: 10-08-2012, 11:03:13 AM »

sorry for my inactivity (but i'm currently changing my job, we are moving house, I'm trying to finish my phd...)

just a few thoughts to the problems mentioned:
- a lot of relevant points were mentioned (age of the players, familiy, jobs,...) and I don't have to repeat this
- most of the old-school players who (still) love the format are no longer thrilled by it. Because we have seen it all. Although there are enough decks to play (just watch Tabris column), there will be nothing really new.
- The Banned-List is nearly perfect and minor changes will not lead to any invention.
- New sets aggravate the problems we have, because only the pricy cards and the broken creatures will find a place in your decks. Old pet-cards are unplayable
- There are too much staples, so you have the feeling although you are playing different decks, you are playing always the same cards...

I think the only way out of this is to expand the minimun deck size to 200 or 250 cards. Although I thought in the passed it would be wrong to do this, I'm now convinced this is the only way out of our problems. More cards just solve a lot of problems (yeah, I know that shuffling and searching is a new problem!!!).

Just think of the manabase and fetchland discussion, just think about cards you can reactivate, just think about deck building, just think about the game situation we will face...

Just think about it!
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« Reply #20 on: 10-08-2012, 12:01:22 PM »

Hi, I am from the same community as Ball Lightning (we're located in Prague, Czech Republic). I organize monthly tournaments, basicly without any support from anyone. And even though the attendance is quite stable, or rising a little (last season 15 players attended tournaments in average, there very 28 individuals). I also write from time to time some articles on czech magic website. I quite aggre with the others:

- let there be one international website, where will be articles and other content in english from different communities - I can help with some articles as well.
- let's make a group on Facebook/Twitted/Google+ connected to the website and forum.
- if there is another GP, it would be good to have trials for it. In Prague community some us are interested in attending such a GP
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« Reply #21 on: 10-08-2012, 01:00:10 PM »

Maybe this is a bit off topic, but the discussion has shifted a bit to "what could / should be done" after MMD's post.

In the german forum (http://www.mtg-forum.de/forum/171-highlander-decks/) we had the initiative to write primers to some decks and did so. I could translate / rewrite in english the one for RDW if there is need. Maybe we could translate the other ones bit by bit and improve them.

@one international web site: This one could be the one you seek. However, it could be improved but who would be responsible for this and (even more important) who has the time for it (if we don't even have the time to turn cards...)?

Maybe there should be a new thread somewhere here in the forum where we could discuss such subjects concretely if there is something to happen with this forum. But that should be done by someone who has the time and the means to set things in motion. I'll be glad to help as far as I'm able but that will be restricted to the translation of some primers etc. Otherwise we'll have to live with the status quo.

@one minor point concerning golden bordered cards, CE and IE cards: I don't think that banishing these cards will help the format. As far as I know, there is also a 100 card singleton format supported by WotC with a slightly different banlist. To dissociate the HL format from the casual card pool and turning toward a sanctioned format means to compete with the other sanctioned formats (even more) and especially with singleton.

The disadvantages might be:
  • Loosing some players that don't want to afford the "original" cards because of budget restrictions (e.g. for duals etc.)
  • The competition between the formats is hard and there is a slow cannibalism going on (take a look at Vintage!)
  • I don't think the German HL will recieve much support from WotC because they got already their own singleton format which is completely under their control
  • We could not influence the banning politics in a way as it is now (directly addressing the responsible people)

Possible advantages:
  • More players due to the possibility to gain planeswalker points? (Questionable assumption to my opinion.)
  • An opening of the local metagames toward an international scene (that currently doesn't exist)

I forgot some points for sure...
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MMD
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« Reply #22 on: 10-08-2012, 02:29:05 PM »


most of the old-school players who (still) love the format are no longer thrilled by it. Because we have seen it all.
Been there, done that…perhaps satiation is another problem we have to face. A format without any reasonable evolution gets boring; but this is the problem of all eternal formats.
We have to accept minor development steps created mostly by new mechanics and power creep of the new editions. The problem with evolution is an even greater problem in 100/1 formats as we cannot build a new deck with a new mechanic (e.g. Legacy Miracle) or reactivate an old decks just because a new card is printed (e.g. Legacy Merfolk/Goblins). Highlander needs a certain amount of different cards to form a reliable strategy.

What can we do? Just ban/unban single cards will not be enough to shake up the format. I think this has to split up into two complete different topics.
The first one is the improvement of “marketing and communication” mostly to gain the attention of potential new players but also to bring the local communities together.
The second one is the discussion and evaluation regarding the necessity of a drastic rule change (ban of fetchlands, min. deck size etc.) to revive/repair the format.

I think the only way out of this is to expand the minimun deck size to 200 or 250 cards.

I doubt that increasing the minimum deck size is a reasonable solution if you want to keep a certain competitiveness which is IMO necessary to stay alive with EDH lurking.

Some opinions to the deck size proposal:

-   As mentioned: Tutoring/shuffling is nearly impossible
-   Playing Combo and Control will become nearly possible. Already with 100 cards you have a hard time to keep pace with creature decks. There are not enough good combo/control spells out there to fight against the flood of powerful creatures and I estimate that this problem will grow with every new edition.
-   It will be very hard to build a deck with a reasonable strategy (especially single card strategies). The unfocused 3-5C Good Stuffs will just become unfocused 2-3C Good Stuff decks.
-   Go(o)d draws beating average draws will happen much more often because the variance is highly increased

I’ll better keep my Highlander pet cards and old goodies in my binder forever or sell them to EDH players. Lets better ban the fechies for good  Cool
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I also have a huge amount of chinese and japanese foil HL staples not listed yet,  which I would like to downgrade to english foil. Just let me know!
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« Reply #23 on: 11-08-2012, 04:10:35 PM »

Frank Topel introduced highlander more or less. Since he left the ship - the format is dying.

He did the right choices overall, knowing how ppl wanna play the format (did a great job at ban policy). He pushed the format with his tournaments and he added pricepools from his own. He was very active on his own in forum and page. I only see posts from tabris recently and vazdru. The other council members seem only to exist on paper, doing not really much for the format (should not be a blame since all do it on their free time, but a reason why the format gets less attention)

This council reduced their activity (less updates to the banlist for example, less updates in general). This council is afraid to ban dominating cards (stoneforge mystic for example 2 years ago). Not willing to ban cards to make it harder for the ultimative dominating aggro-control decks (spells on legs - goodstuff - ban wordly tutor eladamri's call). In my area ppl are totally bored to play ONLY goodstuff mirror's. Oh ye one guy plays sligh. Sigh.

7 years ago were about 8-12 viable decks. You can even check the old top8 list and i doubt u find the same deck twice. That made the format fun and different. We lost that format due to the lack of bannings to creature based spells and to the editions which r currently pushing these decks over and over.

Ppl argument "banlist as short as possible". I will never understand this. Rather a big banlist with lots of different decks than a short banlist with one dominating deck in 5 different color-combinations while 80% of the cards are the same.



« Last Edit: 11-08-2012, 04:12:55 PM by LasH » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: 11-08-2012, 04:29:21 PM »

What would you think of unbanning some of the cards that might help the control decks? E.g. Balance, Mystical & Enlightened Tutor, Mana Crypt, Mana vault, Sol Ring...
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« Reply #25 on: 11-08-2012, 05:40:22 PM »

Ppl argument "banlist as short as possible". I will never understand this. Rather a big banlist with lots of different decks than a short banlist with one dominating deck in 5 different color-combinations while 80% of the cards are the same.

I agree. I don't think there is a need for ANY guidelines regarding the banned list. Maybe if the current council were doing a bad job, I would be happy to have some rule of thumbs, but they have been doing some fine work for quite some time now, so I trust them to make the correct choices without having to restrict their job by placing any arbitrary restraints.

What would you think of unbanning some of the cards that might help the control decks? E.g. Balance, Mystical & Enlightened Tutor, Mana Crypt, Mana vault, Sol Ring...

Let's see: Balance is stupidly good and probably one the most obnoxious card to play against. Doesn't matter how bad the format gets, adding Balance to the mix is not going to improve it. Mystical would just find it's way to goodstuff, so that doesn't help much. Enlightened would probably be okay, I see no harm with the card. In any case, don't think it's going to matter too much, that one tutor will not save the format alone.

And unbanning any one of those mana artifacts is just going to rape the whole format. Sol Ring gives you access to four mana on turn two with the cost of your first turn and one card. Original Moxes are more balanced in this kind of environment. Besides, Aggro benefits this just as much. Turn 2 BBE, fun times.
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Nastaboi
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« Reply #26 on: 11-08-2012, 10:37:12 PM »

Frank Topel introduced highlander more or less. Since he left the ship - the format is dying.

He did the right choices overall, knowing how ppl wanna play the format (did a great job at ban policy). He pushed the format with his tournaments and he added pricepools from his own. He was very active on his own in forum and page. I only see posts from tabris recently and vazdru. The other council members seem only to exist on paper, doing not really much for the format (should not be a blame since all do it on their free time, but a reason why the format gets less attention)

This council reduced their activity (less updates to the banlist for example, less updates in general). This council is afraid to ban dominating cards (stoneforge mystic for example 2 years ago). Not willing to ban cards to make it harder for the ultimative dominating aggro-control decks (spells on legs - goodstuff - ban wordly tutor eladamri's call). In my area ppl are totally bored to play ONLY goodstuff mirror's. Oh ye one guy plays sligh. Sigh.

7 years ago were about 8-12 viable decks. You can even check the old top8 list and i doubt u find the same deck twice. That made the format fun and different. We lost that format due to the lack of bannings to creature based spells and to the editions which r currently pushing these decks over and over.

Ppl argument "banlist as short as possible". I will never understand this. Rather a big banlist with lots of different decks than a short banlist with one dominating deck in 5 different color-combinations while 80% of the cards are the same.

Whoa whoa whoa. Are you saying that if Frank was still running things Wizards would have never started printing countless bloodbraid elves? Or are you suggesting that we should ban them all? Because people don't have to use Eladamri's or Worldly to find those creatures, draw step will do as every card you draw has so much value.

And "shortest banlist possible" approach means that we seek to unban cards that have no impact like Yawgmoth's Will or Trinisphere, not that we are afraid to ban cards that are format distorting.
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« Reply #27 on: 12-08-2012, 04:28:37 AM »


Whoa whoa whoa. Are you saying that if Frank was still running things Wizards would have never started printing countless bloodbraid elves? Or are you suggesting that we should ban them all? Because people don't have to use Eladamri's or Worldly to find those creatures, draw step will do as every card you draw has so much value.

And "shortest banlist possible" approach means that we seek to unban cards that have no impact like Yawgmoth's Will or Trinisphere, not that we are afraid to ban cards that are format distorting.

Following your line of argument, there is no reason to have cards like Vampiric Tutor, Mystical Tutor, Enlightened Tutor or Gifts Ungiven remain on the banned list.
In a format where we have access to so many creatures that are spells on legs I don´t understand the difference between the the "weak" creature tutors and the spell tutors.
Creatures do everything nowadays together  with being a clock. Hmm you´re playing angry Ghoul or Pattern Rector let´s get Oooze, RDW? here you go Kitchen Finks or Thrun or SFM for SoFI, oh you managed to put a win condition on the board Control Deck? Here you go I have removal for everything an it won´t cost more than three  mana since I´m able to look for Pridemage and Shriekmaw. I´m a little screwed let´s find a mana dork, I´m tired of not winnig gogo Power Titan, oh you played a tutor here is my Clique...
Creatures are able to attack all kinds of strategies and many many decks.
IMO there is no reason not to ban Worldly or Eladamri´s, it won´t change the format alot since there will always be the draw step, which will always give you the right answer at the right time...
And btw unbanning cards that have no impact is really going to stir up the format, and bring up some new and interresting decks.[Sarcasm off]
« Last Edit: 12-08-2012, 04:36:38 AM by Maggot » Logged
MMD
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« Reply #28 on: 12-08-2012, 11:49:24 AM »

Sorry, but IMO discussing about removing/adding single cards is very narrow-minded and will not solve the problem.

Perhaps there is a card on the banned list which will not break the format if unbanned. Perhaps the creature tutors are overpowered as they are already on the borderline and get better with every edition. But discussing about single cards (not) on the list will not help on the long rung as I see it as a side show attraction. There are already enough creatures out there that a multicolour creature strategy will have an edge to other deck concepts. We cannot ban every overpowered creature Wizards will introduce in future. We have to deal with the fact that they want us to use creature strategies. Period. Even in Legacy creature strategies are Top tier nowadays. Accept it or start playing vintage or play group houserules.

But again, ban-/unban discussions of single cards will not revive the format at all.
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I also have a huge amount of chinese and japanese foil HL staples not listed yet,  which I would like to downgrade to english foil. Just let me know!
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« Reply #29 on: 12-08-2012, 01:02:16 PM »

60 cards + sideboard? 80 without? I don't know for sure but I'd guess that there will be more diversity in terms of different deck streategies? I always bring this point because some time ago I made Highlander decks with just 60 cards and it seemed to be more interesting because it is possible to build decks around even small strategies (tribals for example did way better). just want to throw it in again : )
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