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Topics - Vazdru

Changes to the present banned list, effective 15/11/2020:

• Tolarian Academy
• Treasure Cruise

• Secret Lair X The Walking Dead

No changes

Single card explanation (parenthesis -> voting result):

Tolarian Academy (Unban 2x / Ban 4x)

As it was communicated on the last banning season, this card is viewed as one of the most discussed cards for banning. This time we decided it is time to ban it - mainly due to sustained dominance and support from new added cards to this archetype like Echo of Eons, Wishclaw Talisman, Sevinne's Reclamation, Urza, Lord High Artificer just to name a few. We assumed 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. Despite this development, the Artifact Academy deck as well as the Underworld Breach deck, which also exploits the powerful land, are still among the best performing decks. The fact that we are hitting the archetype that is supposedly in charge of having to keep the Academy powered decks in check by removing Treasure Cruise from the format is another reason to take action now. We believe that artifact centric decks still have a spot in the meta but they will have to forgo Tolarian Academy in the future.

Treasure Cruise (Unban 1x / Ban 5x)

For quite some time now, almost every blue deck has been including the two delve spells Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise by default since those cards are among the most powerful spells in the format. Especially tempo decks use them more effectively than other archetypes, building their plan around early disruption and cheap spells to fill the graveyard quickly in order to reload and continue to dominate the game. This puts those decks to the point where they dominate the whole metagame.
This fact and longlasting community calls for weakening of the blue color pushed for the banning of this card. One could ask why this one and not the other? As you can see Dig Through Time was close to receiving a ban as well. However we feel like it is better to take measures step by step and watch if and how the situation changes, when only one of the delve spells is available. Treasure Cruise was chosen to be banned over Dig Through Time to weaken Tempo Decks in particular, as Treasure Cruise is a lot easier to cast, enables more powerful turns and the sheer card advantage it provides is viewed as the bigger problem. We will continue to monitor closely how this decision influences the whole meta of course.

Secret Lair X The Walking Dead (Unban 1x / Ban 4x / Abstain 1x)

We have long discussed whether this specific Secret Lair should be added to the Ban List. The crucial point here was the feedback from the community. Nevertheless, and for reasons of better traceability, we would like to emphasize at this point that none of the ban proponents gave their "yes" for the common reasons, such as the skill-presence ratio or expected gameplay strength. We also doubt that the often-cited and player-desired "protest effect" will have a really significant impact on Wizards of the Coast and rather fear future difficulties with similar sets that will appear and to which we now may be forced to react similarly. Nevertheless, we understand the current dissatisfaction and in this case we want to listen to the community more than other formats have done. We will probably have to find out together whether that was the right decision in the long term.

Close to be banned:

Dig through Time (Unban 3x / Ban 3x)  

As mentioned in the explanation for the banning of Treasure Cruise we ultimately decided to leave Dig Through Time in the format for now. Reason being that this card is the weaker card in tempo decks, which we wanted to target in particular. Dig Through Time is harder to cast and the double blue mana cost make it more difficult to double spell with it. Furthermore it provides less card advantage but instead allows to find answers for specific situations which makes it a more "defensive" card. However, Dig Through Time will still be subject of our discussions and might get banned in the future if we observe that banning only Treasure Cruise is not enough.

Close to be unbanned:

Skullclamp (Unban 3x / Ban 3x)  

This card is still the most discussed candidate for an unban mainly to push heavy creature decks like Elves or Goblins into a more playable territory. As we don't like to have too many changes at once the card stays banned for now.

Current watchlists:

Ban watchlist:                                                    
• Demonic Tutor
• Dig Through Time
• Intuition
• Oath of Druids
• Oko, Thief of Crowns
• Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath *new*
• Tainted Pact
• Thassa's Oracle
• Underworld Breach
Unban watchlist:                                                    
• Skullclamp
• Tolarian Academy *new*
• Treasure Cruise *new*
• Umezawa's Jitte

Single cards explanations:

Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

Uro is another one of recent incredibly powerful printings that changed the landscapes of multiple formats from Standard to Legacy, leading to yet another ban in Standard. This creature does it all in some kind: It is a recurring and hard to answer threat that provides a strong board presence while giving you a constant flow of life and cards. In Highlander it has also shown to be a card that is hard to beat in "fair" matchups. While being more difficult to cast we consider it close to Oko in powerlevel, who joined our watchlist in May. The addition to the watchlist does not mean it is close to being banned, but we choose to keep an eye on Uro in the future.


We are happy to welcome and introduce Sebastian Z./ TaZi as new council member. He has shown great dedication for our format as regular participant of the Online League since 2014, the FNM Online Series and many HL tournaments all over Germany in the last years. Moreover, he proved keen insight in the format and in the game in general by catching some top spots in those tournaments he took part, especially with his self-developed UGrb-Scapeshift. He has granted some content from time to time for our format on his YouTube-Channel "Heinz Holzwurm" where you can still find some decent decktechs and tournament-reports.

But TaZi isn't our only newcomer. We decided to include Marvin M./ Rigero as well. Some of you may already have seen him in his long-term role as a judge of the Berlin Magic scene. He is also part of the coverage and podcast team and has been supporting the Council for a long time with his technical and organizational skills. Rigero was also heavily involved in the development of the website, for which we are very grateful. He is currently collecting data on the mulligan, the most popular meta decks and various watchlist cards and would appreciate your support.

We know both of them as smart and gentle guys with exceptional analytic and programming skills. We are pretty sure they are a great assets for the HL Council and we are glad to have those two on board.

We would also like to add that we have not yet concluded our discussions regarding further admissions and are currently still processing applications and / or recommendations for other potential candidates.

We would like to thank the leaving Council members Dr. Opossum and Vazdru for their dedication and the work they have put into our format for many years and wish them all the best for the future! Vazdru stays in the Council till the end of this year as additional contact person for the community and to assist the new formed Council.
General Discussion / Visions of the format
11-10-2020, 01:27:05 PM
Highlander is intended to be played as a 1v1 format and we believe that competitive, tournament level play is a natural progression of that. The rules of Highlander are designed to follow the rules of official Magic formats as close as possible to keep the entry barrier for new players as low as possible.
An increased round time of 60 minutes in tournaments is a concession to the difference between Highlander and regular 60-card 4-of's formats but is merely a narrow disparity.
The two main rule exceptions, the 100-card-singleton deck building restriction and the absence of a sideboard, are the only differences to official deckbuilding rules, but are there to emphasize the format's flavour: "There can be only one!"
The format strives to offer a diverse as possible metagame, as we consider this to be a vital part of an overall enjoyable play experience. In accordance with this we seek to foster a wide variety of different decks and deck types as viable contenders in our format. Aggro, Midrange, Control and Combo should all be present in Highlander, with no single strategy dominating the others.

Complex board- and play situations are a natural consequence of this balance, and should typically favour the players who build their decks more cohesive, thus showing up better prepared, and/or come up with the better plays in a given situation. We want to differ from other formats, where game interactions are often learned and then simply handled by repetition. The goal is to have a format that presents challenges that need to be dealt with case by case, whether it is during the game itself or beforehand during the deckbuilding process at the drawing board.
Highlander is supposed to reward both deckbuilding as well as in-game skills.

Unfortunately, no format can go without a list of cards that are not allowed to be battled with for power reasons. We strive to keep the banned list as short as justifiable as well as the amount of playable decks as high as possible. We prefer to be conservative with what goes on or comes off the ban list, as we don't want to introduce too sudden changes to it but first give the players the opportunity to work the meta out by themselves. However, if the strategy/deck/card in question can't be dealt with conventionally via the many possibilities the eternal card pool offers and without warping the meta around itself, measures should be taken.

We try to work together, across borders, online and offline, to support one another, assist both new and veteran players and help grow the Highlander community.
Off-Topic / [French[ Duel Commander
01-06-2020, 09:43:30 PM
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
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!
Official Announcements / Announcement Schedule
19-01-2020, 10:47:54 AM
Starting this year we will use a new schedule for Watchlist- and Banlist-Announcements:

- Watchlist Announcement Aug 1st 2020 / Feb 1st 2021
- Banlist Announcement May 1st 2020 / Nov 1st 2020

Council discussions around Christmas and New Year are sometimes difficult because of family business, to move the announcement-dates one month forward makes things easier. Additionally there won't be any "april fool day"-jokes anymore.
Watchlist changes January 1st 2020

Cards on the following list will be closely observed and are potential candidates for a banning on April 15th, 2020.

  • Demonic Tutor
  • Dig Through Time
  • Entomb
  • Mana Drain
  • Oath of Druids *new*
  • Tainted Pact
  • Tolarian Academy
  • Treasure Cruise

Cards from the following list are still banned but will be under testing for a potential unbanning on April 15th, 2020.

  • Skullclamp
  • Survival of the Fittest
  • True-Name Nemesis
  • Umezawa's Jitte

Off the Ban Watchlist:

Entomb can produce some busted starts like other cards in the Highlander Universe like Fastbond, Mishra's Workshop, Oath of Druids among others. It obviously shines most in Reanimator-builts but also enables graveyard-shenanigans and therefore gives some room for deckbuilders and niche-decks like Lands.
As it usually needs some set-up and its power comes with card disadvantage Entomb has a high variance. The unbanning of Entomb (and Imperial Seal) have pushed reanimator decks to be viable choices for tournaments. The reanimator archetype however has not dominated since then and has been kept in check by the meta, graveyard-hate-cards and reanimation spells that are played in "fair" decks as well.
So we decided to remove Entomb from the watchlist since it seems to have a rather positive impact on the format by increasing deck-diversity. Also we decided to reintroduce Oath of Druids to the watchlist (see below) – a card that is also used in Reanimator decks and will be a focus in future discussions. However, if Reanimator starts to dominate Tournaments, we might revisit Entomb again.

On the Ban Watchlist:

Oath of Druids
Although classic Oath-decks have become a rare archetype Oath of Druids still has a common place in combo-decks where it is abused to mill the whole graveyard for combo-kill-setup like in Storm-Decks. Furthermore Oath of Druids is used as back-up-plan in Reanimator-Decks and become more and more popular in the Academy.dec as well partly because some nice flash-back-cards have been printed recently (Sevinne's Reclamation, Echo of Eons) which fit perfectly. We think we should rediscuss Oath of Druids with you.

Other announcements:

The website topic was unearthed (comprehensive rule 702.83!) and we decided to try again our own realization, which was built by the Council in the past but never published due to various problems that we could not solve at this time.

Other Topics of discussion:

As agreed upon during the first Highlander Conference in Halle, we will give you an update to other topics that are being discussed by the Council currently:

Oko, Thief of Crowns
Oko has not been introduced to the Watchlist yet, but we acknowledge that this card has been discussed in various communities and some people also talked about potential bans.
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.
We want to know what you are thinking about this card. Is it also banworthy in Highlander with a ton a power-creep? We will start a poll and discussion for this card in the European Highlander Group ( Based on the result and your feedback we will focus more strongly on this card in our discussions and will likely add it to the Watchlist.

Format Vision / Guidelines for Bans & Unbans
In order to make bans and unbans more comprehensible, we want to elaborate guidelines together with the Community. The idea is to implement this in 3 steps:
Step 1: What IS Highlander and what does the format represent for us? We would like to hear the Community's opinion to formulate a "vision" or "philosophy" for the format.
Step 2: What should or shouldn't Highlander be allowed to do? In this step, based on that "vision", we want to discuss which game-focused options the format should offer and where the limits are.

The vision of the format and guidelines developed in this way should provide orientation for the Community and the Council in subsequent ban and unban seasons. We will open the corresponding discussion threads in the forum and on Facebook in the near future.
General Discussion / Highlander Online Play
23-11-2019, 04:11:46 PM
Highlander Online Play

There was a demand to revive the Highlander Online scene somehow by parts of the community. Maybe it is hard to put into practice but at least worth a try. So here we go.

In the past we've had a multi-culti Highlander-Online-League with players from Portugal, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and even USA but the number of participants was shrinking slowly but steadily. In the end there were always the same few people for playing this league, almost all from Germany and partly even from the same community so I decided to stop that Highlander Online League for a while waiting for the right moment for a relaunch...

I have different ideas concerning Online Play:

1 - Use a Discord-Server as meeting point for all players looking for some matches on cockatrice or other platforms. Leave your nickname here so we can create a user-list. Maybe announce some fix play times so it is easier to find like-minded persons.


Name: Rooster Rangers
Port: 4748

Bobz0rd – Max Hof.
hitman_HL - Ronald Leh.
Iulus – Julius Sta.
0rley - Oliver
Phexian - Benjamin Rud.
rekka - Kurt Kof.
Vazdru – Gerry Sta.
[to be continued]

I will be online this Sunday, ~ 7 to 9 PM for some test-games.  

2 - I would like to gather some data for metagame, mulligan and unban-watchlist.  Therefore, I would like to launch following experiment:

Before I select my deck, my opponent may choose for the match:

•   To add Free Mulligan -> FM, then London Mulligan (otherwise regular only LM) and
•   To add Skullclamp (otherwise regular Banned-List)

I give a similar standardised notification for game report like Steffi did for Halle.

Notification look like (example):

UGb-Reanimator (A) vs Gwb-Cradlehoof (B) 2:1
FM: - / SC: +

G1: 1:0
A on the play mull 0x / B mull 2x
Remarks: non-game, B: mana-screwed

G2: 1:1
A mull 0x / B on the play mull 0x
Remarks: SC appeared but had no impact, combo-kill Craterhoof

G3: 2:1
A on the play mull 1x / B mull 0x
Remarks: Entomb T1 = unfair

Why only online? Cockatrice has a replay-function so it is easy to find the necessary information even if you have forgotten some details – best thing after a long play session

Furthermore, it is easy to have a lot of different decks available and switching decks with and without Skullclamp is easy as well.

It is only a small input but a small one is better than none. Maybe some guys out there wanna join this experiment so we can gather more data – just let me know and I will add your infos as well.

3 -
 On the long run I will try to establish an Online-Tournament if there is any demand for. The current draft is a non-profit, small-entry event with following stats:

Meeting Point: Discord Server
Pairings/Judge/cockatrice-deckcodes via Discord
Starting Fee: EUR 2,50
Max 16 players
4 rounds Swiss (e. g. Sunday 16-21 or weekday 19.30-0.30)
Winner 75% of pool as MKM voucher (e. g. 16 players -> EUR 30)
Runner-Up 25% of pool as MKM voucher (e. g. 16 players -> EUR 10)

Let me know if you would join such an event or if you would like to have some change. Thanks in advance!
On the 10th of November, after Continental Cup 2, the first "Highlander Conference" in Halle took place. 20 people from different communities participated to talk about the format.
We now want to share with you the protocol that we wrote together in order to share with the community what we discussed and what the results are.

place: Halle, Hall of Games
date: 10.11.2019, 10.30 – 13.15

Jörn Fra. (Jo Fra), Roy Her., Richard Kir., Cedrik Köh., Ronald Leh. (hitman), Lars Lin., Felix Mat. (nbb), Andre Mey., Marvin Mün., Björn Ort. (MMD), Patrick Ric. (firestarter), Benjamin Rud. (benjamin bittenachnameeinfügen), Daniel Sch., Hendrik Sch. (Hendrik Hansen), Sven Von., Cédric Zoh. (Alf Cett)
for the HL Council: Stephanie Bre. (Dr. Opossum), Max Hof. (Bobz0rd), Gerry Sta. (Vazdru), Thomas Sti. (Ma Qi)

1.   Introduction of the participants
2.   Conflicts in Berlin
3.   What is the philosophy of our format, what should it be?
4.   Proxies
5.   Website
6.   Online Play
7.   Content for Highlander
8.   Transparency
9.   Representation Model / Democracy / Council Members
10.   Surveys / Mulligan

1. Introduction of the Participants

The participants were introducing themselves to each other. 16 members from different German communities and four members of the HL Council took part in the discussion of the topics. The discussion was fruitful and it was an open atmosphere.

2. Conflicts in Berlin

Concerned persons explained their views on the recent quarrel going on in Berlin and partly on facebook. Different conflict lines and multiple perpectives were explained. The Berlin HL community seems still divided. The problems couldn't be solved during the conference obviously, however there is hope that both parties will be able to move on and the quarrel won't be disturbing the highlander community and especially the Berlin one too much.

3. What is the philosophy of our format, what should it be?

There is a need for more discussion about our format. Conflicts have occured, but the discussion culture from here on should be friendly, constructive and open for ideas. Sometimes it is quite hard to discuss on facebook because it gets personal, so people stay away from such discussions.

The best philosophy is the one which attracts people to play Highlander most. The question is still how to achieve this.

Questions to consider concerning the banned-list:
-   How broken should the format be? Who defines what is broken and what is fair?
-   How strong may combo-decks be? When is a combo-deck too dominant?
-   Competitive vs casual?
-   Should proxies be allowed?

Bannings without a vision/philosophy for the format are hard to deal with.

Task: Formulate a vision/philosophy for the HL format and create new banning/unbanning guidelines.

4. Proxies

Proxies were discussed as a good tool, to make the format grow and become better by giving everyone access to missing cards and therefore access to our format. Especially new players would profit as it is hard to build up the necessary card pool for a variety of decks. Players should have the chance to test decks before they make the card-investments.

It has been mentioned that the Highlander Community is usually quite helpful to new players. Cards and even whole decks have been lent to beginners. Just ask for.

If Proxies are allowed lies in the responsibility of each tounament organizer.
The council encourages the use of proxies at smaller tournaments (e.g. FNM).
At bigger tournaments with higher buy-in (EUR 10+) and pay-out proxies should still be forbidden.

5. Website

The participants agree that there must be a new and modern website where informations can be gathered centrally.

There is already a website for European Highlander made by Hendrik Sch. ( There is an offer to work together and use the website perspectively.

There is a Highlander-website designed by the council too but there are some unanswered legal issues, esp. the website-impressum. Sven Von. has some expertise in this topic as he works in this sector. Max Hof. offered help to realize the website going public if necessary.

Task: Council decides till 01.01.2020 (Watchlist Announcement) what concept they want to implement on one website.

6. Online Play

Some parts of the community want to organize and schedule more online play on Cockatrice. The Online Liga (HLL) organized on the forum of by Gerry Sta. has been stopped because of decreasing number of participants. In a first step there should be something like a meeting point and fixed Cockatrice play times for online Highlander players. Maybe there is a chance to revive an Online League or an Online Tournament.

Task: Support HL online-play community somehow.

7. Content for Highlander

European Highlander content should be centralized. All content-managers should sent their content to this central place. We should collect all blogs, channels, etc. The website should link to every European Highlander content. New content should be added. A concept for publishing decklists should be found. After the crush of mtgpulse, we have had different options but none of them seem satisfying.
Tournaments, content and a central, modern online presence seem most important for the development of Highlander.

Task: Communities and council should organise a guideline for the procedure of the publishing of tournament results and decklists.

8. Transparency

The council will register a council facebook account. Everything officially announced by the council will be posted with the council account in the future.

It's important for the community to know about the plans of the council. Bad discussion culture in the community lead to a non-participation in discussions. The watchlist is already a tool for the community to get an insight which cards are discussed and which possible changes could happen.

Task: The council will regularly reveal the topics it is currently discussing, next time at 01.01.2020 (Watchlist announcement).

9. Representation Model / Democracy / Council Members

Reasons for legitimization:
History of the format, ongoing engagement for the format, communication work with and for the community.

The community should have more influence on the format-relevant decisions.

No elective system but orientation of council actions towards the outcomes of ongoing public discourse. There should/must be applicable rules which govern this.
Regional representation of communities is not mandatory for a council member but the council should represent "en gros" the geographical areas. It makes the communication and flow of information with the different communities easier if they have a someone in the coucil.
You can apply to become a council member and you can be recommended by a community for some reasons. The council is open for new council members.
The discussion for tools to strengthen the democatric system has been postponed but democracy related topics will be discussed, whenever they appear with reason.

Task: Explain how to become a new council member. What are the requirements for a new council member. Make clear what are the reasons if someone gets rejected.

Following questions came up during the discussion:

* What function does the Highlander council have?
* Which duties and responsibilities are necessary to fulfil this function?
* How should the council be assembled to achieve this?
* How is it visible for the community that the council try to fulfil their tasks appropriate?
* What is the right approach to ensure that there is a fitting formation of the council?

For lack of time the questions haven't been discussed adequately during the conference.

10. Mulligan / Surveys

London Mulligan vs Free + London Mulligan has been a difficult decision.
The commuinication between the council and the community could have been better, e.g. how the decision process has been made. Some guys would like to have a reroll of the discussion. The mulligan is still under observation.

Surveys can be made my the council on its own but of each council members as well. There are no strict rules for it. Some guys prefer if the surveys would we published by the new council facebook account instead.
There is no agreement at this point.
Surveys, polls and all other content can be published by each council member without any previous coordination in the council and thus in individual responsibility.

Big thanks to all participants that showed their commitment to the format and took their time to discuss those topics the day after the tournament!

written in cooperation / in agreement with:
Jörn Fra., Felix Mat., Björn Ort., Cédric Zoh., the Highlander Council

Changes to the present banned list, effective 10/15/2019:

• True-Name Nemesis


Current watchlists:

Ban watchlist:
• Demonic Tutor
• Dig Through Time
• Entomb
• Mana Drain
• Tainted Pact
• Tolarian Academy
• Treasure Cruise
Unban watchlist:                                                    
• Skullclamp
• Survival of the Fittest *new*
• True-Name Nemesis
• Umezawa's Jitte

Single cards explanations (parenthesis -> voting result):

Ban True-Name Nemesis (Ban 4x / Unban 1x / Abstain 1x)

This card has been legal in Highlander for a long time and there have been many discussions about it.
Now we have finally come to the conclusion that the card should be put onto the banned list in order to improve the format.

Those in favor of keeping TNN in the format often state its powerlevel wouldn't justify a ban compared to other cards.

We agree that there certainly are more powerful, more explosive or more frustrating cards legal in Highlander than TNN. Most of those come with deckbuilding restrictions though, enable archetypes or are important for the format's balance (B2B or Blood Moon for example). TNN is not even too strong in all matchups. Against Combo decks it's mostly a clunky threat and control decks tend to have less problems with it. Where it warps the format in an unhealthy way are other "fair" matchups (Aggro, Midrange, Tempo) where the card often wins games on its own without any setup requirements.

While constructing a deck, players will often have to ask themselves what their plan against certain archetypes is. Fair decks however also need to have a plan against TNN in particular – a single card. This way, TNN influences deckbuilding more than any other single card in the format we can think of.

Another argument that comes up regularly when talking about TNN is that there is enough removal in the format for it and it can be raced easily. There are only a few removal spells however that handle TNN and are not otherwise situational or bad in most other scenarios (sacrifice effects) and most decks only have two to three of those at most and have to be quite lucky to draw them at the right time. Racing is often only possible with flyers or a clearly dominant board position. Furthermore, this way of arguing also implies the creature is problematic – those points don't have to be made for any other creature in the format.

We do not think that TNN adds anything meaningful to the format, but instead takes a lot away from it, as it allows the player to go into an autopilot mode with it, resulting in non-interactive games. The card has been mentioned by Wizards in their Developmental Mistakes article.
Opinions on TNN within the community seem to be split. We acknowledge that there has been a survey on Facebook where more people voted against a ban of TNN than in favor of it. The last four survey results from Continental Cup Halle 2018, MGM # 15, Highlandermasters Westfalen and Helsinki however show that TNN is the card with the most votes for a ban currently, so we are sure that we do not act against a clear majority here.

Survival of the Fittest (Add to WL 5x / Not to WL 1x)

SotF has been banned for more than 9 years now. It was banned because it was format-dominating in an unhealthy way during these days. Lots of decks played a creature-toolbox, many a creature-based combo where Survival fits quite well obviously. Nowadays the meta looks quite different and it is doubtful if the powerful synergies of the past using Squee, Genesis or Reveillark are still viable in any way. However this card could offer new space for deck-building and would push some green-based Midrange decks, an archetype which seems to be a bit behind. Maybe it could also serve as a new tool for Reanimator decks but comes at the cost of playing more creatures like in the current tier-1 builds.
We have had some test-sessions with this card and had to recognize that it is has lost some of its former power, so we decided to put Survival of the Fittest up for discussion with the community.
It should be added, that when looking at other Singleton formats where you are allowed to play this card, it doesn't seem to have a dominant impact, as far we can see.

Current state of discussion:

Skullclamp (Stay banned 2x, Unban 2x, Abstain 2x)
Pro Ban:
card seems too oppressive
another busted combo-piece
aggro would be pushed further which isn't a good idea

Con Ban:
needs a special setting
needs time and ressources to grant card-advantage
offers some new room for deck-construction

Umezawa's Jitte (Stay banned 6x, Unban 0x)
Pro Ban:
shuts down creature-decks
games center around this card as soon it is online
would be another auto-include in every deck with enough creature to carry it

Con Ban:
equipment is not an inherently good archetype
lower power level than cards on banned list
equipments do not see much play recently

Demonic Tutor (Ban 1x, No ban 5x)
Pro Ban:
incentivizes player to splash black
negates the one-of-highlander-thing as it is basically a second copy of the best card in you deck at the given situation
stronger than vampiric and mystical which are banned already

Con Ban:
iconic card
enables deck with plan
combo & control needs it to compete with aggro

Dig Through Time (Ban 1x, No ban 5x)
Pro ban:
seals the deal on even matches
Delve is not a real cost in decks where this card is good

Con ban:
UU makes it somewhat restrictive
can realistically only be played during late mid-game or lategame, where other cards have powerful effects, too

Entomb (Ban 0x, No ban 6x)
Pro ban:
in Reanimator it enables broken t1 or t2 plays that end the game on the spot

Con ban:
has sweet but not broken synergy with many other cards like Bloodghast, Hogaak, Life from the Loam, Echo of Eons etc.
also serves as a special tutor for non-reanimator combo decks which forces some creativity in deckbuilding

Mana Drain (Ban 1x, No ban 5x)
Pro Ban:
generates unfair tempo-swings
enhances randomness of the game

Con Ban:
often just a counterspell
highlander has powerful cards, where else can you play your Mana Drain?

Tainted Pact (Ban 0x, No ban 6x)
Pro Ban:
instant Demonic in some builds
strengthens multi-color-decks

Con Ban:
weaker than Demonic Tutor
only good in a few decks

Tolarian Academy (Ban 0x, No ban 5x, Abstain 1x)
Pro Ban:
enables busted starts
unfun to play against, especially for newcomers

Con Ban:
enables specific archetypes which is good for format diversity
Tolarian Arcademy wasn't oppressive based on latest tournament results

Treasure Cruise (Ban 1x, No ban 5x)
Pro Ban:
in some scanarios feels unfair like an Ancestral Recall
too good when already ahead

Con Ban:
still needs resources and setup

Birthing Pod (Add to WL 2x, Not to WL 4x)
Pro Ban:
reusable onto-the-battlefield tutoring has been broken ever since
instant you-win combos exist
creatures are getting better as time goes on which makes this card always dangerous

Con Ban:
green midrange relatively weak at the moment
creatures are getting better but not necessarily ETB-abilities
instant you-win combos require whacky creatures, which might be too steep a deckbuilding cost


The current council members are:

Bobz0rd - Max, Germany, Erfurt, * 1991
Dalibor - Dalibor, Slovakia, Senec, * 1979
Dr. Opossum - Stephanie, Germany, Berlin, * 1987
Maqi - Thomas, Germany, Mannheim, * 1982
pyyhttu - Tuomas, Finland, Helsinki, * 1982
Vazdru - Gerry, Germany, Karlsruhe, * 1975

We are currently planning to add new council members. If you would like to join us, please contact us. The council can be reached now via mail too:


We want to enhance the transparency of the council-work and the discussions which lead to our ban-/unban-decisions in a better way. As first steps we decided to
- publish the voting-results to each card discussed and give some insight to the main pros/cons mentioned by the community and council.
- We wanted to raise the effectuality of community feedback too. As you can see by the current banning/unbanning-decisions the surveys and the feedback of the community has a big impact on the voting process.
- Council members will post a short introduction of themselves during the next days right here in this announcement-board, so it is easier to find for the community.
- We added an E-Mail-address in order to make it is easier to reach the council as a whole.

As next steps we would like to discuss with you the following topics as well:
- We would like to reformulate the current guidelines which give direction to our decisions on banning or unbanning a card. Therefore we would like to hear your feedback on this, how your vision of our format looks like and how you would frame this vision. These guidelines are really important to us and are meant to reflect the idea of what Highlander should be like.
- We are thinking about creating regular polls and surveys to better orientate our decisions and in order to provide everyone with an easily accessible way of participating on issues.
- We would like to discuss if there's a good possibility for a "community vote" within the banning/unbanning process.
- We want to find out if there's a good possibility for an institutionalized rotation of council members.

Last but not least, we want to thank the community for all the feedback, which really helps us to improve our work!
Allgemeine Informationen zur Veranstaltung:

Das Turnier wird am 09. 11. 2019 stattfinden.

Hall of Games
Martinstraße 10
06108 Halle (Saale)

Einlass: 9.00 Uhr
Anmeldebeginn: 9.30 Uhr
Anmeldeschluss: 10.45 Uhr
Turnierbeginn: 11.00 Uhr

Anmeldegebühr: 25€
  - die Anmeldgebühr kann bereits per Paypal bezahlt werden:
( bitte per Freunde + gebt eure Mailadresse an!!! )

daraufhin erhaltet ihr eine Teilnahmebestätigung, welche euch einen Platz im Turnier sichert

- jeder Spieler erhält zur Anmeldung ein Booster Los

( Booster Los: hebt dieses Los gut auf, denn in jeder Runde wird ein Modern Horizon Booster verlost - wird eure Zahl aufgerufen, erhaltet ihr nach der Runde euer Booster (gegen Vorlage des Loses) bei unserem Personal )

-Tops werden ausgespielt ( ab 60 Teilnehmern wird es Top 8
geben - Preispool wird entsprechend angepasst)
- Rules Level: Competative
- goldrandige Karten sind erlaubt
- Rundenzeit : 1h
- 5 Extraturns nach dem Time Out
- BannedList von

Tournament Organizer: Hall of Games
HeadJudge: folgt
Judges: folgt, folgt, folgt


Auch dieses mal wird es wieder eine Team Challenge geben:

- Startgebühr: 10€ je Team
( jedes Teammitglied erhält zur Anmeldung ein Booster Los )
- 3 Spieler je Team
- 1.Platz: 33,33€ MarketGutschein je Teammitglied
- 2.Platz: 3 Booster Modern Horizon je Teammitglied
- 3.Platz: 2 Booster Modern Horizon je Teammitglied

( Booster Los: hebt dieses Los gut auf, denn in jeder Runde wird ein Modern Horizon Booster verlost - wird eure Zahl aufgerufen, erhaltet ihr nach der Runde euer Booster (gegen Vorlage des Loses) bei unserem Personal )
Aufgrund der hohen Spielerzahl wird es keine Mittagspause geben. Wir werden euch ausreichen Zeit lassen, um euch in den umliegenden Restaurants zu stärken - fragt am Thresen nach um zu erfragen, wo es am besten schmeckt ;D
Kauf + Verkauf von Einzelkarten/Sammlungen:

Es wird wieder einen Händler vor Ort geben, bei dem ihr eure Einzelkarten / Sammlungen verkaufen könnt, bzw. noch wichtige Karten einkaufen könnt.

Hierzu folgen noch nähere Infos.


Der Preispool wird entsprechend der Spieleranzahl angepasst. Bitte seid euch also bewusst, dass es bei deutlich weniger Spielern auch weniger Preise geben kann, da das Turnier finanziert werden muss.

Preise ( ab 120 Teilnehmern ):

Platz 01 - 380€ Cardmarket-Gutschein+Box Topper(ModernMaster)
Platz 02 - 300€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 03 - 200€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 04 - 200€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 05 -  150€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 06 -  150€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 07 -  150€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 08 -  150€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 09 -   90€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 10 -   90€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 11 -   90€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 12 -   90€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 13 -   90€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 14 -   90€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 15 -   90€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 16 -   90€ Cardmarket-Gutschein

Preise ( ab 90 Teilnehmern ):

Platz 01 - 250€ Cardmarket-Gutschein+Box Topper(ModernMaster)
Platz 02 - 200€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 03 - 150€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 04 - 150€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 05 - 120€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 06 - 120€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 07 - 120€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 08 - 120€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 09 -  60€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 10 -  60€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 11 -  60€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 12 -  60€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 13 -  60€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 14 -  60€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 15 -  60€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 16 -  60€ Cardmarket-Gutschein

Preise (ab 60 Teilnehmern):

Platz 01 -200€ Cardmarket-Gutschein+Box Topper(ModernMaster)
Platz 02 -150€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 03 -100€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 04 -100€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 05 - 80€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 06 - 80€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 07 - 80€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 08 - 80€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 09 - 50€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 10 - 50€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 11 - 50€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 12 - 50€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 13 - 50€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 14 - 50€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 15 - 50€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 16 - 50€ Cardmarket-Gutschein

Preise ( ab 30 Teilnehmer )

Platz 01 -120€ Cardmarket-Gutschein+Box Topper(ModernMaster)
Platz 02 -  80€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 03 -  60€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 04 -  60€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 05 -  40€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 06 -  40€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 07 -  40€ Cardmarket-Gutschein
Platz 08 -  40€ Cardmarket-Gutschein

Special Prices for Special Peoples:

Es wird natürlich wieder spezielle Preise geben für spezielle Kategorien.

Wie kommt ihr am besten zum Turnier?
Falls ihr mit dem Zug anreisen solltet, bewegt ihr euch aus dem Hauptbahnhof raus, lauft bis zum Riebeckplatz und geht dann den Boulevard herunter. Haltet fortan Ausschau nach der Santander Bank auf der rechten Seite des Boulevards - Nebenan befindet sich nämlich auch der Laden!

Sollte eure Anreise mit dem Auto erfolgen, so können wir euch nur empfehlen ein Navigationsgerät zu verwenden. Kostenlose Parklätze befinden sich vor dem Laden selbst, allerdings kann man sich meist nicht darauf verlassen dass diese auch frei sind. Was wir euch empfehlen ist das Parkhaus des Charlottencenters, welches sich hinter dem Laden befindet und in dem ihr den gesamten Tag für je 3,50€ parken dürft.

Was müsst Ihr mitbringen?
Wir erwarten von jedem Spieler eine leserlich ausgefüllte Deckliste im A4 Format zum Turnier mitbringt, sowie einen Block und einen Stift mit euch führt um eure Lebenspunkte zu notieren. Was ebenfalls nützlich sein kann ist ein Würfel um zwischen den Spielern zu entscheiden, welcher das jeweilige Duell beginnt.

Zur Location:

Die Hall of Games befindet sich, wie der Name bereits vermuten lässt, in Halle (Saale) und bietet Platz für bis zu 120 Spieler. Vor Ort habt ihr die Möglichkeit euch mit Sleeves und sonstigen Zubehör einzudecken, sowie Einzelkarten vom lokalen Händler zu kaufen oder eure Sammlungen an ihn zu verkaufen.

Snacks und Getränke werden vor Ort zu fairen Preisen angeboten. Informationen zu den Ankaufspreisen von Karten und Sonstigem erhaltet ihr auf Anfrage bei Jens Eckardt (AtzenJens) oder eben direkt im Laden. Euch fehlt es noch an etwas? Kein Problem! Einzelkarten und Zubehör, wie Hüllen und Deckboxen gibt es selbstverständlich im Laden vor Ort. Vorbestellungen sind ebenfalls möglich.

Noch Fragen?
Falls ihr noch weitere Fragen zum Turnier haben solltet, meldet euch bitte direkt hier in der Veranstaltung, auf unserer Facebook-Seite oder bei der Hall of Games unter der 034544538583.

— Das Team der Hall of Games
Cards on the following list will be closely observed and are potential candidates for a banning on October 15th, 2019.

  • Demonic Tutor
  • Dig Through Time
  • Entomb
  • Mana Drain
  • Scapeshift
  • Tainted Pact
  • Tolarian Academy
  • Treasure Cruise
  • True-Name Nemesis

Cards from the following list are still banned but will be under testing for a potential unbanning on October 15th, 2019.

  • Gifts Ungiven
  • Skullclamp *new*
  • Umezawa's Jitte

Off the Ban watchlist:

Before Scapeshift, there was Bring to Light in the watchlist, which was dropped in favor of Scapeshift. Scapeshift was added to the watchlist in October 2018 as it was considered as the real offender among the three top tier combo decks, constantly finishing in top-8 in tournaments, and as such too oppressive to some Highlander areas. It was also noted that Scapeshift enabled various midrange decks with a single card combo win, making the archetype too flexible.

But Scapeshift-decks haven't received too much of new playable cards in the last sets, and that people have moved on to different decks. Additionally players learned better how to play against this kind of decks. At least Scapeshift doesn't seem too oppressive right now so we decided to cut this one from the ban-watchlist.

Off the Unban watchlist:

Gifts Ungiven
This card has been introduced to unban-watchlist on January, 1st 2018. It has been added especially because higlander meta has changed much since its ban in 2011. It was questionable if a card on CC4-slot can still be too strong while aggro-decks become faster since 2011 with every set. In fact there are only three cards left on banned-list with CC4 (Natural Order, Gifts Ungiven and Birthing Pod, which is virtually a CC3-spell due to phyrexian Mana).
Furthermore the power-level of cards has risen drastically since that time. But this is partly a reason why Gifts Ungiven stays on the banned-list. The banned-list allows explosive starts and combo-decks like Academy could benefit most of Gifts Ungiven while this card probably won't see much play outside combo-decks. As there is currently no noticeable requirement to push combo-decks or adding another powerful tutor to the meta we decided to cut this card of the unban-watchlist for a while.

On the Unban watchlist:

Although Stoneforge Mystic is unbanned equipments do not get much love recently. Predominant you will find a package with SFM + Batterskull and a Sword (of Fire and Ice mostly) if a player decides to add any equipments to his/her deck. Skullclamp is (together with Jitte) on the banned-list for eternitys, even Highlander veterans haven't had the chance to play with those equipments ever although there have been long debats which impact adding one or both equipments could have on our meta all over the years. Maybe time has come to test this out finally. In theory Skullclamp needs a specific deck to shine while Jitte can be thrown into almost every deck which run enough critters to carry it. At least in some of the tier-1 decks where the creature-count is low (e. g. Reanimator, Academy, some Scapeshift-builts) both equipments hardly find a slot so other decks, which stands behind right now would get some powerful weapons to compete.

Now you might ask: Why has this card been removed from the watchlist in April just to be reintroduced in the next announcement? We know this looks odd but there's a simple explanation: As communicated there have been internal changes to the council and those changes also lead to a new majority agreeing with the above reasoning.  

Other announcements:

The London Mulligan replaces the combination of Free Mulligan + Vancouver Mulligan

Hardly any discussion has polarized as much as the recent mulligan discussion. The community and the council largely agree that, with the London mulligan becoming the new industry standard for mainstream Magic, not implementing it or not at least trying it would be a hardly justifiable non-action. This leaves us with two possible outcomes:
1. A new combination mulligan of Free mulligan + London mulligan or
2. the implementation of the London mulligan.
We have tried to take into account the main arguments  of the two groups.

Uniformity across formats (LM):
One of the main arguments of the LM group was the standardization across the formats to make it easier for newbies and players of other formats to enter Highlander. In addition, the recognition by WotC for Highlander as a "real" format was repeatedly called. In fact, Eternal formats are strongly and very often different from rotating formats. Many would say that makes the charm. All in all, magic is a very complex game anyway (layer system, priority, stack, etc.) and we doubt that unifying one rule would significantly simplify format transition nor would WotC have more sympathy and support for us.

Highlander has always had a combination mulligan with Free + X (FM + LM):
In fact, that's not true. Especially older players will remember the Spoils mulligan, where any number of cards of your starting hand were put away, then you would redraw to seven and after that the stowed cards would be shuffled back into your library. The Spoils mulligan quickly became too strong, allowing players to aggressively fish for specific cards and excessively streamline their decks. The outcome of the games was more often than not determined during the first few turns with one player running away with game on the back of a perfect hand. Consequently, the Free mulligan followed. Just a few years ago, the Free mulligan was then supplemented with the Vancouver mulligan, creating the first combination mulligan.

Allows for "better games" / less "non-games" (FM + LM):
This argument doesn't really help because of the many possible different definitions of "non-game". We asked many players about the topic and got a different description from each of them. Player A finds the mulligan should mitigate the resource problem Magic has. Meaning, one does not want to draw too few or too many lands or mana resources within the early game. Player B thinks the mulligan should not only fix the resource problem, but should also allow them to play their spells during the first turns, so one would not only want to draw the appropriate number of lands, but also the fitting low-curve spells. Player C expects from the mulligan to make their deck not only steady and dependable but also wants to access their key cards with relatively high probability. So they demand specific cards on the starting hand or a direct way to these spells. In the best case they always have an optimal starting hand or an approximately perfect starting hand. The questions which we had to ask ourselves were "What is the task of the mulligan?" or "Is this still the task of the mulligan?". "At what point does the wish of Player A, B or C exceed the idea of Magic so much that it does more harm than good?" and how does that work with the subjective idea of avoiding "non-games"?

The most important question we had to answer is, where do we actually want to go with the format and what function should the mulligan actually have.

Especially tournament players, who look back on years of experience and can put strong trust in their skills often forget an important point: Magic owes a large part of its success to its considerable chance component. Each of us started sometime. And without the factor of luck, hardly any of us would play today if our tournament opponents and playgroups had only consisted of Gary Kasparows and Magnus Carlens. Good players will still prevail statistically the more games are played. But the random component also allows newcomers to emerge victorious between many defeats and thus gain new motivation. We find that in a format which has a very substantial proportion of casual players and is in need for newcomers, this aspect should certainly not be lost. Maintaining this balance between "randomness" and "consistency" ultimately determines the rating of all arguments .

"The mulligan should not punish the player" is probably a statement that every one of us would sign.
But the impact on probabilities starts much earlier: during deckbuilding. The task of the mulligan is not to compensate for a shortage of resources (whether in the form of lands or cheap spells)  which have intentionally been left out during deck building. In other words, deck composition should not be made too easy because the mulligan will just fix everything for you anyways. You need to estimate how high you would like the probability of having any number lands or any number of spells in your starting hand. With what probability do you want to start with at least two lands for example? Have a mana elf on the starting hand? A counterspell effect? Of course, you will hardly be able to speculate on a specific card, but our format not only has the "disadvantage" of being able to play each card only once, but also allows us to access all kinds of variants of the same type of effect. Of course, it doesn't always work the way you wanted it to. This is where the mulligan comes into play. It is not a punishment but a choice. A second chance, which has a price. A compromise.
Once the mulligan allows you to orient your deckbuilding to it, the mulligan transcends its original purpose. As soon as it allows you to play fewer lands because your curve is very low and aggressive, ensuring you'll be able to pay all your costs during the first few turns, it is not a second chance anymore. As soon as we start taking "quality mulligans", because the hand could be a little bit better, or because we feel it necessary, because the opponent does the same, the mulligan is no longer a mulligan, but we are entering an arms race. And if consistency determines our game, we no longer have to play our matches to determine a winner.
WHEN this point is reached, or IF a person feels a disturbance in this balance between "randomness" and "consistency", everyone ultimately decides for themselves. However, quite a respectable part has already acknowledged that they are planning to or must adapt their deck due to a mulligan change.

In relation to the "consistency-randomness" balance, also the desire for deceleration (LM) was expressed by some people. Highlander has undergone a significant development, especially in recent years. While a few years ago everyone still resorted to midrange and control lists, games are often decided in the first turns now. The mana curves become narrower, the decks faster, the play style more aggressive. Older players in particular will be able to remember that decks were fine at coping with something like three or four pet or test cards. That is unthinkable today. The decks are tuned and each card has its "reason for being" or is being cut. Of course, no one can tell with certainty how the meta evolves due to a change of the mulligan. And of course, our influence on this development is limited. Already with the change from Spoils mulligan to Free mulligan we were faced with the same precarious situation. Of course, specific decks have better starting conditions for adjusting to a new mulligan than others. This argument works both ways, depending on whether one chooses a mulligan who favors consistency or one who refutes it. We hope the mulligan, IF it favors certain decks, will favor those decks which are already kind of balanced in itself. Decks whose consistency cannot increase much further due to their redundant card packages. But even these decks, in the best case, will have to lose a bit of consistency and possibly have to work on their resources.

Why did we decide to change it now? Well, many forget that the discussion has been going on since the first mention of the London mulligan half a year ago, and since then it has repeatedly initiated heated conversations and demands for implementation. Since the announcement of a test run on the latest Mythic Championship the desire for change became more and more concrete and finally reached its climax when WotC announced that they decided to establish the new mulligan for its competitive non-eternal formats.
We understand the decision to go with "London mulligan only" as a conservative compromise, between people who argue for a strong focus on consistency and those who see a problem in the already existing consistency. The London mulligan will be the most suitable tool to balance out explosive play strategies and allows for more deceleration, so that Highlander may be more attractive to players who need to find their way into format and into the game first. We also strongly believe that the implementation of the London mulligan will happen without subtracting from gameplay and without reducing the strategic depth of the format at all.
We fully understand that not everyone might agree with this decision, but we would like to emphasize that this unfortunately is a problem that any rules change always has and that this decision is not irrevocable at all. If, after a certain period of time, the new mulligan does not produce the expected results, or perhaps even does more harm than good, it can of course be adjusted or turned back. However, we believe that our players can enter the new challenge with the same self-confidence as they did when we switched from Spoils mulligan to Free mulligan and that everyone will be able to adapt to the new situation.

Starting with tabletop Core Set 2020 Preleases on July 5, the new mulligan can be used for all play. It will become officially reflected in the comprehensive rules with the M20 rules updates on July 12. Stores may opt to enact the new rule for regular REL or lower events before the official rules change on July 5 to give players the opportunity to test out the new procedure. Competitive REL events cannot use the new rule until the official change.

Highlander Side Event
Saturday August, 3rd

anyone ?!

i try to be there
Changes to the present banned list, effective 04/15/2019:



Current watchlists:

Ban watchlist:                                                    
• Demonic Tutor
• Dig Through Time
• Entomb
• Mana Drain
• Scapeshift
• Tainted Pact
• Tolarian Academy
• Treasure Cruise
• True-Name Nemesis
Unban watchlist:                                                      
• Gifts Ungiven
• Skullclamp
• Umezawa's Jitte

Off the Unban watchlist:

After weighting up various arguments for and against the unban of Skullclamp, the Council has decided to lay the focus on Jitte as a potential candidate for the unban. Skullclamp neither got enough votes for an unban, nor enough votes for its Watchlist position, and also community surveys did not justify the idea of Skullclamp in the format. Should the request for the resumption of the discussions arise again, we ask for appropriate feedback and the participation in unbiased surveys around this card and will, if necessary, add it to the Unabn Watchlist again.

Other announcements:


We are aware that a Council member should have some example function in terms of visibility, teamwork, reliability and general interest across communities connected to the format. Therefore, we saw us forced to make internal changes in the Council and put our hopes in a new member. We thank Christoph for the many years of cooperation and want to introduce Max Hofer. Max has already prove himself at various tournaments and attracted attention with his open, friendly and interested nature. We look forward to the time together and warmly welcome him in the Council!
steps to join

regular season (like always, official rules!)
1) read the standing order here:
2) make a X or post a deckcode (cockatrice) in this thread - deckcode is changeable until tournament starts
3) you get account information via PM for bank-transfer
4) transfer the starting fee (EUR 6)
5) you are in and your name will be listed below

TaZi, derStefan82, firestarter, Silberhase & Agent007 may use 2 PP to join
Peddy Frost, r4nd0m may use 1 PP + EUR 3 transfer to join
Tournament Organizer: Vazdru

Judge: hitman

Modus: Swiss-Rounds best-of-three, play-offs best-of-five

Rules Enforcement Level: Regular

Starting Fee: EUR 6
*New* You have also the chance to join the league without paying entry fee. Then you don't have the chance to pick prices at the end of the tournament and you will only be paired against players who are out of contention for prices ( other players who haven't paid entry fee or players who can't reach Top 4 rather Top 8 ).

One deck: The deck code (Cockatrice) has to be posted before the tournament starts. Decks can't be changed during the whole tournament (deck codes become locked as soon as the tournament starts).

Matchplay: Matches have to be played within a period of about two weeks. The staff announce a deadline for each round at Sunday, 9 pm CET. If both don't appear, it is a draw. If only one player appears he gets the win if he used the "[HLL]Meeting Point" for match-dating, otherwise it's a draw. (Note: Thereby using the Meeting Point instead of PM or that kind is highly recommended!)

Report: The winner of each match has to post the result and (at least a small) report as soon as possible but no later than one week after the deadline of this round. The looser can take this over or can write a report too if he likes to.

Vacation: Each player can announce a vacation period of 1 week once during the whole tournament (Swiss + Top X). In that case the period for playing the match prolongates for everyone by 1 week. A matchplay-period can't be prolongated more than once. The staff will announce a new deadline for the round in case a vacation period has been requested.

Prices: You will find the price-pool over here: It will be updated and become locked as soon as the tournament starts.

Rounds: Depends on number of registered players:
2: 1 round
3-4: 2 rounds
5-8: 3 rounds
9-16: 4 rounds
17-32: 5 rounds
33+: 6 rounds

8-16 players: play-offs TOP 4
17+ players: play-offs TOP 8

Deck-Building: Current Banned List at the beginning of the tournament. Unban Watch List cards are unavailable.

Decklists must be send to hitman before the tournament starts. Top 4 rather Top 8 will be published before play-offs.

The results and match-report of the last swiss round will be gathered by hitman. He will publish the results as soon all results are available.

Higher Swiss Standing
chooses the starting player in g1 in play-offs.

If you have any questions, contact Vazdru or hitman.

The small print: In case Cockatrice becomes unavailable for more than 2 weeks, the tournament would become annulled and everyone get back their starting fee (no prices). I hope and expect this won't happen.
Reports / Tournament results
06-04-2018, 08:22:58 PM
I want to gather all available tournament results since last bannings/unbannings (Oct. 1st, 2017) at one place:

Please give at least following details:

No. of players
Winner - Archetype
Runner-Up - Archtype

additionally (if available)
Off-Topic / Cockatrice
27-03-2018, 09:22:29 PM
Friendslist has gone  ??? anyone else?
Does this happened with last update?
Any chance to get it back easily?

edit: all players are shown as unregistered players ( like me), i can't even add anyone to my friends-list at the moment; a bit weird actually - lets see if this is just a temporary issue
locked 08.02.2018

Price-funds Season XXXII

Starting Fee for Season XXXII: EUR 6
For each player 2 playerpoints (PP) will be added.
Each participant may add anything to the pricepool. If the price has been chosen and the winner confirmed the receipt, I transfer the money (EUR 3 per pp).
Participants can't choose their own prices (no cash-out / only non-cash prizes).
Starting fee includes also handling fee for delivery and packing.

Pricepool will be devided on top 4:
50 % winner
25 % runner-up (>= .5 will be rounded up)
15 % third (>= .5 will be rounded up)
10 % forth (>= .5 will be rounded up)

20 players = PP 40
Winner: PP 20
Runner-Up: PP 10

11 players = PP 22
Winner:  11 PP
Runner-Up:  6 PP

unused PP can be safed for next season


TaZi 28 PP
firestarter 6 PP
derStefan 6 PP
r4nd0m 1 PP
Peddy Frost 1 PP

   Card      PP      language      condition      foil      remarks   
   Bitterblossom      8      eng      ex               
   Bribery      4      eng      ex            Mercadian Masques   
   Goblin Lackey      2      eng      ex               
   Horizon Canopy      15      eng      nm      yes      Iconic Master   
   Horizon Canopy      12      eng      ex            Future Sight   
   Leovold, Emissary of Trest      15      eng      nm               
   Mana Drain      16      it      ex+               
   Magus of the Moon      3      ger      ex+               
   Mishra's Bauble      3      eng      nm      yes      Iconic Master   
   Mutavault      4      eng      nm               
   Mutavault      4      ger      nm               
   Phyrexian Tower      9      eng      ex               
   Plateau      16      it      good               
   Plateau      15      eng      light played               
   Savannah      22      eng      good            front ex- / back: played   
   Scrubland      21      it      ex+               
   Sliver Overlord      2      eng      ex               
   Snapcaster Mage      16      eng      nm            Innistrad   
   Sneak Attack      8      eng      ex               
   Spellskite      3      eng      ex            NPH   
   Stoneforge Mystic      5      eng      ex               
   Sword of Feast and Famine      7      ger      ex               
   Tolarian Academy      8      eng      ex               
   Tropical Island      50      ger      good               
   Windswept Heath      4      ger      nm               
   Wrath of God      4      ger      ex            Black Bordered     
   4 Ixalan Booster      3      eng                  can be picked multiple times   
   4 Booster Dragon's Maze      3      eng                     
* picked prices (also Ladder-Tournament 2017) are unavailable for further picks
steps to join

regular season (like always, official rules!)
1) read the standing order here:
2) make a X or post a deckcode (cockatrice) in this thread - deckcode is changeable until tournament starts
3) you get account information via PM for bank-transfer
4) transfer the starting fee (EUR 6)
5) you are in and your name will be listed below

TaZi, derStefan82, firestarter & Silberhase may use 2 PP to join
Peddy Forst, r4nd0m may use 1 PP + EUR 3 transfer to join

   No.      PARTICIPANT      CODE      FEE      Decklist      RDY      
   1      firestarter      c7akurvf      YES      YES      YES      
   2      derStefan82      hqme1am3      YES      YES         YES            
   3      Silberhase      4go3iek2      YES      YES      YES      
   4      TaZi      4dlb1i8a      YES      YES         YES            
   5      Payron      uhmqmrmu      YES      YES      YES      
   6      Vazdru      0d0mk575      YES      YES      YES      
   7      Iulus      8715pvgo      YES      YES      YES      
   8      Agent007      mk2grap4      YES      YES      YES