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Messages - Vazdru

I guess it is more a rhetoric question?
It's quite obvious that there is no resilent data available showing the dominance of ANY deck or card in such a small format. This is true for now, the past and the future.

What could be the conclusion? Ban nothing eternally?!
The community demanded that their voice should be involve more in the council decisions....

Community Cup, 90 players (last big tournament):

These card(s) should be banned:
(absolute frequencies)
(relative frequencies)
(cards currently on the Watchlist are italic)

There are (only) two cards which get more votes for BAN vs UNBAN (for the ones with at least 10 votes).
One of it even got 10 times more votes for BAN vs UNBAN.
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.
Think so. I've made some testsessions before Halle and Scapeshift was a solid Option.
In October 2019 Berlin guy Nils won three FNMs with his Scapeshift (Field of the Damned) built.
Not sure if there is his decklist somewhere available.
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.
I try to lauch a new Online League next year.

DRAFT – Suggestions welcome!

Tournament Organizer: Vazdru

Judge: tbd

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

Rules Enforcement Level: Regular

Starting Fee: EUR 5

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 offered target dates publicly.

Report: The winner of each match has to post the result as soon as possible. A (at least) short report or replays of the games are recommended.

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: 100 % of starting fee will be distributed as MKM-Coupons
Pricepool will be divided on top 4:
50 % winner
25 % runner-up
15 % third
10 % fourth

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 the judge 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 the judge. He/she will publish the results as soon all results are available.

Higher Swiss Standing chooses the starting player in g1 in play-offs.
UGb-Reanimator (A) vs RDW (B) 2:1
FM: - / SC: -

G1: 1:0
A mull 0x / B on the play mull 1x
Remarks: A keeps one-lander with Entomb + Animate Dead -> T2 "kill" after Gitaxian Probe + Iona

G2: 1:1
A mull 0x / B on the play mull 2x
Remarks: Oath wasn't enough vs Opp mull 2x but Shrine of Burning Rage, Smuggler's Copter + Mishra's Factory

G3: 2:1
A on the play mull 2x / B mull 0x
Remarks: Demonic for Oath, Eidolon + Spellshock

Gr-Cradlehoof (A) vs Temur-Tempo (B) 0:1
FM: - / SC: -

G1: 0:1
A mull 0x / B on the play mull 0x
Remarks: T2 Brazen Borrower, T3 Oko on the play is hard to deal with - still quite close thanks to Thrun

UGb-Reanimator (A) vs 4c Twin-Combo (no black) (B) 0:2
FM: - / SC: -

G1: 0:1
A mull 0x / B on the play mull 1x
A keeps greedy hand: Fetchland, Oath of Druids, Sylvan Library, Demonic Tutor, Thoughtseize, Treasure Cruise, Drown in the Loch ... no second land.

G2: 0:2
A on the play mull 2x / B mull 0x
Remarks: non-game and fast Twin-Combo

Gr-Cradlehoof (A) vs 4c Twin-Combo (no black) (B) 2:1
FM: - / SC: -

G1: 1:0
A on the play mull 0x / B mull 0x
A curves out for Garruk Wildspeaker and Primeval Titan

G2: 1:1
A mull 1x / B on the play mull 1x
Remarks: Prime Speaker Vannifar was too fast

G3: 2:1
A on the play mull 0x / B mull 0x
Remarks: Karakas keeps him alive vs Polukranos + Surrak the Hunt Caller + Nissa. Llanowar Tribe + Cradle accelerate into Craterhoof bring him down to 3 lp. Polukranos + massive mana clean the board fast enough to avoid combo-kill next turn.
Next testsession on cockatrice:
this Sunday, 01.12 / 20.30
first matches today - noone wanted to play with Free Mulligan or Skullclamp yet

UGb-Reanimator (A) vs Izzet (B) 2:0
FM: - / SC: -

G1: 1:0
A on the play mull 2x / B mull 1x
Remarks: T3 Intuition Into T4 Exhume Jin-Gitaxias + Counterbackup

G2: 2:0
A mull 0x / B on the play mull 2x
Remarks: B screwed, non-game

Gr-Cradehoof (A) vs 5C-Reanimator (B) 0:2
FM: - / SC: -

G1: 0:1
A mull 0x / B on the play mull 0x
Remarks: Life From the Loam, Titania, Show and Tell for Elesh Norn

G2: 0:2
A on the play mull 0x / B mull 1x
Remarks: Dark Ritual, Demonic Tutor, Oath of Druids

UGb-Reanimator (A) vs Royal (5c) Blood (B) 2:1
FM: - / SC: -

G1: 0:1
A on the play mull 0x / B mull 1x
Remarks: long and grindy game

G2: 1:1
A on the play mull 0x / B mull 0x
Remarks: Back to Basiscs + multiple resurrected Jin-Gitaxias

G2: 2:1
A mull 1x / B on the play mull 0x
Remarks: B Mana Screwed, A Rotting Regisaur + Reanimated Griselbrand

Gr-Cradehoof (A) vs Royal (5c) Blood (B) 2:1
FM: - / SC: -

G1: 1:0
A on the play mull 0x / B mull 0x
Remarks: Derranged Hermit + Cradle + Craterhoof

G2: 1:1
A mull 1x / B mull 0x
Remarks: Discard + Questing Beast + Oko

G3: 2:1
A on the play mull 1x / B mull 0x
Remarks: A curved out, B flooded
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