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Official Announcements / May 1st, 2022 - Ban and Watch ...
Last post by Rigero - 01-05-2022, 01:02:12 AM
May 1st, 2022 - Ban and Watch List Changes

Changes to the present banned list, effective 15/05/2022:

•Underworld Breach
•Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

•Mind Twist

Changes to the present watch lists:

Ban Watchlist
• Dig Through Time*Removed*
• Intuition *New*
• Mind Twist *New*
• Oath of Druids
• Oko, Thief of Crowns
• Opposition Agent*Removed*
• Tainted Pact*Removed*
• Underworld Breach
• Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
• Urza's Saga

Unban Watchlist:
• Birthing Pod *New*

Single card explanation:

Underworld Breach
This enchantment has enabled one of the most powerful and resilient combo decks the format has seen. Although not putting up huge player numbers, the dominance of the deck, if picked up, was undeniable. Similar to the artifact deck that was powered by Tolarian Academy, the Underworld Breach deck led to undesirable and frustrating gameplay. While bans to the card Tolarian Academy itself and Thassa's Oracle were initially thought to be sufficient to cut back on Breaches powerlevel, the core of the deck proved to still be more than competitive enough. New additions like Urza's Saga and Lier, Disciple of the Drowned helped the deck to secure its spot at the top. Unmatched in raw speed (thanks to the fact that it basically runs Black Lotus as part of the combo), incredible adjustability to almost any situation on the board due to a plentora of tutor spells and the possibility to grind out opponents that overloaded on combo-interaction with backup plans like ThopterSword, Oath of Druids or Retrofitter Foundry made the deck a nightmare to deal with.
In our statement regarding combo decks in the format we emphasized that we not only want these decks to not go above a certain degree of speed but also to allow meaningful interactions and decisions that matter to the outcome of the game.
Unfortunately, after having monitored the situation for quite a while, we think that these fundamentals of the format are violated by the card in question.
It is therefore that Underworld Breach is banned!

Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
This stabilizer turned every non-combo matchup into a grindfest due to the fact that Uro can not conclusively be dealt with by discard, counterspells or non-exile removal. Uro is engine, enabler and payoff in just one card. Including it in an UGx shell has basically no downside since it fuels itself while being easily tutorable. While other format staples have similar qualities, the inevitability of Uro puts it over the top. As soon as Uro is found by an UGx-player via draw, selfmill or tutoring, the game revolves around it and even if handled once or twice it will eventually win the game either by attacking or just by outvaluing the opponent. It often has an extremely smothering effect on the game by drowning the opponent in cardadvantage, while at the same time limiting the UGx players opportunity to make meaningful decisions, since very little is better than looping Uros. The combination of Uro/Oko/Life from the Loam emphasized these strengths of UGx to a point, where it was by far the "best fair thing you could do". We hope this banning will result in more deck diversity and lead the community to explore new, different, and exciting paths of deckbuilding.

Mind Twist
Similar to Umezawa's Jitte, we mostly got positive feedback on this card during the trial period. While some concerns were raised about frustrating gameplay experiences when on the receiving end of a Mindtwist we ultimately think that these situations will be few and far between. Mind Twist stays on the watchlist for now, in case we were to be wrong about this. However, we are confident that the results of the trial period are valid and there won't be reasons for unease.

Intuition has been a powerfull tutor for a long time already and even enjoyed a short period on the watchlist previously for setting up strong interactions with cards like Sevinne's Reclamation. Then it was mainly used for cards like Uro and Life from the Loam in order to get card advantage from it. This was already raising eyebrows from players about the power level of this card, but with the edition of channel lands, it crossed the line into brokenness, at times essentially providing almost always 3+ cards. While not being that fast at 3CMC, it often turns into a powerfull shell for escapeing Uro as well as setting up for a lot more card advantage in future turns if paired with Loam/Channel Lands/Urza's Saga. Despite the current Uro ban, we want to keep monitoring this card and its interactions, so we decided to put it on the watchlist again.

Dig Through Time / Opposition Agent / Tainted Pact
All three of these cards have been on the list for quite a bit of time now. While all of them are very potent we don't think that any one of them is a cause for concern at the moment. We are therefore removing them from the watchlist.

Birthing Pod
With two bannings and one unbanning as well as the recent release of a new set there is already plenty of change happening in the format. While we might ultimately end up testing an unban of Birthing Pod we've decided that it would be best to run trials like this only after watchlist announcements (or maybe ban announcements without any other changes) as to being able to better assess the influence of a trialed card. For now we would like to hear your feedback about a possible unban of the powerful phyrexian artifact.

Contact us:

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Next scheduled Update: 1st August 2022 - Watchlist update
Off-Topic / Re: How to customize Cockatric...
Last post by DarkLight - 04-02-2022, 08:06:45 PM
To change the appearance of your cockatrice client in darkmode move the marked file into the marked folder

Official Announcements / February 1st, 2022 - Watch Lis...
Last post by Rigero - 01-02-2022, 01:00:26 AM
February 1st, 2022 - Watch List Changes

Changes to the present watch list, effective 15/02/2022:

Current watchlists:

Ban watchlist:

Dig Through Time
Oath of Druids
Opposition Agent
Oko, Thief of Crowns
Tainted Pact
Umezawa's Jitte
Underworld Breach
Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
Urza's Saga
Unban watchlist:                                                  
Mind Twist *New*

Because we are testing Mind Twist for an unban (see next point Trial Period) we are putting the card on the unban watchlist.
If we decide not to unban Mind Twist after evaluating its trial period, we will remove it from the watchlist again (similar to how we previously dealt with Skullclamp).

Trial Period:

The following card will be unbanned from February 15th till May 1st 2022.(It will be default banned at that date unless it specifically gets unbanned):
Mind Twist

Single card explanation:

Umezawa's Jitte
This powerful equipment was unbanned with our last announcement after being extensively tested during a trial period. Because Jitte didn't prove to be problematic during either the trial period or the time since the unban we have decided to remove it from the watchlist as we don't expect this card to be banworthy again any time soon.

Mind Twist
We want to continue to give some cards that have been on the banned list now for quite some time a chance to reenter the format. The choice this time fell on Mind Twist as we thought the card to be least unfair. The general idea is, that Mind Twist only shines when it is played for 4 or more mana (Hymn to Tourach is the more efficient card at lower values!). However Highlander has become much faster over recent years. People play lower mana curves and a four mana spell that doesn't evolve your board has to be pretty good to be played. We think Mind Twist is still a good card, but we don't think that it is as much of a deciding factor in our game as it used to be some years ago.
We especially want to gather feedback on whether or not Mind Twist exclusively leads to "unfun" play experiences for the person casting it or the one being on the receiving end (games being decided by hitting either no relevant cards or all relevant cards).

To further improve the format and gain valuable information we need your input, worries and opinions on these changes and views on the format. Do not hesitate to contact any of us via private message or just start a topic in the forum.

Contact us:
Forum (, Email (

Next scheduled Update: May 1st 2022 - Banlist update
Official Announcements / November 1st, 2021 - Ban and W...
Last post by Rigero - 01-11-2021, 01:00:54 AM
November 1st, 2021 - Ban and Watch List Changes

Changes to the present banned list, effective 15/11/2021:

• Skullclamp


• Umezawa's Jitte
• Secret Lair x The Walking Dead

Single card explanation:

Umezawa's Jitte:

A powerful equipment for sure, Jitte was deemed to be over the limit for a long time. But, in the days of fast, aggressive and powerful tempo decks, the initial investment of 4 mana to get the card going means it is not so over the top anymore. That's not to say it isn't potent. In fact beyond the 1st activation it is anything but weak. Still, during the trial period we got mostly positive feedback on this card and thats why we feel confident Umezawa's Jitte can stay in the format for now.


Clamp in testing was warping decks towards smaller creatures, tutoring and anti-clamp tech. We saw an uptick of Stoneforge Mystic and Steelshaper's Gift being played. Also Urza's Saga, as the newcomer of the format, was used for this. Anti-clamp techs saw various artifact hate and instant based removal being played.
The trial period showed that Skullclamp mostly wasn't healthy for the format because it was warping games, it was included in from a card advantage point of view, and it was also freezing the boardstates into an unfun holding pattern with little to no hope of out-tempo'ing or out-value'ing the card. This was most crucially evident in midrange on midrange matches where advantages gained from Clamp could not be compensated for by the opponent. At the same time, the card pushed out many decks that didn't have a chance to be competitive (in particular control decks that are already lagging behind) due to clamp being in the format.

As Skullclamp has proven to be too powerful for the format as of now we have decided to keep it banned as well as to remove it from the unban watchlist for the time being!

Secret Lair x The Walking Dead:

Back when we announced the banning of TWD Secret Lair, exactly one year ago, we cited feedback from the community and a player desired "protest effect" as reasons for our move.
Earlier this year Wizards declared that upcoming Secret Lair cards will have functional in-Magic printings as part of The List. While TWD was initially excluded Wizards has changed their approach since, stating that it too would see in-Magic printings! (Source:

The ban of the Walking Dead Secret Lair never happened due to power or in-game reasons. Because the original contributing factors for the ban have been taken care off by Wizards, we don't see any more reasons to keep the TWD cards banned. Therefore we decided that future "Universe Beyond"-cards will be legal in our format, too.

Current watchlists:

Ban watchlist:                                              
• Dig Through Time
• Oath of Druids
• Oko, Thief of Crowns
• Opposition Agent
• Tainted Pact
• Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
• Umezawa's Jitte *NEW*
• Underworld Breach
• Urza's Saga
Unban watchlist:                                                  

Additional Topics

Secret Lair Statement:

As stated above WotC announced future "Secret Lair// Universe Beyond"-cards will also see printings in regular sets or on the "List". (Source: Therefore they will be available much more easily and we decided that future "Universe Beyond"-cards will be legal in our format.

Trial-Period Feedback and changes:

We were satisfied with the Trial Period as an instrument to playtest possible unban candidates. As it was the first time, we applied this instrument, we now have the opportunity to evolve this tool and adjust it to the specific needs of our player base.

A large number of players were concerned, that the duration of the Trial Phase was too long. In the possible but hopefully not imminent case of the trial of a meta-breaking card, this would lead to an unhealthy metagame for a long period of time. Therefore, we decided to limit the Trial Period to three months. Some might be concerned that this time span is too short, but we felt that three months are enough to at least get a gist on the effects a possible unban will have on the format without influencing and possibly hurting the metagame for a long period of time.

Possible trial candidates are all cards mentioned on the Unban watchlist, emphasizing its importance. If you see banned cards you would like included on the Unban watchlist and therefore possibly tested in a trial period, please mention them in your feedback of your own Trial Period testing.

Furthermore, the Trial Period will be linked to the Watchlist announcements, giving us the possibility to react to the results of the testing and the community feedback in our upcoming Ban announcement. In this context we want to stress again how vital your input is in the further progression of our format.

To further improve the format and gain valuable information we need your input, worries and opinions on these changes and views on the format. So please do not hesitate to contact any of us via private message or just start a topic in the forum.

Contact us:
Forum (, Email (

Next scheduled Update: 1st February 2022 - Watchlist update
Banned List & Rules / Trial unbanning of Skullclamp ...
Last post by Rigero - 06-10-2021, 03:27:20 PM
Hello Community,

time runs fast and it's been 5 month now since Umezawa's Jitte and Skull Clamp are on a Trial unban. Time to recap and collect your thoughts about those two cards!
We would like to hear your opinions on them in our format. Should they leave again or should they stay? WHY should they leave or stay? What were your experiences with these cards (as a caster or as an opponent)?
It is important for us to get YOUR reason and not only a "yes" or "no" – vote.

So please give us feedback  here, on Facebook (, directly via PM or via mail (

Best Regards

Rigero - HL-Council
Official Announcements / August1ST, 2021, WATCH LIST CH...
Last post by Rigero - 01-08-2021, 02:02:17 AM
August 1st, 2021 - Watch List Changes

Current watchlists:

Ban watchlist:
• Demonic Tutor                                                
• Dig Through Time
• Oath of Druids
• Oko, Thief of Crowns
• Opposition Agent
• Tainted Pact
• Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
• Underworld Breach
• Urza's Saga *NEW*
Unban watchlist:                                                  
• Skullclamp
• Umezawa's Jitte
• Thassa's Oracle

Single cards explanations:

Demonic Tutor:

The discussion about tutors in Highlander is as old as the format itself. After years on the watch list, we now decided to take Demonic Tutor from the watchlist. Tainted Pact will stay for now. This has the following reasons. First and foremost, we are quite happy with the banned/unbanned status of the tutors today. Of the really powerful tutors Demonic Tutor, Tainted Pact, Imperial Seal, Vampiric Tutor, Mystical Tutor, Enlightened Tutor and Worldly Tutor, the latter two are of a manageable power level, because they create card disadvantage and their scope is somewhat limited. Demonic Tutor and Imperial Seal on the other hand have a maximal scope but are much slower at sorcery speed, which we deem also ok. Vampiric Tutor and Mystical Tutor on the other hand, are not only instant but the breadth of their scope pushes them over the top in terms of power level. Finally Tainted Pact is a somewhat complicated animal. It is instant and has a very large scope, however it restricts deckbuilding to a significant degree and some combos can't really make use of it because they risk to exile other necessary combo pieces. Our experience is, that Tainted Pact is ok in good-stuff decks however the printing of Laelia, the Blade Reforged and related effects prevented a majority for taking it of the watchlist too.

Urza's Saga:

Modern Horizons II introduced many powerful new staples to our format. A standout of these is Urza's Saga. Being a land makes it exceptionally hard to interact with, while generating a board presence and tutoring value engines (Retrofitter Foundry, Skullclamp), hate pieces (Relic of Progenitus, Pithing Needle) or combo pieces (Zuran Orb, Expedition Map, Grindstone). It finds inclusion in all archetypes and might be overly powerful in comparison to the rest of the format. The singleton nature of Highlander emphasizes its strength even more, being a land, threats and value in just one card.
We do want to watch its development closer and have the possibility to take action against it if necessary.

Thassa's Oracle:

In the last update we stated our vision of combo decks in the format. Therefore there is currently no reason to keep Thassa's Oracle on the Watchlist for the moment.

Other Topics

Discussion of Skullclamp and Umezawa's Jitte:

Half of the testphase of the unbanning of Skullclamp and Umezawa's Jitte is now over and at this point we would like to ask you how your feeling are about those cards in Highlander. For that reason we will start discussions here in the Forum as well as on Facebook within the next week and want to encourage you to tell us your experiences with those cards. Additionally, you are welcome to write any of us directly or use the council email for direct feedback.

Use of Proxies in European Highlander:

We noticed the recurring discussions about the use of proxies1 or playtest cards2 in highlander, as the price of decks and cards always increases. That's why we need to state that we cannot decide for or against the use of those at all. The use of proxies is completely with the tournament organizers and these are usually bound to the specifications given by WotC.
The boundaries between proxies, playtest cards and counterfeits are partly fluid and subjective.
This means there is a possibility for store owners to lose their contracts if they allow those on sanctioned tournaments or even if people play with those in their store. Additionally, the harm of counterfeits3 is imminent and not only hurts the store but is also a legal offense that a tournament organizer cannot permit.

All in all we cannot give any regulations for the use of proxies / playtest cards in the format as we are not in charge here. And of course as we want to support our local games stores we cannot recommend to allow proxies or playtest cards on official tournaments. However, we want to support the use of playtest cards in any casual environment outside of a tournament.
And last but not least we want to distance ourselves from ANY counterfeits. Using, buying, selling etc these is a legal offense and we would never accept these in any tournament nor store environment.

1Proxies = a placeholder card given out by a judge as a replacement e.g. for a marked or damaged card during a tournament; only legal for this specific tournament; c.f.: Magic Tournament Rules 3.4 (status: July 23, 2021)
2Playtest cards = what players really mean if they talk about proxies; a placeholder for a card in your deck, not legal on official WotC tournaments
3Counterfeits = a fake card; something that imitates a card produced by WotC; Proxies and playtest cards that are not immediately recognizable as those are also included here

Dungeon-Mechanic in European Highlander:

Dungeons aren't cards in the traditional sense, but are regarded more as tokens. They can't go into your deck, and their main function is as a specialized progress marker. That's fine in Highlander and they'll work as normal. We take the very same stance on Dungeons as has been taken in Commander.

Contact us:
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Next scheduled Update: 1st November 2021 - Ban & Watchlist update
Banned List & Rules / Re: Let's make new Mechanics u...
Last post by pyyhttu - 08-07-2021, 02:29:47 PM
Thanks for the feedback.

Regarding the Learn-mechanic: This has been asked previously and we weren't interested in at that time to change the rules and introducing sideboards into Highlander. Mind that this is also in line with other formats without sideboards. See and

As for Dungeons: Based on what is known now of the mechanic, I don't see a reason why Dungeons couldn't be used. The key phrase here is this from that linked video: "Now Dungeons. They don't go into the deck. You can keep them in your sideboard, but, and this is important, they don't take sideboard slots. You just have access to them. And you bring them in to the game when you venture into the dungeon."

Commander, where sideboards are also not permitted, has landed into similar conclusions:

QuoteI hope you are considering this idea and disuss it.

I'll make sure there's an announcement regarding this, and while waiting for the official rules on Dungeons, I opened a discussion point on this on the council boards. They'll chime in on there, if not here.

What I said above, is just my personal opinion.
Banned List & Rules / Let's make new Mechanics usabl...
Last post by Myscah - 07-07-2021, 06:48:59 PM
Due to the fact we are not using any sideboard we miss out several mechanics "Enter a dungeon" and "learn".
In my opinion none of them are overpowered  or would break the Format.
To evolve Highlander Magic I suggest we would give way for another special zones for dungeon and learn cards.

This cards should be seen as created tokens and not actual cards, so we still have a hundred singelton.

I play Highlander since 1994 and see lately the opportunity for this format to evolve without having to fear to wreck itself.

I hope you are considering this idea and disuss it.
I excited to read your replies.

BR Myscah

Off-Topic / Re: Is playing European-Highla...
Last post by r4nd0m1 - 25-06-2021, 11:51:50 AM
You, and everybody else who might be interested, are still kindly invited to join us on Cockatrice playing, testing and talking about new and old cards, decks and strategies, and generally working on the format we all love so much - the best way to play Magic.

If you have been out of the loop for a while, I and others are more than happy to bring you, your decks, your Cockatrice client and everything else you need/want up to speed again.

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