Monday, 9 January 2012

Yay! highlander blog!

Hey dudes (presumably)

So James Mackay and Dean V have been hassling me into making a highlander blog.....and I want to! So here it is!

So basically I'm just gonna talk about any highlander ideas I have. I'll post consistently so if anyone starts tuning in they won't be left with nothing.

I'm getting drunk with my cat Mario on a Monday night, what better opportunity to talk about Highlander! So Can Con coming up on Australia Day Weekend (Fri 27th Jan till Sun 29th). Few cars going up from Melbourne. Hopefully I'll be trippin with Andy Horne and Dean V Unlimited Lotus 1st prize! How can I resist?! Normally I'd be quite about what deck I'll be playing but I'm drunk so.....I'M PLAYING HERMIT DRUID!!!!

There's been talk of the deck copping some points so this will be the most powerful the deck will ever be. Having created the deck I feel obliged to play it while it's at it's best. But yeah I'm good friends with Isaac and Dan who're (lol Dan whore) both on the points commitee and looks like Hermit has to eat points. At first I was defensive but once I cooled down I imagined playing against the deck and losing on turn 3 and not wanting to play Highlander anymore and I understood.

With the printing of the commander card "The Mimeoplasm", a deck abusing Hermit Druid doesn't need to play and 'bricks' to support the combo. In case you're unfamiliar a brick is a card that you draw which is close to useless, so you can pretty much chuck Hermit Druid in any creature based deck and randomly get turn 3 kills with a turn 2 hermit. This is a good reason for Hermit Druid to have points on it.

In case you're unfamiliar with the combo here's a link to an article I wrote about it, the deck's probably changed slightly since I wrote this article but it's essentially the same

The changes I've made since then are:
- I've substituted Bridge from Below with Dregscape Zombie.
- I'm maining Murderous Redcap over Trike
- I've substituted Terravore in the board for Laboratory maniac. He functions as a plan B, you can put him on top of your library with Memory's Journey in response to Tormod's Crypt, Ravenous Trap and Relic of Progenitus.

So yeah, plenty of points changes after Can Con. There's talk of Crucible, Gorger and Price of Progress all being up for contention for a point drop. All of which I think are overdue but we'll have to wait and see what the committee decide.
Cards that will probably be up for discussion with regards to gaining points are: Stoneforge Mystic and Timevault. Naya zoo and Ub Timevault are the most played decks and they DO oppress other potential strategies."Why play mono or 2 colour aggro when you can play naya for negligible drawback?"...."Why play any other control deck when timevault-key is the best kill?". These questions are my simplified reasoning for proposing stoneforge and timevault getting points and cards not in these decks losing points.

There's also talk of "Voldemort" coming back to legality....that is, Flash-Hulk.
I always felt that the deck never deserved banning. I think it should've just had 7 points slammed on it to keep the lamenters happy. I recognise new players could feel cheated losing to it if they hadn't known about the deck but if you lose to it once you should never lose to it again. It's inconsistent, easy to hate and it never actually won a tournament.

Anyway, I also wanted to talk a bit about Price of Progess. Cards like Price of Progress promote diversity. At the moment the only decent non basic hate is back to basics, 1 card. So basically there's no incentive other than the cost of dual lands to play more colours. If there was more decent non-basic hate available (PoP) then mono colour decks would be more viable and thus the format more diverse.
To rebut other non-basic hate:
- Blood Moons and Magus of the Moon don't have a big enough impact on other deck's ability to function.
- Ruination is too taxing to play profitably. In the games you don't draw it you lose all incentive of building around it.
Another important point; much of the PoP's pointing discussion was done before the enemy Zendikar Fetches were printed. In my opinion the Zend Fetches have been the biggest influence on highlander since I started playing the format. With the addition of Zend fetches, 5c mana-bases became possible. Hermit Druid, Channel, 4c zoo all enjoy seemless mana with no drawback.
Also, due to the power and popularity of U based control decks and PoP's ineffectiveness against their high basic count, PoP is a sideboard card anyway.

So yeah some food for thought for all you highlander enthusiasts..and me. I intend to blog here every few days. Today was a particularly large entry cause it was my first entry and I had a lot of thoughts backed up.

Cheers, luke


  1. mighty wizardry :) also lab maniac is actually super sweet. the fact that you straight up beat a graveyard removal effect (if they have nothing else obviously) is pretty absurd. maybe people will start playing jailer and cursed totem instead of dorky cards like ravenous trap, but probably not. I mean obviously if you are bringing in permanent removal anyway they are worse, but still

  2. Lab Maniac's a little slow since you have to wait to draw a card but yeah, being able to go off in the face of pure hate is quite comforting for me as a hermit druid pilot

  3. "In my opinion the Zend Fetches have been the biggest influence on highlander since I started playing the format."

    Do you mean your a huge influence on the format or that you haven't seen a bigger change?

  4. heh I wrote this meaning to say that I hadn't seen a bigger change, then I re-read it and realised the other possible interpretation and thought it was funny so I left it :P

  5. Where's the vote button for Luke to be part of the points committee? Surely it's about time?

  6. No more Melbourne people on the committe. Even if it is Luke.

    Also, I know it's not up to you, but I fail to see how pointing stoneforge will change the fact that zoo will be the best aggro deck

  7. Depends how many points you put on, say 2 and it might make the choice interesting

  8. i won a timewalk with flash actually.

  9. If 2 points were put on Stoneforge (which is totaly unnecessary imo. Then all that would happen is that NO decks would play Stoneforge and Zoo would get even better, as WW, WB, WR and Doran would be even further behind in the match up. As with less "Jitte's" there are less ways for the other decks to make up lost ground in the mid-late game

  10. I agree with Luke. In general.

    I think I am yet to read anything Luke has written about Highlander that I disagree with.