Saturday, 2 February 2013

Gatecrash Highlander Playables

Wuzzup my wizards!?
It's a cruisy Sunday morning, I'm very relaxed. Time to bathe in sloth. Gonna type this blog post, make a modern deck or two for some up coming PTQ's and probably build a new highlander deck too :)

Anyway, today's topic shall be: Gatecrash highlander playables in alphabetical order (as that was the default search order on Gatherer....their default search order should really be Converted Mana Cost). I won't be mentioning reprints.

Aurelia, the Warleader
Powerful hard hitting six drop. To be playing 6 drops in highlander you really need to be playing some non-land mana accelerants. Aurelia also wants you to be playing lots of creatures to get enough value. So I imagine you could play her in a big naya deck, Lotus Cobra, Knight of the Reliquary, Thornscape Familiar etc.

Boros Charm
This card is definitely playable but over-hyped. Compared to Return to Ravnica there are few good cards from Gatecrash so this stands out more than it would. Boros Charm is at it's best in extreme aggro decks. Your plan would be to dump as many little dudes into play as you could the first 3 turns then turn 4 you would hold Boros Charm up. If they didn't try kill any of your dudes that turn you'd throw the charm at their face and you probably kill them turn 5.

Boros Reckoner
This card is borderline playable. I wouldn't be looking to play it but it's worth mentioning. He'll trade with a Goyf. It's great against burn. It's pretty ordinary against U decks, they can Venser/Jace/2mana counter him to get a mana advantage over you. He doesn't hit particularly hard either. He's very cool with cards like Volcano Hellion and Earthquake.

Burning-Tree Emissary
I'm gonna try this chick in Mono-red, a free 2/2 is sweet. She could also go in some crazy Glimpse of Nature creature storm deck.

Devour Flesh
There are plenty of better edicts out there. I don't particularly like edicts in highlander. There a too many decks with 1 cost guys or guys wearing skullclamp. If I played this card it would be in a deck that could make a guy have infinite toughness to gain infinite life :) I know ways to do this, but none of them are playable.

Domri Rade
To play this guy your deck needs to be STACKED with creatures, totally stacked, at least 50% creatures. Otherwise I don't think you'll get enough value out of him. You'll also want to be playing plenty of big 2 drops to use his fight ability so you can defend him. Like most planeswalkers, if you can keep him around you should take the game.

Enter the Infinite
Win, The, Game. This is the Emrakul of Sorceries. From the top of my head, you could cast this with:
Dream Halls, Sins of the Past, Spellshift, Spellweaver Helix?.....umm, there's probably some other ways. If you're playing this card you really want to be able to kill them the turn you cast it. With Dream Halls that's not a problem. Otherwise, you probably want to be playing moxes, lotus petal or spirit guides. Or, ways to protect Laboratory Maniac :P

Experiment One
A fine beater in a heavy creature deck. You might get a few games where your 2 and 3 drops get countered and Experiment One stays tiny, but otherwise I think he's good.

Foundry Street Denizen & Legion Loyalist
I would play these in a Goblin deck think. Goblins is a few 1 drops short of playable.

Ghor-Clan Rampager
This guy's great. Nice and versatile in any aggro deck. He'd be great in my 5 colour infect deck too. The best pump spell besides invigorate.

Gruul Keyrune
Good solid card in ramp decks. A 3/2 can trade with most creatures and beat down enough against control.

Gyre Sage
Elves only I reckon, consult Andrew Atkinson for further information.

Incursion Specialist
I like this guy. Blue is slowly getting more and more aggro cards. In a deck with clamp and ways to tutor for it, this guy should be a 3/2 unblockable every turn.

Merciless Eviction
Maybe in an MJ style control deck. Signets and haymakers. Wraths are either awesome vs creature decks or trash vs everything else. For 2 extra mana this is fine against everything.

Obzedat, Ghost Council
Obby hits super hard. The mana cost is a challenge but if you can cast it, you'll smack bitches up.

Orzhov Charm
I like this in a blinky creature deck with lots of 'enters the battlefield' triggers.

Combos with Valakut. If you can invent a deck that tutors for Valakut and can make use of a 1/1, then you can play this guy :P Good luck!

Another card for the UG counterspells and flash dudes deck that I've been wanting to create for some time. One day I'll build it. So many decks to build!

Shattering Blow
A decent sideboard card. Reasons to play it over other artifact removal: Wurmcoil Engine.....and that's it. In light of that, there is better artifact hate out there. Smelt, Nature's Claim, Ancient Grudge, Stony Silence.

Signal the Clans
A pretty sweet tutor. There'll be some funky creature combo deck out there that'll want to play this. Only thing I can think of at the moment is Pestermite, Village Bellringer and Deceiver Exarch. I saw this in the cabinet at Games Lab for $3, a good price I think. Simo and I had met up for a couple beers before that, which made it more appealing. However, I draft a lot so I'll probably pick one up that way. Games Lab was also selling Armada Wurm for $5. Armada Wurm deserves more love than that.

Simic Charm
I could play this in 5 colour infect I think, all the modes are good for that deck.

Skarrg Guildmage
A bear with "4 mana: deal 4 damage to an opponent".

Sunhome Guildmage
Gives aggro decks some long game. Not particularly powerful but he's playable. This and Skarrg Guildmage are the only playable guildmages from this block. I like Skarrg the most.

A sideboard card for crompo style burn decks.

Syndic of Tithes
A solid dude for aggro decks, easy to cast, gives you some late game.

Thrull Parasite
I can imagine playing this guy in a deck with skullclamp, persist and undying guys. Extort is nice late game and you make it awkward for any opposing planeswalkers.

Daring Skyjek & Wojek Halberdiers
More 3 power two drops. Great vs decks without cheap creatures. However, plenty of decks play cheap creatures. So if you want to play these you'll need lots of removal or ways to give them evasion. Note: if you want to play lots of removal, make sure the removal has other modes so that it's still good against control decks that don't play many creatures. E.g. Vindicate, Detention Sphere, Oblivion Ring etc

That's all the playables from Gatecrash in my opinion. I don't think new Gideon is good enough. Blue decks can counter and bounce him to get a mana advantage and other aggro decks can race him.

Oh by the way, Jeremy Neeman (my housemate) just won an online PTQ in the next room :P. I better win a PTQ for San Diego!

I wrote a report of my Sydney GP last month here, Not highlander related but you might like it.

As stated in my last blog post, I want to analyse the first highlander deck posted in the comments of each blog post. My analysis will be part of my next blog post.

Shout out to Aloysius Landrigan who had this car stolen last night. Bad beats man.

Double entry, double prize pool highlander on Sunday the 10th of Feb at Games Lab.

Isaac's organising a moxalicious highlander in March also :), stay tuned for the date.

Until then, there's 6pm $10 Highlander every Thursday night at Games lab. All entry fees get redistributed to the players. We typically have 4 rounds, it's a fun, casual environment with prizes to create some buzz. See you there :)


  1. Sword of Fire and Ice gives protection from red :(

    1. Step 1: Read the card
      Step 2: Read it again
      Step 3: Slap yourself. Hard.

    2. You had it right the first time, I was telling Dean to slap himself. The Guildmage doesn't target to give trample, ergo, pro does nothing.

  2. ZOO
    -Karl Eyre
    CM 1
    Noble Hierarch
    Skyshroud Elite
    Figure of Destiny
    Steppe Lynx
    Grim Lavamancer
    Dryad Militant
    Wild Nacatl
    Loam Loin
    Kird Ape
    Steelshaper’s Gift
    Mental Misstep
    Lightning Bolt
    Swords to Plowshares
    Path to Exile
    Skullclamp *
    CM 2
    Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
    Scavenging Ooze
    Strangleroot Geist
    Stoneforge Mystic *
    Tin Street Hooligan
    Qasali Pridemage
    Green Sun’s Zenith
    Boros Charm
    Umezawa’s Jitte *
    CM 3
    Porcelain Legionnaire
    Loxodon Smiter
    Knight of the Reliquary
    Burning-Tree Shaman
    Rith’s Charm
    Oblivion Ring
    Sword of Fire and Ice
    CM 4
    Ranger of Eos
    Elspeth, Knight-Errant
    Ghor-Clan Rampager
    Strip Mine **
    Kessig Wolf Run
    Karakas *
    Barbarian Ring
    Treetop Village
    Sacred Foundry
    Stomping Ground
    Temple Garden
    Scalding Tran
    Arid Mesa
    Flooded Strand
    Bloodstained Mire
    Wooded Foothills
    Windswept Heath
    Verdant Catacombs
    Marsh Flats
    Misty Rainforest

    1. The famous Karl Zoo :) I will analyse this for the next blog!

  3. Just wanted to touch on a couple of my favourites that you didn't mention, not sure if they are good or not but wrote them down when I first saw the full spoiler.

    Urban Evolution - only really fits in the Scapeshift deck, ramps from 5 to 7 (the magic number) and draws cards to find Scapeshift/tutors - Luke, as the Scapeshift master give us your thoughts?

    Thespain Stage - I like this in MUD, can be a Wasteland against annoying legendary lands and copy your lands in a pinch - coming into play untapped is a huge deal

    Spark Trooper - if you are mono red splash white and want to maximize Ball Lightning effects, could be worth it along with Lightning Helix and now Boros Charm

    Cartel Aristocrat - finally another 2 drop sac outlet, not sure if he will replace Bloodthrone Vampire but maybe in addition to, useful in Melira, Pattern and Hulk combo (or in my case it's the same deck :P)

    Legion Loyalist - poor Raging Goblin. Goblins are short on playable one drops so this is a big tick, although not sure if it makes the deck too much more viable - I certainly want to try out a new haste build with this plus the new haste 3 drop

    Dimir Keyrune - well it's better than Gruul Keyrune, probably won't see play but has the most potential I think

    Frontline Medic - is WW dead?

    1. Urban evolution: Could be worth a try in scapeshift. The deck tends to accelerate from 2 to 4 to 6 and skips 5 so I want my top end spells to keep me alive against zoo while I get from 6 to 7 mana. Although the deck does occaisionally miss a land drop or have an enters-tapped-land in which case urban evolution is great.

      Thespian Stage: yep, a fine card in MUD. A little slow to do it's thing but the value you get is probably on par with other lands you would play over it. Copying workshop is sweet.

      Spark Trooper: have to disagree with this one. I don't think it does enough. People might have Thalia, maze of ith, porcelain legionnaire. Although if you tune your deck to play ball lightnings it could be awesome. Silverblade paladin, clamp and tutors for clamp, Rafiq :P

      Cartel Aristorcrat: I did overlook this card. It's a decent card by itself and it enables a few combos like academy rector and melira-persist. She also wears equipment really well.

      Legion Loyalist: I did mention this guy. I lumped him together with foundry street denizen.

      Dimir Keyrune: This card's ok but I like Gruul Keyrune much more. That extra power lets you trade with a lot more of zoo's guys and hit planeswalkers a lot harder.

      Frontline Medic: Nearly zero X spells in highlander. Repeal, Engineered Explosives and green sun's zenith are the only ones I can think of. Very very rare that you'll be attacking with 2 other guys. Too many counterspells and spot removal spells to get to battalion. I wouldn't play this in WW