The Highlander Council announced the Watchlist changes for January 1st 2020:
Cards on the following list will be closely observed and are potential candidates for a banning on
April 15th May 1st 2020, 2020.
- Demonic Tutor
- Dig Through Time
- 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 May 1st 2020, 2020.
|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.
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 (https://www.facebook.com/groups/480610332544301/). 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.