What is Highlander?

The Game

Canadian Highlander is a 100 card singleton, 1 v 1 competitive MTG format that utilizes a points list alongside the vintage banned list. There are no sideboards.

Each deck must contain minimum 100 cards, and contain no more than one of any given card. The exceptions to this rule are basic lands and cards that explicitly state that any number may be played (e.g. Relentless Rats).

Each deck may contain no more than 10 points, you can find the Points List here

The following cards are banned:

• Ante Cards
• Dexterity Cards
• Conspiracies
• Silver-bordered Cards
• Shahrazad

The History

Give or take, this format is very close to 20 years old (and It’s changed quite a bit over the years). Some would say that It started on Vancouver Island in a little city called Victoria in 1999. Victoria is old school when it comes to Magic The Gathering, and there’s always been a large community of eternal players here. Originally, it was just a very small crew of people wanting to play pet cards, and cards that weren’t good enough for extended. People left Victoria, and it struggled to catch on, but as people returned and a couple of players spread the gospel, its seeds took root. The next set of challenges were getting a scene that could start to hold tournaments, and balancing the ever feared Tinker/Darksteel combo. Strong decks shifted the blossoming format, but in 2007 the first tournament was held at Yellowjacket Comic and Toys. About a year later, the format started to address powerful cards with a ban list. This ban list eventually morphed into the points list we know today. The rest, as they say, is a turn one sol ring.

As the community has developed, we’ve become more aware of the German and Aussie Highlander scenes (even going so far as to lovingly copy the initial Aussie points list). While excellent in their own right, we direct ourselves a bit differently. One of the major aspects of Canadian Highlander is the fact that you can play any card in Magic. That’s really important. It’s why we exist, and for that reason, it’s integral to the scene taking a hard stance on not banning cards.

Many thanks to the following individuals for their help starting this great format:

Robin Sorensen, Aaron Patten, Sean Tambo, Dylan Cross, Mike Harrison, Tyler Roberts, Nelson Salahub, Allison Macrae, Nick Picard, and Others (sorry).

16 thoughts on “What is Highlander?”

  1. Hey sorry that’s a good point. It’s vintage banned list so everything other than the cards we mentioned above as being banned is legal.

  2. If you read the article, All cards are legal, minus ante and dexterity. You cannot have more than 10 points worth of cards in a deck. Cards not on the list are at zero value. It is a 1v1 format. Besides the extra mulligans, the rules are the same.

  3. there really are no banned cards, other then the ones that are named above or are under the category of the ones stated above. The point system is there to restrict players from using to many broken cards in there deck(there is a tab explaining what cards cost points and how many points are there).

  4. hey, i was just skimming the article and have no previous experience with the format butt.. i states “1 v 1 competitive MTG format” so that would to me mean it’s a one on one format. I understood the points to be a means of restricting the amount of broken (unfairly powerful cards cards that can be in any given deck. also it seems that all cards are legal with the exception that The following cards are banned:

    • Ante Cards
    • Dexterity Cards
    • Conspiracies
    • Silver-bordered Cards
    • Shahrazad

    While i don’t have any particular interest un pursuing this format, i neither have any questions about the rules or how it is played.

    1. Not really, the critical missing libe which can be inferred, but should be there is somethibg like “All cards have a point value, most are 0, but exceptionally powerful cards have non zero values. The size of your deck determines the allowed point sum of your deck”

  5. This looks fun. We’re probably going to be playing and talking about this on our Highlanders podcast (strangely appropriate wouldn’t you say?) I know one of my co-hosts is jazzed about playing and has already made a deck. Thanks for all the hard work! K.C. – Highlanders host

  6. Hey, how does wishing work?
    Like the new karn or cunning wish? I don’t see anything that says no wishing which to me means I can get anything from my collection since this is casual?

    We have a small community of players and all of us are interested in knowing how this is intended to work.

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