Highlander for Staples – Top 8 Decklists Pt. 1

On August 23rd, 2014, an event dubbed “Highlander for Staples” was held at Yellowjacket Comics in Victoria, British Columbia. Yellowjacket is the birthplace of Canadian Highlander, and has been the stomping ground of Highlander players (and many of the formats predecessors) for over ten years! The event boasted 28 players, from Highlander regulars to once-in-a-blue-moon locals, all competing for the format staple, Mana Drain. We ran a five round Swiss event, with a cut into Top 8. Posted below are the Top 4 players and their decklists The remaining lists (and players 5-8) will be included in a second post.


1st – Benjamin Wheeler – Mono Green Craterhoof – 7 Points / 100 Cards

Creatures (44):

Arbor Elf
Avacyn’s Pilgrim
Bane of Progress
Birds of Paradise
Boreal Druid
Caller of the Claw
Carven Caryatid
Courser of Kruphix
Craterhoof Behemoth
Deathrite Shaman
Deranged Hermit
Dryad Arbor
Elves of Deep Shadow
Elvish Archdruid
Elvish Mystic
Elvish Visionary
Eternal Witness
Fauna Shaman
Fyndhorn Elves
Genesis Hydra
Hornet Queen
Huntmaster of the Fels
Joraga Treespeaker
Kozilek’s Predator
Llanowar Elves
Masked Admirers
Multani’s Acolyte
Nest Invader
Noble Hierarch
Priest of Titania
Primeval Titan
Quirion Ranger
Reclamation Sage
Regal Force
Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
Scryb Ranger
Viridian Shaman
Voyaging Satyr
Wall of Blossoms
Wall of Roots
Wood Elves
Xenagos, God of Revels

Other Permanents (12):

Expedition Map
Mana Crypt (1)
Mox Emerald (2)

Utopia Sprawl
Wild Growth

Domri Rade
Garruk Relentless
Garruk Wildspeaker
Garruk, Caller of Beasts
Garruk, Primal Hunter
Nissa, Worldwaker
Xenagos, the Reveler

Instants & Sorceries (10):

Chord of Calling
Crop Rotation
Summoner’s Pact (1)
Worldly Tutor (1)

Green Sun’s Zenith
Natural Order (2)
Primal Command
Sylvan Scrying
Tooth and Nail

Lands (34):

Dark Depths
Gaea’s Cradle
Homeward Path
Kessig Wolf Run
Misty Rainforest
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
Rootbound Crag
Stomping Ground
Thespian’s Stage
Verdant Catacombs
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills
21x Snow-Covered Forest


2nd – Jordan Doerksen – Red Deck Wins – 6 Points / 100 Cards

Creatures (27):

Ash Zealot
Ball Lightning
Blistering Firecat
Blood Knight
Boggart Ram-Gang
Boros Reckoner
Chandra’s Phoenix
Eidolon of the Great Revel
Ember Hauler
Figure of Destiny
Flamekin Harbinger
Goblin Guide
Grim Lavamancer
Hell’s Thunder
Hellspark Elemental
Kargan Dragonlord
Keldon Marauders
Magus of the Moon
Mogg Fanatic
Rakdos Cackler
Reckless Waif
Stigma Lasher
Stormblood Berserker
Stromkirk Noble
Tattermunge Maniac
Vexing Devil
Zo-Zu the Punisher

Other Permanents (7):

Ankh of Mishra
Mox Ruby (2)
Shrine of Burning Rage
Skullclamp (2)

Blood Moon
Sulfuric Vortex

Koth of the Hammer

Instants & Sorceries (34)

Brimstone Volley
Burst Lightning
Flame Javelin
Flames of the Blood Hand
Lightning Bolt
Lightning Strike
Magma Jet
Price of Progress
Pulse of the Forge
Rhystic Lightning
Searing Blaze
Searing Blood
Searing Spear
Volcanic Fallout

Arc Lightning
Arc Trail
Breath of Darigaaz
Chain Lightning
Fire Ambush
Flame Rift
Flames of the Firebrand
Forked Bolt
Lava Spike
Molten Rain
Reckless Abandon
Rift Bolt
Volcanic Hammer

Lands (32):

Barbarian Ring
Mishra’s Factory
Strip Mine (2)
28x Mountain


3rd – 4th – Alasdair Howie – The Rock – 7 Points / 100 Cards

Creatures (19):

Arbor Elf
Birds of Paradise
Courser of Kruphix
Eternal Witness
Kitchen Finks
Massacre Wurm
Obstinate Baloth
Overgrown Battlement
Polkranos, World Eater
Reclamation Sage
Rune-Scarred Demon
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Scavenging Ooze
Sylvan Caryatid
Thrun, the Last Troll
Wall of Roots

Other Permanents (21):

Coercive Portal
Sensei’s Divining Top
Sol Ring (3)

Animate Dead
Curse of Shallow Graves
Mirri’s Guile
Pernicious Deed
Phyrexian Arena
Recurring Nightmare
Survival of the Fittest (2)
Sylvan Library
Utopia Sprawl
Wild Growth

Garruk Relentless
Garruk Wildspeaker
Garruk, Primal Hunter
Liliana of the Veil
Nissa, Worldwaker
Sorin Markov
Vraska the Unseen

Instants & Sorceries (21):

Abrupt Decay
Doom Blade
Go for the Throat
Hero’s Downfall
Skeletal Scrying

Crime // Punishment
Demonic Tutor (2)
Gaze of Granite
Green Sun’s Zenith
Hymn to Tourach
Inquisition of Kozilek
Maelstrom Pulse
Mind Twist
Nature’s Lore
Primal Command
Profane Command
Toxic Deluge

Lands (39):

Bloodstained Mire
Gilt-Leaf Palace
Llanowar Wastes
Marsh Flats
Maze of Ith
Mishra’s Factory
Misty Rainforest
Murmuring Bosk
Overgrown Tomb
Polluted Delta
Shizo, Death’s Storehouse
Tainted Wood
Temple of Malady
Treetop Village
Twilight Mire
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Verdant Catacombs
Volrath’s Stronghold
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills
Woodland Cemetery
Yavimaya Hollow
8x Snow-Covered Forest
6x Snow-Covered Swamp


3rd – 4th – Robin Sorensen – UG Sorenson (UG Tempo) -7 Points / 100 Cards

Creatures (22):

Chasm Skulker
Deathrite Shaman
Delver of Secrets
Edric, Spymaster of Trest
Frostburn Weird
Lorescale Coatl
Mayor of Avabruck
Quirion Dryad
Scavenging Ooze
Snapcaster Mage
Thada Adel, Acquisitor
Trinket Mage
True-Name Nemesis
Trygon Predator
Vendilion Clique
Venser, Shaper Savant
Vinelasher Kudzu
Wake Thrasher
Wild Mongrel

Other Permanents (7):

Aether Spellbomb
Mox Sapphire (2)
Sensei’s Divining Top
Sword of Fire and Ice
Umezawa’s Jitte (1)
Vedalken Shackles

Jace, the Mind Sculptor (1)

Instants & Sorceries (34)

Cryptic Command
Fact or Fiction
Force Spike
Force of Will
Logic Knot
Mana Drain
Mana Leak
Memory Lapse
Mental Misstep
Mystical Tutor (1)
Simic Charm
Spell Pierce
Spell Snare
Thirst for Knowledge

Ancestral Vision
Sleight of Hand
Temporal Mastery
Temporal Spring
Time Walk (3)

Lands (36):

Breeding Pool
Faerie Conclave
Flooded Grove
Flooded Strand
Hinterland Harbor
Misty Rainforest
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds
Polluted Delta
Rishadan Port
Scalding Tarn
Tectonic Edge
Treetop Village
Tropical Island
Underground Sea
Verdant Catacombs
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills
Yavimaya Coast
14x Island

Due to restraints on the word count, this will be it for this post. I’ll upload the players and their appropriate decklists for 5th – 8th in part 2.

For those interested on some insight on Mono Green Craterhoof, I’ll be uploading a deck-to-deck comparison of my winning list, and my second place finish at last years Canadian Highlander Championship.


Benjamin Wheeler


Points Change – Additions, Removals and 7 Points

With the recent shift in the council members, it was also time for points discussion. Some changes that had been made in the past seemed sloppy, and the points list was riddled with relics of the past. The following issues were top priorities when approaching any possible changes.

7 Points

Fourteen is a rather arbitrary number. So is five, ten and one-hundred and fifty-one. We’ve decided to ease people back into an ol’ standby, aka where the points list all began. The original change from seven to fourteen intended to bring attention to certain cards that deserved to be “half of a point”. At this stage, we’ve gone past needlessly pointing cards which are best left alone.

TL;DR – We’re back to 7 points!

Removal of “Value”

Certain cards on the older lists, seem quite out of place amongst the likes of Black Lotus and Strip Mine. In the past, I had labelled these as “value” cards; they weren’t format-warping nor intrinsically overpowered, but rather powerful cards in specific match-ups. Looking to give players more freedom to utilize these haymaker effects, while still recognizing their waning usefulness, the following cards were removed from the points list:

Gaea’s Cradle
Mana Drain
Mind Twist
Price of Progress
Recurring Nightmare
Sensei’s Divining Top
Wheel of Fortune

Certain cards that can be deemed “value” were still left on the list, as they represent very little room for counter-play and can become a bit oppressive, while still being effective in essentially every possible match-up.

Addition of Tutors

Being a 100-Card Singleton format means that there is an increased diversity in the individual cards you come across from game to game. Tutors take away from the feel of this type of format, and allow for Combo decks to thrive. This doesn’t necessarily create for the healthiest of formats. It was because of this, that the following cards were added to the points list:

Doomsday – 2
Fabricate – 1
Lim-Dul’s Vault – 1
Muddle the Mixture – 1
Personal Tutor – 1
Summoner’s Pact – 1
Tainted Pact – 1
Transmute Artifact – 1
Worldly Tutor – 1

No Bannings

When announced, the banning of Flash, Time Vault and (essentially) Black Lotus came with mixed reception. Claims that this took away from the appeal of the format, or that the changes were made out of personal opinions ran rampant. Given the addition of several tutors, the council feels as though we can comfortably present a format with access to the following cards (at reasonable points):

Black Lotus – 5
Flash – 4
Time Vault – 5

It is worth noting that many of the “counterpart” pieces to these cards also (rightfully) have points tacked onto themselves.

Doomsday – 2
Protean Hulk – 3

Even with these restrictions, I for one am excited to sleeve up my Lotus again.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to shoot myself a message, or check out our Facebook page and ask the masses!

New Points List and Council.

For those that are unfamiliar, the Canadian Highlander points list (and former banned list) were updated and monitored by a group of five individuals; all deeply involved within the format. When the council was created, there was an agreement to hold elections every 6 months, in order to keep the faces of the format fresh and exciting. So, without further ado, here are the members of the current Canadian Highlander Council:

Alistair “What’s he on?” Norman
Benjamin “Yours truly” Wheeler
Blake “Battlecruiser” Hodson
Nick “All Control – All the Time” Picard
Spencer “Can’t play Blue” Kanaka

If you happen to be a part of the discussion on the Canadian Highlander Facebook page, or tend to browse through the list of past winners, then these names should seem rather familiar. If you’re not part of the discussion, what are you waiting for? The name of the group is “MTG – Canadian Highlander: There Can Be Only One”. Please feel free to join the group, and get a more personal touch on the format.


The source for all things related to the Canadian Highlander