Tag Archives: Points

New points list! Effective January 1st

There will be a much more formal points list update coming soon but for those wondering here is the new points list along with some justifications for the changes from the council.  The purpose of the change to this 10 point system was to increase the council’s ability to fine tune the points list which was proving challenging in a 7 point system. It will be effective January 1st.  Continue reading New points list! Effective January 1st

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September 29th, 2014 – Points List Update

The following changes have been made to the Canadian Highlander points list:

Goblin Recruiter: 1 point to 0 points
Worldly Tutor: 1 point to 0 points

Natural Order: 2 points to 3 points
Summoner’s Pact: 1 point to 2 points

Deck Tech – Mono Green Craterhoof

Past to Present comparison on my Mono Green Craterhoof list.

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
Thragtusk
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
Harmonize
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
Taiga
Thespian’s Stage
Verdant Catacombs
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills
21x Snow-Covered Forest

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:

Balance
Gaea’s Cradle
Mana Drain
Mind Twist
Moat
Price of Progress
Recurring Nightmare
Scapeshift
Sensei’s Divining Top
Wasteland
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!

This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land

Image

From Tabernacle, to the Tomb of Yawgmoth,
From the Rishadan Port, to the Molten Pinnacle,
This land will will affect both you and me.

Lands

Considering the title, imagery and Woody Guthrie homage, you probably could have guessed this article is about lands. Not just your basic assortment of lands though. Today, I’ll be focusing on utilizing lands as your primary route for victory. The amount of reliance on your lands as win-conditions will vary from list to list, but the overall theme will stay a constant.

Now, in a format where (almost) every card in existence is at your disposal, why on earth would you want to focus on questions such as “Should I play two or three cycling lands?”, or the various game-plans surrounding Zuran Orb. For starters, there’s the “rogue factor”. You would be hard-pressed to find a strategy that a dedicated Highlander player isn’t prepared for, but lands comes close to fitting the bill. It is not uncommon for decks to carry little to no answer(s) for lands, be the cause of their grief a pesky Port or a migraine inducing Maze. For instance, while certain aggressive strategies Molten Rain on your parade, the most common disrupt you’ll come across will be in the form of Strip Mine or Wasteland. These however are merely momentary lapses in the natural progression of a Loam deck, and they come at quite a cost for our opponents. Control variants on the other hand, have little to offer in terms of counter-play. Pithing Needle serves as a suitable wrench in certain routes towards victory, but is entirely dependant on the situation at hand. Tectonic Edge is also a fine retort, however certain circumstances must be met for it to function as intended.

While all the cards listed serve their intended purposes (quite well at that), the resilience of Loam/Land engines is quite difficult to overcome entirely.

But, what if there is no “surprise!”.

The gig is up. You’ve been found out. Your opponent happens to be the player that lent you the Dark Depths you’re using this particular evening. Have no fear, for the “rogue factor” isn’t the only reason to take on terrain warfare. If the room is clogged with decks packing reactive spells, then you’re in luck! Mana Leak does not fare well against Valakut triggers, and board sweepers are frankly depressing, when you’re sitting across from a board of multiple man-lands. Of course, we won’t get off that easy. Reactive cards still threaten to muck up certain key spells and sequencing, which forces our engine to run a tad slower than usual. This however can be avoided, by taking more of an attrition route to victory.

Horn-of-Greed
AKA “The Slow Grind”

Loam Pox – 100 Cards – 14 Points
Serge Yager

Artifacts – 7
Chrome Mox
Crucible of Worlds (1)
Expedition Map
Horn of Greed
Mana Crypt (2)
Mox Diamond
Zuran Orb

Creatures – 8
Academy Rector
Bloodghast
Dark Confidant
Deathrite Shaman
Eternal Witness
Knight of the Reliquary
Oracle of Mul Daya
Vampire Hexmage

Enchantments – 11
Bitterblossom
Chains of Mephistopheles
Choke
Drop of Honey
Exploration
Fastbond (2)
Mirri’s Guile
Nether Void
Porphyry Nodes
Sylvan Library
The Abyss

Instants – 11
Abrupt Decay
Constant Mists
Crop Rotation
Enlightened Tutor (2)
Entomb
Grisly Salvage
Mental Misstep
Nature’s Claim
Realms Uncharted
Shadow of Doubt
Snuff Out

Planeswalkers – 1
Liliana of the Veil

Sorceries – 20
Beseech the Queen
Death Cloud
Duress
Gitaxian Probe
Hymn to Tourach
Ice Storm
Innocent Blood
Inquisition of Kozilek
Life from the Loam
Maelstrom Pulse
Mind Twist (1)
Pox
Raven’s Crime
Regrowth
Smallpox
Sylvan Scrying
Thoughtseize
Toxic Deluge
Vindicate
Worm Harvest

Lands – 42
Arid Mesa
Barren Moor
Bayou
Bloodstained Mire
Bojuka Bog
Dark Depths
Flagstones of Trokair
Glacial Chasm
Godless Shrine
Horizon Canopy
Karakas
Marsh Flats
Maze of Ith
Mishra’s Factory
Misty Rainforest
Nantuko Monastery
Overgrown Tomb
Rishadan Port
Savannah
Scrubland
Secluded Steppe
Strip Mine (4)
Tectonic Edge
Temple Garden
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
Thespian’s Stage
Tranquil Thicket
Treetop Village
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Verdant Catacombs
Wasteland (2)
Wooded Foothills
5x Swamps
4x Forests
1x Plains

Serge is no stranger to playing land-based strategies, often incorporating “prison” permanents when most appropriate. While most of the silver-bullets are meant to tackle opposing creatures, this shell utilizes multiple graveyard engines to grind out a variety of opponents. The beauty of this build is that (nearly) everything in the deck, profitably interacts with (nearly) everything else available to you. The symmetrical effects often benefit your overall game-state, rather than leaving you in a slightly advantageous position. Discarding a Life from the Loam, or sacrificing an Academy Rector removes the task of recovery from such symmetrical effects. It is often the case, that these offerings then replace themselves with cards more suitable for the current game-state.

One important thing to note, is that there is a common misconception that all “land” decks are looking to accelerate their mana. In truth, the importance lies in the playing of lands, rather than ramping to a specific point.

That said, there are certainly certain land strategies that are looking to hit a critical point through Rampant Growth style effects.

stf64_valakut
#ToTheDome

Ladies, and gentlemen, straight out of Berlin, we have a 4-Colour Scapeshift list from the mind of YouTube and HighlanderMagic.info sensation, Tabrys. Keep in mind, this list was designed with the “European Highlander” format as the focus.

4-Colour Scapeshift – 100 Cards – “European List”/ 12 Points
Tabrys

Artifacts – 1
Sensei’s Divining Top (2)

Creatures – 19
Dimir House Guard
Dryad Arbor
Eternal Witness
Farhaven Elf
Grave Titan
Imperial Recruiter
Inferno Titan
Overgrown Battlement
Primeval Titan
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Snapcaster Mage
Solemn Simulacrum
Sylvan Caryatid
Sylvan Ranger
Thragtusk
Vine Trellis
Wall of Blossoms
Wood Elves
Yavimaya Dryad

Enchantments – 1
Sylvan Library

Instants – 11
Abrupt Decay
Brainstorm
Clutch of the Undercity
Fact or Fiction
Fire // Ice
Intuition (2)
Izzet Charm
Lightning Bolt
Lim-Dul’s Vault
Mystical Teachings
Worldly Tutor

Planeswalkers (2)
Garruk Wildspeaker
Jace, the Mind Sculptor (1)

Sorceries (29)
Arc Trail
Beseech the Queen
Bonfire of the Damned
Cultivate
Damnation
Demonic Tutor
Edge of Autumn
Faithless Looting
Farseek
Firespout
Forked Bolt
Green Sun’s Zenith
Grim Tutor
Inquisition of Kozilek
Into the North
Kodama’s Reach
Life from the Loam
Maelstrom Pulse
Nature’s Lore
Personal Tutor
Ponder
Preordain
Rampant Growth
Recoup
Scapeshift (1)
Search for Tomorrow
Skyshroud Claim
Three Visits
Wheel of Fortune (1)

Tabrys’ build showcases a diverse threat configuration, flexible recovery options (primarily utilized versus opponents with heavy permission or hand-attack) and resilience through recycling resources. The selection of library manipulation and board sweepers, allow for a more steady-as-she-goes approach to victory. Rushing to combo via Dark Depths + Thespian Stage or Valakut + Scapeshift isn’t always your primary concern. Where more traditional Scapeshift builds might falter, this list offers counter-play against decks that simultaneously apply pressure alongside disruption, such as White Weenie or UG Sorenson (Tempo). However, against an unsuspecting opponent, the game can be swept up by an end-step Crop Rotation for either piece of the Thepths 2.0 combo.

It is worth noting that within the European Highlander format, certain cards that would (possibly) preform well within this archetype are currently banned. If one were looking to port this list to a Canadian Highlander meta, please consider some of the following choices:

  • Entomb
  • Gifts Ungiven (2)
  • Mystical Tutor (3)
  • Natural Order (1)
  • Strip Mine (4)

Entomb, Gifts and Strip Mine would allow for additional flexibility, and the possibility for a Scapeshift/Loam hybrid list. Configuring such a list for a competitive scene would require quite a lot of testing, trial and (assuredly) error.  If after reading through these lists, you’ve developed a hankering for some landfall triggers, might I suggest sleeving up something more forgiving to these less learned in the practice of rotating crops.

Other possible colour combinations/strategies could include:

  • Naya Ramp w/ Loam + Scapeshift
  • Bant Tapout Control
  • BG Loam Engine

images (3)

The Deep End

Something to keep in mind, is that while the strategies listed both utilize lands much more so than your typical archetype, they aren’t limiting themselves to relying solely on them as a route to victory. It is important to have options when approaching deck construction, as not every game goes as planned. Being open-minded towards all aspects of your colour(s), will ultimately be more rewarding than creating fictitious limitations. In addition, don’t feel as though what you are doing is boring or not interactive. Different people enjoy different aspects of the game. That is what makes Magic such an enjoyable experience. Be it with an indestructible 20/20, or by wasting away all their lands.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be pretty. It just has to work.

Cheers,

Benjamn