Dr Sarven McLinton

Sarven has been playing Magic the Gathering since Stronghold (1998) and is on The Highlander Points Committee. He is well-versed in a wide variety of deck archetypes but remains an avid student of the game. Sarven is a passionate writer and seeks to apply his extensive experience in research and statistics to gaming. By day, 'Dr McLinton' works as a Research Associate at the Centre for Workplace Excellence (CWeX) managing various projects investigating psychosocial factors at work, as well as lecturing Psychology Honours and supervising PhD candidates. By night, 'McLinton Sensei' teaches traditional Japanese Karate in South Australia's premiere sporting centre, the ARC Campbelltown. He holds a 4th-degree black belt and is a gold medalist, competing both nationally and internationally in Karate and Open-style contact tournaments.

The Time Vault Archetype in Highlander

Welcome to the Time Vault deck archetype for 7 Point Highlander! This is an introductory article, where you will find all the resources you need to start playing Time Vault decks, and links for you to further explore its major variants in more detail. A Summary of the Time Vault Archetype Time Vault is such a powerful card that it has spawned a plethora of decks that hinge either partially or entirely on that namesake artifact. This has led to Time Vault retaining its place on the 4 Point list for many years, which has certainly not dissuaded players from… Read More »The Time Vault Archetype in Highlander

7PH Quarterly Metagame Report – Q1 2021

Welcome back to our recurring article on the 7 Point Highlander metagame. Here I will overview data from the most recent Quarter, which contains information on decks and points that have been submitted by players via the Point Results Form. If you haven’t already seen it, you can report your Points here. These quarterly metagame reports release around one week prior to the regular Points Announcements (which occur with each Standard-legal set release). The Point Results Form was created as our first port of call for collecting the most readily accessible data; deck strategies such as Aggro, Combo, and Control; predominant colours played, and perhaps most importantly;… Read More »7PH Quarterly Metagame Report – Q1 2021

SA: Dragon’s Lair Adelaide (14 Players) 11/04/2021 | Deck Lists & Tournament Report

Here is a summary of the metagame, and my experience at the event! The Metagame Ever since Oko, A-call, and Time Walk gained points, the Adelaide metagame has been incredibly diverse. A lot of previously rare archetypes like Affinity, Tolarian Academy ramp, and unpowered Aggro and Midrange decks have finally had their chance to shine. In this event we had a very broad range of decks in the Top 8, spanning the whole gamut of Combo, Aggro, Midrange, and Control! Whilst there were Tempo and Ramp decks in the room none made the top 8 cut. It is also a… Read More »SA: Dragon’s Lair Adelaide (14 Players) 11/04/2021 | Deck Lists & Tournament Report

SA: Good Games Adelaide (21 Players, Top 8 Cut) Apr 2021 03/04/2021 | Deck Lists

Player’s Standing Player’s Name Player’s Deck List Link 1st James Arthur WURG Midrange-Aggro 2nd Luke McGlaughlin “Rakdos Bridesmaid” (BR Aggro) 3rd-4th Brad Fielke “4c Stoneblade” (WURG Midrange) 3rd-4th Oliver Oks “RUG Lord” (Temur Tempo-Midrange) 5th-8th Michael Hearn “TR 45” (Mono-U Ramp-Combo) 5th-8th Nathan Simpson “Rakdos” (BR Aggro) 5th-8th Nick Savidis “Dimir Time Vault” (UB Combo) 5th-8th Elliot Hoskin “Gruul Moon” (RG Midrange) 9th Sarven McLinton Bant Time Vault Midrange 10th Ed Watts WURG Time Walk Midrange 11th Russell Cutting UBR Reanimator 12th Simon Hall [unknown] 13th Sara Davey [unknown] 14th Reuben Buresti UR Tempo Twin 15th Drew Carter WUR Miracles… Read More »SA: Good Games Adelaide (21 Players, Top 8 Cut) Apr 2021 03/04/2021 | Deck Lists

SA: Dragon’s Lair Valentine’s Day Adelaide (14 Players) 14/02/2021 | Deck Lists & Tournament Report

Long Live Aggro! The metagame This week’s Adelaide meta was a breath of fresh air. SA saw some interesting developments in the wake of the recent Points Announcement coupled with the new Kaldheim printings. Most importantly, Aggro is back and with a vengeance! Raj took down the event with a clean 4-0 sweep on a Grixis tempo deck with a very Aggro bent, playing 1 drops like Bomat Courier and Goblin Guide to get in early beats and close the game with a traditional burn plan. He was the only person playing Ancestral Recall in the event (for the first… Read More »SA: Dragon’s Lair Valentine’s Day Adelaide (14 Players) 14/02/2021 | Deck Lists & Tournament Report

7PH Quarterly Metagame Report – Q4 2020

Welcome back to our recurring article on the 7 Point Highlander metagame. Here I will overview data from the most recent Quarter, which contains information on decks and points that have been submitted by players via the Point Results Form. If you haven’t already seen it, you can report your Points here. These quarterly metagame reports release around one week prior to the regular Points Announcements (which occur with each Standard-legal set release). The Point Results Form was created as our first port of call for collecting the most readily accessible data; deck strategies such as Aggro, Combo, and Control;… Read More »7PH Quarterly Metagame Report – Q4 2020

SA: Adelaide Eternal & Dragon’s Lair collab Dual Land showdown (22 Players) 17/01/2021 | Deck Lists & Tournament Report

Adelaide Eternal had a Dual Land event planned for Jan 17th but sadly due to COVID-19 restrictions on our host venue we had to cancel. Phil kindly offered to use Dragon’s Lair as the alternate venue, and although we couldn’t make it the originally planned Proxy event, the turnout was still excellent with 22 Players battling for the Revised Savannah! After the Swiss rounds these were the final standings for the Top 8 who progressed in to the Playoffs. Final standings 1st – Rob Lark 2nd – Raj Tokhi 3rd – Torin Kelderman 4th – James Arthur 5th – Riley… Read More »SA: Adelaide Eternal & Dragon’s Lair collab Dual Land showdown (22 Players) 17/01/2021 | Deck Lists & Tournament Report

SA: Store Championship Dragon’s Lair St Marys, Adelaide (25 Players) 09/01/2021 | Deck Lists & Tournament Report

Store Championships Jan 2021 report Dragon’s Lair held a Store Championship for each location, with 25 players competing at St Marys and 15 at Salisbury, representing approximately 35-ish unique players across the SA Highlander scene. The top placing players at each store were eligible to compete in the single-elimination Store Championship on Jan 9th, after which the winner from St Marys and Salisbury would duke it out on Jan 10th! Final standings going in to the Top 8 was based on performance throughout the end of 2020 season across all Highlander Events. Top 8 play-offs occurred using the Swiss play-draw… Read More »SA: Store Championship Dragon’s Lair St Marys, Adelaide (25 Players) 09/01/2021 | Deck Lists & Tournament Report

SA: Dragon’s Lair Adelaide (16 Players) 27/12/2020 | Deck Lists & Tournament Report

Metagame The entire field ran the full gamut of Control, Midrange, Combo, Ramp, Aggro, and Tempo decks. However the archetypes that rose to the top were predominantly Midrange (4 decks) and Control (3 decks). The last archetype in the Top 8 was an Elves deck, which operated predominantly as a Combo deck (with Ramp elements). There were only 2 pieces of Power in the Top 8, continuing the trend of un-Powered decks matching up well vs. Ancestral Recall or Time Walk. The Winning Deck(s) Yet again, Bant Midrange continues its clean sweep of the SA metagame. Both Beckett and I… Read More »SA: Dragon’s Lair Adelaide (16 Players) 27/12/2020 | Deck Lists & Tournament Report

SA: Good Games Adelaide (18 Players) 20/12/2020 | Deck Lists & Tournament Report

The Metagame This 18 player event had a diverse metagame of control, midrange, tempo, aggro, and ramp. Combo was under-represented but this is pretty normal for Adelaide metro events (whereas our satellite city areas like Salisbury see a lot of Infect, Reanimator, and other combo decks). In terms of the Top 8 decks, Bant is clearly the new hotness, with 4 of the decks being GWU shells (two of which splashed a 4th colour; black or red). More importantly, it is important to mention that the Top 8 was filled with Birthing Pod… 5/8 decks running the oft-forgotten 1-Point card!… Read More »SA: Good Games Adelaide (18 Players) 20/12/2020 | Deck Lists & Tournament Report