Effective as of the release of The Brother’s War (18/11/2022)
- Lim Dul’s Vault -1 (1 to 0)
- Lurrus of the Dream-Den +1 (2 to 3) (as a companion)
- Lutri, the Spellchaser 2 -> 2 (as a companion)
Highlander overall has remained in a pretty healthy state, with a wide variety of successful archetypes. While we are seeing some regional dominance with specific decks, for the most part we’re happy with where the format is, and with the impact of the last batch of changes.
With that in mind, we’re making the following two changes.
Lim Dul’s Vault -1 (1 to 0)
Lim-Dûl’s Vault is a powerful but extremely niche card, it’s card disadvantage, it can pay upwards of 5 life if the card you’re looking for is in the botton half of the deck and it’s both two mana and multicolour. Because of this we expect it not to see play in the hybrid combo decks of late like Breach and Thoracle and instead to help out the dedicated all in combo decks that are extremely underperforming at the moment and we wanted to give some love by removing the worst one point tutor for them.
Lurrus of the Dream-Den +1 (2 to 3)
Since they were first printed, Companions have been a problematic mechanic across every format, and none more so than the Cat Nightmare, who has now managed to get banned in almost every format.
In highlander, Lurrus is synonymous with the Underworld Breach combo deck, which has continued to put up extremely strong results, despite it’s fairly low play rate. When coming into this announcement we looked closely at where we should point Breach, given it’s continued success, even in highly prepared metagames.
We decided to go with Lurrus over Breach or one of the currently 0 pointed cards. We like Breach as a metagame force, but currently feel that it’s too strong with both it’s plan A of combo, and it’s plan B of a Lurrus driven tempo plan, and we’d like to push towards alternate versions of Breach continuing to be viable.
Lurrus has been represented as one of the more powerful things to do across a variety of archetypes, be it combo, control, aggro or tempo, and we’re looking to rein that in a little, while also forcing one of the top combo decks to choose more closely between a combo and fair plan.
Pointed as a companion
Lurrus and Lutri’s points only apply while played as a Companion.
While Lurrus of the Dream-Den and Lutri, the Spellchaser have very overt effects on the game when registered as a Companion, we recognise that there’s a large power differential between Lurrus as a Companion and Lurrus as a maindeck card. We debated whether adding complexity to the deckbuilding rules to allow Companions to be played “fairly” with alternate points values (read: zero). Ultimately we decided that this adds very little mental work, doesn’t clutter the points list further, and may allow people to experiment with maindeck Lurrus decks.
- Mishra’s Workshop +1 (1 to 2)
- Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes +1 ( 0 to 1)
- Ancient tomb, City of Traitors and Umezawa’s Jitte are removed from the watchlist.
Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes (Watchlist +1)
This new planeswalker has been making waves in Legacy due to its flexibility, and likewise Highlander decks now have yet another powerful tool in Red-Green-X (already a heavily played colour combination). Minsc operates on multiple axes, including commanding the battlefield, card advantage (often drawing four cards), and direct damage that serves as both removal for creatures and planeswalkers, as well as reach for the opponent’s life total. In general, 4-mana threats are powerful and game-defining when left unchecked (see other 0-point cards like Omnath, Locus of Creation and Kess, Dissident Mage), but Minsc pushes the envelope with their low colour requirements. The Committee will evaluate the pointing of Minsc over the coming season, which includes a selection of large Highlander events.
All three of these lands provide a significant leap forward in mana generation, but each plays a slightly different role (and advantages different archetypes). We saw them used to particular effect in the Red White ‘Moonshine’ aggro deck that won masters, which contributed to their watchlisting last announcement. The two-generic-mana ‘Sol Lands’ enable a diverse array of decks, most of which we do not currently consider an oppressive force in the metagame.
However Mishra’s Workshop presents the most degenerate turn one opening plays, whether they be the three-mana lock piece Trinisphere, or filling the board with artifact creatures faster than an opponent can keep up. An additional point could help reduce the frequency of non-games, but also present more equitable points-configuration decisions for players who do not own this prohibitively expensive card.