Points Announcement: Strixhaven

The committee has been keeping a close eye on a number of decks over the last few months. This points update is a conservative one and includes a change to the watch list. We have access to more and more data from players and TO’s using the point and deck list portals. However, we still only have half of the picture as some states are less diligent in reporting deck lists and tournament results. While we never solely rely on the data it helps form a better picture and adds another level of analysis for the committee in addition to “gut feel” and community feedback. The following update is a nod to the power level and community discord over a new combo control deck dominating the Brisbane meta and showing up in some online events.
 

Gifts Ungiven

Gifts Ungiven +1

Currently, if this card resolves it’s controller often just wins the game the following turn, searching up all its pointed cards at once or creating the “impossible split” in combo decks. This point on Gifts Ungiven primarily aims to tax the Thassa’s Oracle and Breach Combo decks (A simple point on breach was on the cards and is still being considered). The points used in the Breach Combo Control decks are very lean and the consistency Gifts Ungiven brings is too good at zero points. Gifts has been played in different decks over the years, being used to assemble fair card advantage engines or assemble busted graveyard based combos. The committee members all agree this card is simply too good at 0 points and think this very powerful tutor will only get better as time goes on. When we look back on Gifts Ungiven and its original change from 1 point down to 0, we didn’t have cards like Thassa’s Oracle, Uro, or Underworld Breach.  

Watchlist Updates:  

Remove Enlightened Tutor – This particular tutor has been in every single committee discussion for the last 2.5 years. While we actively want to reduce the amount of cards on the points list we do not think this card is healthy for the format at 0 points. Finding parts to the breach combo. Artifact decks have recently received a boon in the form of academy to 1. Time Vault decks have the potential for very fast combo kills. 

Remove Jace, The Mind Sculptor – This unsurprisingly still sees a lot of play at 1 point. Blue is still one of the highest represented colours and our conclusion to remove Jace from the watch list comes from a unanimous decision that we don’t want to make blue better.  

Remove Birgi, God of Storytelling – This did not have any impact on combo decks. We were happy to collect some data on this new card and saw how little play it saw over the last quarter. 

Remove Yawgmoth’s Bargain – After its recent repointing we wanted to still see how much play it got. Little to no impact is a good sign that it was safe to unpoint. (however we are still cautious of Storm decks) 

Remove Hermit Druid – We aim to reduce the number of cards needlessly on the points list. It is simply a fast, consistent combo; albeit fragile.

Uro, Deathrite Shaman, Teferi, Time Raveler, Narset, Parter of Veils, Opposition Agent to remain – We still want to collect more data on these cards. For now we will leave these on our watch list to continue to collect data samples.  

Added Chain of Smog – This card has the potential for very fast kills with some new cards from Strixhaven. The new Magecraft mechanic found on efficient threats like Clever Lumimancer or even Witherbloom Apprentice allows for infinite copies of Chain of Smog to create infinite Magecraft triggers. 

Added Dark Petition and Personal Tutor These cards sees little to no play. We are considering to potentially tick down to zero points.

Nathaniel Kok

Nathaniel (or Kokey) is an ambassador of the 7 Point Highlander format in regional Queensland and is on The Highlander Points Committee. He is a big part of the thriving highlander community in Toowoomba. He’s quite the Jund aficionado, and loves to interact with his opponents, generate card advantage and experiment with tempo decks. Outside the game he loves sharing a beer or two with friends and spending time with his wife and son.