Returning Soon

G’day all,

This has been a hectic week. As most of you know, about a month ago Wizards made the decision to ban cards that they deemed to be racist or culturally offensive. When that decision was made, I updated the points list with the following statement, “Wizards has launched a jihad on cards that they have deemed to be “problematic” and cleansed them from play in sanctioned events.” My position is still that this decision was worthy of mockery.  Other than one card, no other cards that were banned were racist. This shouldn’t need to be said but black and white are colours of mana in Magic, and do not refer to ethnicity. Cards that affect black or white things are not inherently racist. I believe that if you determine your morality based on the decisions of a company, your beliefs are hollow. Funnily enough, if causing offence is now such a great crime, it seems unusual to me that cards that were partially censored in the past for causing offence (skeletons in Chinese regions, and cards like Demonic Tutor featuring pentagrams in Revised on) are still fine and completely inoffensive to play. People are concerned about promoting artists with detestable views, but will play cards from those same artists, like Sylvan Library, until they’re explicitly told that they cause offence.

Unfortunately, my decision has caused a bit of a meltdown in the Highlander community. Some members of this community don’t handle disagreement well, notably some self designated “community leaders” have made a number of attempts in the past to defame me, including making statements that I believe implied that I may have engaged in criminal behaviour. I have now been called a racist, a Nazi and a white supremacist. These are obviously laughable accusations to people who know me personally and professionally. However, for people with a manachian view of the world, the mildest amount of disagreement is heretical and should be punished. I have been anonymously threatened with “consequences” and been told that “things could happen” if I showed up at a live event and even had a well meaning and prominent member of the community suggest to me that if I aligned my views with those of the ANTIFA (the extreme far left) I would be unfrozen from the community.  Preceding these events I’ve even been called a self-hating jew, but I guess its OK to use racial slurs if you identify as someone who isn’t racist.

I abhore the injection of politics in to this game. I’ve also spoken out against the numerous, vicious dog-piles that have occurred over the last few years against decent people who have become the focus of the woke squad, which if I’m being honest, has led to much of this week’s drama. I also think it’s unfortunate to see well-meaning people, with the aim of inclusivity, transform this community in to one where, for example, all memes are banned on official highlander Facebook groups because of concerns about offence, or where people involved in running this format have become so arrogant and humourless they can’t communicate with people without either demeaning them or treating them like children. Ultimately this will divide the community rather than make it more inclusive and create an environment where only people who are part of an in-crowd feel comfortable speaking. Inevitably I think this will result in more regional based groups, which will be accelerated by current events, rather than fostering a national approach to the format. I don’t want to play this game anymore, and while I think there may be a lot of people who think that’s a good thing, I still feel a bit sad giving it up.

I’ve managed this site for the last 7 years with the goal of preserving old decklists after our last forum went down (success!) and creating an open blog where people from around the country could share their experiences, discuss ideas and learn more about the format (bit more of a fail, Discord and Facebook killed that). I’m currently in discussions with a number of people who could take over the site and domain. A condition of handing over the proverbial keys would be the preservation of old content such as decklists. If you’re interested, you probably know how to get in touch. Until that point I’ll be leaving the site locked with the points list below. Unfortunately while I still believe that Highlander is one of the best Magic formats, I think events have shown that the local community certainly isn’t. I’ve made some great friends playing this game and really enjoyed my time playing Magic, I hope you get all of the sweet and none of the bitter.

Byron


7 Point Highlander has been played across Australia and New Zealand for 20+ years. It is a competitive 60 card singleton format (15 card sideboard) which uses the vintage ban list (excluding Lurrus of the Dream Den) and in addition a points system. Only 7 points are allowed per deck, and changes to the points list are made by the Points Committee to promote the health of the format. Announcement of changes, if any, take place on the release of each new standard legal set (once every 3 months).

Wizards has banned the following in sanctioned events:

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/depictions-racism-magic-2020-06-10

If you are new or a veteran player there are a number of resources to get you going, including the Facebook group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/266315333384411/

When building a 7 Point Highlander deck from scratch you need to consider the current points list:

Highlander Points List

4 points:
Ancestral Recall, Black Lotus, Time Vault, Time Walk,

3 points:
Demonic Tutor, Imperial Seal, Mox Emerald, Mox Jet, Mox Pearl, Mox Ruby, Mox Sapphire, Sol Ring, Vampiric Tutor

2 points:
Channel, Dig Through Time, Flash, Mana Crypt, Mind Twist, Mystical Tutor, Protean Hulk, Strip Mine, Tinker, Tolarian Academy, Thassa’s Oracle, Treasure Cruise, True-name Nemesis

1 point:
Balance, Birthing Pod, Crop Rotation, Dark Petition, Doomsday, Enlightened Tutor, Fastbond, Force of Will, Green Sun’s Zenith, Hermit Druid, Intuition, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Karakas, Library of Alexandria, Life from the Loam, Lim-Dul’s Vault, Lutri, the Spellchaser, Mana Drain, Mana Vault, Merchant Scroll, Mishra’s Workshop, Natural Order, Oath of Druids, Oko Thief of Crowns, Personal Tutor, Sensei’s Divining Top, Skullclamp, Snapcaster Mage, Survival of the Fittest, Tainted Pact, Time Spiral, Timetwister, Underworld Breach, Umezawa’s Jitte, Wasteland, Wishclaw Talisman, Yawgmoth’s Bargain, Yawgmoth’s Will