The 15-card Highlander competition was held last night at GenconUk and was an immense success! For those who missed the thread first time around the format was: Decks of 15 cards, no more than one copy of a card other than basic land, Type-II format with added Banned list of Serra Avatar, Thran Foundry, Wand Of Denial and Crumbling Sanctuary. Everything else is the same as normal, except you don`t die when you run out of cards - that would just be daft. ---------- By kick-off at 8:15pm the tournament had attracted a tremenous 48 players (the MBC PTQ had only got 65!) and so we played six 30-minute rounds of Swiss that cut to a Top-8 knockout. For some reason it was decided that the Semis and Final should be best-of-five and that was probably the main reason why we were still playing the final at 4:00am! The first prize was a Black Lotus (unlimited), which was claimed by Gordon `Gordy` Benson playing a black deck using Nether Spirit and Smokestack. Duress Stupor Persecute Rain of Tears Despoil Snuff Out Befoul Smokestack - Nether Spirit - Rishadan Port Spawning Pool Swamp x4 SB Rapid Decay Perish Unmask And he beat... ME! I lost the final 3-2 on a cruel fifth-game mana screw, and I was playing a Somnophore-based blue counterspell deck. Seal Of Removal Daze Scent Of BRrine Power Sink Counterspell Thwart Foil Rewind - Somnophore ("Somnophore - I choose you!") - Dust Bowl Island x5 SB Annul Indentured Djinn Dominate And claiming the third spot was Chris Stowers, packing a fierce mono-brown deck. Voltaic Key Grim Monolith Thran Dynamo Phyrexian Processor Wildfire - Squee, Goblin Nabob Masticore Karn, Silver Golem Covetous Dragon - Rishadan Port Mountain x5 SB Ring Of Gix Hammer Of Bogardan ??? (something he didn`t SB in against me) The tournament was a whole heap of fun, both to play and to prepare for with some wacky decks going the rounds - a Celestial Convergence deck using Radiant`s Dragoons and Rishadan Pawnshop for instance - as well as some old favourites like Stompy and Ponza. Rishadan Pawnshop Seal of Cleansing Disenchant Marble Diamond ???? (sorry, missed what it was) Parallax Wave Celestial Convergence Replenish - Radiants Dragoons - Forbidding Watchtower Plains x5 SB Fountain Watch Honor The Fallen Monk Idealist By far the most succesful decks were the blue decks, overall, with 5 of the Top-8 being blue counterspell decks of some description. All three of the TEAM CAND!MAN Somnophore decks made it into the Top-8 (piloted by myself, Neil `Caribou` Rigby, and Andy `CounterSliver` McNish) alongside two straight Accelerated Blue decks with stuff like Palinchron, Morphling, Grim Monolith and Treachery. Also running high during the 3th and 4th rounds were a number of Suicide black decks, but they dropped back out of the Top-8 in the final two rounds. Playing in this format is currently very mixed because nobody has been in anything like it before. Because of this a lot of players were using perfectly okay decks but which weren`t quite cutting edge and so they lost 100% against the players with better decks. For instance the Celestial Convergence deck was wreaking havoc all day and was at 4-0 after the fourth round, but she then met two blue decks in the last two rounds and they only had to counter three spells all game (Rishadan Pawnshop, Celestial Convergence, and Replenish). This made the Swiss rounds seem very matchup based as a lot of players were in games they simply could not win no matter how they played their cards, but on the other hand the top-8 games were entirely decided by player skill because all the decks were top of the line and so the margin for error was 0% - one mistake and you lost because your opponent now had +1 card advantage. When more people have experience of the format and deckbuilding gets better this will be a VERY skillful and technically precise format to play in. PS: I hear that, as a result of my article on this format for Starcity, Neutral Ground New York are planning to run tournaments using this format so it looks like we could be seeing far more of this sort of thing in future. "Highlander Rules - there can be only fifteen!"