Hot Take - Highlander decks are boring!

  • rocketfodder's Avatar 525 60 Posts Joined 06/17/2019
    Posted 2 years, 11 months ago

    I can't help but feel that highlander decks are so dull to play and play against. Once you know your opponent has only 1 of each spell (beyond discoverable shenanigans), playing around things becomes trivial. Most of the time, it's correct to gamble they don't have that perfect answer. If not, yay! You won!  If they did, scramble for Plan B.

    I get that it's fun to make each card selected that much more meaningful, but the play and counter-play seem stale. 

    Anyone else agree?

    -3
  • doingtheobvious's Avatar 1155 816 Posts Joined 06/01/2019
    Posted 2 years, 11 months ago

    Honestly I don't mind Highlander as a concept. If I had to pick a archetype I find more obnoxious, it would have to go to Genn Greymane and Baku the Mooneater because playing against those decks is usually very formulaic and very boring.

    ~dats just me doe~

    6
  • Pullanisu's Avatar Gul'dan 275 107 Posts Joined 06/18/2019
    Posted 2 years, 11 months ago

    Maybe in standard but in wild it's not the same

    Reno Jackson

    Kazakus

    My faves!

    You can beat me but I will still yeet your skeet

    0
  • Xarkkal's Avatar Servant of Illidan 890 1321 Posts Joined 03/29/2019
    Posted 2 years, 11 months ago
    Quote From rocketfodder

    I can't help but feel that highlander decks are so dull to play and play against. Once you know your opponent has only 1 of each spell (beyond discoverable shenanigans), playing around things becomes trivial. Most of the time, it's correct to gamble they don't have that perfect answer. If not, yay! You won!  If they did, scramble for Plan B.

    I get that it's fun to make each card selected that much more meaningful, but the play and counter-play seem stale. 

    Anyone else agree?

    I think this is more of a Standard issue than Wild. There is such a variety of Highlander builds in Wild, that you never know for sure what the opponent has. Yeah there's a 99% chance that certain cards are in the deck, (like all Renolocks will have a Defile for example) but many of the cards are interchangeable, and it's fun to change the play style. 

    As for playing them, I find them to be really fun to play. You have to really know your deck and the meta to determine how to best use your resources. Sure there are plenty of times where you say "if only I had drawn X, I would have won the game!" but that happens with all decks anyways.

    Basically, your point of gambling if they have the perfect answer or not goes for all decks. That's kind of the nature of the game. You can make educated guesses, try and make your opponent use resources inefficiently, and gamble on if they have the answer they need to what you are able to play. Whether their deck is all singletons or duplicates doesn't change this fact.

    1
  • Zwane's Avatar Wizard 320 423 Posts Joined 06/04/2019
    Posted 2 years, 11 months ago

    Mmm. I am not sure I understand you. First you have to guess you are dealing with a highlander deck. Some cards might give you a hint about that like Zephrys. Then when you think its highlander, the only extra information this gives you is that after they play a card, that card will not be played again. But apart from that, there can still be a lot of other cards that can still be played. So how can this be more predictable? I would say it is the opposite: in highlander decks much more different cards are played so to guess the next card would become more difficult?

    1
  • RavenSunHS's Avatar Refreshment Vendor 865 1487 Posts Joined 03/27/2019
    Posted 2 years, 11 months ago

    I second those who asserted it's completely different in Wild.

    A Wild Highlander deck is just predictable in some of its legendary cards, but that's it, and that would be true also in their non-Highlander versions anyway (eg. any kind of Controllock would use Mal'Ganis).

    A Wild Reno Priest could deliver with Dragonfire Potion, Lightbomb, Psychic Scream in the same deck, and your knowledge of it being Highlander, and having already faced say a Dragonfire Potion would be of little to no avail.

    I can understand it could be more predictable in Standard, with a limited set, yet you have to understand it is actually a Highlander deck, which may not come so fast during the game, often too late. Also, at least half of the cards are still unplayed in the average turn, so you are still unaware about those even in a Standard Highlander deck: you still have to play around certain cards most of the time. 

    Unless we are talking of very long games, but at that point i't expect a veteran Control player such as CW to conceive as predictable any kind of matchup, where they are already experienced at reacting at any move and using always the optimal amount of resources in perspective.

    1
  • AliRadicali's Avatar 460 713 Posts Joined 06/06/2019
    Posted 2 years, 11 months ago
    Quote From rocketfodder

    I can't help but feel that highlander decks are so dull to play and play against. Once you know your opponent has only 1 of each spell (beyond discoverable shenanigans), playing around things becomes trivial. Most of the time, it's correct to gamble they don't have that perfect answer. If not, yay! You won!  If they did, scramble for Plan B.

    I get that it's fun to make each card selected that much more meaningful, but the play and counter-play seem stale. 

    Anyone else agree?

    I get where you're coming from, but I think these decks are unsatisfying to play against rather than boring, because it feels like Russian Roullette more than strategy. The archetype exists and is balanced around cards that are ridiculously OP but require you to build an inconsistent highlander deck. Consequently, when you draw and play those cards and the right answers, it feels like a total high-roll, but when you brick on your draws it feels like you lost to your own deck rather than the opponent. Similarly, when playing against these decks there isn't much point to playing around certain cards, you just have to pray to RNGesus; if you win the victory is tainted by the knowledge that it's due in part to the opponent's poor draws rather than your skill.

     

    I played a lot of Kazakus-era highlander back in the day, and even though I enjoyed the heck out of it, the design of these enabler-cards never sat right with me. I think I'd rather have a dedicated highlander format than cards in the standard pool that break all norms of acceptable power level to entice players to play it there.

    -1
  • mSterian's Avatar 115 8 Posts Joined 06/17/2019
    Posted 2 years, 11 months ago

    I've never been a fan of playing around cards. When you're playing around a card they don't have, you're practically giving it to their hand. I never like guessing and gambling. I like reacting to visible information, and making a plan along the way depending on what things happen. Playing around cards possibly in opponent's hand? NO. Most frustrating idea.

    -6
  • Pezman's Avatar 2035 1684 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 2 years, 11 months ago

    I enjoy the counterplay of finding out your opponent is singleton, then ticking off resources on your head (like, ok, he played Animal Companion, so that card is gone).

    I also find Zephrys the Great to be so good and fun! Look how many non-singleton decks he shows up in!

    "Be excellent to each other." -Bill and Ted

    0
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