Brothers’ Highlander

Brothers’ Highlander is our in-house 100-card singleton format. The emphasis in every respect is to encourage highly unusual cards to be played, to have interactive games featuring cards that most of us barely knew existed – including the latest releases which keep slipping out from Legends.

The rules are updated periodically. The latest version is stored here on this page.

Brothers’ Highlander rules version 2.0 – November 2022

Deck sizes: 100 cards exactly.
Legal sets: ABU, AN, AQ, LE, TD, FE, 93/94 promo cards. (Note: Fallen Empires is legal).
RULES: Swedish Old School rules (i.e. modern but with errata for Chaos Orb)
PRINTINGS: This set follows traditional British reprint policy. Any non-proxy, non-foil, card with original art in the original frame is legal. CE and IE are illegal. Revised Edition Serendib Efreet and Plateau are legal.

RESTRICTED LIST: All cards apart from basic lands.

BANNED LIST: Library of Alexandria, Mind Twist, Karakas, all ante cards

CONTROLLED LIST: Players have 10 points to spend per deck on CONTROLLED cards:

  • Ancestral Recall – 5 (-2)
  • Balance – 1
  • Braingeyser – 7 (+2)
  • Black Lotus – 7
  • Demonic Tutor – 5
  • Disintegrate – 3 (new entry)
  • Icy Manipulator – 3 (+1)
  • Jayemdae Tome – 3
  • Maze of Ith – 3 (+1)
  • Mirror Universe – 8
  • Any Mox (Pearl, Sapphire, Jet, Ruby, Emerald, Platinum) – 3
  • Recall – 4
  • Sol Ring – 5 (+2)
  • Su-Chi – 1
  • Tetravus – 1 (new entry)
  • Time Vault – 2 (-2)
  • Time Walk – 7
  • Transmute Artifact – 1
  • Triskelion – 3

BONUS LIST: The following cards have NEGATIVE points values, enabling those playing them to spend additional Controlled points beyond their allocation of 10. These are:

  • The Legends ‘Banding lands’ (Cathedral of Serra, Seafarers’ Quay, Unholy Citadel, Mountain Stronghold, Adventurers’ Guildhouse):  MINUS 1
  • Wood Elemental: MINUS 1

MULLIGANS: We play the Gentleman’s Mulligan, not London Mulligan. After drawing their initial 7 cards, either player may declare a Gentleman’s Mulligan and show their hand to their opponent. (The opponent may choose to accept a Gentleman’s Mulligan without inspecting the declaring player’s hand).

If it contains 0 or 1 mana source, or 6-7 mana sources (i.e. a mana screw or a mana flood), that player can shuffle their deck and draw a fresh 7. There is no limit to the number of Gentleman’s Mulligans that can be declared. (A mana source is any zero-converted-mana-cost card which produces mana – i.e. a land or a Mox, or similar).

WHO GOES FIRST: Each player declares the value of their opening hands – the player with the higher score goes first (a player does not have to show their hand – their word should be enough!):

  • one point for every Swedish-legal black-bordered card 
  • two points for a Summer Magic card
  • half a point per ‘semi-pimp’ card – a non-English black-border printing (“Aland’s rule”)
  • If the scores are tied, the player with the most Swedish-legal black-bordered cards goes first.