Brews for the Weekend: Saheeli Twin CopyCat

When Felidar Guardian was previewed the entire Magic community went nuts over the news that a new “Splinter Twin combo” was Standard playable thanks to Saheeli Rai.

On Monday, January 9th, there was a pressing ban announced, and I thought for sure this infinite combo was going to get the ax. Why else would the B&R schedule get pushed up? I was surprised, to say the least, when I was wrong—completely wrong—and 3 other cards got banned instead.

There’s a lot going on in this deck, but ultimately the plan is to play a fair game with a combo kill. Saheeli is obviously broken with Felidar Guardian, but she does a lot of other nice things here. The most obvious is making more Gearhulks and smashing for a ton, but she can also draw cards off Prophetic Prism or create extra Clues by copying a Tireless Tracker before a land drop.

Prophetic PrismTireless Tracker

Speaking of Verdurous Gearhulk, this deck manages to play a pretty impressive plan B thanks to it. The Gearhulk synergizes nicely with Felidar Guardian in addition to Saheeli, but also smashes in for 10 immediately thanks to Arlinn Kord. It also can put counters on Heart of Kiran for a giant vigilant flyer because you can easily activate the Vehicle before resolving Gearhulk, thanks to all the planeswalkers.

Verdurous GearhulkArlinn KordArlinn, Embraced by the Moon

Nissa, Voice of Zendikar is just a good value planeswalker here, but also combines nicely with Heart of Kiran. She can occasionally go wide and then put a lot of +1/+1 counters on your Plant army, especially when paired with Felidar Guardian. Arlinn Kord isn’t the most impactful the turn she comes down, since she won’t usually have great targets in play yet, but she has a lot of unique play patterns. One is hasty Gearhulks, but another is to play Arlinn and make a Wolf, untap, “Bolt” something, then Felidar Guardian her and haste in for extra damage. She can also sometimes plus and make a creature big enough that you can crew Heart of Kiran without spending loyalty counters.

Nissa, Voice of Zendikar

What I love about this shell is that beyond the fair game it plays, it can assemble the infinite combo a decent amount of the time. Traverse the Ulvenwald can sometimes find Felidar Guardian, but both Ajani Unyelding and Oath of Nissa give the deck extra ways to find both missing pieces. If you already have Felidar Guardian, you can even blink Oath or Ajani for extra looks for Saheeli!

Traverse the UlvenwaldAjani UnyieldingOath of Nissa

One thing you may be wondering is how this list is possibly able to cast all its spells, but the mana base is surprisingly resilient thanks to the fact that the deck is mostly green. It has 11 untapped green sources for turn 1 Oath and Traverse, both of which help you cast your other spells. This is especially true thanks to the planeswalker heavy subtheme, which also helps turn on Heart of Kiran. Prophetic Prism is also key, and the card is less embarrassing now that it pairs with both Saheeli and Felidar Guardian for some extra card draw.

Here’s the full list:

Creatures (11):

2 Tireless Tracker
1 Fairgrounds Warden
4 Felidar Guardian
4 Verdurous Gearhulk

Spells (24):

2 Traverse the Ulvenwald
3 Shock
4 Oath of Nissa
3 Prophetic Prism
3 Heart of Kiran
3 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
4 Saheeli Rai
2 Ajani Unyielding
2 Arlinn Kord/Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon

Lands (20):

3 Botanical Sanctum
4 Evolving Wilds
1 Cinder Glade
4 Inspiring Vantage
8 Forest
1 Mountain
1 Island
1 Plains

Sideboard (15):

4 Radiant Flames
2 Natural Obsolescence
2 Tireless Tracker
4 Bristling Hydra
3 Dispel

I don’t know if this will be the right build for the Copy Cat Combo, I guess we’ll know what’s right with time. But for now I just know that the Saheeli-Guardian combo is extremely powerful and it will be interesting trying to find the best shell for it.

Thanks Everybody for reading,

Andreas

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