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Magic Mondays: Saheeli A-Rai!

Multi Cat Meow Combo

I’m sure we’re not the only ones keeping open mana with a Felidar Guardian or Saheeli Rai on the field. The so-called “Copycat Combo” has now gone full-blown, with deck builds ranging from two colors to as much as four (Well, I haven’t seen a 5-color Copycat Combo deck yet, but I really wouldn’t be surprised to see one). Like what SCG Open Commentators Patrick Sullivan and Cedric Philips have mentioned, Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian aren’t the only two cards in the deck, so there will be other threats to support the combo.

Look forward to seeing the combo in your next FNM. You’ll be seeing a few variants of the deck, that’s for sure.

So, how do you fight it?

Personally, I’d prefer two methods: counter it or some hand disruption.

Disallow and Void Shatter

Hello blue-lovers! We have these two bad boys. Disallow is an exceptional card because it stops basically anything and everything. While, Void Shatter could counter and exile the combo pieces. Having these two-card in your arsenal could really be pivotal in the combo match-up.

The drawback, however, is that both cards’ casting costs are UU1, which could sometimes be difficult to have on turn 3 if you run a deck with more than two colors. Alternatives for other decks splashing blue could be Revolutionary Rebuff or Spell Shrivel, although conditional, they get the job done (more often than not..).

For those experimenting with the Improvise mechanic, you’ve got access to Metallic Rebuke. Good art, good effect and good (alternative) casting cost — good card, if in the right deck.

Uhh.. Hello, Scatter To The Winds.

…moving on.

Negate
This card has been a mainstay in blue decks as far as I remember (Unless you have a VERY creature-heavy meta). However, it doesn’t counter Felidar Guardian. Having the Negate could be a real bummer if you draw it when Saheeli’s on the board waiting for the cat. However, it’s perfect in the opposite situation where Felidar Guardian’s on the field just waiting for Saheeli.

A very handy career, indeed.

Transgress the Mind

This card could be the difference maker. A resolved Transgress the Mind can put you ahead of the game. Knowing how and when to play your cards could be key in winning the combo match up. Drawing Transgress the Mind in any part of game, whether it be in your opening hand or in the 5th turn, it still very powerful. However, having too much in your mainboard could backfire too. I’d have a 2-2 mainboard – sideboard split on them, since the meta’s still pretty shaken up.

Lost Legacy

Need I say more about this card? If resolved, it kills the combo. The tempo loss for casting such a card could be ignored since you’re playing against a combo deck. If your opponent’s on the play and gets to land a Saheeli, then you follow-up with Lost Legacy naming Felidar Guardian, you’ve pretty much gained a lot of momentum.

Again, the card is pretty difficult to cast if you have 3,4, or 5 colors. Alternative?

No. Don’t say it.

Pick the Brain

Nope. Pick the Brain, first and foremost, is a hit-or-miss card. Without the Delirium trigger, it’s not a long-term solution. Don’t do it. Just don’t.

Outside UB there are simpler solutions to the combo. One that halts the operation quite efficiently and cost less than $.25(ironically) is Shock. Simply just wait for Felidar to target Saheeli and burn her out of the board.

In conclusion, I feel like the best deck to go head-to-head against the Saheeli Copycat combo deck is a UB Control deck. It has a great package of removal, counters, hand disruption and a good finisher in Torrential Gearhulk.

Tune in for our next article — A Primer on UB Control.

Cheers!

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Magic Mondays: The Chopping Block, Emrakul’s Promised End

Emrakul The Promised End

Bare with me: this will be my first public meandering on competitive Magic: The Gathering, and worse, I am here to discuss my thoughts on the latest bannings.

DISCLAIMER: In no way am I a pro, I do play competitively, but have fumbled and stumbled too many times to consider myself a good player or even an OK player to be honest. I write mostly for your entertainment and so I can keep my sanity despite my grueling and soul sucking job. But most of all, just for plain and simple fun.

Ok, a lot of you have moved on from the recent bannings, both for Modern and Standard, surprisingly, no one threw a fit.

Ok I’m not much for Modern, Ugin was banned a long time ago and for good purpose, but the current ban on Emrakul, The Promised End, Smuggler’s Copter and Reflector Mage just totally castrated a whole bunch of decks. Including my Aetherworks Marvel which I had thought I’d be able to play for a few more months at the least.

Fine. Fourth turn Emrakul is unfair(so is life), and it is hard to deal with or come back from. Reflector Mage removes anything from the board for at least two turns and well Smuggler’s Copter was just everywhere, the slut of a card even found its way into Pummeler decks: Green Red too slow, setting up for that combo is just whaaa… BAM Copter! Problem solved.

Emrakul, Copter, Mage Ban

Emrakul, Copter, Mage Ban

Not that I disagree or anything, I am not about to throw a fit. If more than anything, I am intrigued to know why they went ahead and cut off the balls on a whole heap of decks. Face it – what’s left after these bans? Fucking Grixis Control? There aren’t as many obnoxious players out there who have the patience and timing.

Draw, Pass, Draw, Pass, oh what’s that sir? Thraben Inspector? Well Void fucking Shatter cause I’m up 6 fucking mana and I want to obnoxiously cast Torrential Gearhulk next turn for Gideon and kill any love you have left for playing Magic: The Gathering boyeeee.

Sorry, just had to let it out.

But yeah, Wizard keeps saying “to diversify the playing field” – well give us cards to fucking deal with what’s out there then. Are you guys so lazy as to have not consider tweaking cards from Future Future League so as to “Diversify” the playing field? I was so looking forward to playing Nichol Bolas and Emrakul on consecutive turns just for the fuck of it, but noooooooooo, that would just leave everyone doing the same thing. Bollocks. Give us better cards to build with and we will build something.

Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams

Breathe. Sorry, that was sort of a fit.

You want us to play longer than the fourth turn? Then what is this fucking shit!?@!*&!@#

Saheeli Cat Combo Meow!

Saheeli Cat Combo Meow!

I say, it was a bit of a lazy knee jerk reaction to whatever they had lined up these recent bannings. I assume there was nothing coming(in the immediate future or in AER) that could deal with or stand toe to toe with the likes of Emrakul, Copter, and ‘ooops you too’  Reflector Mage(you’re just too damn irritating). Funny they just had had to chuck out the mage cause if they’d banned Archangel Avacyn, we’d be on to them.

Is this a sign that there isn’t anything coming up that’s better than these three cards? Sad.

Come on Wizards, I know you were caught off guard by extending the cycles but bans like this are as good as throwing a whole set out of Standard. Give us better cards, don’t take good ones off the menu – MORE CARDS – that friends, would make MTG diverse AF.

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