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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!