Jeskai Copycat by Kevin Jones at SCG Columbus

Creatures (9)
2 Torrential Gearhulk
4 Felidar Guardian
3 Whirler Virtuoso

Non-Creature Spells (26)
4 Saheeli Rai
1 Prophetic Prism
4 Anticipate
1 Brutal Expulsion
1 Essence Flux
4 Glimmer of Genius
4 Harnessed Lightning
2 Negate
3 Shock
2 Oath of Chandra

Lands (25)
5 Island
2 Mountain
2 Plains
4 Aether Hub
4 Inspiring Vantage
4 Spirebluff Canal
4 Wandering Fumarole

Sideboard (15)
1 Torrential Gearhulk
2 Cloudblazer
3 Spell Queller
1 Blessed Alliance
1 Disallow
1 Dispel
1 Tears of Valakut
2 Nahiri, the Harbinger
3 Radiant Flames

Summary

The Copycat combo (Saheeli Rai + Felidar Guardian) combo in Standard is one that most players were sure was going to see a lot of play. Through day 1 of the SCG Open in Columbus, it certainly seems that the powerful 2-card combo is shaping the format. As expected, the most successful players through day 1 are either playing Copycat, or have their crosshairs firmly aimed towards the 1/4 cat and the planeswalker. Many competitors who are playing the assumed boogeyman of the format are playing a straightforward Jeskai version, that doesn’t try to do anything out of the ordinary. Just simple draw cards, kill spells, some counterspells, Torrential Gearhulk, and the combo.

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One such player is Kevin Jones, who is piloting the above list to a 6-3 finish on day 1 of the SCG Open in Columbus on January 21. While a 6-3 finish on day 1 of an Open isn’t anything to write home about, especially for a player of Kevin’s quality, we have access to his list and it appears that many players are playing a very similar deck, so it’s good to look at the level zero Jeskai Copycat list and perhaps get a sneak peek of what the Standard format at the Pro Tour and beyond might look like.

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For those who haven’t been keeping up to date on Magic news over the past few weeks, the combination of Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian makes infinite copies of Felidar Guardian with haste as early as turn 4. Many compare it to the Splinter Twin combo decks that dominated Modern for a long time (and was deemed ban-worthy), and so far it doesn’t seem far off. The shell of a more classic Jeskai Control deck seems to be an excellent fit for the combo, as many players are gunning for this deck with the likes of Thalia, Heretic Cathar which need to be answered. Going forward, it’s hard to say if this version of Copycat will be the go-to one, but for now it appears that Jeskai Copycat should be considered the level zero deck of the format, and the Pro Tour metagame is beginning to shape up.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Brutal Expulsion

-1 Essence Flux

+1 Shock

+1 Negate

Sideboard

-1 Tears of Valakut

+1 Dispel

This is day 22 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 21 here, where we covered a Modern deck that features one of Magic’s oldest tribes.

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