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Starting with an Idea: Modern Four-Color Saheeli Combo

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Today we’re going to do something a little different.

Normally I’m bringing you either decks that I’ve brewed and worked on stream or at an event, or decks that have been floating around the top tables of either tournament or online play. However, today we’re going to take a look at what the beginnings of a brew looks like. Every great deck starts as nothing more than an idea, and by starting from that point you will get to see the process that goes into figuring out what works and doesn’t work.

Today’s idea is:

What if we used discard spells in our Saheeli Rai/Felidar Guardian combo deck to both protect our combo as well as disrupt our opponent?

Most Saheeli Rai combo decks are either straight Jeskai or touch on green for mana creatures and creature tutoring, but what if we went in the other direction and added discard instead? Discard spells could help act as a preemptive answer to things that would disrupt their combo, let us know when the coast is clear, and buy us time to set up. Discard spells also play great with Teferi, Time Raveler, as even when our opponent is empty handed we can use them on their draw step. The cost of course, is that we need to play four colors which can be difficult

Time Stamps:

Match 1 - 00:10:22

Match 2 - 00:25:34

Match 3 - 00:52:11

Match 4 - 01:02:44

Match 5 - 01:26:45

While the idea itself sorta worked - discard spells into planeswalkers was fairly effective - the costs associated with playing four colors were fairly high. We were routinely starting games at about 11 or 12 life, as we would need to fetch and shock a few times while also taking damage from Thoughtseize. This made life difficult against more aggressive decks and made setting up more difficult. Interplanar Beacon was cute but may have caused more problems than it solved. Lacking Lightning Bolt and Snapcaster Mage also made dealing with enemy planeswalkers more difficult and we were very one dimensional in our game plan.

However, the most important thing from any time you take an idea into war is to learn everything you can from it. Most ideas die brutal deaths on the battlefield, but every battle has a chance to be a victory when you learn from it. The things you learn from each attempt help inform your view on the format and future attempts.

Teferi, Time Raveler
Narset, Parter of Veils

What we did learn is that both Teferi, Time Raveler and Narset, Parter of Veils were insanely powerful in the deck. They inject new life into an archetype that had toiled on the fringes of the format for a while, giving it tools it never had.

Tune in on Friday to see what this idea eventually led to!