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Crazy Cat Menagerie, XLN update (Standard, Budget)

Standard* Budget Casual Energy GW (Selesnya) Theme/Gimmick Tribal




The Crazy Cat Menagerie! (Now updated for XLN!)

Please UPVOTE if you like cats!!

Thank you to all the friendly users viewing, upvoting, and commenting your ideas! This deck made it to #3 on tappedout and is regularly sitting in the top 5 of the Standard hub :) MEOW!

An additional shoutout to the following users who have actively participated in the conversation that has improved this deck no end: djnewellmit, majin_shinsa, BubbleMatrix2357, puetypoo, Atroxreaper, tru13, quarteroy, and Entomo. Thank you all!

ALSO NOW IN! Check out, like, comment, upvote, enjoy my brand new Selesnya cat tribal EDH deck with heavy equipment flavour:

Arahbo's Kitted-Out Kitties

Commander / EDH sagramore


PLEASE NOTE: This is (as all good decks should be) an ever evolving work in progress thanks to the great comments from other tappedout users. Please check any "EDIT" remarks at the bottom of this description if the main description no longer makes sense as I might have moved some of the cards out.

HOW DOES IT WORK? You ask....

This is a simple cat tribal deck and is my first standard deck. I took some inspiration from a couple of other cat decks on here and built in both green & white cats. It underwent a relatively major tweak as of 7th June 2017 and a rename on 10th June 2017 and has been tweaked with the release of HOU and XLN.

The meat of the deck, this is what it's all about.....
  • Sacred Cat - 1-drop 1/1 with lifelink and when it dies you can cast it again? If that happens with Anointed Procession on the board you get TWO? Talk about value.
  • Metallic Mimic - These are pretty much cats, sort of? They're good to get out early and will make your tokens come on with +1/+1 counters, which is ace.
  • Adorned Pouncer - A 2-drop 1/1, looks pretty weak. However give it double strike and then Eternalize? Awesome.
  • Longtusk Cub - This beast uses energy but he generates his own. Coming down as a 2/2 for 2 on turn 2, swinging for some player damage, then he's a 3/3... A really nice, fast, kitty
  • Pride Sovereign - This new feline friend from HOU is perfect here. Not only does it get +1/+1 for all the other cats on the board but if you have the time then he will pop out 2 new kitties (or 4 with Anointed Procession).
  • Prowling Serpopard - 3-drop 4/3 that counters all those nasty blue control decks? No-brainer.
  • Regal Caracal - This sexy beast will win you the game. 3/3, two 1/1 cat tokens (4 if you have Anointed Procession out) and every cat has lifelink? MADNESS!
All good cat herders need a way to look after their purr-boxes.
  • Heroic Intervention - This card is amazing and it will save your life. Not sure if we need the full playset or not but it is in there for now.
  • Ixalan's Binding - A bit more expensive than Fragmentize but it has a lot more use. Plus it stops them casting any other copies of whatever it has exiled!
  • Gideon's Intervention - This is a nice little card to help you deal with whatever the other guy is throwing at you!
Sometimes your cats need a little more.... oomph.
  • Rallying Roar - This is a near card that not only can be used to untap an exerted Pride Sovereign but it will also help you defend after a big swing or buff your cats for that one final big push!
  • Ajani Unyielding - Who's the king of big cats? Ajani, of course. This card can help you grab more cats into hand, exile enemy creatures that are causing you problems, and potentially anthem everything into a win-swing.

So that's it really. Cast cats, buff cats, cast more cats, get cat tokens, swing with massive cats, WIN!

Gratefully accepting any other suggestions as I am (clearly) very new to this! I am interested to hear about any other obvious things I might've missed.

The Maybeboard holds a few cards that are still under consideration but often are deemed too slow to be useful in this fast, aggro heavy deck. I also think the sideboard needs some work so leave a comment and let me know what you think. Right now I'm seriously considering including some Settle the Wreckage and Field of Ruin in the sideboard to deal with nasty flip/non-basic lands or heavily aggro creature decks. Vanquisher's Banner also seems great but is it too slow?

Thanks for looking!

My Cat, Trixie

I've decided to archive most of the early changes to the deck and so here I only list the edits that have been made since XLN was released.

Two small changes from the recent Ixalan release: I have swapped out Tranquil Expanse for Sunpetal Grove - A much better mana fixing land! I have also swapped out Prepare / Fight for Rallying Roar - I can't see a lot of use for the (somewhat expensive) aftermath part of the old card and this new card untaps and buffs EVERYTHING!
Cast Out in the mainboard has been swapped for Ixalan's Binding.Initiate's Companion swapped out for Ajani Unyielding.


Updates Add

Comments View Archive

Hello again! How are things looking post ixalan?

October 4, 2017 1:36 p.m.

Jaegur - Hey!

I'm not sure, haha. I'm about to draft it & open a booster box but I've been scoping out some maybes that I've added to the maybeboard. I would gladly take any thoughts on them.... things like:

  • Growing Rites of Itlimoc - I feel this is great but might be too slow and not needed for this curve?
  • New Horizons - This is great but is it necessary? We have a low curve and don't really need the +1/+1 counter.
  • Rallying Roar - This might be good for untapping and buffing for a big swing or after a big swing to defend? Maybe swap out the Prepare / Fight but then we don't get the removal part....
  • Sunpetal Grove - Pretty sure a playset of these is going in but I need to obtain them first! I only have one so far. I will probably swap out the Tranquil Expanse.
  • Vanquisher's Banner - Another great tribal card but it's very expensive at 5.... Good anthem and some extra draw but I think it's too slow.

Anything I might've missed??

October 4, 2017 2:50 p.m.

I definitely swapped in Sunpetal Grove, lol.

I think I have some Rallying Roars, I may try them out. I can never find a way to use Prepare anyway. Or rather, never seem to have a right time/right moment thing.

October 23, 2017 4:44 p.m.

I've updated the deck for XLN now! For some reason the description is bugging out and won't update but the cards list is fine for now. I will try again tomorrow....

October 25, 2017 9:34 p.m.

Awesome deck!! I love this. Just one suggestion that helped my deck Energy Module (Rotation Proof) a lot that I was running cast out in, Run Ixalan's Binding instead. It has made a huge difference in my games not allowing them to cast more copies of what ever it is I find it more than makes up for the cycling and the flash. I have wanted to build a cat deck for a while now this is by far the one I like the most I will defiantly be stealing some ideas from you when I make mine ;) Good luck if you do try out Ixalan's let me know I'm curious if it helps.

October 27, 2017 6:01 p.m.

Ajani Unyielding as a 2 of in main deck would work wonders.

October 27, 2017 7:07 p.m.

quarteroy - Thanks for the comments and praise, much appreciated! I like Ixalan's Binding and I do have enough to main deck 2 of them... Might be worth the swap! Thanks.

Atroxreaper - I actually have two copies of Ajani, what do you reckon is worth cutting for him? Is he not a little slow at 6 to cast?

October 27, 2017 9:14 p.m.

His card filtering is legendary, and both of his other abilities are good. Personally I'd pull initiate companion.

October 28, 2017 12:56 a.m.

Thanks again Atroxreaper.

So I've made a few more tweaks and we're pretty set for post-XLN release now. I am having technical problems with the deck description though - anyone got any idea why it won't update? When i hit "Edit" on this page the description shows correctly but when you save it it doesn't actually change anything on the deck page above.... really weird. I will make a forum post about it.

EDIT: OK, some cache-clearing, some advice from the forums, and the heavy use of incognito mode on Chrome and I seem to have fixed it. Hope it stays fixed!

October 29, 2017 1:27 p.m.

Heya sagramore! Checking out this deck after looking and commenting on your Catmander deck; and I like this a bunch! I like the fact it's different from mine. A few things I'd like to mention that are pretty decent that I run in my own deck: Field of Ruin. If you ever find yourself in a mana fix problem and/or your opponent has a flip land you don't like BAM! Field of Ruin! Something else to possibly consider: Shefet Dunes. If you're going wide this is invaluable. It's actually won me 2 games that I can remember, hahah. I actually run 2 Scattered Groves myself- the cycling does help. Lifecrafter's Bestiary, Shapers' Sanctuary, and Vanquisher's Banner all do me real good for draw and card filtering. It's not a big ol' Ajani (and trust me, I love Ajani), but he cost a little too much. And by turn 6 I'm looking to win the game/turn the game into my favor, and playing Ajani instead won't do too much for me other than exile a possible creature/search for more cats. I'm not trying to say he's a bad choice, I'm just not taken on what he's doing for the deck at turn 6 when some other cards can do that for less. Also, as much as I hate myself for saying this, Ajani isn't an actual "cat" nor is he a "creature", so he has less synergy. If anything, I'd offer Ajani, Valiant Protector. He does kinda the same thing, and even offers more offensive ability with his counters. His ultimate could also be nice finisher considering how much life-gain this deck has. I don't see anything wrong with Rallying Roar in fact I'm kind of considering it in my deck right now, but I use Blossoming Defense instead for the protection, and possible finishing move.

October 29, 2017 7:25 p.m.

I almost forgot, sorry, I have 2 Settle the Wreckage on my sideboard. I definitely recommend it. Mono-black vampires are a real danger to this deck. I was beaten twice on MTGO by them. This card would have helped if I had it.

October 29, 2017 7:45 p.m.

Pickacantaloupe - Thanks for all the details and ideas again! I may try to put some of them in the sideboard: Field of Ruin and Shefet Dunes look like reasonable sideboard cards and so does Settle the Wreckage. I will have to see which I own as my budget for new cards right now is VERY limited.

I like Vanquisher's Banner and it's definitely in the maybeboard for now but I'm not sure if it feels like it's just too slow? I need to do more testing with the deck as it stands because, as you say, this is still my worry about Ajani Unyielding too..

October 30, 2017 11:38 a.m.

Hi, sagramore! On what Pick was saying, I saw SaffronOlive run a deck that sounds very similar to his and it seemed to work out pretty well with the Lifecrafters, Shapers', and the Banner. Not sure what I'd cut for them, though. I have taken out the Longtusk cub, as without other ways to get energy they seemed to die pretty early on and Metallic Mimic is the same mana cost. I'd love to see the synergy between Mimic and Banner, though.

October 30, 2017 12:17 p.m.

Jaegur - Thanks for the clarification. My biggest problem is that my local play group play almost exclusively Modern with a bit of EDH on the side so it's really hard for me to get much playtesting done and I rely quite heavily on help from all you guys :)

I definitely see the benefit of the additional draw, especially in such a fast deck.

October 30, 2017 12:39 p.m.

Thing with ajani is he doesn't give you three creature cards. It gives you 3 non land permanent cards. So you also get any cast outs Ixalan bindings anointed procession etc aswell and 3 cards is big. The exile works great against scarab god because blue black does do much mass removal.

October 30, 2017 4:21 p.m.

A valid point, Atroxreaper. I just wish I had more standard played in my area! :)

October 30, 2017 9:44 p.m.

I've got a buddy that went 4-0 with ajani and cats and my girlfriend is running it aswell.

October 30, 2017 11:54 p.m.

sagramore surprisingly enough when banner comes out it usually means the game is over. (Either you have no plays or your creatures just got buffed into the win.) It's won me several games, and I always find my opponent trying to remove it from my hand or play, so it's a great target instead of your cats or other better lower cost plays. It's funny how often it gets focused but I still end up winning.

I have yet to test Ajani, but I kinda want to from what I've been hearing and seeing- I love planeswalkers.

Btw, try using Forge, sagramore, here's a link: https://www.slightlymagic.net/wiki/Forge. This is a great way to test decks for free.

November 1, 2017 1:29 p.m.

Pickacantaloupe - Thanks for the tip about Forge. I use Cockatrice but I hadn't come across that before for testing against AI.

November 2, 2017 7:41 a.m.

Hello fellow Cat lover, may I interest you in my take on the Cats ? http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/09-04-17-McM-cats/

I strongly suggest getting some Blossoming Defense and Shapers' Sanctuary

November 9, 2017 4:12 p.m.

Little update from what was actually my first FNM.

Small pod, only 11 participants. One thing to note is that about half of the guys at my FNM are pretty "serious" about Magic and they were grinding games with their decks ready for the PPTQs the next day. Two are in a semi-pro team as well. So, enough with the excuses.... :)

Cut to the chase, the deck went 2-2 including 1 bye (4th round).

Match 1: 2-1 to the cats. The opponent was playing a janky home-brewed R/G "big things + pump" deck. I got mana screwed on game 2, which I lost, and he had a turn 2 Rhonas's Last Stand into mega pump. In the other games I absolutely wiped him though.

Match 2: 0-2 against Temur Energy. This guy ended up winning the night and he pretty much stomped me. In my defence I was totally mana flooded in both games, but he didn't really have much worry the whole match. He also stole my Ixalan's Binding and used it on my stompy Pride Sovereign and I did not draw any removal.

Match 3: 1-2 against Temur Energy again. This was another guy grinding for PPTQ. Game 1 I was flooded and he stomped me. Game 2 I got a much better draw. A lovely combination of some early Longtusk Cub into on-turn Pride Sovereign exerted and then Rallying Roar, big swing, then 2x Regal Caracal on T5 and T6 and he scooped. Game 3 I started really well, similar to game 2, got him to 5 with me still on 20, thought I had it sealed. Then... Hostage Taker took my Pride Sovereign and it was a slow slog to death as he used more and more of my own cats against me.

Match 4: A bye.

I never saw a single Ixalan's Binding or Ajani. A couple of Heroic Interventions helped out a bit.

All in all I thought the deck went well. I need to learn more about the local meta and the sideboard needs perhaps some more removal or something similar.

November 11, 2017 8:03 p.m.

I think Longtusk Cub has nothing to do with this deck, since you aren't working with energy. Also, Gideon's Intervention should be on side board. And your deck is lacking "draw power". Maybe Lifecrafter's Bestiary or Key to the City or Rishkar's Expertise or Feral Prowler or Ghirapur Orrery...

Verdant Rebirth might be interesting too... and Shapers' Sanctuary is a "must have" for your deck

Hope I could help!

PS: I don't like cats, but I'll upvote your deck!

November 13, 2017 10:05 a.m.

Hello! How is Rivals shaping up for you? Any new additions for this deck?

January 5, 2018 6:41 a.m.

Radiant Destiny seems like a no brainer here.

January 5, 2018 6:44 a.m.

Kizmetto & Atroxreaper - Hey. I need to study the spoilers a little more - I have already identified a few possible changes before RIX release so I think there may be a number of switches or rearrangements when RIX does drop. I think br_dude is right about the deck lacking draw so this is something I hope to address in the same set of changes.

While I disagree that Longtusk Cub has "nothing to do" with this deck (all of my games playing it, they have generated their own energy and become powerhouses themselves without external energy required) - I think it might be worth swapping some (all?) of them for another good 2-drop like Feral Prowler in order to bring in more card draw. I just want to be careful about hurting the "aggro" nature of the deck, as its strength lies in hitting hard and fast.

Also yes, Radiant Destiny looks great :) I wanted something like Vanquisher's Banner but without it being 5-drop slow.

Watch this space!

January 5, 2018 7:30 a.m.

What do you think about Huatli, Radiant Champion ?

January 5, 2018 8:19 a.m.

On paper it looks brilliant - the deck goes "wide" so there should be lots of bodies for the +1 and the -1 and having the emblem for card draw is also great. While I know I have one in this deck already I'm always just a little wary of planeswalkers in fast aggro decks, I'm never sure if there's time to really use them or not....

January 5, 2018 2:12 p.m.

Compare to inventory

Revision 22 See all

18 hours ago)

+1 Radiant Destiny maybe
+1 Huatli, Radiant Champion maybe
+1 Path of Discovery maybe