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Jeskai Copycat (with some value sprinkled in)

Modern Combo Competitive Control Infinite Combo RUW (Jeskai, America) Twin



While the Cat Combo has mostly been making waves in Standard, the combo is worthy enough to get good results in Modern. As someone who thinks a maindeck gameplan should be extremely streamlined, an "All-In" version of Saheeli immediately attracted me, working similar to old Splinter Twin lists that play the control game just long enough to combo out.

I've been testing a lot on MTGO and the deck has been performing amazing.

Check out my YouTube channel here to see gameplay videos of the decklist in a Modern Competitive League: Jeskai Saheeli Playist 1.0.

Check out the new playlist, using the new decklist: Jeskai Saheeli Playlist 2.0.

Card choices:

- Felidar Guardian: Key component to the combo and nets value throughout the game. I wouldn't play less than 4, but some lists that aren't as dedicated to the combo have played only 3.
- Snapcaster Mage: A staple to most blue decks. A lot of lists play 4, but 3 is also correct if your list has less instants/sorceries and more creatures.
- Wall of Omens : 2 mana cycle that helps you stabilize on board, while having synergy with both combo pieces to keep drawing more cards.
- Vendilion Clique: One of the best disruptive blue creatures in Modern right now. I would play 1 in at least every list, because it can present a clock, disrupts our opponent in order to combo off, and synergizes with both of our combo pieces for continued disruption.
- Pia and Kiran Nalaar : A great value creature that stabilizes the board, acts as removal, and synergizes with both combo pieces. I would play at least 1 in any meta, and sometimes even 2.
- Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir: I would play 0-1 copies in most lists, either in the mainboard or sideboard depending on your expected meta. It forces your opponent to always play at sorcery speed, allowing you to win counter wars and freely combo off on your turn.
- Sun Titan: A great value card that can also combo with Saheeli Rai and can get tons of value with Felidar Guardian. I would play 0-1 in most lists, and usually that singular copy is often in the mainboard but occasionally in the sideboard for the grindier matchups.

- Lightning Bolt: Hard to go below 4 for arguably the most efficient card in Modern, but some lists have trimmed to 3 in the toughness high meta (Death's Shadow, Eldrazi Tron).
- Path to Exile: Again, one of the most efficient removal spells in Modern that gets around death triggers and graveyard recursion. I would play 4, but some lists do play 3.
- Remand : One of the best ways to gain a tempo advantage and digs through the dig to combo off. Always play 3-4 in a more combo/tempo oriented list. You can play less in a more control-oriented list if it's supported by other counterspells.
- Serum Visions: Best way to dig through the deck to find the cards you need. Play no less than 4 in any build.
- Lightning Helix: More of a meta-call, but if you expect a lot of aggro/burn, play 0-2 in the maindeck or the sideboard.
- Supreme Verdict : Some lists play it as a 1-of in creature heavy metas. Play 0-1 maindeck and/or 1-2 in the sideboard.
- Spell Snare: Can be played occasionally as a 1-of, or 2-of in a more control oriented list. Play 0-2 copies maindeck.
- Dispel: One of the best ways to protect the combo in a more all-in type list. Play 0-1 maindeck, with 1-2 in the sideboard.
- Cryptic Command: Works better in a control-oriented list, but has seen play as a 1-of or 2-of here and there. Play 0-2 maindeck and make sure the manabase can handle a 4 mana with 3 blue in its mana cost.


I ran the decklist with the changes shown in the previous update. I did not record this time.

Round One: Eldrazi-Tron (2-1)
Game 1 I was able to T2 Spreading Seas into T3 Saheeli Rai into T4 combo. They have very little interaction game 1, but it is definitely hand-dependent. I was also on the play, which helps. Game 2 they didn't assemble Tron due to Spreading Seas, but they had a Pithing Needle naming Saheeli Rai from pretty early on, forcing me to grind instead of combo and a Chalice of the Void on 1 kept me from removing their big threats with Path to Exile and I ended up losing the topdeck game/grind. Game 3 my hand was slow, but so was opponent's. I kept a hand with the combo assembled, but only 3 lands. T3 I slam Saheeli Rai and scry a land to the top, they go T3 Thought-Knot Seer revealing 3 Felidar Guardian. They proceed to curse me out and concede.

Round Two: Affinity (0-2)
Game 1 my opponent had a T1 Arcbound Ravager on the play. Only removal in hand I had was a Lightning Bolt and I didn't have enough time to assemble the combo as my opponent beat me down. Game 2 I had to mull to 5 due to flood in 7-card hand and 0 land in 6-card hand. I kept a hand with 1 land and Stony Silence and never saw the 2nd land until T4.

Round Three: Death's Shadow Abzan (2-1)
Game 1 I don't remember much aside from getting my hand picked apart and getting beat down by Tarmogoyf, although I kept a rather slow hand that didn't have much interaction besides a Remand and a Spreading Seas. Game 2 was very grindy, but I was able to draw Relic of Progenitus the turn after my opponent Inquisition of Kozilek'd me, and then proceeded to grind the game out. Jace, Architect of Thought held back 8 Lingering Souls tokens for about 6 turns until I decided to ultimate, getting a Supreme Verdict from my deck and a Liliana of the Veil from my opponent's deck, and then they conceded. Game 3 my opener was incredibly redundant (combination of Wall of Omens, Serum Visions, and lands). My opponent led with 3 hand disruption spells the first few turns, but I was able to land a Saheeli Rai into a Jace, Architect of Thought while keeping up Path to Exile, and then exiled my opponent's GY with Relic of Progenitus. Opponent conceded early, but they had 1-2 cards in hand at the time and no board.

Round Four: Death's Shadow Jund (2-0)
Game 1 I was able to remove all of their threats (including a Liliana, the Last Hope) and combo'd out. Game 2 I was able to remove all of their threats and beat them down with a Celestial Colonnade the last few turns. Relic of Progenitus, once again, was a lifesaver.

Round Five: Kiki-Chord (2-1)
Game 1 was a very grindy affair, including an odd mainboard card from my opponent in the form of Fiery Justice along with Nahiri, the Harbinger (a little less odd). I disrupted my opponent's Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker combo late in the game after fighting over a Nahiri, the Harbinger constantly hovering around 6-8 counters and then combo'd off when my opponent had no interaction. Game 2 my opponent had a pretty good start, including a Sin Collector to take away some of my interaction along with a Fiery Justice to answer my Saheeli Rai. I ended up drawing poorly and my opponent ran over me with Restoration Angel and Eternal Witness. Game 3 was also a grindy affair once more, but from what I recall, I was able to combo off pretty quick around T7 with EOT Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir protection.

Overall record: 4-1
Thoughts: Deck performed better than I expected and there will always be some variance in historically good matchups (Affinity). If the deck performs that well for me in some future tournaments, I'd be more than happy. I expected a slight uptick in control due to the Unified Modern results, but still no control matchup. Wondering if the Cavern of Souls and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir is worth it, but I really enjoy that angle of attack on control decks which we tend to struggle against G1.


Icbrgr says... #1

I think it is a cool combo +1 from me I checked out you first youtube video as well and it was very clear and well done.

I think my advise/comment for going "All-In" for a combo would be to run the Altar of the Brood + Liquimetal Coating + Saheeli Rai than can go off turn 3. also transmute cards like Dizzy Spell/Muddle the Mixture/Drift of Phantasms nearly guarantee you to combo out by T6. the same concept can be applied with Reckless Fireweaver to get around anti mill stuff. If you are curious check out my page and you will see my decklist.

March 23, 2017 12:41 p.m.

olag says... #2

I appreciate the suggestion. I'm going for a more tempo/control oriented shell, with the combo as the main win condition. While it's "All-In" in the sense that the deck plays a full set of Serum Visions, Remand, and a copy or two of Dispel, it is still at the end of the day a control deck with an "I Win" button.

I have seen Altar of the Brood in some lists, but I don't think I want to dilute the deck with cards that don't do anything if I don't have the combo. The beauty of the deck in its current form is that all the cards do something individually, with the exception of Felidar Guardian who has a lot of synergies with the rest of the deck. Muddle the Mixture is an interesting suggestion, and something that still fits with the control plan of the deck. I may consider playing 1 and see how it performs.

I do see how I may have been unclear calling this "All-In", but it was more of a reference to the "All-In" Splinter Twin lists from back in the day, which played an extremely streamlined list that played a solid tempo/control game until they had enough tempo or card advantage to combo off.

March 24, 2017 10:28 a.m.

blackice1399 says... #3

I play this same deck in modern, and I love that it is control, combo, or sometimes just bolts to the face. The diversity and adaptability of this deck is great. If you wouldn't mind brewing with me, how do you feel about spreading seas, and does it actually keep the opponent off land enough to be good? I'm running two wall of omens but I don't really like it, and I think I have too many creatures at 4 snaps, 2 Pia and Kiran Nalaar, 1 Vendilion Clique, 4 Felidars, and 2 Wall of Omens. I also can't find a good hard counterspell. Not a fan of mana leak, remand, or condescend. Condescend is only good late game when I have mana up, remand is only good for a turn to protect the combo, and mana leak is only good early game. I think Cryptic Command is too hard on the mana for my deck, and swan song is negative card advantage. Anything else I should consider?

March 24, 2017 10:31 a.m.

Firebones675 says... #4

Some dedicated modern combo decks run both 4x serum visions, and 4x Sleight of Hand to dig for combo pieces.

March 24, 2017 10:47 a.m.

olag says... #5


Spreading Seas have been invaluable. A lot of decks in Modern are mana hungry, and the top decks right now are non-blue. Death's Shadow plays very few actual lands and try to function off 2-3 for the whole game. Eldrazi Tron too. It's even incredibly strong against Burn and those are the top 3 decks right now. It's also important to have something on the board so that Felidar Guardian isn't just a 4 mana 1/4. However, I am certain that 3 is the correct number at the moment, not 4 like a lot of Saheeli lists.

The creature suite is something I've been tinkering with myself. I don't like Wall of Omens because against a lot of decks it just doesn't buy enough time, and against other decks it's just a 2 mana 0/4 draw a card, which does nothing against dedicated combo decks (Scapeshift, Ad Naus). I am not on Wall of Omens at the moment.

I am, however, testing a less All-In list with a grindier creature package, similar to the one you mentioned. Right now, I like having: 4 Felidar Guardian (half of the combo, must play 4), 4 Snapcaster Mage (best reason to be a control deck, must play 4), 1 Vendilion Clique (2 is too many, but good against opposing Control/Combo decks), and 2 Pia and Kiran Nalaar (great on an empty board, great when you're behind, synergy with Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian, protects Saheeli Rai in the air and on the ground). The instant/sorcery build also changed slightly, so let me know if you're interested in how else my build has evolved.

As for the counterspells, I also don't think Mana Leak or Condescend is where we want to be, nor should you be playing maindeck Negate. The main counterspells to consider for this build are: Remand, Spell Snare, Cryptic Command, or Dispel. I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding over the role of Remand. It's key role is not to protect the combo turn, but rather maintain tempo (keep the board clear, stop your opponent from casting cards, all while drawing deeper into your deck to find the combo). It also can be really strong in counter wars against opposing control decks by targeting your own spells. I also think Cryptic Command can be great in the more controlling lists, so I wouldn't count out Cryptic Command. Swan Song is completely unnecessary with what this deck is trying to do, so anytime you're considering Swan Song, consider Dispel instead.


Sleight of Hand is great in a completely dedicated combo deck where all cards are based around the combo (Storm, Ad Naus) but less powerful in a Control deck with a Combo win condition. Thanks for the suggestion though.

March 24, 2017 10:36 p.m.

cmsrDPM says... #6

Sun Titan Saheeli combo?

March 25, 2017 12:39 p.m.

olag says... #7


I tested out Sun Titan in some previous builds, only as a 1-of, but even then, it felt too expensive in the majority of matchups. Great value card and synergizes well with Saheeli Rai both as a value creature and a combo with 1 Saheeli in play and 1 Saheeli in the graveyard (or 2 in the graveyard). A 6 mana creature is just too expensive right now. The majority of slow matchups are blue mirrors, and resolving a 6 mana sorcery is very difficult. The other slow matchups are GBx style-decks (and sometimes Tron), and it can be great against GBx and it's largely irrelevant in the Tron matchups because that matchup isn't about value. The fact that a lot of GBx decks are the Death's Shadow versions right now, I don't even think we have enough time for it in that matchup, if it hasn't been taken by a Thoughtseize at that point in the game. I do think it could be a good card in the right meta, I just don't think its this meta.

March 25, 2017 1:36 p.m.

DeJeffreLot says... #8

I dunno if you tried it out yet but, Detention Sphere has been really good to me. Bringing it in against Tron/Lantern has been very nice at either holding Karn at bay or getting rid of whatever lock-piece is in the way.

My list is really similar to your's outside of the manabase, I'm running more basics to accommodate for Blood Moons in the sideboard to become more of a Jeskai moon deck against Jund/Junk/etc

March 25, 2017 11:27 p.m.

olag says... #9

@DeJeffreLot: Detention Sphere is a card I would love to play but can't convince myself enough that it deserves a mainboard slot. I do think it's a good card and can be strong in the right meta, but I'm not a fan in this build. Thanks for the suggestion though! Blood Moon is definitely a possible sideboard card, I'm just not sure we need it with the maindeck Spreading Seas and the combo plan.

Decklist has been optimized! I've been tuning the list a lot the past week and this is what I have come up with, through my own testing and through cross-checking with the MTGO 5-0's in Comp Leagues and other Top 8 results from real-life tournaments.

March 29, 2017 9:08 a.m.

olag says... #10

Added the most recent results from a local tournament to the Updates section. Would love some thoughts on how to improve the pre-board matchup against Burn, as the post-board matchups become pretty easy with our hate. I don't want to take away too many percentage points from other matchups, because it's easy to jam a few Lightning Helix in the list but that would significantly affect our ability to consistently combo.

March 31, 2017 7:28 a.m.

olag says... #11

Just completed my second recording of a Modern Competitive League with the decklist shown (minus a few sideboard changes). You can find it here: Jeskai Saheeli 2.0. I went 4-1, losing in the finals.

I also added a text explanation of the Modern Competitive League for those without access to sound/YouTube. Let me know what you think!

April 4, 2017 1:03 p.m.

olag says... #12

Added a write-up about another Modern Competitive League I played in (4-1) in the Updates section, as well as a few decklist changes. Please let me know if any of you have any questions and suggestions!

April 8, 2017 4:13 p.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 7 months
Last updated 7 months

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.28
Tokens 1/1 Thopter
Folders modern, Other Decks
Top rank #60 on 2017-04-02
Views 1126