All the Ways to Play Saheeli Rai

Saheeli Rai
Saheeli Rai is suddenly the most popular Planeswalker from Kaladesh!
What are different ways we can play her?

We’ve touched before on the Saheeli Rai + Felidar Guardian combo…

There are many ways you can achieve nigh infinite damage. You can start on Saheeli Rai on turn three and follow up with Felidar Guardian on turn four; you can play Felidar Guardian on turn six, “blink” one of your lands, and then play Saheeli Rai. In either case the planeswalker will copy the Cat Beast, which will then blink the planeswalker. Rinse and repeat.

This combo is exceptionally powerful. It can do an amount of damage with almost no ceiling.

The combo is so compact (maybe eight slots in a deck) that it can be “fit” into not just decks that are dedicated to the combo itself, but hybridized in other strategies. Here are three places you might see Saheeli Rai in the upcoming Standard:

  1. A Control Deck – This version will be full of cards like Disallow and Torrential Gearhulk. This looks to be the intuitive way to build the combo in Standard; the problem is that — aside from Felidar Guardian blinking Torrential Gearhulk, neither card is particular good with the other fifty-two.
  2. A Ramp Deck – Not necessarily a green deck… Inspiring Statuary or other artifacts can work here.
  3. A 187 Deck – This deck would play cards like Pilgrim’s Eye or other value-rich creatures. The advantage here is that both Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian can be synergistic with the other creatures in a deck. Maverick Thopterist, for instance, can protect Saheeli Rai with multiple bodies, and also enjoy copy- and blinking-based 187 synergies.

How to Fight Saheeli Rai

Far and away the most common, and mana efficient, spoiler to this strategy is the simple Shock. Its inclusion in Aether Revolt may be almost prophetic; Shock has always been super cheap and reasonably flexible… It can add “combo killer” to its roles as quick creature defense and pillar of The Philosophy of Fire.

Saheeli Rai drops to Shock range when she moves to copy a Felidar Guardian, even if you spent the previous turn ticking her up.

The combo can be vulnerable to other interaction and removal (even a 1/1 Walking Ballista, if well placed); and Felidar Guardian is just a creature, if four toughness.

The Kitchen Sink

You may have seen Hall of Famer Raphael Levy Tweet about “Team Top Level” …

Cheer Patrick and the rest of Team Top Level on at PT Dublin and all year. The rest of these guys include multiple Pro Tour winners and the reigning World Champion. Go Team Top Level!

Patrick and Mike apparently had about an hour to talk NBA prior to recording this week’s episode. The NBA chats are immortal on the Patreon feed. The whole thing is patrons-only but we excerpted a little Insta video anyone and everyone can enjoy / check out / share:

Bring it, Saheeli Rai!

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