Today’s deck is a bit of a meme. I’m not sure if it was intended that way, but we are on the internet, after all. About two weeks ago, Jamie Gary took the following list to a 27th place finish at the Standard Classic in Dallas. I’m just going to lead in with the deck here, because it’s a real gas.
I get a lot of flack sometimes in the comment section for misplaying. In fact, a lot of content creators do, but what you may not realize is that sometimes we’re playing the deck for the first time (this is always the case with me, because I’m always trying to find new decks for you guys), and it’s significantly harder than you might ever consider to play a match of Magic and be entertaining and informative.
That being said, I couldn’t wait to try this deck out because I figured everyone would know I was just having some fun, and it didn’t really matter if I missed a certain line. Unfortunately, when I entered the League, I had a hard time winning matches against the tier 1 decks, and I hate showcasing videos when that’s the case. I just don’t feel like it does a good job of getting anyone excited about the deck, and I think this deck has potential. Certain things just need to be tweaked a bit.
The main problem is that the deck was played on October 1st, when the format was basically brand new, and I’m pretty sure that this was the very first Standard event, what with Ixalan being legal on September 29th. That means that Jamie likely built this with no knowledge of what the format was going to look like. Heck, maybe it was even built with the intention of being a meme deck. Or maybe Jamie just wanted to try out some new cards.
The first problem I kept having was drawing infinite 5-drops, and less than infinite lands. With only 22 lands in the deck, I think the curve is a little too high. I never wanted to actually take a turn off and cast Vanquisher’s Banner. I did, however, want as many Regal Caracals as I could get my hands on, given that I had the mana to cast them.
Shapers’ Sanctuary is super cool, but there are certain matchups where it’s totally blank. I’d much rather move them to the sideboard if I think I need them that badly, and up my Blossoming Defense to 4. After all, I’d rather save my Pride Sovereign than draw a card from its death!
I also wasn’t a huge Appeal // Authority fan. I get that you want to cast it on a huge Pride Sovereign, attack, and then make two more Cats, but I think this deck is more successful at going wide than going tall. If this were a sorcery, and thus a combat trick, it would be a different story. Keeping one could be fine, I suppose, as it’s kind of a blowout with Adorned Pouncer.
I’ll tweak the lands too, but everything else in the deck seems great, leaving me with the following cuts:
As for what to replace these slots with, I already mentioned Regal Caracal and Blossoming Defense. I also think it’s criminal not to have 4 Anointed Procession. This deck excels at going wide, especially with Metallic Mimic, so let’s take advantage of that!
As far as Cats go, I did a search, and we’re playing most of the good ones. I could see making an argument for a couple of copies of Feral Prowler, but I’m not 100% convinced. It gets bigger with Mimic, it gets +1/+1 and lifelink with Caracal, it blocks a lot of early aggression, and it draws you a card when it dies. It’s not a terrible deal for 2 mana.
I don’t hate the idea of adding a couple of copies of Heroic Intervention to the deck. They’re quite good when you’re going wide and trying to protect your creatures. They even give you great alpha strikes.
I’d also add at least one more land, and change some out to Scattered Groves. You don’t really care if Sacred Cat comes down on turn 1, especially because it’s better coming down later anyway, so you basically have no problem with a land coming into play tapped on turn 1. This also gives you something to do later with excess lands you draw.
This does empty the sideboard out quite a bit. Add another Settle the Wreckage or two to that bad boy. You can put some of those Shapers’ Sanctuaries in there as well. I also wouldn’t mind ways to deal with artifacts and enchantments—this could even be more versatile cards like Ixalan’s Binding or Cast Out. Token decks traditionally have a pretty easy game against Temur, which is nice. You just have to be careful of their Glorybringers, because those are a little more difficult to chump block.
A couple of cards I like considering are Mouth // Feed and Conqueror’s Galleon. Feed is a great source of card advantage, despite the fact that Mouth doesn’t actually make a Cat, and Conqueror’s Galleon is basically a modern-day Staff of Domination that’s super easy to transform. A Prowling Serpopard can crew it quite easily, which is a sentence I never thought I’d find myself typing…
I do worry about the deck’s lack of card advantage, which the two suggestions above take care of. I’m just not sure what I’d cut for them. Drawing 4 or 5 cards from a Feed could be huge. Similarly, having access to all of the abilities on Conqueror’s Foothold is great.
I’m looking forward to trying out this updated version and seeing how things go, but if you guys end up trying it for yourselves, be sure and let me know how it goes. Similarly, if you think any cards would be a great fit, let me know that as well. Remember, this is a Cat deck first, and a token deck second. You’re not just trying to play the best token deck in Standard here, there’s a list for that.