I’ve written more than my share of articles on 4-Color Saheeli. This combo deck warped how Standard was played. Trying to play a midrange game when your opponent could just kill you on turn 4 was a tall order. That deck has completely ported over to Modern, except it’s more than capable of playing the long game or killing you on turn 3.
Saheeli Rai isn’t the world’s most exciting planeswalker, but she does provide some real value with any creature that has an enters-the-battlefield effect. Felidar Guardian had a bit of a mistake in its templating that allows you to target planeswalkers and reset their loyalty. This lets you blink out Saheeli to get her back to 3 loyalty, use the -2 to target the Guardian, and then use the copy to blink out Saheeli again and repeat the combo. This creates infinite attackers to win the game, and has therefore been banned in Standard.
Oath of Nissa came from the Standard version as a cheap way to find both combo pieces or just fix your mana. This deck doesn’t play many lands that actually produce red mana, but Oath of Nissa helps you dig for your silver bullets, find your combo, and make sure you’re hitting land drops. It also helps fix your mana the other powerful planeswalkers here. You have a Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, Nahiri, the Harbinger, and a Tamiyo, Field Researcher. These create lots of different ways to win the game, but none are particularly easy to cast in a 4-color mana base. Oath of Nissa helps clear that hurdle, and it gives you another nice target for blinking with Felidar Guardian to let you go from 0 cards in hand and 7 mana to potentially winning the game in the same turn.
This deck can do something the Standard versions could only dream of. While Attune with Aether and Servant of the Conduit are nice fixing and helped combo with the energy subtheme, Servant is a more expensive accelerant and Attune doesn’t accelerate at all. Full playsets of both Birds of Paradise and Noble Hierarch mean that you can get your planeswalker down on turn 2 and threaten to combo on turn 3. Even without the combo, you get to deploy some of your powerful creatures and start setting up a midrange game that can end with a combo finish out of nowhere once you get to 6 mana.
You’re also playing some copies of Eldritch Evolution. This is a nice card to go with all of your value creatures since you’ve already had the enters-the-battlefield triggers, but it also lets you play silver bullets to search for when the time is right. Many of these creatures combo especially well with Saheeli and Guardian, so Evolution lets you get bigger threats down without having a lot of mana on the board.
The biggest of these hits is Sun Titan, and it gives you access to another infinite combo with a Saheeli in your graveyard and another copy either in play or in your graveyard. Titan can return Saheeli, target the Titan, and bring back the other Saheeli (either already in the graveyard or now in the ‘yard thanks to the planeswalker legend rule). You can repeat for infinite Sun Titans. You also have a Thragtusk for some sweet blink value, and Voice of Resurgence and Tireless Tracker for the midrange game. Eternal Witness can be the king of value creatures and return a key combo piece to win the game.
Coiling Oracle isn’t the most exciting creature, especially in a deck with only 20 lands, but it might be the best you can do for a 2-drop value creature that combos with blink effects. Reflector Mage gives you a target for all of the blink effects to really punish any creature matchup. Renegade Rallier provides some great value with all of your fetchlands, cheap creatures, and Saheeli. It also combos well with Oath of Nissa.
This version of 4-Color Saheeli may not be the most tuned version of the deck, but it’s sweet, and I’m ready to sleeve it up and give it a try!