You have 4 lands in play and no other permanents facing lethal on board. You draw, smile, tap 4, and play Aetherworks Marvel. You spin it using 6 of your 10 energy, flipping Saheeli. You then minus that on the Marvel, keep the new one, going back to 6 energy. Spin again, hit the Guardian, and take a seemingly impossible game. These are the crazy things that can happen with Copycat Marvel.
It seems a little weird to play Marvel with nothing that costs more than 4 in your deck, but it is still incredibly powerful as both a tutor and a card advantage engine. This deck has cheap removal to buy time and a late game that can trump almost any strategy.
People haven’t done it as much with the Saheeli combo, but Dispel is as effective as protecting it as it was at protecting Twin. Dispel also forces through Marvel effectively. There aren’t really any matchups where Dispel is dead, as it gets Grasps from G/B and Disintegrations from Vehicles.
The deck can steal quick games with the combo, but it can also keep Marveling into Rogue Refiners and Glimmers, and win extremely grindy games. I won a game against Blue-Black Control where I missed my second land drop multiple times because I got so much value on Marvel.
Because you have so much tutoring, I’ve found that you should be a bit more aggressive with going for the combo than with the Jeskai version. If you have the combo with a Marvel up, you can respond to an instant with an activation and hit Dispel or an extra combo piece. I lost a game at the Pro Tour because I chose not to go for it.
Leave the Harnessed Lightnings in if you see Spell Queller. You don’t have too much disruption for their combo, but you are better at finding yours and Dispel is a huge trump. Marvel can also outclass their fair plan of Gearhulks. Post-board, you get more counterspells and card draw, but they also have more disruption. Keep in mind that you need 7 energy to represent Marvel into Harnessed Lightning on a Guardian.
This deck is very soft to Marvel, but does have quite a bit of disruption. You often have to save removal for their Ballistas, as they completely shut down your combo. They slow down and put in more disruption, which makes Basker a sweet trump in post-board games. It outsizes even Verdurous Gearhulks, and can one shot them with Saheeli. It also gives you an out if they Infinite Obliteration you. Marvel is your best card—not close, here. There’s nothing more satisfying than killing someone with an Aetherwind Basker.
Vehicles is a tough matchup game 1, but post-board you have a ton of spot removal to neutralize their Vehicles, and can gum up the board with flyers. Because they tend to draw random ground creatures after you kill all of their Vehicles, you can often just win with damage in post-board games.
Pure control decks aren’t as popular these days, but they do exist. This matchup feels a lot better than Jeskai since you can force through Marvel and don’t need to worry about them punishing you for tapping out.
This matchup is essentially a race, as neither of you have much disruption, but post-board you do have access to Authority of the Consuls. They may too, so if you see it you could consider boarding in an alternate win condition. World Breaker actually takes out the Authority, so that may be the way to go.
With the dominance of Vehicles at the Pro Tour, I would look to include more removal spells in the deck. Working a Meltdown or two into the main would be a big help to have a shot game 1, and adding an additional Natural State to the board would also be beneficial.
If people continue to play lots of hate for the Saheeli combo, it might be sweet to try a creature-based Marvel deck where you just spin for Baskers. That card really impressed me throughout the tournament. Until next time, spin to win!