Can you count how many Sacred Cats are around Pride Sovereign? There are 11.
Thanks to Ixalan we got to play with neat tribes like Pirates and Dinosaurs which were very refreshing and to be honest, were tastefully made. But as what the title of today’s blog suggests, I want to go back to Amonkhet and play with a tribe that saw some push but never made it pass your kitchen table.
Throughout Magic’s colorful history, cats have been portrayed so many ways from gentle creatures, to human-like warriors, or as titans!
I can’t remember when a cat-tribal deck poked its head in competitive tournaments but in today’s standard format they seem to have just enough support to make it work.
First we look at the lords. In any successful tribal deck, the lords keep things together by pumping their power and toughness, share certain abilities, or profit from playing with cats.
First we have Pride Sovereign that grows bigger the more cats we have on the battlefield. Unlike traditional lords that make his subjects bigger, it’s the opposite for this dude. Although he has the ability to make more cats which makes him bigger. I won’t consider him a true lord, but rather a champion.
Regal Caracal has the making of a real lord. It gives other creatures +1/+1 which is good but it also gives all other cats lifelink which is great! For 5 mana you can clutter the board with 7 power across 3 creatures with lifelink.
Metallic Mimic is our secondary lord who permanently gives our creatures +1/+1 counters when they enter the battlefield. It’s actually better than Regal Caracal because the buff is permanent but the cons here is that Metallic Mimic has to be out before all your other cats hit the battlefield. With 1 toughness and costing 2, 99% of today’s standard removal can kill it easily.
Apart from lords, we will play some number of value-cats and we have Sacred Cat and Adorned Pouncer in the list. Sacred Cat is 2 cards in 1 in terms of value, perfect for chump blocking. Adorned Pouncer on the other hand bites twice and comes back to bite harder.
Rhonas is in here to punch in some damage. Having a 4 power creature is not difficult to achieve since Rhonas himself will help our creatures get bigger. He’ll be a decent blocker for Hazoret as well which is nice to have.
To supplement our aggressive game plan without worrying about the backswing, we have Aerial Responder. If we had to pay 1 man for each ability and each point of power for this dude, he’s a discounted 5 drop in my eyes.
Because we already have quite a number of keywords in our creatures, why not play a ‘lord’ that benefits from having many cats that have plenty of abilities? Majestic Myriarch simply does this and does it really well. By turn 5 sans sweepers, we should have 3-4 creatures already and Majestic Myriarch would be a 4/4 with:
- Flying, Vigilance, Lifelink from Aerial Responder
- Deathtouch, Trample and Indestructible from Rhonas
- Doublestrike from Adorned Pouncer
Not bad as a top-end curve beater.
For utility spells we have protection and removal which is very limited in our colors, green and white.
Blossoming Defense help us protect our lords or champions from removal. Cast Out to remove planeswalkers or enchantments. Appeal might be sorcery speed but the bonus if gives for 1 mana is absurd in a go-wide deck like this. Authority is also a great way to disable blockers and keep your army untapped after attacks.
We don’t have much 1-drop so playing Authority of the Consuls mainboard supports our life gain plan but at the same time make it harder for our opponent to block. Growing Rites of Itlimoc will help is dig up a lord and once we flip it, we can generate so much green mana for Rhonas to keep pumping our cats.
So here’s my WG Cats Deck, special thanks to Sven Ristel who shared his list with me, also a great brewer and good friend of mine from Sydney!
3 Sacred Cat
4 Adorned Pouncer
3 Metallic Mimic
4 Pride Sovereign
3 Aerial Responder
1 Rhonas, the Indomitable
2 Majestic Myriarch
4 Regal Caracal
2 Authority of the Consul
4 Blossoming Defense
2 Cast Out
1 Growing Rites of Itlimoc
3 Appeal // Authority
4 Shefet Dunes
4 Sunpetal Grove
4 Scattered Groves
1 Scavenger Ground
3 Prowling Serpopard
4 Feral Prowler
3 Dusk // Dawn
1 Cast Out
2 Appetite for the Unnatural
1 Aerial Responder
1 Sacred Cat
Feral Prowler gets sided in against attrition decks to allow us to block well thanks to its 3 toughness, and replaces itself if it dies. Prowling Serpopard is a cat plus gets us through counter decks.
Against bigger decks, we have Dusk // Dawn to help us get around them while keeping our creatures intact. Dawn also helps us get all our threats back including Myriarch.
That’s it for now, I hope you find this brew purr-fect for your next FNM and surprise your opponent!
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