Video Daily Digest: Kitty’s Got Claws

All Cats are royalty; just ask them! So it’s no surprise that a puny Human has finally given the fabulous felines their Magical due in Standard. Will Ross Merriam also find success with the deck…or cough up a hairball?

In these divisive times, there aren’t a lot of things that bring about broad-based agreement. But everyone seems to love Cats. Whether featured peeking through a slice of bread or on a playmat, the furry little felines have a way of bringing people together.

So it’s no surprise that we’ve seen the Cat enter Magic as a creature type and begin to take on increased prominence in that regard. Regal Caracal is a great tribal payoff for Cats while being a powerful enough card on its own to reasonably build around. So here we go.

There aren’t a lot of other Cats to go around, so the deck takes on a clear token theme, blending together Anointed Procession and Oketra’s Monument, which should be counted as an honorary Cat card. Both cards lead to excellent curves with Regal Caracal, either letting you get it down ahead of schedule or greatly increasing its immediate impact on the battlefield.

Both cards play nicely with the other Cats in the deck as well, since both are cheap white creatures with the potential to embalm or eternalize for two more copies on the back end. This gives the deck a similar feel to the other token decks, with the ability to come out aggressively without folding should that initial attack be stymied.

But for a deck that creates a significant battlefield of tokens, it needs a way to go over the top of its opponents when they create a significant defensive force. That card here is Aven Wind Guide, which literally goes above your opponents by Jumping your team while also letting you play offense and defense simultaneously, a great ability in any combat-centric matchup.

You can also go over the top with Crested Sunmare, which is conveniently enabled by Anointer Priest, Sacred Cat, and Regal Caracal, all cards you want to play anyway. The Priest-Monument-Sunmare curve is particularly brutal, since you don’t need Crested Sunmare to be on the battlefield when you gain life to get the Horse token on your end step. I never knew that Horses and Cats were friends, but I don’t think the internet would lie about that sort of thing.

Token decks have fallen out of favor recently, so rethinking the archetype right about meow sounds good to me.