5 Tips for the 4C Copycat Mirror

by Soh Weng Heng on 17 March 2017, Friday

Soh Weng Heng

5 Tips for the 4C Copycat Mirror

Hi everyone! All hail Saheeli Rai!


Saheeli Rai

Last weekend, she and armies of cats conquered both Grand Prix Barcelona and Grand Prix New Jersey confirming suspicions that 4C Copycat is not only here to stay but also a powerhouse in Standard.


This double Grand Prix win can only increase 4C Copycat's popularity both online and offine. I've been playing 4C Copycat ever since Aether Revolt was released and I would like to share some tips which can help you in your next mirror match!




#1: Sideboard Authority of the Consuls


Authority of the Consuls


Authority of the Consuls used to be considered a narrow card but the same cannot be said today. With 4C Copycat occupying around one third of any random metagame, it has transformed into an extremely important sideboard card.


The benefits of this card is that it is very difficult to remove and it will easily prevent the turn-four kill of Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian. 4C Copycat is not a deck that has much interaction with your opponent and you don't really want to sideboard in spot removal.

For being such a cheap and permanent solution in the mirror match, I highly recommend at least two copies if you're anticipating the mirror. Successfully resolving it will buy you so much time to find your combo and prevent your opponent's combo. This video demonstrates this point perfectly! Let's take a look!



The disruption provided by Authority of the Consuls is quite devastating. You're basically crippling your opponent's combo and there is no real way for them to beat you in the mirror since 4C Copycat was not built to win via combat.


To make things worse, that cards you they have, you will have also, which means Rogue Refiners and Whirler Virtuosos are likely to trade away each other or stare at each other. This forces your opponents to dig for enchantment removal or they will never be able to win.


Walking Ballista Skysovereign, Consul Flagship


The presence of Authority of the Consuls as also forced some players to adopt a different strategy. Ryosuke Urase's version he ran at the MOCS uses Walking Ballista and Skysovereign, Consul Flagship as an alternate game plan.


#2: Tick Up Chandra, Torch of Defiance


Chandra, Torch of Defiance is the best card in a standstill.


Not only does it kill off creatures, it will also help you search for your combo. In the mirror match, whomever manages to cast her will usually have a huge lead. However, not everyone makes the correct choices with Chandra.


Chandra, Torch of Defiance


I've had many opponents cast Chandra and immediately using the -3 ability to take down my creature, such as Servant of the ConduitRogue Refiner or Whirler Virtuoso. By doing that they put Chandra at 1 loyalty, which allows me to kill their Chandra with my follow up Chandra or Saheeli Rai. This situation happens very often which is why I have learned never to tick down Chandra.


In addition, putting Chandra, Torch of Defiance at 5 loyalty makes it extremely difficult to attack, because only having Servant of the Conduit and a three-drop will present 5 power and that is assuming you have no blockers at all. As you can see, a Chandra at 5 loyalty is very difficult to kill and on the next you, you can even add 2 mana to ramp yourself to 6 mana in order to cast your combo.


Consider ticking up Chandra more often than you usually would in the mirror.




#3: Nahiri, the Harbinger is your Swiss Army Knife.


Nahiri, the Harbinger


As I mentioned in a previous article about 4C Copycat, I will always bring in Nahiri, the Harbinger. Every 4C Copycat players is trying to outwit their opponents, usually by surprising them with a permanent such as Authority of the Consuls or Skysovereign, Predator Flagship.


Dampening Pulse


There was also Damping Pulse seen at Grand Prix Barcelona, which also wrecks the gameplan entirely. Not only will your cats become 0/4, it also shuts down Whirler Virtuoso tokens, which means you will be able to win with Thopters and your opponent cannot.


For this reason, I always sideboard in Nahiri in the mirror so I have a solution in my deck to whichever trump card my opponent has. Not only does it kill creatures, artifacts and enchantments, it also helps me find my combo pieces. I strongly encourage 1 - 2 copies in the sidebard, you never know when she will come in handy!




#4: Negate Is Better Than You Think




It is not intuitive to board Negate against a deck with sixteen creatures but it is what you do when that creature deck is combo based. Having Negate, even on the draw, will help you counter Saheeli Rai. There is also Chandra, Torch of Defiance and potential Tamiya, Field Researcher and Nahiri, the Harbinger, which are all planeswalkers that you will need to deal with in the mirror match.


At worst, you'll be able to screw with their mana by countering Attune with Aether or Oath of Nissa or by denying energy by countering Attune or Harnessed Lightning. Watch this replay and you'll understand how great it is.



Negate is never a dead card in the mirror match and you should always sideboard it in.




#5: Fake It Til Your Make It


The threat of a turn-four kill is always present in the mirror.


What happens if you do not have the combo but your opponent does? Imagine your opponent playing Saheeli Rai on turn three and you don't have a solution and you will be dead for sure if your opponent casts Felidar Guardian next turn.


While most players take the risk and advance their board and keep their fingers crossed, I have learned that I have a better win rate if I simply pass the turn. I never ever tap out if my opponent already has Saheeli Rai on the board.


If you're dead to the combo, tapping out is courting death. It's like throwing a game away when you haven't lost for sure. If you take a look at the decklist, you'll find that it is impossible for you to have no play on turn three.


Rogue Refiner Whirler Virtuoso


Your opponent understands that.


If you simply pass the turn, he may fear that you have some trick up your sleeve and hold off the combo for another couple of turns. This bluff could mean the difference between life and death. The extra time you gain may end up not helping you win the game, but it is extra time you have gained for yourself, rather than needlessly tapping out for, say, Whirler Virtuoso.






Lastly, I'm very happy to see a friend of mine, Yoann Sevaux, making his first Grand Prix Top 8 at Grand Prix Barcelona. It was his debut after playing 12 years in the game.




I helped him out with the initial framework of the deck and discussed sideboard plans together. From there, he practiced independently for four weeks and pretty much learned everything about the deck with his dedicated hard work. Thank you for the shoutout, Yoann!



Apart from Yoann, I'm also glad that a lot of people who has been playing 4C Copycat have been getting great results at Premier Events because it is a deck which I enjoy playing a lot. Before I sign off, I would like to share my decklist which went 7-1 on a MOCS Monthly.




I like Shock because I feel it is very well-positioned in the current metagame, where nearly two-thirds of the field is playing Mardu Vehicles or Saheeli Rai. I've also increased the number of Negates because I believe it is a great card in the mirror and also the number of Dispels to preempt that.


Verdurous Gearhulk Nissa, Vital Force


The last two cards are "flexi slots", which means you are free to experiment. I opted for Verdurous Gearhulk because it is actually quite good in the mirror. It can grow a Thopter to kill planeswalkers and turn 2/3s into 3/4s, which are very important. Planeswalkers are important in grindy games and I've chosen to include a copy of Nissa, Vital Force as well.


To everyone out there, with hard work, patience and practice, your efforts will eventually pay off, just like Yoann! All the best for those competing in Grand Prix Shizuoka and Grand Prix Porto Alegre!


There will be Copycats around, I'm sure.

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