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Having access to everything in Amonkhet means it's go time. I'm operating under the assumption that the Banned and Restricted announcement set for next week will yield no changes to Standard, which I think is a safe bet.
Let's start with the good stuff!
While looking for a home for Nissa, Steward of Elements, I couldn't help but think of Four-Color Saheeli. It's a deck that already plays planeswalkers, has creatures, and also appreciates additional land drops. However, it's not all sunshine and rainbows, as Four-Color Saheeli also plays a high density of planeswalkers and other spells that Nissa can't hit.
With the above list, Nissa, Steward of Elements has a 61.6% chance of hitting a creature or land, assuming she has four loyalty (although it's more like 62.7% if you don't count the Nissa already on the battlefield). It should be noted that the Scry 2 helps set up the zero ability, so maybe these numbers are actually fine.
You could potentially build a slightly different Nissa, Steward of Elements / Felidar Guardian deck, although it's worth noting that the two themselves aren't a combo, which is unique when combining Felidar Guardian with planeswalkers.
It might seem like Nissa is an obvious inclusion, and while I'm tempted to believe that's true, I also know enough to be skeptical. Another strike against Nissa is that we can't play Walking Ballista. Both function as mana sinks, which could be great for some decks, but not as necessary in this deck.
Let's try another version.
For Nissa, Steward of Elements to truly shine in Four-Color Saheeli, the creature and/or land count has to rise, and once that happens, it actually opens us up to some additional possibilities other than Nissa. Eldritch Evolution is one of those options.
- 1 Angel of Sanctions
- 2 Channeler Initiate
- 1 Cloudblazer
- 4 Felidar Guardian
- 1 Heart-Piercer Manticore
- 4 Rogue Refiner
- 4 Servant of the Conduit
- 4 Whirler Virtuoso
If I wanted to rebuild Four-Color Saheeli with Nissa, Steward of Elements in mind, this is what it would look like. I'm not entirely sure how correct this is, but it's certainly interesting. I looked for a way to cut the energy package entirely, as Attune with Aether eats up valuable Nissa slots, but couldn't find anything that looked promising.
Eldritch Evolution is a card that continues to get better with each new set, but I'm unconvinced that it's worth playing. It's possible to build with Nissa, Steward of Elements and Eldritch Evolution at the same time, but it might not be the smartest thing to do. While there are theoretically more hits for Nissa in the deck, those hits are expensive tutor targets, so it's unclear how often they'll actually count as hits.
Heart-Piercer Manticore is almost certainly worse than Chandra, Torch of Defiance, but it hits with Nissa and Eldritch Evolution. Maybe if the creatures had a little more power, it would be worth exploring more. Having a way to take out a planeswalker without sacrificing your position could potentially be game-breaking.
There are two new cards that make for interesting sideboard options.
Glorious End has a few uses. There's the obvious combo with Gideon of the Trials (which isn't in play here, but could be). Then there's the potential for you to utilize your extra turn by stopping a lethal attack, stopping them during their upkeep before they can play something like Walking Ballista, or using it to counter something like a Fumigate.
Obviously there's a big cost here, as you have to win the game on the very next turn. If there's any deck in the format that can do that, it's this one, but it's still risky to use. You don't want this in every matchup, but it could even be worth trying maindeck.
Haze of Pollen could help in the mirror or give you an extra turn against an aggressive deck, should you be on the full combo plan. I generally don't support being all-in on the combo post-sideboard against anyone, as you'll probably be facing a mountain of hate. Still, if you just need to time to stabilize, this could be the way to do it.