Deck Tech: Planeswalker Magic with Shaheen Soorani
Shaheen's eager to drop Paraselene onto an enchantment-laden battlefield.
Snapcaster+Mage becomes a pretty vicious flash threat under those conditions!
Evolving+Wilds. “Since I had to play white anyway, I didn’t want to splash for must-have mana on turn 4, like Day+of+Judgment. I missed playing my favorite spells—Day of Judgment, Gideon—and the best sideboard card in the format is Celestial+Purge. White, in general, is a better control color.” His mind made up, Shaheen could have chosen to splash black instead—but he wanted more planeswalkers!
Why Liliana? “I wanted to play Liliana just to curve out planeswalkers,” Shaheen explained. “Liliana followed up by Sorin or another planeswalker is pretty unbeatable, especially after boarding.” Post-board, the glut of removal Shaheen can threaten aggressive opponents with both defends and enhances his planeswalkers. “You just hammer them with a turn 2 removal spell, turn 3 Liliana, and turn 4 Sorin or Snapcaster. It gives a control deck ‘god draws,’ which control decks don’t usually have.”
The planeswalkers can be potent against aggressive decks when wielded properly, especially with Gideon+Jura playing ball, but they’re most devastating in the control matchups. “I don’t think a control deck without planeswalkers has a very good matchup against me,” Shaheen explained. “You have the Oblivion+Ring, but Shaheen has come prepared with a nice one. “I haven’t played against a deck with Oblivion+Rings yet,” he admitted. “But I can’t wait to.” Flashing Paraselene, Shaheen is excited to cast the Limited sideboard star. “Every match against the token decks or the Humans deck involves them playing multiple anthems and Ringing your answer—if you have this when you untap, the game comes right back. It’s a theory card, but it seems pretty good.”
Also sporting slots in the sideboard are Geist of Saint Traft—Shaheen has been wrecking the mirror with them all day. “I don’t bring them in against Geist decks,” he said. “The control decks board out Day+of+Judgment 100%, if they have it, and if you land a Geist then you’ll just win. Round 2, my opponent played a tapped land on turn 2, and I just played Geist—he couldn’t do anything about it.”
With a few rounds under his belt, Shaheen can see room for improvement in the list. “Ratchet Bomb is not as good as I thought it was against the non-token decks.” In fact, aggressive strategies have been a tougher matchup than Shaheen expected today, but his sideboard continues to do the heavy lifting. “Those four Celestial+Purge in the board have saved me, pretty much. For the maindeck, I’m probably going to cut Doom+Blade for Go for the Throat if the unpopularity of Wolf Run continues.” That’ll make sure he can fight the new black creature decks springing up from Dark Ascension.