Magic: The Gathering bans Felidar Guardian to kill insanely overpowered Copy Cat Combo


40% of Magic Online Standard decks found to use infinite duplication pairing

Wizards of the Coast has issued its latest round of card bans for Magic: The Gathering, including a move to halt the use of the particularly notorious Copy Cat Combo.

In short, the Copy Cat Combo involved the use of the abilities of planeswalker Saheeli Rai and the Felidar Guardian creature, which was introduced in the Aether Revolt expansion.

One of Saheeli’s powers allows her to create a copy of a creature when she enters the battlefield by spending two loyalty counters, three of which she gains when she enters the battlefield. Meanwhile, when Felidar Guardian comes into play, it can choose to exile another permanent card before immediately returning said card to the battlefield in a move known as ‘blinking’. See where this is headed?

What made matters worse is that the Felidar Guardian has haste, allowing them to trigger straight away – making an instant victory possible unless the opposing player happened to have a way to take them out instantly or was able to take out Saheeli before the devastating combo was pulled off.

Unsurprisingly, once discovered, the pairing quickly became massively popular among players, with Wizards saying that around 40% of Magic Online Standard League decks feature the combo.

To stop the overpowered move, Felidar Guardian has now been banned from use in Standard play.

The announcement actually came a few days after the regular banned and restricted card list was revealed and, for the first time, after the changes had already taken place in Magic Online – a delay that Wizards put down to wanting to solve the ‘significant’ problem by affecting as few cards as possible.

“We also understand we shouldn't let combos like Saheeli-Felidar get out the door in the first place,” it added. “For that we take ownership and are making changes to try to prevent this from happening again.

“But our highest priority is keeping Magic fun and enjoyable for our players. We believe this banning coupled with a number of internal testing process improvements will be significant steps toward making Standard the fun, dynamic format we all want it to be in perpetuity.”