Saheeli Solitaire: Fastest Deck in the Format

My last article talked about the power of Saheeli, Sublime Artificer [], even when you aren’t using the card to its fullest. That deck was Sneak and Show. That deck put Omniscience [] into play by turn three. That deck was fair.

Today’s deck is less fair. It is actively not interactive. It’s fast, consistent, and so full of redundancies that if I were the CEO of the deck, a third of the cards would be devastated by layoffs. I don’t think it would really hurt them in the long term, though, so don’t feel bad. Each of the artifacts in my fifty-eight is a hard worker.


The premise is quite simple. Saheeli creates a servo every time you cast a non-creature spell. Those servos can be used with Krark-Clan Ironworks [], Ashnod's Altar [] and Phyrexian Altar [] for mana. They can be used with Skullclamp [] to draw cards. They can become extra copies of any other artifact by using Saheeli’s -2. Then ALL your servos become that artifact when you go to combat with Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer []. Once you’ve cast all the artifact spells that you can, drawn all the cards you want and floated a large surplus of mana, cast your Signature Spell, Hurkyl's Recall [], and do it again. And again, and again, until you drop Aetherflux Reservoir [], cast a couple more spells and defeat the table with your storm count. Alternatively, win from using a KCI loop to alpha strike with Brudiclad and an army of Wurmcoil Engine [] copies.


FAST MANA is the first step to playing the deck, and what enables us to win so quickly. The game is over for us if we have to deal with a card like Stony Silence [], so we want to end the game before our opponents can find and play these cards. Mishras Workshop [] alone is enough to secure victory by the third turn in most cases, with Ancient Tomb [] close behind. Mox Diamond [] is essential, even though we have few cards to discard for it, since at the very least it can be used for the Servo and a free cast trigger. Mox Amber [] is better, but needs Saheeli to start tapping, while Opal is best due to artifact lands and other rocks that can turn it on in the first turn. If we do have two mana on turn one, one more spell like Izzet Signet [] or Grim Monolith [] can accelerate our mana far beyond what other decks can catch up to. We have all the advantage of a turn one sol ring [] in commander without having to worry about anyone else following suit.

PLAYING SAHEELI as early as possible is our goal. Getting two colored mana might be tough, which is why we have cards like Interplanar Beacon [] in the deck to help get there. Once Saheeli is in play, even the slowest of hands means you’ll generate a veritable army of servos to protect yourself and your life total until you can start hitting your engine. Typically, this will only take a turn or two, but even in the slowest of games, it’s worth remembering that Saheeli can keep herself protected from most threats for as long as you have artifacts to cast.

HITTING CRITICAL MASS is achieved with any number of cards in the deck. Krark-Clan Ironworks [], Ashnods Altar [] and Phyrexian Altar [] will refund mana for every spell you cast thanks to Saheeli’s servo generation. Just add Scrap Trawler [] and Junk Diver [], and you can draw your deck with Mind Stone [] and friends, or make a billion Wurmcoil Engine [] tokens. Paradox Engine [] also does the trick, untapping all rocks every time you cast a spell, making it easier to draw your deck through Skullclamp [] or Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain []. Paradox Engine [] also goes off with Master Transmuter [], since you can opt to recast the artifact instead of returning it to play, netting you an infinite amount of servos and potentially mana as well. Kuldotha Forgemaster [], made hasty through Saheeli’s -2 on anything that’s already been in play, catapults the deck to victory by assembling whichever combo route you feel like (first pulling Paradox Engine [] so you can use the Forgemaster clone as often as necessary).

There’s several ways to build this deck that are all valid in my eyes, the only constant being that you need Saheeli to be your Oathbreaker. I’ve played this list with Blinkmoth Infusion [] in the command zone instead, which acts like a second Paradox Engine []. Fabricate [] and Whir of Invention [] are equally correct, and I suspect Whir might even be better than Recall, assuming you tweak some other cards to help generate UUU more consistently. There’s also Jayas Immolating Inferno [] as an alternate win condition, where you sacrifice ten artifacts to KCI or Ashnods Altar [] and hit each opponent for 20. There are so many possible routes to victory and so many Signature Spells which work that you can really pick whatever you personally like the most. Moxen and cards like Mishras Workshop [] are critical for the deck, but even if moxen were hit by a fresh ban, that would slow the entire field down as well, not just Saheeli. Modern Horizons recently gave us Mirrodin Besieged [], which joins Sai, Master Thopterist [] on the list of Saheelis we can’t play in the command zone. there are alternatives to her, but I personally feel the only way to slow down this monstrosity for good is removing Saheeli, Sublime Artificer [] from the card pool.

One of the few cards from Modern Horizons that Saheeli might consider, it might be a good option if your group starts packing more early disruption to deal with you.

As an added bonus at the end of the article, I was having a conversation last week with @WeirdCards and they wanted to know how exactly I’ve been killing three opponents on the third turn. Looking at the above decklist, I’m sure it’s not hard to figure out, which is why instead, I decided to show them how you can win in Oathbreaker on turn two. Below is some delicious raw footage cooked up by yours truly, meant to show just one example of a turn two win. Is it ten minutes of solitaire? You bet it is.

This was Saheeli Solitaire. If you opt to build the deck, or something like it, be sure to let us know in the comments and on twitter. I’d also like to know what other lists people have cooked up that can win the game as quickly as this one can. I have yet to see other decks go off at a similar pace, but I’d be very interested in picking apart other fast, competitive strategies. Thanks to everyone for reading, and I hope you’ll all stick around for next time.