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Much Abrew: Kaheera Cats & Taxes (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. One thing we've learned since the release of Ikoria is that the companion mechanic is broken, but is it broken enough to make Cat tribal into a legitimate Modern deck? Well, today we're going to take a version of the Kaheera Cats and Taxes deck we had an Instant Deck Tech of a few days ago out for a spin and find out! While it sounds weird, Cats is one of the Modern tribes that have improved most over the past year, with Kaheera, the Orphanguard giving the tribe a three-mana lord that always starts in hand and King of the Pride being extremely powerful as a double lord. Is it enough to make Cats a legitimate threat in the Modern format? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Kaheera Cats & Taxes

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  • First off, as you probably noticed during the video, I made a few changes to the Instant Deck Tech version of the deck. While it might partly be my long standing feud with the card, it's hard for me to imagine that Arboreal Grazer is correct in deck overflowing with Cat lords and just 23 lands, so I dropped it for Loam Lion to give us another aggressive on-tribe one-drop. I also ended up moving Thorn of Amethyst out of the main deck and dropping Collected Company (which also seemed really bad in the original build with only 20 creatures that cost three or less), adding in more of our best Cats by maxing out on King of the Pride and throwing in a Mirror Entity as a backup lord. 
  • As for our record, we starting off 3-0 in our league beating Bant Snow, Burn and Dredge (in an absurd match) before running into Hardened Scales twice in a row and getting absolutely wrecked to drop to 3-2. The big problem with the Hardened Scales matchup was Lurrus of the Dream Den. While our deck does have a bit of removal, it doesn't have a ton since our main game plan is to clog up the board with big, lifelinking Cats. Unfortunately Lurrus of the Dream Den looping cards like Walking Ballista and Arcbound Ravager for big chunks of unblockable damage is a good way to beat out deck. 
  • While Leonin Arbiter was very good in some matchups, it is also one of the stranger Cats in our deck, preferring a grindy resource denial plan while our Cat lords want us to be beating down. While the current build of the deck felt solid (outside of the Hardened Scales matchup) I do wonder if it would be better if we cut Leonin Arbiter, played fetchlands and added cards like Wild Nacatl to the deck to be even more aggressive. A curve of Wild Nacatl into Qasali Pridemage into a King of the Pride or Kaheera, the Orphanguard feels fast enough to beat a lot of Modern decks, especially backed up by powerful white sideboard cards like Rest in Peace, Stony Silence and friends. 
  • Regal Caracal looks over-costed, but it's great almost ever time we draw it. Against any sort of aggro deck if we can get in just a single attack with Regal Caracal giving our team lifelink we're likely to close out the game on the spot. 
  • All in all, Kaheera Cats & Taxes felt solid, and I think our changes definitely improved the deck. I wouldn't be at all surprise to see Cats develop into a legitimate second or third tier deck in the Modern format. While the current build is solid enough to win with, it could probably be improved with some changes. Of course, if companions end up getting banned the deck becomes much, much worse; even though Kaheera, the Orphanguard isn't one of the top tier companions, it does seem possible and that the entire mechanic ends up getting banned or given an errata in non-Standard formats, so keep this in mind before plunking down $350 on Kaheera Cats and Taxes, even though the deck is solid and maybe even strong.


Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, commenting and subscribing to Instant Deck Techs. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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