Agatha’s Soul Cauldron Art by Jason A. Engle

Standard Simic Cauldron Deck and Sideboard Guide (World Championship Edition)

Learn how to play the Simic Cauldron deck for Standard in this strategy guide, with card options, best of one version, including all the popular matchups and sideboard guide!

It’s not often that we see an infinite combo in Standard, so when one does show up, especially on a stage such as the World Championship, it immediately catches my attention. Simic Cauldron proved to be the better version when compared to the other submitted list, Mono Blue Cauldron. Piloted by Alexey Paulot to 9th place, it proved to be a real deck in the new Standard format.

Simic Cauldron by Alexey Paulot, 9th at World Championship
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $375.84
Standard
best of 3
9 mythic
26 rare
6 uncommon
19 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (4)
Instants (4)
4
Seed of Hope
$1.40
Sorceries (3)
1
Brave the Wilds
$0.35
Artifacts (4)
Enchantments (6)
Lands (22)
4
Forest
$1.40
3
Island
$1.05
4
Yavimaya Coast
$5.96
60 Cards
$426.16
15 Cards
$44.47

Deck Tech

Combo

The main combo of the deck consists of the following cards: Kami of Whispered Hopes without summoning sickness, Agatha's Soul Cauldron Realm-Scorcher Hellkite, and Sleep-Cursed Faerie in the graveyard.

To execute the combo, you need to exile Sleep-Cursed Faerie with Agatha's Soul Cauldronto target Kami of Whispered Hopes with the Cauldron’s ability. Thanks to the replacement ability of Kami of Whispered Hopes, you put two counters on it, increasing its power to 3.

In turn, this enables you to generate infinite mana – you add three mana of any colour using the Kami’s mana ability and thanks to the Faerie under the Cauldron, you can now untap Kami for two, generating one extra mana in the process. Once you loop enough times, you are able to play Realm-Scorcher Hellkite and activate its ability enough times to burn your opponent down.

Enablers

The main use for Wrenn and Realmbreaker in Simic Cauldron is its second ability, which digs us three cards deep to find any of the combo pieces. Searching for combo pieces is a characteristic of many of our enablers, but Wrenn is advantageous for several reasons.

Thanks to Wrenn and Realmbreaker starting off at four loyalty, we can use her ability twice. Since it’s a planeswalker, it will also often soak up an attack which could give us an extra turn, a crucial resource for a combo deck such as Simic Cauldron.

You will never try to go for the last ability since it needs so many turns to get there, but Wrenn’s passive will sometimes come in handy by fixing our mana, especially in setup turns where we need a lot of mana of both Blue and Green.

A very flexible enabler for Simic Cauldron as it can come in early to protect us from the opponent’s attackers, or we can play the full four mana to be able to use its other abilities more safely.

Using Jace’s -2 to draw one or three cards, depending on our graveyard’s depth, will be the planeswalker’s main use. Its last ability will often come in handy when we’re looking for Sleep-Cursed Faerie as we can mill ourselves for as many as eighteen cards the turn Jace comes into play.

It may not look like much, but it’s one of the better cards in the deck. It searches for Cauldron or other enablers, such as Wrenn and Realmbreaker, Seed of Hope or Teachings of the Kirin while putting creatures in the yard.

It’s also surprisingly good when we whiff since it gets a +1/+1 counter, meaning it automatically inherits abilities of creatures exiled with Cauldron. I have often used it as a proxy Kami of Whispered Hopes as you can use it to generate mana if the mana dorking Spirit is under Agatha's Soul Cauldron.

We don’t run many legendary spells but between Jace, the Perfected Mind, Wrenn and Realmbreaker, and Agatha's Soul Cauldron we will untap Rona every so often, looting for two or more cards in a single turn.

Rona plays many roles in the deck as it digs for combo pieces, ditches unnecessary multiples, such as Agatha's Soul Cauldronand puts creatures into the graveyard, which is extremely important when we’re stuck with a Sleep-Cursed Faerie in hand. Since her first ability is an activated ability, you can exile Rona with the Cauldron to give any creature the ability to loot.

Its main power comes from being an infinite mana sink, though. We will often have most of our combo pieces, but no Realm-Scorcher Hellkite to finish our opponent off. However, if Rona is exiled with Agatha's Soul Cauldronor we put a counter on her when comboing off, we can loot and untap to draw every card in our deck, guaranteeing we draw the Dragon in the process.

Rona is also a great mana sink for setup turns if we don’t have much else to do, transforming herself into an Obliterator that’s good on both offence and defence.

While only digging two cards deep, Seed of Hope is one of the key players in the deck for several reasons.

First of all, it’s a one mana instant, meaning we can easily squeeze it into any turn. It also looks for any permanent card, helping us hit land drops, find any other enabler, or any of the combo pieces. It puts any cards we don’t put into our hand to the graveyard (especially useful with creatures) and gains us two life, a key resource against any aggressive strategy.

Our worst enabler. It digs us three cards deep but never gets us anything, meaning we only care about milled creatures for Cauldron. Where Teaching shines, however, is at creating additional proxy combo pieces since on its own it will give us a 1/1 Spirit with a +1/+1 counter, which means it can activate abilities of creatures exiled with Cauldron.

Its creature side will often just be a blocker, but can sometimes put a counter on a creature to give it Cauldron abilities.

Interaction and Recursion

While not a particularly good card, it’s the only cheap effective removal available in Simic in the current Standard. It costs one mana, which means we can easily squeeze it into our turns, and will disable the targeted creature’s abilities.

This card is especially good against threats that care about our combo or us drawing cards, such as Sheoldred, the Apocalypse, Dennick, Pious Apprentice or Faerie Mastermind.

Don’t be afraid to play it aggressively against any big-ish creature when against Mono Red Aggro as we have limited time against such decks and saving two or three damage from a single source might be enough to win.

Searches for lands when we’re short but is easily the worst card of the deck, can be cut with no real consequences.

Great piece of recursion to get back any card we mill or our opponents kill or discard.

Proliferate will buff our planeswalkers, enable faster looping of the combo, and put an additional counter on Teaching of the Kirin, but is not really important in the deck.

Best of One

Since Best of One is heavily skewed towards aggro decks, it isn’t really the environment where this deck shines as these are our worst matchups. However, if you are to sleeve it up, make the following changes:

Simic Cauldron Best of One
by Skura
Buy on TCGplayer $376.14
Standard
best of 3
9 mythic
26 rare
6 uncommon
19 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (4)
Instants (4)
4
Seed of Hope
$1.40
Sorceries (2)
Artifacts (4)
Enchantments (7)
Lands (22)
4
Forest
$1.40
3
Island
$1.05
4
Yavimaya Coast
$5.96
60 Cards
$426.4
15 Cards
$44.47

Budget

It’s one of the least budget friendly decks out there. Threats, interaction, and lands are rares/mythics.

Matchups and Sideboard Guide

Realm-Scorcher Hellkite

Five-Color Ramp

InOut
+2 Malevolent Hermit-3 Witness Protection
+2 Outland Liberator-3 Teachings of Kirin
+1 Spell Pierce
+1 Negate

In this matchup we get the benefit of the opponent being relatively clunky. We need to take advantage of it.

Spell Pierce and Negate will nicely counteract their expensive spells such as Sunfall.

Outland Liberator will shine at freeing your cards from under Leyline Binding. This can be really annoying to deal with.

Golgari Midrange

InOut
+1 Wrenn and Realmbreaker-1 Witness Protection
+1 Slogurk, the Overslime-3 Teachings of Kirin
+2 Tamiyo's Safekeeping

The opponent will be interactive but can also put pressure on us.

Anti-spell countermagic is not necessary. We want to power through their removal.

Witness Protection stays in if you expect/have seen Sheoldred, the Apocalypse.

Mono White Aggro // Mono Red Aggro

InOut
+4 Titania, Voice of Gaea-3 Teachings of Kirin
+1 Animist's Might-2 Unnatural Restoration

In this matchup we play a combo-control hybrid of sorts. We want to block if possible and bide our time.

We won’t be interacted with too heavily which mainly puts the onus on us to stay alive.

Titania, Voice of Gaea is a great blocker that also provides lifegain.

Esper Midrange

InOut
+1 Wrenn and Realmbreaker-1 Witness Protection
+1 Slogurk, the Overslime-3 Teachings of Kirin
+2 Tamiyo's Safekeeping

We play this matchup similarly to Golgari. While counterspells could be better, I still don’t really want to play on that axis.

Likewise, Witness Protection‘s main goal is to get rid of Sheoldred, the Apocalypse.

Esper Legends

InOut
+1 Animist's Might-3 Teachings of Kirin
+4 Titania, Voice of Gaea-2 Unnatural Restoration

This deck is somewhere between Mono White Aggro and Esper Midrange. I decided to lean into anti-creature mechanisms, since that’s what the deck mainly consists of.

It’s going to be an uphill battle when you need to play through Thalia, Guardian of Thraben into Raffine, Scheming Seer but it’s not unlosable. However, you will need a healthy number of interactive spells.

Tips and Tricks

Rona, Herald of Invasion
  • Do not worry about specific coloured mana as Cauldron allows you to activate abilities of your creatures without colour restrictions.
  • It’s often best not to play Sleep-Cursed Faerie in faster matchups. We desperately want it in the graveyard. If we play it on the battlefield, it will be difficult to have it removed due to it coming into play tapped with three stun counters and ward 2.
  • While the main combo is to exile Sleep-Cursed Faerie and put a counter on Kami of Whispered Hopes, you can also do it the other way around and exile Kami to put a counter on the Faerie. It works the same way but requires more setup since Faerie is difficult to untap at first.

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Skura
Skura

Also known as Skura or IslandsInFront on Twitter and YouTube, Filip started his career upon the release of Gatecrash and has been passing the turn in all formats ever since. He coaches and creates written and video content, mainly centered around the control archetype. He is passionate about Magic game theory and countering spells. Outside of Magic, he is a fan of snooker/pool, chess and Project Management.

Articles: 127

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