Categories
Magic

Magic the Gathering: top 15 most combotastic cards ever

In MTG there are many cards that could be considered ‘combo’ broken – it enables a billion combos with other cards. I’m going to list my top 15 combo-rific cards here.. cards that “Johnny” players love best..

  1. Doubling Season – It’s insanely powerful. Doubling the number of tokens, ok well Parallel Lives does that and no big deal – doubling the number of counters tho.. thats a much bigger deal. Especially with charge counters and planeswalkers.
  2. Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker – ok this card is nuts. Because it creates a token creature that is a copy.. that immediately has haste.. and taps to do it. Now, imagine if that creature you just copied untaps all other creatures when it comes into play.. or just untaps any other permanent (since it has haste). And it untaps Kiki-Jiki… the possibilities are endless. Part of my Hulk Flash combo used this card to create an endless army of Sky Hussars
  3. Intruder Alarm – ok just like Kiki-Jiki this does something similar – it untaps your creatures whenever another creature comes into play. Combo this with pretty much any creature generator. Could be Rhys, the Redeemed, Godsire, Imperious Perfect or just slap Presence of Gond on anything and BAM! infinite creatures
  4. Paradox Engine – it’s sort of like intruder alarm except you need to play spells but it untaps ALL nonland permanents not just creatures. If you can discount your spells or use a buyback spell or even creatures that bounce other creatures like Tradewind Rider along with some mana generators or pingers and its a winning combination.
  5. Cloudstone Curio – A card that can work well with the card I mentioned above. But yeah this card + any repeatable bounce effects + any enters the battlefield / leaves the battlefield abilities = chaos
  6. Tolarian Academy – A disgusting card that was pretty much the cause of the Combo Winter when Urza’s Saga first came out. One of the most broken cards ever printed.
  7. Earthcraft – This card is bonkers. It turns any creature you control into a mana generator but not only that but you could potentially go infinite with cards like Squirrel Nest as well
  8. Dream Halls – a card that got quickly restricted.. I mean you can discard a card to play any spell instead of its mana cost. you can see how that can get quite out of hand.
  9. Training Grounds – Any card like this that can reduce activation costs can be pretty combotastic – especially with ones that can generate mana
  10. Rings of Brighthearth – use in combination with the card above. Great times.
  11. Skullclamp, Fecundity – both these cards are insane card draw engines in their respective decks and fulfill similar purposes
  12. Mind’s Desire – well it was part of some of the most broken combo decks ever printed – namely TEPS and Long.dec so it’s gotta make the list here
  13. Krark-Clan Ironworks – Also an insane combo card for artifact decks
  14. Aluren – imagine being able to play your creatures for free, as an instant, anytime… it gets even crazier when you have bounce mechanics like a certain card in this list that lets you return things to your hand perhaps?
  15. Mind over Matter – it was powerful once upon a time, but still a good card in some niche combo decks. It takes a lot to go off, though.
Categories
Magic

Magic the Gathering: Deck Design: Tokens!! and CardForge

I just finished making a page on an open source MTG card simulator project written in Java, go check it out, and download it. If you’re a developer, feel free to contribute as well.

Theme:
So today’s deck is called Tokens!!! It focuses on using repeatable token generating effects to overwhelm your opponent. It’s an all green deck, but can be splashed for white, since G/W has the best token generating cards.

Lands: (17/60)
In addition to forests, I have 3 Oran-rief, The Vastwood because they make EVERY token that you create get bigger. Cavern of Souls prevent your Elves from being countered, and Gaea’s Cradle is just insane, period.

//Lands:17
3 Oran-rief, The Vastwood
1 Pendelhaven
4 Cavern of Souls
2 Gaea’s Cradle
7 Forest

Creatures: (26/60)
Most of these great token generating creatures actually come from Elves. Llanowar Elves and Elvish Mystic provide mana. Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary is one of the greatest mana generating cards ever printed.
Essence Warden is a terrific life gainer. And the line-up of token generating elves is huge:
Imperious Perfect, Rhys the Redeemed, Wolf-Skull Shaman, and Wirewood Hivemaster.

//Creatures:26
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Elvish Mystic
1 Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
4 Essence Warden
4 Imperious Perfect
1 Rhys the Redeemed
4 Wolf-Skull Shaman
4 Wirewood Hivemaster

Non Creature Spells: (17/60)
These non creature token generating spells are definitely a pain for opponents. Presence of Gond and Squirrel Nest generate at least one token every turn, and the latter actually generates infinite tokens combined with Earthcraft. Beacon of Creation is actually repeatable, since it goes back in the deck after use. Skullclamp and Spawning Pit will keep the card drawing and token generating going, respectively. Garruk Relentless and Garruk Wildspeaker round out the deck with some synergistic planeswalkers.

Final Decklist

//Lands:17
3 Oran-rief, The Vastwood
1 Pendelhaven
4 Cavern of Souls
2 Gaea’s Cradle
7 Forest

//Creatures:26
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Elvish Mystic
1 Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
4 Essence Warden
4 Imperious Perfect
1 Rhys the Redeemed
4 Wolf-Skull Shaman
4 Wirewood Hivemaster

//Non-Creatures: 17
2 Presence of Gond
4 Squirrel Nest
2 Earthcraft
3 Beacon of Creation
2 Spawning Pit
2 Skullclamp
1 Garruk Relentless
1 Garruk Wildspeaker

And thats it! Another fun, casual, multiplayer deck to play around with. Feel free to add Priest of Titania for additional mana generation, Eldrazi Monument for indestructible tokens, and Master of the Wild Hunt, Parallel Lives or Growing Ranks for additional token generation.

Categories
Magic

Magic the Gathering: Deck Design: Venser (Flicker) deck

In Magic the Gathering, 187 or Blink creatures are creatures that trigger abilities when they enter the battlefield (comes into play). The recent Magic Expansion Avacyn Restored have alot of cards that work well with cards that enter the battlefield. Hence I began making a deck that I call the Venser or Flicker deck. The reason why to call it Flicker is because the first card that made creatures go off and onto the battlefield without recasting is called Flicker and since then, this effect has been called ‘Flickering’ creatures in and out of the battlefield. Of course, the deck is based around a Planeswalker card called Venser, which you will read more about below.

Theme:
Like my Persist deck, I like to build decks that are fun to play, yet reasonably powerful. I don’t like decks that are too weak, or too strong. Basically I’m going to exploit the triggered ability of creatures that enter the battlefield repeatedly to create card advantage.

Lands: (20/60)
Every one of my 60 card decks have about 20 land. For this deck, I relied on a blue/white mana base since alot of blinking creatures are in blue and white. Hence I have 8 cards that are blue/white dual lands.

//Lands:20
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Hallowed Fountain
6 Island
6 Plains

Creatures: (18/60)
For creatures, I just put creatures that are blue/white, reasonably cheap, and have a good effect when they enter the battlefield. I also tend to favor creatures that slow my opponent’s board development down. Wall of Omens is a good card drawing engine, and is much faster to cast than Mulldrifter, which I was also considering. Blade Splicer is going to be my card of choice for doing damage, and Gilded Drake is incredibly powerful, stealing opponent’s creatures for free! I also needed a way to gain life. Between Kitchen Finks and Aven Riftwatcher, I chose the Finks, just because its better at beatdown. Riftwing Cloudskate is my last major card, since it can bounce anything back to an opponent for 2 mana and 3 turns, or 5 mana. Man-o’-War didn’t have as much versatility. And of course, the best bouncer in the game, Venser, Shaper Savant because its amazing – it can counter spells and bounce anything back, it’s Riftwing Cloudskate on steroids. I also put a single copy of Restoration Angel in to fit the theme of the deck.

//Creatures:18
4 Wall of Omens
Kitchen Finks
3 Gilded Drake
3 Blade Splicer
3 Riftwing Cloudskate
1 Venser, Shaper Savant
1 Restoration Angel

There are other creatures I could’ve considered. Fog Bank and Wall of Denial are amazing cards for defense. Stonecloaker is good against graveyard decks, Glen Elendra Archmage can single handedly wing a game for you if you keep blinking her, and the aforementioned Mulldrifter, Man-o’-War and Aven Riftwatcher are also good choices for the deck. Galepowder Mage is also worth considering, though a bit slow.

Non Creature Spells: (22/60)
The final third of the deck are non creature spells. Here, I mainly focused on cards that slow down an opponent, and focused mostly on defense. The centerpiece of the deck is Venser, the Sojourner. This guy kicks ass. He flickers any permanent you have, and is basically the win condition for the deck. I have 3 copies each of Crystal Shard and Erratic Portal which function for both offense and defense, AND returns my own creatures to my hand so I can re-use their abilities. Parallax Wave has been amazing for this deck because it exiles creatures for free, and can be used the same way as the Shard and the Portal. Umbilicus, Blood Clock and Equilibrium are obscure Magic cards that I put in this deck; nobody expects them and they get really annoyed once I play them. Simultaneously returning my creatures back to re-use their abilities for free while slowing down my opponent? sounds great. I also have copies of Propaganda and Ghostly Prison for slowing an opponents attackers down. I’ve had opponents had to pay 6 mana(!) before just to attack with one creature which I just return to their hand. It’s great. Finally, I have one of the best commons ever made: Rhystic Study. So, every spell an opponent plays costs one more or I get to draw a card? It’s just ridiculously good, especially in multiplayer. So the final decklist:

//Lands:20
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Hallowed Fountain
6 Forest
6 Plains

//Creatures:18
4 Wall of Omens
Kitchen Finks
3 Gilded Drake
3 Blade Splicer
3 Riftwing Cloudskate
1 Venser, Shaper Savant
1 Restoration Angel

//Non-Creatures: 22
3 Crystal Shard
3 Erratic Portal
3 Parallax Wave
Blood Clock or Umbilicus
2 Equilibrium
Propaganda
2 Ghostly Prison
2 Venser, the Sojourner
3 Rhystic Study

And thats it! Another fun, casual, multiplayer deck to play around with. As you can imagine, this deck takes a while to win, and is incredibly annoying to play against. Imagine paying one mana extra for each spell you cast, then paying an additional 4 mana to attack with each creature, then having mana open in case it gets returned to your hand, which probably will happen anyway because of Venser and Cloudskate. I pride myself on having built such an annoying yet effective deck :). Of course, cards like Otherworldly Journey and Momentary Blink are one shot effects to immediately gain the 187 effect. Conjurer’s Closet is basically a colorless Venser, which I should test with. To make this deck even more defensive, you can add in more copies of Norn’s Annex, Dissipation Field, Collective Restraint, Parallax Tide, Crawlspace, Teferi’s Moat, Propaganda, Ghostly Prison, and the rest of the cards. You can also add in Jace, the Mind Sculptor, who is really good in this deck, but also very expensive (being one of the best cards in Magic). Tamiyo, the Moon Sage can also work, though not as good as Jace. You can of course add Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir and more copies of 2 Venser, the Sojourner. Angelic Chorus can be an alternative to gaining life. Sensei’s Divining Top is good in ANY deck, especially control decks. Finally, to make this deck 200% more annoying, please add in Tangle Wire, Sphere of Resistance, Lodestone Golem, Smokestack, Trinisphere, Thorn of Amethyst, Static Orb, Mishra’s Helix, Rishadan Port and your usual BS cards that will make your opponent hate you :).

Edit: I’ve made a Modern legal version below:

//Lands:20
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Hallowed Fountain
6 Forest
6 Plains

//Creatures:22
4 Wall of Omens
4 Fog Bank
Kitchen Finks
4 Blade Splicer
2 Riftwing Cloudskate
1 Venser, Shaper Savant
1 Restoration Angel
1 Glen Elendra Archmage
2 Phyrexian Metamorph

//Non-Creatures: 18
4 Crystal Shard
Blood Clock
4 Ghostly Prison
2 Venser, the Sojourner
1 Jace Beleren
1 Jace, Architect of Thought
1 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
1 Elspeth Tirel
1 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion