Hello folks! I hope your day is going well!
Today I want to look at ten combos that shout out at me from the Theros: Beyond Death spoilers. By the time this article is out and being read on the 10th, the full spoiler is released. This is only looking at cards that were already spoiled a few days prior.
Let's do it!
Honorable Mention #1 - Nylea's Intervention and the Urzatron
Sure, it's an obvious combo. But it's one that'll see play! So I put it back here in my Honorable Mention Shout out to Cloudposts as well
Honorable Mention #2 - Allure of the Unknown and Shutting Off Cards
Is this the new Rakdos Fact or Fiction? How many times in a multiplayer game have you cast it or allowed someone else to draw all fivecards. This plays into the same theme. It's a fun card! The free-cast clause doesn't have the "Until end of turn you may cast..." so a shut off like Dragonlord Dromoka or Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir won't shut it off forever, but Meddling Mage will!
10. The Omen Cycle and Cards Like Drake Familiar and Others
When you starting giving your enchantment's your Shocks and Giant Growths it gives you the ability to find synergies that will let you run and recur with those, as well as in set things like Shimmerwing Chimera. For example, you can sacrifice it to Auratog for a boost or to bounce back for another Shock with Drake Familiar. This synergy really kicked off in the first Ravnica set that gave you cards like Fists of Ironwood that gave you two dorks on arrival and Flight of Fancy that does a solid Mulldrifter impression with its two cards. Here's that cycle below:
As you can see, they have a lot of value with self-bouncing or self-flickering decks concepts. Also note that their aura nature gives me additional synergies with cards like Rise to Glory.
9. Warden of the Chained and Endangered Armodon
The very first card that popped into my mind when I saw Warden of the Chained was my Moo Cow. Hello Moo Cow!
Strongholdx3 was the default draft at its prerelease. And no one respected the sheer power of the common Armodon. It would go late in the draft. In my 2nd draft seeing the same theme. I drafted them exclusively and could easily snag 4 or 5 or 6 in one draft.
You had great cards in the set that worked in Green like these big dorks.
I would pair them with Golgari....
...with Serpent Warrior as a fellow common at the threespot, as well as some decent common removal like Death Stroke. You could easily have 10 Serpent and Armodons in one deck making it a fun turn three and four. I really liked my favorite color combo in that set's draft, Gruul.
Red also offered commons that suited the deck like Shock or Fling. I adored Mogg Flunkies in this build. As the set wasn't aggro-y, they were available mid-pack (or later) often. Like the Serpent Warrior, I could easily finish with enough Flunkies and the Armodon to have them total around 10 my dorks, and then just blow people out with the beef. I won every draft after I adopted one that emphasized Endangered Armodon.
Warden of the Chained is a great three-drop that follows into Armodon, and then swings! You could even do Flunkies on turn two, and then the Warden and Moo Cow. It's all beef here!
Super Secret Combo - Temur Cards
The Temur clans have a big old love of bigger cards like Temur Ascendancy that draws you cards on arrival as well as netting you haste for the whole team. Many cards will really enjoy the power of a bigger dork at 4.
It was a modest theme in Standard after being introduced in Core Set 2019. You still have some dorks that will help you. Enjoy the face-punching goods times that the Warden suggests!
8.Wavebreak Hippocamp, and Nadir Kraken with any One-Drop Instant Card Draw
I really enjoy this in-set combo! Imagine you have an Opt in your hand and you control one of each of these 3-drops. On your foe's first turn, you cast Opt to scry and draw a card for . Then you draw a card with the Hippocamp, and spend 2 mana to trigger the Kraken twice.
You spend , which you know you have.
You got scry 1
Draw two cards
Have a fat 4/5 Kraken
Made two 1/1 tokens.
That's a lot of stuff! The Kraken's ability to win the game with its draw trigger rather than galumphing around is very good in these sorts of builds. Enjoy them!
7. Nessian Boar and Berserk
Let's get some old school action in today. Nessian Boar is a fun card! But our piglet needs a bit of trample to really make him sing. Enter Berserk. You swing. You are blocked. When the cards draw triggers arrive at the stack, toss out a Berserk. Now you have a trampling 20/6 creature. Without any life gain or blockers, it's 20, good game. Otherwise, have they taken damage from earlier attacks or fetchlands or other things? Probably right? And if not, then probably form some unblocked dorks you swung with this turn. That Berserk on that Boar? Good job at winning!
6. The Akroan War and Chisei, Heart of Oceans
The Akroan War is pretty cool as it will steal a dork in Red for a few more turns than Threaten, although there is no haste to be seen. You can turn this into a nasty repeatable Control Magic by removing lore counters from it each turn with something like Chisei, Heart of Oceans and then doing it over and over again.
From Matt Tabak's article last year on Sagas:
As you can see, you will drop The Akroan War. Steal a dork. Now remove a counter during your upkeep with Chisei. You have no lores on it. Now put one on in your main phase, and steal another dork. As Matt pointed out that you can repeat the same ability over and over again. Each turn, you steal a dork for free. I think you might win that game! As Sagas become more powerful and more a part of the game's fabric, we may want to reevaluate Chisei's value at the kitchen table.
5. Cataclysm and One with the Stars
Cataclysm is a great way to reduce the battlefield to small stuff. Everyone goes down to a single land, artifact, dork, and enchantment. Only planeswalkers aren't hit. Getting two dorks is very important to winning. Meanwhile One with the Stars is great at hiding a dork from mass removal that doesn't touch enchantments, but then you need to find an answer to the One in order to swing. Enter Cataclysm.
Choose these: Great land, great artifact, a great creature, and the creature enchanted by One. Because you didn't choose it, the One heads out, you have two dorks to everyone else's one (at best, someone with no dorks will be creatureless in a one-land world.) Attack and win that game!
4. Reverent Hoplite and Mana Echoes
Because the creatures in Reverent Hoplite all share the same creature type, you will get a massive boost of colorless mana with Mana Echoes. Mana Echoes doesn't preclude token creatures from its mana-making ability, so if you have say, just three other White mana symbols when the Hoplite arrives to the battlefield, you'll make three tokens. How much mana is that? Four triggers of four mana each for 16 colorless mana. Just one more White mana symbol? 25 mana! And it scales up quickly from there. I think you take this mana engine home, right? Right!
Secret Combo - Cloudstone Curio
Note that if you add this then the you can have one of your tokens bonce your Hoplite back to your hand and thus keep going, making more and more and more dorks. With Mana Echoes, if you are making at least six colorless mana each iteration, you can wash into colored mana with things like Prismite and win the game with infinite mana, infinite 1/1s, or anything else your precious heart desires!
3. Dawn Evangel and Rancor
Dawn Evangel has a lot of potential! From cards like Wild Cantor, Sakura-Tribe Elder, and more, the evangel will loop a dying dork into a 2-drop dork. (I guarantee you that the reason they didn't choose three mana costs, (the normal size included by these White abilities) was to prevent you from recurring and then discarding a Simian or Elvish Spirit Guide for mana). It's much more flexible than a normal combo enabler - it works on any dork, not just non-tokens, or ones you control. You can sacrifice a token for something like a smaller dork, or get a free dork to your hand after every run. But what you need to make this work is simple - an Aura that can come back over and over again to keep the engine going. Hello Rancor, my old friend! You can drop it and keep on trucking.
Here's one random example. Sacrifice a RancoredMyr Sire for two mana to the Altar. Make a 1/1 dork, and two colorless mana. The Rancor and Sire head back to your hand. You made a dork! Enchant the dork with the Rancor and repeat. If you have another dork cheap enough in your graveyard, you can bring it back to. Overall result after two runs?
You have four colorless mana in your mana pool, spend one Green, and have the Sire, Rancor, and another dork (maybe) in your hand as well. If you can wash into Green with the same stuff above, you won. Good job. You have thousands of mana and all of the 1/1 Myr. And that's just one example
You can sacrifice the Kobolds for one Green mana and use that to repeat your Rancor over and over again. Now in this case you have a loop, but no way to win, but there are countless death or enters-the-battlefield triggers you could add in.
You'll find many more as you keep on digging.
2. Archon of Falling Stars Combo Kill
In order to kill with the Archon of Falling Stars, here is what you need.
- A reliable, mana-free sacrifice engine to kill with.
- An enchantment to recur that will bring back your Archon.
No problems! These folks have you covered! As you can see, you can sacrifice the Renewal to recur your Archon as the Archon dies. Then the Archon returns and you can repeat it's death trigger over and over again. Sacrificing to Goblin Bombardment will get you a death dealing amount of life. These are the two ideas that popped into my mind, but I am sure you can find others if you look around that will similarly win the game quite quickly.
Note that if you added in Anax, Hardened in the Forge, you'd get a ton of Satyrs too. Bring that heat!
1. Underworld Breach with Wheel of Fate (Shout out to Ancestral Vision)
Zero mana, draw seven cards, exile three cards. Wheel of Fate is amazing as it will dig deeply for no mana each time and fills up your graveyard with more than enough juice to keep smashing.
Imagine this build:
Turn one - Entomb. Search for Wheel, put in graveyard.
Turn two - Cast one of the many two-mana Red cards that discard to draw one more. You have a strong chance of finding Breach.
Turn three - Breach. Win. What you'll do to win is a few things. You can fill up your graveyard with enough juice to win. You'll discard enough cards to have plenty of fuel for Wheel each time as well as other cards you might want to win with.
You could win by exiling three more cards each pass to make two 4/4s, and that's 2 4/4s, in each draw 7. Just 3 draw 7s give you 6 4/4s, enough to deal more than 20 trampling damage on that turn. Want to give it haste? Anger to the rescue! You get to keep one card in your graveyard each Wheel/Footfalls. Just make it an Anger. Don't control a Mountain? Drop one from your hand, as you haven't played a land yet this turn.
Note that many of these cards are Modern legal, but Anger is not.
You could easily add in legal dredge cards or things like Seismic Assault or maybe even Ayula's Influence. You don't have to discard the 7 in your hand for this deck to work, you can discard them one at a time if they were a land to the Assault. Now you'd need to have a mana rock or two to make that work on turn three with your extra mana, but it would work.
Waste Not and Liliana's Caress are powerful 2-drops you could use to punish your foes discarding. Each costs just two mana, and thus could potentially be tossed out there on turn three more easily with only one mana rock you could also dig for. Once you find it, a single Wheel will deal 14 damage with Caress, and kill on the next run.
You can also win by decking everyone with Library of Leng. Once you've drawn a land and Library, drop it. Now when you cast future Wheels, you just put the discarded cards on your library and redraw them and keep it up until everyone has died. In this case, you may need to do it occasionally to reload your graveyard with the fodder for free Wheels. But if you are drawing 7 to their 14? You'll win quickly.
All right, and there we are! I hope that you had fun looking at some cool combos and synergies from Theros: Beyond Death. Thanks for reading! Anything I missed or anything you want to try out? Just let me know!