Hello folks and welcome back! I hope you had a fun weekend!
Have you ever looked over the reviews of a freshly spoiled set and you saw something that your friends weren't seeing? Are they clamoring about the awesome Commander and multiplayer staples while you are seeing something different? Or vice versa?
What was your response when you first viewed the Battlebond visual spoiler? Unlike many others, my initial impression wasn't that this was Commander Masters or anything like that. Nope!
It was, "Look at all of these combos!"
Today I want to show you some of the cool combos that were firing in my head!
Let's begin with Grothama!
Grothama's Pandemonium -- Casual | Abe Sargent
- Instants (2)
- 2 Comet Storm
- Artifacts (4)
- 4 Mox Diamond
This deck wants to cast Pandemonium on turn four (unless sped up by mana accelerants to turn two or 3) and then on the following turn drop Grothama, All-Devouring. When Grothama arrives on the battlefield, you may have it deal damage equal to its power to any target out there. You'll want to shoot itself for ten damage, which draws you ten cards. That'll start the card-drawing process:
This should finish it. It will let you exile stuff from your hand at a big, giant clip. You can discard three more cards to make enough mana to cast another Grothama that you likely drew and then draw another ten cards. How many Grothamas do you have? If you have two, you can cast both and shoot your foe for 20 damage. You can also cast Exsanguinate and kill everyone at the board (if you are playing multiplayer) or Comet Storm.
Note for mana we are running Mox Diamond, to speed you up and make the right color of mana, as well as Birds of Paradise and Wall of Roots. Wall of Roots is ideal. It's an early blocker on turn two that you can turn into a 3rd turn Pandemonium and 4th turn Grothama or Cad. Bloom.
Isn't that sick? Yup!
This is Stadium Vendors:
It reminds me of a card like Priest of Urabrask or Priest of Gix. These are 3-drop 2/1s that make three mana of their color on arrival at the battlefield, essentially making them free. That free-ness is something that is used and abused often.
What makes Stadium Vendors different is that it's not truly free. You spend a net of two mana to cast them. But unlike the other stuff, you get any color of mana you want. Plus, following in the theme of the set, it can also be given to another to make the mana needed. I wish they had flash! Then you could help your ally in their turn as well!
Are you familiar with Urza's Incubator?
All you have to do is roll call "Goblin" and then your Stadium Vendors will now cost two mana each, and make 2 mana on arrival. That's a free dork.
Plus, while you are reducing the cost of your Goblins here, you might as well take advantage of that, and have a mana sink as well, right?
Goblins for Free -- Casual | Abe Sargent
- Creatures (28)
- 2 Beetleback Chief
- 2 Goblin Marshal
- 2 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
- 2 Krenko, Mob Boss
- 4 Goblin Warchief
- 4 Murderous Redcap
- 4 Siege-Gang Commander
- 4 Skirk Prospector
- 4 Stadium Vendors
Everything in here makes sense. You can sacrifice your Goblins to Skirk Prospector for a bunch of mana to jumpstart your engine. You have removal with the burn on Murderous Redcap. Kiki-Jiki is both a Goblin to pump and a way to make more tokens as you copy Beetleback Chief or Goblin Marshal or Siege-Gang Commander for more tokens. You can also layer removal by copying the Redcap and such. It all seems harmless Goblin fun.
It synergizes as a normal Goblin deck . . .
And then you combo out and win the game:
Consider Cloudstone Curio in this deck. Whenever a dork enters the battlefield under your control, you can bounce another dork of yours to your hand. For example, you could cast Beetleback Chief, and then when it makes those tokens, those tokens, (and the Chief itself by the way) will create three triggers off the Curio. The Chief can't bounce itself (The Curio uses the word "another" permanent to illustrate that you cannot self-bounce) but one of the Goblin tokens certainly could. So you could spend 4 mana for two 1/1 tokens and leave the Chief in your hand.
The Curio works in the deck already. Tap Krenko and make tokens, and then bounce anything you want and recast it. Tap Kiki-Jiki and make a token, and continue this theme.
But this deck can make any amount of any color of mana with two Stadium Vendors. With one in play, cast the other. When it arrives, you get two mana and can bounce the other. Repeat, making one mana each time! You can also use these iterations to bounce something else every few loops and then recast it.
And you could do this with Murderous Redcap to burn and kill someone instead.
This way the combo of the Curio is also your kill spell to use your extra mana on, and you don't need to add another route with mana (although you can make a ton of Goblins, and then sac them to Siege-Gang Commander).
And there's your deck!
How about another deck in another color that makes infinite mana in a similar way?
This is Bramble Sovereign. It's got a strong board presence as a 4/4 for four mana that also can take over the battlefield. Note that you can use Bramble Sovereign to give friends or allies copies of stuff they just brought to the battlefield. But that's not what I want to use it for.
For two mana, I can copy anything that just came to the battlefield. Consider the card mentioned above, Priest of Gix. Cast it for three, it arrives and makes three mana. Spend two mana, make a token. You now have two 2/1 dorks, and have spent and made .
That ain't bad, right?
Even if the card you are copying has no other creature types out there under your control, you'll make a mana. One for the first dork, and then two for the copy.
So let's do a Human version of the previous deck that uses Mana Echoes to help explode stuff.
Echoing Sovereigns -- Casual | Abe Sargent
- Creatures (30)
- 2 Borderland Ranger
- 2 Dire Fleet Daredevil
- 2 Eternal Witness
- 2 Vithian Renegades
- 2 Zealous Conscripts
- 4 Bramble Sovereign
- 4 Burning-Tree Emissary
- 4 Hidden Herbalists
- 4 Jade Mage
- 4 Priest of Urabrask
Take a look at Burning-Tree Emissary.
Even without Mana Echoes, this is a free extra 2/2 dork with the Dryad out. Spend 2 mana. It arrives, you use the mana to make another, and then you have two dorks out now. Good stuff, right? And with the Mana Echoes, your double Human triggers are going to add to your mana production.
The goal of this deck is to make a ton of Humans and mana, and then win with a quick and overpowering board position or a ton of Saproling tokens make by Jade Mage.
I thought about adding in Skyshroud Elf:
The ability to turn any mana into Green would let your mana hit the various triggers effects perfectly, add stuff like Priest of Urabrask could make six Green mana or half and half or whatever. But as an Elf, I didn't want to slow down the Human craziness. After playing with the deck, this may be deemed vital.
Anyways, this is another in the line of "Crazy Combos!" that Battlebond evokes in me.
How about one more?
I think Workhorse is underappreciated as a true force of combo loving. I mean, at first it may not seem like it. You spend six mana for a 0/0 artifact dork that features a quartet of +1/+1 counters that you can pull off for one colorless mana each. At least Rasputin Dreamweaver is nice enough to pull off seven counters for 6 mana, netting you 1 mana for the privilege. Thanks Rasputin!
But consider them in a package designed around. Say . . .
Are there easy ways to do so? Krosan Drover decreases the cost of dorks with costs six or more by two. But it's Green. Planar Gate costs six mana but works. I can find a bunch of one cost reductions such as Jhoira's Familiar or Foundry Inspector. Mycosynth Golem? Stone Calendar? The Immortal Sun?
Workhorse Forever -- Casual | Abe Sargent
- Creatures (26)
- 1 Avacyn, Angel of Hope
- 2 Arcbound Crusher
- 2 Hangarback Walker
- 2 Rasputin Dreamweaver
- 2 Soul of New Phyrexia
- 2 Walking Ballista
- 3 Triskelion
- 4 Jhoira's Familiar
- 4 Mycosynth Golem
- 4 Workhorse
The goal of this deck is to cast and recast Workhorse for a net mana gain, and then do something spectacular with the colorless mana you make. You could cast and recast Triskelion using the same engine, and then shoot and kill everyone at the table. Make countless Myr tokens with Myr Matrix. Make a 5000/5000 trampling Arcbound Crusher. Hangarback Walker? Walking Ballista? You've got this!
And that's another deck that can break tables and people's life totals from cards directly inspired from Battlebond!
I think four decks is a good place to call it, right? I'm sure you feel the same. I hope you enjoyed this little trek through combo decks inspired by cards from Battlebond. Anything in here that resonated with you? Any tricks you want to give a whirl?