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Top Ten Cool Combos from Core Set 2020


Hello! I hope you are having a fun day today. Today I'd like to take a look-see at some fun combos inspired by cards from our latest set, Core Set 2020. While I will limit myself to some Standard combos in some places for folks who care, for the most part, we'll be digging a lot deeper.

I am also going to try and avoid combos that are already out there and causing prices to spike, like Colossus Hammer and Sigarda's Aid or Lotus Field and Blood Sun.

Colossus Hammer
Sigarda's Aid
Lotus Field
Blood Sun

I am Crazy Combo Abe, and I want to take a look-see at some cool combos that triggered my Abe'dar. Ready?

Let's do it!

Honorable Mention #1 - Scheming Symmetry and Cards that Reveal the Top Card for an Effect

Scheming Symmetry
Call of the Wild
Aid from the Cowl
Proteus Staff
Madcap Experiment
Impromptu Raid

I mentioned this in a previous article, so I am dropping this to honorable mention, but I do enjoy the value of cards like Call of the Wild and others. Call of the Wild is my favorite as you can drop the biggest and nastiest dork in your deck for free without any counters, but Aid from the Cowl will drop the biggest anything so long as it's a permanent. Like Omniscience.

Erratic Explosion
Baneful Omen
Sorin, Grim Nemesis

Note that there is a nasty combo here with bigger things like Draco and something that looks at casting cost, such as Augury Adept, Baneful Omen, or Erratic Explosion. My favorite though is the +1 on Sorin, Grim Nemesis. You get your card from Scheming Symmetry long before another will, and you are forcing your foes to lose life for that card too.

Bonus Combo Honorable Mention #1a - Scheming Symmetry and Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign

Scheming Symmetry
Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign

In Commander, if you run Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign as your leader, you can cast the Symmetry, swing, and then reveal it, and it's cost was odd, then you can cast it immediately for free. I'm sure you can find as strong card for free, like Darksteel Colossus.

Honorable Mention #2 - Blightbeetle and Aku Djinn

Aku Djinn

This is a deep, deep combo for you. Enjoy. Blightbeetle is a wonderful 2-drop that will shut down any +1/+1 counter hijinks your foes may seek to unfurl on you. It's already useful. But the Aku Djinn is also a fun tag-team partner, as it's a fine on-curve 5/6 trampler that wants to punish you by helping your foes, only the Beetle won't let it do its thang. Aku Djinn away my friends, Aku Djinn away.

10. Vilis, Broker of Blood and Vhati il-Dal

Vilis, Broker of Blood
Vhati il-Dal

Let's begin our list proper by starting in the waaaay back machine! If you tap Vhati, you can drop a dork's toughness to one. Which means that Vilis can be used without tapping to kill it instantly while drawing two cards and losing two life. That's a strong duo of power at the kitchen table.

9. Glint-Horn Buccaneer and The Flame of Keld

Glint-Horn Buccaneer
The Flame of Keld

Here's a fun Standard combo for you. The Flame of Keld wants to discard your hand and then will later draw cards and such, while the Buccaneer wants to see massive discarding on your part. If you cast the Buccaneer and then follow by casting the Flame that turn or the next, then your foe is about to take a ton of damage and note that the III option will have your Buccaneer dole out three damage per card discarded, thus helping to kill much faster with your Buccaneer.

Bonus Combo #9a. Glint-Horn Buccaneer and Tectonic Reformation

Glint-Horn Buccaneer
Tectonic Reformation

This may just be Modern legal, as Tectonic Reformation was printed in Modern Horizons, but cycling your lands for r each? That's a fast kill with the Buccaneer in play.

Bonus Combo #9b. Glint-Horn Buccaneer and Cycling Enablers

Glint-Horn Buccaneer
Lightning Rift
Astral Slide
Drake Haven
Curator of Mysteries
Archfiend of Ifnir

Most people will see and gravitate toward draw 7s with this card like Wheel of Fortune and that's fine. But cycling will also work quite well, as a backup Lightning Rift that doesn't cost mana to trigger, can't hit dorks, but hits all players. There are loads of options here for decks from Ifnir Control to the Drake Maker. Enjoy the many shells of Minotaur Pirates!

8. Blood for Bones and Hasted Game Winners

Blood for Bones
Ball Lightning
Lightning Skelemental

Blood for Bones is basically a better and cleaner Victimize. Victimize sacrificed one creature to bring back two, and it just cost three mana, but the two creatures you recurred came back tapped. Here you spend another mana, but they can block, and attack with haste. And that haste is what I want to focus on. Consider a creature like Ball Lightning or Lightning Skelemental. They are likely to be in the graveyard by turn four, and you'll want to bring it back. The Skelemental is particularly appealing, right?

Black Cat
Orzhov Enforcer

You could run a sacrificial target like Black Cat or Orzhov Enforcer that are strong at holding their own as no one wants to attack into them. You could also run 1-drops like Stitcher's Suppliers or Blood Pet in such a build. Enjoy it!

7. Gruesome Scourger and Army of the Damned

Gruesome Scourger
Army of the Damned

Clearly there are a number of shells out there that the Scourger will deal enough damage to really punch someone in the face for potentially lethal damage. Some of those will be require some mana, like Army of the Damned, or a kicked Josu Vess, Lich Knight. This is at least feasible, and it's in color to boot. Also, in the correct builds, you could use Master of Waves or Springjack Shepherd or something like Rite of Belzenlok or Sengir Autocrat to make a big ol' passel of dorks for four or fewer mana so at least one has arrived when the Scourger is online.

Bonus Combo #7a. Gruesome Scourger and Prossh, Skyraider of Kher

Gruesome Scourger
Prossh, Skyraider of Kher

In Commander, he is amazing in a Prossh, Skyraider of Kher build. Just so we are on the same page. He abuses a fat Avenger of Zendikar as well.

Bonus Combo #7b. Gruesome Scourger and Carrion

Gruesome Scourger
Phyrexian Soulgorger
Phyrexian Dreadnought

This is my favorite combo. You can sacrifice any big dork for a ton of tokens, and then just blow someone out of the game with your damage. I really like this with cheap creatures that have a huge power, but cannot do anything on the battlefield for a while, such as Phyrexian Soulgorger. You could also cast the Dreadnaught, and then when it's ability is on the stacks sacrifice it for 12 dorks to Carrion. If you dipped into Red, you have loads of options, like Nova Chaser. Enjoy!

6. Retributive Wand and Tawnos, Urza's Apprentice

Retributive Wand
Tawnos, Urza's Apprentice

The goal of this combo is to abuse the breaking of your Wand. I like it with Strionic Resonator as well. Just one Wand and one fork effect from Tawnos or a Resonator will deal 10 damage to someone's face. Two forks? 15 damage, and many people will likely die. Wands breaking for the win! Top five time now!

5. Pattern Matcher and Creatures with Grandeur

Pattern Matcher
Linessa, Zephyr Mage
Korlash, Heir to Blackblade
Baru, Fist of Krosa

The problem with good creatures with the grandeur ability is that it's hard to use them. You must not only draw and cast the initial creature with grandeur, but then you also need to find another copy or hope you draw one naturally. Well enter Pattern Matcher, who can fetch a copy of your grandeur creature on arrival, and put it into your hand, all ready for the discarding triggers, which you can do immediately. It brings a strong opportunity to push the ability, and due to its colorless nature, can be easily tied into the various builds.

BonusCombo #5a - Blankman

Pattern Matcher

If your group runs silver-bordered cards, then the Shapeshifter known colloquially as "Blankman" will be something you can fetch up for free with Pattern Matcher. Also, while it's on the battlefield, you can Pattern Matcher into any creature in your deck too, by the by.

Bonus Combo #5b - Spy Kit

Pattern Matcher
Spy Kit

If you have a Spy Kit on a creature you control, then Pattern Matcher can fetch up anything that's not a legendary dork from your deck, which adds a massive element of flexibility to your build. Note that this trick also works in Commander and it is color identity free, so you could add it into any deck.

4. Unholy Indenture and any Persist Creature

Unholy Indenture
Twilight Shepherd

Unholy Indenture isn't any different than most of the similar Auras out there in Black or Blue, such as Shade's Form or False Demise. However, what separates it is it's +1/+1 counter giving after it dies. Remember that +1/+1 counters and -1/-1 counters will always cancel each other out. Thus, a creature like Twilight Shepherd will remain counter free if you enchanted it with Unholy Indenture and then it dies. The main issue here is that you lose the Indenture, although that's not bad right there, and you could call it. However, if you had a way to recur your Indenture repeatability, then you could push the deck into combo-kill territory. That leaves a few possibilities.

Sun Titan

Sun Titan is the obvious one to my mind. If you could give it persist, and then enchant it with the Indenture, then they would both come back, and you could keep on going. Something like Antler Skulkin or Cauldron of Souls suggests itself. I'm sure that you could come up with something that'd work moving forward.

3. Masterful Replication and Memory Jar

Masterful Replication
Memory Jar

Cast Memory Jar for five mana, and then the next turn, drop the Replication of the Masterful and turn all your artifacts into Memory Jars. Get ready to break the game open. You can pop a Jar for seven new cards and then just keep on going and going and going. You can power out cards with low or no costs, and at the end, if you had just three artifacts (say an artifact land, a mana rock, and a Silver Myr) then your four Jars will have dug TWENTY-EIGHT CARDS DEEP that turn, and while it was your main turn, so you cast them all (in theory), your foes could only cast instants and cards with flash. In any game where you have that many cards, you can set up wins easily from there. Megrim? Psychosis Crawler? You can find many cards out there to break the game and win there and then, even without going off with storms and massive card advantage. These two cards alone create massive synergy that can win the game from multiple angles. Enjoy.

2. Bag of Holding and Either #3 or #9 Above

Bag of Holding
Glint-Horn Buccaneer
Memory Jar

As a fun colorless 1-drop, Bag of Holding can take your discarded cards, put them on the Bag, and then you can sacrifice the Bag at a later point in time, and then through them into hand. It works with the mass-discard synergies we explored in #9 to gain a massive amount of card advantage, or it breaks the above combo even further. All the cards you discard to Memory Jars? What if you could put them all back into your hand? I know, have mercy. Plus, as an artifact, it slides into the deck and its shell already. It loves Draw 7s a-go-go, from Windfall to Wheel of Fortune. (Also, shout out to #5 as you can return your discarded grandeur body to use it again).

Secret Combo #2a. Bag of Holding and Mindslicer

Bag of Holding
Thought Gorger

As a general rule, I find that Mindslicer is a gamble. When you drop it, you begin to play a game of chicken. You attack, with a hand into someone with a hand. Will they block and kill it? Or let it through? Do they value their known hand more than your unknown one? And vice versa? However if my hand is just going under a Bag of Holding and then popping right back while all of my foes are discarding? Well that's essentially a power play. Shoot, if you add in a self-sacrifice option, you could Mind Twist the table and then set up a later nasty draw. Shout out to Thought Gorger too, by the by.

1. Mystic Forge and the Eldari Enablers of Matter Reshaper and Conduit of Ruin

Mystic Forge
Matter Reshaper
Conduit of Ruin

These two play wonderfully with the various vistas that Mystic Forge enables. The Conduit of Ruin can put something on your deck to cast, and with the reduction in cost, will help you do so. You can check to ensure that something is playable on top of your deck with Matter Reshaper.

Bonus Combo #1a. Mystic Forge and Muzzio, Visionary Architect

Mystic Forge
Muzzio, Visionary Architect

This is a fun card for Commander. Should Muzzio be your leader, with just the Mystic Forge as a 4-drop, you will know when to dip and tap it and put something strong onto the battlefield.

And there we go; whew! That's a lot of combos and synergies. Anything in here inspire your deck-building? Anything I missed? Just let me know!