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Ooze Staircase


Miming Slime
I would be cool if there were infinite ways to go infinite in Magic.

Instead, there are just a whole lot. As an explorer of combos, it would be possible to consistently rely on a single engine or engine style for fueling crazy shenanigans—but that would grow stale. Instead, I try to search out different methods for infinite resources and then build a game plan around each. Or, conversely and more frequently, I figure out what game experience I want to create and then craft an engine that fits the needs and themes of my goals.

For this week, I want to infinitely cast Miming Slime, creating a potentially infinite chain of creatures such that the power and toughness of each is 1 higher than the previous, making a veritable staircase of creature tokens.

Miming Slime is decidedly Simic, and I expected I’ll be using one or more evolve creatures as well, so I’ll try to keep this G/U.

Infinite Ghosting

To pull this off, I’ll need to make sure every time I cast Miming Slime, I have a creature with 1 power higher than the previous time I cast it. And while Cathars' Crusade or the like would suffice, why not just roll with evolve? By using a creature such as Shambleshark or Battering Krasis—which have evolve and higher power than toughness—as a base, Miming Slime can always be on the rise.

For example, if we Miming Slime while we control a 2/1 Shambleshark, we’ll make a 2/2 Ooze and evolve the Shambleshark into a 3/2. Thus, next time we Miming Slime, we’ll make a 3/3 and make the Shambleshark a 4/3.

With the staircase problem solved, we need to ensure our deck has the ability to cast an endless stream of Slimes. I’d be hard-pressed to figure a way to do this without infinite mana, so we’ll want to pick a method for that. In addition, we’ll need to repeatedly bring back the green sorcery—otherwise, how will we cast it again? Reiterate is my usual go-to card for repeatedly casting the same spell with infinite mana, but we’re in Simic today, and we’re trying to explore.

Archaeomancer solves our recursion problems and our mana problems as long as we put a little work into it. Here’s a scenario, though of course it will require a bit of setup in game:

Early Harvest

  1. Control seven basic lands.
  2. Cast Early Harvest and float 4 mana.
  3. Cast Archaeomancer, return Early Harvest, and have seven untapped lands.
  4. Cast Early Harvest and float 4 mana.
  5. Cast Archaeomancer, return Early Harvest, and have seven untapped lands.
  6. Cast Early Harvest and float 4 mana.
  7. Cast Ghostly Flicker targeting both Archaeomancers, and have seven untapped lands and 1 mana.
  8. Return Early Harvest and Ghostly Flicker.
  9. Cast Early Harvest and float 5 mana.
  10. Cast Ghostly Flicker targeting both Archaeomancers, and have seven untapped lands and 2 mana.
  11. Repeat Steps 8 through 10, gaining additional mana each time.

Infinite Slime

Ghostly Flicker
By repeating that a bunch of times—at instant speed I might add—we can make as much mana as we want. If, for example, we repeat this process six million times, we can then insert Miming Slime into the rotation in the place of Early Harvest and make a million Oozes. If we have a Shambleshark, each Ooze will be 1 power and toughness larger than the last while also making the Shambleshark bigger and bigger. And if it’s a Battering Krasis instead, it has trample.

If we didn’t have a higher-powered evolve creature and/or a Miming Slime, we can generate, for example, 120 mana and then Ghostly Flicker just one Archaeomancer and a Fathom Mage repeatedly, returning the Ghostly Flicker and drawing a card each time for forty cards’ worth of our library. (Multiply the number of cards you want to draw by 3—Ghostly Flicker’s converted mana cost—to determine the amount of mana you’ll need to perform that loop.) I guess that means we’ll need at least one Fathom Mage.

Infinite Cloning

Progenitor Mimic
In order to create some redundancy for the Archaeomancers (I guess we could play Scrivener, but that doesn’t work with Miming Slime, and Izzet Chronarch is . . . well . . . Izzet), I thought some Clones would be nice. Now, the sequence won’t work with one Clone and one Archaeomancer, as the Clone won’t be able to copy the Archaeomancer as they both return from a Ghostly Flicker, but if you were to have two Clones and an Archaeomancer, you could Flicker the Clones and have them return as Archaeomancers, and that would work just fine. As an upside, you could be Cloning other things—for example your opponents’ stuff so you can be blocking and surviving into the midgame—and then Ghostly Flicker, have the Clones return as Archaeomancers instead of whatever they were before, and combo out of nowhere.

And all this talk of Cloning and Flickering reminded me of a weird combo with Progenitor Mimic. Reader Raymond Holley e-mailed me a month or so ago with a version of the combo in which he really went all-in and used cards such as Cryptoplasm and even Doubling Season. In addition, a relatively recent episode of JudgeCast discussed the topic.

Basically, let’s say you have a Progenitor Mimic copying a Bear Cub, and you copy that Progenitor Mimic with another Progenitor Mimic. You now have a Bear Cub with two separate abilities that will trigger during your upkeep. Thus, the first Progenitor Mimic will make a Bear Cub token, and the second Progenitor Mimic will make two Bear Cub tokens, for a total of three. But that’s not the combo.

Now imagine you Cloudshift (or Ghostly Flicker) the first Progenitor Mimic and have it return as a copy of the second Progenitor Mimic. In doing so, it has picked up an additional instance of the trigger, and on your next upkeep, it will create three Bear Cub tokens (in addition to the two Bear Cub tokens created by the second Progenitor Mimic). If you then Cloudshift the second Mimic and have it return as a copy of the first (third?), it will have a fourth trigger. By flickering back and forth, alternating each time which Mimic copies the other, they will pick up additional instances of the trigger each time—to the point that, during your upkeep, you could potentially create an unbounded number of Bear Cub tokens . . . or whatever creature they were copying.

Seeing as we’ve already given ourselves the power to infinitely flicker stuff, it seems silly to not include at least a couple Progenitor Mimics. Note that the trick can also be pulled off with a single Progenitor Mimic and a different Clone, though they will pick up the triggered abilities at a slower pace. But with infinite iterations, the slower pace is inconsequential.

The Whole Shebang

Rounding out the deck, I couldn’t resist Wild Pair. It lets Archaeomancer search up Shambleshark or vice versa, and it can even let you sacrifice your Clone (let it just be a 0/0) to search up a Progenitor Mimic ( . . . or vice versa?). Fathom Mages can search up sisters, and if you happen to Clone something with total power and toughness equal to 2 or 3, you can search up something handy. (Copying your opponent’s Char-Rumbler will let you find a Fathom Mage.)

Another cute trick is Doubling Chant. If you have one Archaeomancer, Doubling Chant will find you another, and if you return it to your hand with the Human Wizard’s superpower, you’ll even be able to search up the other two. Just remember that a Clone copies the name of whatever it’s imitating.

Fiddling (a Nonmusical Metaphor)

If you want to block more while also having the option of unblockability, Elusive Krasis fits the theme of the deck without necessarily fitting the mechanics (though an infinite staircase of Oozes will make it quite large). If you’re worried about opponents killing all your stuff before you can fully abuse it, Creeping Renaissance and Praetor's Counsel are my go-to mass-recursion spells of choice, and if you just want to copy stuff from the graveyard, Body Double is a neat Clone variant that can let you reuse dead Archaeomancers (but don’t try the Progenitor Mimic trick with it).

Well, that’s about it. I hope you enjoy staircases of Oozes. Just don’t slip.

Andrew Wilson


fissionessence at hotmail dot com

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