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Power Combo

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Vintage is a crazy format where all manner of things are possible due to the degenerate nature of the enablers. Earlier this year we saw Matt Nass put together a Lich's Mirror combo deck - that alone should speak to the open-ended nature of Vintage. This week, we’re taking a look at another off-the-wall combo deck, this one featuring Krark-Clan Ironworks and Scrap Trawler:


Krark-Clan Ironworks
Anyone familiar with Modern Krark-Clan Ironworks will know exactly what this deck is trying to set up. Krark-Clan Ironworks lets you sacrifice all of your artifacts to generate huge quantities of mana. When you have a Scrap Trawler in play, all of these artifacts rebuy cheaper artifacts. Add to that all of the cantripping artifacts that you’re playing, such as Ichor Wellspring and Chromatic Star, and you’ve got a powerful engine for digging through your deck and generating a ton of mana.

With a Scrap Trawler and Myr Retriever, you can do some voodoo with timing windows for paying costs to go infinite. Declaring that you are casting a spell with mana cost greater than zero allows you to sacrifice both Myr Retriever and Scrap Trawler to Krark-Clan Ironworks at the same time, rather than one after the other. This means that they see one another in the graveyard, and your Scrap Trawler can rebuy Myr Retriever while your Myr Retriever rebuys Scrap Trawler. Oh, and your Myr Retriever also generates a Scrap Trawler trigger, letting you keep net value and keep the chain going.

It’s hard to overstate how busted this Vintage variant is when it gets going. Rather than picking up Mox Opals with Scrap Trawler and Chromatic Star, you can be looping Black Lotus or Mana Crypt. Rather than Ancient Stirrings finding Buried Ruin, you can find Tolarian Academy or Mishra's Workshop. The explosive potential of this deck is absolutely absurd, particularly since you could reasonably play additional artifact-based disruption if it were necessary. You’ve already got Defense Grid in the maindeck, but it’s not unreasonable that this deck could play Grafdigger's Cage, Sphere of Resistance, or other disruptive artifacts - even if they hurt your gameplan - because you can just sacrifice them to Krark-Clan Ironworks before you combo off.

There’s certainly something to be said for including some of the busted Blue cards in this deck. Ancestral Recall, Time Walk, Timetwister, and Tinker all seem like welcome additions, as do Memory Jar, or even just Time Vault and Voltaic Key. That said, the fact that this deck has such an explosive combo plan and the ability to explore some of these additional options is a very exciting place to be in Vintage.