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Fiddly Alaundo Combo


I was pondering Jason Alt's recent column on Neera, Wild Mage, and it reminded how much I love wacky combos. (Go read his column, if you can. It's hilarious and the combo is wonderfully ridiculous.) His deck focused on stealing your opponents' spells. I was thinking it'd be fun to play a deck where I get to cast... well, how about my entire deck?

Alaundo the Seer

Let's get some rules stuff out of the way. Alaundo puts Time counters on the spells it Exiles. With Vanishing and Suspend, Time counters go away at a rate of one per turn. However, these particular Time counters don't. They can only be removed with Alaundo's ability. On average, that means we can remove the counters at the rate of one per turn, since we have to tap Alaundo in order to remove one.

However, we remove a counter every time we tap him for his ability, so if we can tap him more than once per turn, we can remove multiple counters. And because we draw a card every time we tap him, we keep the cards flowing to our hand, which gives us more cards to Exile with Time counters and ticks down the number of counters, meaning we can draw as many cards as we can untap him. Hm.

Freed from the Real

In true vintage Jason Alt fashion, the answer is an Enchantment. If we stick Freed from the Real on Alaundo, we can untap him as many times as we have {U}. That could be a lot, but I want more than a lot. I want it all.

Kiora's Follower
Gift of Paradise

Okay, this ought to do it. If we put Freed from the Real on Kiora's Follower, we can use the Follower to untap a land Enchanted with Gift of Paradise. We use that to make uu, then we use u to untap the Follower, and wind up with an extra u in our mana pool. We can then make a million u (we won't need that many) and use the Follower to untap Alaundo and draw our entire deck, putting Time counters on any spells we wish and ticking them down every round, ultimately casting nearly our entire deck. I think we can win from there.

Alaundo Combo | Commander | Mark Wischkaemper

We're in good colors to not run any tutors, but our deck is pointed at exactly one thing: achieving the combo. We could tutor in Green to get Creatures, but Kiora's Follower is our only target and I think we can do it another way. Blue doesn't let us hunt for Enchantments, and we'll definitely need a couple of those. So, we're going to Scry and draw our way into our combo, and attempt to stay alive through politicking and Counterspell.

It's good we don't have just one way to do anything. Our ramp is all Aura-based, and we have several which allow us to tap our lands for more than one mana. Play those early and often; we have a bunch of them, and they'll be helpful at every step. It's possible we'll have a turn or two with Alaundo out where we haven't assembled our combo yet, and the more mana we have the better.

We have multiple Kiora's Followers. They are, specifically: Fatestitcher (who can be Unearthed to pull off the combo, for what it's worth), Kelpie Guide, Vizier of Tumbling Sands, and Kiora's Follower. We'll need one of these, and ideally we'll only have one out at any given time. Scry aggressively for one of these four Creatures.

We also have multiple untap abilities. They are, specifically: Freed from the Real, Pemmin's Aura, Crab Umbra, and Sword of the Paruns. The first two are ideal; we can go infinite with any of our Land Auras with the first two. Crab Umbra and Sword of the Paruns both require three mana to untap, which means we will either run out of mana or we have to get Dawn's Reflection on a land which already has a Grafted Growth on it. (If it already taps for two, Dawn's Reflection adds an additional two, which means we'd get four mana out of the land. That'll net us one, which goes infinite.) That's fragile, and we're a lot more likely to draw into one of our other two first, but if it works, go for it!

There are a few more things to consider. We need to win the game, we need to find our combo pieces, and we need to protect our combo. Let's start with protection.

We have a slate of Counterspells (including the granddaddy, Counterspell). These are mostly to protect the combo. We want to hold them for when we attempt to go off so we can't be disrupted by something along the way. When we're ready to go off, hold that counter so someone can't stop you. We have enough of them we can use one to keep ourselves alive as we're assembling the combo, like stopping a particularly problematic Wrath of God or preventing someone from playing Craterhoof Behemoth and winning, but mostly we want to hold them.

We're going to dig by Scrying as much as possible. We've mostly got cards like Preordain and Foresee to do just this; we want to dig and dig and dig looking for the pieces we need. Other things may look like fun, but be disciplined about it and put everything you don't need for the combo on the bottom. We'll be drawing off these spells anyway, as well as Alaundo, so we'll have a couple of counters and we'll wind up with plenty of land to play. Dig for those combo pieces.

Finally, oh yeah, we have to win. The first way is to stick Hermetic Study or Psionic Gift on one of our Creatures. Once we've gone infinite, we can untap the Creature with the Aura on it and do one damage over and over until everyone is dead. (Be careful not to put it on Kiora's Follower, though, since it can't untap itself.)

The second way is to put Presence of Gond, Squirrel Nest, or Spawning Grounds on one of our Lands. We can then use our untapper to untap it and create infinite Creatures. We then can play out Akroma's Memorial to give them all Haste and swing for the win. We can also use Myr Turbine or Summoning Station here, and with infinite mana, we can use Leafdrake Roost. Remember we can use Alaundo to put Akroma's Memorial into play for free; same with Summoning Station. (They also work great with Interpret the Signs.)

It's possible we have too many win conditions; more draw and card selection may be better, since we really only need one pinging Aura and one Creature-making thing. If I found the deck struggling to find its pieces, those would be the first places I'd make cuts; reduce down to just Hermetic Study and Summoning Station (or something) and put in more draw/Scry cards. It's also worth noting something like Thalia, Heretic Cathar can cause trouble for us, so it might be worth finding some space for a couple of bounce spells, just for the turn we go off.

The other thing to consider is Alaundo is great all on his own. That's a powerful ability which puts cards in your hand every turn. Rather than go all-in on the combo, one could include Kiora's Follower, Freed from the Real, and Spawning Grounds only, since all three of those would be great in the deck without the combo.

What do you think? How would you build Alaundo? Straight combo or something else? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for reading.

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