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By: dragonmage65, Nick Matthews
Jan 24 2007 1:00am
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Welcome back, folks! I wouldn’t bore you with a predictable introduction, but apparently the egotistical voices in my head are demanding one. So then, I’ve been playing Magic since the Urza Block, and I played MTGO up until about six months ago when I was forced into retirement. I’ve written articles for both MTGO Traders and for The Clan Alliance, and I hope to turn this little writing gig into a regular project. Satisfied?

Well, it seems that the voices aren’t. But they can live with it. Right?

Oh. Never mind. Off to the combos!

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To Infinity…And That’s About It

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It seems that we can’t go three games without running into a storm deck these days. They’re cheap economically, and they tend to win a lot. But that doesn’t stop them from getting boring and annoying pretty quick.

My goal is to top that. Enter this little guy:



Now then, what on earth is the epitome of an aggro deck doing in a combo-oriented column? To answer that, I’ll just beg another question - who said it has to be aggro?

Haakon lets you play Knights from your graveyard - why not abuse that fact with Ashes of the Fallen? With this in play, you can play any creature from your graveyard - and that opens up a lot of interesting possibilities, one of which involves this:

That’s right…an artifact creature with no relevant abilities whatsoever. But it’s not the abilities (or rather, the lack of thereof) that I’m interested in. It’s the little circled zero that’s in the upper-right hand corner.

What that means, for those of you who don’t understand a thing I’m saying, is that I can play it for free - I can play it as many times as I want and never have to tap a land. Great deal eh? But wait: there's more!



           

There we go. Ornithopter’s going to be busy recurring himself in rapid succession for awhile.

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Dead or Alive

Lands (24):

4x Cabal Coffers

20x Swamp

Creatures (16):

4x Haakon, Stromgald Scourge

4x Mindless Automaton

4x Ornithopter

4x Stromgald Crusader

Other (20):

4x Ashes of the Fallen

3x Blasting Station

3x Demonic Collusion

4x Diabolic Tutor

3x Grinding Station

3x Phyrexian Arena

Total: 60 Cards

Sideboard: N/A

Legal In: Extended, Classic, Freeform

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Synopsis:

As we can see here, the main combo is (Haakon, Stromgald Scrouge) + Ashes of the Fallen + Ornithopter + Either Blasting Station or Grinding Station. By setting Ashes of the Fallen to Knight, you can play your Ornithopter from your graveyard for free. Once in play, you can sacrifice it to either station, which sends it back to the graveyard again. Lather, rinse repeat, and you’ll have either infinite damage on the stack or your opponents will find themselves a tad short on cards in their library.

The other cards in the deck are mainly for support. You can use Demonic Collusion and Diabolic Tutor to search for your combo pieces. Phyrexian Arena and Mindless Automaton can also help speed up the process. Stromgald Crusader is there mostly as a back-up option, and Cabal Coffers shouldn’t need an explanation.  

*   *   *

You may have noticed by now that I’ve taking a strong liking to the word infinity. Of course, not all combos I make will be infinite, but I always strive to achieve the title.

I’ll tell you a little something now. This next combo’s infinite, too!

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Walking the High Road

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Nice little card, hmm? Lets you take an extra turn for six mana. Of course, you can also buy it back too…at the steep, steep cost of sacrificing three islands. Really now, how is one to do that?


Well, this lets you play land cards from your graveyard - which is great, except we need a way of doing so three times a turn. Last I checked, you’re limited to playing one land a turn.

But then again, rules are meant for breaking:



Ah! Much better - now we can play three islands a turn from the graveyard. We have a winner, folks!

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Have Another?

Lands (22):

4x Breeding Pool

11x Forest

7x Island

Creatures (15):

3x (Azusa Lost but Seeking)

3x Budoka Gardener

4x Fledgling Mawcor

1x Kamahl, Fist of Krosa

4x Sakura-Tribe Elder

Other (23):

 4x Concentrate

4x Crucible of Worlds

4x Gifts Ungiven

4x Farseek

3x Time of Need

4x Walk the Aeons

Total: 60 Cards

Sideboard: N/A

Legal In: Extended, Classic, Freeform

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Synopsis:

The strategy here is to get both (Azusa Lost but Seeking) and Crucible of Worlds into play. That done, you can start playing Walk the Aeons every turn by recurring the islands you sacrifice for its Buyback cost. However, as you do this, you will be unable to play any more lands beyond what you have in play (since you will use your allotted limit to recur your combo), so it becomes necessary to use cards like Sakura-Tribe Elder and Farseek to ramp up your land count.

With infinite turns at your disposal, there are a number of things you can do. You can go for the slow-and-steady approach by pinging away with Fledgling Mawcor’s. You can also go for the beatdown with Kamahl, Fist of Krosa and a flipped Budoka Gardener. For support cards, you have card advantage in Gifts Ungiven and Harmonize, and you can search up one of your legends with Time of Need. Don’t forget that you can only have one of each legend in play at a time - you wouldn’t want to put down a second Azusa!

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dragonmage65’s Budget Deckbuilding Contest!

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Be sure to check out my Budget Deckbuilding Contest on the Wizards of the Coast MTGO forums. You can find the link here: http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=777280. (You will need to create an account to post and participate if you do not already have one). As with previous contests, the objective is to create a deck focused a specific card that costs just ten tickets or less. While this may seem unreasonable, it simply adds another element to the challenge! This time around, the card is Grinning Totem. The top three finishers in voting will get prizes, and I’ll interview the winner and post the decklist in one of my articles. So get your mind out of neutral and start brainstorming!

Until next time, good luck, and have fun!

-dragonmage65

5 Comments

Cool, but a tune-up could help by Elvish_Dragon (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sat, 01/27/2007 - 00:10
Elvish_Dragon (Unregistered)'s picture

I liked your article, pretty cool. The combos have been mentioned before (www.magicthegathering.com) but I think your takes on them are pretty sweet. A tiny tune up and they could actually be awesome! Thinking of infinite turns at the moment..

Neat ideas... by Dreager_Ex at Fri, 01/26/2007 - 15:25
Dreager_Ex's picture

I like the combos, but they are both something that has been heard of before and really haven't been used due to the major weaknesses mentioned above...

Good writing, work on using the card links better I.E (Azusa, Lost but Seeking) with a comma

by dragonmage65 at Fri, 01/26/2007 - 16:02
dragonmage65's picture

Thanks for the comments folks! You might find that my decklists aren't the best in the world, because I don't have the opportunity to really playtest them. They're really there to build off of, sort of like a launch pad for better decks.

I'll admit that I am a bit of a multiplayer fanatic, and that my playing styles and thinking tend to reflect as such. I'll try a little more to mix more practical one-on-one combos in.

With the Azusa thing - before today it wouldn't work without omitting a comma, but now it seems that it won't work unless there is a comma. Hopefully once Mitch and Heath get the kinks worked out with the site I can get a little more aquainted with the system.

Thanks!
- Nick

Decent... by Mitchy at Fri, 01/26/2007 - 13:21
Mitchy's picture

The combos are alright, alot of weaknesses, and they'd be pretty slow. I can see the Walk the aeons maybe being full combo by 5 turn 5-6, but a naturalize, or a counter, or a critter kill can cripple your combo. Making it pretty weak. Why not throw in some remands for defense?

I like.. by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Fri, 01/26/2007 - 14:48
Anonymous (Unregistered)'s picture

I like the combos myself, Yea the are slow, but I am a big fan of Multiplayer Free for alls. I ussually play 5-15 player card FFA games and Infinit combos are seen a lot. Even the slow combos. So great article for me.