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By: jcf, Jose Freitas
Apr 19 2021 12:00pm

 I have to admit, I am a bit addicted to drafting Time Spiral Remastered. The format feels awesome to me: good balance among colors, great balance between synergistic versus impactful cards.

Bombs are bombs, but they can be dealt with. There aren't many bombs that simply win games and there is nothing you can do about it. 

Overall, feels like a format full of possibilities with a small dose of unpredictability because of the timeshifted cards. I am loving it.

The format is also full of small combos and interactions, in fact there are so many that it is hard to keep up.

Today I would like to bring a couple combos that either took me a while to find about (sometimes seeing them on the other side of the table) or that I believe to be off the radar for many players.

They aren't necessarily the most powerful combos in the format, but they do come up, and it is a good thing to keep those in mind while drafting, they are not bad options given an open path.

1 - Primal Forcemage + Nantuko Shaman:

Primal Forcemage likes creatures with flash and loves creatures with haste. The classic combination is Uktabi Drake and Deepcavern Imp: the combination of haste and evasion deliver some robust blows to opponents sometimes.

But let's not forget suspend creatures also have haste, my favorite is definitely Nantuko Shaman, not only does it benefits from Primal Forcemage's bonus, it also gives some value back. Of course, the evasive suspend cards, like Giant Dustwasp, Knight of Sursi and Corpulent Corpse (among others) are worth mentioning!  

2 - Muraganda Petroglyphs + Empty the Warrens + Mogg War Marshal:

Muraganda Petroglyphs

Muraganda Petroglyphs - while a rare - is a card that isn't very hard to pick up. There is a problem with that card: there aren't that many creatures without abilities in the format. 

The best option available is probably Gruul Goblins: Mogg War Marshal has the potential to generate two tokens and it is not very hard to generate at least four tokens with Empty the Warrens. I never actually drafted this deck, but I had to face it on the other side of the table and it was quite effective!

If you manage to draft this archetype, Thallid tokens, Haze of Rage and Strength in Numbers are also welcome.

3 - Crookclaw Transmuter + Saltfield Recluse:

Saltfield Recluse is often included in most rebel decks that can grab one copy. It is a pretty nice tool to fetch with Amrou Scout and it makes combat tricky for your opponents.

If you happen to be playing Azorius rebels, Crookclaw Transmuter is an interesting option. The card itself is not bad, it acts as a little combat trick sometimes or even saves one of your soldiers from a damage spell once in a while. 

If you happen to have Saltfield Recluse in play, Crookclaw Transmuter can become a small removal spell attached to a body. It will kill any creature with power two or less.

Keep in mind that Crookclaw Transmuter is also capable of snap killing some zero or less power creatures in the format, like Bonded Fetch.

Yes we have a -1 power creature in this format, as weird as it sounds: Char-Rumbler. As long as opponent doesn't have two red mana to pump its power to one, Crookclaw Transmuter will very much kill it. Very situational but it is a perk.

A -1 power creature... in red! Could it get more weird? 


4 - Grinning Ignus + Empty the Warrens + Grapeshot:

Grinning Ignus

I used to think Grinning Ignus had no point in this pool. There aren't many cards I was interested in ramping into and I felt like there were better options for three mana, like Skirk Shaman.

But then I saw the light - or the blow, should I say. My opponent kept bouncing Grinning Ignus and playing it again, increasing storm count for a gigantic Grapeshot.

Each interaction will cost one red mana after you bounce it and play it again. If you have - as an example - four untapped mountains and Grinning Ignus in play, you will be able to cast it three times increasing your storm count by three and bouncing it finally to end up with 2R in the mana pool. That would allow Grapeshot to deal four damage distributed as you wish as early as turn four. The cool part is that Grinning Ignus will still be available to enable more storm spells later in the game if necessary.

5 - Blightspeaker + Deepcavern Imp + Big Game Hunter:

When we think about rebels in TSR, the color white immediately comes to mind, or at the very least Orzhov. But black - while doesn't have as many rebels as white - actually has some interesting interactions with this mechanic. It is quite possible to mix a couple rebels inside a madness themed list.

Blightspeaker is capable of bringing both Deepcavern Imp and Big Game Hunter directly into play. Both are solid inclusions in a madness deck based around black. Deepcavern Imp - especially - acts as an important enabler and will often work better if brought to play at the end of opponent's turn, because with madness decks you often want to discard cards.

This intersection among rebels and madness allows us to build around both of the coolest mechanics in this limited environment.

6 - Judge Unworthy + Ivory Giant:

Is Judge Unworthy a combat trick or a removal spell? Sadly I don't have the answer for that one.

I like Judge Unworthy tho, I think it is a solid piece of removal actually and it should see a bit more play than it does in my opinion.

The problem with that card is that it doesn't fit well in decks with a very high land count and it is also not that effective in decks with a lot of low costed spells. 

Luckly for our gameplan, that card really shines together with another mechanic very present in the white pool: Suspend.

Suspend allows us to have a lot of relatively high costed cards inside our deck while not necessarily using a very high land count in our deck. This works specially well if you are heavy white or even monowhite. Cards like: Duskrider Peregrine, Ivory Giant, Knight of Sursi and Shade of Trokair are great examples.

So, next time you manage to draft a good old white weenie deck, I say grab those Judge Unworthy and don't be shy on the suspend creatures, they are pretty solid!

7 - Tolarian Sentinel + Reality Acid:

Tolarian Sentinel alone isn't the most exciting card to me. Four mana for a 1/3 flyer feels a bit slow in this format.

Reality Acid isn't also among my favorites. Taking that long to deal with a problematic permanent on the other side could mean you are dead before they have to sacrifice it.

So, Reality Acid probably needs some set up to be playable, you probably want a deck with a couple Dream Stalker so you can bounce it and maybe some other tools to slow down the game.

If you manage to put those two together they become a big problem for your opponent! 

With Tolarian Sentinel in play and Reality Acid in hand, that means you can basically make opponent sacrifice almost any permanent they have, including Mire Boa and Sedge Sliver: regeneration doesn't work against Reality Acid. 

That will just cost you 2UU and a card from your hand. Insane deal! 

8 - Necrotic Sliver + Sliversmith:

Sliversmith is a nice little tool sometimes useful in madness decks, sometimes in sliver decks, not the most amazing card but playable.

Necrotic Sliver is solid, a 2/2 that can be converted in a very flexible removal if needed. Put them together and you have an engine capable of dealing with almost any permanent giving you trouble, for the cost of four mana and a card from your hand. Awesome deal!

Sadly this one won't work against Mire Boa and Sedge Sliver, regeneration will work against this. But I believe - overall - those are better cards if you happen to draw just one of the two.

9 - Arc Blade + Rift Elemental:

Arc Blade

Arc Blade is a slow but solid removal. Rift Elemental is ok in a deck with a couple suspend spells, often a card you can pick relatively late.

But when those two get together, oh my friends do they rock!

While Arc Blade provides an endless supply of counters to pump Rift Elemental - and that is not so bad on its own - Rift Elemental will allow us to cast Arc Blade over and over again. It is not even so hard to set it up so you can cast it twice in the same turn, dealing four total damage to any target if necessary.

10 - Crystal Shard + Firemaw Kavu:

Crystal Shard is quite a magic card. Sometimes it will disrupt the opponent's tempo, sometimes it will save your creatures from their removal. 

It is extra spicy when you manage to combine it with some E.T.B. (enter the battlefield) effect creatures.

There are many options in Time Spiral Remastered, but my favorite must be Firemaw Kavu. When it enters it will kill a small creature, when you bounce it you will get to kill a bigger creature and you don't really have to pay for the echo cost!

11 - Stormfront Riders + Whitemane Lion + Grinning Ignus:

Talking about bouncy stuff, finally we get to Stormfront Riders. It is a solid card if you manage to set up a bit for it with cheap creature that like to be bounced, like Aven Riftwatcher for example. Having a 4/3 flyer plus two 1/1 tokens into play isn't the worst deal, even if you have to bounce your own stuff for it. 

But if Stormfront Riders sticks and you happen to have Whitemane Lion in your hand: prepare for a party. You can play Whitemane Lion and bounce itself, every time it bounces you get to create a token. Basically you create one soldier token for every 1W you spend. This will take over most games quite quickly if unanswered.

Basically the same trick can be performed with Grinning Ignus, if Stormfront Riders sticks in play. You get to create one token - for each R mana you spend - bouncing Ignus and playing it again. Simply awesome!

That is it for today my friends! I hope you liked it and that you found about at least one new combo in this article. 

I am enjoying TSR a lot and I recommend you give it at least a couple runs if you like old limited formats like me.

Sadly there is a strange bug that will prevent you from sideboarding sometimes, but if that happens and you feel you got harmed by it, you can ask for a refund. I hope they fix this bug soon enough.

Did I forget any spicy combos? Leave your comments! 

Battle Well and Have Fun!