Daily Digest: A Million For One

Incremental value is dumb. It’s old hat. Let’s just admit that getting a two-for-one or even a three-for-one doesn’t cut it anymore. Ross Merriam wants you to think bigger!

Grand Prix Orlando March 24-26!

We like to think of combo decks as being the most linear strategies in Magic. They build their entire gameplans around executing one sequence and hope that they can overcome whatever defenses their opponent can muster. Unfortunately, some people have to be jerks and actually stop good, honest combo players from doing their thing, so it behooves combo players to have some sort of backup plan, either in their sideboard or maindeck as space will allow.

Usually that backup plan is something fair. Think Elves beating down with some creatures or R/G Through the Breach drawing a Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle or two and winning the hard way with ramp spells. But what if your backup plan was just another combo? That’s the dream!

Dream no more, my friends. Our day of reckoning is here. We will have our arbitrarily large (not infinite!) number of creatures. The only question is of what type. WIll you make lots of Cats with Felidar Guardian plus Saheeli Rai or Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker? Lots of Angels with Restoration Angel plus Kiki-Jiki? Or, my personal favorite, lots of Giants with Sun Titan plus two copies of Saheeli Rai?

The good news is that, for sufficiently large values of “X,” X, 3X, and 6X are all enough damage to kill your opponent, so you can win any way you want. Oath of Nissa is great for digging for various combo pieces and fixing your mana a little and Nahiri, the Harbinger is typically going to win the game on the spot with its ultimate by finding whatever combo creature you’re missing. It and Saheeli Rai help dig for what you need, allowing the deck to skip on traditional velocity spells like Serum Visions that may mess with its creature-centric gameplan.

I guess, if you wanted to, you could win a fair game of Magic with some good, old-fashioned beatdowns backed up by removal spells, but at this point that’s Plan D and no one is sleeving this masterpiece up to play fairly. There isn’t even an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn to find with Nahiri, the Harbinger because that’s just not powerful enough, apparently.

Let’s be honest: fair Magic is child’s play. Two-for-ones and three-for-ones may seem like value, but nothing matches the value of the ten billion-for-one. Or the 300 quintillion-for-one. Or the Grahams number-for-one. This is what true mages should be aspiring to.

Grand Prix Orlando March 24-26!