Hello folks! It’s no surprise to many folks that I am a closet Johnny. I love interactions and synergies. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of easy combo at the
kitchen table. A quick lil’ two card combo that wins you the game is not often a lot of fun for other players. But there are many metagames that appreciate
a fun combo or three.
I thought it would be fun to build a real combo Commander deck. But not just any combo. What would it look like if I built a deck that wanted to have as
many infinite combos as possible while remaining a playable deck? (Yes, I know that there is no such thing as “infinite” you have to choose a number. It’s
Enter the Combo Commander Challenge!
How many combos does it take to get to the center of an EDH deck?
Combo Challenge Accepted
- 1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
- 1 Triskelion
- 1 Soul Warden
- 1 Rotlung Reanimator
- 1 Goblin Sharpshooter
- 1 Dross Scorpion
- 1 Su-Chi
- 1 Blood Pet
- 1 Workhorse
- 1 Karmic Guide
- 1 Priest of Gix
- 1 Crimson Kobolds
- 1 Crookshank Kobolds
- 1 Kobolds of Kher Keep
- 1 Darien, King of Kjeldor
- 1 Oros, the Avenger
- 1 Reveillark
- 1 Murderous Redcap
- 1 Scarecrone
- 1 Hissing Iguanar
- 1 Viscera Seer
- 1 Grave Titan
- 1 Sun Titan
- 1 Wurmcoil Engine
- 1 Myr Sire
- 1 Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter
- 1 Village Bell-Ringer
- 1 Mikaeus, the Unhallowed
- 1 Restoration Angel
- 1 Blood Artist
- 1 Banisher Priest
- 5 Plains
- 1 Wasteland
- 1 Reflecting Pool
- 1 Volrath's Stronghold
- 1 City of Brass
- 1 Kor Haven
- 5 Swamp
- 5 Mountain
- 1 Scrubland
- 1 Plateau
- 1 Badlands
- 1 Phyrexian Tower
- 1 Maze of Ith
- 1 Dust Bowl
- 1 Mikokoro, Center of the Sea
- 1 Miren, the Moaning Well
- 1 Terramorphic Expanse
- 1 Vesuva
- 1 Reliquary Tower
- 1 Rupture Spire
- 1 Bojuka Bog
- 1 Evolving Wilds
- 1 Command Tower
- 1 Transguild Promenade
- 1 Thespian's Stage
- 1 Opal Palace
- 1 Mana Confluence
- 1 Nomad Outpost
- 1 Enduring Renewal
- 1 Sol Ring
- 1 Necromancy
- 1 Goblin Bombardment
- 1 Conspiracy
- 1 Darksteel Ingot
- 1 Basalt Monolith
- 1 Ashnod's Altar
- 1 Skullclamp
- 1 Field of Souls
- 1 Altar of Dementia
- 1 Reprocess
- 1 Angelic Chorus
- 1 Vindicate
- 1 Cloudstone Curio
- 1 Rings of Brighthearth
- 1 Cauldron of Souls
- 1 Sanguine Bond
- 1 Everflowing Chalice
- 1 Splinter Twin
- 1 Temple Bell
- 1 Leyline of Sanctity
- 1 Nim Deathmantle
- 1 Myr Turbine
- 1 Warstorm Surge
- 1 Exquisite Blood
- 1 Chromatic Lantern
- 1 Gift of Immortality
- 1 Dictate of Erebos
That’s a lot of combos! You probably won’t even see them all, and that’s okay. I built this thing, and I’ll probably miss some unexpected stuff!
One fun thing about this deck is that most of these cards are quality Commander options. No one is going to blink at stuff like Restoration Angel,
Kiki-Jiki, Grave Titan, and Vish Kal. There are not too many cards that are here exclusively for combos and otherwise are poor cards for ya. I did this
intentionally in order to make a playable deck.
Before we begin, there are a few trends in the deck. The first are triggers that occur when something enters or leaves play, such as Warstorm Surge,
Angelic Chorus, Soul Warden, Blood Artist, Field of Souls, and Hissing Iguanar, or even Dross Scorpion. These do things that are critical to most of the
infinite combos. You can untap a Goblin Sharpshooter over and over again to kill someone, as one example.
The next set of trends include ways to move a card from play to somewhere else. Maybe you are bouncing it with Cloudstone Curio. Perhaps that combo is
sacrificing a card via Goblin Bombardment, Viscera Seer, Altar of Dementia, Reprocess, Phyrexian Tower, or Ashnod’s Altar.
Finally, we have a large number of cards that deal with recursion of creatures that have died. We have creatures (Sun Titan, Scarecrone, Karmic Guide,
Reveillark) as well as permanents (Necromancy, Enduring Renewal, Nim Deathmantle, Gift of Immortality). Many of our combos revolve around stuff going into
and out of the graveyard–just a natural element when I’m running white and black.
Every one of these intentional combos is designed to create an infinite something. Mana, creatures, damage, milling, or whatever. (And by “infinite,” I
mean, “any number you want.”) Let’s look at all of the intentional combos that I included:
– Goblin Bombardment, a zero cost Kobold, and Enduring Renewal. Sacrifice a zero cost critter to GBB for one damage to a person. Recur with the Renewal and
repeat until everyone is dead. You can also sacrifice to Altar of Dementia for milling or Ashnod’s Altar for mana instead of the GBB for damage.
Enduring Renewal Strikes Again –
Sacrifice Blood Pet. It recurs back to your hand with the Renewal. Then have out any of the triggers for infinite lifegain (Soul Warden, Angelic Chorus)
damage dealing (Warstorm Surge, Hissing Iguanar), infinite tokens (Field of Souls), and so forth.
Workhorse is Broken –
Pull four counters off it to kill it and make four mana. Have in play both Dross Scorpion and Scarecrone. Use the four mana on Scarecrone to recur
Workhorse. Untap it with Dross Scorpion’s trigger. Now simply combine with any death/ETB trigger for infinite fun!
Workhorse is Still Broken
– Pull four counters off Workhorse for four mana and kill it. Spend the mana to activate Nim Deathmantle and recur it right back into play. You can do this
any number of times and break any trigger in the deck.
As is Su-Chi
– Sacrifice Su-Chi to a repeatable sacrifice outlet, such as Goblin Bombardment. It makes four mana. Activate Nim Deathmmantle to return it and you win
with your trigger. Alternatively, have the Scarecrone/Dross Scorpion combo out instead of the Deathmantle.
Another Kobold Combo
– Have two kobolds and a Cloudstone Curio. Play one to bounce the other for free and then repeat, continuing to play and replay Kobolds. Include any ETB
trigger for fun. You can also sub in Priest of Gix here as essentially a free creature.
Another Dross Scorpion/Scarecrone/Deathmantle Combo –
Have out an artifact creature that when sacrificed creates another creature (Myr Sire, Wurmcoil Engine). Sacrifice it and its creature to Ashnod’s Altar to
make four or six mana. Activate it to recur either via Dross Scorpion plus Scarecrone or the Deathmantle. If you are recurring the Engine, then you’ll
already have infinite mana (since you have three creatures to sacrifice. Or you could leave one out and make infinite tokens. Or you could do both and
leave out a token once and then extra mana the next time and back and forth to have out infinite tokens and mana). If you are using the Myr Sire, combine
with a trigger. And, if you are using the Scorpion to recur, you are also getting at least one additional untap trigger, which you can use for things like
Temple Bell or a mana artifact for infinite mana. In order to save space I just included like fifteen combos in this section!
How About a Non-Artifact Version of That Combo? –
Play Grave Titan. Sacrifice the Titan and a zombie to the Altar instead and reanimate via the Deathmantle to make more and more zombie tokens. Then win
with tokens! You can substitute in Murderous Redcap, sacrifice twice via persist, deal damage to folks that way, and then recur with a
Mikaeus Plays Again –
Rock a Murderous Redcap. Sacrifice it via any engine. Have out Mikaeus. Now alternate how you return the Redcap. Bring it back with persist and then
undying, back and forth. You’ll win with Redcap damage. And maybe the sacrifices too!
The Last Dross Scorpion Combo, I Swear! –
Okay, this combo is weird. I like it though. Use Caldron of Souls to make a number of creatures rock persist. Have out Mikaeus, Dross Scorpion, a sacrifice
engine, and at least one artifact creature. Sacrifice your team. Bring them back via persist. Untap the Cauldron with the Scorpion. Now sacrifice them
again and bring them back with undying. Repeat until nauseous.
Sun Titan’s Continued Immortality –
Play Sun Titan. Sacrifice it to a useful effect. Bring it back with Necromancy and recur something fun. Then sacrifice and recur the Necromancy over and
Clerics Rule the Roost –
When you drop Conspiracy, choose to make all of your stuff clerics. Now find that Rotlung Reanimator. All of the zombie tokens it would make are now
clerics. So kill something to begin the combo with a sacrifice outlet of your choice. Then as a token arrives, sacrifice it over and over again. Win with
your sacrifice engine.
Conspiratorial Angels –
When you have that Conspiracy out, then Restoration Angel can flicker itself. (According to Gatherer, Conspiracy removes all other creature types). Just
play the Restoration Angel, and flicker itself over and over again, which will abuse into death any ETB trigger.
The Other Combo You Expected –
When it dies, Triskelion will come back with an extra counter off Mikaeus, the Unhallowed. So just remove the counters to shoot someone over and over again
until you win.
The Triskelion Doesn’t Stop There –
Pull two counters off Triskelion to deal damage to someone. Then sacrifice it to Ashnod’s Altar for two mana. Have out Dross Scorpion and one of Basalt
Monolith, Sol Ring, or Everflowing Chalice with at least 2 counters. Use the death trigger to untap the artifact and make some mana. Spend that mana to
pull back Triskelion via Nim Deathmantle. The Trike’s damage should get you that win!
How About Another Triskelion Combo? –
You’ll need the Trike, Karmic Guide, Reveillark, and a sacrifice outlet. Pull counters off the Trike until it’s dead and gone. Sacrifice your Guide to toss
it into the yard. Sacrifice the Reveillark and pull back the Guide and Trike. Have the Guide pull back the Reveillark and repeat. You get infinite damage
from the Trike and infinite sacrifice triggers.
Other Guide/Reveillark Combos –
This also works well with Blood Pet, and you just grab infinite black mana. Workhorse makes infinite colorless mana. You can sacrifice Myr Sire to your sac
engine and get an extra token creature each iteration.
Well, We Don’t Have Power Artifact –
Tap Basalt Monolith for three colorless mana. Now spend that mana to untap the Monolith, and invest two mana to copy that ability via Rings of
Brighthearth. After each resolves, tap it twice. Each time you repeat this cycle, you will make an extra one mana to use for anything you desire!
The First Kiki-Jiki Combo
– Using it on Village Bell-Ringer will allow you to untap it over and over again, making any number of small Bell-Ringers to beat down with. This also
works with Splinter Twin on a Bell-Ringer. Just tap it over and over again to make new ones.
A Non-Kiki-Jiki Combo –
Enchant Goblin Sharpshooter with Splinter Twin. Tap it to make a duplicate. Tap that duplicate to kill itself. Untap your Sharpshooter. Repeat making a
bunch of Sharpshooters and rack up triggers.
Darien Wants In! –
With Darien in play, deal damage to yourself via something like, say, Warstorm Surge. Make some tokens. Have each token shoot yourself in turn to make more
and more tokens. Gain life via Angelic Chorus or Soul Warden and you”ll wind up with a ton of critters rocking the table.
Infinite Cards? –
Equip Su-Chi with a Skullclamp. Sacrifice to Ashnod’s Altar for an extra two mana. Repeat into play via Deathmantle, equip again with Skullclamp, and
you’ve drawn as many cards as you like as well as made a bunch of mana. You can add in Skullclamps to a lot of these combos to add in cards.
Now that’s a huge amount of combos!
I added in some support, such as mana rocks, card drawing, and removal. We needed Vindicate, Dictate of Erebos, and other fun things that weren’t
necessarily combo-ish but helped the team. I felt a key card for the deck was Leyline of Sanctity. Many of our infinite combos use the graveyard. Since a
lot of graveyard removal targets a player, the Leyline can keep you from losing your ability to combo off.
You’ll note the absence of any sort of reliability in this deck. There’re no tutors or anything similar. Because there are so many combos built into the
deck, I figured it would be more fun to draw a random combo than to set the same one up time after time.
This deck looks like a lot of fun, and it suggests a bunch of angles of attack that you could hit with another angles. You could run an Esper artifact
theme or add in green for tokens and mana and more fun stuff.
So get your Combo Commander Challenge on!