How To Draft Creature Combo In My Classic Cube On Magic Online

Ryan Saxe’s Classic Cube is live on Magic Online. Today he shares his secrets to drafting creature combo in Selesnya colors to surprise the MTGO queues.

Worldly Tutor, illustrated by David O’Connor

A few years ago, I was upset.

I was going through pictures of decks in my Cube, and talking with some players who drafted my Cube often, and I came to an unfortunate realization: nobody would ever draft Selesnya. None of the ways the cards lined up worked well. White didn’t give green splashy ramp targets. Green didn’t give white any splashy aggressive top-end. While curving mana creatures into planeswalkers sounds like a strategy that could work, it also just didn’t seem to come together. While I felt my Cube offered many archetypes and experiences, this felt like a failure. A whole color combination never came together!

I went to the drawing board and came back with something I have been incredibly happy with: creature combo.

Worldly Tutor Birthing Pod Survival of the Fittest

I came to the conclusion that this could be a good idea when I realized that, outside of ramp, the best thing green does is tutor for creatures. Soon I began tinkering, motivated by the infamous Melira Pod Modern deck. What if Selesnya could be a creature-based midrange deck that happened to be able to assemble combos?

I honestly didn’t expect this to stay in my Cube for long, but it just clicked. Immediately people were excited by Selesnya, and the deck performed quite well. I started adding more and more support and now it’s an incredibly powerful deck with really dynamic experiences during the draft.

Before I delve into the archetype, I want to make sure to tell you one thing:

Do not force this deck.

If your goal to win at my Cube is to force something, try out white, red, or black aggro, as they are consistent and powerful strategies. While Selesnya is available at every table, you do need to wheel the synergistic cards so you can prioritize taking the great cards like Demonic Tutor. It’s very fun, and I hope you get the opportunity to draft it, but I want to make sure that writing this article about it doesn’t end up making the archetype undraftable because too many people force it.

With that being said, let’s break down some of the combos!

Archangel of Thune Spike Feeder Heliod, Sun-Crowned

Infinite life is good enough to end most games, and each piece of the combo isn’t embarrassing in general. While all of them are at their best versus aggro, they aren’t dead the same way reanimator spells are dead without a discard outlet.

Vizier of Remedies Walking Ballista Devoted Druid

Walking Ballista is a classic combo with Heliod, but it’s also a great outlet for infinite mana with Vizier of Remedies and Devoted Druid. It’s also a great card to help with delirium, adding Traverse the Ulvenwald as another potential green tutor. There’s some redundancy for infinite mana with Zirda, the Dawnwaker alongside Basalt Monolith and Grim Monolith, and there are many ways to use infinite mana, such as Finale of Devastation and Polukranos, World Eater.

Kitchen Finks Melira, Sylvok Outcast Good-Fortune Unicorn

This is where redundancy comes into play. The most common way this deck comes together is leveraging the combo of a persist creature, a card that can remove the -1/-1 counter, and a sacrifice outlet. Kitchen Finks is the easiest persist creature to cast and the easiest to go off with because Heliod, Sun-Crowned and Archangel of Thune add redundancy thanks to the lifegain.

Because persist is the most common combo for this archetype, it often also motivates splashes for sacrifice outlets. The deck is most commonly Abzan for this reason, while also giving access to Putrid Goblin and Murderous Redcap. I will say, when drafting, really prioritize mana. It’s not uncommon for this deck to want enough green sources to play Llanowar Elves on Turn 1, but need access to double white for Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit and double black for Murderous Redcap or Yawgmoth, Thran Physician. Luckily, cards like Chord of Calling and Birthing Pod help smooth out bad mana.

Blasting Station Lesser Masticore Jinxed Idol

Sometimes the deck can come together with just Selesnya thanks to colorless cards, which also helps resolve mana issues. You would be surprised at how these seemingly bad colorless cards are actually just solid playables. Selesnya can beat down pretty hard, so Jinxed Idol is really threatening. And while Blasting Station and Lesser Masticore seem poor, almost 40% of the creatures in my Cube have one toughness, which makes anything capable of pinging a creature much closer to being worth a card.

Elvish Mystic Winota, Joiner of Forces Llanowar Elves

One of the coolest versions of this deck I have seen is Naya Winota. Thanks to all the green creature tutors, it’s easy to find a copy of Winota, and many of the mana creatures are non-Humans. Also, a lot of the combo pieces are Humans like Vizier of Remedies; Melira, Sylvok Outcast; and Basri’s Lieutenant. So Winota is this explosive card that fits well in the midrange strategy, but it can also just hit combo access. I remember one time I hit Recruiter of the Guard and Imperial Recruiter off Winota. That was a nice one!

Ephemerate Eternal Witness Sevinne's Reclamation

As I’ve said, this deck is really just a midrange deck that can piece together a combo. So many of the good green and white cards have value when entering the battlefield. Eternal Witness is arguably the best of the bunch, and pairing it with either Ephemerate or Sevinne’s Reclamation is enough to grind through almost any situation.

Creature Combo FTW

So, when trying to draft this deck, make sure to pay attention and properly toe the line between prioritizing combo pieces, mana-fixing, and just good cards for a midrange creature deck. It’s one of those archetypes that I love to draft because the draft portion is challenging.

You need to read signals, and have a plan. But navigating that draft into an amazing deck reminiscent of Melira Pod is so rewarding!