How You Should Be Playing Combo MTG Decks: Deep Dive

In this article, I’ll be going in depth into a specific type of deck, commonly referred to as a combo deck. Have you ever played a game of Magic you thought you were going to win, and then suddenly your opponent does something super cool and you lose? You’re left scratching your head, trying to understand exactly what happened. Well, there’s a decent chance you lost to a combo-based strategy. Combo decks traditionally execute a unique game plan that’s very different from what other decks are capable of. It’s okay to not be exactly sure what a combo deck is! We’ll be diving into how to properly play with and against combo decks, as well as key ideas when building one.


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Header - What is a Combo Deck?

Perhaps the most defining characteristic of a combo deck is that they almost always revolve around a small number of specific card(s) to execute the combo-based portion of the deck. In some cases, this means a deck built around casting a single card, and in other cases two or more cards that, when combined, function incredibly well together. Combos that involve more than two cards certainly do exist but are less common. Part of the reason is because the more cards required to execute a combo, the less likely it becomes that you’ll draw and successfully resolve each part of the combo. 

If we dig a little deeper into trying to define combo decks, these decks often utilize cards that don’t fit well into other decks because they need assistance in order to maximize their power level. For instance, cards like Tarmogoyf, Doom Blade or Counterspell are not combo cards. The more generic the application of the card, the less combo oriented it becomes. 


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