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Here I Ruel – Combos in Scars

Today I’m going to introduce you to combos you can use in a Limited game of the latest format, as well as pretty efficient synergies which can occur between your cards and your opponent’s cards.

Untamed Might + poison

 

Ok, this is the most obvious combo in the format. Still, I can’t write an article about combos in SoM limited without mentioning that in a certain archetype a card wins pretty much on its own.

Removal in response to metalcraft spell/ability
Metalcraft is checked only at the resolution. Which means if your opponent casts Galvanic Blast on you with three artifacts on the board when you’re at 4, you’ll survive if you can destroy or bounce one of them, and the same goes with Dispense Justice.

Tainted Strike on an opponent’s creature
You can usually play Tainted Strike when running a Poison deck with several non-poison guys. However, it can also be useful in the case your opponent tries and deal you the finishing blow, in which case you can pump his bigger guy and make him deal you poison counters instead.

Venser, the Sojourner vs Volition Reins

 

Even though you’ll probably not be running Venser so often in Limited, it is interesting to see that he is one of the very few Magic cards which doesn’t say “target permanent you control” but “target permanent you own”, which means if an opponent has played Volition Reins on one of your permanents, you will be allowed to remove it even though it’s under your opponent’s control, and therefore to get it back at the beginning of the next end of turn step.

Relic Putrescence + Tumble Magnet

 

While I was drafting a poison deck the other day, I got Relic Putrescence in pick 14 and took it just in case. In the end the card caused me to win a couple of games. Indeed, I was a little short on playables and had a couple of Tumble Magnets, so a turn 3 Putrescence on a Myr forced my opponent to take 2 or 3 poison counters. Later, the Magnets would clear the way, and the poison from the Putrescence ended up being critical.

Specific cards against poison

 

As a couple of decks in a pod usually run poison, there are a certain number of cards which you don’t necessarily have to play in the main deck, but that you must absolutely pick at some point. Basically, as far as bombs and Untamed Might are not concerned, you must try and get early drops, if possible colored ones (in order to stop Tel-Jilad Fallen) in order to stop their initial rush.
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A few weak-looking cards can be pretty good against poison, such as Kuldotha Rebirth, Ezuri’s Archers, Loxodon Wayfarer, Oxidda Daredevil or even poison guys when you’re not playing poison.

Bellowing Tanglewurm + Tel-Jilad Fallen/Tainted Strike

 

When playing poison, you usually don’t want to have too many non-poison creatures. However, the Bellowing Tanglewurm can be precious in that deck. It will almost never be blocked and will therefore be lethal with Tainted Strike, as well as make Tel-Jilad Fallen totally unblockable.

Tangle Angler + Infiltration Lens

 

Tangle Angler is a pretty interesting card as it is a combo in itself in a poison deck. If you can equip it with Infiltration Lens and force the opponent’s creatures to block, you should be able to get enough card advantage to take a huge advantage on the game.

Tel-Jilad Defiance vs equipment

 

Tel-Jilad Defiance may be mediocre against poison, but it is pretty strong against artifact-based decks, as it can make you kill a guy in combat and draw a card, as well as to unequip an opponent’s creature. It is particularly useful against Grafted Exoskeleton, but it makes your opponent lose a lot of tempo and possibly a creature (a Bladed Pinion attack for instance) in a way they rarely see coming.

Liquimetal Coating + Viridian Revel/Barrage Ogre/Tel-Jilad Fallen etc.
Liquimetal Coating is a card which doesn’t do a thing on its own. However, it becomes playable when you have a few artifact removal and/or metalcraft cards, and it can even becomes pretty good if you have a lot of them.

Kuldotha Rebirth + Spellbombs

 

Everything which says “sacrifice an artifact” makes a great use of Spellbombs. However, Ferrovore is pretty weak and as you often want to sacrifice them before you even get Barrage Ogre on the table, Kuldotha Rebirth is a lot better as far as timing is concerned. Then, even though the card is pretty good against Poison, it may be a little light against other decks, so I’d recommend trying to run Sylvok Lifestaff when playing it.

Spikeshot Elder + Sylvok Lifestaff

 

To me, a good Limited combo needs to use cards which are useful separately, and if possible which you can use without losing tempo. The more tempo it costs you, the better the combo has to be.
That’s why I’m mentioning the Elder combined with Lifestaff and not with any other equipment which pumps the creatures power, simply because I don’t want to equip my 1/1 with Grafted Exoskeleton, just to get two for one’d and Time Walked twice by a removal spell. Anyway, if you can reach 6 mana, Spikeshot Elder probably wins you the game anyway.

Furnace Celebration + Spellbombs

 

Furnace Celebration is a difficult card to use, as it is pretty bad by itself. However, if you have at least a couple sacrifice effects and many Spellbombs, or if you can play several other cards which make the Spellbombs good (any Smith, Trinket Mage, Golem Foundry etc.), then the card can be pretty good. However, unless you can get two of them, Furnace Celebration will not be a key card for your deck and a support card only.

Glimmerpoint Stag + cards with counters or triggers
3/3 Vigilance is good, but the card does a lot more. From removing a Trigon to liberating an Arrested creature, as well as to tapping up to 6 creatures with Tumble Maget, the card can really do a lot. It is not necessarily obvious how good this card is but it pretty much always does something, which makes it a very high pick (3rd to 5th pick probably).

Chimeric Mass + Trinket Mage

 

The Trinket Mage/Spellbomb combo is pretty obvious, but you can also go for the format’s only X card. The situation occurs a lot more than it seems, as you get passed the 2/2 pretty often, so you should be able to gather both cards when drafting the rare.

Culling Dais + Proliferate

Culling Dais is a card which doesn’t look so good. Indeed, now that damage doesn’t go on the stack anymore, the card should produce pure card disadvantage and therefore be pretty useless. However, the fact that it is an artifact in a format in which those are needed (metacraft, Smiths), and more particularly the presence of proliferate spells, makes it a lot better. If you can manage to have Thrummingbird or Contagion Clasp active (not to mention Contagion Engine), the card can clearly win games on its own. Mimic Vat can also be great with it, but that combo is much harder to gather.

Smiths + Spellbombs

 

When you play Smiths in your deck, the more artifacts you can cast, the better. So what more could you hope for than a cheap artifact which could cycle into another one? In the same way, you could in theory use them with Golem Foundry, but after trying the card a lot, I’ve just decided to stop playing it at all. Basically, if you have it in your opening hand your opponent won’t have played an artifact removal yet and will be often able to deal with it, while if you draw it in the late game it just doesn’t do anything.

Heavy Arbalest + Soliton

 

The combo is pretty easy to draft, but not so easy to put in place. However, even though Soliton is not a good card on its own, it is still a decent filler, while the Arbalest is pretty good and the combination of both a lethal weapon.

Heavy Arbalest + Poison

Even though poison counters mostly come from combat damage, they can also be dealt from a distance. In this specific archetype, Heavy Arbalest in not just a removal but also a potential win condition. There are another few ways to do that, such as playing Tainted Strike on a Perilous Myr which is about to die so he adds a couple of poison counters.

Myr Galvanizer x2 + Palladium Myr/2 Mana Myr (Mimic Vat/Prototype Portal)

 

Ok ok, I was saying earlier on that I would mention mostly combos which were easy to gather and efficient. This one is not necessarily either, as it requires a lot of cards (mostly the two Galvanizers which you can also get from Mimic Vat or Prototype Portal), and as there aren’t many cards which can make a great use of it. However, it’s hard not to mention a combo which can produce infinite mana without necessarily involving any rares. Also, the cards which can fully exploit the combo may not be that many, but there are still a few: Geth, Lord of the Vault, Golem Artisan, Heavy Arbalest, Myr Propagator, Exsanguinate, Genesis Wave.

Of course the format is still new, so there are still many more combos to find which I haven’t thought of yet, but I still hope those will be useful in a near future! By the way, feel free to share more Shards limited combos on the article feedback, I’d be really curious to read about them!

Thanks for reading, and see you next week!

Oli

51 thoughts on “Here I Ruel – Combos in Scars”

  1. I love Glimmerpoint Stag. My favorite is blanking an opponent’s Chimeric Mass with it. Nice article.

  2. Untamed Might is actually the card you probably want to use with the infinate mana combo. just attack with all your myr except one galvanizer, assuming they can block all but one of your creatures, you go infinite on the declare blockers step and smash.

  3. Accorders shield + barbed battlegear. Every creature you own suddenly becomes must kill in the late game. Works very well in poison decks that lose gas.

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  5. the relic putrescence can also work with Rust Tick.

    I think Bloodshot Trainee + Pain Smith is worth mentioning.

    Myr Resevoir + Perlious Myr allows you to continually buy back your Perlious Myr and shock them.

    Heavy Arbalest + Glint Hawk Idol allows your Glint Hawk to untap each turn and you can re-equip the Arbalest to shock something. (seen in an LSV draft)

    maybe fairly obvious but I think worth mentioning, in response to an opponent playing glint hawk you can remove their only artifact forcing them to sacrifice glint hawk.
    You can also glimmerpoint stag an opposing glint hawk forcing them to bounce an artifact.

  6. Not so much a combo as just plain BS, but I had the pleasure of facing multiple Glint Hawks and Memnites, which was frustrating. Where were the Arc Trails? ):

  7. Just used Stag to the max earlier when I topdecked it, untapping my Rust Tick each turn in case I ripped it, then blinking my Sunblast Angel that had been grabbed with Reins, then EOT re-locking his black Trigon with the Tick after the Angel came back. I won that game obv. Also won the game where I Stagged my Precursor Golem.

    Ran the Soliton/Arbalest combo in that deck, but I found it to be too slow usually. Still got to “go off” with it one game, and even just having one Island was enough. Also had Battlegear + Shield. Huge vigilant guys are obscene in this format, especially fliers.

    One card I absolutely hate now is Assault Strobe. I lost turn 4 against a GBR infect deck because he had it both games and a Heartstoker/Untamed Might to go with it. The card is still terrible, but it’s worth being aware of.

    Throne of Geth + Necropede is worth mentioning too, since you get to proliferate the -1/-1 counter from the Necropede right away. Likewise, Shattering your own Perilous Myr for build-a-Shock definitely cost me one game when they did it in response to Untamed Might.

    Stuff like this is why I love this format: there’s so many niche interactions that keep cropping up, you really have to keep your focus and consider your plays carefully.

  8. Razor Hippogriff + Neurok Replica is interesting. Sacrifice Replica to return Hippogriff to your hand, play the Hippogriff to return replica from your graveyard to your hand and gain three life. The combo locks down the board giving you one or two chump blockers every turn (depending on how much mana you have) and some life gain to boot.

  9. late game, tainted strike + spikeshot elder. suprise you just died of poison of of nowhere. and the strike can work as a fog against non poison decks and we all know the elder is awesome.

  10. Why is this even an article? Did you know Rancor plus any creature is good? I mean, Rancor comes back when they die, it’s awesome. Untamed might on a poison creature? Did he seriously lead with that in his combo/synergy article? Two islands and a Counterspell, I know it’s a 3 card combo but it can shut down almost anything your opponent plays!! It can be set up as early as turn 2 as well, broken combo there. I also enjoyed the Smiths and spell bombs “combo” he listed and then explained in a paragraph as if it needed elaboration. Having metalcraft cards and 3+ artifacts in play is also good in the format, I think he missed that synergy in his list. At least he has his ability of being an amazing player to fall back on.

  11. had the myr combo along with goblin artisan in my sealeddeck in gp bochum but never managed to get the pieces together.

  12. Nim Deathmantle plus most things is a combo. Had sealed pool with two of them, several replicas, a couple Perilous Myr, Barrage Ogre…That was fun to play, even if I didn’t finish so well.

  13. Painsmith + Embersmith / Barrage Ogre / Heavy Arbalest.
    Painsmith gives Deathtouch to the creature which can shoot and you can basically kill everything in the format.

  14. You also forget one of the most combo cards in SOM…Mimic vat, which is just so silly with almost anything from come into play dudes to replicas like sylvok…

    Also the other day some dude played to me a combination of Myr reservoir, myr battlesphere and kudlotha forgemaster and I still won that game due to multiple corpse curs, which are obviously a nice combo as well.

  15. one I’ve assembled 2 times:
    necrotic ooze with a bloodshot trainee in the graveyard.

    I also played liquidmetal coating in my draft deck with 2 tempered steel, that was a pretty cool combo…

  16. Bellowing Tanglewurm + Tel-Jilad Fallen: …as well as make Tel-Jilad Fallen totally unblockable…. He can still be blocked by green creatures no?

  17. Glimmerpoint Stag is also good when Volition Reins and Arrest are on the table. You can either free one of your permanents if they are enchanted, but you can also blink your own enchants to choose a different target.

    Extra bonus : blinking your own Reins or Arrest allows you to attach them to a creature with Shroud (rule 303.4f)

  18. Just last night I had a Hoard-Smelter Dragon “destroying” my own Darksteel Sentinel. That was fun times.

  19. Some of the interactions in this article are combos, but the pump spell+creature with poison, for example, is not a combo IMO. It´s like a previous guy said: two islands and a counterspell is not a “combo”. This article is fine, anyway.

  20. I got Nim Deathmantle + Furnace Celebration + Culling Dais + Salvage Scout recently. Destroyed an entire board and then drew 8 cards. Would have started all over again if I hadn’t just won.

  21. To be a little more specific on Liquidmetal Coating, the two most common “moves” I have performed with it so far include either Barrage Ogre or Oxida Scrapmelter.

    With the Ogre and the Coating, you can simply start throwing all your lands at them in the late game. You can also sacrifice other colored permantents that have become useless. With the Scrapmelter I have turned around a game where I was pretty far behind by first killing his Sunblast Angel with it (after turning it into an artifact), then bouncing it with Glint Hawk the next turn (after turning the Scrapmelter into an artifact), then replay it and kill some other colored creature (after turning that one into an artifact, too). Good times :).

    Glimmerpoint Stag is super good. Would be suprised to see it go 3-5th. Will most likely go 1st-3rd in a capable pod.

  22. Sad but true…Tangle Angler + Assault Strobe + Twisted Image = 10 poison. Had that happen on turn 4 of a game.

  23. How about sylvok lifestaff + culling dais + cheap creatures.

    You block, you gain life and you get your card back 🙂

  24. I’m positive both Ruels are 100 times better at mtg than I ever will be, but the magic community definately needs a common definition of “combo”. As sarcastically pointed out already, “two Islands and Counterspell is a great 3-card combo.” I suggest the following: “Combo” should only be used to describe an exponential outcome, not a linear one. For example:

    1) Thopter Foundry + Tormond’s Crypt: Linear. This is exactly how the card is expected to work and produces a linear benefit.
    2) Thopter Foundry + Sensei’s Divining Top: Small combo. By adding the Top’s “draw and replace” effect to the stack, and then eating it with the Foundry, you get the effect of the top, plus the token. Not REALLY broken, but a nice bit of extra value from the expected linear result.
    3) Thopter Foundry + Sword of the Meek: Big Combo. Now it’s “rinse and repeatable” and can produce a higher expected return than just getting an extra card once with the Top.
    4) Thopter Foundry + Sword of the Meek + Time Sieve (with 5 mana): Super combo! Sure, its a dreaded “3-card combo”, relegated to casual play, but it now provides the Time Vault + Voltaic Key effect outside of vintage.

  25. “Metalcraft is only checked on resolution.” Not true on Berserkers, BC Vamps, Lumengrid Drake, or Silclaw. It’s an “intervening if” there and metalcraft needs to be active for the effect to trigger in the first place. Spellbomb + Liquimetal Coating on the board, cast a Bleak Coven Vampires and the ETB trigger is never placed on the stack to respond to with Coating for the 8 point swing.

  26. This is not so much a combo as a really cool interaction I had last night on MTGO. I had an active barrage ogre on the table and everything else had been killed off. I was getting low on life (4 if i remember correctly) and was currently facing a Perilous Myr and two mana Myrs. I knew he had Tempered Steel in his deck and any number of other good metalcraft cards that he could topdeck at any time (ie: galvanic Blast for the win) and I was out of cards.

    My next topdeck: Clone Shell. I cast it and what did I find in the next 4? Oxida Scrapmelter! Obviously, my immediate next play was to throw my shell at his perilous myr with my ogre and putting Scrapmelter into play to eat one of his mana myr. Of course I then got shocked but 2 life staring down one mana myr to my two 3/3s seems much more comfortable than 4 life staring down 3 including a Perilous Myr. I was still dodging the topdecked galvanic Blast but it never came and I was able to mop up quickly from there.

    The only thing that could have been better would have been finding my Steel Hellkite underneath and barrage ogreing during his combat step and swinging the following turn and wiping out his whole board of 2cc drops.

  27. Anything to do with Nim Deathmantle. This card is really fun and flavorful to play with and has great interactions with a lot of cards (putting it on the blue neurok replica for recursive lockdown is my personal favorite). Plus, if you play it on MTGO, it gives the creature it is equipped with a unique filter effect that looks quite awesome and sinister! It’s my favorite card of the set 🙂

  28. Nice article without being too obvious…like shkari & equipment. My favortie combo has to be any of the good replicas (GBR) with Nim Deathmantle even though it works with the other colored replicas too.

  29. If you’re going to mention Venser, then I’d point out the nice interaction he has with Glimmerpoint Stag, which is less obvious than, say, resetting a Tumble Magnet… If you exile the Stag with Venser’s ability, it re-enters the battlefield after the beginning of your end step has passed, so what you exile with the Stag then remains exiled until your opponent’s end step. So as long as you do this, you can keep your opponent’s most threatening creature from ever attacking you or Venser. Quite good for successfully building up to the ultimate.

  30. infinite mana: chimeric mass, untamed might, steel hellkite. You made it sound like there wasnt a lot you can do with infinite mana, but there is way more than you listed

  31. Vedalken Certarch’s metalcraft ability only checks upon activation. Not “everything” checks upon resolution.

  32. Tainted Strike on “opponents” creatures is the most valuable “trick” i get from this article.

    Its something that might make the card better overall, at least i will have a look in situations in which it might matter.

    So 1 cute trick should allready be worth the article ^^

    *Some cool interactions are like Tangler forces a lot of creatures to block it and poisen all in attacks. You use the blue spellbomb on the opponents Tangler, and block all the poisen creatures. Very cool, even if its “onboard” a quite nasty trick ^^

  33. @ Josh
    Just because a combo is obvious doesnt mean it shouldn’t be included.

    @ Martin

    “Well you sadly forgot my favorite combo.. which is pretty strong as well.”

    Thanks for your input! We are all better magic players knowing that combo!

    Thanks for the article, some more obvious stuff and some interactions that arent really combos (but we need a more finite definition of it then dont we) but thanks.

  34. I like Molder Beast + Sylvok Replica. The Molder Beast is a good creature by itself. It’s removable, but soaking up one of their good cards is pretty good. The Sylvok Replica is obviously good. Together, you usually get to trade with a mid-range creature and get ~6 damage through! Worst case is 2-for-2 and best case (which is not too unlikely) is 9 damage and your Beast can do it again! The Beast is also good with any on-color Spellbomb (esp. Flight), Moriok Replica, etc.

  35. Molder Beast + Sylvok Replica + Tainted Strike is a 3 card all common combo that wins the game, and all 3 cards should be played anyway in a poison deck.

  36. Glint Hawk + Contagion Clasp can be a beating.

    Turn 2 Clasp their Myr, turn 3 play the Hawk and possibly get to Clasp another creature the same turn.

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  38. I had a sac deck the other night where I had an Ogre Geargrabber/Ferrovore interaction that let me destroy any of my opponents’ equipments that were hurting me more than what they could do for my Geargrabber. Worked out more than a few times in the draft.

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