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.
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!