Theros Beyond Death contains many new cards that enable sweet combos in a variety of formats.
Some of them are minor two-card combos that simply provide some additional value. For example, combining Allure of the Unknown with Teferi, Time Raveler so that your opponent can’t cast the card they choose off Allure. Or drawing three cards with Treacherous Blessing before sacrificing it to Doom Foretold for value. These synergies are nice, but they don’t necessarily win the game right away.
The combos that fascinate me are generally a bit more convoluted, but they allow you to go infinite and win the game right away. This article collects eight such combos. The first is quite competitive. The others are more questionable. But all of them are fun to consider. Let’s start!
1) A competitive two-card Heliod combo (Pioneer)
Be honest with us: is this going to be tier 1 good in Pioneer or not?
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) January 23, 2020
Everyone knows about this combo by now, so we’ll get it out of the way first. If you give a 2/2 Ballista lifelink, it pings and triggers Heliod to regain the counter. This two-card combo is reminiscent of Splinter Twin + Deceiver Exarch or Saheeli Rai + Felidar Guardian.
Unlike those combos, however, you can’t normally win the game on turn 4. After all, you can’t normally both build a 2/2 Ballista and give it lifelink on turn 4. There are ways to accomplish this (for example, if you have Llanowar Elves or Radiant Fountain or catch your opponent without a blocker) but a turn-4 kill won’t happen often.
2) A questionable three-card Heliod combo (Standard)
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) January 30, 2020
Three-card combos are much harder to assemble in competitive play than two-card combos, but that doesn’t stop me from attempting to go infinite with Heliod in Standard. The idea is that if you give Glint-Horn Buccaneer lifelink, then Heliod will be able to dish out a +1/+1 counter every time you discard a card. This is easily exploitable with Benthic Biomancer.
To jumpstart the combo, you need to put a +1/+1 counter on Benthic Biomancer somehow. This can be done by adapting it or by dealing combat damage with a lifelinking Glint-Horn Buccaneer to trigger Heliod. Once Benthic Biomancer gains a +1/+1 counter, you will draw and discard, which means that Glint-Horn Buccaneer deals 1 damage to your opponent, which triggers Heliod to put another +1/+1 counter on Benthic Biomancer, and so on. (This combo also works with Niv-Mizzet, Parun instead of Glint-Horn Buccaneer.)
It’s technically not infinite because you’re limited by deck size, but if your deck size exceeds your opponent’s life total (which should normally be the case) then you will win the game. In older formats, if you really want to go infinite, you could add Nexus of Fate or Emrakul, the Aeons Torn so you never run out of cards to discard.
3) Infinite turns (Standard)
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) February 5, 2020
The loop starts with the creatures on the battlefield and the instants in your graveyard. Then in your end step, Thassa blinks Scholar of the Ages, which returns both instants to your hand. You take an extra turn with Chance for Glory, use Tale’s End to counter the “you lose the game” trigger in your next end step, and loop to take as many turns as you want.
4) Infinite life, damage, and scry (Standard)
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) February 7, 2020
If you enchant Archon of Falling Stars with Kaya’s Ghostform, then both cards will return to the battlefield when the creature dies. (You just have to make sure to stack the triggers so that Archon returns first and Ghostform returns second. This way, you can reattach Ghostform to Archon.)
Together with Woe Strider, which is the free sacrifice outlet that we have been waiting for in Standard, this yields infinite scry. Finally, add Cruel Celebrant for infinite life and infinite damage. Alternatively, use Hateful Eidolon for infinite card draw.
5) Infinite mana and mill (Standard)
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) February 10, 2020
A five-card combo is obviously far from competitive, but this one is fun. You start with all permanents on the battlefield, choose blue, and tap Nyx Lotus for 4 mana. You then use Portal of Sanctuary to bounce Corridor Monitor to your hand and recast it with one blue mana remaining in your pool.
Due to Yarok, Corridor Monitor untaps Nyx Lotus and Portal of Sanctuary, so you’re back to where you started except with one extra mana in pool. You can loop this as often as you want to generate infinite blue mana.
Eventually, you can sink that mana into Folio of Fancies activations, using Corridor Monitor to untap Folio of Fancies and Portal of Sanctuary this time around. No matter how large your opponent’s deck, you will mill them out.
6) Free Salvagers (Standard)
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) February 13, 2020
With enough cost reduction effects, Salvager of Ruin suddenly costs zero mana to cast, in which case two of them can go infinite. Nylea provides that extra bit of cost reduction we needed to set up this combo.
With all creatures on the battlefield, you have to start by getting a Salvager of Ruin into the graveyard. It could die in combat, it could return a Cruel Celebrant destroyed by Ugin, or it could be killed by your own removal spell.
No matter how it got there, you can then keep sacrificing one zero-cost Salvager to return the other, draining your opponent with Cruel Celebrant in every step of the loop, and replaying the returned Salvager to keep going.
7) Infinite Pegasi (Modern)
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) February 18, 2020
If an enchantment (such as Enchanted Evening) enters the battlefield while you control Archon of Sun’s Grace, you will create a 2/2 flying Pegasus. Due to Enchanted Evening, this token is an enchantment, and therefore it will trigger Archon of Sun’s Grace again, ad nauseam.
Without a way to stop the loop, this results in a draw. If you controlled Impact Tremors, however, then you would damage your opponent with every iteration, which would produce a win. Alternatively, you could just kill your own Archon or Evening at some point to stop the loop and attack with a million Pegasi on the next turn.
8) Draw your deck (Standard)
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) February 21, 2020
Seven-card combo? Multiple 6-drops? Triple-red, triple-blue, double-green, double-black? Sign me up!
To set off the loop, you need to control all of the above cards along with a Tentacle token and draw a card, resulting in two triggers.
First off, Nadir Kraken creates a Tentacle token. Because Samut grants haste and Renata added a +1/+1 counter, Jiang Yanggu’s static ability allows you to tap it for mana right away, allowing you to break even on Nadir Kraken’s trigger.
Second, Niv-Mizzet pings your original Tentacle token. Because it would be a 2/2 due to Renata, we need Jaya’s static ability to ensure Niv-Mizzet actually kills it. The death of the Tentacle then triggers Liliana to draw a card, allowing you to go through the same process again and again.
After drawing your entire deck, you could win by Flinging a huge Nadir Kraken at your opponent.
I hope you enjoyed this list of wacky combos, but there are surely some possible combos I missed. What’s your favorite infinite loop with the newly printed Theros Beyond Death cards?