Throne of Eldraine contains many new cards that enable sweet Standard-legal or Modern-legal combos.
Some of them enable minor two-card combos that simply provide some additional value. For example, combining Hushbringer with Clackbridge Troll to prevent your opponent from creating Goats, combining Tolsimir and Garruk to get free life and fight triggers, or combining Enhanced Surveillance and Syr Konrad, the Grim to damage your opponent for a bunch. 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 nine such combos. Some are close to competitive. Others (well, most of them) are more questionable. But all of them are fun to consider. Let’s start!
1. A competitive Goblin combo (Modern)
This combo is reminiscent of the Melira combo that saw lots of play in Modern back in the days. In this Goblin variant, Skirk Prospector eats Murderous Redcap, which immediately persists back onto the battlefield. The persistent -1/-1 counter cancels out against Grumgully’s +1/+1 counter, and then you can repeat this as often as you like to generate infinite mana and to deal infinite damage.
Since all the combo pieces are tutorable via Goblin Matron, hittable via Goblin Ringleader, and playable on their own, this three-card combo actually seems competitive. In Modern Goblins, a green splash for Grumgully is definitely worth exploring.
2. Pet Cemetery (Modern)
Cauldron Familiar and Witch’s Oven make up a macabre combo where a dead cat keeps eating a cooked version of itself. In Standard, you could combine the two to get a free chump blocker and a free enters-the-battlefield trigger per turn cycle.
To go infinite, you need a way to untap Witch’s Oven. It’s difficult to loop untap triggers in Standard, but it’s easily doable in Modern. Karn can turn Witch’s Oven into a creature, and then Intruder Alarm will untap it every time the Cat returns to the battlefield. The end result is infinite drains.
3. The animated Henge (Modern)
You know what else can be animated with Karn? The Great Henge! This turns it into a 9/9 artifact creature, which can smash in for a lot of damage. That may be something to build around in Standard, but it’s not an infinite loop.
In Modern, however, you can add Voltaic Construct to gain infinite life. Normally, Voltaic Construct can’t untap The Great Henge because it’s not a creature, but Karn changes that. You can now keep tapping and untapping The Great Henge as often as you like, gaining two life every time.
4. Infinite colored mana (Standard)
Normally, mana creatures tap for one or two mana. But Faeburrow Elder can potentially tap for five! So if you have enough colors among permanents you control, then you can generate infinite mana via High Alert or Gauntlets of Light.
If you control either of these enchantments along with Theater of Horrors, then you can generate one red mana per loop and eventually sink that into the Theater for infinite damage. Maybe this is a combo to consider in Niv-Mizzet Reborn decks in Standard?
5. Bran the Broken (Standard)
There’s another way to generate infinite mana with Faeburrow Elder, and it involves Kenrith and a pair of Biomancer’s Familiars. This way, Kenrith’s last ability only costs a single black, making it easy to set up a loop.
Specifically, if you also control an arbitrary black permanent and Mask of Immolation, then you can tap Faeburrow Elder for WUBRG, pay WU to equip Mask of Immolation, sacrifice it to deal a damage, pay B to bring it back, and pay R to give it haste with Kenrith. Every loop, you ping one damage and gain one green mana, and you can repeat this as often as you like.
6. An infinite engine with Emry (Standard)
Emry, Lurker of the Loch is a powerful card that just screams to have an infinite engine built around her. In Modern, this is relatively easy. Start with two Mox Opals, add Paradox Engine or Jeskai Ascendancy, and you’re done.
In Standard, it’s more difficult, but not impossible. You start by tapping Emry and Firemind Vessel to cast Corridor Monitor from your graveyard. Thanks to Yarok, it untaps both Emry and Firemind Vessel when it enters the battlefield. Then, a Yarok-fueled Marauding Raptor pings Corridor Monitor for 4 damage total, sending it back to the graveyard. This, in turn, triggers Cruel Celebrant to drain your opponent for one. Rinse and repeat.
7. Never-ending adventures (Standard)
You’d better bring a stack of lucky clovers if you ever want to assemble this one in a real game of Magic… But in theory, it’s possible to go onto infinite adventures. For this, you start with G in your mana pool and Shepherd of the Flock and Samut on the battlefield.
1. Cast Seasonal Ritual, which gets copied three times (GGWW in pool).
2. Cast the second Seasonal Ritual (GGGWWWW in pool).
3. Cast both Rosethorn Acolytes, which have haste thanks to Samut (W in pool).
4. Tap them for mana, triggering Leyline of Abundance (WWWGG in pool).
5. Cast Usher to Safety (WWGG in pool) which gets copied several times to return both Rosethorn Acolytes and Shepherd of the Flock to your hand.
6. Cast Shepherd of the Flock from exile (GG in pool).
Every loop generates one additional mana, which Leyline of Abundance will eventually turn into infinite +1/+1 counters.
8. Infinite Irencrag (Modern)
You can cast only one more spell this turn after resolving Irencrag Feat, but the card doesn’t say anything about copies. If you start with eight mana in your pool, then you can cast Irencrag Feat, copy it with Nivix Guildmage, and use Prismite so that you have five red and one blue mana in your pool. With the original Irencrag Feat still on the stack, you can then copy it again. And again. And again.
After generating infinite mana of any color, you can use Nivix Guildmage’s draw-and-discard ability to dig for your singleton Banefire and finally cast it the win.
9. All the turns (Modern)
You start the turn by casting Time Warp. Then you play Mystic Sanctuary and put it back on top. Finally, you use a card like Meloku or Trade Routes to return Mystic Sanctuary to your hand. That’s infinite turns. If you have anything to get ahead during your turns (such as a Howling Mine trigger, a planeswalker activation, or a newly created Illusion token) then the game will be yours.
I hope you enjoyed this list of wacky combos. I focused on Standard-legal or Modern-legal combos that were not possible before. For example, I excluded Dance of the Manse (which can go infinite by returning 2 Lotus Bloom, 2 Composite Golem, Codex Shredder, and Pyrite Spellbomb) because that was already possible with Open the Vaults or Faith’s Reward. And I excluded The Cauldron of Eternity (whose “put onto the bottom” trigger could yield an infinite loop with Grenzo, Dungeon Warden; Priest of Urabrask; and a sacrifice engine) because Grenzo is not legal in Modern, as nice as it may be for Commander.
There are surely also some combos I missed. What’s your favorite infinite loop with the newly printed Throne of Eldraine cards?