65 thoughts on “Magic TV: Extra – Top Combo Cards of All-Time”

  1. Lol this has the best outtakes of any Magic TV I’ve seen yet… “we talkin’ about innovating?” Also, I was just thinking about that poker sponsership thing applying to Magic… And time vault/voltaic key seems pretty broken… “oh, you wanted to take a turn? Maybe next game.”

  2. Sheesh, dillon. Listing the ten best of anything off the top of one’s head would probably lead anyone to a few misses. (TSG and LSV left off both Birds and Hierarch off of their 10 best one-drop lists).

    Yeah, they’re better at Magic than me. But that doesn’t mean that if my opinion differs from theirs that one of us is somehow “wrong.” Just means that different folks have different opinions.

  3. What about enduring renewel/goblin bombardment (fruitty pebbles), squandard resources/cadaveous bloom/prosperity (propsbloom), Stais like Mauro said? Patrick was around during those days, just no love for the old school combos. Even the Memory Jar/Megrim deck that got banned as quickly as it was built is a bomb. I built a deck recently using Mind over Matter and Temple Bell just to see if the combo is viable. I LOVE all the old school combos!

  4. My prediction: Pyromancer’s Ascension is going to be a very good deck in Legacy. No, I didn’t expect anyone to list Pyromancer’s Ascension as one of the top ten combos – but now that it’s a proven concept, a year from now people might. True, it hasn’t really done too awesome in Standard or Extended, but it’s certainly been part of the tier 1 metagame landscape, and since it’s a 2 mana single card build-around-me combo, it’s viable in any format, since every format has tier 1 instants and sorceries.

  5. Fun video, never thought about the name “Channel Fireball” as the combo; thougt it is a channel in internet tv or something…but i am not a native speaker.

    Keep up the good work and congratulations to Brad Nelson for winning Pro Tour Amsterdam!

  6. Cool Vid, hard to mention all. I feel those are more important than many of what you named:

    Goblin Welder
    Ad Nauseam
    Tendrils of Agony / Brain Freeze
    Isochron Scepter + Orim’s Chant
    Nefarious Lich + Nourishing Shoal

  7. Auirok Salvager combos nicely with Black Lotus.
    Helm of Obedience combos nicely with Leyline of the Void. 🙂

  8. IsThisACatInAHat?

    Top 5 must include:
    Memory Jar- fastest card to hit a banned list in MtG history
    Tolarian Academy- most broken land ever printed

  9. Definitely agree on Time Vault as easily in the top 2, if not #1 with a bullet. (Even when you couldn’t take infinite turns with it via Voltaic Key, people would occasionally SKIP infinite turns to kill people with Flame Fusillade.)

    I feel like Enduring Ideal makes the list just on the grounds that it is one of the only truly self-contained combo cards. (The rest of the more self-contained combo pieces mentioned were draw engines like Necro/Bargain. Mind’s Desire probably qualifies as well, though, as might Tooth and Nail.)

    As far as more “casual” combo cards go, the short list definitely includes Intruder Alarm and Staff of Domination, and probably a few that are/were on the fringe of constructed playability, such as Dream Halls, Mind Over Matter, Earthcraft, etc.

  10. I didn’t think of combos as cool cards that work together. Combos are things that give you hard locks on the game. Once you combo, you should be almost guaranteed to win.

    Time Vault + Key
    Channel + Fireball
    Tolarian Academy + Time spiral + Mind over Matter was a cool combo.
    Illusion + Donate was a cool combo.
    High Tide + Frantic Search + Time Spiral + Palinchron
    Squandered Resources + Cad Bloom + natural balance
    Recurring Nightmare + Untap creature
    Yawgmoth’s Bargain/Skirge Familiar
    Earthcraft + Horeshoe

    Otherwise, if you’re naming “cool” combos.. you might as well say Jace, The Mind Sculptor + Islands or Jackal Pup + Lightning bolt

  11. Pretty surprised to see no mention of the two recently most powerful combo’s, Dark Depths + Vampire Hexmage and Thopter Foundry + Sword of the Meek.

    Other than that it sounded alright.

  12. What about Hulk + Flash? Thats one of the most insane combos of all time!

    Off-Topic: Does anyone know where I can find PVs Report from GP Columbus? It has been deleted here…if anyone safed it, please send it to [email protected]…thx in advance

  13. Of course they can’t list every combo in existence, but I think Urza’s block should have been mentioned. That was a whole era of combo decks fueled by Academy, Time Spiral, Memory Jar and the like.

  14. Whats the definition of a combo?

    It’s pretty vague….I mean…llanowar elf + overrun is sorta a “combo”

    I am also unsure wether or not it’s a good thing that they haven’t printed any combo cards in a while.

  15. Memory Jar combo was the most powerful combo that I’ve ever seen, winning on turn 1 without needing to even play a land is kinda good. Though it did get banned so it didnt dominate tournaments.

    Tinker and goblin welder both make good combo enablers and have shown up in a lot of decks.

    Replenish combo was pretty good for a while and maybe good enough for the top 10.

    Staff of domination has lead to a bunch of infinite mana combos

  16. What about…

    Balancing tings? Balancing act + terravore?
    Or angry hermit? hermit druid + anger + terravore + unearth?
    or what about life from the loam decks? with terravore?
    what about dredge?
    what about flash?
    Sneak Attack?
    what about Opposition + deranged hermit?
    some guys mentioned dragonstorm? It also depends on how u define combo, if u define it as “a bunch of cards that combine together work as an engine repeatedly” for example I believe enduring renewal + goblin bombardment + shield sphere is a combo, coz can go infinite, but not dragonstorm or dredge or those shouldnt be considered “combos”
    Like reveillkark+ body double + something to sac…now THAT is a combo
    We could also mention enchantress but again not a “COMBO”, well Im sure there is more but I thought those were cool at least to mention

  17. Flash/Protean Hulk
    Scapeshift/ Valakut, the molten pinnacle
    Sands of Time/ Equipoise
    Mirror Universe/City of Brass
    Sylvan Liibrary/ Abundance
    Prodigal Sorceror/ Fungosaur
    Mephidross Vampire/ Triskelion
    Seedborn Muse/Teferi, Mage of Zhelfir
    Peanut Butter/Jelly
    Puerto/ Riccoooooo

  18. power creep refers to the creatures, not the broken friggin spells that are countered by negate and stolen by duress. there’s a reason duress sees almost no play today and was insane back in the day.

  19. Really guys, they didn’t prepare a list or anything. They just named things off the top of their heads. Sorry if they didn’t mention every combo you like.

  20. The best combo card (singular) ever has to be Voltaic Key. It has comboed with powerful artifacts since it was printed.

    Key + Grim Monolith/Thran Dynamo/Metalworker/Mana Vault for tons of mana
    Key + Phyrexian Colossus for sick beats (Tinker helped find the Colossus though)
    Key + Phyrexian Processor for tons of dudes
    Key + Vault for infinite turns

    Key has always been awesome with powerful artifacts, and has enabled broken strategies to become even more degenerate.

  21. That was a perfect description of the power creep myth. Old stuff was a mix of broken cards and terrible cards. Nowadays there are no real broken cards, but far more cards that are reasonable constructed playables.

  22. Mycosnth Lattic + March of the Machines was a fun casual combo.
    Woods funny new combo Mass Polymorph w/ only Magisters Sphinx and 2 Bogarden Hellkite.
    Hellkite Charger + bear umbra is another new casual combo.
    seismic assault + swans had its moment in the sun.
    To not mention tinker and/or memory jar seems like a crime lol

  23. There’s a flaw in the question, it doesn’t specify whether he meant cards that lend themselves to combinations like Academy Rector + Yawgmoth’s Bargain or Time Vault + Voltaic Key forms a combo; or if he just meant decks of the combo archetype, and the greatest cards that fuel them, such as Dark Ritual, Timetwister, Burning Wish, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Mind’s Desire, Tendrils of Agony, Ponder, Goblin Charbelcher, etc..

  24. The word combo is being blurred to much in magic. A combo wins you the game immediately. I just refer to everything else as an enabler or a engine.

  25. Flash Hulk for sure. Only legal for a brief window, but easily the best deck to ever win a GP or Pro Tour.

  26. Great show.. Love to see the three of you on the show.

    However, I disagree with teh way you 3 understood the question.
    For me , a combo wins you the game immediately except if your opponent has the correct answer to it.

    I don’t see how Dark ritual is one of the best combo card. it’s an enabler, that’s it.
    Powerful combos are : Vault/Key, Grindstone/Painter, Flash/Protean Hulk, Illusion/Donate, Channel/Fireball, Oath/Forbidden Orchard, Seismic assault/Swans, Depths/Hexmage, Sneak Attack/Serra Avatar and finally Isochron Scepter + Orim’s Chant. That’d be my top 10.

    Thanks again for this awesome show…

  27. Didn’t like the video. I think they should have done a little prep before hand and at least agreed on what was going to constitute a “combo-card” for this purpose. They didn’t have to make the list or anything but at least figure out in advance if they want to limit it to the engine cards or potentially include everything involved in the combo (i.e. the enablers too)

    Personally I would rank engine cards only, as the enablers are too ubiquitous and would make for a boring list. (basically the best fast mana, free stuff, card drawing, and tutoring)

    As for the great engine cards:
    – Voltaic Key – Engine for multiple combos
    – Oath – Has been a staple in one format or another basically since it was printed
    – Storm cards – Tendrils, Desire, Dragons, Brainfreeze, heck even Empty the Warrens and Grapeshot. These have consistently served as key combo finishers since being printed

  28. I think this is an incredibly interesting question that got short shriff here. I thought I’d come up with my own list purely for my own entertainment. I’m even going to put them 1-10 for super extra internet debating power!

    First, however, I need to define what I’ll consider a “combo card” and the stipulation for it making the all time list. A combo card should be a card that, when combined with a single-other card or class of cards creates a game state where winning is either immediate or imminent. So things like Aether Vial don’t even come close to counting.

    I don’t exclude enablers either, since most cards are technically enablers…Memory Jar is one of the most broken cards of all time, but can’t win the game without other cards. Time Vault is one of the easiest combos in existence, but again, doesn’t kill. In fact, the only card on this list that does actully kill an opponent is Tendrils of Agony.

    To make the all-time list, a card needs to have both longevity and application in multiple combinations. Illusions of Granduer/Donate is one of the all-time combos, but their fate is tied to one another (and Necropotence) and one deck. Modern Vintage playability is pretty important too.

    It’s also important to consider the real culprit in combo decks. Time Spiral was definitely broken, but Tolarian Academy not only made the deck run, but made other combo decks run as well, so it gets the nod first. Academy Rector was a combo piece, but its primary function was to find Bargain, which has fueled combo decks since it was printed.

    For that matter, Tutors don’t count. Tutors exist to be reduntant copies of the cards below for the most part.

    1. Time Vault – Gets the nod mostly because it dominates Vitange these days and formerly was strong with Flame Fusilade. Alongside Twiddle, it was also one of the earliest combos pre-errata. If the wording hadn’t changed a million times, this would have dominated tournaments since its printing.

    2. Tendrils of Agony – The primary storm kill card used in a billion different decks over the years. Tendrils also stands in here for all the other storm cards, including Mind’s Desire and Brain Freeze (and to a lesser extent Grapeshot and Dragonstorm), but gets the nod because of its wide application accross multiple formats, including modern Legacy and Vintage. THE combo kill card that actually does the killing.

    3. Necropotence/Yawgmoth’s Bargain – Nearly didn’t make the list because they’re very similar to tutors in that they mostly exist to find other cards. The difference is that Necro and Bargain fueled engines, especially storm-based combo that requires a lot of cards…and in the world of engine cards, these two are nuclear. Bargain is more comboey since it tends to win immediately instead of waiting till the next turn or end step, but Necro was the original. If they’re on the list, they belong here.

    4. Yawgmoth’s Will – Sure, sometimes people play this card for value…just like sometimes people chose to skip turns with Time Vault to save up for later. Most of the time people are doubling up on Black Lotus, Dark Ritual, Demonic Tutor, Ancestral Recal and, eventually, Tendrils of Agony.

    5. Memory Jar – Quickest ban ever, this bad boy only does broken, combo things. Made Megrim a card people could actually play outside of kitchen tables. More than even Academy, Memory Jar typified how broken Urza’s block was.

    6. Oath of Druids – The “one card combo,” Oath of Druids has long been used to win immediately or nearly so. Since the printing of Forbidden Orchard, Oath has gone to a whole new level.

    7. Tolarian Academy – The poster child for combo winter, if Jar was the boogeyman, this was the card that gave the boogeyman a ride to your closet every night. Academy also powered out one of the fastest mono-colored combo decks ever to see play in Type 2 of all places, alongside fast artifact mana and Time Spiral. The lack of necessity of this land in modern vintage drops it down the list, whereas years ago it might have been higher.

    8. Tinker – Ok, so it’s sort of a tutor. However, combo decks are typically defined by fast mana, engines and tutoring. Tutor is all those things in one, making it the quintessential combo card. These days Tinker is less combo, more Summoning Trap for 3 mana, but it still occasionally finds Broken Jar or Time Vault.

    9. Channel – The original. It’s never really been used for anything other than killing people immediately. The ultimate in fast mana, Channel kicks Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond and their bretheren, and then steals their lunch money.

    10. Ad Nauseam – This last slot was close. Dark Ritual, Skullclamp and a few others all got consideration, but Ad Nauseam is another “one card combo” that drives an entire deck. It’s telling that modern Legacy storm decks almost always rely heavily on the newest addition to this list.

    Note: Black Lotus doesn’t make the list because it’s just idiotically broken everywhere. It’s used in combo just like it’s used in every deck that can legally play it.
    Honorable Mention: Black Lotus, Skullclamp, Dark Ritual, Flash, Belcher, Balance, Mind Over Mater

  29. hmmm,,, all these people, and I’m the first to mention Recurring Nightmare….maybe it’s Not a combo card?

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