This article generated a lot of discussion. Everyone disagreed with some of my choices, but no two people had the same idea of what to change. Any article that gets people thinking and talking about the subject is a win in my book.
elcome, Laboratiorians. Today is a very special day here on DailyMTG.com, as I get to help kick off 20th Anniversary week. To honor this game's long history, I'll be taking a look at the Top 20 Johnny cards of all time. These are cards that have a reputation for enabling all sorts of intriguing interactions, from crazy infinite combos to silly synergies. Some have shown up at the highest levels of competitive Magic, while others are hits at the casual table.
After putting together a list of initial candidates, I rated each of them in four different categories.
Combo Potential: Provided you can set up a combo around the card, what is the end result? An exponentially increasing army of creatures? Infinite mana or damage? The bigger, the better. The difficulty of assembling a combo around the card is also taken into account. If you need three or four other cards to make it work, this rating is going to come down a bit.
Versatility: How many options are there for cool combos with this card? If a card can create a combo with a number of different pieces, it will do well here, while a card that usually requires a specific counterpart won't be getting many points.
Ease of Discovery: Cards that take advantage of an obscure rules point can sometimes be fun for highly invested players, but interactions that are relatively easy to understand often have more lasting value. They also provide newer players an entry point into the exciting world of combos. While I love convoluted combos even more than most people, the simpler ones reach every corner of the Magic community, from kitchen tables to the stages of the World Championship, and that wide influence deserves a few extra points.
Weirdness: Most of my personal favorite Johnny cards do something unique. They go where no card has gone before. While cards that do something normal, like untapping a creature or producing mana, may be easier to abuse, cards that do something you've never seen make you really start hunting for a way to take advantage of the effect. These are the kinds of cards that are dismissed by the Magic community as a whole, only to be lovingly embraced by the Johnny crowd.
So, without further ado, I present to you the Top 20 Greatest Johnny Cards in the history of Magic.
Varchild's War-Riders really started getting attention from Johnnies with the release of Urza's Saga. Under an older version of the rules, Brand would allow you to gain control of all the tokens put onto the battlefield by the War Riders. In Urza's Destiny, the card got another great helper in Repercussion. With Varchild's War-Riders giving your opponent an army of tokens, a single Earthquake would allow Repercussion to kill your opponent in one shot. Since then, players have found numerous ways to take advantage of giving your opponent free creatures, and Varchild's War-Riders has remained one of the best ways to do it.
Earthcraft was broken in half with the release of Odyssey, when it combined with Squirrel Nest to make an arbitrarily large number of Squirrel tokens with just two cards. The combo showed up at the highest levels of competitive Magic and eventually led to Earthcraft being banned. It remains banned in Legacy to this day. Interestingly, as originally designed by Mark Rosewater, Earthcraft wouldn't have enabled the Squirrel Nest combo, but it would have allowed players to untap powerful lands like Gaea's Cradle. More or less broken? You decide.
Aluren's power was quickly discovered by Magic players, with early decks using combos like Recycle and Man-o'-War to draw an unlimited number of cards. The deck transformed into a real powerhouse with the printing of Cavern Harpy. When combined with Man-o'-War, it allows you to bounce any creature an unlimited number of times, paying 1 life on each iteration. Spike Feeder takes care of the life problem, and with an unlimited amount of mana from Wall of Roots, also allows you to toss around an arbitrarily large number of +1/+1 counters. Raven Familiar was the tool of choice for digging for the combo pieces, since it could be bounced repeatedly by Cavern Harpy, and Ghitu Slinger served as an instant-speed win condition. Despite the complicated nature of Aluren combos, the card has proved itself repeatedly at the tournament level and still pops up in Legacy from time to time.
Almost any card that gives you mana repeatedly can be abused as part of an infinite mana combo, but Mana Echoes is one of the easiest. Although there were fairly easy combos to be had as soon as it was printed, Mirrodin added one of the best with Pentavus. By using the mana from Mana Echoes to get things started, you can have an arbitrarily large amount of colorless mana the turn you cast Pentavus, and there's little your opponent can do about it. Darksteel added another option with Myr Matrix. It requires more work to get started but gives you infinite creature tokens as well as mana. There are countless other combos to be had with this card, and it can even be used in only somewhat broken ways, such as chaining together multiple copies of Goblin Offensive. Really, the only thing holding this card back is awareness. Despite its power, few of today's players are aware of its existence. Perhaps its inclusion on this list will help change that.
The newest card on this list, Mikaeus has been around for less than two years, but already he's made a huge impact in casual formats, especially Commander. The combo with Triskelion has become a notorious Tooth and Nail target, and the repeated abuse of Woodfall Primus has caused groans across the world. Although persist deftly avoided these tricks by using targeted effects, as seen on Cauldron of Souls, Mikaeus's endless undying has enabled a wide variety of combos, from blisteringly fast kills like Triskelion to cards like Spike Weaver that make the game drag on for ages. Whether you love him or hate him, this fellow has made his presence felt.
One of my personal favorite cards on this list, Sundial of the Infinite gets a lot of points for sheer weirdness. Although this isn't the kind of card you're going to be going infinite with, it is the kind of card that really gets you thinking. While many players will dismiss it as a card that does nothing, a true Johnny sees only opportunity, and Sundial of the Infinite certainly has plenty of tricks up its sleeve. One of the more popular methods of abuse is using it with a card like Mimic Vat, activating the Sundial with the exile trigger on the stack to keep your tokens forever. It can also be used to negate drawback triggers like those on Eater of Days and Final Fortune. Despite its narrow ability, the Sundial has a surprising number of potential uses.
A black-bordered transplant of The Cheese Stands Alone, Barren Glory's win condition seems nearly impossible to achieve at first. Of course, this only makes people like me want to use it even more. Barren Glory presents a challenge. A puzzle which must be solved in order to win the game. Winning with this card is always impressive, and it's this kind of unique win condition that really gets the Johnny brain going. Popular routes to winning with this card include spells like Obliterate, which destroy almost everything save enchantments, or using Oblivion Ring along with cards like Apocalypse that get rid of everything.
Enduring Renewal is one of those cards where you know right away it's meant for an infinite combo. In fact, there are quite a few different combos using the card. Any free creature, such as Ornithopter or Memnite, combined with a sacrifice outlet such as Goblin Bombardment, will go infinite, as will a creature that sacrifices itself for mana, such as Wild Cantor or Skirk Prospector, with something that triggers whenever a creature enters the battlefield or dies. Enduring Renewal's reprint in Time Spiral made it a staple of combo decks in many casual circles, and although its popularity has tapered off somewhat since then, it still does something unique and powerful.
Cloudstone Curio is a curious card whose uses aren't obvious at first. With a little work, however, the Curio can enable a number of infinite combos. Anything that's free or effectively free, such as Priest of Gix or the more recent Burning-Tree Emissary, gives you an infinite number of enters-the-battlefield triggers. The card was also used in many Elf combo decks in the old version of Extended. (At the time those decks became prominent, the format was similar to what Modern is today, with fewer banned cards.) With Heritage Druid to produce mana and Glimpse of Nature to draw cards, the Elf deck could use Cloudstone Curio to return one-mana Elves to hand and cast them again, leaving them untapped and able to activate Heritage Druid's ability once more. The Curio is also often seen at the casual table, endlessly bouncing cards like Crimson Kobolds to some effect.
All right, this is a lot more than one card, but they usually serve the same purpose in the same kinds of combo decks. The ability to untap a creature repeatedly just by spending a small amount of mana is ripe for combo abuse, and a number of cards throughout Magic's history have made that happen. Bloom Tender was one of the most popular ways to use these cards. With Scuttlemutt allowing it to produce one mana of each color, Bloom Tender could use any one of these cards to produce infinite mana. The number of creatures that can be abused with these cards is almost staggering, from Metalworker to Fatestitcher to Viridian Joiner. Almost any creature that produces mana, untaps something, or any one of a number abilities can go infinite when equipped or enchanted with one of these.
Although Eternal Witness is a very Spike-oriented card, the very definition of value, it has found a place in a wide variety of combos. Perhaps the most popular of these is taking infinite turns with Time Warp, returning Eternal Witness each turn with anything from Erratic Portal to Equilibrium. Creatures can be moved from one zone to another more easily than any other card type in the game, and tacking that onto the ability to return cards like instants and sorceries, that often have powerful one-shot effects, is a recipe for crazy shenanigans. This card's combination of value and combo potential has allowed it to see play in every format in the game from time to time, and with the many games that are Magic taken into account, it may have been played more than any other card on this list.
Paradox Haze made it surprisingly high on the list for a card that can't win you the game immediately, but it really stands out in every category save combo potential. This is the only card in the game that can give you an extra upkeep step each turn, and the number of cards that can take advantage of getting two upkeep steps is astounding. While Paradox Haze is very easy to understand, the endless number of unique effects to abuse with it keeps it fun and fresh even after all these years.
Mind Over Matter has an almost legendary reputation as a combo card. Anything from Temple Bell to Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind allows you to dig through your entire deck, usually ending with your opponent very much dead. Seeing one of these hit the battlefield in a game of Commander is usually carte blanche to try to kill the player before the other piece of the combo comes down. Even before you combo off, Mind Over Matter is a powerful utility card, which was likely its intended purpose, allowing you to tap down opposing creatures or lands to prevent opposition or untap your own to get extra use out of them.
Palinchron is another blue card with a mythical reputation for going infinite, and it makes that happen even more easily than Mind Over Matter. Anything that allows you to produce twelve or more mana with seven lands gives you infinite mana and infinite enters-the-battlefield triggers. With access to cards throughout the history of Magic, making this happen is incredibly easy. You can produce the requisite amount of mana with anything from High Tide to Heartbeat of Spring. From Extraplanar Lens to Mana Reflection. From Tolarian Academy to Cabal Coffers. Palinchron is without a doubt one of the easiest ways in the game to produce infinite mana, which is the primary reason for its high position on this list.
Like Eternal Witness, Rings of Brighthearth provides an enormous amount of value in addition to the ability to serve as part of an infinite combo. Unlike the Witness, however, Rings of Brighthearth also does something unique. The ability to copy an activated ability was the sole domain of the Rings until Illusionist's Bracers came onto the scene this year. The list of things Rings of Brighthearth combos with is far too long to even make a crack at here, comprising nearly every permanent with an activated ability that does something other than produce mana. Rings of Brighthearth has consistently been a casual favorite since its printing in Lorwyn, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.
A relatively recent addition, Necrotic Ooze is similar to Rings of Brighthearth and Paradox Haze in its ability to combine with a huge variety of different cards. The Ooze, however, goes infinite far more easily than either of those. From infinite mana with Devoted Druid and Morselhoarder to infinite damage with Triskelion and Phyrexian Devourer, the Ooze can do it all. During this card's time in Standard, it got more people excited about playing combo than any other card I've ever seen.
I'm cheating again on this one, but this is the last time, I promise. These two Altars have likely enabled more infinite combos than any other card in the history of the game. Usually ending with infinite mana, infinite creatures, or both, the number of combos these cards have enabled throughout Magic's history has proved that the ability to repeatedly sacrifice any creature for mana is absurdly powerful. Aside from a cautious experiment with the expensive and vulnerable Thermopod, we haven't seen this ability since. Fortunately, these two will always be around to make your combos easier.
Few cards scream Johnny as loud as this one. If you want to win the game, you have to do something that would usually cause you to lose the game. It's all or nothing with Laboratory Maniac, and there's no turning back. From Leveler to Primal Surge, there are quite a few cool different ways to get your library out of the way, and there are few things as satisfying as winning the game with no cards left in your deck.
Although many new players may never have heard of it, Intruder Alarm was the broken combo card several years ago. Although it never saw much tournament play, there were just so many ways to abuse it that in casual circles it gained a reputation similar to that of Necropotence in competitive Magic. I can't count the number of players I've come across over the years for whom Intruder Alarm was their first discovery of the world of infinite combos. Presence of Gond was a particularly powerful catalyst. As a common, it was an easily accessible way to make an infinite number of creatures, and many aspiring Johnnies jumped at the chance.
Kiki-Jiki has dominated Pro Tours and casual tables alike through its long history. It saw play in Standard with Tooth and Nail even without an infinite combo, and continues to be played in Modern thanks to Restoration Angel, Pestermite, and Deceiver Exarch, all providing an infinite number of hasty creatures in combination with the Kamigawa Goblin. In addition to its tournament dominance, it's an extremely popular card with the casual crowd, especially in Commander. I have an enters-the-battlefield-abusing Kiki-Jiki deck that also contains Rings of Brighthearth, Umbral Mantle, and Sundial of the Infinite from earlier on this list, and our own Content Manager Trick Jarrett has a Goblin tribal Kiki-Jiki deck that's his pride and joy. This card's ability to find a place in every corner of the Magic community is the biggest reason why it's number one on my list of the greatest Johnny cards of all time.
Well, that's all the time I have for today, folks. I hope you enjoyed today's look at my picks for the Top 20 Johnny cards, and I encourage you all to share your own Top 20 picks by clicking the link to the forums below. Until next time, keep looking for the next great Johnny card. See ya!
Last updated on August 9,
Omniscience | Illustration by Jason Chan
Time is an interesting concept, isn’t it? We’re bound by it no matter what we do and are aware that everything has an end as we desperately watch the clocks ticking. What a dramatic start right? This may be a dark way to start an article about MTG, but let me give you a hint so you can forget about the chains of time: you can use MTG to make your opponent suffer in an infinite loop and laugh as they realize they can do nothing to stop their inevitable loss. Unless they have a counterspell, which is always an option.
Let me lay it out plainly if you’re still lost: I wanna talk about some (there are a lot) infinite combos you can pull off in MTG. Specifically infinite combos in Modern and EDH.
As we all know, Magic is a very complex game. If you’re up for some academic reading, there’s a research paper by Alex Churchill, Stella Biderman, and Austin Herrick called “Magic: The Gathering is Turing Complete,” which argues that “MTG is the most computationally complex real-world game known in the literature.” There are more than 20, unique cards in MTG and more are added every year, so the number of plays you can actually pull off increases all the time.
What Are Infinite Combos?
With this many options, any experienced player could come up with a play that is literally unstoppable if the right conditions are set. There are some that provide infinite life, some that produce infinite mana, and some that can give one—occasionally all—of your creatures infinite power.
You could create endless armies or simply throw infinite spells at your opponent. I don’t know the exact number of infinite combos in MTG, but I’ll try to cover those that are most viable and well-known. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
This one is not about a single infinite combo, but a single card that has the potential to enable multiple infinite combos. Its ability looks pretty insignificant at first, but combined with certain cards, it can help you produce infinite mana, buff your creatures with a gazillion counters and draw at the same time, or even have infinite turns.
There are other combos that can go infinite with Temur Sabertooth, but we’ll focus on two in detail so you can get the hang of how infinite combos work in practice. I’ll be it a bit more succinct as we go down our list.
Zacama, Primal Calamity
So, here’s our first one. You need Temur Sabertooth, 12 mana, and Zacama, Primal Calamity. With Temur Sabertooth already on the board, tap your lands for 12 mana and play Zacama. As it enters the battlefield, Zacama will untap all your lands. Then you can use your floating mana to return it to your hand with Temur Sabertooth’s ability, which nets you an additional mana.
This is where the infinite combo comes into play: as your lands are untapped again, you can repeat the process until you gain infinite life. You can even play some enchantments that double your mana to gain faster access to this combo, like Mirari’s Wake.
Time Warp and Archaeomancer
Another combo you can use with Temur Sabertooth allows you to take infinite turns. This time you need two other cards: Time Warp and Archaeomancer. Once you’ve got all three ready to go, you only need enough mana to use them one after the other.
First, play Time Warp and return it to your hand with Archaeomancer. Next, use Temur Sabertooth’s ability to get Archaeomancer back to your hand. This is a certain win if your opponent doesn’t have a way to remove one of your creatures since you’ll be the only player that is, you know, playing. You can also replace Archaeomancer and Time Warp with any sorcery that gives you another turn before heading to the graveyard like Time Stretch or Time Walk plus a creature that allows you to bring a sorcery back from the dead.
Deceiver Exarch and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
A simple but effective combo that lets you create an infinite number of creatures to finish your opponent. First, get Deceiver Exarch on the battlefield and then play Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker targeting Exarch to create a copy of it. The new Exarch comes to the battlefield and untaps Kiki-Jiki. Repeat the process as many times as needed to finish your opponent since Exarch’s tokens will have haste.
This is also known as the Splinter Twin combo because the namesake enchantment works the same way as Kiki. You can also use Pestermite or Zealous Conscripts for your untapper.
Vizier of Remedies and Devoted Druid
This is a relatively cheap combo that produces infinite mana. Devoted Druid adds one green mana when tapped and can be untapped for a -1/-1 counter. Vizier of Remedies prevents it from getting this counter so you can continuously tap and untap Devoted Druid for infinite green mana.
You can also use Quillspike instead of the Vizier, which removes -1/-1 counters to get +3/+3, basically giving it an infinite amount of power with Devoted Druid. If you have any way to give it haste or it already got over its summoning sickness, the game is over. However, all it takes is a simple removal so your opponent can prevent their demise. Still, it’s a fun way to make your opponent sigh and give up the game.
Irencrag Feat, Prismite, and Nivix Guildmage
Another infinite-mana, instant-win combo that’s relatively easy to pull off. Irencrag Feat provides you with seven red mana, but also restricts you to casting one more spell that turn. But, this doesn’t prevent it from getting copied. So, tap Prismite to get a blue mana and just copy Irencrag with Nivix Guildmage. Then you can copy it again, again, and again to get an infinite amount of mana, which you can use to activate Nivix Guildmage’s draw/discard ability and get a spell like Banefire to kill off your opponent.
There are various ways to make this combo work, but I’ll go over just one since the concept is pretty simple. Morselhoarder comes into play with two -1/-1 counters and can add one mana by removing one of these counters. If you enchant it with Sinking Feeling, you can pay one mana to put another -1/-1 counter on and untap it. Finally, Power of Fire deals one damage whenever you tap Morselhoarder, and repeat the process unto forever.
You need four cards to make this combo work. First is Dramatic Reversal, which untaps all non-land permanents you control. Then you’ll need Elite Arcanist, allowing you to exile an instant card from your hand and copy it by paying its converted mana cost. You also need a creature or artifact that you can tap for two or more mana, like Hedron Archive. Finally, you need to have Guttersnipe on the battlefield to trigger its ability.
Here’s how it works: Hedron Archive and Guttersnipe are on the battlefield. Before you play Elite Arcanist, tap Hedron Archive to get two mana. Dramatic Reversal is then exiled and copied, untapping all permanents, which allows you to repeat the process infinitely. Since Dramatic Reversal will trigger Guttersnipe each time, you can deal infinite damage to your opponent.
Deadeye Navigator and Peregrine Drake
Deadeye Navigator is another flexible card that is widely used for combos. It pairs with another creature thanks to its soulbond ability, which allows you to exile that creature and bring it back to the battlefield for two mana. Peregrine Drake untaps five lands when it enters the battlefield, so each time you exile and bring it back, you get three additional mana. You can also swap Peregrine Drake with Palinchron or Great Whale if they suit you better.
Ral, Storm Conduit and Double Expansion
Most of the combos here aren’t legal in Standard, but this one is, at least for another month or so. You’ll need Ral, Storm Conduit, two copies of Expansion, four mana to cast them in succession, and enough mana to get the combo going.
First, Ral needs to be on the battlefield. Then, cast any cheap spell (like Opt) to start the combo. Cast Expansion on the spell, then cast another Expansion to copy that, creating an infinite loop. Ral will deal one damage each time an instant or sorcery is cast and with infinite loops comes infinite damage.
When talking about infinite combos, most people think about life or mana, but infinite counters are also a thing. Perhaps the easiest card to make this kind of combo work is Enduring Scalelord. It has a simple ability: whenever a creature gains a +1/+1 counter, Enduring Scalelord also gains one.
Unless you’re playing a singleton format, you can play two of them to start an infinite loop of counters. And if you are playing singleton, all you need is to replicate it like with Altered Ego, Clone, etc. The loop is actually, unstoppably infinite, but you’d need to stop it eventually if you want to continue playing. You may just say they each have a +million/+million counters to end the madness.
Yore-Tiller Nephilim, Medomai the Ageless, and Viscera Seer
This is one of those combos that give you infinite turns, but it’s kinda tricky. The combo is built around Yore-Tiller Nephilim, Medomai the Ageless, and Viscera Seer (or any creature with a sacrifice a creature ability). Medomai has an incredible ability which allows you to take an extra turn if it deals combat damage to a player, but it can’t be declared attacker during the extra turn.
So, you sacrifice Medomai with Viscera Seer’s ability during your extra turn and attack with Yore-Tiller Nephilim, which brings Medomai back to the battlefield, tapped and attacking. Since Medomai will once again hit your opponent, you get another turn. You can repeat this as long as you want. You should keep in mind that Medomai has to hit your opponent for you to get that extra turn. You can use something like Sleep to tap your opponent’s creatures or Deepchannel Mentor so it can’t be blocked.
Selvala, Heart of the Wilds and Freed from the Real
Infinite mana is always welcome, and this one is really easy. All you need is Selvala, Heart of the Wilds, Freed from the Real, and a creature with at least three power. Selvala can tap for one green mana to add mana equal to the greatest power among creatures you control and then you untap it for one blue mana thanks to Freed from the Real. If you have a creature with at least three power, you’ll always gain more than you’re spending.
Grand Architect and Pili-Pala
Grand Architect and Pili-Pala is used by a lot of players in various formats and is perhaps the most commonly known infinite mana combo. When you activate Grand Architect’s first ability, Pili-Pala becomes a blue creature and, with the Architect’s second ability, you can tap it for two colorless mana. You can then use Pili-Pala’s ability with this two mana to gain one mana of any color and repeat the loop as many times you want.
Riku of Two Reflections and Palinchron
This one is both an infinite mana and infinite token combo. If you have Riku of Two Reflections on the field, when you play Palinchron, you can choose to copy it. Since Palinchron untaps all of your lands, you can then return it to your hand with its ability and play it again to make an infinite number of tokens. If you have seven lands, you’ll also spend six mana to gain seven mana each turn, providing you with infinite mana.
Famished Paladin and Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord
It might take a while to put this combo in place, but if your opponent doesn’t stop it in time, you get both infinite life and damage. Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord provides your creatures with lifelink during your turn and Famished Paladin can untap whenever you gain life. All you need is to equip him with a simple Sorcerer’s Wand and he can deal damage and untap for infinite damage (and life, as if it matters at this point). It’s reasonably cheap, so you can use it competitively.
Duskmantle Guildmage and Mindcrank
MTG is such a marvelously broken game that you can defeat your opponent with just seven mana. Duskmantle Guildmage has two abilities: the first one makes your opponent loses one life each time a card is put in their graveyard, and the second puts the top two cards of their library into their graveyard. Meanwhile, Mindcrank makes it so your opponent has to put a number of cards in their graveyard equal to the damage they receive. This triggers an infinite loop of damage and mill, so congratulations! You just made someone hate you.
Spike Feeder and Archangel of Thune
This combo saw some play in Modern, but it takes a while to start and is relatively easy to prevent. Spike Feeder comes to play with two +1/+1 counters on it, and you can remove one of them to gain 2 life. Archangel of Thune puts a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control whenever you gain life, which means infinite life and infinite counters on creatures you have on the battlefield. Other than Spike Feeder, of course.
Lion’s Eye Diamond and Auriok Salvagers
Lion’s Eye Diamond is a well-known artifact for infinite combos and there are multiple ways to use it, but I’ll stick to just one. This one works with Auriok Salvagers, which allows you to return Lion’s Eye Diamond from your graveyard. Each time you sacrifice Lion’s Eye Diamond, you get three mana of any color and you spend two to bring it back, essentially giving you infinite mana of any colors.
But you still need to find a way to draw some cards to actually damage your opponent or have a mana sink to use to convert your infinite mana into something useful, like Pyrite Spellbomb, which you can use with Auriok Salvagers to bring back and sacrifice infinitely since you have infinite mana.
Time Vault and Voltaic Key
Anyone who plays Vintage frequently has probably come across this combo at least once. Although it’s banned in EDH and Legacy and restricted in Vintage, it would be a shame to not mention it when talking about infinite combos. The fame comes from its simplicity and effectiveness: Time Vault taps to take an extra turn and you need to skip a turn to untap it. However, you can solve this problem with Voltaic Key since it allows you to untap Time Vault, take an extra turn, repeat it infinitely and basically win the game since your opponent will have no chance to play.
Hushwing Gryff, Wormfang Manta, and Conjurer’s Closet
Taking infinite turns is always welcome, so here’s another one. Hushwing Gryff prevents creatures from triggering their abilities when they enter the battlefield, so you won’t have to skip a turn when Wormfang Manta comes into play. But, when you exile it with Conjurer’s Closet and have it come back, you get to take an extra turn. Rinse and repeat until you win the game.
Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and Curiosity
Sometimes, dealing infinite damage is just too easy to be called fair. Niv-Mizzet has a couple of ways to make it work, but the concept is very simple. Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind deals 1 damage to your opponent whenever you draw a card. If you enchant him with Curiosity, you draw another card and create an infinite loop. This also works with Tandem Lookout or Ophidian Eye.
Time Sieve and Thopter Assembly
You need a solid mana base to make this one work since you have to cast Thopter Assembly each turn. Time Sieve needs to be on the battlefield first, and when you begin your upkeep with Thopter Assembly as the only Thopter on the battlefield, it will create five 1/1 tokens, which you will use as sacrifices to your Time Sieve. Thopter Assembly returns to your hand, you cast it again, continue as long as you want. You only need a couple of non-Thopter creatures or pretty much any way of ending your opponent, but it shouldn’t be that difficult at this point.
Enter the Infinite and Omniscience
An infinite draw and cast combo that can only be prevented by a solid counterspell, or death is inevitable. With Omniscience, you’re able to cast spells from your hand without paying their mana costs. Enter the Infinite allows you to draw your entire library, which means that you can just throw your library at your opponent and say, “I win.”
Personal Favorite: Mindslaver and Academy Ruins
As far as infinite combos go, this one is devilishly fun for me, and you’ll soon learn why. It requires some mana to work but is literally unstoppable unless you decide to stop it. Sacrificing Mindslaver allows you to take your opponent’s next turn. This alone makes it a powerful card, but if you also add Academy Ruins, you can tap it on your upkeep to put it back on the top of your library. Then you draw it on your turn, repeat the process, and play the game alone. It might reduce the number of friends you have, but you can’t deny it’s a great combo.
The Combo’s Over
Like I said earlier, there are just too many infinite combos in MTG to mention all of them. It’s a complex game, with complex mechanics and an outstanding number of cards to choose from, so it’s highly possible that there are some combos still undiscovered. If you think there are some combos missing that I should have mentioned, let us know in the comments below!
MTGMTG cardsMTG combosMTG infinite combos
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Magic is full of creatures that tap for useful effects, no matter what you're trying to accomplish:
Ping your opponent: Blightspeaker, Nettle Drone, Prodigal Pyromancer
Draw a card: Archivist, Sea Gate Loremaster
Pump a creature: Angelic Page, Kabuto Moth
Scry 1: Sigiled Starfish
Gain Life: Soulmender
Mill: Cathartic Adept, Screeching Sliver
These effects are nice, but at the rate of one activation per turn, they're hardly game-breaking. On the other hand, if you could untap those creatures as often as you like, you'd win on the spot.
1. Village Hussar Caretaker
2. Untap All the Myr
3. Izzet Call to Glory
4. Untap All the Artifacts
5. Liquimetal Coralhelm
Budget MTG Decks
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Top 10 Infinite Mana Combos in Magic: The Gathering
Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Infinite Mana Combos in Magic
Most Magic decks gradually increase their mana (and ability to play bigger spells) with lands, but some can generate infinite resources with the right tools. In and of itself, unlimited mana won't win a game, but it lets you cast practically anything and can infinitely empower a mana-strengthened creature, scoring an immediate win with a direct attack.
For diversity's sake, we're limiting each spell to a single appearance (some can substitute for others), showcasing a wider pool. With that in mind, these are the ten best infinite mana combos in Magic: The Gathering!
Temur Sabertooth + Paradox Engine + Gyre Sage + Any Cheap Creature
This one's a bit tricky; it not only requires four cards, but someone who taps for several mana. Once evolved several times, Gyre Sage fits the bill, and casting Sabertooth will help her reach her destination.
Here's how it works. With your first three pieces in play, tap Gyre for mana. Use this to help pay for a creature (any will do, but the cheaper the better). Engine untaps Gyre, letting you retap her for mana. Meanwhile, Sabertooth can spend two to bounce your creature back to hand. Rinse and repeat for a complex yet potentially infinite comboyou just need to be tapping Gyre for more mana than you're spending on Sabertooth's ability and the creature's price. With a one-cost troop, that means Gyre must have at least four +1/+1 counters to come out ahead. Pull it off, and you've got infinite green mana.
Update: Note that Paradox Engine is now banned in commander format.
9. Mox Lotus
This one's not so much a combo as an overpowered artifact. Mox Lotus demands a hefty fee of fifteen mana, but you can avoid the cost by gimmicking it into play with free-artifact spells like "Tinker."
Once fielded, Lotus can tap for infinite colorless mana! Plus, you can spend to add a mana of any color, meaning you essentially have infinite resources of all colors. But the catch is Lotus's legality; it belongs to the semi-official "Unhinged" set, banning it from most competitive arenas.
8. Palladium Myr + 2 Myr Galvanizer
All cards involved in this combo are colorless, so they'll fit in any deck; however, you need two copies of Myr Galvanizer, meaning the combo won't work in singleton formats like EDH (unless you can clone token copies). Fortunately, the spells aren't terribly expensive, each needing three mana.
Palladium taps for two, and each Galvanizer can spend one and tap to untap each other myr you control. Basically, when combined, you create a cycle of eternal taps and refreshes that grant unlimited mana. Just remember these resources are colorless, limiting the spells you can apply them towards.
7. The Locust God + Skullclamp + Ashnod's Altar
Each individual component here is useful on its own, so even if you never amass all three simultaneously, you're by no means out of the game. But once you have your trio fielded, equip Skullclamp (it only takes one mana) to one of the 1/1 token creatures you've been generating with Locust. The -1 toughness it receives will kill it, triggering Skullclamp and drawing you two cards.
This in turn triggers Locust, who creates a 1/1 flying/haste token whenever you draw, and since you just drew twice, you now have two tokens. From there, have Ashnod's Altar sacrifice one token for two mana. You're now up by one mana, a few draws, and a token, and you can repeat the combo for as long as you have cards remaining in your library. Admittedly, this isn't technically infinite mana, but it's more than enough for just about any colorless spell, and your near-endless tokens will likely score a damage win regardless (with haste, no less).
Riku of Two Reflections mtg
6. Riku of Two Reflections + Palinchron
This strategy requires three colors and its components both need a fair amount of mana, but you're only hunting two pieces. And since Riku's legendary, you could potentially use him as your commander in EDH, preventing you from having to search him out.
Either way, have Riku fielded, then play Palinchron and use Riku's two-cost ability to clone him. Palinchron's entrance untaps up to seven lands, replenishing your mana. You can only clone non-token creatures with Riku, so use Palinchron's four-cost ability to return him to your hand. Each time you perform this routine, you're spending six mana and gaining seven, providing an infinite supply of both mana and Palinchron tokens. They don't have haste, but on your next turn, they'll be ready to ransack opposing life points.
5. Deadeye Navigator + Peregrine Drake
Although they each demand a hefty fee, these spells align closely in color and cost, meaning you can easily play them one after the other. Drake isn't particularly strong in battle, but automatically untaps up to five lands upon entry. When Deadeye arrives, he soulbonds with another unit (pick Drake), letting you pay two mana to exile either of the units, then return it to the field under your control.
You'll need two mana to start the combo. Exile Drake, untap five lands, then soulbond again with Deadeye. Each time you run through the cycle, you're spending two but gaining five, offering an infinite factory of whatever colors your lands can provide.
4. Umbral Mantle + Karametra's Acolyte
One of the best equipment spells in Magic, Mantle attaches to a creature for three mana. From there, you can spend three and untap the unit to give it +2/+2 for the turn.
Then all you need is a creature that can taps for at least four mana (three won't provide infinite resources, but itwill grant infinite stats for the turn). Karametra's Acolyte is a great choice in mono-green decks, as she taps for mana equal to your devotion (the number of green symbols in your permanents' costs). Gyre Sage and "Marwyn, the Nurturer" can work too. Not only will you have unlimited mana, but an infinitely-powerful creatureone trample-infused or unblockable attack and it's all over.
Selvala, Heart of the Wilds mtg
3. Selvala, Heart of the Wilds + Freed From the Real
Both of these components only need three mana, though you can't have Selvala serve as your commander (she's legendary, but with her leading, your color scheme couldn't include blue). You'll also want any creature with at least three power.
Selvala can tap, spend one green, and add mana equal to the greatest power among creatures you control in any color combination. And by adorning her with Freed, she can untap for one blue. As long as you have a creature of at least three power, you can infinitely tap/untap Selvala to gain resources of any colors; just be sure to pick at least one blue and one green each instance to continue the cycle.
2. Vizier of Remedies + Devoted Druid
This one only takes two cards, and each only costs two mana. Try to cast Druid first to allow her summoning sickness to fade. Then, cast Vizier, and you're set! Whenever a creature you control would obtain one or more -1/-1 counters, Vizier's effect reduces that number by one, so if they only received one, they don't get any.
Meanwhile, Druid can tap for one green,and can untap herself by placing a -1/-1 on her. Thanks to Vizier, she won't get any, letting you eternally exhaust her for unlimited green mana. While this combo requires white mana in your deck for Vizier, try including mostly high-end green or colorless spells, ensuring you have powerful outlets for your unending stream.
Untap creature combo mtg
I can feel it, but believe me, this is not pleasant. - Listen, maybe not. What if you can do without it.Combo Breakdown: Temur Sabertooth - Zacama EDH Combo - MTG Combo Explained - Infinite Mana Combo
Just in case, they asked from behind the door. - It's me, Ilya. Brought a new one. The door flew open.
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I was waiting for her with all the fervor of youthful curiosity. I perceived the colony as part of a romantic set, where an action that I had dreamed of for a long time would develop. I developed.