Magic: the Gathering
Exploring the Vesperlark Combo in Historic
Historic Horizons will not only put Vesperlark in Historic, it will enable an infinite combo that will only exist in Magic Arena. The question is: how can we abuse it?
August 24, an exclusive Magic Arena set that will include more than 370 new cards for Historic, including exclusive cards and multiple cards of which were present in Modern Horizons and its successor, Modern Horizons II. Vesperlark is among the cards present in Historic Horizons, and with it, a card that creates an interaction with the Elemental that never existed before in Magic, and that will never exist in tabletop Magic:
regardless of the zone it's in. That is, a creature that has been targeted by a resolved Davriel’s Withering will have -1/-2 in literally
any zone, this includes whether it is returned to the hand, put into a graveyard, or taken into exile. Let's go back to Vesperlark, a creature that when it dies returns a creature with power 1 or less from the graveyard to play. So, the combo works like this: You cast Davriel’s Withering on Vesperlark, which will become a 1/0 creature and die. Vesperlark's ability will trigger, you target itself in your graveyard as it has 1 power, and it will come back into play as a 1/0 creature, dying again and this loop repeats for infinite ETB and Death Triggers. We have the loop, which unfortunately does absolutely nothing on its own, and therefore we need to find ways to abuse it. Fortunately, Historic has plenty of ways to abuse ETBs and Death Triggers:
Infinite Life doesn't win games, so Soul Warden and Daxos, Blessed by the Sun are probably not worth it unless they interact with the rest of the deck. We want to keep the combo in as few colors as possible, which excludes Selhoff Occultist, Anax, Hardened in the Forge and Judith, the Scourge Diva. That leaves us with Blood Artist, Cruel Celebrant, Corpse Knight and Bastion of Remembrance. Corpse Knight and Cruel Celebrant have a higher color requirement, which might be problematic depending on the deck's manabase efficiency, so Blood Artist and Bastion of Remembrance are the ones that remain. Both cards fit perfectly into the strategy of winning the game with the combo, and each of them has its strengths and weaknesses:
outside the combo context, give them more value in the deck's strategy and make the combo an option, and not a must to win the game. This isn't difficult for Davriel's Withering, as a removal that permanently gives -1/-2 to a target creature is far more relevant than it looks, killing Elite Spellbinder, Burning- Tree Emissary, Esper Sentinel (which will certainly be on several lists), Seasoned Pyromancer, invalidates Dreadhorde Arcanist and permanently kills Cauldron Familiar, Gutterbones, Scrapheap Scrounger, among others. Bastion of Remembrance/Blood Artist and Vesperlark can work well together: the enchantment wants your creatures to die to deal damage to the opponent, while the Elemental wants to bring your creatures back from the graveyard. It's possible, therefore, to create synergies between these cards and others to build a functional engine that doesn't rely exclusively on the combo to work.
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