How to Stop Combos in Commander: Answers Guide pt. 3

Magic: the Gathering

Commander

How to Stop Combos in Commander: Answers Guide pt. 3

The third episode of my article series where I talk about combos used in Commander and ways to stop them!

By FELIPE, 17/05/22, translated by Humberto - Comment regular icon0 comments

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Combos in Commander and how to stop them

Combos are a part of Magic: the Gathering, and in Commander they are always very present. Taking 120 life from your opponents without some kind of looping is something very complicated, so in this article, I will explain about four of the main combos used in Commander and ways to interact with them. With this guide, you'll know what you're up against and how to stop any combo that might appear on your Commander table.

Kiki-Jiki Pod

This combo is very interesting and received more cards that help it, like Vivien on the Hunt and Rocco, Cabaretti Caterer.

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The idea of ​​decks that use this combo is to create a

Stax

on the table, usually with creatures that crash the game and then start a ladder, sacrificing creatures to seek creatures with higher mana value. Usually using a creature with a mana value of 3 and a Vivien on the Hunt or Birthing Pod, to use its ability to sacrifice that creature and fetch a Felidar Guardian, exile and return to your Vivien, sacrifice Felidar and fetch a Karmic Guide, reanimate Felidar, exile and return to Vivien, sacrifice Felidar again to fetch Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, tapping it to copy the Guide, which will reanimate Felidar, who in turn will exile Kiki and return him. From now on, the deck will create infinite tokens by tapping Kiki, to copy Felidar l, which in turn will blink Kiki. You can check more details about the combo herelink outside website.

How to prevent

Removals that only destroy a creature are not very efficient, due to the access that this type of deck has to protection, in addition to access to cards that reanimate to be able to continue the combo. Exile the Felidar Guardian while in the graveyard, use exile removals like Resculpt on both Pod and Felidar before it is sacrificed. Disabling key stax pieces that this type of deck carries to delay and hinder your opponents' play is important. Countering the pieces that start the combo is also an alternative.

Necrotic Ooze + Asmodeus + Skirge Familiar

This combo is more present in Old Stickfingers for its ease in finding the combo, since in the construction of the deck the only creatures that will be used are the ones that make up the combo, guaranteeing that they will go to the graveyard when the commander is cast regardless of whether or not it is countered, the creatures will be revealed and go to their graveyard.
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With cards in the graveyard, the player only needs one reanimate to have a Necrotic Ooze, with Asmodeus' ability to draw seven cards for Magic Symbol bMagic Symbol bMagic Symbol b and the Skirge's ability to discard a card to generate Magic Symbol b, thus allowing the player to draw their deck and generate mana until they encounter a payoff such as Exsanguinate or Torment of Hailfire.

How to prevent

Because of the range of protections green provides, dealing with Ooze once it is in play isn't a viable option. However, these protections don't protect the cards that are in the graveyard and that make Ooze have its abilities, so using a graveyard exile effect ends up being very efficient against this deck. The only way the player can protect their combo is to take those pieces out of the graveyard themselves, as a Turn the Earth, Reclaim or Noxious Revival.

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Countering the Reanimate spell also works, but because the deck has access to the Veils ends up being more risky, and depending on more than one interaction, like a Trickbind, which can solve the problem on the player's turn, but doesn't prevent the combo on another player's turn, but without a payoff — which would only allow you to carve a hand to ensure your spell resolves on your own turn, unless you use an Emergence Zone.

Magda + Clock of Omens

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Magda has been attracting attention in the international competitive scene, she has already taken one tournament, but in Brazil she was already known before that because of budget tournaments. Its best known combo is with Clock of Omens, which can be sought by the commander by sacrificing five treasures and a dwarf artifact — this way you will tap the dwarf artifact and the clock by untapping the dwarf and creating a treasure, generating infinite tapped treasures, which can be used to, after having more than 5 artifacts, search for a Grinding Station and mill opponents' decks while looping the tapped treasures. You can check more details about the combo herelink outside website.

How to prevent

Interacting to stop a Magda isn't complicated. The hardest part of interacting with her is remembering that she can combo at instant speed. Stax pieces like Manglehorn prevent the loop, as treasures will already enter tapped. Removals on Magda, Dwarf, and Clock are usually quite effective, and exiling the Dwarf or Clock tends to sour a Magda player's day. Normally, Magda lists run all red counters — however, that doesn't mean she can be effective in a counter war. Countering a piece they cast is usually efficient, if the player has counters it will hardly be more than the blue player will have. The combo depends on 3 different cards on play and the commander is the main one, so not letting Magda stay on the battlefield too long tends to delay the deck, which is very reliant on her.

Kinnan Basalt

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This is a well-known and popular combo in budget decks, mainly because Kinnan is normally in the command zone and relies solely on Basalt Monolith to generate infinite colorless mana. You can check more details about the combo herelink outside website.

How to prevent

Removing Kinnan is always a way to deal with the deck given the range of other winconditions that the deck has, making the deck's early and mid-game difficult, preventing the opponent from generating too much advantage during the game. During the combo itself, it's always good to see how much mana your opponent has available. If they have enough mana to untap Basalt Monolith more than once, they can respond to any interactions by untapping it

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Countering Basalt is fine, but just one counter won't normally affect the deck. Kinnan decks usually use counters to protect themselves, in addition to having access to veils that will definitely guarantee victory to the opponent if they resolve. If the Metagame you'll be facing is full of Kinnan and other decks that are more complicated to interact with, you can use cards like Abrupt Decay that can remove Kinnan while the player casts Basalt, or Krosan Grip, which is a response that guarantees that the combo will not continue and still removes a piece from play, as well as working against other combos.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this article! There will still be more parts talking about other combos. If you want any in particular, just leave acomment here!
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FELIPE

Started playing Magic on M20 in 2019. Prefers control decks and seeks to improve his deckbuilding.

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