How to stop Combos in Commander: Answers Guide pt. 4
07/12/22 0 comments
The fourth part of my article series, where I elaborate on combos used in Commander and the means to combat them.Edit Article
About combos in Commander
Combos and how to stop them
Aura Infinite ManaA combo that has been around for a long time, but became more relevant during Ikoria with the release of cards like Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy, which allows the combo to be executed with any creature that generates colored mana, and Zaxara, the Exemplary, which depends solely on the auras to go infinite.
How it worksThis is an infinite mana combo that depends on one of the auras that allows you to untap the enchanted creature:
StrengthsIt's a compact combo depending on a few pieces: at Zaxara one more, at Kinnan and the other options, two more. Once it's on the battlefield, it's more complicated to answer, as it's possible to untap the creature in instant speed and ignore the interaction.
How to combatBecause it's on sorcery-speed, interacting when the aura is on the stack is more efficient and consumes fewer interactions. It's possible to deal with the aura on the stack with a counter, or while it's on the stack, bounce the target, so the aura misses the target, and the opponent will have to find a way to get it back into the hand. Interactions with
split-secondare always effective, but because they are more restricted and have a higher mana cost, it's usually not recommended to use them.
Chain of Smog + Whiterbloom Apprentice
How it worksFirst cast Witherbloom Apprentice, a two mana 2/2 creature which Magecraft drains 1 life from your opponent. Then cast Chain of Smog targeting you, triggering the apprentice's effect and allowing the spell's caster/target to copy it with new targets, which must be yourself until your opponents run out of life.
StrengthsIt is an extremely compact combo in both mana and pieces, allowing the player to easily use it in decks without relying on too many synergistic or dead cards to take the matches. It doesn't depend on many colors, and it doesn't have a very problematic initial condition to use.
How to combatAs part of the combo involves its user discarding cards from their own hand, this ends up leaving the combo very vulnerable to interactions. Therefore, any counterspell in the copy of Chain of Smog, or bounces and removals in the Apprentice, can stop it However, the deck has access to green, which can guarantee some resistance to the combo before it even starts, such as Veil of Summer, Autumn's Veil and Heroic Intervention to avoid interactions. In these cases, it is important to avoid the resolutions of these spells, to be able to interact with the combo when necessary.
Godo, Bandit Warlord + Helm of the Host
How it worksThis combo is simple: when Godo enters the battlefield, you can search for an equipment, then you search for Helm of the Host, equip Godo and move to the combat phase, triggering the helmet and creating a non-legendary copy with haste. Then you attack with the copy, triggering its ability and generating a new combat, which will create a new copy of Godo, which can activate a new combat, allowing you to have infinite combat phases until your opponents die.
StrengthsIt is a two-piece combo where one of them is in the command zone and still seeks the other, making the combo depend only on mana to be performed.
How to combatThis combo is very exposed and there are several moments and pieces that can receive interactions to end the combo, such as countering Godo, increasing the cost of the combo by two mana and keeping the helmet in the deck. It is possible to bounce Godo before the opponent goes into combat, or remove the helmet before it triggers, or even exile it, completely removing the chance for this combo to resolve. You can also use some aura that removes the creature's ability, like Mystic Subdual, which removes Godo's abilities and makes it impossible for the Godo player to remove them easily.
How it worksThis combo needs Hullbreaker Horror in play, and two mana rocks that, together, generate more mana than they cost. These are usually used:
StrengthsEven though it's a multi-piece combo, it's quite complicated to interact with it when Horror is on the battlefield, as any spell becomes interaction with it, ensuring great resilience.
How to combatDealing with Hullbreaker in play is incredibly hard, and if it's in their hand, your opponent will put it on the battlefield since it can't be countered. As it's a combo that can remove Stax pieces, using them doesn't work very well. But Silence effects can help if used with some ability that can counter abilities.
split-secondremoval can also be useful and if you have information that the deck uses it. Preventing creature tutors from resolving also delays their gameplan.