New Standard Synergies

Posted in Top Decks on May 13, 2016

By Luis Scott-Vargas

Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

We have a lot to work with this Standard season. The release of Shadows over Innistrad has given us a format full of awesome combos, ones that fit into all sorts of different decks. Today we are going to take a look at the coolest of these combos, ranging from ones that win the game on the spot to ones that provide long-game value. Let's dive in!

While you can't actually Collected Company into Cryptolith Rite, these two cards are a centerpiece of multiple powerful Standard decks. By playing four copies of Company and three or four of Rite, plus a giant stack of creatures, you suddenly have access to more mana than you know what to do with. If you've never Companied into a Duskwatch Recruiter with Rites out, you haven't lived. That leads us to our next combo...

This may look a little wacky, but it's legit. If you get these three cards in play at the same time, you can drain your opponent for infinite life. Sacrifice the three Scions from the Monitor to use Eldrazi Displacer on the Monitor, triggering Zulaport Cutthroat three times. Repeat until your opponent is dead. This may seem like an ambitious combo, but in the aforementioned Collected Company-plus-Rite deck, assembling it is easier than it sounds.

If the three-card combo isn't your speed, there are other ways to make your Collected Company deck dominate the endgame. Eldrazi Skyspawner can accelerate out Avacyn, but most importantly, it gives you Scions to sacrifice once you've played Avacyn. That provokes her rage, and soon enough, Avacyn, the Purifier will show up. Add in an Eldrazi Displacer and you can even blink Avacyn after she's flipped into the Purifier. That gives your whole team indestructible right before a wave of 3 damage engulfs everything.

On the other side of the spectrum, there are nearly-creatureless decks that get value from Drownyard Temple plus discard outlets. By casting one of these red spells and discarding Temple, you not only draw two cards and dodge the cost of discarding, but you can get Temple back on turn three and accelerate your mana.

What better card to accelerate into than Pyromancer's Goggles? It works with both Tormenting Voice and Magmatic Insight (you don't even have to discard a card to the copy), as well as powerful spells like Fall of the Titans.

If Pyromancer's Goggles doesn't go deep enough for you, this combo certainly does. First, you cast a couple removal spells, or do whatever you need to do to stay alive. Then, you Dark Petition for Seasons Past. That Seasons Past gets back Dark Petition and all those removal spells, and then goes to the bottom of your deck. Guess what you can then get with Dark Petition? This loop lets you kill all of your opponent's threats forever and, once you add a card like Nissa's Renewal, gives you tons of mana and life to work with.

Speaking of life, Westvale Abbey offers the promise of eternal life (or at least a lot more life), at the low, low cost of five creatures. It's a critical win condition even in decks without many creatures, thanks to a certain white instant. Secure the Wastes gives you ample fodder to summon Ormendahl, Profane Prince, and does so at instant speed. The number of games I've lost to a player with just six lands in play and nothing else is way too high for my liking. They don't even need to have Abbey in play until it's going to flip, thanks to haste!

Green-White Tokens is the deck to beat in Standard, and it's got some new combos ready to wreak havoc on unsuspecting victims. Angelic Purge is no longer just premium removal in Limited, as the combination of it plus Oath or Hangarback Walker gives you a perfect answer to many problematic cards. Killing Pyromancer's Goggles or World Breaker forever is a key play, and sacrificing these permanents is either free (in the case of Oath) or an advantage (in the case of Hangarback).

Another key part of the green-white deck is Tragic Arrogance, usually out of the sideboard. Besides wiping the opponent's board, it can do cool tricks like let you select Hangarback Walker as your artifact and another creature as your creature, keeping both. You can also animate Gideon using his +1, then keep him as your creature and Nissa as your planeswalker, ensuring both survive.

Dragonlord Ojutai doesn't need a lot of help to be great, but I'm always on the lookout for ways to get an edge, and this combination provides just that. By giving Ojutai vigilance, you never have to worry about a stray removal spell heading his way, and you can draw your extra cards in peace.

In your Always Watching deck, there are some other exciting combos available (besides the time-honored Plains plus 2/1 for one). With an Anafenza in play, you can bolster onto Town Gossipmonger, which will be one of your smallest creatures, then transform it into an Incited Rabble. The +1/+1 counters stick around, and you end up with a very incited Rabble indeed.

These are by no means the sum total of the combos in Standard, and I wish you the best in finding the ones that speak to you. No matter what kind of deck you enjoy, there's a sweet combo or powerful synergy out there—you just have to find it.


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