Infinite combos

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So what is the general feeling about infinite combos?  Particularly game winning combos.  For example, I'm considering putting [c]Sanguine Bond[c/] and [c]Exquisite Blood[c/] into my [c]Kaervek the Merciless[c/] deck.  If this came out and won me the game, what would your reactions be?  Or is this a case where it depends on what the combo is?  I basically just don't want to be "that guy" in my gaming group.  I've been on the recieving end a couple times, and had no hard feelings for it.  I figure if we let you do it, it's our fault.   I would just ask my group, but since I play most often at my FLGS, I play too many different people.  So I come to you for opinions.  Thanks in advance. 
There's nothing wrong with cheezing out a combo, most the time its what it takes to end a dragging game. Like you said it's the losing players fault for letting the combo happen, players need to play removal and counter abilities wisely. If people blow all there answers too fast and you win via combo you shouldn't feel bad....I don't.



cheers.

                                                                                                                                                                                        <----- Loser.

To me it depends on the playgroup. I participate in a group where most of the players have combos in their decks, but the decks aren't built around a two- or three-card combo. Then we end up getting a player in a game that is using one such combo deck, and it becomes 5-on-one to fully disable that one deck's ability to combo-out early so that the rest of us can keep playing.

I like playing Magic more than I like seeing your combo work. If everyone plays super-powerful combo decks in a casual game, then it seems more stable to me, and I'm all for the footrace feeling of the game. But in a game where people build fun decks around 40+ cards that synergize without breaking the game, the one combo deck that wins too fast is not fun to play against.

In competitive environments, combo out though. Then you have something tangible for which to beat them quickly, and whether the opponent has fun is not your problem at that point.

Basically, make sure everyone playing with you knows that you are the Target guy before you start unless all players play similarly.

That's my 2 cents on that. Have fun though, and make sure the people you play with have fun too. Happy gaming to you!
If I'm right, I'm right. If I'm wrong, I still believe I'm right. Think of it as religion. dubito ergo sum.
I'm not actually building a deck to combo win, more just adding a combo as an alternate win condition. 
I dislike infinite combos, but considering that they're the only win condition for some decks, I'll generally not be too angry about losing to one.

My Experiment Kraj deck has a few infinite combos, which you come to expect from a card that screams "COMBO ME! COMBO ME!" I didn't actually intentionally put them in, I just found out after constructing the deck how badly you can abuse Kraj's ability.
I try to keep the pieces of the combo usefull on their own, which general leads to less focused combos that happen less often. For example I took disciple of the vault out of sharuum. Its only purpose was combo win

3DH4LIF3

While not actually an infinite combo, this seems like a valid place to put my question without wasting a thread.

My Mayael deck is built around the fact that Primal Surge is in it, of course, by making Primal Surge the only nonpermanent.

Being a Mayael deck, it's obviously filled with big creatures.

I've also included Cathars' Crusade and Warstorm Surge. Meaning that resolving Primal Surge is a win condition and essentially a one card combo for massive, functionally infinite, damage.

Opinions on this?
While not actually an infinite combo, this seems like a valid place to put my question without wasting a thread.

My Mayael deck is built around the fact that Primal Surge is in it, of course, by making Primal Surge the only nonpermanent.

Being a Mayael deck, it's obviously filled with big creatures.

I've also included Cathars' Crusade and Warstorm Surge. Meaning that resolving Primal Surge is a win condition and essentially a one card combo for massive, functionally infinite, damage.

Opinions on this?



It looks pretty fun, as long as it resolves. I assume you run a fair amount of ramp to power it out?

                                                                                                                                                                                        <----- Loser.

The only deck that's ever irked me was a UW Counter deck, where everything was a counter, removal, graveyard recursion, plus one or two things along the lines of bribery and Desertion. And it came to such a point that it wasn't even fun to play against, because I just sat by and watched as he did whatever he pleased.

So running with that same logic, I think game-winning combos would only pose a problem to reasonable folks if there's nothing they can do.
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So what is the general feeling about infinite combos?  Particularly game winning combos.  For example, I'm considering putting Sanguine Bond[c/] and [c]Exquisite Blood[c/] into my [c]Kaervek the Merciless deck.  If this came out and won me the game, what would your reactions be?  Or is this a case where it depends on what the combo is?  I basically just don't want to be "that guy" in my gaming group.  I've been on the recieving end a couple times, and had no hard feelings for it.  I figure if we let you do it, it's our fault.   I would just ask my group, but since I play most often at my FLGS, I play too many different people.  So I come to you for opinions.  Thanks in advance. 




This is...a very hard question to answer.  As most people above me have stated, it really depends on the environment, or what people are playing the rules people follow.  Honestly, I've just had an experience which shows when Combo decks become a huge problem:

I have a play group come over once every week for a night of EDH and multi-player Legacy (honestly, the Legacy nights tend to be the most fun--nothing like every deck being able to win in a couple turns and everyone eyeing each other down to see who might win first, so kinda like Poker).  Two weeks ago, I had steeled myself for another EDH night I knew would be problematic.  I had purposefully proxied an entire deck (including basic lands, just because of Unglued lands).  The deck was meant to show them as fun as it is to proxy $80 Gaea's Cradles, it isn't very fair to the people who were building decks with only the cards they have.  Unfortunately, I encountered a much bigger problem:  one player was letting Combo decks run rampant in his collection.  I don't know how you guys feel, but whenever a deck in Blue is one fifth counterspells and the rest dedicated to getting infinite mana for Memnarch...it's not fun having to play against.  Just about nothing is worse than not getting to play spells just because you can't stop your opponent from immediately taking it over, and to rub salt on the wound counters everything else.  After two games in a row of this happening, I lent another player my Edric, Spymaster of Trest deck (know in my group for being a complete monster) and we stopped the Memnarch deck from doing this again.

However, this didn't really solve anything but make the player more determined to break gameplay with combos.

Forseeing this, I secretly built a very similar combo deck using the shell of a previous Heidar, Rimewind Master EDH deck.  While I played some counterspells, I stacked more combos into the deck than anything else.  In the end, I could get infinite mana seven or eight different ways utilizing different cards, and use it to deal infinite damage, force everyone to sacrifice all their permanents, permanently tap down all permanents of my choosing, mill every other deck, bounce anything, and do all of these things in more than one way--all in mono-Blue.

The first game ended in misery, causing everyone to erupt into arguments as the two mono-Blue decks went at each other's throats until his lost because it was much more of a threat at one point with an activated Memnarch, and the moment it couldn't retaliate I was able to get infinite mana for the win.  I convinced the other player to drop Combos.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, don't get me wrong.  Combos are fun if they are interactive and/or clever, even more so if it breaks a game that is taking way too long.  They are especially fun whenever they take a while to see.  But, and this is important, players have to communicate and actually listen to one another.  Players should take out combos which frustrate their friends, and take apart an entire deck whenever there's no way to make a general fun.  Memnarch is not fun and there's not really a way to make him fun.  If you can't get over still wanting to use all of the artifacts needed for Memnarch, then switch to Sharuum and see if that's any better.  There's no reason cards have to go to waste, just don't abuse them for your own amusement--in time, you'll no longer find any amusement in them.

I really don't believe in the ideology of "well, you could always just play X spell to stop me."  It's a very slippery slope.  If my only choice is to play a certain kind of deck or not play at all, I'll choose the third option:  not playing with you anymore.  Think of it like the Cold War--you have X nuclear weapons, so I'll make X+1 nuclear weapons.  Does this thinking make anyone really happy?  No, you instead become obsessed with questions like "hey, is he going to play this?" and "what am I going to do if this happens?" instead of "am I going to have fun tonight?"  Having fun is more important than winning in this format.

P.S: that is, unless you're playing in a competition.  All bets are off then.
I tend to agree with most of the thoughts laid out in this thread.  The only EDH deck I have that has combos is my Riku deck which has 2-3 ways to go infinite, but I believe all but 1 involve me going off in 1 single turn and being able to kill everyone immediately.  This is always slightly more palatable for me when I'm playing against them because at least they are done faster, instead of something like Memnarch, where you steal everything on the board, but may not be able to kill people for several turns because of total damage necessary.  Just my two cents.
Who doesn't just concede once memnarch steals everything? No need to play that game out.

3DH4LIF3

Who doesn't just concede once memnarch steals everything? No need to play that game out.



Haha true, I've never actually played someone who has a Memnarch deck.
Who doesn't just concede once memnarch steals everything? No need to play that game out.



Haha true, I've never actually played someone who has a Memnarch deck.



i run him in my arcanis and sharuum decks, and if it happens the game is over. I've never stolen a board before and had anyone think that playing it out would be fruitful. if you ever do, let me know. that guy is tenacious!

3DH4LIF3

Krenko, Mob Boss or Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Intruder Alarm

It's the small, simple things in life that make me happy.
Who doesn't just concede once memnarch steals everything? No need to play that game out.



Haha true, I've never actually played someone who has a Memnarch deck.



i run him in my arcanis and sharuum decks, and if it happens the game is over. I've never stolen a board before and had anyone think that playing it out would be fruitful. if you ever do, let me know. that guy is tenacious!



I've made someone play it out once. The board he stole wasn't very impressive so it took him several more turns to kill me. I was feeling spiteful since he was particularly being a jerk about stealing stuff and repeatedly pointing out that there wasn't anything we could do about it because he had unlimited mana that turn and counterspells. Like, I'm cool about most things that happen in EDH games, just don't be a total jerk (substituting in here) about it.
My thoughts on combo is pretty cut and dry.  Considering that EDH is meant to be a fun format with a lot of variety, combos shouldn't interfere with that.  For example, running an infinite combo that wins the game on the spot (or basically does) is perfectly fair and fine to do.  Running a deck that is 33% disruption/protection for the combos, 33% tutor/draw and 33% combo cards is not.  If the only purpose of the deck is to do something incredibly broken and to do it as early as possible as soon as possible, don't bother bringing it out in my EDH group.  We will kill you before you get to play a meaningful spell and you can sit there for 2-5 hours while we finish our fun game.

For an example of what I consider "good" combos, my Ghave, Guru of Spores deck has Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter plus Mikaeus, the Unhallowed and my Ezuri, Renegade Leader has Mana Reflection plus Basalt Monolith (plus something like Genesis Wave, Chameleon Colossus, Helix Pinnacle or just Ezuri).  Each of those pieces play into the rest of the deck, but give me something I can draw into if the game just needs to end.
Krenko, Mob Boss or Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Intruder Alarm

It's the small, simple things in life that make me happy.



kiki jiki copies target non-legendary creature, so that doesn't work with Krenko. You could do that with Siege-Gang Commander or Mogg War Marshal (or any number of awesome creatures given you're running intruder alarm).

3DH4LIF3

Who doesn't just concede once memnarch steals everything? No need to play that game out.



Haha true, I've never actually played someone who has a Memnarch deck.



i run him in my arcanis and sharuum decks, and if it happens the game is over. I've never stolen a board before and had anyone think that playing it out would be fruitful. if you ever do, let me know. that guy is tenacious!



I've made someone play it out once. The board he stole wasn't very impressive so it took him several more turns to kill me. I was feeling spiteful since he was particularly being a jerk about stealing stuff and repeatedly pointing out that there wasn't anything we could do about it because he had unlimited mana that turn and counterspells. Like, I'm cool about most things that happen in EDH games, just don't be a total jerk (substituting in here) about it.



If you were my only opponent, I just concede to you then if I want to play again... or if you're the hold out in a group, we can all just play without you... or maybe I just don't kill you but continue to take your stuff cuz I can- Its not like you're griefing me by letting me win.

But with just memnarch and complete control of everything I kill you in 10 turns at 40 life. I'm fine with doing that. Land go, EoT I steal you land. My Turn, I attack for 4... repeat 9 more times, maybe skipping over the land go part. the point was holding out being fruitful, not out of spite.


I had a friend once not concede to someone gaining infinite life via a reveillark combo- It was at fnm. Turns out my friend was running some janky infinite damage combo. So his concession would have been premature. Most other people can't win that game, so concede.  

3DH4LIF3

Krenko, Mob Boss or Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Intruder Alarm

It's the small, simple things in life that make me happy.



kiki jiki copies target non-legendary creature, so that doesn't work with Krenko. You could do that with Siege-Gang Commander or Mogg War Marshal (or any number of awesome creatures given you're running intruder alarm).



Hence the 'or.'  But agreed, those guys making extra tokens is much faster to get up to a crazy number of dorks is a fun way.  With the Intruder Alarm, though, either one of those two makes an instant infinite.  Wasn't implying both together.
Krenko, Mob Boss or Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Intruder Alarm

It's the small, simple things in life that make me happy.



kiki jiki copies target non-legendary creature, so that doesn't work with Krenko. You could do that with Siege-Gang Commander or Mogg War Marshal (or any number of awesome creatures given you're running intruder alarm).



Hence the 'or.'  But agreed, those guys making extra tokens is much faster to get up to a crazy number of dorks is a fun way.  With the Intruder Alarm, though, either one of those two makes an instant infinite.  Wasn't implying both together.


It was actually my misreading of Krenko. I, for whatever reason, thought he was a come into play ability not a tap... and so thought you must have meant those two gobbos to combo together.

Not sure if krenko is worth it in a red blue deck though. Fine if you have anger in the yard, but probably less than great for the lack of haste.  

I need to get me another kikki jikki, now that I think on it... I have no idea where mine went. 

3DH4LIF3