a combo called bs

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ok so a friend of mine lost to a combo and he thinks that its bs, and that he couldnt have stopped it cuz of the stack rule, the combo is ashnod's alter, cathodion, Nim Deathmantle, Blood Artist, make mana and same time kill all opponents, my friend wants to know whats the easiest way to stop this from happening to him again. counters are obvious but none of the decks involved were using them and all 4 permanents made it to the board on the same turn and gg was called. can i get told of ways to stop this so i can inform my friend

The combo is perfectly legitimate; it functions perfectly well from a rules perspective. And since Cathodion's, Nim Deathmantle's, and Blood Artist's abilities are all normal triggered abilities that can be responded to, it's perfectly possible for your friend to respond to one or more of the triggers in order to stop it.

However, exactly how to do so is a strategy question, not a rules question--there's an abundance of cards that can be used to stop it, it's just a matter of your friend picking whichever ones he finds best suit his own deck.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

it's easily stopped, either kill the Blood Artist or the Deathmantle
all colors have a way to destroy either, some even both
proud member of the 2011 community team
ok so a friend of mine lost to a combo and he thinks that its bs, and that he couldnt have stopped it cuz of the stack rule,


What is the "stack rule" that kept him from stopping it?

I'll assume that that the active player (AP) is the one who controls all of these, I'll refer to the opponent as non-active player (NAP), and I won't ask how 4 permanents with a total cost of made it onto the battlefield without interference.

  1. AP gets priority and activates the "Sacrifice a creature: Add to your mana pool." ability of Ashnod's Altar.  AP chooses Cathodion as the sacrifice and puts it in his graveyard, triggering the abilities of Blood Artist, Cathodion, and Nim Deathmantle.  The ability of Ashnod's Altar resolves immediately, putting in AP's mana pool.

  2. AP would get priority, but there are triggered abilities to put on the stack.  A) AP puts Nim Deathmantle's "Whenever a nontoken creature is put into your graveyard from the battlefield, you may pay . If you do, return that card to the battlefield and attach Nim Deathmantle to it." on the stack.  B) AP puts Cathodion's "When Cathodion dies, add to your mana pool." on the stack.  C) AP puts Blood Artist's "Whenever Blood Artist or another creature dies, target player loses 1 life and you gain 1 life." on the stack, choosing NAP as the target.

  3. AP gets priority and passes.

  4. NAP gets priority and passes.  Note that if NAP destroyed or otherwise removed Ashnod's Altar or Nim Deathmantle at this point, the loop would stop after step 11.  Note also that if NAP did something to Blood Artist at this point, AP would need more to keep the loop inflicting damage (in addition to the that AP could get by sacrificing Blood Artist to Ashnod's Altar and the surplus from the rest of the loop itself).

  5. The top object on the stack (the ability put there in step 2C) resolves.  NAP loses 1 life and AP gains 1 life.

  6. AP gets priority and passes.

  7. NAP gets priority and passes.  See notes for step 4.

  8. The top object on the stack (the ability put there in step 2B) resolves.  AP adds to his mana pool, for a total of .

  9. AP gets priority and passes.

  10. NAP gets priority and passes.  See notes for step 4.

  11. The top object on the stack (the ability put there in step 2A) resolves.  AP chooses to spend from his mana pool (leaving him with ) for the ability's option.  Cathodion returns to the battlefield, and Nim Deathmantle attaches to it.

  12. AP gets priority and can repeat steps 1-12 (except that his mana pool contains more this time).

No, I am not a judge. That's why I like to quote sources such as the rules that trump judges.
ok i get that its perfectly legit, i use it another way, but the question is that if the play order was like this (this will take a bit sorry i wanna get the perfect timing point down to stop it dead no recover possible) 5 plains, 2 swamps, 1 white spirit with flying, pay 3 white cast Ashnod's Altar, pay 2 white and a black cast Cathodion, Sacrifice the spirit token add 2 Colorless with Ashnod's Altar, Pay 2 colorless cast Nimdeath Mantle, can i just say X mana for this part since legally you cant say infinite mana?, pay a black and a Colorless cast Blood Artist, just make more mana to kill all? now wheres the only time you can shot and kill this with out it being recoverable?
@ Arugus_Panoptes : Dude seriously you just blew my mind, you seriously made it that much easier for me to mind **** him about it lol
I'm going to start this post assuming two things.  One, you'll take this post as my point of view and my opinion of the play.  If I'm wrong, other people will point out what's wrong.  Take their advise/comments/facts over my opinion.  Two, it is your turn and that you want to do the combo. Your plan isn't going to work on two levels. First, you need to have each piece out before you sacrifice anything. 


  1. Cast Ashnod's Altar          Mana Pool: was empty, had , now is empty

  2. Cast Cathodion                  Mana Pool: was empty, had , now is empty

  3. Sac white Spirit token        Mana Pool: was empty, now has from Ashnod's Altar **the only trigger**

  4. Cast Nim Deathmantle       Mana Pool: Had , now is empty   

  5. Cast Blood Artist              Mana Pool: was empty, had , now is empty


Even if everything was cast correctly, according to your plan, you still can't do the combo:


  1. Sac white Spirit token to Ashnod's Altar           Mana Pool: was empty, now has from Ashnod's Altar

  2. No trigger from Nim Deathmantle because you sacrificed a token

  3. Blood Artist trigger goes on the stack

  4. Stack resolves, you gain one life, opponent loses one life.


If your friend wants to stop this combo, as it was originally posted, he can either destroy the opponents creature when it comes back from the graveyard, or he can destroy the Blood Artist before the combo even starts.  Either way, your friend is going to lose some life because of the Blood Artist.  I count a minimum of one life lost, if the destruction of the Artist happens before the non-token creature gets sacrificed.
@ DirtyElf : he used the token to play the Nim Deathmantle, before he played the Blood Artist after he produced x colorless mana, he still had 1 swamp untapped until he confirmed he had x mana

tapped the swamp got the black spent 1 of x mana and the black to cast Blood Artist, with that couldnt he activate Nim Deathmantle to save any non token creature at time providing the mana is there?

and can't he just sac Cathodion with Ashnod's Altar as part of the resolve and keep looping it with Nim Deathmantle?
Immediately after they sacrifice Cathodion, destroy Nim Deathmantle or Ashnod's Altar before Cathodion's ability and Nim Deathmantle's ability have resolved. That will disrupt the combo.
so 1 of them 2 are the best and only options correct?
so 1 of them 2 are the best and only options correct?



No, those are not the only options.  There are lots and lots of ways to stop the combo.  Those were just examples.  Anything that gets rid of one of the creatures would do it (not just destroying it).  He could counter the activated ability.  He could just end the turn.  
@ DirtyElf : he used the token to play the Nim Deathmantle, before he played the Blood Artist after he produced x colorless mana, he still had 1 swamp untapped until he confirmed he had x mana

What do you mean, "he used the token to play the Nim Deathmantle"?  Do you mean he sac'd (sacrificed) the token to Ashnod's Altar to pay for the casting cost of the Deathmantle?  He still hasn't produced a ton of colorless mana yet.  He produced just enough to pay for the Deathmantle.

tapped the swamp got the black spent 1 of x mana and the black to cast Blood Artist, with that couldnt he activate Nim Deathmantle to save any non token creature at time providing the mana is there?

I guess, but that's not the combo, and your opponent still doesn't have ton of colorless mana.  The opponent is going to pay 4 to do one point of damage to you.


and can't he just sac Cathodion with Ashnod's Altar as part of the resolve and keep looping it with Nim Deathmantle?

This is the combo!  Sac Cathodion to Ashnod's Altar.  Let the stack do it's thing. Pay of the available to have Nim Deathmantle bring back Cathodion.  Let the stack do it's thing.  Blood artist's ability triggers.  Let the stack do it's thing.  Opponent get's one life and you have lost one life.  Opponent starts the loop again.

Please use complete sentences and punctuation.  It'll help in getting your point and questions across.
Alright, my bad I'm not being clear I'll correct what im tryin to say.

AP board state: 5 Plains, 2 Swamps and a 1/1 spirit token with flying.
 Untap Phase, Upkeep Phase, Draw Phase,

Precombat Main Phase:
Tap 3 Plains, add 3 White mana, cast Ashnod's Altar
Tap 2 Plains and 1 Swamp, add 2 White and 1 Black mana, cast Cathodion
Sac Spirit token with Ashnod's Altar, add 2 Colorless mana, cast Nim Deathmantle
Perform the loop X amount of times. (X is an Amount the AP player said) (X is also for my question as infinite from the actions that occured)
Tap 1 Swamp, add 1 Black mana, cast Blood Artist
Perform the loop X amount of times. (X is till Blood Artist effect has triggered enuff to kill all opponents involved)

 Now please tell me if i described it well enuff, i understand there are alot of options on cards to use based on the decks involved, what im asking is, if my friend was holding a kill spell against creature but let all the above resolve in that order, what can he still do? when should it have been done?

Kill the Blood Artist in response to a trigger that brings Cathodion back. Sure, the player can respond by sacrificing Blood Artist and bring it back and getting 2 mana again from Altar but will very quickly run out of mana and not have both the Blood Artist and Cathodion on the board.

And note that the decision to pay 4 mana to return the creature is made when that triggered ability resolves. You will not be able to do anything between the time that cost is paid and the time that creature enters the battlefield equipped with the Deathmantle. But you can obviously respond to that trigger being put on the stack. 

Sean Stackhouse Level Two Judge (Yay!) Maine

but then he still could pay 4 mana and add grabbing the Blood Artist with the mantle since before he played the Blood Artist he produced X mana so that way he can just keep doin it, correct? (X being infinite)

Never mind. I forgot Cathodion adds 3 and he's getting infinite mana off it. No, there's no way to stop it unless you can destroy the Deathmantle.

Sean Stackhouse Level Two Judge (Yay!) Maine

Alright, thank you all sorry for the headaches I may have caused ill have to make myself more defined and clear on future question that arise
If I'm not missing something, you can remove the Cathodion from the graveyard with a spell like Vile Rebirth in response to the Nim Deathmantle's ability.

Cheers
Alright, my bad I'm not being clear I'll correct what im tryin to say.

AP board state: 5 Plains, 2 Swamps and a 1/1 spirit token with flying.
 Untap Phase, Upkeep Phase, Draw Phase,

Precombat Main Phase:
Tap 3 Plains, add 3 White mana, cast Ashnod's Altar
Tap 2 Plains and 1 Swamp, add 2 White and 1 Black mana, cast Cathodion
Sac Spirit token with Ashnod's Altar, add 2 Colorless mana, cast Nim Deathmantle
Perform the loop X amount of times. (X is an Amount the AP player said) (X is also for my question as infinite from the actions that occured)
Tap 1 Swamp, add 1 Black mana, cast Blood Artist
Perform the loop X amount of times. (X is till Blood Artist effect has triggered enuff to kill all opponents involved)

 Now please tell me if i described it well enuff, i understand there are alot of options on cards to use based on the decks involved, what im asking is, if my friend was holding a kill spell against creature but let all the above resolve in that order, what can he still do? when should it have been done?



If your friend has some type of instant creature removal, the earliest place to ruin his combo is to cast the removal on Cathodion in response to the opponent casting Nim Deathmantle. This way when the removal resolves and puts Cathodion in the graveyard, the Nim Deathmantle has yet to arrive on the battlefield and it's ability to bring Cathodion back cannot be used.

Unless he has another Cathodion or some other way to get it out of the yard, his combo is finished before it even starts.