15, Mar, 24

Bizarre Infinite Combo takes Over MTG Format

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Article at a Glance

Remember Insidious Roots? The high-ceiling two mana enchantment immediately had players interested thanks to some obvious interactions with Yawgmoth Combo in Modern. Considering the recent Violent Outburst ban, Yawgmoth is in an absolutely insane position right now, so players may be seeing more of Insidious Roots in Modern.

Even though Insidious Roots looks like a promising addition to Modern, which is a high bar to hurdle, Insidious Roots could be even more powerful in a different MTG format: Alchemy. The card is part of an infinite combo that i, not only competitively viable, but taking over the whole format.

Let’s take a look at the Alchemy MTG infinite combo deck featuring the Murders at Karlov Manor card Insidious Roots!

The Combo (Updated)

Insidious Roots

Insidious Roots is actually pretty easy to break. Removing creatures from a grave isn’t too difficult with some setup. Even in Limited, it’s easy to create an entire board out of this card in the blink of an eye. That said, while a board of growing plants is terrifying, a board of growing plants that tap for mana is an entirely different discussion.

This makes Insidious Roots a lot easier to break. All you really need to do is find a way to tap your creatures for mana as they enter, and creating an infinite-value combo from there seems entirely realistic.

Not only does Standard have a way to give your Plants and other tokens pseudo-Haste, but the card that does it happens to be in the same colors as Insidious Roots! Tyvar, Jubilant Brawler becomes incredibly explosive when paired with mana dorks, and Insidious Roots is no exception. While the static ability of Tyvar is already good enough for Insidious Roots, the -2 ability offers additional synergy, triggering Insidious Roots if you successfully bring a smaller creature back.

Now, we have a way to allow our Plants to tap for mana the turn they enter the battlefield. All we need is to find a way to keep triggering Insidious Roots, making infinite tokens and infinite mana. This is where some Alchemy digital-only cards come in.

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Digital Assets

Chitinous Crawler

In order to make this combo go infinite, we need two recently released Alchemy cards: Chitinous Crawler and Propagator Primordium. The Crawler’s Descend 8 ability, as well as the Propagator’s ability to Conjure two copies of this card in your grave is what makes this infinite.

In order for this combo to go infinite, you need to have one Chitinous Crawler (or a creature with its ability via Agatha’s Soul Cauldron), a Propagator Primordium in your grave, a Tyvar, Jubilant Brawler in play, and a single copy of Insidious Roots. Once you have that, as well as at least eight, but usually nine, permanents in your grave, you can start the loop. Alternatively, you can start the combo with eight cards in the grave if you have one mana available or Tyvar’s untap ability ready to use. Here’s how it works:

  • Use Chitinous Crawler’s Descend 8 ability to exile a Conjured copy of Propagator Primordium in your grave. This will trigger Insidious Roots and create a plant.
  • Repeat step one, creating another plant. Use those plants to cast your recently Exiled Propagator Primordium.
  • Primordium enters, conjuring two more copies of itself in your grave. Exile those to create two plants and repeat the process. Congrats, you have infinite infinitely large plants and infinite mana!

According to Garyk, reportedly the deck designer for this strategy in Alchemy, you can consistently pull this combo off by turn 4-5.

Fast and Consistent

The rest of the deck contains a mixture of cards that try to fill up your grave, as well as cards that make your combo more consistent. Small Surveiling creatures like Faerie Dreamthief and Snarling Gorehound hit the board quick and start binning stuff into your grave while finding combo pieces. These can also be reanimated by Tyvar to trigger Insidious Roots and dig deeper into your deck.

Agatha’s Stone Cauldron is a powerful inclusion in this deck, aiming to make your combo even more resilient. Technically, you only need an Insidious Roots and a Chitinous Crawler in play to start cashing in on the value engine. Agatha’s Stone Cauldron allows you to mill the Crawler freely and exile it under the Cauldron to give any of your creatures its activated Descend 8 ability.

A Plan Against Disaster

If you’ve been paying attention, you may notice one major flaw with this Alchemy combo: it does not kill on the turn it occurs. You do need a full turn to lose your summoning sickness and swing in with your creatures. Tyvar lets your plants tap for mana, but they cannot attack.

This gives your opponent a chance to wipe your entire board. Getting hit by a Sunfall can be particularly bad, as you’ll give your opponent a gigantic Incubator Token that can likely kill you in one fell swoop.

Amazingly, there is actually a strategy built into the deck to help hedge against nightmare scenarios like this. According to the deck’s creator, should you have Gorehound in play (which is rather easy considering you can use Chitinous Crawler’s ability to reanimate it) during your combo, you can essentially Surveil through your entire deck. Since you no longer need to worry about keeping your Descend 8 clause active, you can start exiling things other than Propagator Primordium to cast.

You can use this engine to dump Deep-Cavern Bat into your grave and cast it. Now, you can temporarily take any board wipes in their hand that may be a problem. If they have multiple, you have multiple bats! Hopefully, this buys enough time for you to swing in for lethal damage.

Be Prepared!

Are you planning on competing in the Alchemy Qualifier coming up? If you are, you’ll need to consider this archetype. While it broke onto the scene a few weeks ago, this combo deck is now absolutely everywhere. Pack your deck with graveyard hate, and other things that can break this deck up before it starts going off. Even if you plan on trying this combo for yourself, having some tools to get ahead in the mirror is pretty important. Either way, this deck looks like a ton of fun to play. If you’re a fan of crazy infinite combo decks like this, give it a whirl!

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