It doesn’t take long for new MTG spoilers to make their way into the secondary market and start affecting the price of cards that weren’t relevant a few days before. We saw this with the explosive rise in price to cards that the now confirmed All Will Be One combo off with in an article from last week. While the same thing hasn’t quite happened for this flashy Legendary Blue creature, it is already beginning. Considering that Unctus, Grand Metatect can be your Commander, it, technically, has a one-card MTG infinite combo in the format that can win the game on the spot.
Unctus, Grand Metatect
This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about Unctus, as it was among one of the first cards leaked in the devastating series of Phyrexia: All Will Be One leak that leaked the entire set of Rare cards before spoiler season began. The card has looked like an infinite combo enabler since it was first revealed, and recent financial speculation has marked it to have multiple infinites that do their best work in Commander. The most straightforward one is, debatably, a one-card combo since Unctus can be your Commander. Personally, I see this more as one-and-a-half cards.
To quickly Summarize Unctus, he does a few things. You can pay a blue Phyrexian Mana (two life or one blue) to turn a creature into a blue artifact creature. Past that point, Unctus is a lord for artifact creatures and cares about blue creatures tapping. When this occurs, Unctus grants an ability to that creature that allows it to loot. While this has obvious implications in Affinity decks like Urza’s Iron Banner, it’s not hard to imagine this card going infinite alongside a handy untap effect. The reward? Infinite looting.
Redditor Prid3 pointed out this simple ‘one-card’ MTG infinite combo in the MTGFinance Reddit. For this to work, all you need is Unctus in play with an Aphetto Alchemist that can tap. Otherwise, you’ll need some win condition in the deck that can win by deck out, like Laboratory Maniac or Thassa’s Oracle.
The combo works as such, Aphetto Alchemist can tap to activate its ability. In doing so, it can untap itself. Aphetto Alchemist is a Blue creature, which means Unctus will loot a card when it untaps. You can do this infinitely to deck yourself out. Simply cast your win condition once you’ve done so and win.
We saw a massive increase in two-card infinites with the All Will be One MTG card, so it makes sense that this one would also see an increase as well. Considering this card has only been officially spoiled for a day as of the writing of this article, the speed at which this card started gaining financial secondary market value is… stunning.
Aphetto Alchemist currently only has one printing from a pretty old set. Printed as an Uncommon in Onslaught, cards like Aphetto Alchemist are prime real estate for financial speculations. The card is seeing massive amounts of increased interest that a limited supply may have trouble keeping up with.
Only five Aphetto Alchemist cards were sold on TCGplayer on the 23rd of January. About 119 were sold the next day. The average price for Aphetto Alchemist on the 25th of January, according to sales, is about $5, pushing to $6, while the card tended towards the $4 as a middle selling point a few days before. The monetary inflation of this increase in interest is more strongly seen in foil selections of Aphetto Alchemist, which are quickly climbing toward $35.
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While none of the other combos are quite as efficient as Unctus and Aphetto Alchemist, there are other silly infinities available that you can use to deck yourself out. This one, pointed out by MTG personality SaffronOlive, changes the name of Clever Conjurer from Adventures of the Forgotten Realms with any sticker effect from Unfinity. Since it is no longer named Clever Conjurer, the card’s ability can untap itself, functioning in the same way as the Aphetto Alchemist combo with extra steps.
Based on the combo commonly seen in the Cephalid Breakfast Legacy deck, Unctus and Cephalid Illusionist can mill many cards. This one isn’t technically infinite since you need to pay life or mana to activate Unctus’s ability and target Cephalid Illusionist, but it can mill many cards. This will become infinite if you have infinite mana available, but it should only be used otherwise if you need to fill your graveyard. Decking out with this will generally require more setup since, in Commander, 19 activations, or 57 cards, is the most you’ll generally do without using mana and additional lifegain. This card has not spiked on the secondary market in relation to Unctus’s reveal as a result.
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Another combo pointed out by the MTGFinance subreddit doesn’t exactly work in EDH with Unctus as your Commander, so I’ll skim over it quickly. Puresight Merrow gives a creature an untap ability, and Paradise Mantle allows it to tap for mana. The mana can pay for the untap ability, allowing for infinite untaps and infinite cards exiled from your library.
Is this MTG Infinite Combo Any Good?
While Unctus is absolutely absurd in Commander with access to multiple MTG infinite combos as a Commander and even more as part of the 99, its competitive viability is difficult to determine. Jeskai Ascendancy is already a fringe Pioneer deck that might get better built around Unctus. Still, there are obvious implications of Unctus in this deck that Jeskai Ascendancy doesn’t already do itself. Any format older than Pioneer has more effective combos than this, which will likely put it out of contention unless a new creature toolbox deck emerges around it in Modern. Legacy already has Cephalid Breakfast, which probably does what this card wants to do in a more powerful way.
Standard is a big question mark. Phyrexia: All Will Be One is looking much more powerful than the other sets that are currently Standard legal. It’s likely the format is going to see a massive shift as a response, so it may take some time to figure stuff out there. The next batch of Regional Championships, starting in late February, are in the Standard format, so the world’s best players will try their best to solve the format. If you don’t want to try some brewing yourselves, you may have to wait and see what they come up with!
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