7, Apr, 23

New MTG Two-Card Infinite Combo Could Shake Up Multiple Formats!

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Article at a Glance

March of the Machine has introduced a staggering number of two-card death combos. Each of these seems to be most applicable to different formats, so every MTG player who wants to pull off a new combo should have something to pick from. If your flavor is March of the Machine limited, you may be able to throw a Yargle at your opponent. If you’re more interested in Standard, a new Legendary creature has made an unplayable Mythic from a past set able to deal 20 damage for zero mana. Finally, this new combo seems more targeted towards Commander and Modern. This combo doesn’t win by dealing twenty damage, so Commander life totals won’t affect its effectiveness. The new March of the Machine MTG card can even be your Commander, allowing for Kroxa and Kuranos to, essentially, become a one-card combo!

Kroxa and Kunoros

kroxa and kunoros

Kroxa and Kunoros are another one of the new legendary character combinations that is releasing alongside March of the Machine. While Kroxa is seeing continued competitive play in the Pioneer and Modern format, Kunoros has seen little to no play at all. This card references both of the original cards from Theros Beyond Death – taking Kroxa’s stat line and Kunoros’s keywords.

The thing, however, that has the MTG community collectively freaking out over Kroxa and Kunoros is the card’s ability. Inspired by the Escape ability on the original Kroxa, when Kroxa or Kunoros enters the battlefield or attacks, you can exile five cards from your graveyard to resurrect a creature from there. This ability is incredibly powerful, but Kroxa and Kunoros come with an appropriate mana value. Six is a lot to pay in any competitive format. Fortunately, in some formats, you may not need to pay the full six mana. Combine this with the perfect combo enabler that is Modern and Commander legal, and you get a two-card combo that can kill as early as turn one or two at instant speed!

The Combo

altar of dementia

Even though Altar of Dementia is a very old MTG card, it has not been Modern legal for very long. Initially printed in Tempest, Altar of Dementia saw a reprint in the original Modern Horizons set, making it Modern legal. Ironically, Altar of Dementia happened to be reprinted alongside one of the most broken MTG cards the game has ever seen, making the Altar’s early entry into Modern a very impactful one.

hogaak, arisen necropolis

When Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis was printed into the Modern format, the card was everywhere. Through a combination of Bridge from Below, Altar of Dementia, and the namesake card, Modern Hogaak created a disgusting Dredge deck that was capable of doing a series of ridiculous things like playing a lethal amount of power or milling your opponent out in the first few turns. The combos were incredibly consistent, warping the format to the extent that players were forced to play Leyline of the Void in their maindeck. The next step isn’t hard to imagine: Hogaak had to be banned.

Combined with Kroxa and Kunoros, the Altar of Dementia may bring flashbacks to players from this era of Modern (the combo is similar, but much weaker). You can sacrifice Kroxa and Kunoros with the Altar while targeting yourself in response to its own ability. This will mill your library for six cards. Once that happens, you can use Kroxa and Kunoros’s ability to exile five of the milled cards and bring it back. This will trigger Kroxa and Kunoros’s ability again, allowing you to complete the loop until you mill your library. Past this point, as long as a Thassa’s Oracle or a similar win condition exists in your decklist, all you need to do is resurrect the Oracle instead of the Kroxa and Kunoros for the last trigger and win the game.

What about Winning at Instant Speed?

Technically, this is all happening at instant speed, but because you need to do this in response to a Kroxa and Kunoros trigger, it may feel clunkier than that. Since the card’s ability only triggers when it enters the battlefield or attacks, you can, essentially, only do this when the card is cast or attacks.

goryo's vengeance

Goryo’s Vengeance allows you to change the script a bit. This two-mana instant can resurrect Kroxa and Kunoros for just two mana. As long as you already have the Altar of Dementia out, this can allow you to easily do the infinite on your opponent’s turn since the only requirements to doing the combo include the Altar and doing the combo with the new creature’s ability on the stack.

Goryo’s Vengeance saw a massive price spike following the release of Atraxa, Grand Unifier in Phyrexia: All Will Be One. Cheating this card into play proved a powerful strategy, and Goryo’s Vengeance became a much more powerful strategy in the Modern and Legacy formats. As such, this combo is probably on the top of many competitive players’ minds, so don’t be surprised if some players decide to give it a spin in the early March of the Machine metagame.

What About Commander?

Commander players who want to take this ridiculous combo for a spin may have noticed one missing thing with our explanation: Thassa’s Oracle cannot be played in a Commander deck led by Kroxa and Kunoros. While casting a six-mana Commander can be rather clunky, having access to a graveyard-focused combo engine with a one-card combo included is very appealing. As you may imagine, there are ways to win with the Altar combo in EDH while remaining in Kroxa and Kunoros’s color identity.

felidar guardian

One way to do this is by using Felidar Guardian, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, and Karmic Guide. Note that with the Altar combo, you’ll be netting one extra card in your graveyard on each loop. Including itself, the combo causes seven cards to enter your graveyard at a time. Five of these need to be exiled to recast Kroxa and Kunoros, leaving one extra card. All you need to do past that point is not exile any of these cards.

The combo works as such:

  • Once you have all of these cards in your graveyard, resurrect Karmic Guide instead of Kroxa and Kunoros with its ability.
  • Use the Karmic Guide’s ability to resurrect Felidar Guardian. You can also resurrect your Commander if you want to continue the Altar of Dementia loop as long as you resurrect Felidar Guardian later on with your Commander’s ability.
  • Use Felidar Guardian’s ability to flicker Karmic Guide. Use Karmic Guide’s new trigger to resurrect Kiki-Jiki.
  • Kiki-Jiki can copy Felidar Guardian, which will, in turn, flicker your Kiki-Jiki. This allows you to copy Felidar Guardian again, creating an infinite combo. All of your Felidar Guardian copies will have Haste, which can then swing in at your opponents for infinite damage.

Is this Playable in cEDH?

A six-mana Commander seems like a pretty tough sell in such a fast format. Obviously, there are many ways to speed this up, like the incredibly powerful mana rocks within the format. There’s even a turn-one combo kill that involves using Kodama of the East Tree as a Commander, so this is probably easier to pull off than we think. My personal verdict is that this will be a playable option in the format, but I do not know if this will be a top-tier pick. The only other potential downside of Kroxa and Kunoros is the possibility that the cost of exiling five cards to make Kroxa and Kunoros’s ability work may be too challenging to create non-Altar combos with. Either way, this card’s potential should allow to play at Commander’s toughest tables, and is definitely a viable option as a fun Mardu Reanimator style Commander.

Read More: Insane MTG March of the Machine Uncommon May be the Best Card in the Set!

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