With the Pioneer Regional Championship in Atlanta having just recently concluded, there’s been a big emphasis on what decks would emerge as the top dogs in the metagame. Since the recent banning of Karn, the Great Creator and Geological Appraiser, as well as the unbanning of Smuggler’s Copter, many players were curious exactly what archetypes would be the most represented and what decks would overperform.
Unsurprisingly, decks like Rakdos midrange, Izzet Phoenix, and Abzan Amalia Benavides Aguirre combo had great tournaments overall. Sometimes in big tournaments like these, though, a unique strategy breaks out. Whenever a cool combo emerges on the big scene, it’s big news. Unfortunately, one of the most intriguing combo decks from the event just barely missed out on day two, so it is very much under the radar.
This deck is a Sultai combo deck built around Gwenna, Eyes of Gaea. There’s a ton going on, as the deck is incredibly unique. This got us thinking: what fun combo decks are underrated that players don’t talk about enough? Today, we are going to cover a wide range of different combos in various formats that perhaps haven’t had their time in the spotlight. Let’s start by looking closer at this Sultai combo deck in more detail.
Sultai Gwenna Combo
This deck has a ton of moving parts, but the primary focus of the deck is to utilize the abilities of Gwenna, Eyes of Gaea. Gwenna can tap for two mana in any color combination to spend on Creatures spells or activated abilities of Creatures. You also get to untap Gwenna if you cast a Creature with power five or greater, and Gwenna gets a +1/+1 counter. With Gwenna and Kinnen, Bonder Prodigy in play, there are multiple combos that can be assembled.
The first combo involves getting Acererak the Archlich into play. Acererak lets you Venture into the Dungeon and gets returned to your hand if you haven’t completed Tomb of Annihilation specifically. With Kinnen and Gwenna in play, Gwenna can tap to cast Acererak by itself. Acererak has five power, so Gwenna will untap. This allows you to keep casting Acererak over and over, generating value by completing every Dungeon and growing Gwenna over time.
Once you add Agatha’s Soul Cauldron into the mix, there are even more shenanigans to be had. With Kinnen in play, you can actually generate infinite mana by exiling Sleep-Cursed Faerie from your graveyard and putting a +1/+1 counter on Gwenna. Gwenna can tap for three mana total, two of which can be used to untap itself.
Notably, you can also exile both Sleep-Cursed Faerie and Gwenna from the graveyard with Cauldron, and your other Creatures with +1/+1 counters will be able to generate infinite mana as a result. This infinite mana can allow you to activate Kinnan over and over, putting cards like Atraxa, Grand Unifier into play.
This deck has a ton going on. There’s even a copy of Chamber Sentry that can help you convert counters from Gwenna or Incubation Druid into damage. If anything, this deck shows just how powerful Agatha’s Soul Cauldron truly is.
Storm Herald Combo
If you’re a fan of cool combos but Venturing into the Dungeon isn’t your thing, there’s plenty more cool, casual combos for you to bust out at your local game store. One of the funnier cards to play in a combo is certainly Colossification. What’s better than buffing Creatures immensely? The obvious downside with the card is that it costs a ton of mana, and when you finally suit up your Creature, it becomes tapped.
Fortunately, Storm Herald is the perfect card to help bypass these hurdles. If you manage to get copies of Colossification and Burning Anger in your graveyard, casting Storm Herald allows you to win outright! Once you cast Storm Herald, you can attach both Auras onto a Creature you control. Before the tap trigger from Colossification resolves, you can tap your Creature thanks to Burning Anger and dome your opponent for 20+ damage.
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Once you go beyond the card pool available in Pioneer, there are some really funky combos that can be built around. One of the most interesting mechanics to build a combo deck around is certainly Changeling. Thanks to Magda, Brazen Outlaw, this is quite possible. Magda allows you to make Treasure tokens whenever a Dwarf you control becomes tapped. While there aren’t many powerful Dwarves available in Modern, getting to utilize Changelings opens up the door.
The best Changeling to pair with Magda is definitely Mothdust Changeling, which lets you tap your Dwarves immediately to generate Treasures. Generally, this deck is designed to generate lots of value and use Magda to tutor cards like Scourge of Valkas to win the game with. Thanks to Magda’s ability to tutor Artifacts, though, you can actually make infinite Treasures by searching for Clock of Omens.
All you need is Magda, Universal Automaton, and Clock of Omens in play. You can tap Clock and Automaton with Clock’s ability, which will untap Automaton and make trigger Magda’s Treasure-making ability. Then, you can tap the Automaton and the Treasure token to untap Automaton and make another Treasure. You can repeat this process, netting infinite Treasures. This allows you to search for all of the Changelings in your deck, then follow that up by finding Scourge of Valkas and Phyrexian Metamorph to copy Scourge, dealing a ton of damage to the opponent.
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Way back in Modern’s early days, there was a rather strange Eggs combo deck in Modern. The goal was to use a bunch of Artifacts that sacrifice themselves to draw cards, such as Conjurer’s Bauble, alongside Second Sunrise to draw a bunch of extra cards. With Lotus Bloom in the mix, you could net a bunch of mana in the process, and from there, winning was trivial.
Since the banning of Second Sunrise and later Krark-Clan Ironworks, these types of decks fell out of favor. However, the printing of Beseech the Mirror helped make this deck a bit more consistent. Beseech the Mirror could help tutor up Faith’s Reward, returning all Artifacts from your graveyard that left the battlefield that turn to play.
After drawing a bunch of cards and netting a bunch of mana, you can win via Bolas’s Citadel. Citadel lets you sacrifice 10 non-Land permanents to make your opponent lose 10 life. From there, simply cast Faith’s Reward once more, activate Bolas’s Citadel again, and win.
Ruby Storm Combo
Finally, we have a unique Legacy combo deck that is actually rather cheap by Legacy standards. This is because the deck is made entirely of red cards. Ancient Tomb is certainly expensive, but the rest of the deck isn’t outrageously pricey. Plus, it uses a bunch of Commander staples to help execute the combo!
The idea is that, with Ruby Medallion in play, you get a discount on all of your red spells. With cards like Jeska’s Will and Seething Song, you can end up with extra mana to use. Between Reckless Impulse, Wrenn’s Resolve, and Galvanic Relay, you can continue to chain spell together, building up your Storm count.
Eventually, you can use Burning Wish to find Grapeshot and burn the opponent out. Of the deck’s listed here, this is likely the most competitive. That being said, all of these decks could help provide a fun and entertaining night at your local game store, while being fully capable of winning some games along the way. Consider giving one of these wacky decks a whirl at your next event.