18, Apr, 24

Thunder Junction Creates New MTG Splinter Twin Combo!

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Article at a Glance

Players are beginning to experiment with different decks built around the new cards from Outlaws of Thunder Junction, and one thing has become abundantly clear: these cards have opened up a world of awesome synergies.

In Standard, Annie Joins Up looks like a nice addition to multi-color Legends decks. In Pioneer, players are already tooling with Jace Reawakened shells, focused on Plotting Valki, God of Lies and casting the Tibalt side for free. Meanwhile, in Modern, Simulacrum Synthesizer has quickly made its presence felt in Modern Affinity, making Frogmite look like a format all-star.

While there are definitely a few cards that look like multi-format all-stars from the jump (I’m looking at you, Slickshot Show-Off), part of what makes this set so intriguing is the sheer volume of build-arounds that require specific homes to maximize. Without the potent Affinity role-players in Modern, Simulacrum Synthesizer likely falls short. Jace might not be strong enough in Pioneer without the Valki “combo” present. Annie Joins Up is just a mediocre removal spell unless your deck is filled with potent legends.

There are lots of gems in this set, and it’s up to us to find the diamond in the rough. As players continue to innovate, one spicy brew in particular immediately caught my eye like no other. This Pioneer deck is focused around abusing the power of Ghired, Mirror of the Wilds in order to generate infinite Creature tokens! This deck is sweet, but does it have what it takes to match up with the best decks in the format?

Ghired, Combo Enabler

Ghired, Mirror of the Wilds | Outlaws of Thunder Junction

To help answer this, it’s important to look at exactly what this archetype is trying to accomplish. The combo this deck revolves around was made possible by the printing of Ghired, Mirror of the Wilds. This powerful Creature gives you a one turn window when any tokens enter under your control to make copies of those tokens. All you have to do is tap any of your non-token Creatures, including Ghired. With this in mind, the objective is to make a token copy of either Corridor Monitor or Bounding Krasis while you have Ghired in play.

You can do this a number of different ways. If Monitor or Krasis are on the battlefield, you can use Molten Duplication or the flip side of Fable of the Mirror-Breaker to make a token copy. If Krasis or Monitor are in your graveyard instead, you can use the 0 ability of Nahiri, the Unforgiving to make a token copy. From there, you can execute the following easy steps to make infinite Creatures:

  • Tap Ghired, targeting the Monitor/Krasis token. Another token copy will be created.
  • When the new Monitor/token enters the battlefield, untap Ghired
  • Tap Ghired, targeting the Monitor/Krasis token once again
  • Repeat this process infinite times

Notably, while Molten Duplication, Nahiri, and the backside of Fable all state that the original token copy of Monitor/Krasis will go away at the end of the turn, the new tokens will stick around. As such, even if you weren’t able to give them all Haste and attack for lethal, you can do that the following turn.

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Role Players

Collected Company

Now that we’ve touched on how the combo actually works, it’s important to go over the supporting cast that can help set the combo up. Creating infinite tokens does require a lot of different pieces to initiate the process, which is where the role-players come in.

First and foremost, you need ways to dig for Ghired. Krasis and Monitor are interchangeable combo pieces. Similarly, Molten Duplication and Nahiri can both serve token generators. Ghired is the one piece of the puzzle that is irreplicable. Fortunately, this deck digs churns through its library quite a bit.

Fable and Bitter Reunion help you search for Ghired while simultaneously acting as discard outlets to enable Nahiri. If you ever do manage to make infinite tokens, you can cash in Bitter Reunion to give your team Haste. This isn’t always necessary, but it ensures you don’t get wrecked by a board wipe before your next turn.

Beyond Bitter Reunion and Fable, Collected Company digs quite deep for your missing pieces. If you’re lucky, you’ll find both Ghired and either Monitor or Krasis, potentially helping you win the game out of nowhere.

Finally, this deck with a large density of three and four mana cards needs some acceleration to get the train rolling ahead of schedule. As such, Elvish Mystic and Llanowar Elves are excellent inclusions. Thanks to the Elves, if you have the absolute nuts (turn one Elf, turn two Ghired, turn three Monitor and Molten Duplication), you can go off as early as turn three!

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General Inconsistencies

Lightning Helix

With that being said, this deck isn’t the most consistent at executing the combo. With only four copies of Ghired, assembling the combo is difficult enough, and your opponent is sure to make things harder. Pioneer is chock full of cheap interaction. Izzet Phoenix, arguably the best deck in Pioneer, plays multiple one mana removal spells in Fiery Impulse and Lightning Axe that kill Ghired. Rakdos Vampires plays Fatal Push and Thoughtseize. Niv to Light has Lightning Helix and No More Lies as cheap forms of disruption.

Even Abzan Amalia Benavides Aguirre combo, which lacks Creature interaction, may be able to use its own combo to wipe your board of infinite Creatures before you get to attack with them. Part of what makes these matchups so problematic is that many of the cards in this deck are individually weak. Corridor Monitor, Bounding Krasis, and Nahiri are necessary for the deck to function, but do little outside of the combo.

At the same time, Collected Company is supposed to be a great value engine. However, this deck only plays 19 Creatures as is to hit and eight of them are mana dorks. This deck is definitely flashy and capable of fast kills, but it may take some reworking to become a prominent force.

Read More: Mono-Red 20-Damage Two-card MTG Combo Discovered in Thunder Junction!

Potential Options

The Huntsman's Redemption

To help address concerns associated with removal-heavy matchups, this deck could use a few more value-oriented cards. With this in mind, there are a couple different avenues to take this strategy.

One direction is to up the number of potent three-drop Creatures for Collected Company. Unfortunately, though, this is quite hard to do. Most of the other non-Creature spells in the deck, including Nahiri, Molten Duplication, and Fable, are important to the functionality of the deck. Perhaps cutting Bitter Reunion can allow you to increase your Creature count a bit more, but Bitter Reunion is a pretty strong combo card in its own right.

This leads us to the more realistic road to take the deck down: cut Collected Company entirely. There are simply going to be too many games where Collected Company whiffs on what you need. One card I’m quite interested in to add in its place is The Huntsman’s Redemption. Much like Fable, this card immediately creates a Creature token that you can start copying if you have Ghired already in play, which is a nice backup plan to have. It’s a strong card to slam turn two as well.

From there, chapter II lets you sacrifice one of your mediocre Creatures to tutor up Ghired or Monitor. This is a much more consistent path to finding your combo pieces than Collected Company. The Huntsman’s Redemption is strong as a value engine while adding some needed redundancy.

This combo shell is a very cool home for Ghired, which offers some neat build-around opportunities. The deck is definitely in its early stages, but further showcases the wide range of possibilities that the release of Outlaws of Thunder Junction has presented. I look forward to seeing what other wacky amalgamations players come up with in the coming weeks.

Read More: These Thunder Junction Powerhouses Can Resurrect Dead Archetypes!

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