23, Apr, 24

Versatile Thunder Junction Enchantment is an Awesome Combo Finisher!

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Article at a Glance

During Outlaws of Thunder Junction spoiler season, a wide variety of different synergistic goodies were hyped up a fair bit. It’s cool to see just how many of them lived up to the hype. Simulacrum Synthesizer was talked about a lot in conjunction with Affinity cards like Sojourner’s Companion, and as it turns out, Synthesizer is meeting exceeding expectations. Satoru, the Infiltrator garnered plenty of discussion, and recently emerged victorious in an Esper Reanimator shell in Modern.

Other cards like Jace Reawakened and are still being explored in various formats. Players were quick to point out a lot of powerful Thunder Junction cards during spoiler season, but there are also a number of cards that slipped under the radar. For instance, Demonic Ruckus, despite not being discussed much early on, has appeared alongside Slickshot Show-Off in both Standard and Pioneer.

One other card that has been making a name for itself in Standard is none other than Tinybones Joins Up. Tinybones Joins Up is a rather unassuming card at first glance. However, the sheer amount of value it can generate over the course of the game is immense in the right decks. There is even a neat infinite combo in Standard that utilizes the Enchantment as its win condition! Let’s take a look at how this infinite combo works as well as some other ways to maximize this one-drop.

A Cool Infinite Life Loss Combo

Tinybones Joins Up

In a recent Youtube video by content creator Strictly Better MTG, they go over a neat Standard infinite combo made possible by multiple Thunder Junction cards. This combo revolves around a few key cards: Relic of Legends, Rona, Herald of Invasion, Tinybones Joins Up, and two copies of Honest Rutstein. With one copy of each card in play and the second copy of Honest Rutstein in hand, you can execute the following steps to make your opponent lose infinite life and mill their library in the process!

  • Tap Rona and Honest Rutstein to float one black and one green mana via Relic of Legends
  • Cast the other copy of Honest Rutstein from your hand with the floating mana (it costs one less to cast thanks to the copy of Honest Rutstein already in play). This will cause Rona to untap
  • When Honest Rutstein enters the battlefield, keep the new, untapped copy of Honest Rutstein, sacrificing the tapped copy via Legend Rule.
  • Use Honest Rutstein’s triggered ability to return the other copy from your graveyard to your hand. Tinybones Joins Up will also trigger, allowing you to force the opponent to mill a card and lose a life
  • Float two more mana and repeat each step in order over and over

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Lower Setup Cost Than You Might Expect

Annie Joins Up

At first, this may seem a bit convoluted. After all, you need a lot of cards to actually close out the game. However, every card here is solid on its own. We’ve seen multi-color legends builds maximizing the power of Slogurk, the Overslime have plenty of success in Standard in recent months, and cards like Rona and Relic of Legends are staples of the archetype. This archetype functions like a value engine more than anything else, but the inclusion of Honest Rutstein and Tinybones Joins Up adds another avenue to help you close the game.

In fact, someone recently got 17th in a Magic Online Standard Challenge with a very similar idea. That deck featured Annie Joins Up instead of Tinybones Joins Up as a way to double all of triggered abilities of each legend in the deck, of which there are many.

With Annie Joins Up in play, you can actually use a similar loop to create infinite mana via Relic of Legends (casting Honest Rutstein will cause Rona’s untap trigger to happen twice, so you can end up floating an extra mana each time with Relic of Legends). You can also choose to use Rona’s extra untap trigger to loot instead, letting you quickly churn through your library. Honest Rutstein’s triggered ability will also happen twice, allowing you to repeatedly return extra Creatures from your graveyard to your hand.

In this sense, Annie Joins Up is strong in its own right. What Tinybones Joins Up does is simply provide this established shell with a more efficient and reliable kill condition. Even when you’re not comboing off, the life loss will quickly add up in a deck filled with legends. The reality is, Tinybones Joins Up is much more than just a combo finisher.

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A Reliable Crime Enabler

Gisa, the Hellraiser

Beyond a dedicated combo shell, there are a couple other ways to maximize Tinybones Joins Up in Standard. The first is as an elite Crime enabler. You get to commit a Crime the turn you play it by making the opponent discard a card, and then any future legends you play will let you commit further Crimes. There are a multitude of extremely powerful black legends from Outlaws of Thunder Junction that all become stronger when you can commit Crimes on command.

Gisa, the Hellraiser is a prime example of the type of card that gets much stronger with Tinybones Joins Up already in play. Gisa is a strong card, but much of its power lies in its ability to create Zombies. Even with its Ward ability, you’d prefer to commit a Crime the turn you cast Gisa to guarantee you get value from it before it dies. Unfortunately, as a five-drop, this isn’t always easy.

Well, that is unless you have Tinybones Joins Up on the battlefield already. Then, you just cast Gisa, force the opponent to lose a life and mill a card, and immediately create two Zombies for your troubles. Tinybones Joins Up even makes Kaervek, the Punisher and Vadmir, New Blood into much scarier cards. It’s possible Tinybones Joins Up has legs in Pioneer as a Crime committer, too. After all, Kaervek has shown its prowess in the format already, so it’s certainly worth exploring.

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An Aggressive Slant

Tinybones, the Pickpocket | Outlaws of Thunder Junction

The final way to maximize Tinybones Joins Up is to play a ton of legends in a low-curve aggressive deck. While making the opponent lose one life for each legend you play isn’t the quickest clock, if you start attacking early, the life loss will quickly become a problem for your opponent. As such, Tinybones Joins Up looks to be just what the doctor ordered for Standard Esper legends decks.

The cards in this deck hit hard, especially with Raffine, Scheming Seer in the mix. Adding both Tinybones Joins Up and Tinybones, the Pickpocker itself helps this deck play to the board sooner. Not to mention, Tinybones Joins Up can fuel Tinybones, the Pickpocket if the opponent mills some nice goodies to cast. The one-drop slot in this archetype has historically been quite weak, so both these cards feel like welcome additions.

As a one-mana Enchantment with a meaningful enters-the-battlefield effect, the opportunity cost to play this card is quite low. At the same time, the upside can be quite high if you can abuse the card, which there are lots of ways to do. Tinybones Joins Up may have been underrated when first revealed, but it’s starting to make a name for itself. Don’t underestimate its power, or you may end up regretting it.

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