Infinite combos remain one of the most sought after tricks in Magic the Gathering. Mind you that infinite combos have existed since Alpha!
Time Vault + Animate Artifact + Instill Energy is one good example of infinite turns back in a format where Black Lotuses and Moxes were legal. People can easily put cards together and break the format. You turn Time Vault into a creature thanks to Animate Artifact, enchant it with Instill Energy and pay zero to untap Time Vault and go crazy.
Fast forward 20 years, infinite loops remain to be the holy grails for Johnnys everywhere and once these creative innovators crack a competitive loop in a format, the Spikes soon inherit them and start dominating the format. The most recent was the Saheeli-Cat combo which earned huge success in Kaladesh standard. It was so dominating that it got banned. Those who played this deck knows the sheer power of turning this combo on as early as turn 4, while those who played against it know the feeling of packing as much creature hate and direct damage spells just to stop this deck from going of.
The printing of Paradox Engine was a statement. It was a challenge for Johnnys to build around and see how it can go off. The challenge was that it’s an Artifact, in an artifact-dominated set which packs a lot of artifact hate, and it costs 5 mana.
When a friend of mine pulled this from a pack, I wanted to do something about it but Shadows over Innistrad was about to cycle out and I didn’t want to buy Cryptolith Rite and not have the time to test it.
Basically I wanted to run as much creatures in the deck which includes tons of mana dorks, give them haste with Samut, Voice of Dissent, then use Vizier of the Menagerie to ‘draw’ and play my entire deck and swing for lethal. The problem though is that the pieces to make the combo work are creatures and were easy to remove. It’s also prone to drawing blanks and stop the chain which sucks.
Looking for the most effective cogs in the engine was key and I stumbled upon Greenbelt Rampager which is essentially a spell we can keep casting as long as we never reach 2 energy. This is cog #1, a re-usable and cheap spell to trigger Paradox Engine.
Cog #2 is Servant of Conduit, one of our more important mana producer because she keeps our energy counter in check. With Paradox Engine, we get to untap Servant and use up the energy generated by Greenbelt Rampager to add green and cast Rampager again, creating a loop.
A loop of what? A loop of untap triggers. How do we win?
Cog #3 is Minister of Inquiries. Another way for us to dispose of the excess energy can be dumped into Minister and start milling our opponent. Going back to our equation, we play Rampager to generate 1 energy, bounce it back to hand and untap our nonland permanents, use Minister to utilize the energy and mill our opponent. We then recast Rampager to generate more energy, untap our nonland permanents including Minister of Inquiries, and we do it again.
Problem: Where do we get the mana to keep recasting Greenbelt Rampager?
From nonland cards that generate mana, that’s how! Cultivators Caravan, Manalith and a single copy Hierophant’s Chalice will serve as our mana generators which also ramps us to get to Paradox Engine quicker.
To help us find our Paradox Engine, we will run Glint-Nest Crane which is also a great early blocker. We’re running a lot of important artifacts as well so we shouldn’t miss so much from playing. Speaking of important artifacts, another win-condition is Bontu’s Monument.
Since we’re playing Greenbelt Rampager a thousand times, why not drain the opponent for a gazillion and win the game without even attacking? If you noticed we’re running a lot of 3 manacost artifacts, why not play Trophy Mage too!
So how does the deck look like? Scroll down!
4 Greenbelt Rampager
2 Minister of Inquiries
4 Servant of the Conduit
2 Aether Theorist
4 Glint-Nest Crane
3 Trophy Mage
1 Quicksmith Rebel
2 Bontu’s Monument
2 Inspiring Statuary
4 Cultivator’s Caravan
1 Hierophant’s Chalice
1 Aetherflux Reservoir
4 Paradox Engine
2 Cut // Ribbons
4 Botanical Sanctum
4 Aether Hub
4 Spire of Industry
3 Essence Scatter
4 Aether Meltdown
2 Confiscation Coup
3 Spell Pierce
To really give Johnnys an orgasm of creative ways to kill the opponent, I’ve added 3 more cards that benefit the unlimited spells or unlimited mana we can generate.
Quicksmith Rebel turns any of our artifacts into a Dynavolt Gatling Gun. Aetherflux Reservoir is our Death Star that can shoot our opponent with one gigantic ray of energy, or if we want to be brutal, we can cut our opponent to ribbons for a million mana.
From the sideboard we have Negate and Spell Pierce will help protect our combo pieces from removal or counter magic.
Against creatures we have Aether Meltdown and Essence Scatter to keep us alive long enough to get our combo going. Confiscation Coup is reserved for those juicy creatures like The Scarab God.
This deck might not win you packs in a competitive tournament but its hilarious if you can pull it off. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!
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