Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / Against the Odds: I Am Tempted by the Ring...Infinitely! (Historic)

Against the Odds: I Am Tempted by the Ring...Infinitely! (Historic)

The Ring Tempts You is an odd mechanic. The first level of the Ring has this odd line of text, "Your Ring-bearer is legendary," which I'm pretty sure Wizards stuck on there purely for flavor reasons, to make your Ring-bearer feel more like a hero from Lord of the Rings. This line of text does quite literally nothing in 99.9% of situations, but the other 0.1% of the time, you are playing Ratadrabik of Urborg, and being able to turn any creature on the battlefield into a legend by being tempted by the Ring becomes an absurdly powerful combo engine, which is what we're doing today! Check out the video to see the deck in action, and then I'll explain the deck's plan!

Infinite Ring Temptation Combo (Featuring Nazgûl)

Loading Indicator

The Deck

During spoiler season for Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth, it seemed like most of the community felt like the set was underpowered for non-Commander formats. If you look through the set, this makes a lot of sense—not many cards jump off the page in terms of raw stats and power. But now that we've gotten the chance to play with the set, I think the biggest reason that it was arguably underrated is that the best cards in the set are strong because of the synergies and combos they enable, rather than because of their stat lines or raw power. 

Our deck today is the perfect example: we're built around not just one but two infinite combos that only exist because of new Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth cards. Both combos revolve around our old friend Ratadrabik of Urborg, which you might remember from the Standard video where we made more tokens than there are planets in the universe, with the help of Blade of Shared Souls, only to end up getting a bit wrecked by the Magic Arena token limit.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Ratadrabik has a unique ability: when one of our legendary creatures dies, we get to make a 2/2 non-legendary token copy of the creature. This ability has some really interesting implications with The Ring Tempts You, especially the first level of the Ring, which makes our Ring-bearer legendary. This ability also powers our infinite combos.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Our first combo is pretty straightforward. In fact, you might have seen Phil use it in his Smeagol Infinite Mill deck. The idea is to combine Ratadrabik with Boromir, Warden of the Tower, a legendary creature that can sacrifice itself to make our team indestructible and also tempt us with the Ring. Since Boromir is legendary, we can sacrifice Boromir, which will trigger Ratadrabik to make a non-legendary token copy. We'll then be tempted by the Ring, and we can choose the new token Boromir as our Ring-bearer, making it legendary. Now, we can sacrifice the token Boromir, make a copy with Ratadrabik, and repeat this process as many times as we want. By itself, this combo doesn't really do much other than let us be tempted by the Ring an infinite number of times. But if we add a Blood Artist into the mix, we'll win the game by draining our opponent for one every time our Boromir, Warden of the Tower sacrifices itself!

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Combo number two is my favorite. It's similar to the Ratadrabik Boromir combo but involves Nazgul rather than Boromir. When a Nazgul enters the battlefield, we're tempted by the Ring, which, for our purposes, means we get to turn our Nazgul into a legend by making it our Ring-bearer. This means if our Nazgul dies, we'll get a token copy thanks to Ratadrabik. If we add a free sacrifice outlet to the mix, like Woe Strider or Altar of Dementia, we can sacrifice our Nazgul an infinite number of times. If our sac outlet is Altar of Dementia, we win the game on the spot by milling our opponent's entire deck. If it's a Woe Strider, we'll need a Blood Artist to finish the game.

One of the best parts of having Nazgul as a combo piece is that we can play more than four copies in our deck, which helps to up our consistency. This also leads to some really sneaky combo finishes. Since all of our Nazgul grow whenever we are tempted by the Ring, if we can be tempted an infinite number of times, we can make infinitely large Nazgul that can kill our opponent with just a single attack! If we have multiple Nazgul, we can keep sacrificing one for the combo, grow the other massive, and then swing for lethal. We can also do this with the Boromir, Warden of the Tower combo: if we happen to have a Nazgul on the battlefield as we combo with Boromir, the Nazgul will end up absurdly large.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

The problem with the "attack with a massive Nazgul" plan is that Nazgul aren't evasive, so if our opponent has any creatures on the battlefield, they'll be able to chump block and stay alive. But, oddly, the first level of The Ring Tempts You helps here has well. Along with making our Ring-bearer legendary, it also gives it skulk so it can't be blocked by creatures with greater power. As such, we can go to combat, swing with a small Nazgul, wait until after our opponent declares no blocks, and then start the infinite temptation combo to hit our opponent for lethal!

The Odds

While Infinite Temptation is unique and fun, it's also not that bad. While recording this video, I ended up playing 21 games with the deck and won 11, giving us a 52% match-win percentage. This isn't format-breaking or anything like that, but it does suggest the deck is at least somewhat competitive. If you like the idea of being tempted by the Ring an infinite number of times, are looking for a very different way to use the Nazgul, or just love Ratadrabik of Urborg shenanigans, the deck seems decent enough to jam some games with on Magic Arena. More importantly, it's super fun and overflowing with some sneaky (and sneakily powerful) synergies to explore!


Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

More in this Series

Show more ...

More on MTGGoldfish ...

Image for This Week in Legacy: Asia Eternal Weekend 2023 this week in legacy
This Week in Legacy: Asia Eternal Weekend 2023

Joe Dyer dives into Asia Eternal Weekend 2023 for Legacy!

Nov 29 | by Joe Dyer
Image for Against the Odds: Amalia's Infinite Exploration (Explorer) against the odds
Against the Odds: Amalia's Infinite Exploration (Explorer)

Explore is back thanks to Lost Caverns of Ixalan, but it's full of combos now! What are the odds of going infinite with Amalia, Wildgrowth Walker, and Bolas's Citadel? Let's find out!

Nov 29 | by SaffronOlive
Image for Single Scoop: Merfolk of Ixalan single scoop
Single Scoop: Merfolk of Ixalan

Merfolk haven't seen play in Standard for quite some time but maybe now it's time to return to Ixalan and see what new Merfolk exist!

Nov 28 | by TheAsianAvenger
Image for Commander Clash Podcast 123: Every "Target Player Loses the Game" Card commander clash podcast
Commander Clash Podcast 123: Every "Target Player Loses the Game" Card

Sometimes it's just better to send a message and make someone lose the game.

Nov 28 | by mtggoldfish

Layout Footer

Never miss important MTG news again!

All emails include an unsubscribe link. You may opt-out at any time. See our privacy policy.

Follow Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Twitch
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • RSS
  • Email
  • Discord
  • YouTube

Price Preference

Default Price Switcher