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Brewer's Minute: Rivals of Ixalan—Seven Commander Combos


Hey, everyone! It's time for another Brewer's Minute! This weekend brings with it prerelease events for Rivals of Ixalan, which means it's time to start diving into Magic's newest set! Today, we'll be talking about the impact of Rivals of Ixalan on Commander, specifically what sweet new combos are enabled by new Rivals of Ixalan cards! While some of these combos are legal in other formats as well, the best place to pull them off will be the 100-card world of Commander! If you have some other sweet Rivals of Ixalan combos, make sure to let me know in the comments! Anyway, let's get to the video!

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#7: Release to the Wind + Maelstrom Wanderer

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Release to the Wind looks like a Momentary Blink type of card, but it actually has one huge upside: it gives us a way to reuse "when cast" triggers, since we are actually casting the creature again (for free) rather than just exiling it and returning it to the battlefield. While this works with various Eldrazi, probably the sweetest thing you can do with Release to the Wind is reset your Maelstrom Wanderer by casting it once to cascade twice and then casting it again for free with Release to the Wind for a total of four cascade triggers!

#6: Famished Paladin + Resplendent Mentor

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This one is pretty simple: you get a Famished Paladin on the battlefield and then resolve a Resplendent Mentor, which gives us a Famished Paladin that can tap to gain a life, which also untaps the Famished Paladin so we can do it all over again! The end result is that we gain infinite life, which means we can kill our opponents in any number of ways, like Aetherflux Reservoir, Felidar Guardian, or Sanguine Bond!

#5: Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca + Cryptolith Rite + Paradox Engine

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Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca is a fine Merfolk commander on her own, but she can do some really crazy things if we build around her ability to tap Merfolk for value. Assuming we can flood the board with random Merfolk, the combination of Cryptolith Rite for mana and Paradox Engine for untapping all of our Merfolk should let us go pretty close to infinite, tapping Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca and some Merfolk to draw a card, tapping the rest of our Merfolk for mana, and then untapping everything with Paradox Engine by casting the card we draw, which lets us do it all over again!

#4: Induced Amnesia + Spirit of the Labyrinth / Notion Thief

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Induced Amnesia and Spirit of the Labyrinth don't actually win us the game, but they are a great way to make one player at the table our mortal enemy (most likely Tomer, because we're #friends). Basically, if we cast an Induced Amnesia targeting an opponent with a Spirit of the Labyrinth, we Mind Twist away their hand to the exile zone, but they can't draw a new one thanks to Spirit of the Labyrinth's ability. The other upside of this combo is that we can always target ourselves with Induced Amnesia to improve our hand and then reset Induced Amnesia with Flickerwisp, Felidar Guardian, or Venser, the Sojourner later in the game to go after our opponents!

#3: Timestream Navigator + Demonic Consultation / Grenzo, Dungeon Warden

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Timestream Navigator is one of the most unique Time Walk effects we've ever seen, being on a creature and going to the bottom of our library rather than to the exile zone after we take an extra turn. The fact that Timestream Navigator goes to the bottom of our library opens up some interesting combo potential. For example, with Demonic Consultation, we can name Timestream Navigator, exile away the rest of our deck, and then take an infinite number of turns by activating Timestream Navigator on the upkeep of our extra turns. Meanwhile, Grenzo, Dungeon Warden can do a similar trick. For just two mana, we can put Timestream Navigator back into play from the bottom of our library, wait until she loses summoning sickness at the beginning of our extra turn (or give her haste with something like Swiftfoot Boots), and take all of the turns. Just make sure you have a plan for winning the game during your infinite turns, especially if you decide to exile away your library with Demonic Consultation.

#2: Polyraptor + Forerunner of the Empire + Eldrazi Monument

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The plan here is simple: we use Forerunner of the Empire to tutor up Polyraptor while also getting Eldrazi Monument (or something else that makes all of our creatures indestructible) on the battlefield. Then, we simply cast Polyraptor. When it enters the battlefield, Forerunner of the Empire deals one damage to everything, which triggers the enrage on Polyraptor to make another copy, which again triggers Forerunner of the Empire, enraging Polyraptor again, bringing us up to four copies, then eight, 16, 32, 64, and eventually millions, since no matter how much damage our creatures take, they don't die thanks to Eldrazi Monument. In the process, we also wipe our opponents' boards, which frees us to kill everyone with our infinite Polyraptors!

#1: Brass's Bounty + Revel in Riches / Mechanized Production + Gonti's Aether Heart

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Winning with Revel in Riches or Mechanized Production is one of the sweetest things you can do in Commander, and triggering their "I win" conditions just got a lot easier thanks to Brass's Bounty, which gives us enough Treasures to win the game with either, assuming we get a bunch of lands on the battlefield. The problem is that both Revel in Riches and Mechanized Production trigger on our upkeep, which means we need to wait a turn before winning the game even after casting Brass's Bounty. Gonti's Aether Heart fixes this problem by generating a ton of energy when all the Treasure tokens enter the battlefield, which we can immediately spend to take an extra turn and win the game with one of our enchantments without even letting our opponents untap!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. What other Commander combos are enabled by Rivals of Ixalan? Which of these combos is your favorite? Let me know in the comments! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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