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Brewer's Minute: Seven Ixalan Combos for Modern


Hey, everyone! It's time for another Brewer's Minute. The Ixalan prerelease is this weekend, which means it's time to start talking about what we can do with the sweet new cards from the set! While the Standard implications of Ixalan are being discussed everywhere, today we are going to head back to Modern and discuss some interesting combos involving new Ixalan cards. Like usual, I don't have any specific deck lists for these combos, so if you have some ideas of how to make them viable (or at least fun), make sure to let me know in the comments. Without further ado, let's get to the video and break down seven Ixalan combos for Modern!

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#7: Vraska and / or Jace with Doubling Season

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I almost didn't add this combo to the list, because a lot of planeswalkers combo with Doubling Season, and I'm not sure that the Ixalan group is any better than the options we already have like Nahiri, the Harbinger or Jace, Architect of Thought, but they are probably worth talking about briefly because they are fun. With a Doubling Season on the battlefield, either planeswalker can immediately ultimate thanks to the doubling of counters, which for Vraska, Relic Seeker means we put our opponent to one life (and then hopefully have a Gut Shot in hand to finish the job). Meanwhile, Jace, Cunning Castaway is noteworthy since it goes infinite, with the ultimate making two token copies of Jace, which is actually four copies (then 16, then 64, et al.) thanks to Doubling Season. If you throw a Purphoros, God of the Forge or Impact Tremors into the mix, you also deal infinite damage, while a Fervor or Mass Hysteria would give all of the Illusions our Jace, Cunning Castaways could make haste to finish the opponent without letting them untap.

#6: Ranging Raptors and Pyrohemia

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Almost as soon as Ranging Raptors was spoiled, Reddit was talking about an ultra-janky combo involving the card. The basic idea is you get a Ranging Raptors on the battlefield with a Pyrohemia, which allows you to ping the Ranging Raptors to pull a basic land out of your deck. The problem is that it enters the battlefield tapped, but if you throw an Amulet of Vigor into the mix, the Mountain you tutor up will untap, allowing you to ping the Ranging Raptors again to find yet another land. If you throw in a Rite of Passage or Bellowing Aegisaur into the mix to keep growing the Ranging Raptors when it takes damage, the end result is that you can pull all of the Mountains out of your deck, ramping you a ton while also growing a huge Ranging Raptors (and sweeping away any creatures on your opponent's side of the battlefield).

#5: Field of Ruin with "Can't Search" Stuff

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While this might not technically count as a combo, Field of Ruin opens up some interesting possibilities in Modern by giving us eight Ghost Quarters rather than just four. If you can get a Leonin Arbiter, a Mindlock Orb, or even just an Aven Mindcensor on the battlefield, our eight Ghost Quarters turn into eight Strip Mines, which will allow us to destroy all of our opponent's lands for a very cheap price. Ramunap Excavator, Crucible of Worlds, or even Sun Titan lets us keep getting our Field of Ruins back from the graveyard so we can destroy at least one land every turn and hopefully just hard lock our opponent out of playing Magic ever again!

#4: Arcane Adaptation and Turntimber Ranger

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While this combo technically already existed in Modern thanks to Conspiracy, it's much better now that we have Arcane Adaptation, which is basically a blue version of Conspiracy that costs a ton less mana. The basic idea is that we get Arcane Adaptation on the battlefield naming Ally. When we cast a Turntimber Ranger, it makes a Wolf token (which is now also an Ally token) when it enters the battlefield. The Wolf Ally then triggers Turntimber Ranger again because another Ally entered the battlefield, creating another Wolf Ally that triggers Turntimber Ranger; rinse and repeat. The end result is that not only do we have an infinite number of 2/2 Wolf Ally tokens, but Turntimber Ranger becomes infinitely large, which means we can either win by attacking with our creatures or even just Fling or Rite of Consumption the Turntimber Ranger at our opponent to close out the game right away!

#3: Gishath, Sun's Avatar with Dramatic Entrance

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Gishath, Sun's Avatar has the potential to be extremely powerful in a deck full of Dinosaurs. The problem is that eight mana is just way too much for Modern. But what if we could have a Gishath, Sun's Avatar on the battlefield as early as Turn 3? Thanks to Dramatic Entrance, we can! The basic idea is that we ramp into Dramatic Entrance with Birds of Paradise and friends, cast the sorcery, put a hasty Gishath, Sun's Avatar onto the battlefield, and hopefully just win the game by dumping some other huge Dinosaurs onto the battlefield with Gishath's damage trigger. Plus, other good Dinosaurs like Carnage Tyrant and Verdant Sun's Avatar are green as well, so we can always use Dramatic Entrance to put them into play on the cheap if we can't find a Gishath, Sun's Avatar. While Dinosaurs might just be too expensive for Modern, if they are going to work, having their own personal Show and Tell could be the reason why!

#2: Star of Extinction and Stuffy Doll

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This one is pretty straightforward. If we can get a Stuffy Doll (or Boros Reckoner or Spiremare) on the battlefield and resolve a Star of Extinction, we win the game by redirecting the 20 damage dealt by Star to our creature to our opponent's face instead. While this synergy has sort of been around thanks to Blasphemous Act, the downside of Blasphemous Act is that it doesn't actually kill the opponent, since it only deals 13 damage. The challenge here is that Star of Extinction is pretty expensive, but it could work as additional copies of Blasphemous Act, and Boros Reckoner actually helps to make mana with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx if we go on the red devotion plan.

#1: Revel in Riches

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Revel in Riches might look like a simple "you win the game" card, but the ability to make a Treasure whenever a creature our opponent controls dies actually has some strange combo potential. While these cards are super fringe, it's actually possible to give our opponent's creatures with cards like Forbidden Orchard, Hunted Phantasm, and Hunted Troll; then, things get really out of hand if you throw something like Illness in the Ranks or Virulent Plague into the mix to immediately kill the creatures we give our opponent. Forbidden Orchard becomes an Ancient Tomb (tapping for a mana of any color and making a Treasure) that doesn't cost us any life. Hunted Phantasm becomes a Seething Song (making five Treasures for three mana), and Hunted Troll becomes a free-to-cast 8/4. As for winning the game, we should be able to figure something out with all that mana, especially if we throw Beck // Call into the mix to draw cards as the creatures enter the battlefield. It could be as simple as making enough Treasures that we win with Revel in Riches on our next upkeep, or maybe we ramp into a huge Eldrazi or even storm off with Grapeshot! The possibilities are endless!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. What other Ixalan combos are there for Modern? Can you think of any ways to make the combos we talked about today work in the format? Let me know in the comments, and as always, you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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