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Much Abrew: I Write a Timeless Crime Novel

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another edition of Much Abrew About Nothing! Crime Novelist was one of the most hype cards (or, at least, uncommons) from Murders at Karlov Manor, but so far, I don't think I've seen the card played a single time. Today, we're going to fix that by writing a Timeless (and infinite) crime novel! How can we go infinite with Crime Novelist in Timeless? Is the uncommon really that good? Let's find out on today's Much Abrew!

Much Abrew: Crime Novelist Combo

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  • Record-wise, we ended up going 3-4 with Crime Novelist combo, which isn't super exciting but fine for a very rogue combo deck.

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  • The goal is simple: go infinite with Crime Novelist. This requires three-ish different pieces. First, we need Crime Novelist itself so that whenever we sacrifice an artifact, we make a mana and grow Crime Novelist with a +1/+1 counter.

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  • Next, we need Animation Module, which was one of the most surprisingly strong cards in the deck. While it's obviously great when it lets us go infinite and win the game, it was surprisingly good as a fair card, especially in growing the army from Orcish Bowmasters. But back to the combo. Whenever we add a counter to a creature, we can pay a mana to make a 1/1 Servo artifact creature token. This ability works really well with Crime Novelist, especially if we can add a sacrifice outlet to the mix to go infinite.

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  • The last piece of the puzzle is a free sacrifice outlet. Our best option is Goblin Bombardment, which directly wins us the game with infinite damage when we combo off, although we also have an Ashnod's Altar, which can make infinite mana and an infinitely large Crime Novelist

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  • As I mentioned before, we technically need an artifact on the battlefield to start the loop, but this generally isn't a problem because we have Greedy Freebooter and Shambling Ghast, both of which can make a Treasure when they die. So, ideally, we'll get a Treasure from one of these one-drops early in the game and save it to start the loop when we are ready to combo off.

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  • The biggest problem with the combo is that we need at least three (or, if you count the Treasure, four) combo pieces to go infinite. As such, we can't count on drawing them all naturally, so we have a bunch of tutors in our deck, including one Demonic Tutor, one Gamble, and four Diabolic Intents, which we can use to sacrifice a Greedy Freebooter or Shambling Ghast to make a Treasure while also tutoring up our missing combo piece. As a result, even though we need a bunch of combo pieces to go infinite, our deck is pretty good at finding them.

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  • As far as the deck's level of competitiveness, two things hold it back from being super strong. First, as I mentioned before, is inconsistency. Even with all of our tutors, we simply can't find all of our combo pieces fast enough in some games. Second, we don't really have much of a backup plan. Our deck is essentially all combo pieces, tutors, and some removal, which means if we don't go infinite, it's pretty unlikely that we will win fairly. But once in a while, we can jank out a win with Orcish Bowmasters, especially if our opponent is a deck with a bunch of card draw or Brainstorms. 

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  • Oh yeah, Show and Tell is still pretty busted in Historic. We're playing a playset of Roiling Vortex in our sideboard, and it's not nearly enough to make that matchup good. While we only ended up playing against it twice, which is better than I expected, I still think that deck is a bit much for Timeless at the moment. I'm really hoping we get Force of Negation soon to offer decks another tool to fight against the menace. 
  • So, should you play Crime Novelist Combo in Timeless? Only for fun. While the deck can win a lot of games, it's a little bit too inconsistent (and a little too lacking in power if we aren't going infinite) to be a super-legit option for ranking up. On the other hand, if you like the idea of writing a crime novel, this deck is a good starting point, at the very least.


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!

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