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The Fish Tank: New Historic Combos Week (July 19-25, 2020)


Welcome back to The Fish Tank, the series where we peek at sweet viewer-submitted decks and maybe, with our powers combined, turn them into real, fun, playable lists! This week, thanks to the release of Jumpstart, I got a ton of Historic submissions, with several featuring interesting new combos for the format. As such, rather than our normal variety of formats, today, we're focusing exclusively on Historic and, even more narrowly, on Historic combos! Let's get to the lists. But first, to have your own deck considered for next week's edition (and for our Fishbowl Thursday Instant Deck Tech), make sure to leave a link in the comments or email them to me at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.

Historic

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Historic is all the rage these days, with Jumpstart adding a ton of sweet new cards to the format. Arthur VII Julius Pendragon offers up an interesting combo build, looking to go semi-infinite with Emry, Lurker of the Loch, Underworld Breach, and Diligent Excavator. The deck's idea is to keep casting Mox Amber from the graveyard, triggering Diligent Excavator to mill three cards (so we can keep paying the escape cost on Mox Amber), float blue mana with Mox Amber (thanks to Emry being a legend), and then cast another Mox Amber from the graveyard and legend ruling the first one so we can repeat the process. In theory, we should be able to mill our entire deck while also generating 10 or 15 extra mana from the Mox Amber loop, before eventually milling and escaping our one copy of Thassa's Oracle for the win! The big new Jumpstart additions to the deck are Aether Spellbomb and Chromatic Sphere, which give us some cheap artifact cantrips to trigger Diligent Excavator and recast with Emry, Lurker of the Loch to keep drawing through our deck until we find our combo. The deck's biggest downside is that it's extremely reliant on the graveyard—something like Leyline of the Void would essentially beat the deck all by itself since our backup plan would be beating down with our underpowered creatures. On the other hand, the deck should be pretty hard to disrupt if you can dodge the graveyard hate—the deck should be very difficult to stop once Underworld Breach hits the battlefield with another combo piece or two in place!

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Speaking of Historic archetypes that got a big boost of power thanks to Jumpstart, next up, we have Bongeler666's GW Yorion Blink deck. The deck's primary goal is to generate an endless stream of value by using cards like Yorion, Sky Nomad (a four-of in the main deck rather than a companion), Emiel the Blessed, and Charming Prince to repeatedly blink creatures with enters-the-battlefield triggers that draw us cards (like Elvish Visionary and Militia Bugler), ramp us (like Solemn Simulacrum and Elvish Rejuvenator), or generate other value (like Thragtusk and Knight of Autumn) until we eventually get enough mana to cast and, if needed, blink End-Raze Forerunners to trample over for lethal damage with our motley crew of creatures. Thanks to Jumpstart, we also have Cloudshift as a one-mana way to blink our creatures, which is something that Historic was previously missing. The deck looks like a blast to play and should be able to grind out an insane amount of value in fair matchups, although I'm not sure how it would stand up to combo decks like Temur Reclamation. It's also worth mentioning that End-Raze Forerunners seems like a strictly worse version of Craterhoof Behemoth in the deck. Regardless, if you like blinking for value and playing good, clean, fair Magic, GW Yorion Blink looks like a really fun option for Historic!

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Have you ever wanted to create an infinite-Zombie army? Well, now you can, thanks to Infinite Infestation from Smegma L.! The deck's goal is to get The Gitrog Monster, Underrealm Lich, and Zombie Infestation on the battlefield together. We can then discard two lands to make a 2/2 Zombie, which will trigger The Gitrog Monster to draw us two cards, but since we have Underrealm Lich, we get to choose the card we want from the top three cards of our library twice, while milling the others. If we mill lands, we'll trigger the Underrealm Lich / The Gitrog Monster loop again, while we can keep discarding the cards we put in our hand to Zombie Infestation to make more Zombies. This by itself is technically infinite, but we'll quickly run out of cards in our library. Enter Gaea's Blessing. When we mill Gaea's Blessing with our Underrealm Lich / The Gitrog Monster loop, we will get to shuffle our library (and Gaea's Blessing) back into our library. This makes the combo truly infinite—we can keep drawing through our deck and making 2/2 Zombies until we time out or our opponent scoops!

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Speaking of Historic combos, SpicyNapalm checked in with a tribal-based infinite combo deck: Dino Combo. On one hand, Dino Combo can play like a normal Gruul midrange deck, featuring a bunch of powerful standalone threats like Ripjaw Raptor and Marauding Raptor. But what makes the deck unique is that it also has an infinite combo build in. The idea is to get Polyraptor on the battlefield (perhaps with the help of Forerunner of the Empire to tutor it up) alongside Terror of the Peaks and Marauding Raptor. When Polyraptor enters the battlefield, Marauding Raptor will ping it for two damage, making another Polyraptor and also triggering Terror of the Peaks to deal five damage to any target. When the token copy of Polyraptor comes into play, the same thing will happen: Marauding Raptor will ping it for two, making another copy, and we get five more damage from Terror of the Peaks. We can then repeat this process until our opponent's life total hits zero! 

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Presence of Gond has long been a combo card. With something like Intruder Alarm on the battlefield, it's really easy to use the enchantment to make an infinite number of 1/1 tokens. While Presence of Gond itself is now in Historic thanks to Jumpstart, most of the easiest ways to go infinite with Presence of Gond are missing. But Drizzlehell has found a way to make the combo work in the format with the help of Famished Paladin. Since Famished Paladin untaps itself whenever we gain life, if we can get something like Soul Warden or Ajani's Welcome on the battlefield and a Presence of Gond on Famished Paladin, we've built a Famished Paladin that taps to make a 1/1 Elf token. That token gains us a life from our Soul Warden effect, which will then untap our Famished Paladin again so we can tap it to make another token! The end result is an infinite number of Elves! While we do need a lot of pieces to pull off the combo, in theory, we can go infinite as early as Turn 3 with our best draws by playing Soul Warden or Ajani's Welcome on Turn 1, Famished Paladin on Turn 2,and then  Presence of Gond on Turn 3! More importantly, we have Fauna Shaman to find Famished Paladin and Heliod's Pilgrim as well as Idyllic Tutor to find Presence of Gond, so we actually have a ton of redundancy, even though we need three cards to go infinite. While removal is a concern (a timely instant-speed removal spell with Presence of Gond on the stack can ruin our day), the deck actually looks like it could win some games, especially against removal-light decks.

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for this week! If you have any ideas about how to improve these decks, make sure to let us know in the comments, and if you have a deck you want to be considered for a future Fish Tank, leave that there as well! Thanks to everyone who sent in decks this week! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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