MTG_Mage's 'must have' card list and Combo's guide

MTG_Mage
MTG_Mage Posts: 224 Tile Toppler
edited May 2016 in MtGPQ Tips & Guides
Here is what I have concluded from playing experience.
I suggest you include in your decks all 'must haves' and as many or all combos listed below!

manawhite.png
First strike with Vigilance is all you need. The must haves are all you need with 1st PW ability (sharp eyes) to consistantly win.

Must have:
Enshrouding Mist
Consul's Lieutenant
Relic Seeker

good:
War Oracle
Knightly Valor

Combos:
Alchemist's Vial (or Suppresion Bonds) with Swift Reckoning!

managreen.png
Nissa is very green, lots of mana and creature boost. There are no must haves, but some are just better than others.

very good:
Somberwald Alpha
Outland Colossus
Skysnare Spider (or mantle of webs if you dont have this)

good:
Conclave Naturalists
Nissa's Pilgrimage

Combos:
Somberwald Alpha and Brawler's Plate

manablue.png
Need to use blue to get through some of the heroic story mode challenges, this is due to lots of cheap bounce. Blue has a lot of cards that are good

Must have:
Mizzium Meddler
Turn to Frog
Disperse

good:
Harbinger of the tides
soulblade djinn
scrapskin drake
claustrophobia

Combos:
Sigiled Starfish and Sphinx's Tutelage

manablack.png
Must have:
Unholy Hunger

good:
Reave Soul
Despoiler of Souls
Graveblade Marauder

Combos:
Dark Petition with 1st PW ability (corrupt)
Fleshbag Marauder and Priest of the Blood Rite

manared.png
my fav color, lots of destruction and damage icon_e_smile.gif Exquisite Firecraft is more than must have, its required. Iroas's Champion is a must in red. Do direct damage to reduce creature toughness and then kill them with double strike. Since Iroas's Champion cost so much, comboing it with Infectious Bloodlust is super good since it boots stats and gives haste. Thopters basically have haste as well when reinforcing. Use Chandra's middle PW ability, scorching strike, preferably at lvl 3, as often as needed, and save the other PW abilities as a finisher.

Must have:
Exquisite Firecraft
Iroas's Champion
Demolish

very good:
Volcanic Rambler (very comparable to Abbot of Keral Keep)
Infectious Bloodlust

good:
Embermaw Hellion
Ghirapur Aether Grid
Prickleboar

Combos:
Act of Treason and Fiery Conclusion!
Pia and Kiran Nalaar and Foundry of the Consuls
Iroas's Champion (or Prickleboar) and Infectious Bloodlust

whitecrit.png colorless/artifact
Brawlers Plate - works great with green, black (with deathtouch), and blue (combos with 1st PW ability (confusion)). Not necessary with red (see Iroas's champ+Infectious Bloodlust) or white (vigilance is superior).



BFZ:
The above info is for Origins only and was written when the 5 original planeswalkers were the only ones available. Since then many more PWs have been released and BFZ came out. BFZ unfortunately only has 3 must have cards in it in my opinion. I know there are some really cards that work well with some PWs due to their mechanics, but they are not 'must haves' in all decks or win games practically by themselves.

Scour from Existence - creature removal that works in all decks, and its common, an absolute must have
Fertile Thicket - 2 cost colorless common support that is always useful when drawn. Works great in any green decks or white decks with lots of support cards.
Smite the Monstrous - white 8 cost creature removal that hits almost any creature and is common.

I would run as much creature removal as possible and so far their are only a few low cost effective cards, which are: smite the monstrous, grip of desolation, unholy hunger, turn to frog, scour from existence, ruinous path. 3 of those are rare which are less accessible.
BFZ has 2 mythics which I think are good enough for me to be worth mentioning: exert influence and undergrowth champion, however I have avoided rating mythics due to their ultra low drop rates.

Comments

  • Somberwald alpha is pretty good but not super fantastic. Dywen, Gilt Leaf is a lot more required. Provides healing and a massive body and free reinforce.

    I've actually taken to swapping somberwald out for other things as needed.

    I'd say fleshbag marauder and dark petition are must haves for black.

    Turn to frog is not a must have for blue, there are already many ways to get rid of a beefy creature. It is surprisingly efficient though, which makes me think it should not be. Still, would prefer a harbinger to it every time.

    Volcanic rambler is pretty much a must have for red, you can win games simply with volcanic and exquisite, and very quickly too.

    Disperse is a lot worse now than it was. No longer must have for blue. In fact blue bounce is now an accessory, not the primary victory condition for blue. You can play far safer with jace 1 and simply defenders or berserker plate, plus the spell pumpers.
  • Irving
    Irving Posts: 95
    Thanks for the list! I agree with most of it. Most of the combos are more fun than good, but that's just like paper MTG icon_e_smile.gif The exception is Liliana's Dark Petition/Corrupt combo, because you only need to draw one card, not two.

    Don't think Fleshbag is a must-have - I run a Fleshbag-free list because it relies on big creatures that are probably going to be better than whatever the opponent is sacrificing. Liliana's reanimation is pretty good, but just not quite reliable enough to throw away a Kothophed or a Graveblade and expect to profit off the deal. I tried a smaller build that involved sacrificing creatures, but Liliana just doesn't have many good creatures cheaper than 12 mana - Hellhound and Deathrite die so easily, and Shaman of the Pack is just a guy.

    I agree with pandabear on Somberwald Alpha - good, not great. I run Krasis over him in order to take less damage for long quick battle runs, but if I had one battle to win for a million dollars I might run Somberwald.

    I don't use Demolish either - Ramblers and Abbots help handle supports and Demolish is a dead card against a reasonable minority of decks. Not convinced on Ghirapur Aether Grid - the types of decks that beat you do so before it has a chance to handle their board.

    Would you call Harbinger a must-have for blue? It's the last rare I don't have, and I feel like it would really fill in a weakness of my Jace deck.
  • Well harbinger was the best card in the game before the nerf, and the nerf simply brought him down from god tier to "still one of the best cards in the game tier".

    It removes a creature from play pretty much as strongly as a destruction would, with the added bonus that it also makes it take up a slot in the enemy's hand. Which the computer doesn't know how to discard.

    Blue though has moved a bit away from the bounce/mana drain and actually wins faster now with the likes of djinn, owl, drake, jessian+starfish and spell pump, you can disperse and telepath all day etc and pump things to ridiculous levels.

    But for those that like the good ol days of jace control harbinger is a very, very strong card.
  • EDHdad
    EDHdad Posts: 609 Critical Contributor
    Disperse is a lot worse now than it was. No longer must have for blue.

    It's only worse than it was because it used to be ridiculous. Basically, "destroy target creature" for 4 if the opponent had 6 cards in hand, or if it was targeting a token.

    It's still a premium removal spell. You don't have to use it all the time. If your opponent reinforces their creature, you can 2-for-1 them. If things get out of hand you can stabilize the board. If your opponent casts a fattie for 15-25 mana, you can bounce it for 4 and make them pay most of that mana all over again.

    If you draw it with Day's Undoing, it only costs 1. If you draw it with Talent of the Telepath, it casts for free when you draw it, which can be very useful in a pinch.
  • EDHdad
    EDHdad Posts: 609 Critical Contributor
    Turn to frog is not a must have for blue, there are already many ways to get rid of a beefy creature. It is surprisingly efficient though, which makes me think it should not be. Still, would prefer a harbinger to it every time.

    Turn to Frog works 100% of the time (except on Gaea's Revenge). Harbinger of the Tides is situational. You need to have a creature slot open, or you're killing your own creature. Your opponent needs to have an empty slot in their hand, or Harbinger doesn't work. This means you need to have a Harbinger mostly charged or fully charged in your hand, waiting for your opponent to cast something to bounce.

    It's true that you might be gaining tempo by bouncing their creature and making them pay 6 extra for it, but you're also losing tempo by keeping a creature slot open and not developing your board state.

    On my iPad, my Jace deck runs 4 creatures - Mizzium Meddler to screw up the opponent, Sigiled Starfish for card draw / selection, and Bonded Construct / Screeching Skaab as efficient beaters (either one will cast for free with Day's Undoing or Talent of the Telepath).

    On my phone, I use Harbinger of Tides, Sigiled Starfish, Bonded Construct / Screeching Skaab. This is because I don't have Mizzium Meddler on my phone. Nor do I have Turn to Frog.

    Both decks are successful (currently 80-90 game win streaks), but if I had a choice, I'd much rather have Turn to Frog + Mizzium Meddler than Harbinger of Tides.
  • loroku
    loroku Posts: 1,010 Chairperson of the Boards
    Nice list! I feel like the spider and colossus are required for green (they are SO efficient), but I don't have as much experience. I agree with your red list completely; I personally don't like Embermaw or Grid but I agree they are "good." I also agree that Firecraft is 100% required, no question. It's the only rare+ requirement for red but it's a serious one. (I also don't really care for the Pia + Foundry combo; it's just too expensive, and for the same cost I could have had Iroas' + Bloodlust which is much more effective. And you'd never likely run all four.)

    Mizzium remains the most broken card in the game (to date), in my opinion. Harbinger is powerful, but Mizzium is a 4/7 for 9 - and I hear it does stuff. Even without doing stuff it's extremely overpowered. It should be a 4/4, MAYBE a 4/5. This plus the original stats for Harbinger make me feel like someone is a big blue fan. icon_e_smile.gif
  • EDUSAN
    EDUSAN Posts: 197 Tile Toppler
    MTG_Mage wrote:
    manablack.png
    Must have:
    Unholy Hunger

    good:
    Reave Soul
    Despoiler of Souls
    Graveblade Marauder

    Combos:
    Dark Petition with 1st PW ability (corrupt)
    Fleshbag Marauder and Priest of the Blood Rite

    To me, Priest of the Blood Rite is a must have card or at least better than good for a black deck. I've won games JUST by playing that card one on top of the other. It gives a ton of stats for what it does (and a flying creature too)

    I dont understand why your combo using fleshbag marauder goes with priest of the blood rite. To me the combo with flehsbag marauder is with Despoiler of Souls if you leave a card with some mana when you play the marauder.
    You kill your Despoiler, it comes back to life and you kill the enemy's 1st minion

    Other Combo (which is kinda well known)

    Weight of the Underworld + Reave Soul (kill any creature with up to 6 damage)

    And a funny one:

    Kothophed, Soul Hoarder or 2nd PW skill + Orbs of Warding (gain 1 health instead of losing 1)
  • MTG_Mage
    MTG_Mage Posts: 224 Tile Toppler
    Hey everyone, thanks for the responses!

    I wanted to keep the 'must have' list as short as possible, otherwise I could just rate and rank every card, and pandabear already has a nice list of that.

    However I have not seen any lists of combos and synergies. Keep in mind that if a card is listed in the combos then it is at least ranked 'good'.

    I would really like it if everyone shared combos and synergies that they noticed as this will only grow when the new set is released.


    White - surprised nobody has commented on any of the white cards or combos.

    Green - the spider and giant are great and efficient but dont alter the game state or win a game alone just by being in play like the other 'must haves' do. Somberwald alphas ability allows you to break through the opponents defenses and win, and it has good stats. It also combos with brawlers plate, the closest to a must have for colorless, and the plate very good in green. Spider and giant are still next best in my opinion.

    Blue - Mizzum is going to be nerfed, still think disperse is best bounce due to low cost, and turn to frog is just awesome. Added a few other cards to a 'good' category, and dont forget the combos (starfish+tutelage, brawlers plate+confusion)

    Black - since the priest of the blood rite has a drawback I see it as good sac fodder for fleshbag marauder, but really I just wanted to list both of those cards as a combo since it automatically means they are at least 'good' and I want to keep my lists to a minimum size. Dark petition does such a staple black ability that the PW already does it.

    Red - I elevated 2 good cards to a new category 'very good' lol. Red has lots of good combos too

    colorless/artifact - sword of the animist would be next best after brawlers plate (see what I added to first post). I also liked orbs of warding a lot when I first started this game and was leveling my first PW.
  • No real comment on white because those 3 cards are on everyone's list lol.

    I'd put the easy to get Knightly valor as well, because almost everyone has it and it is amazing for white. But it isn't really completely necessary.

    I've stopped playing somberwald almost entirely. The spider is autoinclude if you have it, because it is a beast and also cheap. Dywen Gilt Leaf is also a must have because it is so fast, has reach, and a fantastic ability that you will be able to activate almost every turn with nissa's pilgrimage. Another autoinclude is that 4/4 for 7, just very efficient and helps heal you back up to full, esp with a lot of big supports like alhmarrett's archive and orb of warding.

    Unsure why nissa's pilgrimage is not autoinclude. The cheapness and amazing ability of it is unmatched in the entire rest of the game. It is much like normal MTG - while the huge creatures and amazing board clear abilities are great - it is the little things that change the tempo of the game that give you wins. Nissa's Pilgrimage is one such card and while it is humble it does what it does EXTREMELY well, on the same tier as Exquisite Firecraft for red and Consul's Lieutenant for white, and (the old) jace's sanctum for blue, and the...nothing, for black lol.
  • Irving
    Irving Posts: 95
    Agree with you 100% on green, sounds like we play basically the same deck icon_e_smile.gif although there is a little variation in whether you go with the Hierarch plan that lets you add a second fatty besides Colossus (two reach creatures really help the Hierarch survive), or a couple of efficient midrange creatures from the Naturalists, Maulers, Krasis, Somberwald (maybe Hydra or Messenger) category. Just because it's more fun that way, I like Hierarch and Zendikar Incarnate (tried Bellower but by the time I had it I rarely wanted that next green creature), and play Naturalists too because that ability has such value.

    Disagree on Black though - it's a great deck, only problem is that it needs a ton of rares that have no reasonable replacements. I've got 7 rares and a Mythic in my Liliana deck now. All of Graveblade, Dark Petition, and Unholy Hunger are indispensable, and Despoiler of Souls is nearly so, and you also need a couple of big rare fatties to either cast or Corrupt/reanimate, ideally ones that survive Languish because Unholy Hunger isn't quite enough board control. Grave Mist getting buffed is going to help a lot too.
  • MTG_Mage
    MTG_Mage Posts: 224 Tile Toppler
    I updated the guide by adding BFZ comments at the bottom.
  • EldrosKandar
    EldrosKandar Posts: 48 Just Dropped In
    Nice guide you have here, any chance you'll comment on specific PW strategy and key-cards?