Two Card Combos
by Terence Jason Dorman
I love combos. They're so much fun. For me, most decks I try to build are focused on combos. Usually, and much to the delight of my Team Hopper brethren, my combos involve way too many cards and are extremely convoluted. When they work it is awesome, but they are usually far too complicated to be the crux of my competitive decks.
There are certainly combos, however, that work in all types of decks, competitive included. One such combo deck is the popular Research Investment OTK deck, which has certainly been discussed both in articles and on the forums. The Research Investment deck, however, is definitely one of those combos that falls into the realms of “complicated” or “requires a lot of cards.”
Today I want to focus on the simplest form of combos; the two card combos. These aren't the types of combos you win games with the moment they go off (well, some are), but they are the kind of combos that help you win games if you can execute them at the right time or a couple times over the course of a game.
Before I begin, I must make it known that these aren't all of the two card combos found in The Spoils. I'm only going to touch on the popular ones as well as some of my personal favorites, so if you think there are any I missed, or just want to discuss more two card combos, be sure to post them in the forums!
Micromajig Shipping Container + Schproingmajig
This is arguably the most powerful combo in this article because of how much damage it deals. With just these two cards, the combo player can deal a whopping sixteen unblockable damage with the Schproingmajig.
That is just over sixty percent of the Tournament Faction's starting influence lost in one attack. I don't know about you but I usually find it hard to deal with losing sixteen influence at once, assuming of course I haven't already lost because of it.
Gilded Yurt + Dwarvish Grimalkin
Gilded Yurt is one of those cards that combos with a lot of cards, but I've chosen Dwarvish Grimalkin due to his popularity and ease of execution. With these two cards you have the potential to block one or more opposing characters with no downside, then draw a MINIMUM of one card at the start of your next turn when you get the Grimalkin back.
Even if you only have five Greed threshold (which isn't too hard) you are gaining extra cards each turn with the Grimalkin + Yurt combo, and you don't even have to block with the Grimalkin if you don't want to.
700160x 31f + Dethmurderbludgeon, the Craghammer
This combo is deadly because one piece of it searches for the other. It is even more deadly because you don't actually need to be running any Rage threshold to put the Craghammer into play, the 31f does it for you!
This turn one play creates a 3/3/3 character that will do damage to a faction regardless of whether it is blocked or not. Also, as a bonus, if the 31f is killed, the Craghammer comes back to your hand to either be played later or as a face down resource.
The Deranger + Quotidian Disappearance
This one definitely falls under the category of “first turn combos” as it is generally not possible to pull off after turn one, or at least it is harder to do. The idea is, on your first turn, play and use The Deranger to pick and choose two cards from your opponent's hand to discard. After it resolves and moves to your opponent's control, play Quotidian Disappearance to get The Deranger back to your hand.
If you do it on your first turn of the game you will have six cards in your hand while your opponent has seven, but the two he lost were ones you chose. After he lays a resource on his turn (which he probably will do) you'll have even hand sizes, which is definitely a good thing.
Heist Planner + Master Scavenger
This one is as simple as they come. Use the Heist Planner to pick three cards you never want to deal with and throw them into the discard pile. Then, with Master Scavenger, make sure you REALLY never have to deal with those cards by removing them from the game.
As an added bonus, Master Scavenger will become a 2/2/3 for the turn, which could help in battle situations. This combo is extremely effective against decks that run Recur, Dark Awakening, Montgomery Blatherscythe, and/or Wanton Wizard.
Arcane Research + Manifest
This is probably the most popular combo to come out of the addition of Seed Two: Gloamspike's Revenge. Obviously you can pair Arcane Research with Manifest, Burly Assailment, Accidental Invention, or Hidden Ruins, but I like using Manifest as it means I do not have to run a two trade deck if I don't want to. While you may be sacrificing your first turn to the combo, you are gaining enough resources to hopefully balance out the loss of a turn.
1337! + Contriving Engineer
Extremely popular during the Part Two era and still viable, 1337! + Contriving Engineer is one of those combos that won't go away until the cards are rotated out or, for some reason, banned.
This combo is extremely effective as the only downside is that you have one less card in your hand than you started with. In return you gain an Elitism resource, a 2/1/3 character, and a little more variety in your hand due to the card drawn via 1337!. If that isn't a combo that screams “positive value” then I don't know what is.
Voidal Poisoning + Runic Circuitry
Okay, maybe this combo screams “positive value” louder than the previous one. Although it requires two trades and three Obsession threshold to fire, Voidal Poisoning + Runic Circuitry can be a game shifting combo. At a cost of four (three if you have the Circuitry out already) you gain the effects of Voidal Poisoning with three tokens to play with (which amounts to four different ways to use it) AND you remove all of the tokens from Runic Circuitry. You now effectively have three additional resources to work with until the Circuitry is blown up, and that is on top of the benefits gained from the Voidal Poisoning.
Architectural Restitution + Theocratic State of Marduun
This is a fun combo that was popular in Seed-only tournaments. As long as you have a Theocratic State of Marduun in your discard pile (which shouldn't be hard for Banker decks), you can pay four to, hopefully, severely damage or even wipe out an entire attacking party.
The added bonus is that the Theocratic State of Marduun will likely be destroyed, meaning it can sit there waiting for another Architectural Restitution to pop up and launch the combo again.
Unflinching Bowman + Fiscal Intercessor
These are probably my favorite two cards to draft or open in Seed Limited events. If you manage to have both of these characters on the table, which is a bit expensive at a total cost of eight, you effectively have a way to ping your opponent's board on a one resource for one damage basis. This can easily change the shape of a Limited game if you have enough resources, and it is certainly viable in Constructed. At the very worst you will probably pick off one or two characters before your opponent destroys either of these guys to end the combo, but at least they are focusing on these cards instead of you or other possible threat cards.
Inadequate Wand + Wanton Wizard
Similar to Gilded Yurt, I could have paired many cards with Inadequate Wand, but I chose Wanton Wizard as I like staying within one trade and, to be perfectly honest, it is my personal favorite choice.
Assuming you don't have a Wanton Wizard in play already, the combo costs five to play the Wizard (and retrieve a tactic as a resource if you have one in your discard pile), bounce the Wizard to hand, and search your for a tactic that costs three or less. After all this is done you have increased your handsize and resources by one and can do it all again next turn. The added bonus is that, after you use the tactic you searched for, you can make it a resource via the re-played Wanton Wizard. Double added bonus if the tactic has Flip Up.
Gideon, the Ultimate Warrior + Adriel, Defender of Marduun
This isn't a combo in your traditional sense, but honestly, these two cards together are arguably more powerful than all the combos listed above. Dropping both of these on your first turn creates a serious problem for your opponent, especially if their solution to the problem isn't destroying either of the characters. If both characters manage to attack through on your second turn, they are breaking through for either six or seven damage depending on how you attack. Add in the fact that Gideon cannot die while attacking and that Adriel cannot die while defending and these two cards create what is arguably the best first turn in The Spoils right now.
As I said above, if you think I missed or forgot some important (or fun!) two card combos, then be sure to comment on this articles in the forums. I'm positive there are many more two card combos out there that I've forgotten, or just don't know about, and I'd love to see what you guys can come up with and/or have fun playing.