Going Inifinte with Rivals: part 1

Welcome to our first deck tech of 2018, or should I say part one of two of our first deck tech of 2018. You see whenever a new set is released, I put aside a little time and dig deep into the card galleries for new and exciting deck ideas. As I was perusing the new cards from Rivals of Ixalan I came across two interesting spells, both of which allow for some fun with infinite combos in Pauper and Modern. Today I will be looking at the Pauper combo pieces, with a second article coming out later this week exploring the second Modern combo. So, if you like ‘going off’ and denying our opponent the chance to have any fun, we have you covered.

It’s practically Splinter Twin

There was once a deck called Splinter Twin, a Modern powerhouse that could consistently win games as early as turn four by creating infinite hasty creatures to overwhelm your opponent’s defences. Eventually, the namesake card got banned, and nothing ever went wrong with Modern again or with infinite creature combo again.

Ok a few things went wrong after that, but Felidar Guardian got banned and Modern is in a good place right now, so it all worked out. But what if you were one of those people that enjoyed swarming the battlefield with an army of one power creatures? Well, it’s a little-known fact that you don’t have to play Modern or Standard to go infinite with creature aggro, you can do it in Pauper too.

Know as G/W Splinter Twin (even though there is no twin in the deck) the decks game plan is to attach a Presence of Gond to a Midnight Guard, which allows you to produce as many 1/1 Elf Tokens as you can wish for. While it isn’t top tier in the Pauper format, the deck is a ton of fun to play. Now the deck already has a way to gain infinite life thanks to a playset of Soul Warden, but what if I told you there was a way to ‘dome’ your opponent for lethal as well.

If the deck was to splash Red for Impact Tremors, or Black for Harsh Sustenance, you would have the ability to inflict infinite damage on your opponent. I personally prefer Harsh Sustenance over Tremors for its ability to gain you life and target creature in a pinch, as well as avoid enchantment removal from the sideboard in game two and three. The only problem is that with only four copies in the deck, you can lack the consistency needed to go for the win. Luckily, Rivals of Ixalan has given us a new toy to play with.

Gruesome Fate is a Sorcery for two and a black that drains all opponent’s life told equal to the number of creatures you control. While not as efficient as Harsh Sustenance, it is less taxing on your mana due to it been in only one colour, and in some corner cases where your opponent can prevent damage you can avoid been blown out. By adding a few copies to the deck, you can increase the odds of drawing into it and give the deck more consistency.

The rest of the deck is about getting the combo online. Heliod’s Pilgrim allow you to tutor up the Presence of Gond, while Commune with Nature and Commune with the Gods help dig through the deck for the other combo pieces. Llanowar Elves provides acceleration, and Auramancer can get back a Presence of Gond if your opponent has enchantment removal. Finally, the deck runs a couple of Pacifisms to handle your opponent’s threats.

As with any three colour Pauper deck the mana base is not the smoothest, but it gets the job done. Full playsets of Blossoming Sands and Evolving Wilds, as well as a couple of Jungle Hollow, Scoured Barrens and a few basics should be good enough to fix any mana issues that the deck may have. Sideboards as always are very meta dependant, but I have found Veteran Armorer to be a great counter to Electrickery. Journey to Nowhere provides more tutorable removal when you need them, and Relic of Progenitus handle graveyard strategies. Gods Willing can protect your Midnight Guard from removal, while Circle of Protection: Red and Gleeful Sabotage help battle against Burn and Affinity respectively.

Creatures (17)
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Soul Warden
2 Auramancer
3 Heliod’s Pilgrim
4 Midnight Guard
Spells (14)
4 Commune with Nature
2 Gruesome Fate
4 Harsh Sustenance
4 Commune with the Gods
Enchantments (6)
2 Pacifism
4 Presence of Gond
Lands (21)
4 Forest
4 Plains
1 Swamp
4 Blossoming Sands
2 Jungle Hollow
2 Scoured Barrens
4 Evolving Wilds
Sideboard (15)
4 Veteran Armorer
3 Journey to Nowhere
2 Relic of Progenitus
2 Gods Willing
2 Circle of Protection: Red
2 Gleeful Sabotage

And there you have it, Splinter ‘Dome’ as I like to call it. But what do you think? Is this the kind of deck that you want to try for yourself? Maybe you would like to try it out at one of the GP Pauper Double Up events still to come. If so let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to like a subscribe to keep up to date on all the goings on here at Master of Magics. And remember to come back soon for part two of today’s article and a look at a new infinite combo in Modern. But until next time remember, Good Luck and Have Fun.

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