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CardShark Content - Jacob Ward (6/17/2002)

Combos, combinations of cards which could win the game in one turn, used to win nearly every time. I remember a friend of mine, who had a deck that used two combos- Mogg Maniac
Mogg Maniac
Mogg ManiacSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
U
Number:
94
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Mogg Maniac is dealt damage, it deals an equal amount of damage to target opponent.
Shock
Shock
ShockSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
206
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Shock deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
Justice
Justice
JusticeSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Ruth Thompson
Text:
During your upkeep, pay WW or bury Justice.Whenever any red creature or spell assigns damage, Justice deals an equal amount of damage to that creature's or spell's controller.
- Martyrdom
Martyrdom
MartyrdomSet: Alliances
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Until end of turn, you may redirect to target creature you control any amount of damage.
to deal infinite damage, and Angelic Protector
Angelic Protector
Angelic ProtectorSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Alchemist
Rarity:
U
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying If Angelic Protector is the target of a spell or ability, it gets +0/+3 until end of turn.
- Worthy Cause
Worthy Cause
Worthy CauseSet: Tempest
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Buyback 2 (You may pay an additional 2 when you play this spell. If you do, put it into your hand instead of your graveyard as part of the spell's effect.) Sacrifice a creature: Gain life equal to the sacrificed creature's toughness.
- Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance
ReconnaissanceSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
17
Artist:
Val Mayerik
Text:
0: Remove target attacking creature you control from combat and untap it. (That creature neither deals nor receives combat damage this turn.)
to gain infinite life. However, these days, what with the advent of all the new series, combos in type two have become less and less used.

Part of the problem is that there are less and less power cards in type two each year. This has been a problem since Urza
Urza
UrzaSet: Vanguard
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
7
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
-1
Toughness:
+10
Text:
3: Urza deals one damage to target creature or player.
’s block rotated out a few years ago. Then we were left with Mercadian Masques, which had only ever been designed to complement the Urza
Urza
UrzaSet: Vanguard
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
7
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
-1
Toughness:
+10
Text:
3: Urza deals one damage to target creature or player.
’s block, so contained very few power cards to speak of. From there onwards it got progressively worse. I have not yet seen the spoiler for Judgement, but it will take a lot for it to turn around the growing trend toward card similarity. Look at it from an objective sense. In Urza
Urza
UrzaSet: Vanguard
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
7
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
-1
Toughness:
+10
Text:
3: Urza deals one damage to target creature or player.
’s we had all types of card, from the incredibly good, such as acidic soil, to the completely useless, to the strange, e.g. about face. Now you may be looking at me and thinking ‘Acidic Soil
Acidic Soil
Acidic SoilSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
172
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Acidic Soil deals 1 damage to each player for each land he or she controls.
? Since when is that a very good card?’ , but you are forgetting the point of this article. If you think about it, a great many combos can be built around Acidic soil or Angel’s Trumpet, or any other card like that. Put the right two cards together, and they perform brilliantly.

Nowadays, you may think that, if anything, cards have become more powerful, but I don’t think that is true. Yes, we have avatar of woe and Serra
Serra
SerraSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
4
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Power:
+1
Toughness:
+1
Text:
All creatures you control get +0/+2.
avatar, but we are missing any of the true match winning cards that we used to have. Think about these: Argothian elder. True, it doesn’t kill anyone, but the ability is far more powerful than those mana accelerators we have now. Similarly, Argothian Wurm
Argothian Wurm
Argothian WurmSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wurm
Rarity:
R
Number:
236
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Trample When Argothian Wurm comes into play, any player may sacrifice a land to put Argothian Wurm on top of owner's library.
is faster than anything we still have, attrition has to be one of the best creature killers ever, but they are all gone. Now we have all sorts of new deck formats, but combo decks are a dying breed.

Speaking of new breeds, I think another possible reason for the demise of the combo deck was a new era of ‘combo cross’ decks. These decks use the same ideas as combo decks did, but normally use quirion elf. You see, Quirion elf, with its unique ability, can grow to incredible size very quickly. For example, say on turn one you play a forest and llanowar elf, on turn two a mountain, a QE and a shock, on turn three a plains, another QE, another shock, and a healing salve. On turn 4 you can play an island, a healing salve, a raging goblin, a seton’s scout and an obsessive search, then attack for 15 damage. This might sound a little unlikely, but it is easier to obtain than a combo needing specific cards because after the QE any 1-mana spells will do. The real reason that these decks have replaced, at least partly, combo decks, is that with a combo, it is very hard to get it going more than once each game. With a QE deck, you could easily be attacking with a 20/20 by turn 7. This is something no combo deck could never accomplish. Well, I suppose I shall just have to accept it: combo decks have evolved out of T2. However, I am worried about the demise of the power cards, which has doubled the length of games.

Thank you for spending some time to read my article. If you have any questions regarding what I have said, please e-mail me...



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