TSM Top 10 – Favourite MTG: Arena Card Combos

There was no Music Monday this week, as I was getting a bit carried away writing this post!

At the moment, Magic The Gathering Arena is a game I play daily. Being digital, I can fire it up and play a game or develop a deck quickly, without having to worry about taking up valuable table space or put it all away again when done. And, of course, I get to play one of my favourite card games without the massive outlay that the physical game can demand.

Here, I’ve put together my current top-10 card combos. They all come from decks I’ve put together myself and the list is certainly not definitive – there are many more, better card combinations out there, but these are ones I actually use myself, not ones I’ve been on the receiving end of!

Let the countdown begin…

Number 10

Kaito, Dancing Shadow and Champion of the Perished.

These are from my Black/Blue ‘Zombie’ Deck. It’s the Planeswalker’s inherent ability that’s the one to take note of here. With a ‘Champion of The Perished’ or two in play, along with a few other Zombie creatures, I can attack when I know I can deal damage to the player. I can then return a Zombie to my hand and play it again, thus increasing the power and toughness of my Champions.

This is a good combination to keep your hand in cards too, as you can use the Planeswalker’s loyalty abilities twice if you deal damage.

It’s at number 10 because I’ve only just introduced Kaito to the deck and haven’t yet used this combo to the full.

Number 9

Necroduality and Champion of the Perished

Another combo from my Zombies deck, and again, it features ‘Champion of the Perished’.

If I have ‘Necroduality’ in my hand early on, and have enough lands to play to ensure I can get it out, I’ll try to hold off playing Zombies until it’s in play so I can make the most of it. It combos well with ‘Champion’ because each Zombie I play will boost the ‘Champion’ by +1/+1 and then the token created by ‘Necroduality’ will boost it again. If I have a Falcon Abomination to play even better, as one of these will boost a ‘Champion’ +4/+4 with ‘Necroduality’!

Getting ‘Necroduality’ out early can be a game winner, with or without a ‘Champion’ or two in play, but it isn’t easy, as opponents will often try to remove it at the earliest opportunity. Playing it late in the game can be a strategy, especially if I have a lot of lands and can play creatures on the same turn. Of course, It gets very interesting indeed, If I can get more than one ‘Necroduality’ into play!

Number 8

Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia and Sengir Connoisseur

There’s a bit of a theme going on here, as this is another combo from my Zombies deck – don’t worry, it’s the last one!

It’s a difficult one to pull off, as ‘Sengir’ is an instant target when she comes into play, as most recognise her ability to do lots of damage over time.

I use ‘Jadar’ to get the counters on her without having to resort to killing creatures with spells or by putting my other creatures at risk. I just attack with the token zombie that he created. It will either be killed or, because it has decayed, sacrificed at the end of combat. Either way, ‘Sengir’ gets a +1/+1 counter and if I have any ‘Champions’ in play, they get one too when ‘Jadar’ creates another token!

Number 7

Marauding Blight-Priest and Tenured Inkcaster

This combo is from a Black and White deck that I call, ‘Inkcaster-Blight’, right after these two cards.

It is no longer a standard deck and so I play it in Explorer Format – it isn’t strong enough to do well and sustain a run in Historic. It is, however, one of my favourite decks to play. It’s designed around gaining life and through that causing more damage to my opponent, either through creatures increasing in power and toughness when life is gained, or through this combo of cards.

The ‘Blight-Priests’ will be played as soon as possible – I always have a way to get them back from the graveyard if needed – but the ‘Inkcasters’ will only be played when I’m ready. I want to make sure I have creatures in play that are going to get counters through gaining life, so that when I attack I’ll deal more damage.

The real beauty of this combo, though, is that it catches opponents out. It’s a slow, developing deck and games will often be drawn out. So, it can often be that I’ll have a few creatures in play, mostly buffed with counters, and a couple of ‘Blight-Priests’. I’ll then hold off attacking unless it’s to my total advantage, of course, until I can get as many ‘Inkcasters’ in play to ensure a victory on my next attack.

When at this point, I’ll usually attack with everything. The ‘Inkcaster’ ability triggers for each creature with a counter. So, if I attack with 3-creatures with counters on and I have two ‘Blight-Priests’ and two ‘Inkcasters’, I’ll immediately do 6-damage to my opponent from my ‘Inkcasters’. This will also gain me 6-life. Because of the two ‘Blight-Priests’, I then do another 12-damage, 6 per priest! If that isn’t enough, any attacking creature that gains a counter whenever I gain life will be boosted by +6/+6. It usually does the job!

It’s a great combo, and if it were still a standard deck would probably be my number 1. In that format I was getting to the Diamond Tiers with it and would probably have made it to Mythic if the Standard hadn’t changed before I’d fully tailored the deck. Playing Explorer and Historic is a different kettle of fish, and getting this game winning combo out and in action is more of a challenge, as opponents tend to stamp on it early. Still, it was fun why it lasted!

Number 6

Jodah, The Unifier and Mirror Box

These two are from my 5-colour deck that I call my ‘Legendary’ deck because, bar Mirror Box, it comprises solely of Legendary creatures – nine of them!

‘Jodah’ is a force to be reckoned with at the best of times but what’s better than one ‘Jodah’? Well, two, or more ‘Jodahs’ that’s what, and Mirror box enables this. It also gives an extra +1/+1 to each of my creatures on top of what ‘Jodah’ grants. As soon as ‘Jodah’ hits the table, all my creatures become powerful enough to give me a distinct advantage.

Mirror box also helps with ‘Jodahs’ other ability that activates when I cast a legendary spell, which all my creatures are don’t forget. With Mirror Box in play, it doesn’t matter which legendary card gets exiled because I know I can play it without having to sacrifice a like card already in play.

To be honest, playing ‘Jodah’ with or without Mirror Box is usually a game winning move, especially if the opponent doesn’t destroy him straight away, but it is fun to imagine the opponents face when I play another one the following turn!

Number 5

Phyrexian Obliterator and Necrogen communion

A single colour deck that I called ‘Toxic Black’ (original, I know) contains these two beauties.

The ‘Obliterator’ can be devastating on its own, especially to an opponent who’s never come across one (little chance now). I want to get one out as early as possible, when my opponent has few cards in play, that way, if they deal it damage, they’ll have to part with the majority of their cards, hopefully reducing their lands and ability to play cards. Of course, at this stage of the game, the obvious way to deal with an ‘Obliterator’ is to ignore it until you can remove it by other means (exiling or making me sacrifice it), especially if you’re playing a deck that gains you plenty of life, and this is where ‘Necrogen’ comes in.

Putting ‘Necrogen’ on an ‘Obliterator’ is twofold. One, it grants Toxic-2, which means my opponent can’t ignore it for long otherwise I’ll win by poisoning them. Secondly, if you do destroy it and take the hit, you’re faced with it again as it returns to the battlefield – NICE!

Number 4

Tekuthal, Inquiry Dominus and Vraska, Betrayal’s Sting

Get these two out and you’re onto a good thing indeed. These are from my latest deck, which is a deviation of the standard Poison Proliferate deck that’s doing the rounds. I’ve made a few adjustments, mainly swapping in a creature or two for an Instant.

‘Tekuthal’ and ‘Vraska’ are a great combination to rush your opponent to that fatal ten poison count. Once out, it’s a case of casting cheap Sorceries and Instants that have the Proliferate key word, which will add a counter to anything that already has at least one, including your opponent and their cards, if you want to, of course.

So, if possible, I’d play ‘Vraska’ when ‘Tekuthal’ is already in play so I can use her 0-loyalty ability and the Proliferate would fire twice because of ‘Tekuthal’s’ ability. This would increase my opponents Poison count by two (I try to make sure I get a poison counter on my opponent at the earliest opportunity, otherwise Proliferate is a waste). The following turn I’d try and cast at least two spells with Proliferate, increasing the count by four, and then fire ‘Vraska’s’ Loyalty ability to hopefully win the game.

These two cards can finish a game quickly if you hold cards in your hand for just the right time. I try to make sure I have protection for my Planeswalker, a couple of creatures, one with flying will do. And I have to hope my opponent doesn’t remove them in some way, but that’s just the rub of the game.

I rarely use the cards other abilities, though ‘Vraska’s’ -2-Loyalty ability comes in handy sometimes. I’ve never fired her -9-Loyalty ability because I’ve usually won the game before she gets that high!

Number 3

Tergrid, God of Fright and Tergrid’s Lantern

Tergrid, God of Fright

I have a deck simply called ‘Tergrid’. It’s a mono-black deck that I play in Explorer and Historic. It centres around the above, which are actually different sides of the same card. The deck’s aim is to outnumber my opponent, and I do this by using their own creatures against them by forcing sacrifices and discards once I have ‘Tergrid’ in play.

Playing the ‘Lantern’ side of the card is great too, with or without ‘Tergrid’ in play. Obviously, if he is then the effect is so much more satisfying. I Tap ‘Lantern’ and my opponent has a choice to make, which isn’t too difficult if they’re ripe with life. But, get them down to single figures and they have to decide if discarding or sacrificing isn’t the best option, which just gives me more to use against them.

Late in the game I can often Tap and Untap ‘Lantern’ a couple of times, much to my opponents chagrin. It’s a fun combo to play and, indeed, the whole deck is one of my favourites. It doesn’t do too bad in either Explorer or Historic format and is capable of beating other Diamond player’s decks at least.

Number 2

Liesa, Forgotten Archangel and Hajar, Loyal Bodyguard

We return to my ‘Legendary’ deck for this combo, and it’s a game winner if I can get them in play together.

Once they’re both in play they work like this. At any point when my opponent tries to destroy one or more of my creatures, I fire ‘Hajar’s’ ability, I sacrifice him. This makes all my creatures, as the deck only contains Legendary ones, Indestructible, making them difficult to remove from play. It also gives them +1 power just to add insult to injury. I can also fire this power when attacking, just after blockers are assigned, which can give me a numerical advantage after the combat has been resolved.

Now for the best part. When I sacrifice ‘Hajar’, ‘Liesa’s’ ability comes into play and ‘Hajar’ will be returned to my hand at the beginning of the next step, often allowing me to immediately play him back to the table, where he can be ready to be sacrificed again during the next turn.

It’s a powerful combination, making it very difficult to remove my creatures from play, and I seldom lose once they’re in play. Getting them both out, though, that’s often another matter, as playing a 5-colour deck that’s all creatures does have its weaknesses, but so what, it’s FUN!

And Finally, Number 1

Rabble Rousing and… well, lots of cards really!

Rabble Rousing

I have two decks centred around ‘Rabble Rousing’, one is a white/green tokens deck and the other is a red deck with a tiny splash of white. The former of the two is a better deck, being much more consistent, whereas the latter is just a fun deck, one I usually play when I want a laugh.

It might be a good time to explain exactly how ‘Rabble’ works and how to get the best from it. Ideally, I want to out-number my opponent, preferably with cheap, throw away creatures. Say I’m 5 to 3 up. I attack with them all. My opponent blocks all three and kills them, but ‘Rabble’ has created 5 more ready for my next turn. If my opponent should attack, I’ll not block unless I really have to, as I want to maximise the number of attacking creatures I can use next turn. So, on my next turn I will attack with the 5 tokens, plus the 2 creatures that survived, and ‘Rabble’ will create another 7 tokens. You can see how quickly the amount of creatures I have escalates, it’s then just a question of making the best use of this advantage.

There are so many cards that I think combo up well with ‘Rabble Rousing’ it would take endless space for me to print picture of them all. So, I’m just going to show off my favs.

‘Lunarch Veteran’ is a nice card to have on the table with ‘Rabble’ for when you start attacking. He gains you 1-life every time a creature enters play under your control, so you can see the benefit there. One advantage of having a ‘Lunarch’ in play, or better still two, is that you can initially allow your opponent’s attacks through to gain a number advantage, knowing that when you attack you will be gaining life back. It just takes a bit of math and forethought to ensure you get it right.

Lunarch Veteran

‘Lunarch’s’ Disturb version, ‘Luminous Phantom’, does the opposite, gaining you life when one of your creatures dies. Either way, you’ll be gaining plenty of life.

When you first cast ‘Rabble’ you get to choose a card from the top 5 of your deck. My favourite card to choose, is ‘King Darien XLVIII’.

King Darien

It can come as a shock to my opponent when, all of a sudden, the creatures he’s blocking have an extra +1/+1. This can often lead them into losing creatures they really can’t afford to lose.

The other big advantage of having ‘King Darien’ on the table, is the ability to sacrifice him, thus protecting all those token creatures I’ve created. This is invaluable against cards that destroy all creatures and can be a game winner.

Next up is ‘Mondrak’.


Pretty obvious, eh? Twice as many tokens created – bring it on! The other side to it, is that you can afford to sacrifice a couple to make ‘Mondrak’ Indestructible, NICE!

‘Serra Redeemer’, another obvious card…

Serra Redeemer

All those tokens you’re creating will now be 3/3 and cause so much more damage! It’s also nice to have a flyer or two, just in case you can’t get a numbers advantage on the ground to start attacking with. I might be able to attack a couple of times with a flyer to build up the number of tokens I have, and then attack with all when I have the numbers.

All the above cards are from my Green and White deck, the next two come from my other, fun deck!

‘Witty Roastmaster’ deals 1 damage to my opponent every time a creature enters the battlefield under my control, so you can see how effective this can be. Attack with three creatures, ‘Rabble’ creates three tokens, Witty deals 3 damage – It only gets better from there!

Witty Roastmaster

Finally, Devilish Valet. Here he is. Have a read and think about it for a mo…

Devilish Valet

Every time a creature enters the battlefield, double, yes, DOUBLE, Valet’s power until end of turn. WOW!

Attacking with one of these at the right time is game ending because he also has trample, so all the excess damage not taken up by blocking creature, is dealt to the player. Take a look at this…


That’s an opponent’s life total after an attack by 17 creatures, one of which was ‘Devilish’.

To be honest, it’s a one-off. Most of the time ‘Devilish’ is wiped from the battlefield as soon as possible by the opponent, which is why I hold it in my hand and play it on the turn I want to try and end it – it has Haste and can attack the turn it is cast.

It’s a deck I rarely use, as it has no real consistency and doesn’t stand up against a half-decent deck or player, but it can be fun to play out of ranked games and I keep fiddling with it. It works well with ‘Rabble’, I just wish I could get the rest of the deck in tune too!

Well, that’s the end of my top 10 but only the beginning of my Magic The Gathering Arena posts. I’ve enjoyed talking about my favourite combos and so I’m going to start featuring some of my own decks. If you’re into Magic, either the physical or Digital (most cards I use are available in the real world too), you might find it interesting and have some ideas on how to make my decks better – I need all the help I can get!

6 thoughts on “TSM Top 10 – Favourite MTG: Arena Card Combos

  1. Some very interesting combos Justin, never really got into the card gaming, but do appreciate the art on them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Dave.
      The art really is fantastic, isn’t it. It’s amazing how they’ve managed to maintain such a high level over all the years it’s been around.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I haven’t played Magic in quite some time but I could follow along with everything except the Planeswalker cards. I don’t know what the rules are for them. The cards you showed seem pretty powerful. Back in my day, it was hard to combo themed cards like elves and zombies together so effectively. Personally, I like the thematic combos which are powerful, so this is a good change.

    Its good to see that some of the old “characters” like Serra Angel and Phyrexia are still used. If I remember right, the Phyrexian Dreadnought was the biggest creature in the game for a few years anyway. I had one and people would always try to trade me for it 🙂 That has nothing to do with anything but I thought I’d share anyway!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well, I’ve followed none of this Justin, but the cards are really nice! 🙂 Glad you’re enjoying playing it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sorry about that, John, it is a bit Magic specific, isn’t it!
      Lovely art is a feature and a lot of people collect the cards purely from that perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely no need to apologise – I’ve enjoyed seeing the cards and I can see why people would collect them for the artwork! 🙂


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