Updated: Jan 3, 2019
Ladies and Gentlemen. How often have you said to yourself, I want to play an infinite combo? How often have you said to yourself, I'd like to play an infinite combo with 2 vastly different win conditions? Then I have a perfect Standard deck for you.
Let me introduce you to "To Infinity & Beyond," an infinite combo deck surrounding Whisper, Blood Liturgist and Garna, the Bloodflame. Who would have thought that these 2 uncommon legendary creatures could actually make something so powerful? Let's figure out the combo together, and see our 2+ infinite win conditions.
The combo lies with the hidden ability mode of Garna, the Bloodflame. Garna, for those that don't know is a 3/3 for 3BR with Flash that allows you to return all of your creatures that entered the graveyard from anywhere that turn to your hand. It also has the "hidden" mode of giving all of your other creatures haste. That's where Whisper, Blood Liturgist comes in. Whisper is a 2/2 for 3B that says, tap and sacrifice 2 creatures: return target creature from your graveyard to the battlefield. So, with this, are we reanimating some big baddie from the yard? No! We'll be sacrificing our original Whisper and another creature in order to ! reanimate another Whisper from the graveyard. If we can come up with a way to get some kind of token into play continuously, we can loop this reanimation cycle at instant speed by utilizing Garna's hasty mode. So, how do we get there?
The Engine & Win Conditions.
We get there with Open the Graves. This 3BB enchantment says that win ever a nontoken creature you control dies, create a 2/2 Black zombie creature token. So, this gives us our fuel. Whenever we sacrifice our Whisper and another creature, we'll get at least one zombie out of the deal. So, when we return our second Whisper, this token is ready to be sacrificed. So, how does this translate into an infinite combo?
If we are able to get down 2 Open the Graves, we are able to make infinite tokens. Having a horde of 2/2 zombies ready to go at our opponent's end step is hilarious and because Garna has flash, it makes it all the sweeter being able to skirt past our opponent's sorcery speed removal and with the added benefit of getting back our combo pieces should that be killed that turn.
We can also play another flashy creature, Bloodcrazed Paladin. For 1B, we get a 1/1 that enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each creature that died that turn. So, we run the Whisper cycle say, 10 times. We could potentially get 10 2/2s and a 21/21 2 drop that has haste or could come in at their end step.
So, how do find these pieces? Well, we are running enough self mill that we'll be able to figure it out. We have a play set of Stitcher's Supplier, a very powerful uncommon from Core Set 2019. This card is a 1/1 for B that allows us to mill the top 3 cards when it enters the battlefield or when it dies. We are also running Glowspore Shaman, a 3/1 for BG that will mill the top 3 cards when it enters the battlefield, but we can then put a land from the graveyard on top of our library to ensure we are hitting our land drops. Both of these card are very effective at filling our yard and are great starting fodder for Whisper.
This deck, being a creature deck, also runs a unique control package. We are running 2 of one of the flip lands, Journey to Eternity. For 1BG we get an creature aura that says whenever enchanted creature dies, return it to the battlefield. You can then transform Journey to Eternity, creating a powerful land that can either tap for a mana of any color, or you can pay 3BG and tap it to return a creature from the graveyard to the battlefield. This is basically the "oh, shoot" switch to get back a needed combo piece or to return one of our control creatures.
Plaguecrafter is seeing a play set here. For 2B you get a 3/2 that states each player sacrifices a creature or planeswalker, and if they can't they discard a card. This card is perfect in a list like this where we don't care if we sacrifice creatures, especially if it translates into filling our graveyard, getting a token, or buffing a paladin. This card is also really great against a Niv-Mizzet list, as often times they only have a Niv-Mizzet or a Ral, Izzet Viceroy out in play at any given time. Plaguecrafter is a great include and can trade up with the best of them.
We also are running a play set of Choops-Magoops. Ravenous Chupacabra is a 2/2 for 2BB that destroys a creature when it enters the battlefield. Being targeted, this little 2/2 is great at killing big threats like Lyra, Doom Whisperer, and Niv-Mizzet. Choops is great!
We are also running a play set of Assassin's Trophy. I opted to run the full set because since we are going to be milling our selves a lot, we are inevitably going to mill 1 or 2 of these by accident. That's okay though, that's why there are 4 in the deck. Trophy is great at killing those pesky planeswalkers or by hitting some enchantments that are giving us grief (like Ixalan's Binding). This card is incredibly important to help protect us from what our opponent's are doing.
The sideboard plan is pretty interesting. The main thing of note is that we are running yet another win condition for the deck with Poison-Tip Archer. For 2BG we get a 2/3 with Reach and Deathtouch with the added ability that reads: whenever a creature dies, each opponent loses 1 life. So, with the infinite engine with Whisper and Garna, we can instantly burn our opponent out. I opted to omit this from the main list and relegate it to sideboard in order to provide an additional win condition
against control match ups or match ups that don't have a ton of instant speed interaction and even against life gain decks. It also has the added benefit of being able block and kill a drake or a phoenix all day, and we can just get it back later. Against graveyard decks and phoenix decks, we are running 2 Deathgorge Scavenger, a card that did well for me in This Land is Your Land. We are also running 2 Carnage Tyrants, 2 Vivien Reid, and 2 Vraska, Relic Seeker for control match ups, with Vivien Reid and Vraska, Relic Seeker also providing addition win conditions and control against flyers liker Lyra. If up against tokens or Boros aggro, we havea pair of Ritual of Soot, and to take care of creatures or planeswalkers permanently, we are running a pair of Vraska's Contempt.
All in all, I think this deck is a lot of fun. The infinite recursion engine in Whisper and Garna is powerful and the many win conditions makes this deck enticing. We could even see some smaller neat plays like activate Whisper's ability and sacrifice a Stitcher's Supplier, mill 3 creatures, cast a Garna and refill our hand with up to 5 (and in this case, at least 2) creatures. The deck is highly synergistic and if you like aristocrats styles of decks, you should give this one a shot. I think it'll surprise you.