Inquest Top 50 Magic Combos


Staff member
Just to get things going, I thought I'd post the Top 50 Magic Combos according to Inquest's April 2003 issue and see if anyone has any comments :) Let me know if you need Inquest's comment for a particular combo :)

  • Discarded combos that nneded three or more cards to work (or simply took the two most important pieces for analysis)
  • Eliminated combos that entailed a power card plus mana acceleration like Necropotence & Dark Ritual
  • Eliminated combos that no longer work due to errata
  • No card could appear in more than one combo on the list

Rated from 1-5 on:
  • Speed: How quickly does the combo go off?
  • Control: Is the combo a "one trick pony" or part of a cohesive deck? How "stable" is it once in play.
  • Death: How fast do you win once you set it up?

50. Transcedence & Forsaken Wastes (1,2,1)
49. Verdant Touch & Eradicate (2,1,2)
48. Squallmonger & Spirit Link (2,2,1)
47. Spore Frog & Genesis (2,3,1)
46. Cavern Harpy & Wirewood Savage (4,1,1)

45. Power Surge & Candelabra of Tawnos (1,2,3)
44. Contamination & Nether Spirit (2,3,2)
43. Wrath of God & Caller of the Claw (1,2,4)
42. Jade Statue & The Abyss (1,4,2)
41. Pure Reflection & Unnatural Selection (1,3,3)

40. Pestilence & White Knight (1,4,2)
39. Auratog & Rancor (3,1,3)
38. Memory Jar & Megrim (2,2,3)
37. Ashnod's Altar & Fecundity (3,1,3)
36. Browse & Soldevi Digger (1,5,2)

35. Sneak Attack & Serra Avatar (2,2,4)
34. Balance & Zuran Orb (2,5,1)
33. Draco & Erratic Explosion (3,2,3)
32. Seismic Assault & Sunder (1,2,5)
31. Null Brooch & Ensnaring Bridge (2,5,1)

30. Tradewind Rider & Awakening (1,5,2)
29. Dream Halls & Time Spiral (2,3,3)
28. Armageddon & Ernham Djinn (2,2,4)
27. Land Tax & Scroll Rack (5,2,1)
26. Survival of the Fittest & Recurring Nightmare (1,4,3)

25. Quiet Speculation & Roar of the Wurm (3,3,3)
24. Hatred & Carnophage (4,1,4)
23. Winter Orb & Icy Manipulator (1,5,3)
22. Aluren & Enduring Renewal (2,2,5)
21. Squee, Goblin Nabob & Solitary Confinement (4,5,1)

20. Power Artifact & Grim Monolith (4,1,5)
19. Prosperity & Cadaverous Bloom (1,4,5)
18. Tinker & Phyrexian Colossus (4,2,4)
17. Nantuko Husk & Symbiotic Wurm (4,1,5)
16. Living Plane & The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale (3,5,2)

15. Static Orb & Opposition (2,5,3)
14. Earthcraft & Squirrel Nest (2,3,5)
13. Forbid & Shard Phoenix (2,5,3)
12. Tireless Tribe & About Face (5,1,4)
11. Pandemonium & Saproling Burst (2,3,5)

10. Hermit Druid & Sutured Ghoul (5,1,5)
09. Psychatog & Upheaval (1,5,5)
08. Stasis & Kismet (2,5,4)
07. Replenish & Opalescence (2,4,5)
06. Oath of Druids & Gaea's Blessing (4,3,4)

05. Entomb & Reanimate (5,2,4)
04. Channel & Kaervek's Torch (5,1,5)
03. Mind Over Matter & Tolarian Academy (4,5,3)
02. Illusions of Grandeur & Donate (3,5,4)

01. Phyrexian Dreadnaught & Illusionary Mask (5,4,4)


I have a hard time believing that Illusionary Mask/Dreadnought should be number 1. It's only playable in Type I which incidentally sports the best of the best as far as creature removal goes. And Verdant Touch/Eradicate is not that good unless it has mana accleration or land destruction to go with it. What good is it getting rid of all the other lands in my library if I've already got 5 or 6 in play?

(- Steve -)


The simple fact that a natural affinity and pernicious deed abound elsewhere...

I think the combos are okay - nothing broken...


Staff member
Remember one of the conditions was control: is it one-trick or part of a cohesive deck.

Inquest comments:

Eradicate/Verdant Touch: "This just in: you can't win a Magic duel without land. This rudeness gives new meaning to mana screw".

I would say remember it only scored a 2, 1, 2 overall.

Dreadnaught/Mask: "Magic's grandest combo is a bullet to the head. So fast it could hit the table on turn 1. So deadly it kills you two turns later. Backed by control and mana acceleration there's no better way to say 'game over'. It works because turning creatures over using the Mask is not considered 'coming into play'".


I agree Puff, I think that any 2 card combo that center's on a creature is partially flawed by nature....I'd give #1 to Donate/Illusions even if I do hate it with a passion.

I don't agree with a lot of these choices as I'm sure everyone doesn't, but it wouldn't be a fun post if I didn't nit-pick :p

[bitter cynic mode]

42. Jade Statue & The Abyss (1,4,2)
OK, what makes the Jade Statue so special? Any artifact creature (or untargetable or pro-black) combos with the Abyss. Some editor there at Inquest must have gotten his ass kicked with this.

40. Pestilence & White Knight (1,4,2)
Again, this is synergy not a combo. Now Pestilence and Lashknife Barrier is a combo, not this.

36. Browse & Soldevi Digger (1,5,2)
Huh? Wouldn't these two cards need a third in order to work the way they are intended? Together (by themselves) I don't see how they are so special. Please someone enlighten me.

27. Land Tax & Scroll Rack (5,2,1)
Even if it doesn't kill the opponent, it is abusive card advantage - for white nonetheless. I'd personally bump this higher.

24. Hatred & Carnophage (4,1,4)
Uhh, and 2 Dark Rituals? Stupid-heads broke their own rules

22. Aluren & Enduring Renewal (2,2,5)
I'm a little surprised that they paired these 2 together, since each one combos with about 30 other cards. If it were up to me (which it should be!) I group Aluren with Equilibrium and the Renewal with Goblin Bombardment.

14. Earthcraft & Squirrel Nest (2,3,5)
This should be higher, it's broken on turn 4.

13. Forbid & Shard Phoenix (2,5,3)
Is this a combo or is this just synergy? Wouldn't Forbid/Squee be 10x more powerful?

12. Tireless Tribe & About Face (5,1,4)
As well as discarding your entire freaking hand. And forget it if your opponent has 1 of 1,000 instant removal/prevention spells or a simple blocker. How is this #12? Sure, it is impressive, so blowing your on hand off with a blockbuster.

10. Hermit Druid & Sutured Ghoul (5,1,5)
After Druiding your Hermit, how are you supposed to easily cast this at 7 mana? How this got a 5 speed rating is beyond me - or how it was rated #10.

[/bitter cynic mode]

It appears Inquest listed combos that had the most time in competitive play and not necessarily the best iterations of said combo (like Morphling/Abyss being better than Statue/Abyss...Terravore-Geddon better than Ernhamgeddon)


Staff member
I'm pressed for time so I'll post the Inquest comments to those particular combos tomorrow. For those that don't need the comments:

42. I think it was more nostalgia here (actually, I think I should include the comment :) )

36. Remember they said they took the more important two pieces if the combo needed three or more cards.

13. Squee was already used in another combo.

12. Inquest's comment is just begging to be said here :)


Discarded combos that nneded three or more cards to work (or simply took the two most important pieces for analysis)
Ahh, missed the part in bold. Still....revolt! Mutiny!


36. The point was to use Browse to get rid of your library and then use Digger to put the card you wanted to draw as the only card in your deck.


Always wanted to try the Forsaken Transcendence deck... Guess now it will have to wait for a Dreadnaught wearing a mask.


Staff member
Actually, I wouldn't mind trying Forsaken Wastes/Transcendence. I have a deck with the latter in it with Claws of Gix/Disenchant to get rid of it if I get close to 20 life :)

Okay, here are the Inquest comments:

42. "Another MP classic. Just let your Abyss clear the board, then activate the Statue for three to the dome each turn."

40. "New Coke. The XFL. Mox Diamond. Try as you may, nothing beats an original, like a 2/2 first-striker that keeps Pestilence in play."

36. "Decking oneself never was much fun. Well, not until the current Extended season, at least."

27. "Until Lightning Rift and Astral Slide came along, this was the best cycling trick in the game."

24. "The creature lover's Channel catapulted suicide black decks to the forefront. Of course, Dark Ritual was legal then."

22. "Between Ice Cauldron, Amulet of Quoz, and Enduring Renewal, Ice Age gave new meaning to text-heavy descriptions and rules headaches. While most of the set blew royal chunks, Enduring Renewal became a combo lover's dream when paired with Aluren. Sadists could infinitely recycle Mogg Fanatic to deal endless hurt.

14. "Create a squirrel, tap squirrel to untap Squirrel Nest, create a squirrel, tap squirrel to untap Squirrel's Nest, create a squirrel..."

13. "The ultimate counter-lock. Toss a Phoenix and the card you drew to shut down spells. Or play the Phoenix to clear the board."

12. "Opponent has no one-drop? No one-mana, instant-speed kill? Then he takes 21 on turn 2. Course if it gets Shocked then you're screwed!"

10. "Most recent powerhouse. Druid dumpes everything into graveyard, including Anger. Ghoul gets reanimated as a 500/500 trampling flyer with haste. It hurts. It hurts bad."


10. So you literally deck yourself for a one or two shot creature that is dead fast if your opponent plays chasten... Why would it get so high up?

40. Urza's saga pre-con deck was based around this idea... Played!

27. "Until Lightning Rift and Astral Slide came along, this was the nest cycling trick in the game."
With a land tax and a scroll rack?

14. tap squirrel to untap Squirrel's Nest, create a squirrel, Oponents turn after you create 100 1/1 squirrel tokens and play squirrel mob. Opponent plays stone rain, then uses his handy-dandy earthquake.

Shiro, Time Devourer

They missed a better quasi-pestilence combo:

Thrashing Wumpus+Soul Link

This becomes "B: You gain 1 life for each creature and each opponent in play."

The only weakness is that Astral Slide ruins creature enchantments.


The Tentacled One
In the Magic Memories thread that I started for Oath of Druids, I mentioned coming across this old thread and possibly digging up a copy of this magazine and snapping some pictures. Well, I did. Here they are...