Core Set 2020 contains a lot of cards that enable all kinds of sweet Standard-legal combos. This article collects eight such combos that either go infinite or win the game right away. Some are close to competitive. Most of them are questionable. But all of them are fun to consider and legal in Core Set 2020 Standard.
Game-Winning Combos with Core Set 2020
1. Marauding Raptor combo
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) July 5, 2019
If you cast Polyraptor when you control Marauding Raptor, you get into a mandatory loop, with each new token generating a new one. With nothing to stop it, the game would be a draw. But if you counter a Marauding Raptor trigger at some point or simply kill off your Marauding Raptor, then you can stop the loop and pass the turn with ten million Polyraptors on the battlefield.
2. Leyline of Abundance combo
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) July 4, 2019
When you control Leyline of Abundance, an adapted Incubation Druid taps for four mana. Gauntlets of Light lets you untap a creature for three mana, allowing you to go infinite. Finally, Leyline of Abundance allows you to funnel infinite mana into infinite +1/+1 counters.
In Modern, a similar combo involving Freed from the Real (whose untap cost is substantially cheaper) is also possible. In fact, Jon Stern took this deck to Mythic Championship IV and explained the inner workings in this Deck Tech video.
3. Flood of Tears combo
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) August 6, 2019
If you cast a fully-powered Flood of Tears, you can put Omniscience onto the battlefield for free, and then the fun starts. First, you cast Tamiyo, Collector of Tales and use her -3 ability to return Flood of Tears. Next, you cast two more nontoken permanents. Finally, you cast Flood of Tears again, and you can loop as often as you want.
The two additional nontoken permanents can be practically anything. Two Hierophant’s Chalice yield infinite life and infinite damage, but you can just as well change them to Risen Reef and Oath of Kaya to go infinite in another way. That’s actually what Ali Aintrazi did at the Fandom Legends event on August 8.
Flood of Tears Combo
4. Kykar, Wind’s Fury combo
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) August 7, 2019
If you control Arcane Adaptation on Angels, then all Spirit tokens are Angel Spirits. So every time Kykar eats a token for mana, Bishop of Wings will create another and provide 4 life. You can loop this as often as you want for infinite mana and infinite life. If you add Banefire, you can even deal infinite damage.
To jumpstart the combo, you need some way to trigger Kykar. Simply casting Arcane Adaptation last would already accomplish this.
5. Cavalier of Night combo
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) August 8, 2019
We’re getting into true jank territory now. This combo is questionable, convoluted, not even close to competitive, and rather complicated. So let me break it down into digestible parts.
First, Biomancer’s Familiar means that Ruthless Knave reads “B, sacrifice a creature: Create two Treasures.” Since one Treasure can pay for the activation cost, this activation effectively nets one extra Treasure.
Besides these two creatures, you need to control Cavalier of Night. Then, you cast Mirror Image. You copy Cavalier of Night and choose not to sacrifice another creature to its enters-the-battlefield ability. Then you sacrifice Mirror Image to Ruthless Knave, reanimating itself with the copied death trigger. You loop this as often as you want to create infinite Treasures.
Finally, thanks to Ruthless Knave, infinite Treasures means infinite card draw, so you can draw your deck and win however you like.
6. Scholar of the Ages combo
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) August 9, 2019
With Scholar of the Ages, if you return Siren’s Ruse and an instant or sorcery that generates at least five mana, you can generate infinite mana by continually blinking the Scholar. An instant or sorcery that generates five or more mana is not easy to find, but Rally of Wings works if you have cast Sylvan Awakening with at least five lands in play.
Once you have generated infinite mana, you can loop Lightning Strike and Siren’s Ruse for infinite damage. Alternatively, if you had a flier on the battlefield, it would have become infinitely large due to Rally of Wings.
7. Kethis, the Hidden Hand combo
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) August 14, 2019
This one is also quite involved. You need to start with Skirk Prospector, Mox Amber, and Kethis on the battlefield along with two Squee and three Mox Amber in your graveyard. Then, you exile both Squees to Kethis, allowing you to cast all Moxen in your graveyard, which yields three mana. Every time a Mox enters the battlefield, the legend rule forces you to put another into the graveyard, where there they are treated as new objects.
To keep going, we need to activate Kethis once again, so we cast both Squees from exile for two red mana each (as Kethis reduced their cost) and then sacrifice both to Skirk Prospector. In total, this iteration generated five mana (three from Mox Ambers, two from Skirk Prospector) and cost four mana (to cast both Squees). So we are now back to where we started with one additional red mana in our pool.
We then loop this as often as we like to generate infinite mana and cast Banefire for the win. Even if our opponent is at a googolplex life.
If you don’t need to deal infinite damage, then the Four-color Kethis deck that propelled Ondrej Strasky and Stanislav Cifka into Mythic Championship V is actually one of the best strategies in Standard right now. Without Squee, the amount of Oath of Kayas that can be cast is limited by the number of legends in the deck, but that’s not a problem against realistic life totals.
8. Blood for Bones combo
Any combo that requires you to start with three Pitiless Plunderer on the battlefield is so questionable that it doesn’t even deserve a video, but I’ll still describe it. With 3x Pitiless Plunderer in play along with Fanatical Firebrand and Salvager of Secrets, you can sacrifice Fanatical Firebrand to ping your opponent and sacrifice Salvager of Secrets to cast Blood for Bones. This generates six Treasures.
With Blood for Bones, you reanimate Salvager to the battlefield and Firebrand to your hand. Subsequently, Salvager returns Blood for Bones. After casting Fanatical Firebrand, we’re back to where we started with one additional Treasure in play and one more damage to your opponent. You can loop this for infinite mana and infinite damage.
I hope you enjoyed this list of wacky combos. Many other combos are possible in various formats, even non-infinite ones. For example, in Modern, Core Set 2020’s Colossus Hammer combines with Glistener Elf / Kor Duelist plus Sigarda’s Aid / Magnetic Theft to set up a turn-2 kill. That is pretty sweet too.
What’s your favorite combo with Core Set 2020 cards?