Retribution of the Ancients


Format Legality
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Penny Dreadful Legal
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
Frontier Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Khans of Tarkir (KTK) Rare

Combos Browse all

Retribution of the Ancients


, Remove X +1/+1 counters from among creatures you control: Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn.

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Retribution of the Ancients Discussion

FancyTuesday on A dilemma with priority.

1 week ago

If indeed it is the case that you got mana and life for every +1/+1 counter placed on your creatures, and 3 of your creatures got +1/+1 counters for every one of theirs that died their infinite combo benefits you more than them. However, like Neotrup, I can't think of or find any effects that do either of those things without a specially engineered board state.

Crystalline Crawler could provide the mana, but it's not a vampire. The only thing I see that converts +1/+1 counters to life is Spike Feeder, that's 2 life and is also not a vampire. It's possible to make them vampires with something like Conspiracy or Olivia Voldaren but beyond that I'm not sure the effects you controlled worked as you're describing.

And yeah, as mentioned above, regeneration shields will not protect from having a toughness less than 1. Retribution of the Ancients doesn't destroy its target, it reduces (or at least can reduce) its toughness to 0 or less, which causes it to be moved to the graveyard by a state-based action.

FancyTuesday on A dilemma with priority.

1 week ago

Your opponent may "hold" priority until they need something to resolve to continue the combo, such as a "when a creature dies add ". For that ability to resolve they must pass priority.

Once they have passed priority with all triggers waiting to resolve on the stack you may activate Retribution of the Ancients, targeting Slimefoot. If, at that point, your opponent can start the combo anew on top of your activation of Retribution of the Ancients they can do so, and if again they need part of it to resolve before continuing you can activate RotA again, on and on until one of you runs out of resources.

If, for example, your opponent has 12 mana available and earns for every creature that dies from a triggered ability and you have 6 +1/+1 counters to remove it plays out like so:

  • Opponent pays 4 to create a saproling, 8 mana available
  • Ability resolves, saproling is created
  • Opponent sacrifices the saproling, creating at least two triggers: one that deals 1 damage to you and another that adds

At this point (or before the saproling is created, as that is also an ability that must resolve) they may either wait for the ability to resolve, or pay from their 8 available mana. If they're paying attention they'll wait, because they need you to spend all your resources before they can go infinite, because:

  • If you don't respond they're functionally going infinite, so you must remove X +1/+1 counters to kill some piece of the combo. If Slimefoot is the smallest piece you need 3
  • Your opponent repeats the first 3 steps, 4 mana available and waiting for the "when a creature dies..." triggers to resolve
  • You activate RotA again, leaving you with no +1/+1 counters
  • Your opponent repeats the first 3 steps, and this time they can wait for abilities to resolve and have a complete loop

If they "hold" priority completely they can't create tokens with Slimefoot and can't gain mana from "dies" triggers.

116.3b The active player receives priority after a spell or ability (other than a mana ability) resolves.
116.3c If a player has priority when they cast a spell, activate an ability, or take a special action, that player receives priority afterward.
116.4. If all players pass in succession (that is, if all players pass without taking any actions in between passing), the spell or ability on top of the stack resolves or, if the stack is empty, the phase or step ends.

Neotrup on A dilemma with priority.

1 week ago

Well, it sounds like you could activate Retribution of the Ancients a number of times in response to him trying to make more saprolings, before he'd get the chance to sacrifice them. There's also the question of how he's getting the mana, as mana abilities couldn't be responded to, but there are a number of non mana abilities that add mana. Ultimately this will probably come down to a battle of who has how much mana, with you also being limited by the number of counters you had.

Ganandorf on A dilemma with priority.

1 week ago

So me and my brother were facing off in a commander game and an interesting problem arose when he started to pull of an infinite combo. On his field he had Slimefoot, the Stowaway, Savage Thallid, and two cards that allowed him to sacrifice a creature and give him mana whenever a creature dies (Every creature gives him 4 mana). On my field I had Patron of the Vein, Retribution of the Ancients, and a few vampires with a number of +1/+1 counters on them. I still had 12 swamp lands able to be tapped. On his turn he sacrificed a saproling dealing 1 damage and getting enough mana to make another saproling. This could be infinitely done so I spent mana to remove 1/1 counters on some vampires (which got 1/1 counters from Patron of the Vein) and kill slimefoot or savage. He responded to saying since he had priority he would have used slimefoots ability and sacrificed them enough times to kill me before I could use Patron's ability. Is this true?

shub on Kresh Your Face

1 month ago

How about Mage Slayer or Rancor to give your commander some evasion? Also, Retribution of the Ancients lets you just hose your opponent's creatures.

Chrisnotia on Horobi The Real Boi

1 month ago

Thanks for checking the deck out torridus, as well as for the suggestion. I think I prefer Retribution of the Ancients over Hex Parasite simply for the fact that they both have the same effect with Horobi on the field, but if I actually needed to remove counters from creatures I control, I don't have to pay the X Mana. I also prefer the fact that Retribution is an enchantment, and my meta personally does not run nearly enough enchantment removal as it should.

torridus on Horobi The Real Boi

1 month ago

Looks fun. Maybe Hex Parasite instead of Retribution of the Ancients? It has slightly more versatility. Although it's also more vulnerable to removal, so it's not a cut-and-dry call.

IAmTheWraith on Lets Go Tall...

2 months ago

TheRedGoat: Well, I was hoping to avoid any infinite combos entirely, as my playgroup is not as experienced as me at building decks, and they usually have a greater budget constraint. I wanted a deck I could play that was fun and competitive, but also gave my pod a chance to win. I know it sounds strange, but it was my mission.

Now, your suggestions:

Retribution of the Ancients was a card that I knew existed but overlooked. It will be finding its way in the deck. A suggestion on what to drop for it?

Durable Handicraft was actually a card I built a standard deck around back in Kaladesh standard. I cannot believe that I forgot to put it in here!

Now, I do have a bit of a token sub-theme going, with Nissa, Voice of Zendikar, Ghave, Guru of Spores, Chasm Skulker, and Abzan Ascendancy. That is about how far I want to take it.

Thanks for your time!

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