Help Wanted: New Combo Database

TappedOut forum

Posted on Jan. 8, 2017, 1:39 p.m. by Epochalyptik

As some of you may be aware, we've experimented with a database that would automatically track and link card combos, such as Deadeye Navigator + Palinchron. In the past, we opened the system up to allow any user to tag a combination of cards using "card + card" syntax, but we quickly realized that people were tagging non-combos with regularity.

We've since tweaked the system. Now, you can propose a combo by going to a card page and clicking the green Suggest button under the "Combos" section. Proposed combos will be reviewed by mods before being approved for addition to the database. (EDIT: It appears that this feature is limited to upgraded users only for the time being. Other users can list notable missing combos in this thread if they'd like someone else to submit them in their stead.)

The "Add combo proposal" form has the following fields:

  1. Category: One of infinite, lock, or synergy.
    • Infinite should be used if the combo creates an infinite (or repeatable, self-sustaining) loop. For example, Palinchron + Deadeye Navigator is an infinite loop that produces infinite mana by allowing you to soulbond the two cards, bounce Palinchron using its new soulbond ability, untap seven lands with Palinchron's triggered ability, and tap those lands again for mana (using some of the mana to activate the bounce ability again).
    • Lock should be used if the combo creates a series of effects that prevent other players from doing anything. For example, Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir + Knowledge Pool is a combo lock that prevents other players from casting/resolving spells. When an opponent casts a spell, it's exiled by Knowledge Pool's second ability. The player is then instructed to cast another spell "from" the pool, but can't because Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir's ability prevents them from casting a spell at any time other than when they could cast a sorcery. Because Knowledge Pool's ability is still on the stack while it's resolving, no player can cast a sorcery, and players are therefore able to cast spells into Knowledge Pool, but not out of it.
    • Synergy should be used if the cards simply create additional advantage by working together, but don't form an infinite loop or lock. For example, Venser's Journal + Necropotence is a synergy. It doesn't lock anything up or allow you to "go infinite," but you're able to take as many cards as you like with Necropotence and provides life to fuel that ability.
  2. Hub: Ignore this for now.
  3. Description: Use this field to describe how the combo works (see my examples for the category field). Be sure to give a detailed, accurate description, especially if the combo isn't obvious.
  4. Cards: Use this field to list the cards involved in the combo. Separate card names using the "|" character (usually located on the "\" key).

Want to help?

So here's the call. We're looking for people to volunteer to add combos as they use the site. You don't need to try to list every combo yourself, but, if you see a combo that's missing, feel free to add as you see opportunities.


  1. Focus on infinite combos and locks for now.
    Having too many synergies and non-combos was part of the problem with the original combo database. For now, just focus on the more traditional combos. We'll experiment with synergies once we get the true combos moving.
    Also, don't add joke combos like Storm Crow + Island. These proposals have to be reviewed and approved for a reason; we want the combo database to be valuable to everyone. Adding non-combos or joke combos just makes more work for the mods and doesn't end up helping anyone.
  2. Keep it to 3 cards max.
    Although some combos exist that use more than 3 cards, they get very complicated and generally serve impractical/niche purposes. Stick to the 2- or 3-card combos for now.
  3. Add accurate combos.
    Make sure that the combo is legal and that the cards you list do something together. If you're unsure about whether a combo works (as in, whether the rules allow it to work as you think), feel free to ask a question about it in the Rules Q&A..
  4. Focus on the core combo.
    For things like infinite mana combos (using again the example Palinchron + Deadeye Navigator), we want the core combo, which is just Palinchron + Deadeye Navigator. We don't want a slew of things like P+DN+Fireball or P+DN+Exsanguinate because the win conditions in those cases are very numerous and interchangeable. Unless the win condition is actually part of the core combo, don't include it.
  5. Feel free to discuss different perspectives and changes to the system.
    Again, we add/modify features based on what's useful to the community. If you see opportunities to improve on things, tell us below.

Zaueski says... #2

Sweet, I'll be sure to add a few as I come across them. How do I get to the combo database to review what you already have?

January 8, 2017 1:49 p.m.

yeaGO says... #3

You can see current combos on the card pages. If it already exists you'll get a message.

January 8, 2017 1:55 p.m.

Atony1400 says... #4

So, my Devoted Druid + Quillspike combo goes under infinate, for example?

January 8, 2017 1:58 p.m.

Epochalyptik says... #5


January 8, 2017 2:08 p.m.

Eiti3 says... #6

I can think of some convoluted combos that are 6, 7, and 8+ long in cards needed. Are you going to want those there, or would you prefer just 2-4 card combos max?

An example being:

Thornbite Staff + Sac Outlet + Cabal Coffers + Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth + Kormus Bell + Rune-Scarred Demon + Ever After = Infinite Mana + Infinite Summons from the graveyard

January 8, 2017 2:43 p.m.

Epochalyptik says... #7

@Eiti3: Thread updated. Stick to 2- or 3- card combos, please.

January 8, 2017 3:26 p.m.

Pro_Noob says... #8

so for the locks, are we including soft-locks like Smokestack + Ophiomancer, or are we just sticking to hard-locks for now?

January 8, 2017 4:34 p.m.
January 8, 2017 5:06 p.m.

I volunteer as tribute!

January 8, 2017 6:37 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #11

Is the suggest combo feature only available to upgraded users? I tried going to Ghave, Guru of Spores page to suggest some combos and did not see the button.

January 8, 2017 9:23 p.m.

berryjon says... #12

I went to suggest a three card infinite combo, but the 'Suggest' button for the relevant cards wasn't there. Have they been removed for some reason?

January 8, 2017 10:08 p.m.

Eiti3 says... #13

Just from looking at the actual URL, it literally says "upgraders." So I may be a little presumptuous here, but I believe that you must have an upgraded account on TappedOut to even get the button.

I understand if this were the case, as anyone can make another account to add a Storm Crow combo if it wasn't upgraded accounts only.

January 8, 2017 10:27 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #14

Hmm looks like another thing I am going to not be participating in even though I would like to help the community.

January 9, 2017 2:37 a.m.

PayOneLife says... #15

Can we get a confirmation that it's only for upgraded users?

January 9, 2017 2:47 a.m.

K34 says... #16

Will the combos still appear as links in deck descriptions?

January 9, 2017 5:12 a.m.

EpicFreddi says... #17

Can confirm that I can do it as an upgraded user.

January 9, 2017 7:36 a.m.

frogkill45 says... #18

Duskmantle Guildmage + Mindcrank + Ghost Quarter = inf mill

Altar of the Brood + Midnight Guard + Presence of Gond = inf mill and inf 1/1s (no haste)

January 9, 2017 10:32 a.m.

Blard says... #19

So I have to be an upgraded user to add to the combo base? Because I do want to help but I also don't want to spend five dollars just to create combos

January 9, 2017 10:33 a.m.

Lame_Duck says... #20

How do we want to handle combos like Melira, Sylvok Outcast + Murderous Redcap + Viscera Seer where the Seer is a key part of the combo but it's also interchangeable with any free, repeatable sac-engine?

January 9, 2017 10:52 a.m.

jordanalessi says... #22

Wow, this is amazing!! However, I am not seeing the green "suggest" button. HOW CAN I FIND IT???

January 11, 2017 12:04 p.m.

berryjon says... #23

jordanalessi: As has been mentioned when I asked that question and confirmed by EpicFreddi, currently the button is only available to Upgraded members and not to the rank and file.

January 11, 2017 3:59 p.m.

Lord_Khaine says... #24

So would my Demonic Consultation + Mirror Mirror combo go under Synergy?

(With Mirror Mirror ready for use, cast Demonic Consultation naming the card you want most but don't have. Watch your library disappear, crack Mirror Mirror, and laugh as you just used Demonic Consultation as a win condition.)

January 11, 2017 4:25 p.m.

AlbinoJewCat says... #25

Grimgrin, Corpse-Born+Elemental Mastery=infinite 1/1 elementals with haste, and and Inf/Inf grimgrin

January 11, 2017 4:36 p.m.

jordanalessi says... #26

Ahh, I think this should be a feature open to all users: it would allow your database to grow faster and wider.

January 11, 2017 4:49 p.m.

@Pro_Noob: I'd stick to hard locks for now. Soft locks are probably alright with a decent enough description of what exactly they are or aren't doing, but we want to stick to the straightforward stuff for now.

@Lame_Duck: Good question. Roping yeaGO back in (see post #20) for a discussion of how we can handle interchangeable pieces in combos.

For now, though, I'd avoid submitting any combos that involve that degree of interchangeability. We'll figure out a workable way to handle them down the road.

@Lord_Khaine: Let's stick to white- and black-bordered cards for this round.

@jordanalessi: We've opened things like this to the "general public" in the past, but we've had mixed results. Actually, allowing anyone to submit combos was what gunked up the previous database. It's a tragedy of the commons sort of thing; everyone wanted to submit combos, but there was little quality control and the flow of both valid and invalid combos was too great to properly manage with a volunteer staff. I guess the thinking is that people who are invested enough to upgrade are probably more likely to submit valid combos, so restricting the proposal feature to those users gives us the best chance at balancing scale of use with appropriateness of use.

January 11, 2017 6:04 p.m.

yeaGO says... #28

Lame_Duck agree on holding off on above until a light goes off on what an interface for that might look like.

as for jordanalessi's concerns, go ahead and either upgrade or submit your suggestions to the forum for a beneficent upgrader to submit those for you.

January 11, 2017 6:45 p.m.

berryjon says... #29

Two of my standby Modern combos that I use in To Infinity and Beyond:

Enduring Renewal + Wild Cantor. Wild Cantor sacrifices itself for a mana, gets returned to hand with Renewal, and recast. Repeat this as many times as you need to drive the Storm count as high as you want - my chosen outlet for that is Grapeshot.

The other combo uses Grinding Station to sacrifice an Ornithopter, which is returned using Enduring Renewal for infinite Mill.

January 11, 2017 8:13 p.m.

IzzetButler says... #30

Saheeli Rai + Felidar Guardian

Infinite 1/4 Cats

Previous Combo + Fumigate + Aetherflux Reservoir

To get past prevented combat damage and basically infinite life.

January 12, 2017 9:36 a.m.

jordanalessi says... #31

Epochalyptik: that makes sense. Thanks for explaining!

January 12, 2017 9:49 a.m.

IzzetButler says... #32

Tezzeret the Seeker + The Chain Veil + Everflowing Chalice <--(With at least 4 charge counters)

Infinite Planeswalker Abilities

January 12, 2017 11:19 a.m.

H2ophobia says... #33

Also with planeswalker abilities, a little harder to pull off with color restrictions, but it's one I use.

Ral Zarek + The Chain Veil + Xenagos, the Reveler

This has the added bonus of both giving colored mana AND you can tap every permanent your opponent(s) control.

and at the end of your combo you can take a bunch of turns with Ral, and keep going on your extra turns

January 12, 2017 1:19 p.m.

Is there a place where you can view the database of combos as a non-upgraded user?

Anyway, here are a couple combos I can think of on the spot:

Silence + Isochron Scepter

Mikaeus, the Unhallowed + Triskelion

Tunnel Vision + Spell Crumple/Hinder (what category does this fall into? it isn't "infinite", but it does win you the game, so it's better than most synergies)

January 12, 2017 1:37 p.m.

Pro_Noob says... #35

MasterofMirrodin, the mikaeus combo was already in the database, its just waiting for review. I added the other two for you. I actually never thought of the silence combo before, so im totally gonna steal that from you for future use.

January 12, 2017 2:04 p.m.

yeaGO says... #36

I am thinking currently that in cases where there's an alternative card, you should just enter them as two separate combos.

January 12, 2017 4:24 p.m.

I think it depends on the extent of "alternative."

For example, in Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Pestermite, there are a handful of cards that can serve as replacements for either of those components. But in Melira, Sylvok Outcast + Murderous Redcap + Viscera Seer, Viscera Seer can be replaced with any number of free sacrifice engines.

I wonder whether we should have something like placeholder cards, where you could enter a [Sacrifice outlet] placeholder in the latter combo above instead of entering Viscera Seer, and maybe the sacrifice outlet stand-in could link to a page with a list of commonly-used sacrifice outlets.

January 12, 2017 5:26 p.m.

yeaGO says... #38

In that case, maybe you should just leave out "Viscera Seer" then since its not really part of the combo, per se. Its just an example card.

The combo itself would imply that, yeah, you need a sac card.

January 12, 2017 5:32 p.m.

Eye of Ugin + 2 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn for infinite turns, infinite damage, and forcing your opponent to sacrifice infinite permanents. With an Emrakul in play, use Eye to tutor for and cast your other Emrakul. The extra turn trigger happens, then you sacrifice the new Emrakul to the legend rule, and it gets shuffled back into your deck. Then attack with your in play Emrakul. Repeat every turn.

January 12, 2017 6:33 p.m.

@yeaGO: I don't know about that. The sac outlet is part of what makes the interaction work. Melira and Redcap can't do much without it.

I wonder if we should be able to tag combos with things like "infinite mana" or "infinite ETB" or "infinite sacrifice."

January 12, 2017 8:27 p.m.

EpicFreddi says... #42

Or just have a combo piece that's just called "Sac Outlet", so everybody knows that you can do the combo as long as you can sacrifice for free.
Edit: Nevermind, you already wrote that. Reading is hard.

January 13, 2017 3:39 a.m.

yeaGO says... #43

yeah. i think we should explore what cases really yield an "alternating" card. In this case it just seems like the combo type could refer to the fact that its a Sac Outlet, or we can start tagging all cards that fit that criteria and then somehow link them.

January 13, 2017 10:36 a.m.

For cases like Kiki+Mite, I think it's probably reasonable to tag all iterations of that basic combo. It works with a limited number of cards, and it's less attractive to make a placeholder for all cards with "ETB: untap another permanent." Sac outlets seem more straightforward.

We also aren't necessarily obligated to define all possible sac outlets. The fact that the combo entry would indicate Melira+Redcap+sac outlet would be enough to demonstrate the full combo without needing endless iterations of the same formula.

January 13, 2017 12:45 p.m.

I guess one question is whether we set a finite limit on the number of permutations before we use a placeholder.

January 13, 2017 12:45 p.m.

yeaGO says... #46

yeah i think combos with a lot of permutations should perhaps be dealt with the same way as sacs.

i also think it would be a cool filter for card searchers to be able to find more normative things like that.

January 13, 2017 12:58 p.m.

Blard says... #47

Stormtide Leviathan+Choke=complete board stall. Is this synergy or combo? You can eventually win by just swinging in with Stormtide Leviathan over and over but that isn't really a combo.

January 13, 2017 2:48 p.m.

Mr.Beaver says... #48

January 13, 2017 2:54 p.m.

Blard, sounds like a Lock to me. Keeps all the lands tapped down so people can't play much (of course there are plenty of ways around it), and then gradually kills through an unblockable. That's pretty much a textbook Lock.

January 13, 2017 3:52 p.m.

Mr.Beaver that's iffy tbh. It doesn't really cheat them of mana, just restricts timing, because they have to play everything they want to play that round during a single step.

I'd guess it's a Synergy but I'm not sure.

Edit: My bad, should have edited this into my last post instead of double posting. Sorry.

January 13, 2017 3:55 p.m.

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