|If we’ve learned anything from the Vampire Combo article I released a few weeks back, we know that creatures that untap themselves can be extremely broken. Battered Golem is no exception to this rule. I first noticed the card when trying to come up with strategies that focused on Saheeli, Sublime Artificer. Sadly, she is not in this week’s list. We don’t need her to have fun, though. In fact, we can make more tokens in today’s deck than we ever could trying to abuse her passive ability. Infinitely more.|
Battered Golem’s untap ability makes him the most important part of the deck, so we will sling a full playset of him.There are no alternatives that are also artifacts. This is important for reasons that will be clear later on in the article.
How exactly do we abuse this untap ability of his? Why, Retraction Helix of course! Helix targeting Golem allows us to continuously bounce any permanent, as long as we can consistently cast artifacts to untap our golem. Banishing Knack is basically another copy of Helix. With access to both, we can play a total of seven or eight pieces of this part of the combo.
This brings us to the final piece of the puzzle. If the permanent we bounce happens to be an artifact we own, we can cast it to untap our golem. If that artifact also costs zero mana to cast, we can do this infinitely. This creates infinite “artifact cast” triggers, as well as infinite “enters the battlefield” triggers. Add in Golem Foundry, and you have infinite 3/3 golem creatures to kill your opponent with.
It may seem like this combo has too many different parts to pull off reliably. With a total of four pieces if you count the kill condition, I would normally agree with you. However, because of the effective number of each that can be played, consistency is actually not much of an issue. We already discussed the possibility of playing two full playsets of Helix and Knack respectively. There are other cards which make the rest of the combo easier to find as well, though.
Both Battered Golem and Golem Foundry have a converted mana cost of three. They are also both artifacts. Knowing this, Golem Combo is the perfect home for Trophy Mage, who can tutor for either of them.
Zero-cost artifacts are relatively easy to find as well. Magic is lush with options. Herbal Poultice was chosen for its ability to also protect our golem in some situations. It, along with Ornithopter, can also be found with the cantrip ability of Glint-Nest Crane. Every part of the combo that is not Helix/Knack is an artifact, so the bird is a must-include, here.
|Playing the Deck|
|In similar fashion to every other combo deck I have written about, you want to spend your early turns building your combo. This means Glint-Nest Crane and Shimmer of Possibility on turn two. Trophy Mage comes down on turn three, and you will hopefully have an immeasurable army of golems in play around turns four, five, or six.
If you have extra time, use it to build up your mana and protection. Because Golem needs to be able to tap, he is vulnerable during the time between when we cast him and when loses summoning sickness. If you can wait until you have extra mana and a protection spell (like Dispel) do it.
With the amount of bounce enablers that you play, it’s possible to use extra Retraction Helix and Banishing Knack to keep yourself alive. Simply bounce large threats before they damage you. You can also use them pre-combo turn in order to bounce any permanent that is preventing you from winning.
The artifact lands Seat of the Synod and Darksteel Citadel would be great additions simply because they make Glint-Nest Crane that much better. They would help also help cast any affinity cards, like Thoughtcast, should you choose to play them.
Welding Jar and Lotus Petal are likely the best zero-cost artifacts you could play in the deck, thanks to their utility outside the combo. Shield Sphere is a close second, as it provides a great wall to give you more time to set up the combo.
Turn Aside, Counterspell, and Metallic Rebuke are additional protection choices. I would stay away from blue spells that provide hexproof, like Dive Down, simply because they don’t protect the rest of the combo in the same way that these choices can.
Elusive Spellfist, Reckless Fireweaver, Nettle Drone, and Tooth of Chiss-Goria are all classic alternatives to Golem foundry. Each of them will kill your opponent in a different way. Tooth is much easier to keep online if you choose to run artifact lands. Sai, Master Thopterist, Efficient Construction, and Saheeli, Sublime Artificer each provide infinite tokens, like Golem Foundry, but they have their own flavor to them. It is important to note that of each of the alternative win conditions listed, only Tooth can be searched out with Trophy Mage. Not even Fabricate can find them.
Mirran Spy is an alternative to Battered Golem, but again, he is much more difficult to search for. Though hard on the wallet, Drift of Phantasms can find many three-cost alternative parts of the combo that Trophy Mage can’t. This includes Spy and Nettle Drone.
With this, we continue to show just how cheap and easy it can be to go infinite in Magic. What did you think of today’s list? Tell me about it on my facebook page. You can also send me an email at Spooky386@gmail.com. Wondering how my decks have changed since I last wrote about them? Check out all of my updated deck lists here!
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