Essential Magic Articles


The Sum Of All the Parts: Combo, Synergy and Manaceleration

by Scott

The Difference: "Combo", "Synergy" and "Manaceleration".

    This is an article dedicated to the "Combos" page of EssentialMagic.com, and within this article I will attempt to discuss the difference between a postable "Combo" and non-postable "Synergy" and "Manaceleration."

    1. "Manaceleration" is a new term I'm coining for this article, its broadly defined as using most forms of Mana Acceleration (Dark Ritual, Seething Song, Jet Mox) to generate a large effect, or playing multiple things in one turn (Usually the first or second turn, but later turns are often defined in Manacleration posts.)

    An example of "Manaceleration" would be to Dark Ritual on first turn to play a Quest for the Nihil Stone and a Hymn to Tourach (1). That is Manaceleration.

    2. Synergy is most likely "light" combos that have been designed into a set by WotC or are just blatantly not a combo, just good card interaction, these include things using a Seer's Sundial and Fastbond (or just use Horn of Greed instead of the Sundial.) This is good synergy.  
    Another example would be using Arbor Elf on a Forest (1) that has been enchanted by Overgrowth, without it going infinite, or creating a larger, more grand effect who's final abilities/effect are greater then the sum of its parts, its still just a synergy.

    A good example of multiple-turn spanning synergy (starting turn 1) would be the following:
-Turn 1: Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle.
-Turn 2: Stomping Grounds//Taiga//Forest (1), Scouting Trek -> Putting at least 6 Mountain (1)s on top of your library.
-Turn 3: Mountain (1), cast Clear the Land -> reveal the top five cards of your library, which should still be five Mountain (1)s, putting them into play, triggering Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle that many times {5}. Then play the card you just drew for that turn, which was a Mountain (1) and then finish off your opponent with a Shock or some other form of direct burn for 2 or more damage (and {R} casting cost.)

    3. Combo: The creation of an effect that is greater then the sum of its parts: Infinite, Massive (Easily Createable/Repeatable) Damage, Perfect or Near-Perfect Lockdown, Invincibility, Near Invincibility (a few uncommon effects will still kill the person.) Etc.

An example of a combo is the classic Earthcraft + Squirrel Nest.

An example using mass damage in monoblue (normally not a massive damage dealing color,) is Keldon Battlewagon + Pemmin's Aura (detailed here -> http://essentialmagic.com/Combos/CommentsAndRatings.asp?ID=55382)

A third combo would be Pili-Pala + Hermetic Study + Heartstone which would create an infinite damage combo.

A another combo would be Varchild's War-Riders + Engineered Plague + Burning Sands (detailed here - > http://essentialmagic.com/Combos/CommentsAndRatings.asp?ID=19360 )

In conclusion the following are:

1. Manaceleration : to use mana accelerating cards to play other cards which may or may not synergize with each other, but are otherwise not combo. Likewise, using mana sources to accelerate into a combo is not a combo, its good playing skills.

2. Synergy: Using cards as they were intended to create an effect that is the sum of the cards used in the synergy. (Seer's Sundial + Fastbond example given above.) Or Quest for the Nihil Stone + Hymn to Tourach (1). Thats just Synergy.

3. Combo: A final effect of the sum of its parts that is greater then the sum of its parts, and/or creates a unique effect that changes the "status quo" in your favor.
Examples given above (including, but not limited too): infinite, lockdown, massive damage, etc.

Last edited 3/29/2010 4:34:37 PM Page 1 of 1  Prev  Next  Go to page:

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