In commander there are many cards that can take over a game. While these cards are strong players are attracted to combinations of cards that interact in such a way they either win the game outright or will take over a game. These are cards you need to be aware of and have an idea of how to answer them. Today we will look at Ral, Storm Conduit.
The Key Killer Combo card and interactions.
Ral, Storm Conduit is a planeswalker for four mana in Red and Blue. He was released in War of the Spark. In this set planeswalkers experienced a new design,the static effect. Before this planeswalkers were value engines that if you could repeatedly use their abilities you gained value a could take over a game. Now planeswalkers could impact the game by just being on the field and sometimes opponents would not make an effort to kill them right away.
Ral is a planeswalker that is kill on sight. His planeswalker abilities are reasonable as he can copy spells and scry but it is his static ability that people will include him in a deck. This ability causes shenanigans. it is.
Whenever you cast or copy an instant or sorcery spell, Ral, Storm Conduit deals 1 damage to target opponent or planeswalker.
Casting a spell can cause some trouble and a point here and there is manageable. It is the copy a spell that causes the out of control interactions. This is a win condition when you play a storm deck. Mix in Thousand Year Storm and you begin copying spells and your opponents lose life in chunks.
The Killer Copying in Action
For Ral to go off, you need two spells that copy other spells like Reverberate and any instant or sorcery. You can also accomplish the same thing with Fury Storm. This is true as long as you have cast your commander in the game.
the combo builds on infinite copy triggers. First cast any instant or sorcery. For example, Lightening Bolt as it costs one mana and is an instant. Then cast Reverberate targeting the lightning bolt. Then, while the reverberate is on the stack cast another copy spell such as Fork. Have Fork target the Reverberate. Fork resolves and makes a copy of Reverberate and you can choose new targets for the spell. With the copy of Reverberate you target Reverberate and you do this over and over again. Fury Storm creates a copy of itself. This card fuels the loop by itself.
Infinite loops are good but you normally need a card to break them and make them degenerate. This is where Ral, Storm Conduit comes it. for every copy in the infinite loop Ral deal one damage to an opponent. Because the loop is infinite Ral pings your opponent to death one life at a time.
Breaking the Killer Copying
Getting out of this combo requires timing and planeswalker removal at instant speed. You need to be patient. First let them play their instant and sorcery spell then let them play their two spell copying instants. Then after they pass priority stack at instant speed planeswalker removal like Hero’s Downfall. With Ral dead the infinite loop will do nothing. You must pass priority until a second copy spell is cast. because if you cast instant speed removal your opponent can still cast another copy spell and have it resolve to make another copy of their Fork or Reverberate and restart the loop. In this scenario they still kill everyone.
Where Ral is best used
use this combo as an alternate win condition in storm decks. Often these decks will use Aetherflux Reservoir to win the game. Opponents know this and will remove the reservoir and then Ral can sneak in and win the game. Ral also fits well in Niv Mizzet, Parun Decks. These Niv Decks often want to play lots of spells while including cards like Curiosity or Ophidian Eye for an infinite combo to win the game. Including a few cards to add another infinite combo helps create redundancy for these decks.
Every playgroup is different. some may not like this combination of cards. Other will be OK with it. When looking for a strong combination of cards that can be an alternate win condition and you are in Izzet Colors consider Ral’s Killer Copying. There are other stronger combos out there but this one is a little more “fair”
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