I’m quite fond of Omnath, Locus of Rage. I’ve spoken about the deck before, and I then doctored it in my last Dear Azami column. In doing so I stumbled on a new piece of tech I had completely missed: Perilous Forays. That card is the shit in this deck.

When I was a young n00b, I looked at this card with great skepticism, because sacrificing a creature seemed too high a cost to my young, stupid, stupid young mind.

Side note: It’s new to me, okay? I recognize this was a synergy that some people spotted back when Bloodghast was first printed, but I hadn’t seen it before.


On a basic level, Perilous Forays lets you sacrifice a creature for one mana in order to tutor out a typed land. In a normal deck, it’s a good ability. In a deck where landfall can give you a body for free, either through Zendikar’s Roil, Emeria Angel, Omnath’s rage ability, or Bloodghast, this lets you keep paying one mana to keep drawing lands out of your deck until you have them all out on the battlefield.


That, in and of itself, would be powerful. But there are all sorts of other things you can do with this combo. Gross things. For starters, since the combo is always going to be in green, you can run Lotus Cobra to make the loop free, allowing you to spit out every typed land in your library (though fascinatingly not Wastes).

How many years did it take for this thing to rise back up to the amount I pre-ordered it for? More than a few!

Do you know what can search out Wastes? Sakura-Tribe Elder. Another landfall combo is Sakura-Tribe Elder and Emeria Shepherd. With Lotus Cobra you can basically do the same thing, but without it you stall out after you grab all your Plains. But Emeria Shepherd can work with the Perilous combo as well, allowing you to resurrect a number of permanents when the loop’s going full steam.


Side note: One of the things I like about this combo is that it’s finite. At some point, you run out of lands. I mean, a person could use Wheel of Sun and Moon, Enchanted Evening, and Aura Fracture to blow up the world, or more reasonably make a giant Thaumatog, or use basically any other way to sacrifice lands over and over for free, but that’s so much work! Also, pretty easy to disrupt. But I digress.


Abzan isn’t a bad shell for this combo, for what it’s worth. Not only do you get the Shepherd combo as backup, and access to Enlightened Tutor (which can search up either piece), but Bloodghast gets you the ability to spawn out a ton of Spirit tokens thanks to Abzan Ascedancy. Past that, the Perilous combo can make something yuuuge with Blade of the Bloodchief, you could Blood Artist the crap out of a player, Grave Pact the way to an empty board, do a bunch of damage with Deathbringer Thoctar or Goblin Sharpshooter, you can use basically any finisher that feeds off death triggers. For example, FotC Rob likes to use Bitter Ordeal in these situations, due to its sadly-never-again-been-used Gravestorm ability. But Bitter Ordeal would probably need Wheel of Sun and Moon and Thaumatog to go infinite.

This turns out to be an essential piece to making this combo infinite.

And that’s without even going into the landfall side of things. You’ll have the biggest plant tokens, the most life, a ton of mill, or the original Ob Nixilis, the Fallen by your side, pissed off enough to eat someone’s face. Landfall offers several different kill packages, which work wonders converting Zendikar’s Roil, Emeria Angel, or Bloodghast loops into victory.


But Omnath, Locus of Rage? Omnath is beyond those enablers. “FEH,” they say, “THOSE PRETENDERS CAN NOT HOLD A CANDLE TO THE POWER OF MY RAAAAAGE!!!” Because Omnath is a Hulk. He is unstoppable, because he gives you the trigger and the kill in one package. With them and Perilous Forays alone, the combo looks like this: pay one mana, sacrifice an Elemental token, do three damage to a target since an Elemental died, search out a land, and summon a new Elemental.

I mean, he even looks like a Hulk… and I’ve always been partial to the Red Hulks over the Green Hulks.

Even a little kid designing cards wouldn’t try to create a one-mana spell that was Lightning Bolt plus Rampant Growth, plus a free death trigger. It’s ridiculous mana efficiency in a deck that’s going to have a lot of mana to play with. That translates into a ton of action.


You are, however, limited to doing three times as many typed lands left in your library’s worth of damage off Perilous Omnath. Unless you have out Warstorm Surge, of course. In that case, you get an extra five mana per revolution. Or you could have Sultai Flayer, and gain four life each time you crank the machine. Omnath, Locus of Rage may be able to kill on its own, but it excels when paired with one of a number of ways to take advantage of all the different points of play in this combo.


Of course, you’re pretty boned if they exile your Perilous Forays. But, in that case, you still have Omnath, Locus of Rage. You still have a bunch of other, non-combo ways to kill an opponent. This is a value package that happens to have a combo kill. That is my favorite type of combo.


I look forward to trouncing someone with it some day.


Jess Stirba is not a fan of Washington, DC.

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