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Combo Name: Infinite Loop - Many Possibilities Submitted By: FrozenIntuition
Card Name
Type
Cost
P/T
Editions (ordered by release)

Initiates of the Ebon Hand
B 1/1 Fallen Empires,

Ashnod's Altar
Poly Artifact 3 Antiquities, Uncommon

Reassembling Skeleton
Creature - Skeleton Warrior 1B 1 / 1 Magic 2011, Uncommon
Estimated Combo Cost: $0.83
Date Posted: Fri May/20/11 at 2:23 pm

FrozenIntuition
Posts: 6
Joined: 20-May-11

Have Ashnod's Altar, Initiates of the Ebon Hand, and Reassembling Skeleton in play. Sac the Skeleton to the Altar for 2 colorless. Then activate the Initiates ability to add 1 black, use that along with the 1 colorless to bring the Skeletons back in to play tapped. Repeat infinitely. Just need to add something with a creature comes in to play or goes to graveyard ability. Hissing Iguanar would work for infinite damage, Soul Warden for infinite life, Scavenger Drake for a huge flyer, Genesis Chamber for infinite 1/1 creatures (which could translate to infinite mana with the Altar)... I'll take suggestions on the best 4th card (preferably black) :)

The only downside to this is the Initiates will die at the end of turn, but that won't matter in most situations
Date Posted: Fri May/20/11 at 2:23pm

lin sivvi
Posts: 1608
Joined: 14-Jan-10


Date Posted: Fri May/20/11 at 2:25pm

FrozenIntuition
Posts: 6
Joined: 20-May-11

There we go! Much better than the Initiates of the Ebon Hand if you need more that one turn :)


[Edited by FrozenIntuition on 20/May/11 at 2:28PM]
Date Posted: Fri May/20/11 at 4:36pm

Ephemerance
Posts: 913
Joined: 18-Jun-09

Add training grounds for infinite mana.
Date Posted: Fri May/20/11 at 10:37pm

Draco_lich
Posts: 1073
Joined: 07-May-10

use Heartstone rather than Training Grounds if you want it to remain use-able in mono black (with artifact of course)
Date Posted: Sat May/21/11 at 10:43pm

gericault5
Posts: 2788
Joined: 13-Oct-09

Neither Training grounds nor heartstone will benefit this combo. The initiate or bog can't go any lower and they don't affect the skeleton.

The reason they do not affect the skeleton is they only affect the activated abilities of creatures. However the skeletons ability is played from the graveyard where the skeleton is a creature card. Creatures only exist on the battlefield.

For a 4th card there is carnival of souls you can follow it with a drain life or the like
Date Posted: Sun May/22/11 at 6:55pm

shakii23
Posts: 5710
Joined: 08-Sep-09

or Pawn of Ulamog...
Date Posted: Mon May/23/11 at 6:11pm

Draco_lich
Posts: 1073
Joined: 07-May-10

if the skeleton is not a creature in the graveyard, then why is there cards that specifically say they only affect "creature in a graveyard"
guess by that analogy those cards do nothing... (sorry, grave-recursion doesn't exist anymore) ... yea right (and i am referring to cards from alpha [first edition] all the way to the newest released sets included)
Date Posted: Mon May/23/11 at 6:29pm

Draco_lich
Posts: 1073
Joined: 07-May-10

lets look up "activated ability"

Activated Ability
A kind of ability. Activated abilities are written as "[Cost]: [Effect.] [Activation instructions (if any).]" See rule 112, "Abilities," and rule 602, "Activating Activated Abilities."

now that we got that clear, lets look at other parts of it (all parts from the one site listed below)

it isnt flashback, though flashback is technically a ability of a non-permanent card in a graveyard
702.31a Flashback appears on some instants and sorceries. It represents two static abilities: one that functions while the card is in a player's graveyard and the other that functions while the card is on the stack. "Flashback [cost]" means "You may cast this card from your graveyard by paying [cost] rather than paying its mana cost" and "If the flashback cost was paid, exile this card instead of putting it anywhere else any time it would leave the stack." Casting a spell using its flashback ability follows the rules for paying alternative costs in rules 601.2b and 601.2e-g.
112.6j An ability whose cost or effect specifies that it moves the object it's on out of a particular zone functions only in that zone, unless that ability's trigger condition, or a previous part of that ability's cost or effect, specifies that the object is put into that zone.
Example: Necrosavant says "{3}{B}{B}, Sacrifice a creature: Return Necrosavant from your graveyard to the battlefield. Activate this ability only during your upkeep." A player may activate this ability only if Necrosavant is in his or her graveyard.


112.6j An ability whose cost or effect specifies that it moves the object it's on out of a particular zone functions only in that zone, unless that ability's trigger condition, or a previous part of that ability's cost or effect, specifies that the object is put into that zone.
Example: Necrosavant says "{3}{B}{B}, Sacrifice a creature: Return Necrosavant from your graveyard to the battlefield. Activate this ability only during your upkeep." A player may activate this ability only if Necrosavant is in his or her graveyard.


107.3a If a spell or activated ability has a mana cost, alternative cost, additional cost, and/or activation cost with an {X}, [-X], or X in it, and the value of X isn't defined by the text of that spell or ability, the controller of that spell or ability chooses and announces the value of X as part of casting the spell or activating the ability. (See rule 601, "Casting Spells.") While a spell is on the stack, any X in its mana cost equals the announced value. While an activated ability is on the stack, any X in its activation cost equals the announced value.


from http://www.wizards.com/magic/comprules/MagicCompRules_20101001.txt if you care to dispute it like you dispute other rules, furthermore, if you would like to dispute it, please dispute it with wizards (you know... the people that make the game) ... sorry about getting grouchy on this, just someone likes to try to tell me i dont know the rules too well, so here are the rules as apply to this situation
Date Posted: Mon May/23/11 at 6:32pm

Draco_lich
Posts: 1073
Joined: 07-May-10

602. Activating Activated Abilities

602.1. Activated abilities have a cost and an effect. They are written as "[Cost]: [Effect.] [Activation instructions (if any).]"

602.1a The activation cost is everything before the colon (:). An ability's activation cost must be paid by the player who is activating it.
Example: The activation cost of an ability that reads "{2}, {T}: You gain 1 life" is two mana of any type plus tapping the permanent that has the ability.

602.1b Some text after the colon of an activated ability states instructions that must be followed while activating that ability. Such text may state which players can activate that ability, may restrict when a player can activate the ability, or may define some aspect of the activation cost. This text is not part of the ability's effect. It functions at all times. If an activated ability has any activation instructions, they appear last, after the ability's effect.

602.1c An activated ability is the only kind of ability that can be activated. If an object or rule refers to activating an ability without specifying what kind, it must be referring to an activated ability.

602.1d Previously, the action of using an activated ability was referred to on cards as "playing" that ability. Cards that were printed with that text have received errata in the Oracle card reference so they now refer to "activating" that ability.

602.2. To activate an ability is to put it onto the stack and pay its costs, so that it will eventually resolve and have its effect. Only an object's controller (or its owner, if it doesn't have a controller) can activate its activated ability unless the object specifically says otherwise. Activating an ability follows the steps listed below, in order. If, at any point during the activation of an ability, a player is unable to comply with any of those steps, the activation is illegal; the game returns to the moment before that ability started to be activated (see rule 715, "Handling Illegal Actions"). Announcements and payments can't be altered after they've been made.

602.2a The player announces that he or she is activating the ability. If an activated ability is being activated from a hidden zone, the card that has that ability is revealed. That ability is created on the stack as an object that's not a card. It becomes the topmost object on the stack. It has the text of the ability that created it, and no other characteristics. Its controller is the player who activated the ability. The ability remains on the stack until it's countered, it resolves, or an effect moves it elsewhere.

602.2b The remainder of the process for activating an ability is identical to the process for casting a spell listed in rules 601.2b-h. Those rules apply to activating an ability just as they apply to casting a spell. An activated ability's analog to a spell's mana cost (as referenced in rule 601.2e) is its activation cost.

602.3. Some abilities specify that one of their controller's opponents does something the controller would normally do while it's being activated, such as choose a mode or choose targets. In these cases, the opponent does so when the ability's controller normally would do so.

602.3a If there is more than one opponent who could make such a choice, the ability's controller decides which of those opponents will make the choice.

602.3b If the ability instructs its controller and another player to do something at the same time as the ability is being activated, the ability's controller goes first, then the other player. This is an exception to rule 101.4.

602.4. Activating an ability that alters costs won't affect spells and abilities that are already on the stack.

602.5. A player can't begin to activate an ability that's prohibited from being activated.

602.5a A creature's activated ability with the tap symbol ({T}) or the untap symbol ({Q}) in its activation cost can't be activated unless the creature has been under its controller's control since the start of his or her most recent turn. Ignore this rule for creatures with haste (see rule 702.10).

602.5b If an activated ability has a restriction on its use (for example, "Activate this ability only once each turn"), the restriction continues to apply to that object even if its controller changes.

602.5c If an object acquires an activated ability with a restriction on its use from another object, that restriction applies only to that ability as acquired from that object. It doesn't apply to other, identically worded abilities.

602.5d Activated abilities that read "Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery" mean the player must follow the timing rules for casting a sorcery spell, though the ability isn't actually a sorcery. The player doesn't actually need to have a sorcery card that he or she could cast.

602.5e Activated abilities that read "Activate this ability only any time you could cast an instant" mean the player must follow the timing rules for casting an instant spell, though the ability isn't actually an instant. The player doesn't actually need to have an instant card that he or she could cast.
Date Posted: Mon May/23/11 at 8:02pm

gericault5
Posts: 2788
Joined: 13-Oct-09

if the skeleton is not a creature in the graveyard, then why is there cards that specifically say they only affect "creature in a graveyard"
guess by that analogy those cards do nothing... (sorry, grave-recursion doesn't exist anymore) ... yea right (and i am referring to cards from alpha [first edition] all the way to the newest released sets included)


I'm curious what cards, especially recent ones, say that, because I'm willing to bet if you read the oracle text they all say "creature card in a graveyard"

As for all the stuff about an activated ability, your right, the skeleton does having an activated ability, I never said it didn't, but having that ability, but doesn't change the fact that heartstone and training grounds don't effect it any more then they affect a creature with cycling.  The problem lies with when you can play that ability, not the ability itself.   Here's one of the rules you posted:

112.6j An ability whose cost or effect specifies that it moves the object it's on out of a particular zone functions only in that zone, unless that ability's trigger condition, or a previous part of that ability's cost or effect, specifies that the object is put into that zone.
Example: Necrosavant says "{3}{B}{B}, Sacrifice a creature: Return Necrosavant from your graveyard to the battlefield. Activate this ability only during your upkeep." A player may activate this ability only if Necrosavant is in his or her graveyard.


So the effect of the ability is you move the skeleton from the grave to the battlefield.  So by this rule you have to play the skeletons ability while its in the graveyard.  Now that that's clear heres 2 rules:

403.3. Permanents exist only on the battlefield. Every object on the battlefield is a permanent.

110.4. There are five permanent types: artifact, creature, enchantment, land, and planeswalker

So looking at these two rules you can see that a creature is a permanent, and a permanent exists only on the battlefield. As a result of these two rules, a creature exists only on the battlefield. 

Heres another rule:

108.2a In the text of spells or abilities, the term “card” is used only to refer to a card that’s not on the battlefield or on the stack, such as a creature card in a player’s hand

If training grounds and heartstone could affect a creature in the graveyard it would specify creature card, by saying something like "creature or creature card", but they don't say this, they specify creature.  which means a creature on the battlefield, and as we determined above the skeletons ability is played from the graveyard.  So heartstone and grounds don't affect it, because the skeleton is not a creature at the time you use its activated ability.

and for the record I don't like to tell people their wrong, but I do like to make sure people have the right information. 


[Edited by gericault5 on 23/May/11 at 9:02PM]
Date Posted: Mon May/23/11 at 9:11pm

Draco_lich
Posts: 1073
Joined: 07-May-10

i looked at the erratas, training grounds wont work with it, but heartstone will
Date Posted: Mon May/23/11 at 9:13pm

Draco_lich
Posts: 1073
Joined: 07-May-10

Heartstone
Artifact, 3 (3)
Activated abilities of creatures cost {1} less to activate. This effect can't reduce the amount of mana an ability costs to activate to less than one mana.
"Finding a true heartstone is even harder than finding a true heart."—Hanna, Weatherlight navigator
Illus. John Matson
Gatherer Card Rulings?, Legality?
10/4/2004: The cost reduction can be applied to additional costs.
10/4/2004: It will not add a {1} to abilities with no generic mana in their activation cost.
10/4/2004: It will never reduce any colored mana portion of an activation cost.
7/15/2006: Can’t reduce Snow mana costs.
Date Posted: Mon May/23/11 at 10:00pm

Draco_lich
Posts: 1073
Joined: 07-May-10

only permanents have activated abilities
since it only works from the grave, and if it isnt a creature by gericault5 reasoning, then the ability does not work at all, because stuff like heartstone says it reduces abilty costs of activated abilities of creatures (which by the way does not specify that they must be on the battlefield, even in the errata)

@gericault5 --- when the skeleton is in the grave, is it a creature card or just a card?.. if it is a creature card, then it is still a creature (though not alive, and unable to attack and do other stuff like that unless it specifically says it can from the grave) but not a creature permanent unless it actually is on the battlefield, otherwise it has no abilities at all and is no better than a grizzly bear with a -1/-1 counter on it


show me in here where the skeleton would still have a creature ability then (since it is a creature card and not a creature in the grave)

http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/article/Activated_ability

http://www.wizards.com/magic/comprules/MagicCompRules_20101001.txt


my point: it is still a creature ability because it is on a creature card

otherwise, what is it called in the rules so that we can look it up?
Date Posted: Tue May/24/11 at 12:28am

gericault5
Posts: 2788
Joined: 13-Oct-09

only permanents have activated abilities
cycling, ninjutsu, transmute, forecast, aura swap, fortify, and unearth want to have a word with you, all of which are activated abilities that are played from your hand or your grave.  And if you recall from what I posted earlier, permanents only exist on the battlefield, that alone makes your statement false, but what you add 112.6j which you posted the example of necroservant shows activated abilitys can be played from the grave so therefore not from a permanent

since it only works from the grave, and if it isnt a creature by gericault5 reasoning, then the ability does not work at all,

pointless arguement based on what you posted above, abilitys do work from the grave-necrosavent

because stuff like heartstone says it reduces abilty costs of activated abilities of creatures (which by the way does not specify that they must be on the battlefield, even in the errata)

Not everything is in the errta, can you imangine how much time and money it would cost to to put every detail into an errta, they shut down gatherer for weeks just to change in play to battlefield.  once a card leaves standard they only change it when their is a functional change, thats why mistform ultimus isn't a changling.  Training grounds had the rule added to its errta because when it entered standard unearth and cyling where two activated abilitys that were also in standard and I'm sure they did not want this discussion happening during a timed match,  Also it does specify on the battlefield because as of the rules i posted above:

110.4. There are five permanent types: artifact, creature, enchantment, land, and planeswalker

403.3. Permanents exist only on the battlefield. Every object on the battlefield is a permanent

A creature is a permanent and permanents only exist on the battlefield, so the creature has to be on the battlefield

when the skeleton is in the grave, is it a creature card or just a card?..

110.4a The term “permanent card” is used to refer to a card that could be put onto the battlefield. Specifically, it means an artifact, creature, enchantment, land, or planeswalker card.

 Its a permanent card, however that can be broken down further into card types

300.1. The card types are artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land, plane, planeswalker, scheme, sorcery, tribal, and vanguard.

if it is a creature card, then it is still a creature (though not alive, and unable to attack and do other stuff like that unless it specifically says it can from the grave) but not a creature permanent unless it actually is on the battlefield, otherwise it has no abilities at all and is no better than a grizzly bear with a -1/-1 counter on it.

Its not a creature card, its a permanent card.  Creature is the type of card it is, its a charateristic

show me in here where the skeleton would still have a creature ability then (since it is a creature card and not a creature in the grave)
cycling, ninjutsu, transmute, forecast, aura swap, fortify, unearth, necrosavant.  activated abilitys are not limited to creatures or permanents

my point: it is still a creature ability because it is on a creature card.  otherwise, what is it called in the rules so that we can look it up?
Its still an activated ability. there is not such thing as a creature ability, its an activated ability just on a creature card rather then a creature, but the heartstone looks for activated abilitys on creatures not cards

 

Date Posted: Tue May/24/11 at 3:14am

Manji187
Posts: 20
Joined: 07-Nov-10

Wow....great with Teysa, Orzhov Scion. Lots of white 1/1 fliers to sac en exile all your opponents' creatures.
Date Posted: Tue May/24/11 at 5:20am

shakii23
Posts: 5710
Joined: 08-Sep-09

Two points:

1. Cards that are not on the battlefield is generally called a card (whether it's a creature card, enchantment card, artifact card, etc.), as long as it's not on the battlefield is just a card...

2. Anything that are on the battlefield is generally called a permanent (creature, land, enchantment, artifacts, etc.)...

I'll sight an example of cards that affects each of these...
1.


2.


Get it? Got it? GOOD!



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