elcome to the Lab, folks! The Magic 2014 Prerelease is quickly approaching, and today I'll be looking at one of my favorite cards from the set: Strionic Resonator. This card does something that's never been done before in the history of Magic, and that's not an easy feat to accomplish these days. Unique cards always catch my eye, and this one has the additional advantage of being designed for the Johnniest of Johnnies. It brings to mind an old favorite of mine: Paradox Haze. Like Paradox Haze, Strionic Resonator can give you an extra copy of abilities that trigger at the beginning of your upkeep. That's not all it can do, of course, but it's a good starting point.
Tokens, Tokens Everywhere
The first thing that came to mind when looking for ways to take advantage of this card was triggers that grow larger with each iteration. Mirror-Sigil Sergeant is a classic way to abuse Paradox Haze, but since each creature has its own individual trigger, it doesn't work quite as well with Strionic Resonator. Assemble the Legion, on the other hand, only has one trigger, and with Strionic Resonator copying that trigger every turn, things can get out of hand very quickly.
The first time you copy Assemble the Legion's trigger, you'll get a total of three tokens. One from the first trigger and two from the second. On the following turn, you'll get three and then four, for a total of seven. Eleven tokens will hit the battlefield the turn after, and if your opponent isn't dead by the time you hit fifteen tokens, you might have a problem. Paradox Haze does essentially the same thing, so I'll include that as well. With both, you'll be getting fifteen tokens just two turns after you cast Assemble the Legion.
If 1/1 Soldiers aren't big enough for you, Márton Stromgald can fix that. When he attacks, he gives all your creatures +1/+1 for each other attacking creature. Attacking with five tokens and Márton Stromgald gives you five 6/6s. You can even copy Márton's ability with Strionic Resonator to get another +5/+5.
Idyllic Tutor can search for Assemble the Legion or Paradox Haze, and Enlightened Tutor can search for those as well as Strionic Resonator. Coalition Relic helps you get to five mana more quickly, and makes sure you have all three colors. Finally, Lightning Helix and Path to Exile will help you stay alive until you start pumping out tokens with Assemble the Legion.
Toys of War
This being From the Lab, I had to find some way of going infinite with Strionic Resonator. This proved more difficult than I had anticipated. Strionic Resonator requires you to tap it in addition to using two mana, so I needed a trigger that provided that two mana as well as a way to untap the Resonator. The card I settled on in the end was Aurelia, the Warleader. Although it may look like she doesn't do either of those things, all it takes is a little tinkering and she'll give you what you need.
First, you'll need to untap the Strionic Resonator. Aurelia untaps all creatures, so you just need to turn Strionic Resonator into a creature. Toymaker can take care of that for just one mana and doesn't require any additional colors. You'll also need two mana each time you untap your creatures. Palladium Myr will do exactly that, and two of any combination of Iron Myr and Gold Myr can fill in if need be.
Once you have the pieces assembled, here's how it works: Attack with Aurelia, the Warleader and put her trigger on the stack. Copy it with Strionic Resonator, and after making the Resonator a creature with Toymaker, let the copy resolve. All your creatures will untap, and you'll get an extra combat phase. Tap the Myr to make two mana, and activate Strionic Resonator again, making another copy of the original trigger. Repeat this a few million times, then finally let the original trigger resolve. You now have a few million additional combat phases, and since Aurelia has vigilance, she can attack in every one of them.
Unfortunately, a 3/4 with flying won't always be able to get through. In that case, Goblin Fireslinger can tap to deal 1 damage to your opponent over and over again until death. Enlightened Tutor makes another appearance here, searching for Strionic Resonator, Toymaker, or Palladium Myr. Rebuff the Wicked helps protect the fragile creatures you rely on for your combo, and Oblivion Ring can get rid of anything that stands in your way.
Them's Fightin' Words
There can only be one king of the Resonator, and the time has come to take it to the arena. Will Aurelia triumph over her own legion, or will Márton's Mutineers prove victorious?
Both sides started off with lands, and Aurelia cast a Gold Myr on turn two. The Legion played another land, and Aurelia summoned a Palladium Myr alongside the Gold one. The Legion cast Paradox Haze, and Aurelia cast Strionic Resonator, Toymaker, and Iron Myr.
The Legion cast Enlightened Tutor for Strionic Resonator, and Aurelia passed the turn with no play. Assemble the Legion hit the battlefield, and Aurelia cast Enlightened Tutor to search up an Oblivion Ring. Oblivion Ring's ability targeted Assemble the Legion, and Strionic Resonator copied the ability targeting Paradox Haze.
Another Assemble the Legion hit the board, and Aurelia cast another Toymaker. Assemble the Legion made one token, and Strionic Resonator came down to copy the ability next turn. Aurelia cast Enlightened Tutor during the end step to search up another Oblivion Ring, and used it in combination with Strionic Resonator to exile both the opposing Resonator and Assemble the Legion. The Legion cast Enlightened Tutor to search up another copy of Assemble the Legion.
Aurelia hit the board, but short on mana, the combo had to wait until next turn. Assemble the Legion hit the board once again, and Aurelia attacked. Strionic Resonator copied the ability, and Toymaker turned Strionic Resonator into a creature. The Legion tried to kill it with Lightning Helix, but Rebuff the Wicked put a stop to that, and several additional combat phases later, The Legion died.
The Legion started off with a land, and Aurelia cast a Goblin Fireslinger on the first turn. Another land hit the board for The Legion, and Aurelia cast Strionic Resonator. The Legion cast Coalition Relic, and was pinged for 1 by Goblin Fireslinger. Aurelia cast Palladium Myr, and Assemble the Legion hit the board. Goblin Fireslinger hit for 1, and Aurelia cast Toymaker, along with another Fireslinger.
Assemble the Legion made one token, and two copies of Strionic Resonator hit the board. Aurelia cast Enlightened Tutor at end of turn, getting an Oblivion Ring. The Fireslinger hit for 1, and with help from Strionic Resonator, the Ring exiled Assemble the Legion and an opposing Resonator. The Legion cast Coalition Relic, and the two Fireslingers did their thing. Aurelia passed the turn with no play, and The Legion used Enlightened Tutor to find another Assemble the Legion.
The Fireslingers hit for 2, and Aurelia used another Enlightened tutor of her own to find another Oblivion Ring, which exiled Assemble the Legion and the second Strionic Resonator. The Legion cast Path to Exile on one of the Fireslingers, and they tapped for 2 damage in response. Palladium Myr and Toymaker attacked, and the Myr was hit with another Path to Exile. The Legion cast Coalition Relic, and the Remaining Fireslinger hit for 1.
Aurelia cast two Iron Myr and attacked with Toymaker. Another Assemble the Legion hit the board, and the Fireslinger hit for 1. The two Iron Myr and Toymaker attacked, dropping The Legion to 3 life. Assemble the Legion made a token, and after dealing 1 damage, Goblin Fireslinger was dispatched by a Lightning Helix. Aurelia cast Palladium Myr and passed the turn.
The Legion made two more tokens and cast Paradox Haze. Aurelia passed the turn, and Assemble the Legion made seven more tokens. All ten attacked and Palladium Myr killed one. Aurelia dropped to 9. Aurelia found only land during the draw step, and died to 20 attacking Soldier tokens on the following turn.
Both sides led with land, and Aurelia cast a turn-two Iron Myr. The Legion played another land, and Aurelia followed up with Strionic Resonator and Goblin Fireslinger. The Legion cast Coalition Relic, and Aurelia attacked for 1 with Iron Myr.
The Legion cast Strionic Resonator, and Fireslinger hit for 1. Aurelia attacked with the Myr again, and Assemble the Legion hit the board. Goblin Fireslinger dealt 1 damage, and Aurelia hit the board. Before she could attack, however, the Legion put her on a Path to Exile.
Assemble the Legion made three tokens, and Márton Stromgald hit the battlefield. Aurelia cast Palladium Myr, and Assemble the Legion made another seven tokens. Everything attacked, and the Soldiers got +10/+10 from Márton Stromgald, more than enough to end the game.
I hope you've marked your calendar for the Magic 2014 Prerelease, because if Strionic Resonator is any indication, this set it going to be a blast. I'll be there, slicing through swaths of slimy Slivers with whatever awesome deck I manage to assemble. And make sure to visit me here at the Lab next Monday, when I'll have another dose of delightful combo decks for you. See ya!
Mike Cannon signed on to write From the Lab at the end of 2012. An ardent casual player and lover of bizarre synergies, he'll be bringing you a selection of crazy combo decks every Monday.