Card Combos

Statistics and luck meet in a romanticising mixture.

Hello again!
I’m David and today I’m going to be using some more probability to come up with a definitive method to make sure your killer combos come off during a Grand Clash.

(Please note what follows includes maths, some very cool maths. I know all maths is cool, but this is the Ice T of maths.)

Before we leap into the number fun there is a few things to go over:
Probabilities are measured on a scale of 0 to 1, with the closer you get to 1 the more likely it is to happen. I am choosing for consistency and ease of reader to express these as a percentage on a 0 to 100% scale, with colour coding. Red is unlikely, Yellow ok, Green likely.
We are going to take the standard that;
a combo is useful when it will happen 1 in every 3 games (once a match, 33%),
is reliable if it will likely come of every game (at least a 80% chance)
For these examples I’m going to base the maths on your running a 20 power card deck, as this gives us the greatest chance of getting the combo cards all in hand at the same time.
If you want to brush up on you probability then I recommend this video

If this level of maths is too much for you then try this video instead;

My Turn + Shard Gale

An example of a two ploy combo.
To pull of a two ploy combo both cards need to be in hand at the same time. The chance of drawing both ploy cards out of your deck into one hand is 5%. Not likely. However, we are more interested to know that if we have drawn one of them, say Shard Gale, what is the chance of drawing My Turn; that’s 21%, a one in five chance. Better. If you are willing to hold onto Shard Gale for the whole round and redraw all your power cards to try to get My Turn this goes up to 48%. If your willing to hold onto Shard Gale for all three rounds, having drawn it first round, then the chance of finding My turn to go with it goes up to 84%.

This tells us you are likely to see the combo drawn together once over two matches. If you are willing to hold onto either of the needed ploy cards until you find its comboing partner then this can greatly improve the odds, making it likely you will see it every match, or even every other game. Personally I would not recommend this course of action, as holding ploy card in your hand will put you at a disadvantage over the game and still does not guarantee the combo.

My Turn + Shardgale/Ghoulish Pact

An example of a ploy that could combo with two other cards.
To pull this off you need to draw My Turn with either of the other cards. This does improve the chance of getting what you need to combo to 10%. In fact if you have My Turn in hand you have a 39% chance of drawing one of the others.

This all means that for every 3 games where you draw My Turn you will get one of the needed complimentary cards at the same time, which is ok but you have to draw My Turn first.

Spoils of Battle + Great Strength/Incredible Strength/Glory Seeker

An example of a ploy that could work with three other cards. (As requested by Tony, thank you very much for the idea.)
In this case the upgrade cards need to be in hand not on fighters, so can be treated just like our any ploy cards. Chance of drawing this is; 13%, with three cards all reliant on the one the chance of drawing Spoils of Battle is the limiting factor here. If your going for the first turn draw then it will only happen once in 8 games, so don’t rely on it!
If you are just interested in using Spoils of battle with one of these cards then once Spoils is in hand your chance of having any of the +1 damage cards is 53%, over half the time.

Spoils of Battle + Ready for Action + an upgrade.

A favorite combo which on paper looks so good. It has a 5% chance of coming off (in fact a little under this, but by very little). So this is very similar to our first example, as long as all your upgrades can be applied to target fighter.

But I have Bag of Tricks…

Well good for you, that makes things a whole lot more complicated. So returning to My Turn + Shard Gale with Bag of Tricks:

We have had to make assumption that if you drew Bag of Tricks you could put it on a fighter, that the fighter survives and that you use it. This does greatly increase your combo chances, but only if very set conditions are met and you sacrifice an activation. Not sure its worth it.

But I have Bag of Tricks and can draw power cards during activations…

NO, just NO. Go and work out you own probabilities, I’m done.

Shardgale + Rivers of Blood/Grand Melee

I said enough.
Oh, it’s for Tony, thats different then…

An example of a Power + Objective combo.
The chance of drawing any single Objective with a single Power card are 6%, exactly once in every 16 games. Not a solid way to score glory.
In this case we have one ploy that could score two objectives increasing the chance to 11%, so you would expect to score one once every 9 games. Still not great.
If you want to reliably score an objective using power cards you need to up the power cards that will provide the score.

You can see that for an objective to be useful you would need at least 2 power cards in your deck to score them, ideally 3 or more. While Upgrades help more than Gambits by sticking around (for example +1 move upgrade to score Cover Ground) they also are harder to use in first third of game, so this probably evens out their effect a bit.

Final conclusions:

Combos are not worth it.

Ok, so not quite that dramatic but when considering Power deck combos consider the following:

• Do the cards stand up on their own? If you don’t get them together are they all still useful? Are they as useful as the cards sacrificed to put them in?
• How good is the combo? As in does it score you much glory? So does it help you complete your objectives? (or are you just including it to get kills, you Bloodthirster.)
• Can you get the cards to combo with multiple other cards? If all the cards in the combo also combo with at least one other card then they might be worth including.

For example: Spoils of Battle + Ready for action + an upgrade, is a good combo to include. Spoils of Battle and Ready for action are both solid cards on own, you will have some upgrades and Spoils of Battle is useful to all and solid choice for all warbands.

When looking at Objective/Power card combos then consider the above but also:

• Will each Power card also help to score multiple Objectives.
• Can each Objective be scored with at least three included Power cards.
• Do the Objective complement each other, will the combo score?

So combos can be great, and may help you decide to include one card over another, but are not things to build you decks around. The one thing they always are, are great fun to pull off!

I hope you found this useful, thanks for reading,
David

P.S.
Sorry forgot I promised “a definitive method to make sure your killer combos come off during a Grand Clash.” so here it comes… cheat. Defy the laws of probability and rig your deck, I’m sure there is a YouTube video on it.

Please note John, David and Can You Roll A Crit do not condone cheating. There is a place in hell (and at Magic GTs) for cheats.


That’s it from David for now. On the whole, I pretty much agree. A common combo I use is Cover Ground with Spectral Wings, Great Speed and Faneway Crystal. For warbands like Godsworn Hunt that is 3 ways to score Cover Ground reliably while still being solid mobility cards in their own right without taking into account the objective. Even my silly dice combo for Garek’s Reavers is useful because of running weapons like Shadeglass Dagger and Heroslayer in the deck.

A bad combo example would be Abasoth’s Unmaking and Scorched Earth. You rely on a single card to score it but they’re basically dead cards if 1 is in-hand and the other is not. Combos should be the extra icing on the cake as to why you’re including certain cards, not the main reason for inclusion.

In the end, remember that every card needs a purpose outside of a nice combo but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t run combos, just don’t build your deck around them. Also statistics can’t ever account for your ability to roll crits 😉

5 thoughts on “Card Combos

  1. Would Massive Assault and Shardgale work? Since Massive assault states “If your fighters deal 7 or more damage in an action phase” and Shardgale doesn’t use a friendly fighter as a target to “fire” from

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    1. No as it says fighters. So your actual fighters have to do damage. If Massive Assault said “warband” then Shardgale would work.

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      1. Its just in the post it makes it seem like Shardgale and Massive assault would combo, but I didn’t think it would owing to the “Fighter” restriction.

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