Five Budget Commanders and Their Two-Card Combos

Benjamin Levin • May 9, 2024

Godo, Bandit Warlord | Illustrated by Paolo Parente
Helm of the Host | Illustrated by Igor Kieryluk

Hello, everyone! I often hear that idea that Magic is pay-to-win, but I don't think this is the case. Yes, the best decks of a format tend to be expensive, but with EDH we don't have a defined meta, generally, so for this week's installment, I wanted to showcase five mono-colored commanders with two-card infinite combos. I'll explain how the combo works and ways to enhance it.

Budget, in my opinion, is one of the lesser factors of a deck's power level. I could have an $800 five-color deck and $750 of that is the mana base and the rest is random bulk, whereas someone could have a Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow deck that's $50 and be incredibly fast.

The following commanders aren't listed in any particular order, and even if the commander or combo piece is $10 or more, that doesn't mean you can't build a budget deck around it, so let's dive in and see what two-card combos you can build on a budget to crush those "pay-to-win" decks.

Godo, Bandit Warlord | Helm of the Host

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Our first combo is one of the most notorious combos in the format: Godo, Bandit Warlord and Helm of the Host. It's also probably the most consistent combo on the list. All you need to do is cast Godo, Bandit Warlord, put Helm of the Host on Godo, equip, and swing in. The only other requirement is to have a way to equip the helm right away. You can use rituals, such as Mana Geyser, Seething Song, Pyretic Ritual, and Desperate Ritual; there's also Brass Squire, Magnetic Theft, or Hammer of Nazahn to cheat on the equip cost altogether. 

There might be situations when you can't attack to get the win. Maybe someone Fogged or has a blocker with first strike or indestructible. That's why you might want to add Impact Tremors, Witty Roastmaster, and Warstorm Surge to help finish the game. 

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker | Zealous Conscripts

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Next up is another mono-red commander featuring an old Modern combo: Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, and Zealous Conscripts, and this is another simple combo to execute. All you need is Kiki and Zealous in play. Tap Kiki making a copy of Zealous, which enters and untaps Kiki. Rinse and repeat for unlimited creatures. This combo does cost a whopping 11 mana, which can be a lot for red, but see the cards mentioned in Godo to get a burst of mana. Also, much like Godo Helm, cards that give ping when creatures enter are going to be great here. If you want to try to be really cute, Panharmonicon lets you steal all of your opponents' permanents while you combo off to clear the way for your army. Just be careful of the surprise Rakdos Charm that can knock you out of the game.

Abdel Adrian, Gorion's Ward | Eldrazi Displacer


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Next on the list is a mono-white combo featuring Abdel Adrian, Gorion's Ward and Eldrazi Displacer. Technically you can include this combo in any white-based deck, but I'm putting it in the mono-white section. For this combo, you need both Adrian and Displacer in play and mana rocks that can tap for both white and colorless exiled with Adrian already. You activate Eldrazi Displacer, targeting Adrian. When he gets blinked, the mana rocks will enter. With Adrian's trigger on the stack, tap the rocks for mana. Then resolve Adrian's ETB, exiling the mana rocks and any creatures you want to enter. Using the floating mana, activate Displacer again.

Unlike the Godo combo, we need additional support to close out the game after going infinite. The easiest way to find the win conditions is to blink cantripping creatures, such as Spirited Companion, Inspiring Overseer, and Wall of Omens. If you want to be mean, you could cast Armageddon with your infinite mana, then use Kor Cartographer and Sun Titan to get all your lands back, or you might want to use Staff of Nin or Blasting Station to ping your opponents out of the game.

Naru Meha, Master Wizard | Ghostly Flicker

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Next up we enter the realm of blue featuring Naru Meha, Master Wizard and Ghostly Flicker. Unlike the easy-to-execute red combos, this one is a bit trickier. You need Naru Meha in hand or in the command zone. Cast Ghostly Flicker, targeting two artifacts, creatures and/or lands. Hold priority and cast Naru Meha with the original Ghostly Flicker on the stack. Copy Flicker targeting Naru Meha and a land you control. The copy resolves, blinking Naru and the land. As she enters, copy the original Flicker again. Now repeat for infinite mana, ETBs, LTBs, Magecraft triggers, and Landfall

Now, unlike the red combos, you need some support to win the game. Unless you want to use Sunscorched Desert as your land to ping down the table. You can also target creatures that draw such as Mulldrifter or Cloudkin Seer to draw your entire deck. You can also mill out the table using Manic Scribe or Draugr Thought-Thief

Ashaya, Soul of the Wild | Quirion Ranger

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Finally, we have the mono-green infinite combo of Ashaya, Soul of the Wild and Quirion Ranger. All you need for this combo is to have both creatures on the battlefield and one other creature that isn't summoning sick. Tap the creature for green mana. Use Quirion's ability to return itself it to your hand and untap the creature. Then use the floating green to recast Quirion Ranger. 

There are a few fun ways to close out the game with this combo thanks to the infinite storm, assuming you can give all your creatures haste. We can use Chatterstorm, Aeve, Progenitor Ooze, and Hunting Pack to get infinite tokens. Or you add Lotus Cobra, Tireless Provisioner, or Stone-Seeder Hierophant to generate infinite mana along with Temur Sabertooth and End-Raze Forerunners to pump your entire board. This may seem like a lot of cards we need, but green has plenty of ways to cheat creatures into play. 

Final Thoughts

I'd love to hear your thoughts on combo in EDH. Does your playgroup skew more combo-focused or more combat-focused? Do you hate two-card combos from the command zone? You can leave a comment down below, or you can find me on X formerly known as Twitter at BathroomMTG or over on my YouTube channel,

Ben has been playing Magic since 2012 and started creating Magic the Gathering content in October of 2022 on YouTube under the name BathroomBrewsMTG ( Primarily focusing on budget EDH content. When he isn't thinking or talking about MTG, he is usually playing video games, spending time with his wife or playing with his two cats. You can find him on Twitter @BathroomMTG.