Top 10 "Extra Combat" Cards in Magic: The Gathering
Two Combat Phases in Magic
Most Magic red decks want to hit hard and hit fast, overwhelming foes with a fierce offensive. To enact this, some red spells offer consecutive combat steps, letting your creatures attack twice in one turn.
Only a few dozen of these spells exist, but they're an elite band with few duds and many worthwhile entries—which reign supreme? These are the ten best additional combat cards in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Seize the Day
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 4 (3 with flashback)
Carpe diem here untaps a creature, then gives you an additional combat phase followed by an additional main phase (cast Day during your second main phase to untap a prior attacker).
The drawback here is that you only refresh one creature, meaning your whole army might not get to swing twice. Luckily, Day compensates with flashback, letting you cast it into exile from your graveyard (and at a reduced price).
9. Relentless Assault
Here's the simplest way to score an extra combat. Assault untaps your creatures, then gives you an additional combat phase followed by an additional main phase. There's no flashback this time around, but now you'll get to untap your entire army, perfect for goblin-swarming red themes.
8. World at War
World at War essentially offers the same effect as Relentless Assault, granting a second combat phase, a third main phase, and untapping your creatures at the start of the second combat.
You pay one extra mana, but since War has rebound, it heads to exile after you first cast it, then triggers again (for free) on the next turn, giving two doses for the price of one!
7. Aurelia, the Warleader
For such an expensive creature who needs two colors, Aurelia's stats are only 3/4. However, flying, vigilance, and haste help compensate, and whenever she attacks for the first time each turn, you untap all creatures you control and gain an additional combat phase!
As long as your Boros angel survives, that's an extra combat each turn, and remember she can swing immediately thanks to haste.
6. Response // Resurgence
Like other split spells, you get to pick which half of this card you want to cast, adjusting to suit your current mana. Response deals five damage to an attacking or blocking creature at instant speed, a handy removal.
Or, cast Resurgence during your first main phase to give your creatures vigilance and first strike for the turn and obtain an extra combat and main phase. Resurgence won't untap your units, but this shouldn't be a problem since they'll have vigilance (letting them attacking without tapping).
5. Finest Hour
Finest Hour needs three colors, but it's a rare extra-combat spell that doesn't require red. Hour's exalted trait gives a creature you control who attacks alone +1/+1 for the turn, and whenever your creature attacks by itself for the first time that turn, Hour untaps it and provides an extra combat step.
So, attack with one creature to trigger exalted and get your second combat. From there, either attack alone again for another exalted bonus, or swing with your entire army; either way, you'll quickly rack up damage, especially with aura-boosted units (which green/white/blue decks often utilize).
4. Scourge of the Throne
One of the best dethrone cards in the game, Scourge is a 5/5 flying dragon who works best when attacking the player with the most life (or tied for it). When this occurs, Scourge's dethrone gives him a +1/+1 counter, and when it happens for the first time each turn, his ability untaps all attacking creatures, then grants you a second combat phase.
Both are great add-ons to an already-impressive card; use self-damaging spells to deplete your life and ensure the effects trigger.
3. Aggravated Assault
Assault requires three mana to cast and five to apply its effect, which is basically a reusable Relentless Assault. You untap all creatures you control, then gain an extra combat followed by an additional main phase.
Plus, opponents won't know until your second main phase whether you actually plan on activating the effect or have another spell in mind, making it hard for them to decide blockers during your first combat.
2. Najeela, the Blade-Blossom
A prime commander choice, Najeela only requires red mana to cast, but her activated effect needs one of each (and gives a full color identity in EDH).
Whenever a warrior attacks (including herself), Najeela gives you a 1/1 warrior token that's tapped and attacking; if this token survives, it can also trigger the effect in your next combat. Better yet, by paying one mana of each color, Najeela untaps all attacking creatures and gives them trample, lifelink, and haste for the turn, then provides you with a second combat step. Four bonuses in one on top of a passive effect make Najeela an excellent warrior-based general.
1. Savage Beating
Despite being an instant, you can only cast Beating during your combat step (wait until opposing blockers are declared for extra mayhem). Once activated, Beating either gives your creatures double strike for the turn, or untaps them and bestows a second combat phase.
Both are worthy effects, but if you entwine Beating by paying two extra mana, you get both, essentially swinging with four times the power that turn (two combats with double strike)!
Which card do you prefer?
Protecting Attackers in Magic
Today's spells supplement aggressive themes, but remember that extra combat steps are only useful if your troops survive the first. To help shield them, use attacker-protecting spells like "Dolmen Gate" and "Iroas, God of Victory".
Trample, first strike, and haste are also welcome boosts, but for now, as we await Wizards of the Coast's next set of bonus combats, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill