Good morning, everyone. I hope you brought your favorite milk variety, because this week we’re going to dive into a couple of classic breakfast cereal-named combo decks!
Cocoa Pebbles was one of my favorite decks from old, pre-rotation Extended. Like all the Pebbles variants, it was based around the infinite damage combo of Goblin Bombardment, Enduring Renewal and a zero-mana creature like Shield Sphere or Phyrexian Walker.
Part of what made that deck tick was the fact that it used Necropotence as a brute force way to assemble what was a somewhat awkward three-card combo. Necro of course is banned in Premodern, and we also lose one of that deck’s best tutors in Demonic Consultation. However, I think the archetype could still be viable in Premodern, largely thanks to a shot in the arm from another black card that has a lot of synergy in the deck: Cabal Therapy.
Let’s take a look at the deck.
Demonic Consultation is relatively easy to replace with Enlightened Tutor, which finds all three parts of the combo. Filling out the tutor package are four copies of Academy Rector, which happens to be best friends with the aforementioned Cabal Therapy. Therapy not only represents a very powerful disruption package along with the four copies of Duress, it then gives you a free sac outlet for your Rector, and even gives you something to do with extra zero CMC creatures.
Speaking of disruption, it’s relevant to note that without Brainstorm in the format, targeted discard spells are at their absolute zenith in terms of making your opponent stumble on their game plan and paving the way for your own combo to go off.
So now between Cabal Therapy, Goblin Bombardment and Phyrexian Tower, we have more reliable ways to be able to sac our Rector, and we also have another juicy Rector target that goes a long way towards replacing Necropotence: the “fixed” Necro itself, Yawgmoth’s Bargain. Having the one Bargain in the deck means that we can keep any hand with a quick Rector and a sac outlet, even without multiple combo pieces. Just go get the Bargain and like the Cocoa Pebbles of old, it should draw you into whatever you need to assemble the win.
I hope you still have some appetite left, because as a bonus we have the breakfast of champions itself, Wheaties! This deck uses a green-based Survival of the Fittest engine to assemble the Pebbles combo. The nice thing about this version is that it has a strong B plan (actually it’s probably the A plan) of just being a classic Survival-Recur deck. Then out of nowhere, you Recur an Academy Rector a couple of times, Survival for your single copy of Shield Sphere, and boom, the combo kill.