Today I present to you a deck inspired by the Death & Taxes strategy, featuring the Armageddon of Modern: the Celestial Kirin + Ugin's Conjurant combo!

If you aren't familiar with the Armageddon combo, don't worry! It's not the end of the world. To offer a brief explanation, Celestial Kirin turns Ugin's Conjurant into a spell that reads: "Destroy all permanents with converted mana cost X." Naturally, this includes lands, whose converted mana cost is zero.

This deck's basic game plan is to combo-kill all your opponent's lands while keeping their creatures locked down with Ghostly Prison and Windborn Muse. Then you attack with fliers while they can't do anything!

Before the world ends...

The early turns of the game are spent ramping with Noble Hierarch, searching for combo pieces/miscellaneous creatures that fit the situation with Eladamri's Call, and possibly disrupting your opponent with whatever you happen to draw.

During these first turns, the best cards to play are:

  1. Aether Vial

  2. Noble Hierarch and/or Flagstones of Trokair and/or Ramunap Excavator

  3. Ghostly Prison and/or Windborn Muse

Once you have the combo in hand, it's simple: play Celestial Kirin, then cast Ugin's Conjurant!

One handy thing about this combo is that once you have the Kirin in play, your opponent will be unable to stop it without a Stifle effect like Trickbind or Disallow; since Kirin's ability triggers on cast, whether or not Ugin's Conjurant actually resolves is negligible. That makes the combo uncounterable with an Aether Vial on 4!

You can pull off the combo as early as turn 3 with Noble Hierarch or on turn 5 for 0 mana with Aether Vial.

You have to pay your taxes!

The tax soft-lock is having Ghostly Prison or Windborn Muse on the battlefield and then Armageddon-ing (can also Vial in a Muse after combo). If they can't pay their taxes, they can't attack you!

Ghost Quarter + Leonin Arbiter + Ramunap Excavator is also a land lock after the combo, though they'll get one use out of most lands they play before you can do anything about it.

It's one of life's certainties.

After the end of the world, you will generally be left with a Celestial Kirin on the battlefield that you will then beat them down with in subsequent turns. However, there is a chance that your opponent will start to play lands and be able to stop you in the midst of that process, and that's when the next phase of the plan begins!

These cards fall into two categories: the ones that let you do stuff, and the ones that keep your opponent from doing stuff. I would make up code names for them but I suck at that so.

The Ones That Let You Do Stuff

Aether Vial, Noble Hierarch, Ramunap Excavator, and Flagstones of Trokair are the cards that keep you going post-Armageddon. Vial can handle the playing of larger creatures while Hierarch and Flagstones of Trokair give you some mana to cast the small things with.

Ramunap Excavator is the true MVP here; not only does it let you make land drops out of the ones you destroyed, but it also lets you loop Horizon Canopy and Ghost Quarter every turn to draw cards or destroy lands.

The Ones that Keep Your Opponent From Doing Stuff

This leads us into mana denial. Leonin Arbiter, Aven Mindcensor, Small Thalia, Big Thalia, , and the aforementioned Ghost Quarter all deny your opponent the ability to pay their taxes, keeping them imprisoned forever!!!

Eladamri's Call allows the deck to play a creature toolbox sideboard! Woo. In each of these sections, I'll list the cards I would bring in for each match-up then explain some card choices, strategy, etc. in the second half. Cards which I will occasionally play in sideboard but are not currently included in the list above will be shown in (parentheses).

Burn/Aggro Show

Graveyard decks Show

Midrange Show

Control Show

Combo Show

Artifacts (Affinity, Whir, etc) Show

Tron Show

This section is here to note various interactions between and uses of some cards in the deck.

  • With Aether Vial, Eladamri's Call is a 2 mana instant that can put any creature from your deck onto the battlefield. Very useful for getting your sideboard bullets.

  • The Kirin/Conjurant combo is also a flexible removal spell outside of blowing up lands.

  • Don't cast Windborn Muse while Celestial Kirin is on the battlefield without a really good reason.

  • While the deck doesn't focus on the typical Death & Taxes gameplan, it does play Leonin Arbiter and stuff because more mana denial = more fun. So, be careful when casting Eladamri's Call. Look left, right, then left again for any stray Cat Clerics, and don't forget to pay when the tax collector is nearby.

Suggestions are not unwelcome.

Also check out Cats & Taxes! :D


Updates Add


-1 Ghost Quarter, +1 Razorverge Thicket

-1 Knight of Autumn, +1 Scavenging Ooze


-1 Thalia, Heretic Cathar, +1 Knight of Autumn

I decided to cut a GQ for another GW source in the main because it made mana awkward a few too many times for my taste in testing and GQ + Leonin Arbiter taxes aren't really a focus of the deck anyways. The Knight of Autumn in the main made way for Scavenging Ooze due to the heavy presence of Lurrus decks in Modern.

I kind of redid the entire sideboard since my last update, but to keep things consistent I'm just gonna say I cut a big Thalia to make room for the Knight that was in the main (you want at least 2 of them in the 75 at all times). I am currently testing a sideboard with a couple Veil of Summer to hedge against all the midrange/Lurrus stuff going on, but I'm having trouble finding which of the other sideboard cards are safe to cut. Right now, I've dropped a Collector Ouphe and an Eidolon of Rhetoric to fit them in, but the deck's honestly hurting over the loss of Eidolon so I think that was wrong of me.

I've been keeping a match log for all of my matches with this deck in the league I'm playing in, so stay tuned for a big results update!

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Top Ranked
  • Achieved #18 position overall 9 months ago
  • Achieved #1 position in Modern 9 months ago
Date added 10 months
Last updated 1 week

This deck is Modern legal.

Rarity (main - side)

1 - 0 Mythic Rares

41 - 12 Rares

13 - 3 Uncommons

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 1.95
Folders cool modern decks, Decks to try, Uncategorized, playtesting, Uncategorized, decks that i like, Modern
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