A mill deck without the blues! Abzan token deck with massive combos to catch your opponent unawares. Altar of the Brood + Panharmonicon + ETB token spawners = sudden deck splurge.

This is my first attempt at building a deck, so feedback would be appreciated!

Update 2: Having played a lot with this deck now, I've really enjoyed it. It's definitely not a "competitive" deck, but it's a lot of fun to play and when it goes off it's ultra-satisfying. I've changed some of the cards to give me more longevity and a different removal option.

Cost was a factor for the build, although with Panharmonicon and Anafenza, the Foremost you're looking at more than 40 from scratch (somehow this still qualifies as budget? I must be a bit of a cheapskate...).

Altar of the Brood is the pivotal card for milling, although it really gets going after Panharmonicon hits the field. It's an "equal opportunity" mill card, so is very effective at controlling multiplayer games (although it generates hate from all directions).

Almost every card is chosen because it's triggered abilities are improved by Panharmonicon, and the token spawners are there to trigger the Altar, provide ramp and instill fear.

Using Scion spawners like Blisterpod makes a turn 3 Panharmonicon drop viable, although the better strategy would be to hold back for turn 4 and get some meat out, in the form of Anafenza, the Foremost and Catacomb Sifter on turn 3.

Fairgrounds Warden is in for aggro control. Tidehollow Sculler is in to get into their hands/heads as well. Both of these cards will exile additional times if dropped/flashed after Panharmonicon. They are the key pieces of removal in the deck.

Hornet Queen is the finisher card if it comes down. Brood Monitor is weaker, but with Panharmonicon it pays for itself, and a 7-creature drop on two Altars triggering twice each would put 28 cards through the mill for each opponent.

Anafenza, the Foremost is in because 4/4 for 3, but also to put opponent's creatures straight from the library to exile, to prevent any nasty surprises (I'm looking at you, Eldrazi).

I only have 1 Siege Rhino, and he's in because obviously he's in! the life drain is doubled by Panharmonicon. Combined with Flash spells he could finish the game on his own, and at the end of the day it's a 4/5 with Trample for 4.

Catacomb Sifter is a solid Scion spawner, and the scry should feed well off Blisterpods and Scion sacrifice.

Trostani, Selesnya's Voice is now in the deck. 2/5 puts her out of bolt range, and her life-gain ability adds serious longevity, feeding off Panharmonicon to give extra life from all of the 1/1's hitting the field. Her Populate activated ability is a good mana dump as long as you have a scion on the field. 3 mana for a scion or insect at the end of your turn will help in the end game.

Blisterpod is early game cannon fodder, and the resulting Scion adds ramp and triggers Altar. It makes a turn 2 5-card mill possible (turn 1 land-altar, turn 2 altar-forest-blisterpod).

Prophetic Prism gives early card draw and alleviates issues with tri-colour decks, as well as improving the utility of Scions. Again, Panharmonicon doubles card-draw.

Cloudshift and Eerie Interlude are in to get some re-triggering and removal defense, with the latter being a finisher in the right situation. Having them in allows you to get your creatures down before a Panharmonicon and then get the boosted triggers later. It's really effective/frustrating to block a full attack with everything, use Eerie Interlude before damage step to pull every (non-token) off, and get them all back at the opponent's end step for mega-mill/lifegain/token-spawn before the beginning of your turn.

Fog in lieu of more removal, mainly to hold off aggro decks in the early game and give a chance to make it to panharmonicon.

Lands are quite boring, mainly due to cost and the need to have mana on turn 1 and 2, but Evolving Wilds is necessary to get some early mana diversity, and an additional quick-trigger on the altar.

In the maybe pile I've left a couple of Populate cards. Scion of Vitu-Ghazi would be a solid 5-drop to come in after Panharmonicon. He is out to maintain the mana curve. As I've aimed this at semi-budget, Elspeth, Sun's Champion is in the maybe for if I felt like splashing cash. Wall of Omens and Elvish Visionary would add early card draw, but the former is not cheap and ultimately I felt other options were better.

Sideboard is a bit random, as it's made from cards I have rather than specifically bought and built. Sundering Growth is preferable to Naturalize and Desecration Plague , but I only have one so have left the others in for enchantment/artifact/land removal. Filigree Familiar is a versatile card which synergises with Panharmonicon. Long Road Home is additional flash, with bonus counters! Feat of Resistance is a great little defensive Instant to prevent removal. Sigil Captain because he was part of the original vision of the deck and couldn't bear to part with him. Additional Blisterpod if I think moar scions is the answer. Orbs of Warding because Leyline of Sanctity is a very expensive sideboard card. Mind Rot to mess with the opponent's hand. Gonti, Lord of Luxury because my group make nice decks that I like to play with. Abzan Charm is a very versatile card that I can use in various situations.


Updates Add


I like the mill combo. maybe you could fit in a token generating planeswalker? Elspeth, Sun's Champion ? hm? hmmmm? yeeeeaaaa. you also need 4 Sandsteppe Citadel !

January 10, 2017 2:48 a.m.

Thanks for the comment What4joke!

I have Elspeth on the Maybeboard for when I feel like splurging on more cards, but I'm keeping this deck budget, so for now it's out.

Sandsteppe Citadel is out only because I need open mana on early turns. Between Evolving Wilds, Windswept Heath, Scions and Prophetic Prism I think I've got my mana bases covered.

Managed to get all of the cards I didn't already have for 30 (incl all Anafenza's and 2 Panharmonicons), so pretty pleased. I'll get the chance to playtest over the next couple of weeks as well, and will update here.

January 10, 2017 3:26 a.m.

Fair enough! gotta respect the budget. Citadel still gives you tapped land and the same flexibility as Wilds tho without searching your library and ACTIVATING MY TRAP CARD!!!!!!!! Archive Trap!!!!!!! Counter mill with mill, yu gi oh style!. and the lone windswept heath is kinda goofy and inconsistent but maybe worth the slot. lol it's like you have a fetch land as a commander ;)

January 10, 2017 3:53 a.m.

Ha, yeah it's only in because I happen to own it. They're too expensive to add more. Wilds will at least give me an extra mill over Citadel.

There's always a counter strategy to any strategy. You'd need 5 mana up to put that down, and if I'm still fetching at that point then something has already gone wrong! Worth me bearing in mind though.

January 10, 2017 4:19 a.m.

Lol actually ignore the 5 mana comment, that'll teach me to read descriptions!

January 10, 2017 8:08 a.m.

Have you played this yet? any setbacks you noticed? seems to me like you may have an issue reaching that critical mass of milling fast enough. even 3-5 cards per turn through your Altar seems slow. and some quick drops of Naturalize (and the like) might ruin your day if you're relying on a combo from 2 separate artifacts. Seems to me that you're almost more likely to try and win on board dominance with tokens than by milling 45 cards (60 - opening hand - a generous 8 turns of drawing). I'd like to hear how a real few rounds go. I'm sure the deck can hit the mill, but my main point is that artifact removal shuts you down.

January 10, 2017 2:30 p.m.

Haven't played it yet, next couple of weeks hopefully.

I expect to start slowish, and to ramp up after turn 5 (a game-ending mill is possible in turn 5, but very unlikely).

I agree that artifact removal is the achilles heel, although I've got a playset of altars and 3 panharmonicon to overcome a bit of it. I'm also okay with a token win, so it's nice to have two strategies. I don't expect it to beat everything, but I think it will be a fun deck for the cost.

I'm thinking of sideboarding some cheap artifact retrieval (Dukhara Scavenger is sitting in my spares box, as an example). Any thoughts on alternatives for that?

January 10, 2017 3:36 p.m.

Well obviously the artifact retrieval list is long. But the first few low CMC ones (im not a fan of relying on a 6 drop creature) that come to mind are Fortuitous Find(there is an identical print of this in white if you prefer called Remember the Fallen), Mine Excavation, and Glissa, the Traitor(if you're set on it being a creature). Or if you dont care about dipping into vintage and legacy (I'm sure you care), there's nothing better than Argivian Find.

January 11, 2017 12:17 a.m.

Fortuitous Find fits nicely! Budget, black and Modern! My only reason for considering Dukhara Scavenger is that I already have it, and Panharmonicon trigger; but 6 CMC is too much. Thanks for that!

January 11, 2017 3:07 a.m.

You're welcome bro! Happy Milling! if you wanna take a look at my more traditional aggro mill deck for card ideas take a look -----> Not your momma's Mill, its budget and much faster than most budget/casual decks can handle.

January 12, 2017 12:44 a.m.

adds Crypt Incursion to maybeboard

Thanks again for the feedback and help!

January 12, 2017 3:18 a.m.

I love that card for mill!

January 16, 2017 5:38 p.m.

Second play opportunity, and managed to win a Planechase against an 80+ card Green deck and a Standard BG deck by milling them both simultaneously. I also narrowly lost against RB Thopter and BW tokens (again multiplayer, but no planechase), due to a stupid play on my part (note to self, be flexible). The "equal opportunity" milling from the Altar of the Brood is awesome in multiplay, but paints you as a rather large target. I also swapped out one Anafenza, the Foremost for a Siege Rhino, just as a trial. It made me realise that lifegain is key to longevity, so may get Trostani, Selesnya's Voice involved after all...

January 27, 2017 7:48 a.m.

Compare to inventory
Date added 1 year
Last updated 8 months
Exclude colors UR
Splash colors WB

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.79
Tokens 0/1 Insect, 1/1 Eldrazi Scion
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