"Look at those fools, plotting and gathering their pathetic army of mortals. They think victory is close but they don't realize who they are facing. Our true power lies far beneath life and death. Let them come unknowingly to their demise."


This deck is the ultimate package: it's fun, original, addictive, can be very competitive and will totally confuse your opponent.

Don't be fooled by the glimpses of white magic in there; this deck is darker than Griselbrand's rotting heart. With it you will experience the deceptive, evil nature of the dark side and taste it's ultimate power.

Most games will be spent lingering in the gateway between life and death. From there you will slowly seduce your challengers, patiently waiting for the right occasion to drag them to the Void. Only at that fateful moment will they realize their sordid fate.

Since consternation is a big part of this deck's success, playing it several times against the same opponent will probably attenuate the pleasure a bit. This deck will however still fare pretty well without the surprise effect since there are multiple winning conditions. Multiplayer should be exciting too.

If you like this build, please +1 or give it a try; I promise you'll have a ton of fun! Calling "Good Game" at -7 life points, 7 poison counters and no creature on the board is pretty satisfying =)

Life Exchange

The first winning combo. It has a strong surprise effect and is really deceptive. You basically stall the game and let your opponent strike you, thinking he has the advantage. At the last second you crush all his hopes and dreams and he will be left wondering what just happened.

  • Repay in Kind: A little bit less reliable than Soul Conduit and more mana-heavy than Magus of the Mirror , but way more sneakier. I really like the surprise effect of this game-winning card. I run only 2 because of the dead weight when having multiple copies in my hand and because Spoils of the Vault can be used to fetch it in my library.
  • Phyrexian Unlife: Powerful card, absolutely awesome and creepy art.

Dark Army

There are alternative ways of winning that also involves life management and adds a lot of flexibility. The surprise effect isn't as prevalent as the first combo but it can overpower any opponents. Also the use of odd creatures that are not featured in prevalent decks add to the confusion and make near impossible to guess what your next move will be!

  • Death's Shadow: This guy is a BOMB and can win you games easily. Simply wait until you are low life, cleanup the board and he'll finish the job.
  • Herald of Torment : Big body that's really cheap considering we don't care about the life loss. Can hurt a lot if left unchecked or against control decks.
  • Wall of Blood: Stall the game and assist you taking your life if needed. Can help in the process to take out big creatures as your opponent probably won't expect you to pay a ton of life.
  • Wall of Shards : This is a great fit in this deck. Gives a ton of free life points to your opponent that are all going to come back to you in the end. This wall is the perfect blocker: costs only 2 for a 1/8 flyer? Sold!


  • Damnation, Black Sun's Zenith: Mass removal that helps stalling the game if you need more time to get some cards or casting them.
  • Thoughtseize: Serves 2 purposes: see what kind of deck you're playing against (knwledge is power, right?), and prepare the field for Extirpate. Great way to permanently get rid of counterspells.
  • Devour in Shadow : I'm currently testing this removal. It an take care of aggro decks and I think it's better than Vendetta or Ulcerate. Might replace it with Mortify to take care of enchantements if it's not performing well enough.


I'd love to hear your comments/suggestions on this deck.

Enjoy responsively and please +1 it if you like!



Feel free to tweak the build as you please and share the results here.
Remember though: You can't pay life if you don't have any! This means Erebos, God of the Dead, Dash Hopes, Necropotence, etc can't be used at some point!


Updates Add

Based on your suggestions (thanks Disciple_of_Doran and the rest), the new cards available and some playtesting, here are the changes:

+1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
-1 Swamp

+3 Orzhov Charm
-3 Devour in Shadow

+3 Herald of Torment
-3 Sangrophage

+1 Read the Bones
+1 Wrath of God
-2 Spoils of the Vault

I decided to remove Spoils of the Vault because it was spoiling the surprise

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Top Ranked
  • Achieved #2 position overall 6 years ago
Date added 7 years
Last updated 5 years

This deck is Modern legal.

Rarity (main - side)

37 - 12 Rares

8 - 3 Uncommons

6 - 0 Commons

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.64
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Revision 9 See all

5 years ago)

-3 Devour in Shadow main
+4 Fetid Heath acquire
+3 Herald of Torment main
+4 Marsh Flats acquire
+3 Orzhov Charm main
+1 Read the Bones main
-3 Sangrophage main
-2 Spoils of the Vault main
-1 Swamp main
+1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth main
+1 Wrath of God main