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Turn 4, Mill 600 Cards Please... [Primer]

Modern* Allies Combo Competitive Four Color GWUB Mill Tribal



Instant (5)

Creature (3)

Artifact (1)

Intro ::

This was the first Standard deck that ever brought me a lot of success. At the time (first Zendikar block) I was having trouble winning with big Naya creatures and combat damage, so I decided to go for alternate win conditions. The deck has rotated out to Modern now, but it tends to be even more successful now with a few key additions. It doesn't do well politically in multiplayer, as people tend to see the threat mounting by Turn 3 and target the hell out of it. The deck can be played surreptitiously; it will just be slower early game before erupting into trigger madness at the end.

Win Cons ::

Halimar Excavator and Hagra Diabolist provide two different paths to victory, one with mill and the other with direct life loss. The mill capacity of this deck is not to be underestimated - multiple opponents can be milled out by Turn 6 with an average hand. The key to the mill is getting out as many Excavators and Shapeshifters as possible, and then dropping Allies onto the field like it is going out of style. The Diabolist should be held and played late game, on the turn you plan to win with it.

The Grease ::

Unified Front can trigger up to four Ally ETB activations simultaneously. Two Excavators on the field + a fully pumped Unified Front means your opponents mill a minimum of 48 cards on eight triggers, not to mention all the other ETB effects from the other Allies. Even if you have only a Diabolist on the field when Unified Front resolves, that will be four instances of 5 life lost (enough to end most two-player games.) Eerie Interlude provides excellent evasion and can be another game-ender, depending on how many of which Allies are on the field. Add Panharmonicon to either of those, and things start to go off the rails.

Other Roles ::

Ondu Cleric provides sustain. Hada Freeblade and Kazandu Blademaster are on blocking duty, and can sometimes swing for the win with damage too. Harabaz Druid is the second-best card to have in the opening hand - besides an Excavator. Careful though, expert players know its potential danger and it can become an aggro magnet. Beast Within removes problematic pieces of opponents' combos, or at the very least can set an opponent back a land while giving them a blocker we don't care about. March from the Tomb turns an opponent's boardwipe into the end of the game, after you return enough Excavators and other Allies from the grave to seal their fate. Rite of Replication spells fin if an Excavator or Diabolist is on the board and there's 9 mana to burn. Finally, Bring to Light is a very versatile tutor in this deck that can bring out any Ally, Eerie Interlude, Rite of Replication, Beast Within, or March from the Tomb (in addition to the Instant spot removal in the sideboard.)

Checks and Counters ::

Hexproof'd players can be problematic for this deck - they force it to win with combat damage as the mainboard has no removal of any kind. Certain combinations (such as Witchbane Orb or Leyline of Sanctity + Ensnaring Bridge) completely shut the deck down. Torpor Orb is another hard counter that limits this deck's usefulness. Things that let opponents shuffle their grave into their library, a la original Eldrazi titans, can put an end to the mill as well. There's also no Flying blockers, so you have to grind opponents out fast if there are a lot of those coming onto the battlefield.

Sideboard Options ::

Leyline of Sanctity protects the deck from evil lantern control that could otherwise mess with the topdeck and reliability to answer the opponent's threats (also prevents direct burn from Grapeshot, but that is less of a threat in my pod than Codex Shredder to be honest...) Bala Ged Thief is great in multiplayer - it can either scout opponent's hands for answers and remove them, or keep one player pinned down while you focus the other's library. Rest in Peace stops dredge/gravepower decks and puts a cork in the old Eldrazi titans. Krosan Grip and Beast Within are here to get rid of enchantments and artifacts that shut the deck down, like Torpor and Witchbane Orbs, Ensnaring Bridge, and Leyline of Sancity. I haven't found Ally or tribal-synergistic cards with enchantment destruction, so if you know of any, please tell me!

600 cards on Turn 4? ::

  1. Turn 1 - Land, Hada Freeblade
  2. Turn 2 - Land, Harabaz Druid
  3. Turn 3 - Land, Harabaz Druid, Halimar Excavator
  4. Turn 4 - Land, Hada Freeblade, Panharmonicon, Rite of Replication kicked on the Excavator

All the Excavators see each other when entering the battlefield, so each of the 6 Excavators triggers 5 times for a total of 30 triggers. Panharmonicon doubles each trigger for a total of 60 triggers. Each one of those triggers is for 10 cards, which will mill a total of 600 cards. Keep in mind that although this combo requires a very specific hand, there are many more possibilities like it that can mill over 100 cards by Turn 4, which will be enough to take out two opposing players.

Fun Fact ::

There are 386,206,920 possible 7-card opening hands in a 60 card deck.


Updates Add

I finished up testing out Descendant's Path and Collected Company, and found them too inconsistent to effectively synergize with the rest of the deck. Basically, they don't have enough payoff for the mana I put into them.

I've spent the last year honing the deck and making sure it is truly competitive against the other decks in Modern right now. I am very proud of it - the deck can reliably win by Turn 6 even with removal. It still has some trouble against UB control, but not so much that I can't play around it by baiting out kill and counterspells and waiting for the right time to go all-in.

I'm going to tour the Modern scene at different LGSs in the area, and see how the deck stacks up against different pods. I'll post results from Modern tourneys so folks can keep up with the deck's viability. Thanks to everyone who has upvoted, commented, and followed the deck on TappedOut over the last year!

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84% Competitive

Revision 3 See all

(3 years ago)

Top Ranked
  • Achieved #15 position overall 6 years ago
  • Achieved #2 position in Modern 4 years ago
  • Achieved #1 position in Modern Combo 4 years ago
  • Achieved #1 position in Modern Competitive 4 years ago
Date added 6 years
Last updated 3 years
Splash colors B

This deck is Modern legal.

Rarity (main - side)

3 - 0 Mythic Rares

27 - 10 Rares

18 - 5 Uncommons

7 - 0 Commons

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.90
Tokens Beast 3/3 G, Copy Clone, Kor Ally 1/1 W, Spirit 1/1 C
Folders Possible deck ideas, ally mill, Yeah, I want this. - Other peoples' stuff that I want, Decks I dig, Decks, Maybe, Deck Ideas, Modern Decks to Try, Adoption, Allies, See all 46
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