Multiplayer proliferate

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I really, really like the proliferate ability from scars of mirrodin. So much, in fact, that I have decided to make a deck around it, and trying to abuse planeswalkers. I have a deck idea that, on paper, sounds like too much fun to be true...which is exactly the problem...I have so many goodies in the deck at the moment that I forgot to give myself a defense, or alternate win condition other than Jace Beleren. But listen to me babble like an old woman, here's the decklist!

Non-land cards
4 archmage ascension
4 clockspinning
4 contagion clasp
4 contagion engine
4 everflowing chalice
4 inexorable tide
lighthouse chronologist
4 rings of brighthearth
4 steady progress
2 walking archive
2 jace beleren

Lands
4 saprazzan cove
18 islands


As you can see, The defense for the deck is nonexistent. I welcome any and all comments/suggestions for making a stable defense for the deck. This will be one of those kinds of decks that once players know what it does, they will not hesitate to kill it. As a side note, I was thinking about adding some elixir of immortality to the list; should I?

Thanks in advance!
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Are you making a casual mill deck? Please read.
Control is the key of a mill deck. You should free up your mana as much as possible so that you can respond to whatever your opponent is doing. Having some way to remove threats, both real and percieved, is necessary to survival. Real threats are those that are already on the field, and are something a simple unsummon or doom blade can remove. Percieved threats are those that aren't on the field, something a simple duress or counterspell can deal with. Controlling the board will allow your mill deck to continuously perform, if you use permanent style mill, that is. One-Shot Mill spells are something you should avoid. You can toss tome scours at your opponent until your hand runs out, but that isn't going to be enough to mill them to death. With 1-shot mill spells, like tome scour, you have to treat them like burn spells. Therefore, the only "good" 1-shot mill spells are sanity grinding (in the right deck) and mind funeral. Try to find more permanent styles of milling, like memory erosion, hedron crab, and curse of the bloody tome, so that you don't have to waste your mana each turn doing something that those permanents can do with a single mana/turn investment. Keeping your mana open allows you to respond with control elements. ​Traumatize Rant​. Traumatize is a terrible card for a multitude of reasons. First, it costs 5 to cast, which is a large investment for a mill deck. Milling half a library sounds neat, but if you do the math, it really isn't that much. An average 60 card deck starts with drawing 7 cards. Then, barring any draw spells on their end, or ramp on yours, 5 turns will go by, where they draw 5 more cards, leaving 48 in the deck. Unless they had a deck with more than 60 cards, or you ramped it out, the most you'll ever mill with a single Traumatize on turn 5 is 24 cards. That's not too shabby, but hang on, there's more! If they drew any additional cards or if they were milled before turn 5, that number will be much lower. In addition, any more Traumatize's you draw will only mill less and less as the game goes on...which is the point of a mill deck. My whole point on Traumatize is the it is NOT worth the 5 mana investment, not even with haunting echoes. You can mill more than 24 before turn 5...which you can then cast the echoes. If you look at a mill deck like a burn deck, you'll notice that it takes longer to win with mill than with burn. For example, lightning bolt costs 1 and does 3 out of the 20 damage needed to win (barring any lifegain or damage prevention). For mill, that same investment of 1 would have to mill 9 cards out of an average 60 card deck to be the equivilent of lightning bolt. The problem is that there is no mill card that can do that...except hedron crab, over a period of time. The initial investment of 1 will pay off in 3 more land drops to make the crab equal to a bolt. However, the crab nets you more mill beyond those 3 land drops, making it better as the game draws on. Other cards, like curse of the bloody tome, are excellent ways of milling an opponent because the initial investment of is all you have to pay in order to put your opponent on a clock. All you have to do is stay alive, which is the true goal of a mill strategy. There are other ideas for mill decks that are specific to certain types of strategies. Combo mill decks can mill an entire player's library out from under them. Secondary mill strategies are usually tied to another strategy, like drowner of secrets in a merfolk deck, or halimar excavator in an ally deck. Milling can be done in certain decks that are able to ramp out enough mana to make use of the higher costing mill spells, like using 16 post to pay for X on sands of delirium or for ambassador laquatus. Multiplayer mill decks are even tougher to build, but can be done. Being a slower environment, it is easier to ramp in multiplayer, allowing for big X spells, like mind grind, to be useful. Consuming aberration is another star player. The more straightforward strategy is to use mesmeric orb and dreamborn muse while being the only deck at the table that can deal with it. There are always new strategies coming out with each set, so check gatherer for any new mill cards that you find to be the most fun for you! Now you can say that you haven't fallen into the trap that most new players fall into when they build their first mill deck!
Everytime I see Archmage Ascension I feel the need to slap a Jace, the Mind Sculptor to it.  Imagine tutoring for any three cards you want, then setting your next turn's draw up with one of them all for the low, low cost of 0 loyalty?  This deck also looks like it could make use of Tezzeret the Seeker and his toys (Seat of the Synod and Darksteel Citadel).
"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
Who Am I?
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
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Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
IMAGE(http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/images/2/23/Phyrexian_Loyalty.png)
Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

Jace 2.0 is awesome, I know. But he is way out of my budget...one JtMS is worth the entire deck!

Tezz is different. I really like tezzeret, and to put him in this deck could really help...especially his +1 ability. I think I will change...

-1 Jace Beleren
-8 island
+1 Tezzeret the Seeker
+4 seat of the synod
+4 darksteel citadel

Because the ascension alone will allow me to find either 'walker.

Thanks! But my defense is still bleh...
HOW TO AUTOCARD! When posting in a text box, type [c]Plains[/c] to make your post showPlains.
Are you making a casual mill deck? Please read.
Control is the key of a mill deck. You should free up your mana as much as possible so that you can respond to whatever your opponent is doing. Having some way to remove threats, both real and percieved, is necessary to survival. Real threats are those that are already on the field, and are something a simple unsummon or doom blade can remove. Percieved threats are those that aren't on the field, something a simple duress or counterspell can deal with. Controlling the board will allow your mill deck to continuously perform, if you use permanent style mill, that is. One-Shot Mill spells are something you should avoid. You can toss tome scours at your opponent until your hand runs out, but that isn't going to be enough to mill them to death. With 1-shot mill spells, like tome scour, you have to treat them like burn spells. Therefore, the only "good" 1-shot mill spells are sanity grinding (in the right deck) and mind funeral. Try to find more permanent styles of milling, like memory erosion, hedron crab, and curse of the bloody tome, so that you don't have to waste your mana each turn doing something that those permanents can do with a single mana/turn investment. Keeping your mana open allows you to respond with control elements. ​Traumatize Rant​. Traumatize is a terrible card for a multitude of reasons. First, it costs 5 to cast, which is a large investment for a mill deck. Milling half a library sounds neat, but if you do the math, it really isn't that much. An average 60 card deck starts with drawing 7 cards. Then, barring any draw spells on their end, or ramp on yours, 5 turns will go by, where they draw 5 more cards, leaving 48 in the deck. Unless they had a deck with more than 60 cards, or you ramped it out, the most you'll ever mill with a single Traumatize on turn 5 is 24 cards. That's not too shabby, but hang on, there's more! If they drew any additional cards or if they were milled before turn 5, that number will be much lower. In addition, any more Traumatize's you draw will only mill less and less as the game goes on...which is the point of a mill deck. My whole point on Traumatize is the it is NOT worth the 5 mana investment, not even with haunting echoes. You can mill more than 24 before turn 5...which you can then cast the echoes. If you look at a mill deck like a burn deck, you'll notice that it takes longer to win with mill than with burn. For example, lightning bolt costs 1 and does 3 out of the 20 damage needed to win (barring any lifegain or damage prevention). For mill, that same investment of 1 would have to mill 9 cards out of an average 60 card deck to be the equivilent of lightning bolt. The problem is that there is no mill card that can do that...except hedron crab, over a period of time. The initial investment of 1 will pay off in 3 more land drops to make the crab equal to a bolt. However, the crab nets you more mill beyond those 3 land drops, making it better as the game draws on. Other cards, like curse of the bloody tome, are excellent ways of milling an opponent because the initial investment of is all you have to pay in order to put your opponent on a clock. All you have to do is stay alive, which is the true goal of a mill strategy. There are other ideas for mill decks that are specific to certain types of strategies. Combo mill decks can mill an entire player's library out from under them. Secondary mill strategies are usually tied to another strategy, like drowner of secrets in a merfolk deck, or halimar excavator in an ally deck. Milling can be done in certain decks that are able to ramp out enough mana to make use of the higher costing mill spells, like using 16 post to pay for X on sands of delirium or for ambassador laquatus. Multiplayer mill decks are even tougher to build, but can be done. Being a slower environment, it is easier to ramp in multiplayer, allowing for big X spells, like mind grind, to be useful. Consuming aberration is another star player. The more straightforward strategy is to use mesmeric orb and dreamborn muse while being the only deck at the table that can deal with it. There are always new strategies coming out with each set, so check gatherer for any new mill cards that you find to be the most fun for you! Now you can say that you haven't fallen into the trap that most new players fall into when they build their first mill deck!
Saprazzan Cove isn't as good with Proliferate as Saprazzan Skerry.
Saprazzan Cove is better with Gilder Bairn (which also works well with Planeswalkers), so does Calciform Pools.

I can't say I care for Archmage Ascension in the deck. You don't really have enough draw, considering that you are only drawing 2 cards on your own turn. Now if you were running 4xBrainstorm, Rhystic Study, Magus of the Bazaar, Courier's Capsule, Words of Wisdom, Mind's Eye, ..., to ensure that you are putting multiple counters on Archmage Ascension before you get your next turn, then it might be a different story. As the deck is currently, I don't think you need it.

Clockspinning also seems weak. I am guessing that they only reason you include it in the deck is so that you have a spell that you can cast over and over to get free Proliferates. If that is what you want, then you want gating creatures...Shrieking Drake.

It appears that you are going to attempt to mill your opponents to death. Is that how you want to win?

Budget EDH:EDH on $20 a Deck. Join the Group

Saprazzan Cove isn't as good with Proliferate as Saprazzan Skerry.
Saprazzan Cove is better with Gilder Bairn (which also works well with Planeswalkers), so does Calciform Pools.


I will switch a few things:
-4 saprazzan cove
+4 saprazzan skerry

I have the skerries, and I don't even own any coves.

I can't say I care for Archmage Ascension in the deck. You don't really have enough draw, considering that you are only drawing 2 cards on your own turn. Now if you were running 4xBrainstorm, Rhystic Study, Magus of the Bazaar, Courier's Capsule, Words of Wisdom, Mind's Eye, ..., to ensure that you are putting multiple counters on Archmage Ascension before you get your next turn, then it might be a different story. As the deck is currently, I don't think you need it.


I will try to get some draw power into the deck as soon as I can free up some space. Brainstorm sounds like a solid idea for the time being...but we will see.

Clockspinning also seems weak. I am guessing that they only reason you include it in the deck is so that you have a spell that you can cast over and over to get free Proliferates. If that is what you want, then you want gating creatures...Shrieking Drake.


Yes, and no. I put it in the deck before I knew about inexorable tide...the tide is just a plus, which just so happens to be amazing due to the fact that anyting I play can net me some counters, which gives me an idea. For a defense, I think I would prefer some kind of engine that uses -1/-1 counters...preferably an artifact...so that I can proliferate creatures to death. oona's gatewarden comes to mind...

It appears that you are going to attempt to mill your opponents to death. Is that how you want to win?


That, or use Tezz's ultimate to wipe out my opponents.

Overall, I think I should focus more on archmage ascension like you adressed. Being able to search for my many things is a powerful thing...thing...thingimajig...ga coocoocachoo!!!

...I'm excited for this deck.
HOW TO AUTOCARD! When posting in a text box, type [c]Plains[/c] to make your post showPlains.
Are you making a casual mill deck? Please read.
Control is the key of a mill deck. You should free up your mana as much as possible so that you can respond to whatever your opponent is doing. Having some way to remove threats, both real and percieved, is necessary to survival. Real threats are those that are already on the field, and are something a simple unsummon or doom blade can remove. Percieved threats are those that aren't on the field, something a simple duress or counterspell can deal with. Controlling the board will allow your mill deck to continuously perform, if you use permanent style mill, that is. One-Shot Mill spells are something you should avoid. You can toss tome scours at your opponent until your hand runs out, but that isn't going to be enough to mill them to death. With 1-shot mill spells, like tome scour, you have to treat them like burn spells. Therefore, the only "good" 1-shot mill spells are sanity grinding (in the right deck) and mind funeral. Try to find more permanent styles of milling, like memory erosion, hedron crab, and curse of the bloody tome, so that you don't have to waste your mana each turn doing something that those permanents can do with a single mana/turn investment. Keeping your mana open allows you to respond with control elements. ​Traumatize Rant​. Traumatize is a terrible card for a multitude of reasons. First, it costs 5 to cast, which is a large investment for a mill deck. Milling half a library sounds neat, but if you do the math, it really isn't that much. An average 60 card deck starts with drawing 7 cards. Then, barring any draw spells on their end, or ramp on yours, 5 turns will go by, where they draw 5 more cards, leaving 48 in the deck. Unless they had a deck with more than 60 cards, or you ramped it out, the most you'll ever mill with a single Traumatize on turn 5 is 24 cards. That's not too shabby, but hang on, there's more! If they drew any additional cards or if they were milled before turn 5, that number will be much lower. In addition, any more Traumatize's you draw will only mill less and less as the game goes on...which is the point of a mill deck. My whole point on Traumatize is the it is NOT worth the 5 mana investment, not even with haunting echoes. You can mill more than 24 before turn 5...which you can then cast the echoes. If you look at a mill deck like a burn deck, you'll notice that it takes longer to win with mill than with burn. For example, lightning bolt costs 1 and does 3 out of the 20 damage needed to win (barring any lifegain or damage prevention). For mill, that same investment of 1 would have to mill 9 cards out of an average 60 card deck to be the equivilent of lightning bolt. The problem is that there is no mill card that can do that...except hedron crab, over a period of time. The initial investment of 1 will pay off in 3 more land drops to make the crab equal to a bolt. However, the crab nets you more mill beyond those 3 land drops, making it better as the game draws on. Other cards, like curse of the bloody tome, are excellent ways of milling an opponent because the initial investment of is all you have to pay in order to put your opponent on a clock. All you have to do is stay alive, which is the true goal of a mill strategy. There are other ideas for mill decks that are specific to certain types of strategies. Combo mill decks can mill an entire player's library out from under them. Secondary mill strategies are usually tied to another strategy, like drowner of secrets in a merfolk deck, or halimar excavator in an ally deck. Milling can be done in certain decks that are able to ramp out enough mana to make use of the higher costing mill spells, like using 16 post to pay for X on sands of delirium or for ambassador laquatus. Multiplayer mill decks are even tougher to build, but can be done. Being a slower environment, it is easier to ramp in multiplayer, allowing for big X spells, like mind grind, to be useful. Consuming aberration is another star player. The more straightforward strategy is to use mesmeric orb and dreamborn muse while being the only deck at the table that can deal with it. There are always new strategies coming out with each set, so check gatherer for any new mill cards that you find to be the most fun for you! Now you can say that you haven't fallen into the trap that most new players fall into when they build their first mill deck!
Alright. I made some proxies for the deck and quickly realized that it is completely insane. The proliferate mechanic on everflowing chalice makes huge amounts of mana. Walking archive had 6 +1/+1 counters on it, but it could've had at least 30...I didn't want to deck myself. Inexorable Tide is my new best friend. It wasn't even due to cards like clockspinning, (which is best used early game to add counters to everflowing chalice), or brainstorm, I just drew a full hand each turn and dumped it onto the field...then proliferated my butt off. Archmage ascension isn't that hard to get up to six counters. Proliferate actually makes up for the lack of draw, and I am able to "ascend" in only a couple of turns. Some things I added were voltaic key, which is crazy with the chalice and the contagion artifacts...mainly due to the rings of brighthearth. Also, I took out the tezzeret idea, and all of the tezz-friendly lands. I don't need them, they are not working out for me as good as I want them to. That being said, Jace is a very difficult wincon for the deck, simply because I need more turns, (I don't want to put the lighthouse guy in because it is too mean, too expensive...$4 or so a pop is expensive to me, and I don't want to deck myself with walking archive). So, I have discovered 2 things that I need for this deck. I need a defense for the early game, or maybe some rattlesnake cards. And I need a wincon that is bonkers when used with proliferate...that can also kill every other player. And, no, I don't want darksteel reactor. Maybe triskelion?

Either way, thank you guys for the help, and if you have any more ideas, feel free to post them!
HOW TO AUTOCARD! When posting in a text box, type [c]Plains[/c] to make your post showPlains.
Are you making a casual mill deck? Please read.
Control is the key of a mill deck. You should free up your mana as much as possible so that you can respond to whatever your opponent is doing. Having some way to remove threats, both real and percieved, is necessary to survival. Real threats are those that are already on the field, and are something a simple unsummon or doom blade can remove. Percieved threats are those that aren't on the field, something a simple duress or counterspell can deal with. Controlling the board will allow your mill deck to continuously perform, if you use permanent style mill, that is. One-Shot Mill spells are something you should avoid. You can toss tome scours at your opponent until your hand runs out, but that isn't going to be enough to mill them to death. With 1-shot mill spells, like tome scour, you have to treat them like burn spells. Therefore, the only "good" 1-shot mill spells are sanity grinding (in the right deck) and mind funeral. Try to find more permanent styles of milling, like memory erosion, hedron crab, and curse of the bloody tome, so that you don't have to waste your mana each turn doing something that those permanents can do with a single mana/turn investment. Keeping your mana open allows you to respond with control elements. ​Traumatize Rant​. Traumatize is a terrible card for a multitude of reasons. First, it costs 5 to cast, which is a large investment for a mill deck. Milling half a library sounds neat, but if you do the math, it really isn't that much. An average 60 card deck starts with drawing 7 cards. Then, barring any draw spells on their end, or ramp on yours, 5 turns will go by, where they draw 5 more cards, leaving 48 in the deck. Unless they had a deck with more than 60 cards, or you ramped it out, the most you'll ever mill with a single Traumatize on turn 5 is 24 cards. That's not too shabby, but hang on, there's more! If they drew any additional cards or if they were milled before turn 5, that number will be much lower. In addition, any more Traumatize's you draw will only mill less and less as the game goes on...which is the point of a mill deck. My whole point on Traumatize is the it is NOT worth the 5 mana investment, not even with haunting echoes. You can mill more than 24 before turn 5...which you can then cast the echoes. If you look at a mill deck like a burn deck, you'll notice that it takes longer to win with mill than with burn. For example, lightning bolt costs 1 and does 3 out of the 20 damage needed to win (barring any lifegain or damage prevention). For mill, that same investment of 1 would have to mill 9 cards out of an average 60 card deck to be the equivilent of lightning bolt. The problem is that there is no mill card that can do that...except hedron crab, over a period of time. The initial investment of 1 will pay off in 3 more land drops to make the crab equal to a bolt. However, the crab nets you more mill beyond those 3 land drops, making it better as the game draws on. Other cards, like curse of the bloody tome, are excellent ways of milling an opponent because the initial investment of is all you have to pay in order to put your opponent on a clock. All you have to do is stay alive, which is the true goal of a mill strategy. There are other ideas for mill decks that are specific to certain types of strategies. Combo mill decks can mill an entire player's library out from under them. Secondary mill strategies are usually tied to another strategy, like drowner of secrets in a merfolk deck, or halimar excavator in an ally deck. Milling can be done in certain decks that are able to ramp out enough mana to make use of the higher costing mill spells, like using 16 post to pay for X on sands of delirium or for ambassador laquatus. Multiplayer mill decks are even tougher to build, but can be done. Being a slower environment, it is easier to ramp in multiplayer, allowing for big X spells, like mind grind, to be useful. Consuming aberration is another star player. The more straightforward strategy is to use mesmeric orb and dreamborn muse while being the only deck at the table that can deal with it. There are always new strategies coming out with each set, so check gatherer for any new mill cards that you find to be the most fun for you! Now you can say that you haven't fallen into the trap that most new players fall into when they build their first mill deck!
Archmage Ascension replaces the draw effect every time you draw. Since failing to find a card in your library of zero cards while searching it doesn't make you lose the game you could make the Walking Archive or something similiar your wincon.
I figured since I changed the deck up a bunch, I might as well post the current list:

4 archmage ascension
4 contagion clasp
4 contagion engine
4 inexorable tide
rings of brighthearth
4 steady progress
walking archive
4 everflowing chalice
3 triskelion
3 brainstorm
2 voltaic key
4 saprazzan skerry
18 islands

And thats the deck. I figured that triskelion should perform well as a decent defense and primary form of offense. Any more suggestions are still welcome!

@ askline: I didn't think of that, thank you. That can be another wincon for the deck.
HOW TO AUTOCARD! When posting in a text box, type [c]Plains[/c] to make your post showPlains.
Are you making a casual mill deck? Please read.
Control is the key of a mill deck. You should free up your mana as much as possible so that you can respond to whatever your opponent is doing. Having some way to remove threats, both real and percieved, is necessary to survival. Real threats are those that are already on the field, and are something a simple unsummon or doom blade can remove. Percieved threats are those that aren't on the field, something a simple duress or counterspell can deal with. Controlling the board will allow your mill deck to continuously perform, if you use permanent style mill, that is. One-Shot Mill spells are something you should avoid. You can toss tome scours at your opponent until your hand runs out, but that isn't going to be enough to mill them to death. With 1-shot mill spells, like tome scour, you have to treat them like burn spells. Therefore, the only "good" 1-shot mill spells are sanity grinding (in the right deck) and mind funeral. Try to find more permanent styles of milling, like memory erosion, hedron crab, and curse of the bloody tome, so that you don't have to waste your mana each turn doing something that those permanents can do with a single mana/turn investment. Keeping your mana open allows you to respond with control elements. ​Traumatize Rant​. Traumatize is a terrible card for a multitude of reasons. First, it costs 5 to cast, which is a large investment for a mill deck. Milling half a library sounds neat, but if you do the math, it really isn't that much. An average 60 card deck starts with drawing 7 cards. Then, barring any draw spells on their end, or ramp on yours, 5 turns will go by, where they draw 5 more cards, leaving 48 in the deck. Unless they had a deck with more than 60 cards, or you ramped it out, the most you'll ever mill with a single Traumatize on turn 5 is 24 cards. That's not too shabby, but hang on, there's more! If they drew any additional cards or if they were milled before turn 5, that number will be much lower. In addition, any more Traumatize's you draw will only mill less and less as the game goes on...which is the point of a mill deck. My whole point on Traumatize is the it is NOT worth the 5 mana investment, not even with haunting echoes. You can mill more than 24 before turn 5...which you can then cast the echoes. If you look at a mill deck like a burn deck, you'll notice that it takes longer to win with mill than with burn. For example, lightning bolt costs 1 and does 3 out of the 20 damage needed to win (barring any lifegain or damage prevention). For mill, that same investment of 1 would have to mill 9 cards out of an average 60 card deck to be the equivilent of lightning bolt. The problem is that there is no mill card that can do that...except hedron crab, over a period of time. The initial investment of 1 will pay off in 3 more land drops to make the crab equal to a bolt. However, the crab nets you more mill beyond those 3 land drops, making it better as the game draws on. Other cards, like curse of the bloody tome, are excellent ways of milling an opponent because the initial investment of is all you have to pay in order to put your opponent on a clock. All you have to do is stay alive, which is the true goal of a mill strategy. There are other ideas for mill decks that are specific to certain types of strategies. Combo mill decks can mill an entire player's library out from under them. Secondary mill strategies are usually tied to another strategy, like drowner of secrets in a merfolk deck, or halimar excavator in an ally deck. Milling can be done in certain decks that are able to ramp out enough mana to make use of the higher costing mill spells, like using 16 post to pay for X on sands of delirium or for ambassador laquatus. Multiplayer mill decks are even tougher to build, but can be done. Being a slower environment, it is easier to ramp in multiplayer, allowing for big X spells, like mind grind, to be useful. Consuming aberration is another star player. The more straightforward strategy is to use mesmeric orb and dreamborn muse while being the only deck at the table that can deal with it. There are always new strategies coming out with each set, so check gatherer for any new mill cards that you find to be the most fun for you! Now you can say that you haven't fallen into the trap that most new players fall into when they build their first mill deck!
You said that you wanted a finisher with some "umffff" to it?  Well, this deck would be perfect with Chimeric Mass (plus the Trinket Mages you could tutor them with, allowing you to run only a single copy).  Trinket Mage could also be used to tutor up Everflowing Chalices and Voltaic Key, plus if you don't fear too much artifact destruction (which your deck would suggest being the case) you could also run Seat of the Synod and Darksteel Citadel.  You could even run a single Elixir of Immortality to prevent yourself from decking out (which you posted earlier being a concern).

How's Contagion Engine been working out for you?  I'd think, given its steep cost to begin with, that you can down the number of copies to.

From your current list, I'd suggest:

-1 Voltaic Key
-2 Contagion Engine
-1 Contagion Clasp
-2 Everflowing Chalice
-4 Island

+4 Trinket Mage
+1 Chimeric Mass
+1 Elixir of Immortality
+4 Seat of the Synod
"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
Who Am I?
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
IMAGE(http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/images/2/23/Phyrexian_Loyalty.png)
Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

Contagion Engine is awesome. I can easily get it out thanks to everflowing chalice, and I am only currently running 3 copies of the chalice in the deck!

Voltaic Key has been a part of the insanity. When I have rings of brighthearth out, I can double up on untapping, which, using voltaic key, rings of brighthearth and everflowing chalice, I have infinite mana, (Just figured that out). But I don't rely on the infinite mana, just proliferate.

The contagion artifacts are way more useful than they appear. If anything, the steady progress hasn't been as good as the contagion artifacts...not saying that it is bad, though.

Chimeric Mass doesn't thrill me, other than the fact that I can generate infinite mana, which is neat. But I think that adding it will make the deck stray too far from what I want to do. With that in mind, I was actually thinking about pentavus for the same reason...either way, it could be done, but I'm still in beta testing for this deck...we shall see.

Elixir of Immortality is now useless thanks to the helpful insight of Askilne. I have tried winning this way, and it was so easy to draw huge amounts of cards. I actually had 2 rings of brighthearth out with the infinite mana combo. This allowed me to proliferate an infinite number of times thanks to the contagion artifacts...meaning walking archive instantly killed my opponents when they drew. (But, I'm not taking removal into account...in reality, I have just played the deck against phantom opponents, to see how quickly I can win, and how the deck flows). That being said, I might consider making walking archive = 4.

Trinket Mage holds a special place in my heart. I need to seriously consider his possible uses, as he can either make the deck, or slow it down considerably. We'll see after more testing.

Thanks Cathaldus!
HOW TO AUTOCARD! When posting in a text box, type [c]Plains[/c] to make your post showPlains.
Are you making a casual mill deck? Please read.
Control is the key of a mill deck. You should free up your mana as much as possible so that you can respond to whatever your opponent is doing. Having some way to remove threats, both real and percieved, is necessary to survival. Real threats are those that are already on the field, and are something a simple unsummon or doom blade can remove. Percieved threats are those that aren't on the field, something a simple duress or counterspell can deal with. Controlling the board will allow your mill deck to continuously perform, if you use permanent style mill, that is. One-Shot Mill spells are something you should avoid. You can toss tome scours at your opponent until your hand runs out, but that isn't going to be enough to mill them to death. With 1-shot mill spells, like tome scour, you have to treat them like burn spells. Therefore, the only "good" 1-shot mill spells are sanity grinding (in the right deck) and mind funeral. Try to find more permanent styles of milling, like memory erosion, hedron crab, and curse of the bloody tome, so that you don't have to waste your mana each turn doing something that those permanents can do with a single mana/turn investment. Keeping your mana open allows you to respond with control elements. ​Traumatize Rant​. Traumatize is a terrible card for a multitude of reasons. First, it costs 5 to cast, which is a large investment for a mill deck. Milling half a library sounds neat, but if you do the math, it really isn't that much. An average 60 card deck starts with drawing 7 cards. Then, barring any draw spells on their end, or ramp on yours, 5 turns will go by, where they draw 5 more cards, leaving 48 in the deck. Unless they had a deck with more than 60 cards, or you ramped it out, the most you'll ever mill with a single Traumatize on turn 5 is 24 cards. That's not too shabby, but hang on, there's more! If they drew any additional cards or if they were milled before turn 5, that number will be much lower. In addition, any more Traumatize's you draw will only mill less and less as the game goes on...which is the point of a mill deck. My whole point on Traumatize is the it is NOT worth the 5 mana investment, not even with haunting echoes. You can mill more than 24 before turn 5...which you can then cast the echoes. If you look at a mill deck like a burn deck, you'll notice that it takes longer to win with mill than with burn. For example, lightning bolt costs 1 and does 3 out of the 20 damage needed to win (barring any lifegain or damage prevention). For mill, that same investment of 1 would have to mill 9 cards out of an average 60 card deck to be the equivilent of lightning bolt. The problem is that there is no mill card that can do that...except hedron crab, over a period of time. The initial investment of 1 will pay off in 3 more land drops to make the crab equal to a bolt. However, the crab nets you more mill beyond those 3 land drops, making it better as the game draws on. Other cards, like curse of the bloody tome, are excellent ways of milling an opponent because the initial investment of is all you have to pay in order to put your opponent on a clock. All you have to do is stay alive, which is the true goal of a mill strategy. There are other ideas for mill decks that are specific to certain types of strategies. Combo mill decks can mill an entire player's library out from under them. Secondary mill strategies are usually tied to another strategy, like drowner of secrets in a merfolk deck, or halimar excavator in an ally deck. Milling can be done in certain decks that are able to ramp out enough mana to make use of the higher costing mill spells, like using 16 post to pay for X on sands of delirium or for ambassador laquatus. Multiplayer mill decks are even tougher to build, but can be done. Being a slower environment, it is easier to ramp in multiplayer, allowing for big X spells, like mind grind, to be useful. Consuming aberration is another star player. The more straightforward strategy is to use mesmeric orb and dreamborn muse while being the only deck at the table that can deal with it. There are always new strategies coming out with each set, so check gatherer for any new mill cards that you find to be the most fun for you! Now you can say that you haven't fallen into the trap that most new players fall into when they build their first mill deck!
I've done some testing and have made some discoveries.

1. Infinite mana and proliferation is really, really easy to achieve.
2. Chimeric Mass and Pentavus are strictly worse than Triskelion.
3. Trinket Mage's effect is minimal, but it can help early game. I put 3 in the deck.

Once I am able to get Archmage Ascension out, I am able to fetch my goodies, which makes Trinket Mage kind of lacking later on...but it doesn't matter, I just won't fetch him!

The deck works like a charm, now. My only concern, aside from the fact that this deck might cost a lot, is my early game defense. I will have to actually play the deck against an actual opponent to see how it goes. Any quick aggro deck can destroy me, but that isn't too common in multiplayer. Another thing I was wondering, are there any fitting 1 cmc artifacts that I can use with trinket mage that could help me out? Maybe steel wall? (...which I will test out).

Keep the ideas coming!
HOW TO AUTOCARD! When posting in a text box, type [c]Plains[/c] to make your post showPlains.
Are you making a casual mill deck? Please read.
Control is the key of a mill deck. You should free up your mana as much as possible so that you can respond to whatever your opponent is doing. Having some way to remove threats, both real and percieved, is necessary to survival. Real threats are those that are already on the field, and are something a simple unsummon or doom blade can remove. Percieved threats are those that aren't on the field, something a simple duress or counterspell can deal with. Controlling the board will allow your mill deck to continuously perform, if you use permanent style mill, that is. One-Shot Mill spells are something you should avoid. You can toss tome scours at your opponent until your hand runs out, but that isn't going to be enough to mill them to death. With 1-shot mill spells, like tome scour, you have to treat them like burn spells. Therefore, the only "good" 1-shot mill spells are sanity grinding (in the right deck) and mind funeral. Try to find more permanent styles of milling, like memory erosion, hedron crab, and curse of the bloody tome, so that you don't have to waste your mana each turn doing something that those permanents can do with a single mana/turn investment. Keeping your mana open allows you to respond with control elements. ​Traumatize Rant​. Traumatize is a terrible card for a multitude of reasons. First, it costs 5 to cast, which is a large investment for a mill deck. Milling half a library sounds neat, but if you do the math, it really isn't that much. An average 60 card deck starts with drawing 7 cards. Then, barring any draw spells on their end, or ramp on yours, 5 turns will go by, where they draw 5 more cards, leaving 48 in the deck. Unless they had a deck with more than 60 cards, or you ramped it out, the most you'll ever mill with a single Traumatize on turn 5 is 24 cards. That's not too shabby, but hang on, there's more! If they drew any additional cards or if they were milled before turn 5, that number will be much lower. In addition, any more Traumatize's you draw will only mill less and less as the game goes on...which is the point of a mill deck. My whole point on Traumatize is the it is NOT worth the 5 mana investment, not even with haunting echoes. You can mill more than 24 before turn 5...which you can then cast the echoes. If you look at a mill deck like a burn deck, you'll notice that it takes longer to win with mill than with burn. For example, lightning bolt costs 1 and does 3 out of the 20 damage needed to win (barring any lifegain or damage prevention). For mill, that same investment of 1 would have to mill 9 cards out of an average 60 card deck to be the equivilent of lightning bolt. The problem is that there is no mill card that can do that...except hedron crab, over a period of time. The initial investment of 1 will pay off in 3 more land drops to make the crab equal to a bolt. However, the crab nets you more mill beyond those 3 land drops, making it better as the game draws on. Other cards, like curse of the bloody tome, are excellent ways of milling an opponent because the initial investment of is all you have to pay in order to put your opponent on a clock. All you have to do is stay alive, which is the true goal of a mill strategy. There are other ideas for mill decks that are specific to certain types of strategies. Combo mill decks can mill an entire player's library out from under them. Secondary mill strategies are usually tied to another strategy, like drowner of secrets in a merfolk deck, or halimar excavator in an ally deck. Milling can be done in certain decks that are able to ramp out enough mana to make use of the higher costing mill spells, like using 16 post to pay for X on sands of delirium or for ambassador laquatus. Multiplayer mill decks are even tougher to build, but can be done. Being a slower environment, it is easier to ramp in multiplayer, allowing for big X spells, like mind grind, to be useful. Consuming aberration is another star player. The more straightforward strategy is to use mesmeric orb and dreamborn muse while being the only deck at the table that can deal with it. There are always new strategies coming out with each set, so check gatherer for any new mill cards that you find to be the most fun for you! Now you can say that you haven't fallen into the trap that most new players fall into when they build their first mill deck!
Meekstone can save you against early game rushes and it can be found by Trinket Mage
Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)
i am not that experienced with magic, but why is thrummingbird not yet suggested?
i am not that experienced with magic, but why is thrummingbird not yet suggested?


Probably because it is a 1/1 that can't protect itself, but still needs to go into combat to do its job. As I understand, the rest of the deck hardly needs the combat phase (except to win), so why focus on that?
Also, almost everybody probably has a blocker for him, so it is not even guaranteed that he will get through. 

PS: I really like this deck, and I am going to borrow a lot of tricks from it for my own proliferate deck (because it is my new favourite mechanic). 
i am not that experienced with magic, but why is thrummingbird not yet suggested?


Probably because it is a 1/1 that can't protect itself, but still needs to go into combat to do its job. As I understand, the rest of the deck hardly needs the combat phase (except to win), so why focus on that?
Also, almost everybody probably has a blocker for him, so it is not even guaranteed that he will get through. 

PS: I really like this deck, and I am going to borrow a lot of tricks from it for my own proliferate deck (because it is my new favourite mechanic). 


Even with flying? probally depends on your oponent.
Flying is the most common evasion there is and it isn't true evasion like landwalk or true unblockablility. Because of that flying creatures aren't guaranteed to hit an opponent.
Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)
Is there maybe room for a single copy of Lux Cannon? With so much copy effects, acceleration, proliferate, and untapping shenanigans having the ability to easily destroy any permanent might come in handy?
Thanks for the ideas, guys!

First off, it has been addressed already, Thrummingbird doesn't offer as much as the other proliferate stuff. Also, if I do deal combat damage to an opponent, that player will want to hit me back...and I don't want to do that...which actually brings me to my next point.

Lux Cannon is a devistatingly powerful card...especially since I can give it infinite counters and destroy everything with it in 1 turn. However, as soon as I play it, I will become the target. This card screams "kill me" in multiplayer...so I don't want to draw anybody's attention with it. Besides, by the time I go infinite, which seems more often than not, I can already kill everybody anyway.

I might toss in a meekstone to see how it goes, but I will still need to test the deck against another deck...or several decks...in order to see its true potential. However, Meekstone has a way with my opponents that make them want to kill me, kind of like lux cannon, it draws attention. I'm on both sides of the fence on this one, but it is a great idea, nonetheless.

@Everyone: Just want to point out, I have never had more fun playing a deck with proxies than I have had with this deck. It is a deck that I will definitely buy, no matter what. If you plan on making a proliferate deck, I suggest you proxy a deck up first and try it out. And the fact that you can toss in any card that uses counters in the deck makes the possibilities endless!!!
HOW TO AUTOCARD! When posting in a text box, type [c]Plains[/c] to make your post showPlains.
Are you making a casual mill deck? Please read.
Control is the key of a mill deck. You should free up your mana as much as possible so that you can respond to whatever your opponent is doing. Having some way to remove threats, both real and percieved, is necessary to survival. Real threats are those that are already on the field, and are something a simple unsummon or doom blade can remove. Percieved threats are those that aren't on the field, something a simple duress or counterspell can deal with. Controlling the board will allow your mill deck to continuously perform, if you use permanent style mill, that is. One-Shot Mill spells are something you should avoid. You can toss tome scours at your opponent until your hand runs out, but that isn't going to be enough to mill them to death. With 1-shot mill spells, like tome scour, you have to treat them like burn spells. Therefore, the only "good" 1-shot mill spells are sanity grinding (in the right deck) and mind funeral. Try to find more permanent styles of milling, like memory erosion, hedron crab, and curse of the bloody tome, so that you don't have to waste your mana each turn doing something that those permanents can do with a single mana/turn investment. Keeping your mana open allows you to respond with control elements. ​Traumatize Rant​. Traumatize is a terrible card for a multitude of reasons. First, it costs 5 to cast, which is a large investment for a mill deck. Milling half a library sounds neat, but if you do the math, it really isn't that much. An average 60 card deck starts with drawing 7 cards. Then, barring any draw spells on their end, or ramp on yours, 5 turns will go by, where they draw 5 more cards, leaving 48 in the deck. Unless they had a deck with more than 60 cards, or you ramped it out, the most you'll ever mill with a single Traumatize on turn 5 is 24 cards. That's not too shabby, but hang on, there's more! If they drew any additional cards or if they were milled before turn 5, that number will be much lower. In addition, any more Traumatize's you draw will only mill less and less as the game goes on...which is the point of a mill deck. My whole point on Traumatize is the it is NOT worth the 5 mana investment, not even with haunting echoes. You can mill more than 24 before turn 5...which you can then cast the echoes. If you look at a mill deck like a burn deck, you'll notice that it takes longer to win with mill than with burn. For example, lightning bolt costs 1 and does 3 out of the 20 damage needed to win (barring any lifegain or damage prevention). For mill, that same investment of 1 would have to mill 9 cards out of an average 60 card deck to be the equivilent of lightning bolt. The problem is that there is no mill card that can do that...except hedron crab, over a period of time. The initial investment of 1 will pay off in 3 more land drops to make the crab equal to a bolt. However, the crab nets you more mill beyond those 3 land drops, making it better as the game draws on. Other cards, like curse of the bloody tome, are excellent ways of milling an opponent because the initial investment of is all you have to pay in order to put your opponent on a clock. All you have to do is stay alive, which is the true goal of a mill strategy. There are other ideas for mill decks that are specific to certain types of strategies. Combo mill decks can mill an entire player's library out from under them. Secondary mill strategies are usually tied to another strategy, like drowner of secrets in a merfolk deck, or halimar excavator in an ally deck. Milling can be done in certain decks that are able to ramp out enough mana to make use of the higher costing mill spells, like using 16 post to pay for X on sands of delirium or for ambassador laquatus. Multiplayer mill decks are even tougher to build, but can be done. Being a slower environment, it is easier to ramp in multiplayer, allowing for big X spells, like mind grind, to be useful. Consuming aberration is another star player. The more straightforward strategy is to use mesmeric orb and dreamborn muse while being the only deck at the table that can deal with it. There are always new strategies coming out with each set, so check gatherer for any new mill cards that you find to be the most fun for you! Now you can say that you haven't fallen into the trap that most new players fall into when they build their first mill deck!
It's kind of an obnoxious card, but Beacon of Tomorrows does win you the game if you have eight mana and an active Archmage's Ascension, plus any sort of threat (or the ability to draw one card to tutor for one).  You only need one copy of the beacon in the deck.
Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
My Decks
These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
Tournament Decks (4)
Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
It's kind of an obnoxious card, but Beacon of Tomorrows does win you the game if you have eight mana and an active Archmage's Ascension, plus any sort of threat (or the ability to draw one card to tutor for one).  You only need one copy of the beacon in the deck.



This would be the best idea if I were to still use any planeswalkers, as each turn can allow me to activate that 'walker's abilities infinitely. I'm not going to use it, but I am glad you mentioned it, fractal, as somebody else can use the idea to make an awesome planeswalker proliferate deck.
HOW TO AUTOCARD! When posting in a text box, type [c]Plains[/c] to make your post showPlains.
Are you making a casual mill deck? Please read.
Control is the key of a mill deck. You should free up your mana as much as possible so that you can respond to whatever your opponent is doing. Having some way to remove threats, both real and percieved, is necessary to survival. Real threats are those that are already on the field, and are something a simple unsummon or doom blade can remove. Percieved threats are those that aren't on the field, something a simple duress or counterspell can deal with. Controlling the board will allow your mill deck to continuously perform, if you use permanent style mill, that is. One-Shot Mill spells are something you should avoid. You can toss tome scours at your opponent until your hand runs out, but that isn't going to be enough to mill them to death. With 1-shot mill spells, like tome scour, you have to treat them like burn spells. Therefore, the only "good" 1-shot mill spells are sanity grinding (in the right deck) and mind funeral. Try to find more permanent styles of milling, like memory erosion, hedron crab, and curse of the bloody tome, so that you don't have to waste your mana each turn doing something that those permanents can do with a single mana/turn investment. Keeping your mana open allows you to respond with control elements. ​Traumatize Rant​. Traumatize is a terrible card for a multitude of reasons. First, it costs 5 to cast, which is a large investment for a mill deck. Milling half a library sounds neat, but if you do the math, it really isn't that much. An average 60 card deck starts with drawing 7 cards. Then, barring any draw spells on their end, or ramp on yours, 5 turns will go by, where they draw 5 more cards, leaving 48 in the deck. Unless they had a deck with more than 60 cards, or you ramped it out, the most you'll ever mill with a single Traumatize on turn 5 is 24 cards. That's not too shabby, but hang on, there's more! If they drew any additional cards or if they were milled before turn 5, that number will be much lower. In addition, any more Traumatize's you draw will only mill less and less as the game goes on...which is the point of a mill deck. My whole point on Traumatize is the it is NOT worth the 5 mana investment, not even with haunting echoes. You can mill more than 24 before turn 5...which you can then cast the echoes. If you look at a mill deck like a burn deck, you'll notice that it takes longer to win with mill than with burn. For example, lightning bolt costs 1 and does 3 out of the 20 damage needed to win (barring any lifegain or damage prevention). For mill, that same investment of 1 would have to mill 9 cards out of an average 60 card deck to be the equivilent of lightning bolt. The problem is that there is no mill card that can do that...except hedron crab, over a period of time. The initial investment of 1 will pay off in 3 more land drops to make the crab equal to a bolt. However, the crab nets you more mill beyond those 3 land drops, making it better as the game draws on. Other cards, like curse of the bloody tome, are excellent ways of milling an opponent because the initial investment of is all you have to pay in order to put your opponent on a clock. All you have to do is stay alive, which is the true goal of a mill strategy. There are other ideas for mill decks that are specific to certain types of strategies. Combo mill decks can mill an entire player's library out from under them. Secondary mill strategies are usually tied to another strategy, like drowner of secrets in a merfolk deck, or halimar excavator in an ally deck. Milling can be done in certain decks that are able to ramp out enough mana to make use of the higher costing mill spells, like using 16 post to pay for X on sands of delirium or for ambassador laquatus. Multiplayer mill decks are even tougher to build, but can be done. Being a slower environment, it is easier to ramp in multiplayer, allowing for big X spells, like mind grind, to be useful. Consuming aberration is another star player. The more straightforward strategy is to use mesmeric orb and dreamborn muse while being the only deck at the table that can deal with it. There are always new strategies coming out with each set, so check gatherer for any new mill cards that you find to be the most fun for you! Now you can say that you haven't fallen into the trap that most new players fall into when they build their first mill deck!
Meishin, the mind cage is the only blue card that doesn't also destroy your permanents. If you see you're low on cards most of the time Ensnaring Bridge could be another chance...Otherwise...I don't know, elixir of inmortality to help your life total? Can be fetched with trinket mage...
Random thought here, but with Rings of Brighthearth, Voltaic Key, Everflowing Chalace combo for infinite mana, have you thought about Whetwheel along with Jace? Or over him. First post hi all!
I don't know your current decklist, but some thoughts:

Walking Archive should be up to four.  Once you go infinite, it's a win condition unless someone has instant-speed removal, and then for all you might have out at that point.  Before you go infinite, it's not a threat because it has defender, is growing so it may be able to hold off attackers, and most of your opponents like it there because they get more cards.

Triskelion as a backup win condition is a good idea, but you shouldn't need to run more than one, two at the most, since you can search it up with the Ascension if you need it.

For early-game protection, the best thing I can think of that is on-theme is Necropede.  When it blocks and dies, it marks two creatures for death (what it blocked and what it puts the counter on) as soon as you start proliferating.  Also, if someone leaves themselves defenseless, you can casually put a poison counter on them, marking them for death as soon as you start proliferating.

Counter magic is a good thing.  Like, really good.  You should put some in if you can find the room, as this does fall under the category of combo.  I was thinking about putting together a build based around Callow Jushi and proliferate, and may still do so, but I think fitting in enough proliferate + spirit/arcane + protection, all of which needs to happen on the turn you play the Jushi, may be too much, and it really wants to be infinite, which is just that much harder. 
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