UG Combo Mill (Hedron Crab + Scapeshift)

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hey ya'll, I have been out of the Magic loop for years (stopped after original Mirrodin block). I have kept up with Daily MTG articles through the years, though, and have been inspired to get back in after the addition of this Modern format. I have always been a sucker for mill decks, and after digging through Gatherer for the past few nights, I came up with this mill combo deck.

4 Evolving Wilds
12 Islands
10 Forests

3 Dreamscape Artists
4 Merfolk Looter
3 Cryptoplasm
3 Viridian Emissary
4 Hedron Crab

3 Vision Skeins
2 Scapeshift
4 Ponder
1 Elixir of Immortality
3 Harrow
3 Khalni Heart Expedition
1 Forced Fruition

the win condition is Hedron Crab + Scapeshift; however, I quickly realized that it would be unrealistic to expect a win without at least 2 Crabs on the field. thus, I added the Cryptoplasms, for another 3 copies of the Crab). I think it's fairly straightforward; the Artists are a Harrow every turn, while the Looters allow me to dig through my deck for Scapeshift. Ideally I will have had a Crab working them from early on, so their library will be no more than 40 when I find a Scapeshift. with two effective Crabs out, each land is 6 cards, so I only need to blow it up for 6 or 7. with the ramping in this deck, I don't think it's unrealistic to be able to pull that off on turn 5, or even 4.

my biggest fear in this deck is losing to fast aggro decks. I realize I have no control. I have Emissary for chump blocks, and the Looters and Artists can step up to chump if necessary. Flyers would be a problem no doubt.

I have not playtested this deck at all, but before I went ahead and acquired this first draft of it I wanted to know the community's thoughts. this version is a Budget version; ideally I would trade out the Plasms for Phantasmal Images, although they are more vulnerable.

Forced Fruition I added as a finisher, in case my Scapeshift doesn't quite finish them. perhaps it would make more sense to trade it out for another copy of Scapeshift, to make sure I find it early. 2 copies of my win condition might seem low, but between the Looters, Ponders, Skeins, and deck thinning, I figured it might work. I should never need to cast multiple Scapeshifts, because I won't have any land left in my deck, unless I Elixir. originally my thought was to include an Elixir to cycle my lands back in, if I needed to, but I'm realizing now that doesn't make much sense, because I'm banking on basically a one-combo win. perhaps I should switch out the Elixir as well.

anyway, what do the rest of you think? how could I improve this deck, to make it competitively viable? perhaps it isn't viable, but that's what I'm here to find out. I considered running a Worm Harvest for an alternate win condition, but decided it would muddle the deck.

ps: I don't yet know how to hotlink cards to gatherer; if anyone would add that info to a comment, it'd be appreciated
the Khalni are obviously only useful early game. they have a double function. first is to allow me to ramp to enough lands for Scapeshift to be a game-winner. secondly, they allow me to get some mill on them pre-Scapeshift, which permits me a lower value, winning Scapeshift.

edit: I just came across Wheel of Sun and Moon, which I think could fit perfectly into this deck. it would cycle the lands sacrificed to bottom of deck, and then allow me to pull a bunch of lands from the rest of my deck, effectively thinning. also, it makes a multiple Scapeshift win possible, as the lands never go to my graveyard. this would make running another copy of Scapeshift worth it.
First of all:



look for various "getting started" threads to learn how to autocard.

what I do is:
[*deck]
4xDreamscape Artist
[*/deck]

remove the "*" and you get:
[deck]
4xDreamscape Artist
[/deck]

autocarding individual cards is [*c]Dreamscape Artist[*/c], acain w/out the "*"

anyways, onto the deck.

It's a sound thought, but it's not the most powerful or consistent mill deck out there.

The easiest one to build around is Sanity Grinding+Many [u]-heavy manacosts.
Example:
Sanity Grinding

[deck]
lands:
20xIsland
4xHalimar Depths

Creatures:
4xPlumeveil
2xGhastlord of Fugue
2xGodhead of Awe
2xOverbeing of Myth
Spells:
4xSanity Grinding
4xCryptic Command
4xTwincast
3xMuddle the Mixture
3xBoomerang
3xVisions of Beyond
3xArchive Trap
2xBlue Suns Zenith

[/deck]


Anyways, onto your deck.

It works fine, though you should invest in Fetch Lands, like Misty Rainfoest to turn on your mill early. Also, include archive trap as other people WILL be cracking fetches.
I would have killed, literally ended someones life, to NOT have Arrogant Bloodlord riding a giant ant... Good times:
Show
but where DID the other fork come from?
Show
Lord_Zed: I was at my friends house when this happened. He's married and his wife was an excellent baker. She had baked a homemade apple pie the night before. I was hungry, and my friend convinced me to try those low carb monster drinks. Before this day, I had never triend energy drinks before. Boy was I in for a treat. When I tried that first monster, I really enjoyed the flavor, but the taste that it left in my mouth wasn't so good. What was my solution? Drink another! before I could finish drinking that 2nd monster, I felt it already kicking in(these drinks were not very far apart, we're talking minutes here) my friend decided that it was a good idea to whip out that fresh pie his wife made the night before. I didn't know what to do, since I felt incredibly invigorated, and at the same time, freaked out by the rush I was feeling, but I was also hungry, and my friend have me an entire plate with a fork and said "help yourself." He extended his saucer to me, and I cut him a piece of the pie and handed it to him, then I looked at the pie, noticed that the pie was in an aluminum holder, and dumped the entire pie onto my plate and started eating it with 2 forks. I don't know where I found that other fork, it probably came from my friend. Anyhow, his wife wasn't happy, and I was already in magical christmas land. 2 days later, I was in my friends bed and I slept for 14 hours. His wife outlawed my from having any of her baked goods for a while(which sucked because I could just show up at there house, steal some sweets, and leave) and said I couldn't have any energy drinks at her house, unless under close watch. My friend, on the other hand, had to take me out to a steak dinner, because apparently I won a bet where I climbed a tree and didn't die.
The great land debate:
Show
97563441 wrote:
Zendikar had fetchlands, and Worldwake had manlands. What are the new Scars duals called?
61325265 wrote:
Explosive Peanut Lightning lands. Well, that's just what I call them.
61325265 wrote:
58232598 wrote:
i'm just trying to figure out what the point of saying this is. it's just really random.
And so the pot met the kettle.
thanks for the autocard tut. i looked for a sticky tut but there didn't seem to be one.

the Sanity Grinding deck is definitely more consistent.

on an unlimited budget, i'd defintely add the rainforests and the archive traps. i'm planning to buy a booster box of innistrad when it releases, so that should give me some trading power.

my previous thought about Wheel of Sun and Moon isn't accurate; you could still use it to keep the lands in your library, but they're going to get shuffled in after Scapeshift resolves anyway

besides dying to early aggro, the Crabs are also really vulnerable to removal. i'm not sure there's really a workaround to that. i was considering running Evacuation, both to protect my Crabs against mass removal (and spot, if necessary), and to stall quick aggro decks.
The major problem you'll have is dealing with 12-Post. They usually run Eldrazi Titans which means they're almost impossible to mill, since whenever an Eldrazi hits a graveyard, the whole graveyard gets shuffled back into their library.

You can get around with cards like Jester's Cap, Memoricide, or Praetor's Grasp, but most of these types of effects would require you to splash black, which would do wonky things to your mana base. You could use Leyline of the Void, but it would still need black if you had to hard cast it.
great point. i like the idea of Jester's Cap. i haven't put together a SB for this deck yet, but that would definitely help. i'll dig through Gatherer for other U/G/Colorless weapons against Titans.
I just realized you can also use Tormod's Crypt and/or Relic of Progenitus as well.

Whenever a Titan is put into a graveyard, respond to the "When ~ is put into a graveyard from anywhere" trigger by activating either the Crypt or the Relic. The Crypt's or Relic's effect will resolve first, exiling their graveyard before it can be shuffled into their library. Got to love the stack.
Perhaps Phantasmal Image or Phyrexian Metamorph would be better options to copy the Hedron Crab.

 


I know a thing or two about mill I like to think, Sanity Grinding was one of my creations you see. I really liked it, but there were issues with it, and there's a reason I'm not playing it in Modern.


However, your idea is good in principle, it just needs tweaking. There is a good UG mill deck in standard that beats up on caw and valakut and UB control all day long, my freind piloted at UK nats and missed out on top due to tanking a draft.


So, I propose we take the best elements of mill decks and combine them?


4 Ponder
4 Preordain
4 Visions of Beyond
4 Explore
(16)


4 Hedron Crab
3 Jace, Memory Adept
3 Scapeshift
(10)


4 Mana Leak
4 Repeal
(8)


1 Mikokoro
1 Mystifying Maze
1 Oboro
4 Shelldock Isle
1 Tolaria West
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Verdant Catacomb
4 Breeding Pool
3 Island
2 Forest
(26)


I think the control suite needs A LOT of work, but the basic idea of the deck is fine, you dig for crabs, and then scapeshift into shelldock isles to win when you untap and get free spells.

The big issue though, is that Modern is a very fast format all about clocking on turn three from my testing, which means a deck like this is not very good in terms of the meta.

If a control deck comes along soon, and slows things up, then we can look back at this.

Website for my radio series: http://www.cyrusbalesfilms.co.uk/id2.html For the facebook group of my radio series, search for "Who will save us now?" Please join! Follow my regular articles on: http://www.manaleak.com/mtguk/
@Cyrus that Shelldock Isles is nice; hadn't come across that card.  I'm missing what spells it would be worthwhile to cast for free from your graveyard, post-Scapeshift, in your build.

@Echo for sure, Relic seems like the best option vs. 12Post.

@Torleep I did mention earlier that eventually I'd like to replace the Plasms with Images; however, I'm not so sure anymore. granted Plasm is fragile as a native 2/2 for 3, but Image is even more fragile.

I feel like Lotus Cobra would fit this deck; only reason I left him out of the original build was due to budgeting restrictions. but his Landfall would allow me to splash Second Sunrise (for a doubly devastating Scapeshift), and allow Blue Sun's Zenith to become a finisher.

with 6 land, a single Hedron, and Cobra: Scapeshift for 6 (floating 2 mana), milling 18, netting 6 mana (8 in pool), Second Sunrise for another 18 mill and 6 mana (8-3+6=11 in pool), 6 Land untapped (17 in pool), Zenith for another 14 mill = 50 mill. not bad. obviously that's an ideal and hypothetical draw, but I like the idea of running Lotus Cobra for some off-color tech. or at least just for the Second Sunrise. but maybe that's just me being a greedy combo-fiend. thoughts?
Well, the next step is to see what in the format can be used to ensure you get your pieces together.
I would have killed, literally ended someones life, to NOT have Arrogant Bloodlord riding a giant ant... Good times:
Show
but where DID the other fork come from?
Show
Lord_Zed: I was at my friends house when this happened. He's married and his wife was an excellent baker. She had baked a homemade apple pie the night before. I was hungry, and my friend convinced me to try those low carb monster drinks. Before this day, I had never triend energy drinks before. Boy was I in for a treat. When I tried that first monster, I really enjoyed the flavor, but the taste that it left in my mouth wasn't so good. What was my solution? Drink another! before I could finish drinking that 2nd monster, I felt it already kicking in(these drinks were not very far apart, we're talking minutes here) my friend decided that it was a good idea to whip out that fresh pie his wife made the night before. I didn't know what to do, since I felt incredibly invigorated, and at the same time, freaked out by the rush I was feeling, but I was also hungry, and my friend have me an entire plate with a fork and said "help yourself." He extended his saucer to me, and I cut him a piece of the pie and handed it to him, then I looked at the pie, noticed that the pie was in an aluminum holder, and dumped the entire pie onto my plate and started eating it with 2 forks. I don't know where I found that other fork, it probably came from my friend. Anyhow, his wife wasn't happy, and I was already in magical christmas land. 2 days later, I was in my friends bed and I slept for 14 hours. His wife outlawed my from having any of her baked goods for a while(which sucked because I could just show up at there house, steal some sweets, and leave) and said I couldn't have any energy drinks at her house, unless under close watch. My friend, on the other hand, had to take me out to a steak dinner, because apparently I won a bet where I climbed a tree and didn't die.
The great land debate:
Show
97563441 wrote:
Zendikar had fetchlands, and Worldwake had manlands. What are the new Scars duals called?
61325265 wrote:
Explosive Peanut Lightning lands. Well, that's just what I call them.
61325265 wrote:
58232598 wrote:
i'm just trying to figure out what the point of saying this is. it's just really random.
And so the pot met the kettle.