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The Modern Apocalypse

The Modern Apocalypse

As a die hard Legacy fan, I always try to draw inspiration from my favourite format when I brew for Modern. There are so many different combos that become viable when you put some imagination into it, and the restrictions Modern provides on deckbuilding give you a lot of room to really be creative when putting your decks together. If I want to try porting a Legacy deck into Modern I always go for the craziest combos I can, and since there’s nothing like Force of Will in Modern to police combo decks, the crazier I go the more fun I have.

Four Horsemen is one of the most challenging decks to play in Legacy. The combo itself is fairly straightforward. Mill your entire deck with Mesmeric Orb and Basalt Monolith, get a bunch of Narcomoeba into play, and sacrifice them to Blasting Station over and over to win the game. Emrakul, the Aeons Torn shuffles everything back in so you can keep going as necessary. Where this goes awry is when you get into Slow Play violations, which have traditionally been the bane of the deck. Normally with an infinite loop you can state how many iterations of the loop you’re going to perform, but because of Emrakul shuffling your graveyard back into your deck, there’s no telling how many times you’ll have to mill yourself before you get the right sequence of cards in your graveyard. Furthermore, since you’re not advancing the board state until you get to that point, this technically falls under Slow Play, which in turn has made the deck somewhat forbidden over the years.

That all changed when I developed a version that hinged on Sidisi, Brood Tyrant as the combo piece rather than Sharuum, the Hegemon and Blasting Station. While the original version requires you to resolve Narcomoeba’s trigger to put it into play, with Sidisi all you have to do is mill them to get a token, so you can leave them in the graveyard to shuffle back each time. This way you can definitively state how many times you’re going to demonstrate the loop by saying “I’m going to mill myself until I hit Emrakul, then mill out my deck. I forego my Narcomoeba triggers, Sidisi triggers X times giving me X zombie tokens, then Emrakul shuffles everything back. I’ll repeat this loop X times giving me X tokens each iteration”. This way we’re constantly advancing our board state while stating a set amount of tokens each iteration, thus demonstrating an infinite loop and avoiding Slow Play.

So with that bit of background information out of the way, it’s time to reveal just how I’ve managed to port this over to Modern. By keeping the core of Sidisi, Emrakul, Narcomoeba, and Mesmeric Orb, we basically just fill in rest of the deck with card draw and disruption and we end up with something like this:



This deck feels very similar to the Esper Goryo’s deck that has been making the rounds in Modern since both decks are looking to disrupt and control our opponent until it’s time to combo off. Goryo’s Vengeance acts as our Dread Return in this deck since the latter is banned in Modern, and it also gives us a fair bit of flexibility as well. We can cast Goryo’s on our opponent’s end step and Sidisi will stick around until our next end step, so this frees up a lot of our mana to go through with the rest of our combo. While we don’t have a Basalt Monolith to work with, I’ve opted to run a full set of Fatestitcher so we can unearth two and constantly tap them to untap each other, thus triggering Mesmeric Orb over and over. From there it’s just a matter of completing the loops the way the Legacy version does, culminating in us having infinite zombie tokens.


The rest of the deck is disruption, such as Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek to pick apart our opponent’s hand and help force through our combo. Fatal Push gives us a way to buy time against faster aggro decks, and Remand gives us the combination of tempo, card draw, and countermagic that we desperately need. For cantrips, I’ve got full sets of Serum Visions and Thought Scour to dig into whatever pieces we’re missing. Thought Scour also has the advantage of milling ourselves two cards, which can potentially speed up our clock by getting the necessary cards into our graveyard.

I’ve also toyed around with adding other Goryo’s Vengeance targets to help speed up the combo kill and make it harder for the opponent to disrupt us. For example, Dragonlord Kolaghan gives all of our creatures haste so we can attack immediately with our infinite zombies, whereas Grimgrin, Corpse-Born can sacrifice our tokens to grow into an infinitely large hasty attacker. As well, for slower metagames I’ve also considered splashing a little White with Temple Garden and adding Unburial Rites as a backup to Goryo’s Vengeance.

This is easily one of the most entertaining decks I’ve built for Modern, and the sheer confusion on most players’ faces when you start going off is utterly priceless. This is a combo that even most Legacy players have never witnessed firsthand, so to face it in Modern is unheard of. This is a deck for people who enjoy assembling puzzles, and with this many moving pieces each game will always end the same, but the journey will always be different. So if you’re looking to skirt the rules of Slow Play and win with an infinitely large horde of zombies, look no further than the Four Horsemen of Modern!