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Overselling the Cemetery with Golgari Self-Mill


Oversold Cemetery's recent reprint has taken the $15 enchantment and made it much more available to us budget-minded players. This means control strategies that utilize the powerful single-card recursion engine are actually possible! While Mono-Black versions are viable, I enjoy the added benefits Green brings to the table. So, this week we've got a Golgari self-mill list to use on any unsuspecting friends that might neglect to bring their graveyard hate!

Cost: $19.50 at the time of publication

The Core

Oversold Cemetery
While there's a lot of moving parts to the deck, unsurprisingly Oversold Cemetery is really what makes it as powerful as it is. After milling four or more creatures into our graveyard, Cemetery allows us to infinitely recur any utility creature we might need once every turn. This means infinite creature and enchantment removal, and even infinite land ramp. If we have the right creature for the job, we can repeat the job over and over until the opponent runs out of options. Because of the emphasis on milling multiple cards every turn, we effectively "draw" into these utility creatures with great consistency, too.

The Backup

Because we want to maximize the chances of Oversold Cemetery being active as soon as possible, we need to maximize the number of creatures we play in the list. So, you'll notice that aside from Cemetery and lands, every other card in the deck is a creature. These creatures can be broken down into three types: self-mill, utility, and recursion.

Krosan Tusker
Deathbonnet Sprout // Deathbonnet Hulk, Gnawing Vermin, Satyr Wayfinder, Skull Prophet, and Urborg Lhurgoyf are the millers of choice. A transformed Sprout or Lhurgoyf also acts as a heavy hitter for us, applying pressure and playing the role of win condition once our removal engine has done its job. Though sprout has the potential to grow by exiling creature cards, you'll almost never want to exile your own for obvious reasons. Vermin plays double-duty as a removal utility creature, while Wayfnder and Prophet improve our mana count.

Plaguecrafter, Shriekmaw, and Foundation Breaker are the deck's utility options. The first two handle the majority of creature threats you might have to deal with. Most situations would prefer an evoked Shriekmaw, but anything the elemental can't target is something you can hope to eliminate with a well-placed plague instead. Ensure the sacrifice effect every turn by sacrificing the Shaman to himself each time and you should be golden. Breaker functions the same way as Maw, but you'll be targeting pesky artifacts and enchantments with it instead of creatures.

Aside from Cemetery, we have a couple other recurring options at our disposal. Pit Keeper is basically a one-time-use creature version of Cemetery. He enables repeated Shriekmaw or Plague kills in situations where we have not found Cemetery yet. Gloomshrieker is primarily in the list as a way to grab milled Cemeteries from the graveyard. I've often found myself using Pit Keeper to grab Gloom, who then recurs Cemetery at its earliest convenience.

Tips and Tricks

Just because your opponent forgot their graveyard hate doesn't mean you did! After it has transformed, Deathbonnet Sprout // Deathbonnet Hulk can exile cards in opposing graveyards to grow stronger. Use this as often as possible!

Soft-locking your opponent out of the game is fun, but you'll have to put them out of their misery eventually. Often, this will need to happen sooner, rather than later. So, don't hesitate to recur a Lhurgoyf strictly for the growing pressure it puts on the opponent. In the late game, a hard-cast Krosan Tusker is also quite menacing.

Speaking of menace, Gloomshrieker's recursion effect can target any permanent in your graveyard. So, if you're low on lands don't forget that you can use the enchantment creature to put a previously-milled land into your hand for later use.

The most obvious upgrade for the deck would be Stitcher's Supplier, but a playset of her cost almost as much as the entire rest of the deck. If you've got your copies already then by all means you should include her. The rest of us poor folks will settle for our Gnawing Vermin instead, though.

While we want to maximize the number of creatures we're playing, there are certainly some tempting non-creature spells we have potential access to. Most, like Necrotic Wound and Drown in Filth, are removal. Others, like Commune with the Gods or Urborg Repossession, act as card selection or recursion respectively. I personally wouldn't play them, as I feel the added consistency for our Cemeteries and Pit Keepers is more important, but in the end it's up to you!

Viconia, Drow Apostate deserves special mention as a pseudo-extra copy of Cemetery. Though the cards she returns to your hand are random, it's never bad to get extra cards regardless. Additionally, she herself is easy to recur (being a creature) and her inclusion decreases our reliance on the two-cost enchantment. I play her in my mono-Black version of the deck, and wouldn't fault anyone for finding room for her in this list, either.

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