They can't beat you without cards to play right?

I was really excited about Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver when it was revealed. I've also been partial to discard/hand control since my Ratnica deck a while ago.

Take any immediate threats out of their hands with Thoughtseize and Duress. Mill them with Jace, Memory Adept while controlling their spells and board presence with Psychic Strike , Dissolve, and Far / Away . Play their milled cards with Psychic Intrusion , or just directly steal their cards with Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver or Nightveil Specter.

Usually wins by milling them (after removing ways to deal with Jace), or beating them down with their own win-cons.


Aggro Matchup:

-4 Duress-2 
Psychic Intrusion
Wall of Frost

Duress and Psychic Intrusion both lack the power against aggro that they have against most other decks, so they're good ones to pull out. Wall of Frost gives some early game protection to Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver and lets Nightveil Specter attack. AEtherize is the perfect tempo play this deck needs to recover against aggro. After one, I'll usually be able to put enough of their creatures and lands out with Nightveil Specter and Ashiok to outpace their attempt to rebuild, while countering their casts.

Depending on their speed/bombs, pulling Thoughtseize for more Wall of Frost and Hero's Downfall can be a good move.

Control Matchup:

Far / Away
Psychic Intrusion

Control is this deck's strong point, stealing the few win conditions that most control decks in the current meta have means they can't do very much. Duress and Thoughtseize pull out unfavorable counters, lest they lose the win conditions they're holding. My own counters are then enough to stop the conditions they do get, and Psychic Intrusion can let you take their Elspeth, Sun's Champion or AEtherling for yourself.

Midrange Matchup:

-X Duress-Y Planeswalkers+X 
+Y Hero's Downfall or 
Wall of Frost

The deck is relatively strong against midrange. Most decks still have some key cards you can control/counter/steal to win. Sometimes removing some card control for more creature control is a good way to go, but generally not many changes are necessary.

Rogue Decks

Monoblack Reanimator

-4 Thoughtseize-2 Jace, Memory Adept+2 Cremate+4 Crypt Incursion

This may not become popular, but it deserves a note because it absolutely destroys my deck. As is, if you don't hit hand control/sacrifice at the right time, there is nothing you can do to stop them from whipping everything you mill with Jace, Memory Adept or your counters. Counters become nearly worthless other than for the key parts, and for Grey Merchant of Asphodel the first time around. Pulling out whatever you can to put it graveyard control should improve the situation by quite a bit, and the remaining Duress still give you a decent chance of throwing out the whip or god ahead of time.


#14 in tournament @ Rooks Comics and Games — Oct. 18, 2013

I didn't have the sideboard for this deck for this tournament, I could only pick up three Wall of Frost at the counter before starting.

Round 1: vs Slivers

Went up against a five color sliver deck running Door of Destinies. First game I lost after stabilizing and stealing a Megantic Sliver and Syphon Sliver of his. He topdecked a Galerider Sliver for the win. Second game I sided in my three Wall of Frost and pulled three Duress, ended up getting completely mana flooded, and he just got to go off the whole time. Was not overjoyed seeing this deck lose to slivers, but mostly just got unlucky.

Round 2: vs Rakdos Aggro

Lost the first game to just too much aggro. Sided in the three Wall of Frost I had, and won the second game pretty solidly. Countered most threats, stole a Coordinated Assault and Mountain to let my walls kill what board presence they did build up. Stole a Underworld Cerebus but won by milling with untouched Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver and Jace, Memory Adept. Last game went almost identically to the second, putting me at 1-1.

Round 3: vs Orzhov Ramp

This was a very interesting deck. Crypt Ghast and other black ramp into Blood Baron of Vizkopa, Obzedat, Ghost Council and Debt to the Deathless. I lost the first game after a Debt to the Deathless with Sanguine Bond out. No sides, won the next two games by stealing his Blood Baron of Vizkopa and Crypt Ghast, while milling him with the planewalkers, putting me at 2-1.

Round 4: vs Mono-black Reanimator

This was by far the worst game of the night for me. The deck centered around Whip of Erebos, Underworld Connections, Erebos, God of the Dead, and Grey Merchant of Asphodel. The whip and connections meant Erebos was always a creature, and that combined with the lifelink meant constant hand advantage with Read the Bones and the connections, as well as Erebos himself. I only hit one Far / Away in both games we played, which he Thoughtseized, and saw only one counter a game. Milling him just meant more to whip back, and Hero's Downfall stomped my planeswalkers. I also made a serious play mistake game one and didn't steal a Devour Flesh from his hand to kill Erebos, God of the Dead with.

I think playing against this deck with better draws could lead to a closer match, but he beat me 2-0. If his deck becomes common in the meta, then I'm going to have to sideboard some Crypt Incursion and Cremate to deal with it.

Overall 2-2, but not as strong of a showing as I had hoped.


Quadsimotto says... #1

A very different look at mill. I like it but it seems somewhat susceptible to fast early creatures. I will upvote it regardless cause denial seems to me a sweeter win than purely overwhelming ones opposition.

October 10, 2013 1:32 a.m.

skeet70 says... #2

I'd agree, and I'm predicting that to be my toughest matchup. I need to test against a bunch of the aggro meta. I'm essentially hoping that Thoughtseize + Far / Away will help me enough against aggro to let me stabilize and then control them with counters. Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver and Nightveil Specter also have the opportunity to get me a few creatures to push back against aggro.

Thanks for the upvote and the feedback!

October 10, 2013 1:51 a.m.

Quadsimotto says... #3

I would offer one up one card that may help late game. Cyclonic Rift someone advised it to me. I was unsure but after extensive playtesting with it.. it has saved me many times late game putting EVERYTHING back into the other guys hand...Which may help you with a late draw of a thought seize.

October 10, 2013 1:57 a.m.

skeet70 says... #4

I think I'll sideboard that actually! I'd kind of forgotten about it, but a friend runs it in his U/W/R Control [Theros] deck, and it always seems to help him out.

I think in control and midrange matchups I'm actually pretty strong without it, so I'll sideboard it as a stabilizer vs. aggro. I definitely like it combined with a late Thoughtseize or Duress .


October 10, 2013 2:10 a.m.

Vindemiatrixx says... #5

+1 for Dimir/Mill Id recommend more removal though creature heavy decks will overwhelm you eventually, check out mine Dimirritation (2nd place FNM!) maybe you can get some ideas from there, you play slightly different than I do, but our goals are the same.

October 10, 2013 2:25 a.m.

GoatTower says... #6

Your deck really needs either more creatures or more removal. Yes, the duress and thoughtseize are nice early on, but a couple of early creatures will just pummel you. Even something as simple as a couple of Doom Blade s could do wonders. Also, don't run Psychic Intrusion - at least not as a 4 of. It's a 5 mana sorcery that could potentially do very little for you. You need to smooth out the mana curve, atm your deck is entirely 1 mana, 5 mana, and (very heavily) 3 drops. Get some more specific counterpsells that cost 2 mana, they can make a big difference. Also, what's Daxos of Meletis doing on your sideboard? How exactly do you plan to cast him with no White mana? :/

Aside from that, in a control deck you generally want some way to get a card advantage. I've been struggling to find something to replace Think Twice , but take a look around and see what you like. Inspiration is a possibility, as is Underworld Connections - As I said, just playtest for what works.

October 10, 2013 2:45 a.m.

skeet70 says... #7

There is almost no way Psychic Intrusion is going to do little for me, since on turn 5 there is surely a decent number of cards in their graveyard, and I could take one from their hand. Daxos of Meletis is not in the sideboard, he's in the maybeboard. I originally was thinking of going B/U/W, but decided against it for now.

I agree though on the draw and removal. Draw is probably less important than removal right now, I haven't really had a problem with hand advantage since I'm cutting theirs down so much. The curve is certainly weird, but again, the plan with this deck is to cast their deck. It really does even out the curve a bit, though 2 is still a dead spot.

What would you suggest taking out for Doom Blade ?

October 10, 2013 10:33 a.m.

Cappadocius says... #8

skeet70 I think you could take out all your duress and put x2 doom blade and x2 hero's downfall, it would stand stronger against creatures that way and you would still have 8 counters + 4 thoughtseize to deal with non-creature threats. I've just built a Milling deck very different from your, but you could look at it just to see how I balance my control Milling some Standard Corn

October 10, 2013 11:39 a.m.

skeet70 says... #9

I really want some people to try playtesting this before suggestions :D. I've been testing it against aggro decks today and while it's my weakest matchup so far, I've won at least half the time. Every time I've tried it against control or midrange it does extremely well.

However I do think 2x Doom Blade and 2x Hero's Downfall would be a good idea. Maybe I should sideboard them, Removing Duress in an aggro matchup to remove more?

Cappadocius thanks for the feedback, I'll take a look at your deck.

October 10, 2013 11:49 a.m.

Cappadocius says... #10

I was just wondering about some other thing, you should put something in your sideboard to enter in the place of your 4x Nightveil Specter if you are not playing against U or B, since you won't have the mana to cast the spells and a mill of one ain't really useful. Maybe some Omenspeaker , or more creature removal. There's some people talking about using Hover Barrier , it might do well in it's place.

October 10, 2013 12:28 p.m.

skeet70 says... #11

You steal their mana :D. When I played against my aggro that's what happened. With Specter I ended up stealing a Stomping Ground and Forest , then played a Burning-Tree Emissary into a Far / Away . Then used Ashiok to play it's Stormbreath Dragon for the win haha.

I'll try running Hover Barrier or Wall of Frost in the sideboard for off color matchups though, in case my first game goes badly with Specter.

October 10, 2013 12:44 p.m.

Cappadocius says... #12

It had never ocurred me that you could play their mana with the Nightveil Specter , that's just beautiful, hahaha. Does it still count for your max drop of one land per turn?

October 11, 2013 10:24 a.m.

skeet70 says... #13

Cappadocius yeah, it does count towards your limit, but that usually fine after you've dropped your third land. You just leave those three back to threaten counter/sac, then swing and see if you hit a land to play before playing your own. So much fun, I love the Specter haha.

October 11, 2013 2:16 p.m.

nazrul says... #14

I agree with GoatTower regarding Psychic Intrusion , cut them down to 2, so you can add Cyclonic Rift or Hero's Downfall in their place.Psychic Intrusion is great card but is to expensive to cast on turn 5 and also get something that is worth tapping out turn 5, most times you would want to cast it after you got Jace, Memory Adept out and milled for 10, so you go for turn 6 in order to cast the exiled card at turn 7 or even later, by running 4 copies you will be stacked a lot of times with 2 dead cards in your hand from your opening hand.

Good deck though with a lot of potential and i really love seeing Nightveil Specter and Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver hitting the opponent with his threat, i run a deck with both of them, though with a completely different wincons, and i really love them.


October 21, 2013 2:12 p.m.

skeet70 says... #15

nazrul and GoatTower after running this in a few tournaments, I think I agree. Psychic Intrusion is almost always an awesome draw, but it does come up early too often. It's a much better late game card, though it can come in handy pulling T5 or T6 planeswalkers out of their hands. The nice thing about it in that sense, is you generally already know if they have a worthwhile bomb in hand because of all the Duress and Thoughtseize .

I think I'll try running Cyclonic Rift mainboard for the flexibility. That will make my vs. aggro sideboard -2 Psychic Intrusion , -4 Duress , +2 Wall of Frost , +4 AEtherize or something.

October 21, 2013 3:22 p.m.

skeet70 says... #16

Thanks everyone for the +1's and comments!

Posted a bunch of play updates, and also took feedback into account by changing some Psychic Intrusion 's out for Cyclonic Rift . Let me know what you think, additional feedback is appreciated!

October 21, 2013 4:13 p.m.


Question regarding Nightveil Specter mechanics. I have been wanting to build a control deck similar to this. I am wondering, the specific card mechanics on Psychic Intrusion speaks to casting. With the Nightveil Specter , does his ability require casting or is it implied that you basically grab the card and put it in play without spending mana to cast?

October 25, 2013 10:42 a.m.


The official rules on casting a spell state:

"Playing a card" means playing that card as a land or casting that card as a spell, whichever is appropriate.

So with Nightveil Specter you can play any card that is exiled. Playing a land is as simple as putting it into play (still counts towards your limit of one per turn). Playing a spell is the same as casting it, which would require you to pay the mana cost as well as any other casting costs the spell may have.

With Psychic Intrusion, you can only cast an exiled spell, which means that you cannot play lands. However, you can essentially cast the exiled spell for what amounts to it's converted mana cost in colorless mana.

October 25, 2013 2:41 p.m.

@MillhouseDimir Thanks for the explanation. So it's as I thought. You'd have to ramp up on the opponents lands to play the Specter's ability. But Intrusion just makes it easier.

Cool that makes the thought of how to construct the deck that much easier!!!

October 26, 2013 2:24 a.m.

juliandusett says... #20

What do you think of Pilfered Plans , Duskmantle Guildmage and Sanguine Bond ? Sanguine Bond would really only work with Crypt Incursion , so I suppose it's not that helpful. Pilfered Plans is probably the most useful as it can provide card advantage until you play a Jace, Memory Adept (but then again you'll probably only be using Jace's 0 ability, so then it would be your only card advantage). Finally, Duskmantle Guildmage , though not as helpful, can be brutal when it's first ability is activated when milling using Jace.

October 30, 2013 2:28 p.m.

skeet70 says... #21

Sanguine Bond would't really work, Crypt Incursion is just in the sideboard for reanimator type stuff.

I've thought about Pilfered Plans but honestly, it's not worth the slot. I've usually got plenty of hand advantage just from hand disruption, and I can hold my own cards back to play theirs.

Duskmantle Guildmage could be great with Jace, but this deck is purely mill, and pretty damn good at it ;). Diluting the mill aspect to add in damage wouldn't work very well, which is the same reason I don't run Consuming Aberration .

I like your thoughts though, they're definitely on point, those were all things I considered at some point or another with this deck.

October 31, 2013 1:20 a.m.

both AEtherize and Cyclonic Rift synergize quite well with Ashiok's ultimate. i run a grixis deck, and i use rift during my opponent's end step, then i throw out Sire Of Insanity on my turn. i find that combination to be a game ender every time. obviously you dont have access to sire, but ashiok works equally as well. if you have the time with Jace, Memory Adept his ultimate also synergizes well with Ashiok. -7 him to give your opponent 20 cards, then take em away with ashiok's -10.

November 2, 2013 2:30 a.m.

skeet70 says... #23

GKirt that's true! I honestly had not thought about either of those things. Definitely makes Cyclonic Rift even better in a control match. Thanks for pointing that out!

November 3, 2013 2:37 p.m.

no problem! i really like where this deck is going! Good luck with it

November 3, 2013 3:15 p.m.

Joshua_Caesar says... #25

I took this deck (made a couple of changes) to a GPT on the Isle of White and it didn't do to bad even though most of the games I played ended up be against it's weak decks. I really enjoyed it and had some of the best games of magic I've ever played.

The changes I made were instead of 4 memory adepts I had 3 and one Architect of Thought, instead of Psychic Intrusion I put in 2 Reap Intellect (which was amazing) and instead of 4 dissolves I ran 2 Hero's downfall and 2 doom blades (only because I didn't have another 2 downfalls).

I found this deck works well against the Hexproof deck as long as you start with a Thoughtseize in hand. Far/Away was the hero for me though overall!

April 7, 2014 1:57 p.m.

skeet70 says... #26

Thanks for the report, I'm glad you enjoyed playing it!

April 7, 2014 10:43 p.m.

Liaramancer says... #27

Are you ever going to update this deck with M15 cards like Waste Not?

August 7, 2014 11:03 a.m.

Evnicar says... #28

August 11, 2014 11:32 a.m.

skeet70 says... #29

I hadn't started testing anything M15 in this deck yet. The only changes I think I would make would be to swap the AEtherize for AEtherspouts in the side. 2 Sign in Blood could replace 2 Duress .

Unfortunately I don't think cards like Waste Not or Liliana Vess would really work. Despite the 8x discard spells, the deck isn't really built around discard. At it's heart it's a control deck, and it could probably stand to lose the Duress in favor of something like Ulcerate or Hero's Downfall . Liliana would only be useful for her -2 ability, and that wouldn't really be worth 5 mana and a card slot.

Thanks for the comments though guys, and I'll still probably test out your suggestions, because I never really know until I see things in action.

August 15, 2014 12:28 p.m.

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Date added 4 years
Last updated 4 years

This deck is Standard legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 3.06
Folders Standard, get, Ashiok the Ripper, maybe decks, Decks , Dimir, Standard, Favorites, standard good decks, UB Ripper, See all 19
Top rank #37 on 2013-10-28
Views 14299

Revision 7 See all

4 years ago)

+2 Cyclonic Rift main
-3 Cyclonic Rift side
-2 Psychic Intrusion main
+2 Psychic Intrusion side
+4 Cremate side
+4 Crypt Incursion side
-2 Wall of Frost side
-2 Cremate side
-1 Crypt Incursion side