Esper Salt Mill

Modern TheSurgeon

SCORE: 144 | 94 COMMENTS | 10033 VIEWS | IN 51 FOLDERS

HOU Update —July 23, 2017

FINALLY!! Wizards has printed a card that may show Mill through the door to the VIP section of the Modern meta: Fraying Sanity . The effect of the card is a lot like Burn's version of this card: Curse of Bloodletting , but it's the CMC that'll make this Modern viable.

Anyway, as a result of this meta-shaking print, I have reconstructed this deck to extort the power of this card; up the tempo control; and put more emphasis on instant mill on top of static-mill rather than the usual suspects: Breaking , Mind Funeral , Mind Sculpt , etc.

Playtest and feedback are encouraged. So far, I have noticed an increase in mill speed, and the reliability of the tempo mechanic. Even if you've offered feedback in the past, some new insight, criticism and suggestions are always welcome!


Decapablo says... #1

Wonderful! Maybe Ghost Quarter to:
- activate Archive Trap
- against tricolor deck you can exile non basic lands with Extirpate and Surgical Extraction- ...then make Mind Funeral better!

March 23, 2017 7:35 a.m.

GCNDAN3702 says... #2

Beautiful deck! I can see you put a lot of thought and playtesting into it. The only thing I don't get is why only a singleton of Mesmeric Orb? Seems like you would get more mileage with an orb over a couple of turns vs the tomescours that just punch for 5 once.

March 26, 2017 1:36 a.m.

TheSurgeon says... #3

@Decapablo- I used to have Quarter in here, but it kept messing with my mana base early game while I waited for the reason to use it. I really like the card, but the deck honestly runs more smoothly without it. With Modern being so full of fetch lands, i feel that I can have my opponent do most of the work for me.

@GCNDAN3702- regarding the orb, I had intentions of putting 2 in here but didn't have the money for the card at the time. After that, I just put it out of my head. Also, I tend to be a stickler over CMC. Tome was one, orb is two. I'm not a huge fan of milling myself, but there is a positive to this with the Snapcasters in here. That being said, you make a good point about it being more effective over the course of a game. I did order another, Thanks for the boot in the ass!


March 26, 2017 8:40 a.m.

TheSurgeon says... #4

@SavageGaul- It's always nice to hear from a fellow lobotomist!

There are a few sets cards that have been/are in here that I feel are a wash when it comes to benefits and personal taste. Take Thought Scour and Tome Scour; each works with my archetype but one offers a little draw in leu of more mill power. Or Breaking and Mind Sculpt. One is less color specific, so it's easier to cast, but mills one less. A relevant example of this is your aforementioned Extirpate and Surgical Extraction. This boils down to my local meta, as it runs a LOT of control and counter. So, I heavy-end the Extirpates to avoid so much countering with split second. Though, I whole-heartedly agree that having the ability to extract at will is pretty darn handy.

As stated in my previous comment, I did order another Orb, but would like to keep the potential first-turn mill on the table with Tome Scour.

Sorry it took me a minnit to get back to you, it's been one of THOSE weeks.

Play on, friend!

March 26, 2017 8:58 a.m. Edited.

SavageGaul says... #5

No worries, brother, and I agree: the choice beteeen the cards you compared is down to playstyle, personal preference, and the local meta.

Be well!

March 26, 2017 12:53 p.m.

CommanderNeyo says... #6

Out of curiosity, in how many turns, on average, does this deck win? I like the idea of mill and have tried my hand it at a little, but I haven't seen it played and don't know how well it works.

Also, +1 for Esper. :D

March 26, 2017 5:18 p.m.

TheSurgeon says... #7

@CommanderNeyo- about 6-7 turns. I acknowledge that it isn't the fastest deck or archetype in the meta, but that's where the tempo control comes into play. Make the game last as long as you need it to.

IMO, mill is one of those archetypes that people aren't willing to try because there are few variants of the mill archetype that work and many haven't put forth the effort to show that mill can be Modern competitive.

Thanks for the upvote! Play hard!

March 26, 2017 5:53 p.m.

Nibbith says... #8

Awesome. I am just getting back into magic, but this shows me how an old deck idea has come up to speed. Also the budget version on your write up is super useful to me.

March 28, 2017 8:01 p.m.

TheSurgeon says... #9

@Nibbith- Thank you for those kind words! Actually, I'm really glad you find the budget list useful. I could clean the description up a bit, as it has two different strategies scrambled up in it.

If you like this idea, check out my Modern homebrew: Open Skull Lobotomy.

Play on!

March 28, 2017 8:17 p.m.

TiagoMourao says... #10

Hey, very cool deck! :)

I would suggest swapping the Disenchant on the sides for Fragmentize, since it hits basically everything you want to hit, but its cheaper!


March 30, 2017 12:05 a.m.

TheSurgeon says... #11

TiagoMourao- Thanks! That's a pretty cool update to a card that's definitely showing my age. LOL.

March 30, 2017 6:52 a.m.

Kezvin says... #13

Have you ever considered the combination of Thought Scour and Manic Scribe? Target yourself with one or two Scours to establish Delirium, then put a Scribe down to mill consistently. It's not too terribly destructive, but it's fun and it's consistent. I run it in my list.

March 30, 2017 9:58 p.m.

TheSurgeon says... #14

Kezvin- While I enjoy cool combos, this deck is competitive. It is considered a Turbo Mill deck. It uses the most cost efficient spells to take everything from the opponent and as little as possible from yourself. Targeting myself with a Scour is counter productive, regardless of what move I have next turn.

Furthermore, my creature base is to small to have any creature exist beyond one or two turns, then chump block (this is best case scenario). Scribe would be a turn wasted I could have cast a Glimpse, Breaking; or save mana for a Remand or Path.

Consuming Aberration, Mind Grind, Increasing Confusion, Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker and Manic Scribe all have their place and are fun in competitive casual play, I agree; but all, for one reason or another have no place in Modern competitive decks.

thanks for the input!
Go forth, and conquer!

March 30, 2017 10:23 p.m.

Kezvin says... #15

TheSurgeon- Fair enough. I've seen it in competitive Modern League decks, and it has won, but it is somewhat counter-productive. It does take off a turn, especially with a small land base. I think it needs to be the center, you can't just put it into a turbo-mill list and expect it to perform. Maybe I should've considered that before suggesting it.

In terms of Consuming Aberration and the lot - they are fun, and they hit hard, but not nearly as cheap nor as efficient as Manic Scribe. I personally would consider running Scribe in modern, maybe in a list that was built a little more around Scribe rather than just a general turbo-mill, but I agree the others are too expensive. I don't think that Scribe and the likes of Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker can be compared like that. They work so differently and one is far more efficient (albeit with a little building around) than the other.

Since this a competitive deck, I'd love to know what your local meta is and how this deck fares against said meta.

Thanks for the response!

March 30, 2017 10:44 p.m.

Th3El3x says... #16

hey man, the deck looks super sweet.

I have a weird sideboard suggestion:

Against low to the ground creature strategies, how do you feel about Yahenni's Expertise? The reason I am suggesting it is that you dont loose a lot of tempo by casting it because you can cast a mill spell off it, but the real reason:

You can fuse-cast Breaking / Entering with it, which allows you to put up a defensive threat while still milling your opponent.

What do you think?

I mean, Ensnaring Bridge is already pretty potent against these decks, but still, it i feel that would be pretty powerful.

April 1, 2017 7:18 a.m.

Darkshadow327 says... #17

Awesome deck, if only one of mine could become this popular. LOL, never gonna happen. Cool deck though! ;P

April 2, 2017 1:20 p.m.

Darkshadow327 says... #18

You could also think about Startled Awake  Flip, but your deck is awesome how it is. I don't think you actually need it in there.

April 2, 2017 1:23 p.m.

Darkshadow327 says... #19

You could also think about Startled Awake  Flip and Keening Stone, but your deck is awesome how it is. I don't think you actually need those in there.

April 2, 2017 1:26 p.m.

TheSurgeon says... #20

TheAlexGnan interesting card, I like it perhaps for another deck, but this feels a little too narrow to throw in a sideboard that has proven to be very solid here.

Darkshadow327- Startled awake feels slow, and keening stone is simply too expensive.

Thank you both for the great feedback and upvote!

April 2, 2017 1:38 p.m.

Darkshadow327 says... #21

TheSurgeon- I was just putting some cards that I like. That's why I said you didn't actually need them. I just think that those 2 cards and Traumatize are fun to play. But your deck is fine, I actually don't think any revisions need to be made

April 2, 2017 4:05 p.m.

lefty117 says... #22

Have you thought about 1 or 2 Ghost Quarters? it can count as an extra landfall or has the ability to turn your Archive Trap online by letting your opponent search.

April 5, 2017 10:22 p.m.

lefty117 says... #23

April 5, 2017 10:23 p.m.

TheSurgeon says... #24

lefty117- I used to have Quarter in here, but it kept messing with my early game mana; and with the Modern meta being so full of fetches, they felt unnecessary. I'm probably basing this off of a small percentage of games this happened to me, but the deck is very smooth without them.

If it ain't broke- ya know?


April 6, 2017 12:13 a.m.