Will mill be a viable stategy come rotation ?

Standard forum

Posted on Sept. 11, 2013, 2:26 p.m. by Killabeetle

Just wondering what you guys think about mill post rotation. Will it get better or will it be slowed down to the point where it is not worth building around ? personally I think it will only get better especially in the first few weeks while people are muddling with new strategies. What are your thoughts ?

Rayenous says... #2

I'm not certain it will be "slowed down", as the best "mill" cards are in RTR block currently... however, I don't see many cards in Theros that make me think of mill, so I don't think it's going to add much to mill decks. (Lots still to spoil though!)

September 11, 2013 2:31 p.m.

Killabeetle says... #3

I was referring to other deck being slowed down lol you are right mill has only been getting better since RTR and cards like Thoughtseize and the new u/b PW will only make it stronger or so I hope.

September 11, 2013 2:41 p.m.

zandl says... #4

U/B Control with a mill win-con seems viable at this point, barring any extreme mill-hate that remains to be spoiled. The U/B PW in Theros is bonkers in a mill strategy and we still have both Jace, Architect of Thought and Jace, Memory Adept in Standard. Also, a singleton Mind Grind could be used late-game to end it immediately.

And any excuse to use Thoughtseize is a good excuse.

September 11, 2013 2:45 p.m.

Mill was only a reasonably strategy in one deck, and that deck is going away, as is its key card, Nephalia Drownyard . Its ability to mill your opponent each turn without spending a card was paramount. You could dedicate deck space to control, rather than mill.

With the loss of a reliable, turn-after-turn mill engine, mill will cease being a valid win condition and return to its role as a rule to end the game after a stall. Niche mill decks will still exist, but almost every other deck you could make "should" be stronger.

September 11, 2013 2:46 p.m.

Killabeetle says... #6

I should have wrote that as ''or will the format be slowed down to the point where its not building ?'' My mistake...

September 11, 2013 2:46 p.m.

Killabeetle says... #7

Nephalia Drownyard will certainly be missed but it is still possible to out your opponent by turn 8-9 with out them is that now fast enough ?

September 11, 2013 2:55 p.m.

zandl says... #8

*"Mill was only a reasonably strategy in one deck, and that deck is going away, as is its key card, Nephalia Drownyard . Its ability to mill your opponent each turn without spending a card was paramount. You could dedicate deck space to control, rather than mill.

With the loss of a reliable, turn-after-turn mill engine, mill will cease being a valid win condition and return to its role as a rule to end the game after a stall. Niche mill decks will still exist, but almost every other deck you could make "should" be stronger."*

I don't agree. UB Control before Drownyard was winning with Memory Adept.

September 11, 2013 2:55 p.m.

Killabeetle says... #9

I also agree with zandl esper mill will cease but dimir mill will still flourish.on the back of jace.

September 11, 2013 2:58 p.m.

Killabeetle says... #10

Especially after the PW/legend rule change.

September 11, 2013 2:59 p.m.

Killabeetle says... #11

Here is an example

T1 play Tome Scour 5 + there opening hand = 12 milled

T2 play Breaking 8 cards + there draw last turn = 9 (21 total)

T3 play dimir keyrune +1 there draw last turn = 1 (22 total)

T4 play Jace, Memory Adept mill 10 +1 there draw last turn = 11 (33 total)

T5 activate jace 10 mill +1 there draw last turn pay another jace for 10 more = 21 (54 total)

T6 use jace, Mind Grind or Breaking for the win.

September 11, 2013 3:17 p.m.

zandl says... #12

Well, Killabeetle, that's assuming your opponent does nothing to stop you or just doesn't kill you in that amount of time. Mill decks work better as control with a few powerful mill cards for the win. The likes of Tome Scour aren't really appropriate for a mill/control deck.

September 11, 2013 3:22 p.m.

Rayenous says... #13

Using just a single Ashiok, and a single Jace, you can mill your opponent before they draw on their 8th turn. (7th if they have "tutored"/"drew" two additional cards in the game). That's with you going first, and them drawing first.

That requires casting Ashiok T3, and Jace T5.... leaving you with a lot of room for Thoughtseize , counters, removal, etc.... and if something happens, and you can't get the mill... Ashiok has removed a lot of possible Bombs that you can play for free, as an alternate win-con.

Note: With this Ashiok can mill the same number of card per turn as Nephalia Drownyard , but costs nothing once it's in play... and can mill without using the mana required by the Drownyard... and can start milling a turn earlier... and has a benefit of having additional win-con possibility built in.

.....I was unimpressed by Ashiok at first, but I just convinced my self of just how powerful he is.

September 11, 2013 3:24 p.m.

zandl says... #14

Ashiok essentially replaces Drownyard. In two ways, Nephalia Drownyard 's better (lands are harder to destroy than PWs and it doesn't take up space in the deck), but that's where the advantages end. Ashiok requires just 3 mana to use (as compared to Drownyard's 3 + itself), you can use it for free each turn, and it gives you a potential alternate win-condition in the form of an ultimate ability.

Ashiok's going to be a great Planeswalker. I can't wait to use him.

September 11, 2013 3:28 p.m.

Cobthecobbler says... #15

To be honest, I don't think Mill is ever viable really (from a competitive standpoint). It's often not enough unless supported by heavy control and disruption. Modern has really good mill cards, and I barely ever see modern mill unless it's a kitchen table homebrew deck.

I mean, it's more viable now in standard since now we have Ashiok; and since we have Consuming Aberration and Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker available to us still, along with Jace, Memory Adept . But with Nephalia Drownyard (Which could mill an entire library in the right control deck) leaving us, It's a lot weaker. Everything else is so prone to removal and counterspells. Being a land, Nephalia Drownyard was very rarely able to be dealt with.

I, personally, see mill as a limited strategy, that really shines in draft if you have a dedicated deck.

This is just my opinion though.

September 11, 2013 3:53 p.m.

zandl says... #16

Mill decks (unless combo) are always control decks. They are control decks with a few cards that win the game with mill.

Ashiok adds a ton of power to the strategy.

September 11, 2013 3:57 p.m.

Cobthecobbler says... #17

You're right, but a lot of people try to make just straight up mill decks without any sense of control outside of their hub. Especially new players. A good mill deck needs powerful, reusable mill (Jace or Ashiok), and a way to shut your opponent down. A lot of people don't realize that they need hand disruption too.

All I'm saying is not everyone puts it in a control shell, and some people try to throw it into a creature-heavy deck to balance it out.

Either way, it barely ever works in my experience. It's just too slow.

September 11, 2013 4 p.m.

zandl says... #18

It works fine. Esper control right now can win with either Nephalia Drownyard or AEtherling - it just depends on what you think is more consistent.

And newbies making decks that have no removal or control that try to mill don't really count. I'm talking about competitive.

September 11, 2013 4:04 p.m.

Cobthecobbler says... #19

This thread is talking about post-rotation. Nephalia Drownyard is leaving post-rotation and so Esper Control using that as an alternate win-con is irrelevant.

Esper Control with ND has been powerful for the better part of the season. We all know that, and I specifically stated that since it's leaving us, it's probably not a viable strategy because everything else is too easy to get around.

September 11, 2013 4:09 p.m.

HarbingerJK says... #20

Jaklovsky used Psychic Spiral to mill out Wafo-Tapa in Dragon's Maze top 8 so I don't see why mill wouldn't be completely useless, especially with Traumatize being back in print...having said that idk if it will be a tournament winning deck on the pro tour

September 11, 2013 4:32 p.m.

elganame says... #21

Milling is control. The fact of taking cards off your opponents deck is taking control of the scenario. I worked on a alternative modern mill deck that is actually very eficient. Its not supposed to be necesarly fast, it needs to be good at taking control. If you control de battlefield you dont need to hurry up and your opponent will lose. You can check out my mill deck here and you will see its not necesarly fast but very efective controling the opponents hand, creatures, deck and graveyard.

You will be Denied. (Ultimate Mill)

I dont think mill in standart will be as good as in modern and less people will be playing a deck lacking dedicated cards.

September 11, 2013 4:37 p.m.

Cobthecobbler says... #22

Sealed draft and 60-card constructed are two different monsters... You really can't compare the two. I stated before that Mill does really well in draft when you get the right cards, but in constructed it's harder because you have to make sure your opponent can't do anything to stop you. It's just too risky of a deck to compete with unless you have a way to mill them safely, while also shutting them down.

September 11, 2013 4:39 p.m.

zandl says... #23

I was using Esper control was an example in my points.

There are only 2 cards that outright destroy Planeswalkers come September in Standard, and a few others that can even interact with them. If you're wiping the board every other turn or know how to play control, creatures won't be hitting them. Ashiok is going to be a machine.

September 11, 2013 4:48 p.m.

notamardybum says... #24

mill will be more interesting to play post rotation because the game will be slower. with tome scour, traumatize, mind grind, and the new planeswalker, it'll be interesting.

September 11, 2013 4:50 p.m.

Cobthecobbler says... #25

There's also Planar Cleansing , Bramblecrush , etc that destroy them. They don't necessarily have to be target planeswalkers specifically...

That being said, black is going to be very popular, so your planeswalkers aren't really going to be avoiding that spell much. Creature heavy decks like Jund, Rakdos, Boros, and Gruul will be able to deal with them in combat... I mean, yeah mill is awesome and you can totally do it; most of the cards are there, but it's not going to win you the majority of your games. But without Drownyard, it becomes incredibly less viable. That's all I'm saying.

September 11, 2013 5:34 p.m.

Mill was a very strong strategy in the last set of blocks. I think it's just shifting from milling with one hard to get rid of wincon (Nephalia Drownyard ) and replacing it with another difficult to remove wincon (Jace, Memory Adept or the new u/b planeswalker). The rest of the strategy remains mainly the same, counter all the things, destroy all the creatures.

September 11, 2013 6:02 p.m.

Blakkhand says... #27

Mill decks have never been competitive as an archetype.

I don't count drownyard/jace strategies as mill decks for this statement since they are not mill decks. If there had a been a deck that used Stensia Bloodhall as its sole win con, I would not call it a burn deck for the same reason. It uses mill as its win con, but that is not what defines the deck. The deck is a control deck, and that alone. Otherwise you could even classify dredge as a mill deck, since it utilizes putting cards from the library into the graveyard to win, even though it clearly is not a mill deck.

September 11, 2013 6:32 p.m.

zandl says... #28

There are four cards that you need for control, and all as playsets" Supreme Verdict , Sphinx's Revelation , Azorius Charm , and Detention Sphere . Creature-heavy decks have problems with all of those. Toss in Black for things like Far / Away and Ashiok, then some counterspells, and you've got yourself a tier-1 deck.

September 11, 2013 6:44 p.m.

The Doctor says... #29

I wouldn't base a deck on mill, just have it as an alt win con using the walkers.

September 11, 2013 7:40 p.m.

elganame says... #30

The Doctor Blakkhand, i don't think you have seen creative mill decks yet.

Standard wont give you the freedom to exploit mill capability as main damage resource but modern will.It all depends on limitations and formats.

By the way, my modern mill deck is total bad ass and this is how mill decks are done.

You will be Denied. (Ultimate Mill)

September 11, 2013 10:07 p.m.

The Doctor says... #31

Except the problem that you run into is that 95% of the other modern decks that are worth using will crush you.

September 11, 2013 10:31 p.m.

Cobthecobbler says... #32

Mill is great for casual play, hell, you'll piss your friends off 90% of the time. But in a competitive setting, or even FNM, it's barely 50/50 that you'll win the majority of your games. Some decks are faster and can withstand the mill, or outrace it. Other decks can just stop you from casting spells, or even use Psychic Spiral against you, or Elixir of Immortality to just reset their deck when you've close to run out of spells.

Modern is full of combo decks and disruption, you'll barely stand a chance with mill.

September 11, 2013 10:38 p.m.

elganame says... #33

CobthecobblerA mill deck can easily deal with combo decks using Surgical Extraction .

I recommend you and The Doctor to read my decks description to understand how a mill deck should work.

September 11, 2013 11:13 p.m.

The Doctor says... #34

It's not like you're the Jesus of mill decks. It's a pretty simple process.

September 12, 2013 12:59 a.m.

Blakkhand says... #35

@elganame, the only decks that extraction straight up wins against are living end and exarch twin, and even then living end is still going to be a bad matchup since you allow it to go off even sooner with the mill.

September 12, 2013 10:44 a.m.

I forgot about Jace, Memory Adept when I made my first post. And the new walker will give another option as well. Still gonna say mill should only be the second option in a hard control deck. If you can't draw your AEtherling or your opponent Pithing Needle s it, you can always attrition them out of the game.

September 12, 2013 11:39 a.m.

zandl says... #37

Yeah. Most people think AEtherling is invincible, but if you can resolve a Pithing Needle and name it, it's a 4/5 vanilla for 6 mana. It's always the smarter option to have multiple win-cons in a control deck.

September 12, 2013 12:09 p.m.

zandl says... #38

@elganame: Platinum Angel in Modern, eh? Hedron Crab with no extra landfall? Duress instead of Thoughtseize ?

Clearly, you are the best Magic player here and have the most experiences of any of us, and we should bow down to your elitist attitude.

September 12, 2013 12:11 p.m.

Cobthecobbler says... #39

The idea that Surgical Extraction can beat a Melira Pod deck is ludicrous.

September 12, 2013 12:25 p.m.

Meh, it's just a basic and pretty common misunderstanding amongst newer modern players about how Melira Pod works.

September 12, 2013 12:35 p.m.

MindAblaze says... #41

Yeah, the deck has a lot of moving parts and is not going to be hobbled by removing a couple of them.

That being said it doesn't hurt.

September 12, 2013 12:38 p.m.

Killabeetle says... #42

So I see a lot of people hate on mill and most say Nephalia Drownyard is the god mill engine forgetting that ND can be taken out by a friggin Ghost Quarter or Pithing Needle every card has a way for it to be thwarted. Control decks need a win con because we all know you cant counter or remove/exile all day and win with out a good creature like Delver of Secrets  Flip , AEtherling or plainswalker like jace, bolas ect. I think it will boil down to would you rather win with AEtherling or jace/nightmare weaver. or both. I use a mill deck for most FNM's and I have never done worse then 3-2 and let me just stop anyone right now thinking yea there must be some scrubs at your LGS not the case at all the state champ plays at my LGS and there are well over 20 people that use tier1 $500+ net decks. So the way I see it is if the format is slowed down even a little that will be great for me yea I will lose ND and Drowned Catacomb but that is all I will lose many other decks will take a much bigger hit come rotation.

September 12, 2013 1:02 p.m.

MindAblaze says... #43

I don't think it's impossible. Anyone who has ever won by mill in a non-combo Control deck knows it can be viable. It can even be the primary win condition, but like ANY deck if you don't build a secondary win con in you will lose because of that sometimes.

September 12, 2013 1:07 p.m.

Blakkhand says... #44

zandl, your last post made me laugh so hard. :DDDDDDDD

September 12, 2013 1:12 p.m.

elganame says... #45

zandl I never said that i was the best magic player or that i have the most experience. Never the less, yes. Platinum Angel in modern. Why not? Enlighten me please. Duress over Thoughtseize , yes. It has a reason to be and in this case Thoughtseize is a good sideboard. Hedron Crab mills great with Oboro, Palace in the Clouds and is not the main menace so no extra landfall needed.

Elitist attitud. Dude, what are you? The Gandhi of Magic? Chill out and give some positive feedback or dont even bother. Your coment came through as more elitist than mine.

September 12, 2013 2:37 p.m.

Cobthecobbler says... #46

No one said Nephalia Drownyard was god card. We're getting enough of those in Theros (pun intended). But in all seriousness, ND was one of the best tools for mill/control in standard because honestly, who the hell ran Ghost Quarter at all? And If you had Jace, Memory Adept in your deck, too, who was going to PN your ND? The chances of drawing and playing both weren't too good when most people sided in only 2 or 3 of them.

It's a land that milled you for a cost, that's why it's so good. No one uses LD as sideboard tech, and Pithing Needle shut it down, but then after that any deck would just move on to their next win-con.

September 12, 2013 2:50 p.m.

zandl says... #47

elganame said: "By the way, my modern mill deck is total bad ass and this is how mill decks are done."

elganame said: "I recommend you and The Doctor to read my decks description to understand how a mill deck should work."


Platinum Angel costs too much mana and you'd just be dead by turn-7. If not, they could just kill it or counter it.

Thoughtseize is better than Duress. Period.

Anything else you want to add?

September 12, 2013 2:50 p.m.

Hey, so, remember that time where people got worked up over a game and argued about it over the interwebs. Pepperidge Farm remembers.

September 12, 2013 2:59 p.m.

zandl says... #49

I don't recall any argument.

September 12, 2013 3:02 p.m.

Killabeetle says... #50

@Cobthecobbler I ran Ghost Quarter for taking out ND KWR DL most 3-5 color decks run no basics so destroying there land really crippled them especially if you take out there green early now they cant cast Farseek call me crazy call me a noob but it has worked great for me in the past.

September 12, 2013 3:05 p.m.

This discussion has been closed