An Exposition on the Viability of Milling: It's Virtues, Merits, and Methods, Presented Here in Nine Theorems

by Bruvac the Grandiloquent

My esteemed colleagues in this our most honorable Senate, I bid you good afternoon. In today's hearing we have on our agenda a question of extraordinary importance and tremendous and profound gravity:

Is mill, the strategy whereby one wins by putting cards directly from their opponents libraries into their graveyards, thereby causing them to draw with no cards in their library and therefore losing the game, viable in EDH? Despite its past difficulties and peculiar challenges, I, Bruvac the Grandiloquent, proclaim: Indeed it most assuredly is! And not just viable, but in fact I would argue that it is quite powerful!

Now, I'm sure that many of you, my dear colleagues of the Senate, are worried that three opponents with 100 cards each is too much to mill. You are no doubt concerned about things like Eldrazi Titans that shuffle graveyards back in automatically. Well you should be! But I assure you that we have answers to all of those problems! Indubitably, I would be greatly remiss were I not to confront these challenges and address them head-on! If you find yourself overly eager, know that I will do so in my final theorem presented here, so read ahead if you must in the copies of my thesis that have been distributed amongst you, most esteemed Senators. Nevertheless, to be perfectly clear, we are playing mill because we want an entertaining and stimulating challenge. We eschew the quick and easy path of violence. We are taking the high road; the more honorable and principled path: the proud and weathered path of Reason. We will win not on the basis of violence, but by the power of our words, by the force of our rhetoric. We choose this revered road not because it is the easiest way to win a game of commander. Nay! We choose it because by doing so we keep barbarism at bay, if only for another day. And yet, we would, notwithstanding, like to play in high-powered, casual pods and win more than the occasional game. I, Bruvac, assure you that it can be done. And it must be done. Verily, civilization itself doth balance most precariously upon the necessity of our success in this endeavor. Please hear my argument:

Thus, find here then presented for your judicious and careful consideration an explanation of precisely how it works in nine theorems.

  • Theorem the first: Persistent Petitioners are the backbone of the deck. They are there trying to put lots of cards in graveyards. Doubled. Should Bruvac, an Advisor, be preceded on turn two by a Petitioner, and then followed immediately on turn four by two more Petitioners, we then have four Advisors ready to activate right away. (Nota Bene: This sequence of Advisors on turns two through four means we don't want to play any mana rocks that cost more than 1 mana. Therefor we are only playing Sol Ring as per protocol.) So a Petitioner activation to mill 12 becomes mill 24. That's a quarter of someone's deck! Its the equivalent of attacking for 10 each turn, except we're doing it with haste and unblockable. Not bad! This is our main strategy and everything else is meant to assist, amplify, and enable this baseline.

  • Theorem the second: A robust suite of counterspells and spot removal allow us to defend our board state and our life total. This is especially important because me commit firmly to the field, exposing our advisors to the wrath of those would oppose us. Low mana value or free counters like Swan Song and Force of Will allow us to build our board presence and simultaneously to protect it.

  • Theorem the third: And furthermore, Spark Double, Sakashima the Impostor, and Sakashima of a Thousand Faces can copy Bruvac. So the doubling is also doubled. Now a Petitioner activation mills 48. Two activations and someone is gone. Now we're getting somewhere!

  • Theorem the fourth: Reflections of Littjara gives us a two for one on all of our Petitioners. So if we cast just two petitioners we're able to get the mill engine running. Its a great way to recover very quickly from board wipes!

  • Theorem the fifth: Persistent Petitioners + Thrumming Stone are putting the mill into hyperdrive. At least 25 Petitioners are required for us to reach the the 1 in 4 needed to ripple through the whole deck. We're running 27 just to be safe. This way the Thrumming Stone will probably allow us to cast all of the Petitions in the deck in one go.

  • Theorem the sixth: Intruder Alarm + Thrumming Stone will allow us to activate our Petitioners a plethora of times to mill everyone out. Even without Thrumming Stone, Intruder Alarm will probably allow us to untap and activate our Petitioners at least once on each person's turn as creature spells are cast.

  • Theorem the seventh: Bruvac the Grandiloquent + Traumatize and Bruvac the Grandiloquent + Maddening Cacophony just turn libraries upside down. Because half doubled is the whole thing. Traumatize will mill out one player. Cacophony will take out all of our opponents.

  • Theorem the eighth: Propaganda, Meekstone, Crawlspace, and Cyclonic Rift can give us some defense beyond just blocking with Petitioners. Whereby we would prefer to win without resort to violence, but through the power of rhetoric, not all of our opponents should be so civilized, and therefore we must prepare for the eventuality that we should be attacked in spite of our valorous commitment to Reason. These cards will slow our opponents down and buy us time.

  • Theorem the ninth: We also need ways to deal with a few situations that present obstacles for mill strategies: namely, graveyard decks and Shuffle Titans. Solutions like Disallow and Soul-Guide Lantern can keep Shuffle Titans like Kozilek, Butcher of Truth from shuffling their graveyards back in to reset against our milling, by either countering the shuffle trigger or by exiling the graveyard with the trigger on the stack. In addition to keeping all of our hard work from being undone by Shuffle Titans, the Lantern, Relic of Progenitus and Scavenger Grounds also provide much-needed graveyard hate so we can hedge against decks that would take advantage of a big graveyard.

In conclusion and by way of summation, it is our fervent belief that we have the ability to win through milling, through doubling powerful mill effects, be they from the activation of a cadre of Persistent Petitioners or through the steady milling provided by our permanents, and that we have a deontological moral imperative to do so. Likewise we are prepared to answer threats that arise and challenges that may confront us. We are committed to following a more honorable path to victory, and while this may also be a more difficult way, it is one that is in keeping with our firm and hallowed principles, namely, a commitment to non-violence and healthy debate through persuasive argumentation; principles that we know, a-priori, form the backbone of a truly civilized society. And furthermore... Oh, I'm being signaled by the chairman that I have used up my time and must relinquish the podium. Very well.

Thank you for you attention! I trust you will all do the right thing and vote in favor of the deck in question today. I therefore hereby give the floor to my fellow Advisors that they may provide any necessary addendums, amendments, appendixes, or further clarifications or exposition as required for us to come to an appropriately voluble and, indeed, truly loquacious conclusion. Good evening, honorable Senators.

- Bruvac the Grandiloquent, Honored Judge of the Azorius Senate

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Key combos

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

6 - 0 Mythic Rares

26 - 0 Rares

12 - 0 Uncommons

30 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.16
Tokens Ape 3/3 G, Frog Lizard 3/3 G, 2/2 C Creature Manifest, 2/2 U Token Creature Bird
Folders Uncategorized, Later, Player's Decks, Reference Material, Ideas, Gavian's Decks
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