Mill in Guilds of Ravnica?

As many of you will know, I have a deep loathing for the Blue section of the colour pie. It might seem strange given it is my favourite colour in the real world, but when it comes to Magic I stay as for away from it as possible. It might seem a little unfair to dismiss an entire colour worth of cards, but it is all rooted in my own personal play style. I love aggro decks, and completely dislike control and tempo decks. It’s not that I can’t play these strategies, as I have in the passed done so to a very successful degree. I just prefer to stick to aggressive play styles. However, there is one difference. One strategy that I have a soft spot for when it comes to playing Blue. And that strategies, is Mill.

One of the original ‘alternative’ win conditions, Mill is all about attacking your opponent’s resources rather than their life total. Think of it like cutting of supply lines rather than engaging in an all-out battle. By getting rid of their library you can prevent them from finding answers and could even get rid of their win conditions before they hit the table. You might be hitting your opponent in a way they are not expecting, but the result is still the same. Eventually they will run out of cards and when they go to draw, they will lose.

I first fell in love with Milling out my opponents during a Magic Origins Draft. Even though I would have preferred to play something aggressive, it was clear that blue was wide open. As a result, I ended up with a sick Mono Blue Mill deck with Sphinx’s Tutelage, Dreadwaters and even a copy of Talent of the Telepath all in attendance. The icing on the cake was the fact I got to Mill every one of my opponents at least once, very rarely even swinging for their life totals. Ever since then I have always kept an eye out in case Mill becomes viable, waiting for the time it could come back. I believe that time is now.

In Magic 2019 we got to see two nifty Enchantments that were clearly made for each other, Psychic Corrosion and Patient Rebuilding. The Corrosion Mills the top two cards of your opponent’s library whenever you draw a card, while the Rebuilding puts their top three cards into the graveyard during your upkeep. It also has the added bonus that if it Mills over a land, you get to draw a card. Combine the two and you have a recipe for misery, potentially getting ride of up to nine cards in one upkeep. And that’s only with one of each, just imagine if you had multiple copies of either Enchantment.

So, we have a way to win the game, but its going to take time to put the pieces together. Therefore, we need a way of buying said time until we can get the win condition on line, and then a way of staying alive while it works its magic. You know what that means. Its time to control the board.

Psychic Corrosion

We start off our control package with a good selection of counter spells. Disdainful Stroke, Essence Scatter, Sinister Sabotage, Devious Cover-Up, Syncopate and Negate all have their own uses in the deck, and will be used against different threats depending on the match up. While Sinister Sabotage is our allrounder, we will want Essence Scatter for Creature based decks and Negate for Control mirrors. I have based my package on my own meta, but feel free to tweak it to suit your own needs in your local area.

Patient Rebuilding

We will also need ways of dealing with threats that actually make it on to the board. Seal Away and Ixalan’s Binding provide great targeted removal, while Settle the Wreckage and Cleansing Nova help deal with board states that have gotten a little too messy. We also would be remised if we didn’t include the card filtering masterpiece that is Search for Azcanta. Add in twenty-six lands (including utility lands like Arch of Orazca and Field of Ruin) and you have a pretty sweet Blue/White Mill deck to battle out at your local FNM.

Welcome to Mill Town

Sorceries (3)
Cleansing Nova

Instants (19)
Disdainful Stroke
Essence Scatter
Mission Briefing
Negate
Sinister Sabotage
Chemister’s Insight
Devious Cover-Up
Settle the Wreckage
Syncopate

Enchantments (12)
Seal Away
Search for Azcanta
Psychic Corrosion
Ixalan’s Binding
Patient Rebuilding
Lands (26)
Meandering River
Glacial Fortress
Memorial to Genius
Arch of Orazca
Field of Ruin
Island
Plains

Sideboard (15)
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
Lyra Dawnbringer
Invoke the Divine
Ixalan’s Binding
Negate
Sentinel Totem

The Sideboard is sort of a second deck all to itself. If you want you can drop the Mill plan and play the more traditional Control deck by boarding in a playset of Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. You also have access to Lyra Dawnbringer to handle Mono Red, while Sentinel Totem deals quite well with Green/Black graveyard decks. We round up the Sideboard with three copies of Negate, two more Ixalan’s Binding and a pair of Invoke the Divine to handle Artifacts or Enchantments.

And there you have it, a feasible and fun Mill deck for Standard. Well, it will be fun for you. For your opponents, not so much. I have to say, I’ve been having a ton of fun brewing in this new Standard season. Guilds of Ravnica has blown the format wide open, with new and exciting deck ideas popping up all the time. I still have tons of brews to share with you over the next few weeks, so if you don’t want to miss out go ahead and subscribe to the site to stay notified when new content goes live. If you have had success with any of the new decks we have explored on the site, then please leave a comment below and let us know about it. Now if you will excuse me, I have something ‘spooky’ to work on. So until next time remember, Good Luck and Have Fun.

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