Have you ever looked at a card and thought “I can build around that”. Or forced through an architype despite everything telling you that it was a terrible idea, only to discover that despite all the odds it actually works! That my friends, is the joy of been a Janky Brewer. They are the deck building rebels of the Magic world, and in this series of articles we aim to shine a light of those decks and the people who brew them.
Today’s deck tech actually came about because of a super sweet card from Magic’s next set, Strixhaven. No, I’m not talking about one of the new Elder Dragons, or even a busted Magecraft combo. No, the card that inspired this deck was a little red common that goes by the name Dragon’s Approach.
A sorcery for three mana, Dragon’s Approach deals three damage to each opponent. You can also exile it and four cards named Dragon’s Approach from your graveyard to search up a Dragon creature card and put it onto the battlefield. Oh, and you can take as many copies as you want in a deck. That’s right, Red has joined Black and Blue in the ‘have any number of cards named …’ club, which makes me a little sad for White and Green. On the other hand, I’m a Red mage and I just got a new toy so I’m happy.
I immediately started to work on a Commander deck for this card (while also trying to convince all my friends to trade me any copies of Dragon’s Approach they open). But then I thought, ‘why limit myself to just Commander’. I mean, surely there is a place for this little card in Magic’s 1v1 formats, right? Perhaps teaming it up with Thrumming Stone to abuse the Ripple mechanic and one shot our way to victory.
Sadly, since the set isn’t out yet, I can’t really do any testing. But I do have access to another ‘have any number of cards named …’ spell that we can also use with Thrumming Stone to instant win the game. One that is fairly cheap to pick up since it rotated out of Standard. That’s cards name is of course, Persistent Petitioners.
Persistent Petitioners is a 1/3 Human Advisor for two mana from Ravnica Allegiance, that we can pay one and tap to mill our opponent for one. Not too exciting I know, but it is the second ability that we really care about. By tapping four Advisors we control, we can mill our opponent for twelve cards, which is a lot better I think you will agree. Additionally, like Heritage Druid and convoke, this ability gets around summoning sickness, so we can use it as soon as we have enough Advisors on the battlefield. Advisors we are going to get with the aid of Thrumming Stone.
For those of you who have not had the pleasure, Thrumming Stone gives all our spells Ripple 4. This means whenever we cast a spell, we reveal the top four cards of our library and cast any spells that share its name for free. Oh, and these spells also have Ripple 4. That mean in a deck like ours, there is a non-zero chance of just been able to cast every copy of Persistent Petitioners in our deck in a single turn, or at least enough to be able to mill our opponent out in one go.*
So that’s the plan. Get a Thrumming Stone onto the field, then cast a Persistent Petitioners until we have enough Advisors to mill our opponent to death. The only thing we need now is a way to ramp up to five mana for the Stone, as well as a way to find it/add some redundancy to the deck. For the first part we are going to run a complete playset of Mind Stone. I did think about running Renowned Weaponsmith in this slot but went with the Mind Stone since we can also tutor for it with our next card, Fabricate. A three-mana sorcery, Fabricate lets us search up and artifact from our library and put it straight into our hand. Most of the time this will be a Thrumming Stone, but on occasion we can use it to get a Mind Stone should we need the mana ramp. And honestly, that’s the whole deck. throw in 24 basic Islands and you have everything you need to mill out your opponents and win the game.
You could of course fine tune this deck should you wish, either with counter spells to protect your combo such as Pact of Negation, or with alternative win conditions such as creature lands in our mana base. However, if you do this you need to make sure you have enough Persistent Petitioners to grantee a win/reliably find with Ripple. But if you would rather run the deck bare bones as I have done, it still will get you wins more often than it really has any right to. Just remember to mulligan till you have either a Thrumming Stone or Fabricate in your opening hand. Unless you are feeling luckily that is.
24 Persistent Petitioners
4 Mind Stone
4 Thrumming Stone
4 Surgical Extraction
2 Hurkyl's Recall
4 Pact of Negation
The Sideboard is a pretty simple one, as it only needs to handle a few key issues of the deck. First up we have graveyard hate. After all, there is nothing worst for a mill deck than having your opponent refill their library from their graveyard will a well-timed Commit // Memory or the like. Luckily for us, Surgical Extraction is a great answer to this issue, and it doesn’t require us to have black mana (although if you wanted you could easily splash for them). Next, if like me you didn’t put combo protection in your main deck, I would recommend doing so here.
As a stated above, Pact of Negation in a great spell for this as we shouldn’t ever need to play for it (hopefully winning the turn we cast it) but deck also runs two copies of Negate and a single Dispel for additional counter magic. For removal we run two copies of Dismember, which like Surgical Extraction doesn’t require us to splash if we want to keep the mana base nice and basic. Finally, Hurkyl’s Recall helps us handle any artifact heavy decks we might come across.
And that is Thrumming Mill for Modern. A very silly, yet surprisingly effective deck. Of course, once Strixhaven is released I will be trying out the red variant of the deck by switching out Persistent Petitioners for Dragon’s Approach. Perhaps I’ll do a comparison article then and see which is the better Thrumming deck, Mill or Burn. But what do you think about today’s deck? Is this the kind of random brew you would like to play? Or have you a different janky deck you want to try out? Please let me know in the comments below, and while you’re there you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.
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* 16-20 Persistent Pertitioners should do the trick.