Magic the Gathering is a great game with many fans around the world. I’m sure I don’t have to convince you of that fact, after all you’re reading an article about it right now. But the question is: “why is it so great?” For some people it’s the lore and story behind the game. For others it’s the amazing art and visual style. However, I believe most of us love the game itself, and a large part of that is due to the incredible diversity of deck archetypes and playstyles.
This has never been truer than in the current Standard meta game. Wherever you play this fine game (be it in the real world or online) there are a wealth of decks and archetypes to choose from, and it feels like innovation has returned once more to the format. Even when it comes to “tier” decks, there is still a multitude of builds out there that can be played with success. It feels like no two lists are alike, whether it be Red Deck Wins running Electrostatic Field over Runaway Steam-Kin or Control running fringe counter spells like Devious Cover-Up.
That is definitely the case with today’s deck tech. This list was inspired by a game I was playing on MTG Arena a couple of weeks ago while I was trying to claim the BO1 ladder. My opponent gets the play and drops an Island. I (playing RDW at the time) begin the beatdown with a Ghitu Lavarunner without haste. My opponent started to deploy Persistent Petitioners (a card I love), so I assume they are playing a fun mill deck. Then my opponent plays a Hinterland Harbor. The petitioners are swiftly followed by a Beast Whisperer and a turn five Vanquisher’s Banner.
Suddenly I was facing a wall of 2/4’s that annoyingly avoided most of the removal I was drawing. What’s more, each time a Persistent Petitioners hit the table, my opponent would more than likely draw one or two more copies. It came down to the wire, with my opponent on three life and only thirteen cards left in my library. I drew my last card before I was milled out, in hopes of winning the day. It was a Shock, and I lost.
This inspired me. I hadn’t considered using the ‘Elf Ball’ strategy with Persistent Petitioners, but the idea of drawing a ton of gas while milling my opponent out seemed like a plan right up my alley. The first thing we need, of course, would be twenty-six Persistent Petitioners. Do not underestimate this card. Four of them can hold off aggressive boards surprisingly well while developing your win condition. Next, we add playsets of both Beast Whisperer and Vanquisher’s Banner. These two cards will provide us with an obscene amount of card draw and will almost always guarantee we will have the four Petitioners we need to mill out our opponent.
The only other non-creature spell we run in the deck is four copies of Incubation//Incongruity. The first part of this split card allows us to dig for a Petitioner or even a Beast Whisperer should we need one. The second half is a great little piece of instant speed removal. Sure, it doesn’t completely get rid of the problem, after all they will still have a 3/3 Frog Lizard on the battlefield, but what would you rather face? A 3/3 Frog Lizard or a 6/6 Flyer? Not a difficult choice in my opinion.
The mana base makes use of the great manabases available in Ravnica: Allegiance standard. Playsets of Breeding Pool, Drowned Catacomb, and Hinterland Harbor join with two copies of Watery Grave and eight Islands for twenty-two lands in total.
“Wait a minute!” I hear you shout. “What are the Drowned Catacombs and Watery Graves for?”. Well, there is one deck that we do struggle to beat. A deck that has got a few new toys as of late. That deck is of course Turbo Fog.
Because of the wording of Nexus of Fate, this deck is completely unmillable, and because of the sheer number of fog effects and wraths, we can’t even rely on beating down our opponent in the traditional tribal way. That’s where the lovely bit of sideboard tech, Unmoored Ego comes in. If we do find ourselves up against Turbo Fog, we can simply side this in and removal all copies of the pesky foil menace. This will allow us to continue with our Mill plan as normal. It’s a sad fact, but if you want to play Mill at the moment you will need to run this necessary evil.
The rest of the sideboard is fairly standard. Two copies of Broken Bond to handle artifacts or enchantments. A playset of Negate to board in against control. Three copies of Sentinel Totem for graveyard hate, and finally, since we are running black anyway, two copies of The Eldest Reborn to take out and reuse our opponent’s finishers.
26 Persistent Petitioners
4 Beast Whisperer
4 Vanquisher’s Banner
4 Breeding Pool
4 Drowned Catacomb
4 Hinterland Harbor
2 Watery Grave
2 Broken Bond
3 Sentinel Totem
4 Unmoored Ego
2 The Eldest Reborn
And that is Sultai Mill Ball for Standard. The deck is super fun to play, especially if you enjoy making your opponent’s life a misery (which I apparently do now). I think its safe to say that Ravnica Allegiance has really shaken up the Standard meta. But I’m curious to know what you think. Do you like the deck? Will you give it a try, or has Allegiance inspired you to play another fun and interesting brew? tell us about it in the comments below and remember to like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics. Until next time, remember! When you play Magic, good luck and have fun.