Daily Digest: The Miller’s Tale

Let’s be honest: This was going to have to happen eventually. There’s a certain section of the Magic world that just loves this strategy, and #GPCharlotte may be the perfect time for them to join forces and come out milling!

You’re either going to love today’s deck or hate it. I’m not sure why, but mill has always been polarizing within the Magic community. Some people really love to have a deck that wins in unconventional ways, while other players look at it as cheap, which is really just complaining that it’s generally non-interactive.

But this deck has some cool stuff going for it that previous mill decks have not. The obvious addition is Ensnaring Bridge. Much like Burn, mill decks often empty their hand quickly but need an extra draw step or two to find the finishing blow. While Ensnaring Bridge does not contribute to your normal plan, it will lock down the battlefield, giving you the necessary time to draw your mill cards. Also, with a lot of players looking to win with a Nahiri, the Harbinger-fueled Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Bridge is well-positioned right now since it’s extremely unlikely that you have fifteen cards in your hand on your opponent’s turn…unless you are terrible at timing your Visions of Beyond.

To contribute to the longer plan, you have Mesmeric Orb, which, along with Bridge, can put your opponent in the awkward position where anything they do hurts them. Suffice it to say this is a position you would like to put your opponent in…Magically speaking, of course.

Crypt Incursion and Jace’s Phantasm are both nice ways to buy time against aggressive decks, with the former gaining you twelve or more life regularly and the latter either forcing your opponent to be defensive or serving as a sizable blocker. Phantasm also lets you get aggressive on occasion, and the threat of it will force your opponents to keep some normally bad removal spells in their deck.

The rest of the deck is your typical “get them dead” selection of efficient mill spells, although I wonder if there’s room for something like Thought Scour or Mind Sculpt, perhaps over Mind Funeral to help lower the curve and reduce variance.

The sideboard has a card I didn’t even know existed in Profane Memento, which is obviously great against Burn and other aggro decks. The various extraction effects could be better as discard spells, but when you mill over most of their deck, extraction spells approximate Cabal Therapy, which is pretty sweet. Still, I’d look to move toward a mix.

For those of you who love mill, this could be a sneaky good choice in Modern, since it’s certainly unexpected and the cards are surprisingly powerful. For those of you who hate mill, I hope you get quadruple Archive Trapped after your turn 1 fetchland. Kids these days need to be taught a lesson.