DLCR: Mind Grind

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Todays GTC card to rate is...

Mind Grind

 
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5.0: First pick no matter what.  I will always play this card.
4.5: Splashable and first pick worthy.
4.0: First pick pack 1.
3.5: Early pick though not always a first pick.
3.0: Solid early/mid pick.
2.5: Solid pick in color.
2.0: Should generally make the deck if in this color.
1.5: Decent filler.
1.0: 23rd card if you have to.
0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in.
0.0: I will never put this card into my deck (main deck or after sideboarding).


This card can make mill a viable option in draft.  I've seen this card just devastate people especially if they have some other mill back up.

I'd say 4 because it is a really powerful spell.

Discuss! 
I would rather not do this, but I do appreciate the power level if the deck comes together.  Hard for me to rate.

At it's best, I can give it a 3.5?

Average case, more like 2.0.

Could be way off.
3.5-4.0. This is a great reason to play Esper control.
Preparing for the M14 Prerelease - New article up! IN THE TANK - my very own blog for rambling about Magic!
It's a tough card to rate since it's been a win or a dead card 100% of the time I've seen it. Let's see now... let's just call it a win if you can stall until turn 16. Earlier if you have other sources of mill, obviously.
4.0's definition works well.  Play this when X=4 or more and it mills at least a quarter of a deck.  That makes milling a strong threat.  If this has been first-picked, it's time to snap up Coerced Confession, Dimir CharmDuskmantle GuildmageMindeye DrakeUndercity InformerBalustrade Spy, Grisly Spectacle, Psychic Strike, and Sage's Row Denizen.

That's quite a few playable uncommon and common mill cards.  From what I've watched and read, Dimir mill is about playable cards with milling side-effects, not drafting three or four Paranoid Delusions.
4.0's definition works well.  Play this when X=4 or more and it mills at least a quarter of a deck.  That makes milling a strong threat.  If this has been first-picked, it's time to snap up Coerced Confession, Dimir CharmDuskmantle GuildmageMindeye DrakeUndercity InformerBalustrade Spy, Grisly Spectacle, Psychic Strike, and Sage's Row Denizen.

That's quite a few playable uncommon and common mill cards.  From what I've watched and read, Dimir mill is about playable cards with milling side-effects, not drafting three or four Paranoid Delusions.



I'm with you on all of those except for Coerced Confession.  Even in a mill deck, that card seems really bad.
4.0's definition works well.  Play this when X=4 or more and it mills at least a quarter of a deck.  That makes milling a strong threat.  If this has been first-picked, it's time to snap up Coerced Confession, Dimir CharmDuskmantle GuildmageMindeye DrakeUndercity InformerBalustrade Spy, Grisly Spectacle, Psychic Strike, and Sage's Row Denizen.

That's quite a few playable uncommon and common mill cards.  From what I've watched and read, Dimir mill is about playable cards with milling side-effects, not drafting three or four Paranoid Delusions.



I'm with you on all of those except for Coerced Confession.  Even in a mill deck, that card seems really bad.



Upon re-reading, I agree.  Four uncommons and four commons is still a big enough base for a mill deck, though.  Especially if a card like this one falls into your lap.
Mill is not a winning strategy. If you're drafting mill cards in light of creatures or removal, you're going to lose in this set.

I've had this in three decks and it's never, ever, ever come close to winning me the game. It's milled out some good cards and gotten someone down to two in their library, but I still lost. I don't even know if I can rank this.

I found Carmen Sandiego before you were born unless you're Zlehtnoba.

This is a difficult card to rate. I've played it before, and it straight out won me two games. It also sat in my hand for another game, doing nothing, because I knew it wasn't worth milling for 4 lands.

Played with other mill, or simply after your opponent has played half their lands, it ends the game. It is very powerful, but very conditional.

3.0 
Mill is not a winning strategy. If you're drafting mill cards in light of creatures or removal, you're going to lose in this set.

I've had this in three decks and it's never, ever, ever come close to winning me the game. It's milled out some good cards and gotten someone down to two in their library, but I still lost. I don't even know if I can rank this.



Mill is actually pretty easy if no one else is going for it. The key cards appear to be black removal, Undercity Informer and then you can go a variety of routes from there. Either the Paranoid Delusions, unblockability route or the stall out the game route. The funniest mill win was the one where I double Delusioned my Deathcult Rogue, milled a total of 12(15?) cards with that Rogue alone, then the turn my opponent cast removal on him I decked him with Mind Grind.
I've won every game where I've drawn this, for what it's worth.
Preparing for the M14 Prerelease - New article up! IN THE TANK - my very own blog for rambling about Magic!
This card is difficult to rate because mill is not a RELIABLE win condition. 

Mill to me is more of a support strategy or alternate win condition. 

Milling can be good if your deck is just loaded with it, but most of the time when I am playing mill it is such a luck fest. I can only hope I can mana screw/color hose them by hitting the cards and disrupting their ability to draw into removal and bombs.

However by the time you'd actually  want to play this card, we can assume your opponent has played some amount of land making this card more powerful as the game goes on, doubled by both the mana your opponent has in hand and in play/grave, and the amount of mana you can spend. 

This card is truely powerful but most of the time all it will do is speed up your clock, and you have to hope you can live through the onslaught of this very pro aggro set (from my experience it is)
4.0's definition works well.  Play this when X=4 or more and it mills at least a quarter of a deck.  That makes milling a strong threat.  If this has been first-picked, it's time to snap up Coerced Confession, Dimir CharmDuskmantle GuildmageMindeye DrakeUndercity InformerBalustrade Spy, Grisly Spectacle, Psychic Strike, and Sage's Row Denizen.

That's quite a few playable uncommon and common mill cards.  From what I've watched and read, Dimir mill is about playable cards with milling side-effects, not drafting three or four Paranoid Delusions.



I agree with this. This is a deck that can easily win against forty cards.
If you dont see the support, you just draft and play other stuff.
puremtgo.com/articles/forcing-dimir-draf...

This one was funny only because the author was forcing dimir in his draft but his opponent on Simic managed to draft four (!) Sage's Row Denizens (at least) and decked him. 

Mill is never a main strategy, but it is a surprisingly readily available back-up. Sage's Row Denizen is playable as a 2/3 body in Blue, as is Balustrade Spy. Combine it with as many Grisly Spectacles as you would want to get your hands on anyway and 1 unmolested Undercity Informer and you get a very viable alternate win-con.
4.0

Mill is viable in Gatecrash without really trying for it. Draft Grisly Spectacles, the mill vampire and Sage Street Denizens. 

If you play this then you have a good chance to win as long as x is 4. Even if it isn't you will most likely get some good cards milled with this. 
bulletd Guidelines: 5.0: I will take this card no matter what. Creature 1 or playable 1 or hate 1.Archangel of Thune 4.5: Bomb and splashable. Creature 1-2, playable 1-2, removal 1. Jace, Memory Adept 4.0: Excellent first pick first pack, will sway me into same colors. Creatures 1-4, removal 1. Haunted Plate Mail 3.5: Excellent first pack pick two, will confirm colors or possibly sway into second color. Doom Blade 3.0: Good in-color addition, or splashable removal/creature. Creatures 3-9, removal 1-3. wall of Frost 2.5: Solid pick in-color; creatures 5-12, removal 3-5. Dark Favor 2.0: Creatures 10-16; removal 6-7. Elvish Mystic 1.5: My 23rd or 22nd card, depending on removal. Act of Treason 1.0: 23rd card if I don't maindeck an additional land. Lay of the Land 0.5: This card will sometimes be sideboarded in. Brave the Elements 0.0: I will shred this card for counters. Darksteel Forge
I'll preface my comment with the fact that I've never drafted mill, and only played against it once (never saw this card).

However....

Let's do some rough math shall we?

Assuming your opponent keeps his/her 7 card hand and plays first, they have 33 remaining cards in their deck.  Except for crazy ass people or crazy situations, most people won't keep a hand with less than 2 lands in it, and most are looking for 3.  Let's assume the worst case; they keep a 2-lander.

Number of lands in deck varies, but most are doing 16-18, so let's go with 17 as an average.  

17 - 2 opening hand = 15/33 cards or 45% of the deck is a land.  

Since many have suggested x=4 to be the magic number, let's assume that we haven't missed a land drop, and niether has our opponent.  Assuming that, its turn 6 (and they went first) so they have 7 lands out.  That's 10 remaining out of 26 or 38%.  If we assume a perfectly even distribution of lands (mtgo is supposed to be 100% random) we'd expect to hit a land every 3-4 cards.  So that's between 9-12 cards milled.  26-12 = 14 cards left in deck.  

In actual play, both we and our opponents will likely miss at least 1-2 land drops, which will decrease the effectiveness of this card.  However, if we can assume that its going to hit approx a quarter of their deck (and x can always be 5 or 6 if we're drafting stallers and removal to buy time) its a pretty solid card.

Given that no one ever wants to draft dimir, let alone mill, it should be quite easy to pick up a corpse blockade or 2, some gutter skulks, a few sage row's and clinging anenomes to stall out the board.  With just a few more turns played, some good luck, and other milling support cards, you've got a viable win-con.  

I'm going to go with a low 3.0  for a few reasons.  I believe the power level is closer to 4.0, but if you don't see this card p1p1 or p1p2, you're drafting creatures, most likely not relating to mill/stall. If this is your pack 2 rare, its probably not playable unless you happen to be in dimir, or drafting a very very slow stalling orzhov build that you can splash this into.  
The informer and the denizen are the real cards for a mill strategy in this set IMO, because they do somethings besides milling.

Assuming you want to use Mind grind as a fireball type of finisher, you're probably better off with the informer because he basicly does the same thing and is also a creature.

3.5

It's a predominately useless wincon, but it's still a wincon. I played this in my deck last night and won the draft, and this won me one match and depressed the hell out of me in a game loss in another match.

I feel like you can't give a 4 to a card you don't want to topdeck most of the time and that will stew in your hand for several turns when you usually draw into it. Sure, it synergizes with the incidental mill of playing Dimir, with cards like Wight of Precinct Six, Grisly Spectacle and Balustrade Spy, but all of those are black cards Orzhov would like to take, and if my draft last night was a testament to the shifting meta, two or more players will dip into Orzhov in a draft, and at least one into Dimir.

Granted, anecdotes !=evidence, so I could've been in another screwy draft. At least this time I wasn't next to anyone in my guild.

I found Carmen Sandiego before you were born unless you're Zlehtnoba.

The informer and the denizen are the real cards for a mill strategy in this set IMO, because they do somethings besides milling.

Assuming you want to use Mind grind as a fireball type of finisher, you're probably better off with the informer because he basicly does the same thing and is also a creature.




All Mind Grind does for me is make me wish it was Sands of Delirium.
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