R/B/U Planeswalker - "The Cheese Stands Alone!!"

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So I used to have a deck with five planeswalkers, three of each walker.  It's too clunky, and basically sucked.  However, I still love those planeswalkers, so this is a re-tooling of the deck, focusing more on viable threats, less on theme.  I also used it as an excuse to combine two of the most fun combos I've seen, the Vampire Hexmage / Dark Depths, and the Sword of the Meek / Thopter Foundry combo.  Add in Exsanguinate w/ insane mana from Tolarian Academy, and a copying of the spell from Chandra, the Firebrand is just gravy on the main win con.  So here we go!

Creatures:
3 x Wall of Souls
4 x Vampire Nighthawk
4 x Vampire Hexmage

Artifacts:
4 x Sword of the Meek
4 x Thopter Foundry

Spells/Enchantments:
1 x Demonic Tutor
1 x Vampiric Tutor
4 x Exsanguinate
1 x Recurring Nightmare

Planeswalkers:
2 x Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker
2 x Liliana Vess
2 x Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
2 x Chandra, the Firebrand
2 x Sorin Markov

Lands:
2 x Dark Depths
4 x Crumbling Necropolis
4 x Blackcleave Cliffs
1 x Darkslick Shores
1 x Tolarian Academy
2 x Seat of the Synod
1 x urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 x Vault of Whispers
2 x Swamp

3 x free slots (this is where I'd like some ideas!)

Possibles for the last three slots:
1 x Sol Ring
1 x Yawgmoth's Will
1 x Braingeyser
1 x Contagion Engine
1 x Damnation
1 x Rings of Brighthearth
Extra land or artifact mana

I basically dropped one of each Planeswalker to create more space.  The creatures are not meant for combat, but rather to dissuade attackers or set up the Dark Depths combo to get Marit Lage on the table.  The problem with these colors of planeswalkers vs. the W/G sets, is that they can't inherently protect themselves by throwing out screens of token creatures.  The creatures therefore act as the meatshields to keep my friends' creature decks from over-running the planeswalkers.  What these colors of planeswalkers buy me, however, is a lot of interacton with the spells/artifacts in the deck for a lot of varied threats that I'm hoping will keep me in the game until I can drain everyone or pick people off as the chances come around.

Thoughts for the last slots, or new ideas?  This is a brand-new deck, so I'm open to suggestions!  Thank you.
You tease. No The Cheese Stands Alone or Barren Glory anywhere in sight. :P
IMAGE(http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2011/225/8/9/bloodgift_demon_sig_banner_by_voidelemental-d46gjhm.jpg)
You tease. No The Cheese Stands Alone or Barren Glory anywhere in sight. :P



Exactly what I was thinking.  Have an old The Cheese Stands Alone deck that could go off turn 1. 
So I used to have a deck with five planeswalkers, three of each walker.  It's too clunky, and basically sucked.  However, I still love those planeswalkers, so this is a re-tooling of the deck, focusing more on viable threats, less on theme.  I also used it as an excuse to combine two of the most fun combos I've seen, the Vampire Hexmage / Dark Depths, and the Sword of the Meek / Thopter Foundry combo.  Add in Exsanguinate w/ insane mana from Tolarian Academy, and a copying of the spell from Chandra, the Firebrand is just gravy on the main win con.  So here we go!

Creatures:
3 x Wall of Souls
4 x Vampire Nighthawk
4 x Vampire Hexmage

Artifacts:
4 x Sword of the Meek
4 x Thopter Foundry

Spells/Enchantments:
1 x Demonic Tutor
1 x Vampiric Tutor
4 x Exsanguinate
1 x Recurring Nightmare

Planeswalkers:
2 x Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker
2 x Liliana Vess
2 x Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
2 x Chandra, the Firebrand
2 x Sorin Markov

Lands:
2 x Dark Depths
4 x Crumbling Necropolis
4 x Blackcleave Cliffs
1 x Darkslick Shores
1 x Tolarian Academy
2 x Seat of the Synod
1 x urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 x Vault of Whispers
2 x Swamp

3 x free slots (this is where I'd like some ideas!)

Possibles for the last three slots:
1 x Sol Ring
1 x Yawgmoth's Will
1 x Braingeyser
1 x Contagion Engine
1 x Damnation
1 x Rings of Brighthearth
Extra land or artifact mana

I basically dropped one of each Planeswalker to create more space.  The creatures are not meant for combat, but rather to dissuade attackers or set up the Dark Depths combo to get Marit Lage on the table.  The problem with these colors of planeswalkers vs. the W/G sets, is that they can't inherently protect themselves by throwing out screens of token creatures.  The creatures therefore act as the meatshields to keep my friends' creature decks from over-running the planeswalkers.  What these colors of planeswalkers buy me, however, is a lot of interacton with the spells/artifacts in the deck for a lot of varied threats that I'm hoping will keep me in the game until I can drain everyone or pick people off as the chances come around.

Thoughts for the last slots, or new ideas?  This is a brand-new deck, so I'm open to suggestions!  Thank you.

Ok, can we let go of the name for a second here?  I called it what it is not because of that card, but because it is chock full of cheesy, but fun combos.  If you don't like the name, fine, but I'm looking for feedback on the deck list.
Talk about a bait and switch, now I don't even feel like helping...

jk


Just toss in more tutors. Beseech the queen is good.
HOW TO AUTOCARD! When posting in a text box, type [c]Plains[/c] to make your post showPlains.
Are you making a casual mill deck? Please read.
Control is the key of a mill deck. You should free up your mana as much as possible so that you can respond to whatever your opponent is doing. Having some way to remove threats, both real and percieved, is necessary to survival. Real threats are those that are already on the field, and are something a simple unsummon or doom blade can remove. Percieved threats are those that aren't on the field, something a simple duress or counterspell can deal with. Controlling the board will allow your mill deck to continuously perform, if you use permanent style mill, that is. One-Shot Mill spells are something you should avoid. You can toss tome scours at your opponent until your hand runs out, but that isn't going to be enough to mill them to death. With 1-shot mill spells, like tome scour, you have to treat them like burn spells. Therefore, the only "good" 1-shot mill spells are sanity grinding (in the right deck) and mind funeral. Try to find more permanent styles of milling, like memory erosion, hedron crab, and curse of the bloody tome, so that you don't have to waste your mana each turn doing something that those permanents can do with a single mana/turn investment. Keeping your mana open allows you to respond with control elements. ​Traumatize Rant​. Traumatize is a terrible card for a multitude of reasons. First, it costs 5 to cast, which is a large investment for a mill deck. Milling half a library sounds neat, but if you do the math, it really isn't that much. An average 60 card deck starts with drawing 7 cards. Then, barring any draw spells on their end, or ramp on yours, 5 turns will go by, where they draw 5 more cards, leaving 48 in the deck. Unless they had a deck with more than 60 cards, or you ramped it out, the most you'll ever mill with a single Traumatize on turn 5 is 24 cards. That's not too shabby, but hang on, there's more! If they drew any additional cards or if they were milled before turn 5, that number will be much lower. In addition, any more Traumatize's you draw will only mill less and less as the game goes on...which is the point of a mill deck. My whole point on Traumatize is the it is NOT worth the 5 mana investment, not even with haunting echoes. You can mill more than 24 before turn 5...which you can then cast the echoes. If you look at a mill deck like a burn deck, you'll notice that it takes longer to win with mill than with burn. For example, lightning bolt costs 1 and does 3 out of the 20 damage needed to win (barring any lifegain or damage prevention). For mill, that same investment of 1 would have to mill 9 cards out of an average 60 card deck to be the equivilent of lightning bolt. The problem is that there is no mill card that can do that...except hedron crab, over a period of time. The initial investment of 1 will pay off in 3 more land drops to make the crab equal to a bolt. However, the crab nets you more mill beyond those 3 land drops, making it better as the game draws on. Other cards, like curse of the bloody tome, are excellent ways of milling an opponent because the initial investment of is all you have to pay in order to put your opponent on a clock. All you have to do is stay alive, which is the true goal of a mill strategy. There are other ideas for mill decks that are specific to certain types of strategies. Combo mill decks can mill an entire player's library out from under them. Secondary mill strategies are usually tied to another strategy, like drowner of secrets in a merfolk deck, or halimar excavator in an ally deck. Milling can be done in certain decks that are able to ramp out enough mana to make use of the higher costing mill spells, like using 16 post to pay for X on sands of delirium or for ambassador laquatus. Multiplayer mill decks are even tougher to build, but can be done. Being a slower environment, it is easier to ramp in multiplayer, allowing for big X spells, like mind grind, to be useful. Consuming aberration is another star player. The more straightforward strategy is to use mesmeric orb and dreamborn muse while being the only deck at the table that can deal with it. There are always new strategies coming out with each set, so check gatherer for any new mill cards that you find to be the most fun for you! Now you can say that you haven't fallen into the trap that most new players fall into when they build their first mill deck!
Talk about a bait and switch, now I don't even feel like helping...

jk


Just toss in more tutors. Beseech the queen is good.

So then you think there's enough balance and threat density?  Just need more search, even with two tutors and two Lilianas?
 
Talk about a bait and switch, now I don't even feel like helping...

jk


Just toss in more tutors. Beseech the queen is good.

So then you think there's enough balance and threat density?  Just need more search, even with two tutors and two Lilianas?
 



Now that you mention balance, no, I don't think there is enough balance in the deck. You have a bunch of combos that will come online before your planeswalkers even touch the field, and your defenses are only a few black creatures, along with the combos themselves.

I think I'll redact my mention of a tutor for right now. I have to ask, if you've playtested any of this yet, do you find yourself worrying about setting up a combo more than anything? If so, do the combos paint you as a target, just for having them? On top of that, you kinda have an artifact theme running around in the deck. Tolarian academy is completely amazing, and it makes exsanguinate really good, but I think you can devote more into that theme by making it its own deck.

That doesn't mean cut all artifacts, I actually can't imagine a 'walker deck without rings of brighthearth and proliferation of some kind. If you're intent on making the deck U/B/R, then try looking at ways to lock the board (or lock your opponents out of your board), then you can win with your planeswalkers in the late game.

My multiplayer Nicol Bolas deck uses a combo that is protective, rather than aggressive. Leyline of the void and web of inertia, to create a lock where I can't be attacked, and it works well enough to force people to look the other way because it doesn't really pose a threat to anyone. My deck is more reactive, with control elements and insurrection as the main wincon, where yours is more proactive with those particular kinds of combos. If you sit back and build up your defenses enough for you to be untouchable, you can cast your planeswalkers and use them as a means to win.

Sorry for being vague earlier.
HOW TO AUTOCARD! When posting in a text box, type [c]Plains[/c] to make your post showPlains.
Are you making a casual mill deck? Please read.
Control is the key of a mill deck. You should free up your mana as much as possible so that you can respond to whatever your opponent is doing. Having some way to remove threats, both real and percieved, is necessary to survival. Real threats are those that are already on the field, and are something a simple unsummon or doom blade can remove. Percieved threats are those that aren't on the field, something a simple duress or counterspell can deal with. Controlling the board will allow your mill deck to continuously perform, if you use permanent style mill, that is. One-Shot Mill spells are something you should avoid. You can toss tome scours at your opponent until your hand runs out, but that isn't going to be enough to mill them to death. With 1-shot mill spells, like tome scour, you have to treat them like burn spells. Therefore, the only "good" 1-shot mill spells are sanity grinding (in the right deck) and mind funeral. Try to find more permanent styles of milling, like memory erosion, hedron crab, and curse of the bloody tome, so that you don't have to waste your mana each turn doing something that those permanents can do with a single mana/turn investment. Keeping your mana open allows you to respond with control elements. ​Traumatize Rant​. Traumatize is a terrible card for a multitude of reasons. First, it costs 5 to cast, which is a large investment for a mill deck. Milling half a library sounds neat, but if you do the math, it really isn't that much. An average 60 card deck starts with drawing 7 cards. Then, barring any draw spells on their end, or ramp on yours, 5 turns will go by, where they draw 5 more cards, leaving 48 in the deck. Unless they had a deck with more than 60 cards, or you ramped it out, the most you'll ever mill with a single Traumatize on turn 5 is 24 cards. That's not too shabby, but hang on, there's more! If they drew any additional cards or if they were milled before turn 5, that number will be much lower. In addition, any more Traumatize's you draw will only mill less and less as the game goes on...which is the point of a mill deck. My whole point on Traumatize is the it is NOT worth the 5 mana investment, not even with haunting echoes. You can mill more than 24 before turn 5...which you can then cast the echoes. If you look at a mill deck like a burn deck, you'll notice that it takes longer to win with mill than with burn. For example, lightning bolt costs 1 and does 3 out of the 20 damage needed to win (barring any lifegain or damage prevention). For mill, that same investment of 1 would have to mill 9 cards out of an average 60 card deck to be the equivilent of lightning bolt. The problem is that there is no mill card that can do that...except hedron crab, over a period of time. The initial investment of 1 will pay off in 3 more land drops to make the crab equal to a bolt. However, the crab nets you more mill beyond those 3 land drops, making it better as the game draws on. Other cards, like curse of the bloody tome, are excellent ways of milling an opponent because the initial investment of is all you have to pay in order to put your opponent on a clock. All you have to do is stay alive, which is the true goal of a mill strategy. There are other ideas for mill decks that are specific to certain types of strategies. Combo mill decks can mill an entire player's library out from under them. Secondary mill strategies are usually tied to another strategy, like drowner of secrets in a merfolk deck, or halimar excavator in an ally deck. Milling can be done in certain decks that are able to ramp out enough mana to make use of the higher costing mill spells, like using 16 post to pay for X on sands of delirium or for ambassador laquatus. Multiplayer mill decks are even tougher to build, but can be done. Being a slower environment, it is easier to ramp in multiplayer, allowing for big X spells, like mind grind, to be useful. Consuming aberration is another star player. The more straightforward strategy is to use mesmeric orb and dreamborn muse while being the only deck at the table that can deal with it. There are always new strategies coming out with each set, so check gatherer for any new mill cards that you find to be the most fun for you! Now you can say that you haven't fallen into the trap that most new players fall into when they build their first mill deck!
Well, since you ask, I do have a lot of artifacts running around in the game.  With only so many creature deterrents in the deck, I am using the sword/thopter combo as additional chump block and life to keep me going as mana sources come online.  I focused on things like the Nighthawks and walls to make them think twice about losing their prized creature or life.  I've realized with my group in particular that these two creatures hold far more power over their decision to attack than it should.  The swords also make either of those creatures so much beefier and intimidating because they are harder to kill with creature assault (STP or path always do the trick!).

Tezzeret is intended to blaze through and uncover artifact mana or artifacts to increase my card draw per turn, turn 1/1 thopters into 5/5 thopters for more creature muscle or even nuke a troublesome opponent.  If the academy comes online, then Chandra and exsanguinate come into the picture, as I can double my pleasure with her -2 ability.  Rings of Brighthearth are definitely good for either, and I've used them in walker decks before.  Both Tez and Chandra's combo works well with Sorin's -3 ability, for bringing a life gainer or unassailable foe down to the mat.  Liliana's in there mainly for her search, though her discard is also useful to pick out the cards folks are holding back for emergency use.  Really, though, Chandra and Tezzeret will be the main walkers that set up combo kills, so it's useful they are the cheapest in mana cost.

Dark Depths and the hexmage are useful because the hexmages are first strike, which is never bad, and a late game Marit Lage is better than an early one because my friends have already blown their spot removal.  But I'll always pop it if I get it, as it's mainly in there for kicks and giggles (and the obvious, immediate board threat, of course).  The Recurring Nightmare is to keep thopters swapping for creature deterrents mentioned above so I always have a lethal screen.  I've noticed that the sword/foundry combo is amazing, but does draw a lot of needless attacks as it's viewed as a major threat.  Without additional things to make them think twice, people know their creatures will win through the screen of 1/1s with persistence.  But this deck will not win with creatures unless it's with an overly stupid amount of thopters bum-rushing people.

The one thing I'm not sure about is Nicol Bolas himself.  I'm almost thinking that I'll either win or lose with this lineup before he ever sets a claw on the table.  He can take over a late game, as you mention, which is mainly why he's in there.  But I hesitate to use the defensive screen that you mentioned, though.  My friends run a lot of anti-artifact/enchantment removal (mainly because I've conditioned them over the years to carry it... ), so I doubt it would hold up like it seems to in your group, hence the lethal creature screen since they tend to focus on creature kills as their win cons.  There's one thing they hate, and that is a lock, so they'll try to break any such lock with extreme prejudice.  It's kind of also my fault that an unthreatening lock is always viewed suspiciously and therefore has to be destroyed due to extensive use of patient, soft-lock combos to punk them.

There is a lot subtlety on how the combos and walkers will interact, but what I haven't determined yet is whether the creature/thopter screen will hold while I bring out the walkers.  In all, it's a combo deck through and through, but I am worried about the balance, as you hit on.  I haven't had the chance to test against my friends as my infant has killed a lot of time to get out of the house.  Do you see these offensive-minded combos making me too much of an alpha-strike victim because I'm too threatening?  Although I use the thopter combo a lot, I've not mixed it with other combos like the depths, before, so any perspective you can give is appreciated.

The other balance issue I have is my best friend's almost exclusive use of a knight deck.  The way he has it configured, it would give this deck an extreme headache, for sure.  His son uses a sliver deck that uses Harmonic Sliver extensively and has shut down my artifact lands before, leaving me crippled before the rest of the group managed to kill him.  The harmonic would be the single biggest threat to this deck.  The problem is that I love all of these combos and don't want to not use them just because my group's not friendly to this style of play.
Your meta is pretty mean when it comes to artifact/enchantment hate!

The voidweb combo gets destroyed sometimes, but I pack enough control to prevent being struck. It also helps if you don't do anything that would encourage players to attack you. Trying very hard to set up one of your combos, which may appear threatening, could be reason enough for players to attack you. By sitting back with a hand full of control spells, I'm able to survey the board without appearing threatening.

I think you could probably benefit from some mass removal, and maybe rethinking the use of both of your combos. The depthmage combo is a threat as soon as you play either piece. The swordfoundry combo is not so threatening as much as it is annoying. Making a stream of chumps with lifegain can get in the way of some decks, which could draw some hate.

Damnation should help you out against creature based decks, and considering how few creatures you're running, and recurring nightmare, you shouldn't have any problem recovering from it.

One more thing, HOW you play a deck like this is more important than anything. I usually appear to be helpless and generally don't worry about what other people are doing, so I don't mess with them. I would usually say things like, "I ain't doin' ****..." or I would just draw and look upset with what I've got in my hand (even though I'm doing exactly what the deck is intended to do), then begrudgingly say, "go." All in an effort to appear less threatening. I've found that my group doesn't care about the VoidWeb combo so long as it doesn't hurt them. I've built several control decks around this fact, which perform well in my group. Always remember that overextending will always draw the attention of your opponents. Appearing defeated is the best way for your opponents to overlook you as a threat. Also remember that planeswalkers are like ticking-time-bombs. Your opponents will want to deal with them before they reach their ultimate ability, so they will draw attention your way as well.
HOW TO AUTOCARD! When posting in a text box, type [c]Plains[/c] to make your post showPlains.
Are you making a casual mill deck? Please read.
Control is the key of a mill deck. You should free up your mana as much as possible so that you can respond to whatever your opponent is doing. Having some way to remove threats, both real and percieved, is necessary to survival. Real threats are those that are already on the field, and are something a simple unsummon or doom blade can remove. Percieved threats are those that aren't on the field, something a simple duress or counterspell can deal with. Controlling the board will allow your mill deck to continuously perform, if you use permanent style mill, that is. One-Shot Mill spells are something you should avoid. You can toss tome scours at your opponent until your hand runs out, but that isn't going to be enough to mill them to death. With 1-shot mill spells, like tome scour, you have to treat them like burn spells. Therefore, the only "good" 1-shot mill spells are sanity grinding (in the right deck) and mind funeral. Try to find more permanent styles of milling, like memory erosion, hedron crab, and curse of the bloody tome, so that you don't have to waste your mana each turn doing something that those permanents can do with a single mana/turn investment. Keeping your mana open allows you to respond with control elements. ​Traumatize Rant​. Traumatize is a terrible card for a multitude of reasons. First, it costs 5 to cast, which is a large investment for a mill deck. Milling half a library sounds neat, but if you do the math, it really isn't that much. An average 60 card deck starts with drawing 7 cards. Then, barring any draw spells on their end, or ramp on yours, 5 turns will go by, where they draw 5 more cards, leaving 48 in the deck. Unless they had a deck with more than 60 cards, or you ramped it out, the most you'll ever mill with a single Traumatize on turn 5 is 24 cards. That's not too shabby, but hang on, there's more! If they drew any additional cards or if they were milled before turn 5, that number will be much lower. In addition, any more Traumatize's you draw will only mill less and less as the game goes on...which is the point of a mill deck. My whole point on Traumatize is the it is NOT worth the 5 mana investment, not even with haunting echoes. You can mill more than 24 before turn 5...which you can then cast the echoes. If you look at a mill deck like a burn deck, you'll notice that it takes longer to win with mill than with burn. For example, lightning bolt costs 1 and does 3 out of the 20 damage needed to win (barring any lifegain or damage prevention). For mill, that same investment of 1 would have to mill 9 cards out of an average 60 card deck to be the equivilent of lightning bolt. The problem is that there is no mill card that can do that...except hedron crab, over a period of time. The initial investment of 1 will pay off in 3 more land drops to make the crab equal to a bolt. However, the crab nets you more mill beyond those 3 land drops, making it better as the game draws on. Other cards, like curse of the bloody tome, are excellent ways of milling an opponent because the initial investment of is all you have to pay in order to put your opponent on a clock. All you have to do is stay alive, which is the true goal of a mill strategy. There are other ideas for mill decks that are specific to certain types of strategies. Combo mill decks can mill an entire player's library out from under them. Secondary mill strategies are usually tied to another strategy, like drowner of secrets in a merfolk deck, or halimar excavator in an ally deck. Milling can be done in certain decks that are able to ramp out enough mana to make use of the higher costing mill spells, like using 16 post to pay for X on sands of delirium or for ambassador laquatus. Multiplayer mill decks are even tougher to build, but can be done. Being a slower environment, it is easier to ramp in multiplayer, allowing for big X spells, like mind grind, to be useful. Consuming aberration is another star player. The more straightforward strategy is to use mesmeric orb and dreamborn muse while being the only deck at the table that can deal with it. There are always new strategies coming out with each set, so check gatherer for any new mill cards that you find to be the most fun for you! Now you can say that you haven't fallen into the trap that most new players fall into when they build their first mill deck!
So basically, you're saying that almost every card in the deck is either a.) threatening that will cause alpha-strike, or b.) of no value and will invite culling to keep the game going.    That about sum it up?

Neither of which is going to help me avoid being a target.  I've been thinking that Damnation is a good insurance policy, to have at least one in the deck I can search for.

But this doesn't cover the most important question, and that is why your group hasn't just stopped believing you're not faking a bad game.  Do they have issues with short term memory, and forget you punk them?    A bluff only works when you don't see it coming.
.Appearing defeated is the best way for your opponents to overlook you as a threat.


What? This has never worked in my groups. Looking weak is a surefire way for someone new to the group or something with a low win record to go for a kill. I also think this strategy will not work with planeswalkers. They are free spells each turn. Pretending to look weak wtih a free effect every turn is not really going to fly.



As for the deck, I think the Tezzerets could go. Sure it helps the Thopter Foundry/Sword of the Meek combo, but that combo is really good in its own. It really doesn't need much support. I also think you should cut one Vampire Hexmage for either another Wall of Souls or some other rattlesnake type card like Stinkweed Imp.  Cards to add- Sol Ring and Yawgwin definitely. If you cut one Tezzeret and one Hexmage you can add both Damnation and Rings of Brighthearth to stay alive more and get more milage ou of the planewalkers.

-1 Vampire Hexmage
-1 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
+1 Sol Ring
+1 Yawmoth's Will
+1 Damnation
+1 Rings of Brighthearth

Face it, you're pretty much here as a meat shield.

 

If you are at Georgian Court Univeristy or Monmouth Univeristy PM me. If you are out by York College of PA, I can help you reach the group there.

In my defense, yeah, my group is...thick.

We actually dumb down our decks heavily. When 1 player gets picked on too much, or if that player appears to be screwed for whatever reason, the group tends to leave him or her alone in an effort to not be a butt-hole. We also have over 20 decks with us each time we play, so remembering each deck that players play every time might be difficult. We also only play once a week, so there would be decks that I wouldn't use for months at a time. That tactic is mainly used for control decks, though; I wouldn't expect a planeswalker deck to be able to pull that off.

@Elder_Kraken: Basically, your deck is trying really hard to defend itself and play 'walkers to make 5/5's and maybe exsanguinate. That's the nitty-gritty of it. This process is really slow and would be done better with a lock of some kind, or by just scrapping the planeswalkers. Planeswalkers are like the big, glowing red spots on a boss battle, they will be hit often and it should be expected. If you're going to be a target anyway, you might as well use really, really threatening cards like tainted aether to make creature based decks cringe.
HOW TO AUTOCARD! When posting in a text box, type [c]Plains[/c] to make your post showPlains.
Are you making a casual mill deck? Please read.
Control is the key of a mill deck. You should free up your mana as much as possible so that you can respond to whatever your opponent is doing. Having some way to remove threats, both real and percieved, is necessary to survival. Real threats are those that are already on the field, and are something a simple unsummon or doom blade can remove. Percieved threats are those that aren't on the field, something a simple duress or counterspell can deal with. Controlling the board will allow your mill deck to continuously perform, if you use permanent style mill, that is. One-Shot Mill spells are something you should avoid. You can toss tome scours at your opponent until your hand runs out, but that isn't going to be enough to mill them to death. With 1-shot mill spells, like tome scour, you have to treat them like burn spells. Therefore, the only "good" 1-shot mill spells are sanity grinding (in the right deck) and mind funeral. Try to find more permanent styles of milling, like memory erosion, hedron crab, and curse of the bloody tome, so that you don't have to waste your mana each turn doing something that those permanents can do with a single mana/turn investment. Keeping your mana open allows you to respond with control elements. ​Traumatize Rant​. Traumatize is a terrible card for a multitude of reasons. First, it costs 5 to cast, which is a large investment for a mill deck. Milling half a library sounds neat, but if you do the math, it really isn't that much. An average 60 card deck starts with drawing 7 cards. Then, barring any draw spells on their end, or ramp on yours, 5 turns will go by, where they draw 5 more cards, leaving 48 in the deck. Unless they had a deck with more than 60 cards, or you ramped it out, the most you'll ever mill with a single Traumatize on turn 5 is 24 cards. That's not too shabby, but hang on, there's more! If they drew any additional cards or if they were milled before turn 5, that number will be much lower. In addition, any more Traumatize's you draw will only mill less and less as the game goes on...which is the point of a mill deck. My whole point on Traumatize is the it is NOT worth the 5 mana investment, not even with haunting echoes. You can mill more than 24 before turn 5...which you can then cast the echoes. If you look at a mill deck like a burn deck, you'll notice that it takes longer to win with mill than with burn. For example, lightning bolt costs 1 and does 3 out of the 20 damage needed to win (barring any lifegain or damage prevention). For mill, that same investment of 1 would have to mill 9 cards out of an average 60 card deck to be the equivilent of lightning bolt. The problem is that there is no mill card that can do that...except hedron crab, over a period of time. The initial investment of 1 will pay off in 3 more land drops to make the crab equal to a bolt. However, the crab nets you more mill beyond those 3 land drops, making it better as the game draws on. Other cards, like curse of the bloody tome, are excellent ways of milling an opponent because the initial investment of is all you have to pay in order to put your opponent on a clock. All you have to do is stay alive, which is the true goal of a mill strategy. There are other ideas for mill decks that are specific to certain types of strategies. Combo mill decks can mill an entire player's library out from under them. Secondary mill strategies are usually tied to another strategy, like drowner of secrets in a merfolk deck, or halimar excavator in an ally deck. Milling can be done in certain decks that are able to ramp out enough mana to make use of the higher costing mill spells, like using 16 post to pay for X on sands of delirium or for ambassador laquatus. Multiplayer mill decks are even tougher to build, but can be done. Being a slower environment, it is easier to ramp in multiplayer, allowing for big X spells, like mind grind, to be useful. Consuming aberration is another star player. The more straightforward strategy is to use mesmeric orb and dreamborn muse while being the only deck at the table that can deal with it. There are always new strategies coming out with each set, so check gatherer for any new mill cards that you find to be the most fun for you! Now you can say that you haven't fallen into the trap that most new players fall into when they build their first mill deck!
I like both the combos in this deck, and since Dark Depths/Vampire Hexmage is only taking up six cards I suppose it's fine to keep. But then the rest of the deck is a Thopter/Sword combo without a huge amount of real support. I don't really fancy any of the Planeswalkers here; they're all powerful and do stuff, but all they do is... stuff. A bit of tutoring, maybe copying spells... just stuff. I'd focus on the Thopter/Sword combo, beef up the little guys, maybe throw in Disciple of the Vault, whatever. You could mill with Grinding Station, swarm with Summoning Station, shut people down with Lumengrid Sentinel, do something with Battered Golem, I dunno. But the deck in has a lot of bits and pieces, each of which is strong enough to win the game given the opportunity. It just seems to throw out all these independently spinning wheels and hope that one of them manages to roll over the finish line. Most successful multiplayer decks are kind of like, uh, unicycles, but really... streamlined unicycles with chains and gears, and then they um... well, that's my analogy.

Also, the deck only has 19 mana-producing lands. For a deck that can't have too much mana, that's low. 24 is the benchmark, and mana-hungry decks might want more (not that I think this deck needs more, but extra mana will never be wasted). And it has both Thopter/Sword and Exsanguinate, both of which want all your mana to do vaguely similar things. I think the Exsanguinate slots would be put to better use on something to assist with the construction and protection of the combo.
do something with Battered Golem



Paradise mantle?
HOW TO AUTOCARD! When posting in a text box, type [c]Plains[/c] to make your post showPlains.
Are you making a casual mill deck? Please read.
Control is the key of a mill deck. You should free up your mana as much as possible so that you can respond to whatever your opponent is doing. Having some way to remove threats, both real and percieved, is necessary to survival. Real threats are those that are already on the field, and are something a simple unsummon or doom blade can remove. Percieved threats are those that aren't on the field, something a simple duress or counterspell can deal with. Controlling the board will allow your mill deck to continuously perform, if you use permanent style mill, that is. One-Shot Mill spells are something you should avoid. You can toss tome scours at your opponent until your hand runs out, but that isn't going to be enough to mill them to death. With 1-shot mill spells, like tome scour, you have to treat them like burn spells. Therefore, the only "good" 1-shot mill spells are sanity grinding (in the right deck) and mind funeral. Try to find more permanent styles of milling, like memory erosion, hedron crab, and curse of the bloody tome, so that you don't have to waste your mana each turn doing something that those permanents can do with a single mana/turn investment. Keeping your mana open allows you to respond with control elements. ​Traumatize Rant​. Traumatize is a terrible card for a multitude of reasons. First, it costs 5 to cast, which is a large investment for a mill deck. Milling half a library sounds neat, but if you do the math, it really isn't that much. An average 60 card deck starts with drawing 7 cards. Then, barring any draw spells on their end, or ramp on yours, 5 turns will go by, where they draw 5 more cards, leaving 48 in the deck. Unless they had a deck with more than 60 cards, or you ramped it out, the most you'll ever mill with a single Traumatize on turn 5 is 24 cards. That's not too shabby, but hang on, there's more! If they drew any additional cards or if they were milled before turn 5, that number will be much lower. In addition, any more Traumatize's you draw will only mill less and less as the game goes on...which is the point of a mill deck. My whole point on Traumatize is the it is NOT worth the 5 mana investment, not even with haunting echoes. You can mill more than 24 before turn 5...which you can then cast the echoes. If you look at a mill deck like a burn deck, you'll notice that it takes longer to win with mill than with burn. For example, lightning bolt costs 1 and does 3 out of the 20 damage needed to win (barring any lifegain or damage prevention). For mill, that same investment of 1 would have to mill 9 cards out of an average 60 card deck to be the equivilent of lightning bolt. The problem is that there is no mill card that can do that...except hedron crab, over a period of time. The initial investment of 1 will pay off in 3 more land drops to make the crab equal to a bolt. However, the crab nets you more mill beyond those 3 land drops, making it better as the game draws on. Other cards, like curse of the bloody tome, are excellent ways of milling an opponent because the initial investment of is all you have to pay in order to put your opponent on a clock. All you have to do is stay alive, which is the true goal of a mill strategy. There are other ideas for mill decks that are specific to certain types of strategies. Combo mill decks can mill an entire player's library out from under them. Secondary mill strategies are usually tied to another strategy, like drowner of secrets in a merfolk deck, or halimar excavator in an ally deck. Milling can be done in certain decks that are able to ramp out enough mana to make use of the higher costing mill spells, like using 16 post to pay for X on sands of delirium or for ambassador laquatus. Multiplayer mill decks are even tougher to build, but can be done. Being a slower environment, it is easier to ramp in multiplayer, allowing for big X spells, like mind grind, to be useful. Consuming aberration is another star player. The more straightforward strategy is to use mesmeric orb and dreamborn muse while being the only deck at the table that can deal with it. There are always new strategies coming out with each set, so check gatherer for any new mill cards that you find to be the most fun for you! Now you can say that you haven't fallen into the trap that most new players fall into when they build their first mill deck!
Thanks to everyone who replied.  More than most solicitations in the past, your feedback has pointed out what I did not want to admit...that it has major design flaws.  When you make it, you sometimes do not want to admit or even see flaws.

I realized this not what I am looking for, so I took a leap last night and busted apart both of my 'walker decks to run a 5-color pure highlander @ a modest 61 cards.  It is a clean-the-fridge-out sort of deck to play with a lot of wonky stuff like Tuktuk the Explorer, Wargate, stuff that's never quite made it into serious decks and have been sitting in my binder for years, along with many cards you would absolutely use in a highlander, along with singletons of 10 different 'walkers.  I'll post the list tonight for your viewing pleasure.  Early mana curve testing has been VERY promising, focusing on defense screens, utility cards, and token production before bringing out 'walkers.

Thanks again!