Challenge: Super Budget Mill Deck

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I've recently gotten back into MTG, and I've discovered a play style that didn't exist when I was collecting. Namely, Milling people. I had something similar with a black/blue discard deck (built around the card Megrim), and it worked with varried success. But NOW there's some really interesting things to play with. I had the pleasure of playing a mill deck today, and its elegence filled me with such joy. But it needs improvment.

(Long story short, I got a few 30 card promo decks from convention swag bags. Some mono blue decks were mill decks. I did some merging, and integrated my own collection.)

I'd like to gather some nicer mill cards. But here's the catch! There's a super budget. Like your $50 decks? HAH! Lets do this with $5 total. No. Not even. $3 dollars! It's not impossible. Below are cards I have to build on, or swap out.

For reference; this deck was constructed around the assistance of Jace's Erasure



So there's basically what I put together using a pair of promo decks. I really want to keep those crabs (never before has a person been so thrilled to have crabs), and Jace's Erasure is a must. Of my own collection, I tried mixing in some Whirlpool creatures from... oh I forget what set. Basically they let me shuffle my hand back into my deck, and draw that many cards. So it triggers Jace's Erasure.
3 whirlpool riders
3 whirlpool drake

I've also got a rare from the Tempest block; Meditate. In some of our metagames, we'll sit back and see hour other players fair against one another. We essentually skip our turn with nothing but a draw to show for it. I'm accepting this and drawing 4 cards for it.

I'd be interested in enchantments or artifacts that are similar to Jace's Erasure in some way. Or something that I can just pool mana into to make players mill cards.

Thanks!


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becomes You can also [c.]Forest[/c.] a card, minus the periods. So it reads Forest. Click quote on my post to see how I used that code if you're confused.
It appears that another two Hedron Crabs would break your budget, so I will resist the urge.

Grindclock, however, may be useful, as could Sands of Delirium

My friend uses Thought Scour to my disadvantage - it being a cantrip is awesome.  The same deck makes great use of Dream Twist and Curse of the Bloody Tome, as well.

Memory Lapse is a lovely bit of countermagic for most any mill deck.

Should your budget ever increase, I enjoy using Unwinding Clock with my tappy artifacts (notably Seat of the Synod), and I think you would, as well.

Cheers!
A shout out to Gaming Grounds in Kent, Ohio and Gamers N Geeks in Mobile, Alabama. www.zombiehunters.org for all your preparation needs. http://shtfschool.com/ - why prepping is useful, from one who has been there.


Sands of Delirium



I was just wondering how many artifacts would work, and THAT looks amazing! And so inexpensive!



It appears that another two Hedron Crabs would break your budget, so I will resist the urge.



Never before have I wanted more crabs so badly. They were the first card I looked into filling my deck with. Even if there was a way to clone them cheaply for a turn every round would be nice. But yeah. I wish I could have 4 in my deck. It was the perfect opener when last I played. That one critter milled 18 cards by itself before a flametongue kavu spelled the end for it. 18 cards for 1 mana. I like it. I want more. But yeah, at 2 bucks a pop, it's to much. Maybe if I get lucky with more promo packs. I know a guy that has a stack of unopened ones like I did. Maybe he doesn't want the blue ones. :3
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becomes You can also [c.]Forest[/c.] a card, minus the periods. So it reads Forest. Click quote on my post to see how I used that code if you're confused.
How do people feel about Drowner Initiate? I'm actually thinking I won't use it because our group doesn't use much blue. Or the blue that is involved is incidental. But if I read it correctly, I can pay 1 colorless as many times as I have mana. I'm used to cards that don't indicate a limit having no limit. Like there's a drake that says "play this ability only once" in its rules text. So I assume if I had 10 mana, and someone played a blue spell, I could dump 10 into it's one spell, and force whomever to discard 20 cards. Am I right? Or so totally wrong?

How do people feel about Decimator Web? Of those of us that play, one or two of us don't care about 60 card optimal strat decks. We're in it for the fun, and there's all cards we want in these decks. And they're all fun. However that means, for a mill deck, a lot of hard work. That's like starting the game with extra life. But this card seems to inflict a fair bit of effects- albiet not focused. 10 rounds of that will kill most anyone. But in the meantime, it's a handy mill tool. Thoughts?
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becomes You can also [c.]Forest[/c.] a card, minus the periods. So it reads Forest. Click quote on my post to see how I used that code if you're confused.
Drowner Initiate is alright, after all, you're running blue.  You might want to do some research on decks featuring Millfolk, from the Lorwyn era, for extra tricks and options.  Something about Drowner of Secrets, Merrow Commerce, Ink Dissolvers, and Memory Sluice with its conspire comes to mind.  Your question about how many activations you get from the Initiate is interesting.  I would interpret it as once per spell, but would post your question in the rules forum to be sure.

Decimator Web... I guess it works, especially if facing decks much larger than 60 cards.  If it is what you have, it is what you have.

Once you start running lots of artifacts that tap to be used, you might consider Voltaic Keys. 

If you go heavy on the artifacts, specifically Sands of Delirium, then a few Blinkmoth Urn might be fun. 

Cheers!
A shout out to Gaming Grounds in Kent, Ohio and Gamers N Geeks in Mobile, Alabama. www.zombiehunters.org for all your preparation needs. http://shtfschool.com/ - why prepping is useful, from one who has been there.

I'm definately going to pick up a few Sands of Deliriums. Should I ever run out of steam, that's mill-fireball every turn. I can dig it.

Memory Sluice is spendier than I'd like for a single card, but I can certainly see the appeal. And I feel like if I had a Crab in play, I'd be a step away from a combo. Or hell, if I have many creatures in play, I can copy the spell ad nausium... right? The copy gets the conspire ability too, right?

I asked the Drowner question in the rules section. I also feel like it's once a spell too. If it wanted to let me pump its ability, that 1 colorless would say X colorless (at least I imagine).

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becomes You can also [c.]Forest[/c.] a card, minus the periods. So it reads Forest. Click quote on my post to see how I used that code if you're confused.
jace's archivist + psychic spiral is pretty neat.



That is GREAT! I think this combo plus some Sands of Delirium. That's make my deck pretty solid for mill.

How do you folks feel about my defensibility?
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becomes You can also [c.]Forest[/c.] a card, minus the periods. So it reads Forest. Click quote on my post to see how I used that code if you're confused.
What do you do against a rush deck or a swarm of little guys?
There are some tips on casual mill decks in my sig, down below. To answer NovaShard's concerns, you would need some form of control.

Personally, I would like to see the jace's erasure idea work. So, any card that lets you redo your hand, like the whirlpool dudes, are perfect. Some interesting cards would be copy enchantment so you can stack more erasures. Flux and Tolarian winds might also be interesting. The whirlpool creatures seem really fun, and if you get whirlpool warrior, and splash red, you can open yourself to all of the red cards that do the same thing, like winds of change and molten psyche. (Maybe once you obtain more cash perhaps...)

By the way, drowner initiate is a triggered ability, which means it happens every time the clause is met. If you have it out, and cast 1 blue spell, the max you can pay per spell is 1. You can't dump 8 mana into it for each blue spell.

Good luck with this, it's given me some ideas.
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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!
What do you do against a rush deck or a swarm of little guys?



I've only played the deck once, and I lost to a red (and green) aggro haste deck. So I'm not really sure. It's a living experiment. But I had fun. I also have a feeling I need to refine my defences. Any suggestions?
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becomes You can also [c.]Forest[/c.] a card, minus the periods. So it reads Forest. Click quote on my post to see how I used that code if you're confused.
What about cards like [C]Vedalken Dismisser[/C], [C]Time Ebb[/C].
This + mill cards = destroy target creature.

Or cheap cards like [C]Lore Broker[/C], or [C]Sage's Row Denizen[/C]. [C]Nephalia Smuggler[/C] is small, but the flicker effect + Denizen + Dismisser or the Aether Adept = awesome.

Another nice Vedalken. [C]Vedalken Entrancer[/C]. Similar to the mesmerist but he can be a good blocker. Or cards like [C]Thieving Magpie[/C]. Evasive + card drawing ...
I like [C]Sphinx of Magosi[/C] for card drawing. It's a 6/6 flier for 6 + 3 mana to draw a card aaand put a counter on it at instant speed....That means the turn after you played it it could be an 8/8 attacker that draws 2 additional cards...
If you've got multiple Erasure's this could be something

Do you want mono blue or is multicolored ok?
[C]Dimir Guildmage[/C] is a solid 2 drop. In a monoblue deck he does nearly the same as an azure mage. The difference is that his card drawing is not an instant but he has got 1 more toughness. If you have got black mana you can bounce a creature and and then make him discard it.
Another good dimir budget card ... [C]Haunter of Nightveil[/C] ... All those 1/1 tokens are 0/1 ... yippie ..

.
[C]Blood Reckoning[/C] ... and its smaller brother from the Original Ravnica block (i can't remember the name). if he has lots of attackers ... this can hurt.


Do you want mono blue or is multicolored ok?



I'm open to more colors for sure. Black + Blue was a consideration at one point. I kept it mono blue because it was hard enough trimming down as it is. Since the deck hinges on those Jace erasures, I wanted to keep it as close to 60 as I could. But yeah. Black is a possibility.

In other news,

I'm considering putting a few things in here that aren't totally synergistic with the mill theme. Mostly because I need the defence while I work my magic. Wall of Kelp and/or Spiny Starfish + Prodigal Sorcerer (of which would also be used to kill annoying 1/1's or whatever.)
Before anyone can help, you gotta deck list your post. Go back and edit your post.
becomes You can also [c.]Forest[/c.] a card, minus the periods. So it reads Forest. Click quote on my post to see how I used that code if you're confused.
If you are going to be running 5 and 6 CMC cards, I would be running 24 Lands.

Have you considered Terramorphic Expanse alongside Hedron Crab?

To my mind, if you are going to run Jace's Erasure I would be running a lot more "draw" effects.
I like WhirlPool Rider, WhirlPool Drake and Tolarian Winds in that regard. I like that Aether Adept allows you to reuse those ETB effects too. Depending on the number of creatures you run, it could be fun to include Haunted Fengraf.
Given that you will be, effectively, dumping your hand into the graveyard, I would consider Silent Departure, and Grasp Of Phantoms (admittedly super expensive CMC wise) in regards to "defensibility". 
Deep Analysis and Think Twice might also be worthwhile.
Also, you could run Quiet Speculation and perhaps a singleton Increasing Confusion as a big mill spell.
Furthermore, Reckless Scholar could be Cephalid Broker
While I don't know where you are currently at with your Budget - Magus Of The Bazaar isn't too expensive nowadays.

Also, I really don't like Meditate here. 

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If you are going to be running 5 and 6 CMC cards--




I don't know what this means.



Also, I really don't like Meditate here. 




I feel that. I have also always been on the fence about Meditate. But it doesn't start making sense until you play a game in my circle of friends. Outside of my group, I'd be with you.

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becomes You can also [c.]Forest[/c.] a card, minus the periods. So it reads Forest. Click quote on my post to see how I used that code if you're confused.
I don't know what this means.

Converted Mana Cost. I was referring to the Jace's Ingenuity and MindCulling

But it doesn't start making sense until you play a game in my circle of friends. Outside of my group, I'd be with you

Fair enough, I can appreciate that.


Where are you currently at, in regards to your budget?

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I don't know what this means.

Converted Mana Cost. I was referring to the Jace's Ingenuity and MindCulling




Oh, okay, I gotcha. I knew what converted mana cost was, but never heard it shortened down to CMC.

I'm debating dropping Mindculling because it is so much. I'm really not ready to raise the amount of lands in the deck. The whirlpool dudes seem to bring a new crop to my hand easily enough. I may not play them all, of course, so there's more cards in my hand the next time I whirlpool. But from what I played, I was never short on lands. I was however not happy to see Mindculling in my opening hand. Pleased enough to let it sort back into the deck.



But it doesn't start making sense until you play a game in my circle of friends. Outside of my group, I'd be with you

Fair enough, I can appreciate that.


Where are you currently at, in regards to your budget?




I have about 1 buck left.

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becomes You can also [c.]Forest[/c.] a card, minus the periods. So it reads Forest. Click quote on my post to see how I used that code if you're confused.
i just had another idea.

What about the transmute cards?

these could be good in your deck
[C]Muddle the Mixture [/C]
[C]Dimir Infiltrator[/C]

Muddle the mixture has the ability to counter removal spells and others ... or you can use it to get your missing pieces like Jace'S Earsure, Whirpool Riders, The Merfolk Mesmerist etc.
The Infiltrator is similar but it is a solid blocker and unblockable



2 Raven Guild Master
3 Pemmin's Aura
4 Drift of Phantasms
4
4 Signal Pest  
4 Muddle the Mixture
4 Peer Through the Depths
Dampen Thought
3 Eerie Procession


Sort uses Splice onto the Arcane to draw stuff. Ninjas draw stuff. You're working toward getting out Raven Guild Master with Pemmin's Aura. From there, its a slow mill.   

            
i just had another idea.

What about the transmute cards?

these could be good in your deck
[C]Muddle the Mixture [/C]




Hhhmmm!! this isn't to bad. It turns into a fetch card for my key enchantments or creatures. At 50 cents a pop, I can get two! Woot! good suggestion.


2 Raven Guild Master

Sort uses Splice onto the Arcane to draw stuff. Ninjas draw stuff. You're working toward getting out Raven Guild Master with Pemmin's Aura. From there, its a slow mill.   




Thanks for the suggestions. It's no where near what the thread was discussing, but thanks anyway.

Before anyone can help, you gotta deck list your post. Go back and edit your post.
becomes You can also [c.]Forest[/c.] a card, minus the periods. So it reads Forest. Click quote on my post to see how I used that code if you're confused.
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