|Greetings and Welcome back to the hill. Today we’re discussing my personal favorite archetype in M11 Booster Draft, Mill.
I know, it’s beyond annoying to play against. However, when done correctly, it is absolutely the most brutal method to eliminate your opponent.
Firstly, the main reason Mill decks are so much better than in constructed is the deck size. 40 cards over the course of a game is nothing to an efficient mill deck. even a regular lockdown deck with jace beleran can usually mill out the opponent.
Along with that, there’s really not much decks can do to prevent you from milling them out. There’s only one card you need to look out for: Elixir of Immortality, although when you imagine the components of a mill deck you should be drafting those anyway. Speaking of, let’s take a look at the core of a mill deck.
Plan B: This, believe it or not, is the most important part of the archetype. You’re not going to be drafting 23 mill-centered cards. There are 3 pools of cards that I’m looking for when I look to get into mill. You’ll notice I’m not really mentioning rares, as they are obviously unreliable.
Black Removal/Reanimator: Doom Blade is good 80% of the time, as well as assassinate and quag sickness. However, the powerhouse card here is Rise from the Grave. Being able to bring back an opponent’s creature you just dispatched, especially a bomb card, gives you such ridiculous board advantage, you may not even have to mill them out. Don’t forget reassembling skeleton either
White Skies/Lockdown: Pacifism is obviously the nuts, as is Condemn, since you don’t particularly care about their life gain as much. On the creature side, you also have the insanely powerful blinding mage. Not only that, but White’s fliers allow you more wide-spread coverage of the battlefield. Since several white creatures also have huge butts (toughness), it’s easy to hold down board position. Drafting an early Day of Judgement never hurts either.
Blue Fat/Freeze/Counterspell: Blue itself provides many good answers to creature issues. Harbor Serpent is especially playable, as are the Servants, Wall of Frost and Azure Drake. Shoot, even Scroll Thiefs are 1/3s, and take care of most of the bears in the format. As far as spells, Ice Cage and Sleep are fairly automatic, and if you can assemble Mana Leaks and to a lesser extent Cancels, then you’re constantly removing threats before they ever hit the board.
Finally, we’re going to look at the mill cards themselves, and grade them based on their own importance, based on how many copies I’d want in a mill deck.
Tome Scour: The obvious driving force, anything above 3 is a bonus, anything below and I’m looking to dump mill altogether.
Preordain: It’s card draw for a single blue mana, and it sifts dud cards away. I’ve played as many as 3 in a deck, and I wouldn’t have minded a 4th
Jace’s Erasure: Don’t stress if you don’t see a ton, if you have 1 you’ll be fine, 2 is nice, but anything more I’d be uncomfortable with
Call to Mind: This is another card I like 1-2 of, it essentially doubles each of your spells, and once you play with it, you’ll understand how fierce it really is.
Augury Owl: Chump blocker plus scry 3, never a terrible thing
Scroll Thief: These guys are quite versatile, a 1/3 body can absorb quite a few grizzly bears, and if you happen to yank a merfolk sovereign, since everybody hates the guy, you’re golden.
Elixir of Immortality: Why yes, I’d like all my mill cards back in my deck please…
Crystal Ball: It’s still awesome
Traumatize: by turn 5 this should only be hitting 8-12 cards. Nice but unnecessary, I’d pick a Tome Scour over it about every time.
So there you have it, everything you need to play mill and wreck people. Play it yourself? leave a comment! I’d love to know other people’s thoughts on the archetype and what they do with it.