Monday, April 1, 2013

Monday Magic - Blue-Black Milling Revisions

I had a couple chances to use last week's mill deck, and I came away with a couple basic observations:

First, I had some trouble getting the card advantage I really need for this deck to work.  I need one or two more cheap draw effects to avoid stagnating early on.

Second, I found that my biggest difficulty was dealing with lots of creatures in an aggressive deck.  I have a few good blockers, but it's still easy to get overwhelmed.  Unfortunately, I don't want to sacrifice any of the defensive spells I already have, and I definitely don't want to lose any card draw, so I really just need more efficient blockers.

Third, as much as I love it, the Giant Oyster is just too slow to be really effective.  It's permanent lockdown, but it can only start doing the job on turn five, by which point the tempo of the game is pretty much determined.

On top of those considerations, I came into another Invisible Stalker, who serves as a recurring source of direct milling (Paranoid Delusions) and card draw (Last Thoughts).  It may be worth tweaking the number of Cipher cards at some point, but for now, I'll just add the extra Stalker and see what happens.

With those things in mind, I'm only replacing three cards.  I'm removing the Giant OysterMind Unbound (it's too expensive to be useful - if my win condition were just Jace's Erasure, Mind Unbound could end the game, but with Mind Grind being my bomb, Unbound doesn't much matter), and the Grindstone (similar to Mind Unbound, I find that it doesn't help me in the early-game because I want to spend all my mana on other things, and by the late-game, I have other, better options).

In their place, I'm adding another Invisible Stalker, another Ponder, and an Undead Alchemist.  I think the Alchemist is a great addition because he can easily generate tons of blockers, and if I have superior board presence, he can speed the milling.

This is an awesome board state for this deck.

Here's the current version:


Invisible Stalker
Hover Barrier
Wall of Frost
Balustrade Spy
Undead Alchemist
Deadeye Navigator


Power Sink
Thought Scour
Mana Leak
Crippling Chill


Mind Grind
Paranoid Delusions
Last Thoughts


Jace's Erasure


Dimir Guildgate
15 Island
5 Swamp
Watery Grave

It may even be worth shifting the focus of the deck away from Mind Grind and the Balustrade Spy, instead playing a bunch of zombies and relying on the Alchemist (I have 3 copies anyway).  Call to the Grave plus a mixture of zombies and milling may very well be a winning combination.  Perhaps it's even worth building another annoying mill deck with the zombie emphasis...

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