The Scoop: Casual Contemplation – Mill Machine

A common theme in my Casual deck designs is the idea of following a characteristic to a fault. Sometimes I decide I want a deck to be a certain way, and I will design it to have all the advantages and disadvantages that go along with that. In the case of this Dimir (u/b) mill deck, I decided to make the entire deck permanent-less (sans lands). It is a mill deck that consists entirely of spells that go straight to the graveyard after use. Instants and sorceries. Disposables. You get the picture.

Nothing to see here…nothing to see here…this man’s head just exploded from all the milling…


  • Instants and Sorceries
    • Tome Scour x4
    • Mind Sculpt x4
    • Mind Funeral x4
    • Breaking [Entering] x4
    • Grisly Spectacle x4
    • Devastation Tide x4
    • Psychic Strike x4
    • Pilfered Plans x4
    • Psychic Drain x3
    • Mind Grind x3
  • Lands
    • Swamp x7
    • Island x7
    • Nephalia Drownyard x4
    • Dimir Guildgate x4

This deck is incredibly simple. Mill the opponent before they kill you. It is designed to mill as quickly as possible while supplying a few delay options to assist. The primary spells are low-cost mill spells, like Tome Scour, Breaking (a split card that also contains the ignored Entering) Mind Sculpt and the devastating Mind Funeral. All of those are 2 cmc or less except Mind Funeral, which is easily one of the best mill cards out there. These are the cards that are all about milling and focusing on it exclusively.

One of the most powerful milling cards in Magic.

Grisly Spectacle, Psychic Strike and Pilfered Plans provide additional assistance in addition to their milling. The removal, counterspell and hand advantage benefits come at the cost of reducing the milling effect and/or a higher cmc.

Devastation Tide rounds out the “removal”/delay tactics, using the Miracle mechanic to keep mana open for more milling in 1 turn. What’s the point of delaying the opponent if you’re taking extra turns to remove their threats?

Psychic Drain is a late-game contingency for trying to survive aggro awaiting that last mill card. Psychic Drain isn’t an ideal mill card because it’s 1 mill for 1 mana +1. However, I’ve found the deck needs just one more turn to finish off a library, so the extra life can make the difference. Mind Grind is an addition for late-game and multiplayer games as well. This deck simply isn’t designed for multiple opponents, but Mind Grind can make things interesting in almost any match.

I have found this deck is regularly 1 turn away from victory. It actually makes matches quite exciting, to be honest. It’s Magic in its purest form, essentially, as the opponent is on a clock and trying to kill you as quickly as possible. It’s like taking swings at each other with no regard for blocking blows. The deck’s to-a-fault commitment to permanent-less-ness is often its downfall, but it’s worth it to me to maintain the disadvantage to find a way to push it over the line in the future.

The deck’s total mill-ability is 184 (that’s timidly averaging the number of cards milled by Mind Funeral at 7, Grisly Spectacle’s mill at 3, Mind Grind’s single-player mill at 10, Psychic Drain at 4, and Nephalia Drownyard at 6 total). That’s 3 60-card libraries that the entirety of the deck can go through. Essentially, it takes 1/3 of the deck to mill someone out. That’s a lot of turns. But, usually Mind Funeral hits better than 7 or Devastation Tide does a well-timed reset of the battlefield. Well, I never argued the deck was perfect, but sometimes it makes for a fun match.




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