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 Post subject: UB Mill
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:30 pm 
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It's been a while since I posted a brew, but I couldn't resist the new mill cards. The first thing I tried was an aggressive mono blue mill deck, but it's really not fast enough for a race and blue doesn't have the tools to keep the board clear against aggro, either. So unfortunately you can't do well without black. Adding black slows down the mill plan, but you gain the needed utility.

Spells
4 x So Tiny
4 x Merfolk Secretkeeper
4 x Overwhelmed Apprentice
4 x Drowned Secrets
1 x Lucky Clover
4 x Drown in the Loch
4 x Thought Collapse
4 x Murderous Rider
1 x Portal of Sanctuary
2 x Bond of Insight
4 x Into the Story

Land
10 x Island
6 x Swamp
4 x Watery Grave
4 x Dismal Backwater

Essential cards and interactions
Overwhelmed Apprentice and Merfolk Secretkeeper activate your Drown in the Loch and turn it into a 2 mana "answer pretty much everything". I also like the scry 2 to smooth out my draws and it doesn't hurt to have cheap blockers.

Murderous Rider is there to save you from resolved threats, especially planeswalkers. The lifegain helps against weenies, but the creature is really not that valuable. Unless you have:

Portal of Sanctuary recycles your creatures. For a single mana you get to mill, scry and kill stuff over and over and over again with your adventures and etb effects.

Lucky Clover is a fun addition I'm toying around with. It doubles the value of Murderous Rider and Merfolk Secretkeeper, which should justify the inclusion and adds to the Portal of Sanctuary shenanigans.

Bond of Insight is amazing for getting back Drown in the Loch. With 6 mana you can get back 2 universal answers and have mana left to cast one.

Into the Story pairs well with the counterspells. Nothing to counter ... draw 4.

Thought Collapse is probably the best option for additional counterspells. It's an unconditional counterspell that occasionally helps to activate Drown in the Loch and Into the Story.

Notable exclusions and flex spots:
I prefer Jace, Wielder of Mysteries over Ashiok, Dream Render, because exiling the graveyard is a nonbo with two of your key cards. I'm not even sure if you should play planeswalkers at all, because it leaves you vulnerable. For now, I decided that the deck doesn't need that and operates better on mostly instant speed and only cheap sorcery speed cards. Of course Ashiok is a decent sideboard card against graveyard matters, tutors and anti mill sideboards.

Vantress Gargoyle is a trap in my opinion. Early on it's a good blocker, but you rarely keep 4 cards in hand for too long. When it loses the ability to block, it becomes a useless beatstick, as you're unlikely to kill somebody with a single creature (if you do, the game is probably firmly in your hand anyway). So I'd say rely on your mill creatures for early blocks and play control cards instead of Gargoyle.

Drowned Secrets could be replaced by more control tools. However, I enjoy bouncing the mill creatures and replaying them for additional triggers. Drowned Secrets might be win more, if you are in control, but on the other hand you have to control the game much longer without them.

Enter the God-Eternals is a strong tool to recover from an early beating, but it might be a little too expensive and inflexible at sorcery speed. I replaced them with So Tiny for the moment. The lifegain will be missed, but you probably save more life, if you can squeeze in So Tiny early, without letting your guard down.


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 Post subject: Re: UB Mill
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:31 am 
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How fast does this deck goldfish?


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 Post subject: Re: UB Mill
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:12 pm 
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Is this a term I'm supposed to know? Apparently I've been absent for too long.

If you mean how fast it mills: Not very fast. It's not an aggressive mill strategy. The first few turns you'll usually try to control and set up your enchantments/artifact. Once you have 1-2 in place you can mill the remaining 20-30 cards very quickly, though.

If you mean how competitive it is: I don't know. You can answer a lot of strategies, due to premium counters and single target removal. You can close out games out of nowhere with enough mana and Into the Story to refuel mill tools. Wide boards can be dangerous. So far I didn't encounter an impossibly bad matchup, though.

I suppose there will be stronger decks, but at the very least this list is budget friendly and fun to play.


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 Post subject: Re: UB Mill
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:30 pm 
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He means how quickly does it win if opponent does nothing. It’s a fairly old term. Comes from testing a deck in paper magic without an opponent (playing against a “goldfish” rather than a real opponent) to see how fast it aggros out or gets its combos off in a vacuum.

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 Post subject: Re: UB Mill
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:28 am 
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What TIMH said ... if your opponent does nothing, how long does it take before you win? Like Nexus last season, this is a deck that's looking to survive until it does its thing, so this number is crucial. Last season Nexus goldfishes at about 6-7 lands in play most of the time (i.e. it's possible to win before turns 6-7 because of Growth Spiral / Arboreal Grazer), so if one's deck needs more than 6-7 turns to do 20 damage, one cannot race Nexus, one must rely on disruption.

I have not played with this deck, but it looks like it'll take >6-7 turns to goldfish. On the other hand, it also has cheap creatures that can incidentally stall, so taking longer to goldfish might not be fatal. I don't know.


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 Post subject: Re: UB Mill
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:25 am 
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Quote:
I have not played with this deck, but it looks like it'll take >6-7 turns to goldfish. On the other hand, it also has cheap creatures that can incidentally stall, so taking longer to goldfish might not be fatal. I don't know.


Pretty good call. It does indeed take more than 7 turns to mill somebody, even without resistance. The main reason being that you don't always have enough mill tools in your opening hand. It is also impractical, as you won't survive 7 turns, if you don't keep mana open for control. In contrast to the Nexus deck, you can't do nothing for 7 turns and then win the game on the spot. 7 mana is simply not enough to mill 40 cards at once.

That being said, slow and steady can also be an advantage. A combo is much easier to prevent than a consistent gameplan with interchangeable pieces. I might need 2-4 more turns, but the outcome is inevitable and I have arguably better tools to survive that long.


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 Post subject: Re: UB Mill
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:52 am 
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I played against a similar build, but they used covetous urge, which was br00tal.


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 Post subject: Re: UB Mill
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:13 pm 
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I have had some luck with the deck,but I was using the Gargoyles, God Externals and Though Erasures as well as the Fetch Fairies for sweepers, Ego, Mirror and Ashiok among a few SB cards to fetch.

The deck has been like every other deck I have tried. It is streaky, sometimes seeming unbeatable and other times just a pile. It is one I am keeping around along w/ Knights, Oko and Mono black as possibly being a few tweaks away from being a great deck.

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 Post subject: Re: UB Mill
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:44 am 
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What did you leave out? I can't think of 4 playsets you could exchange for your choices without changing the way the deck functions.

I was really disappointed in the Gargoyles and Kefnet. They're basically the only creatures you care about and all they achieve is to make your opponent spend mana on the 1-2 otherwise dead removal spells in his hand. Swapping these creatures for control cards made my deck much more consistent.

I like the idea of the Faeries, though. I'll try that out tomorrow and report how it went.


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 Post subject: Re: UB Mill
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:51 pm 
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Fae of Wishes are a nice addition as a two-of. You could replace Portal of Sanctuary and Lucky Clover for them and put those cards in the sideboard. That way you can still fetch them on demand.

After a really bad streak with the deck, I've gone back to experimenting with mono blue. This is a madman's deck, but it goldfishes much faster than the U/B version. I've milled people on turn 6 with this list, but it's usually a little bit slower than that.

Spells
4 x So Tiny
4 x Unsummon
4 x Run Away Together
4 x Overwhelmed Apprentice
4 x Merfolk Secretkeeper
3 x Wall of Lost Thoughts
4 x Drowned Secrets
1 x Portal of Sanctuary
4 x Into the Story
3 x Bond of Insight

Land
24 Island
1 Castle Vantress

This shouldn't be too competitive, as it is very one-dimensional. However, it is much better than it looks. You have a decent game against slower strategies. For example I've had good games against decks based around Field of the Dead, Fires of Invention, Questing Beast, Lovestruck Beast or Oko, Thief of Crowns. The matchup against flash is very dependent on an early Drowned Secrets, before they can counter it and the number of control they draw.

It is obviously weaker to aggro and token strategies. You still have some game, but it will always be a close race.


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 Post subject: Re: UB Mill
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:31 am 
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Indeed, this deck might actually be the bane of Golos decks. Their clock is slow, you can run Ashiok maindeck, and you can randomly mill their Fields of the Dead. It's going to come down heavily to how fast this deck can goldfish. We'll see more after the Mythic Championship, I guess.


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