September 10th, 2011
Trying to get caught up on FNM reports. This week I played another @Smi77y creation, Mill Blade. I figured nobody would be metagaming at all for it, and I’ve never played a mill deck before, so I thought I’d give it a shot.
Here’s the list I played:
Seemed like it would be a good time.
Round 1: Brandon, playing RDW
The are real differences in RDW builds and RDW players. Brandon brings legit RDW decks and knows how to play them. And, unfortunately, I was never really in these games. Bad draws, but not sure I would have won with good ones. Mostly what milling him did was fuel his Lavamancers and put Phoenixes in his graveyard. Got steamrolled.
0-1 matches, 0-2 games
Round 3, Amy playing Random GB ramp
Game 1 was going along smoothly, early Crab, Trapped off her Cultivate, etc. However, second Trap hit… Kozilek. Really? I just scooped a couple turns later since that’s pretty much game unless I can get a Sworded Hawk, and I didn’t. Game 2 I sided in the Extractions and kept a hand that had one. I then drew both the others and when I extracted her Kozilek, I found that she had nothing else worth extracting and died with some dead cards in hand. This was dumb and displays a critical weakness of mill: Eldrazi hose you.
0-2 matches, 0-4 games
Round 3, Matt playing Pyromancer’s Ascension
Seems like a bad matchup, me actually trying to put stuff in his graveyard. My T1 Crab ate a Bolt, but I had one turn 2 and had fetches. He got an Ascension active but I had multiple traps (including Snaring into a Trap on his end after he had cracked a fetch) and got Jace out and that got me there. Game 2 he sided in Exarch Twin. I sided in the Extractions and extracted the Twins early. He never got a PA active but drew tons of burn. He almost managed to burn me out but I managed to double-Visions my way into six land, which allowed me to thereafter draw gas and I got the last Trap I needed for the win. This match reveals the other down side of mill: people are so demoralized after losing to you that they drop, which destroys your breakers.
1-2 matches, 2-4 games
Round 4, Marvin playing mono Black infect
Game 1 I had an early Crab that he Dismembered, then a Hawk and another Crab. Timely Reinforcements wasn’t very good here. I chumped off a couple Plague Stingers with Hawks, and then he dropped a Crusader. I still had a Crab and didn’t want to have to use it to block, but I topdecked a Sword, equipped a Hawk, and then had Wolf token to block. He scooped as another hit from the Sword would end it. Game 2 I kept an opener with two sources of blue but no White and I paid the price. Got stuck on three Islands and never really recovered. I did Dismember a Crusader at one point in this game but it just wan’t enough. Game 3 I got a bunch of cards milled with a Crab before he killed it, and got Jace on turn 5. He didn’t swing into Jace instead swinging at me, but I had two Traps in hand and was able to mill him out for the win the turn before I would have died.
2-2 matches, 4-5 games
Round 5: David, playing RDW
Game 1 I got the god draw and had two Crabs in the opener and a fistful of fetches. I milled off 36 cards over the next three turns before he burnt off both of the Crabs and then refilled my hand with a Visions and got there. I was assisted in that he had three Shrines out but was stuck on two land for a long time, which gave me time to finish him. Game 2 he again got an early Shrine but had the O Ring for it. I had Timely Reinforcements to get me from 16 life back to 20, but it just didn’t matter as I didn’t draw enough other mill cards. Game 3 came down to the wire. I had him down to a few cards in his library, but he had killed my Jace and we were both in topdeck mode. I drew a Sword but had nothing to put it on, land, and then land, and then he drew Hero. I drew another Sword and played it. He drew Guide and hit me down to 3, then Burst me down to 1. I drew Visions, then ancestralled into Timely Reinforcements. Yes! I went back to 7, cracked a fetch down to 6 so I could equip both Swords to the tokens so I could block. He only had 2 cards left in his library and so that did it. Hooray, Visions!
3-2 matches, 6-6 games
And, of course, I missed the top 8 on tiebreakers, which were horrific. My round 2 opponent didn’t do well and my round 3 opponent rage quit… err, dropped, so I really had no shot of making it on breakers. That’s a bummer, because I think I would have had a shot in the top 8.
The deck is a blast to play, as nobody was expecting mill. Visions of Beyond was definitely the MVP card in this deck—turns out that Ancestral Recall is pretty amazing. It’s really unfortunate that so much of this deck is rotating out, as this deck would be even better in an environment with no Eldrazi.
Oh, well. One more FNM to go before rotation (for me, that is). Might go back to Caw Blade, might replay Twin Pod, which was great. We’ll see.