Mill

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Mill is an informal term used in Magic describing cards moving out of a player's library to somewhere even less useful (meaning: anywhere other than the hand). The term alludes to the card, Millstone, which was the first to feature the mechanic "Milling", a strategy some decks use which takes advantage of the decking rule. [1] [2] [3]

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Oath of the Gatewatch (January 16, 2016))

104.3c If a player is required to draw more cards than are left in his or her library, he or she draws the remaining cards, and then loses the game the next time a player would receive priority. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704.)

Description[edit | edit source]

Presumably, emptying your opponent's library is one way to ensure a game loss, though you have to wait for your opponent to actually draw a card, a fine point to the rule.

Cards that cause a player to mill have most often been found in blue or black (especially from the Dimir guild of the Ravnica blocks), though most of the earliest milling cards were artifacts. Flavorwise, milling is portrayed as occurring due to memory loss, insanity or drowning.

There are two basic types of mill deck: the control deck that looks to take over the game through killing your creatures and countering your spells, then using mill cards as a way to win the game, and a combo deck that plays primarily mill type cards and looks to mill the opponent out as soon as possible. [4]

List of mill instants and sorceries[edit | edit source]

Instants[edit | edit source]

  • Archive Trap{3}{U}{U} target opponent (thirteen) - Trap
  • Brain Freeze{1}{U} target player (three) - Storm
  • Broken Ambitions{X}{U} counter target spell unless its controller pays {X}. Clash with an opponent. If you win, that spell's controller (four)
  • Countermand{2}{U}{U} counter target spell. Its controller (four)
  • Dampen Thought{1}{U} target player (four) - Splice onto Arcane {1}{U}
  • Dimir Charm{U}{B} look at the top three cards of target player's library, then put one back and mill the rest - tri-modal spell
  • Dream Twist{U} target player (three) - Flashback {1}{U}
  • Grisly Spectacle{2}{B}{B} destroy target nonartifact creature. Its controller mills a number of cards equal to that creature's power.
  • Induce Paranoia{2}{U}{U} counter target spell. If {B} was spent to cast Induce Paranoia, that spell's controller (X), where X is the spell's converted mana cost.
  • Lammastide Weave{1}{G} name a card, then target player (one). If that card is the named card, you gain life equal to its converted mana cost.
  • Psychic Spiral{4}{U} shuffle all cards from your graveyard into your library, then target player (that many cards)
  • Psychic Strike{1}{U}{B} counter target spell. Its controller (two)
  • Ray of Erasure{U} target player (one) - Slowtrip
  • Thought Scour{U} target player (two) - Cantrip
  • Vision Charm{U} target player (four) - tri-modal spell

Sorceries[edit | edit source]

Creatures which cause mill[edit | edit source]

  • Ambassador Laquatus{1}{U}{U} - {3}: target player (three)
  • Belltower Sphinx{4}{U} - Whenever a source deals damage to Belltower Sphinx, that source's controller puts that many cards from the top of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
  • Cathartic Adept{U} - {T}: target player (one)
  • Chancellor of the Spires{4}{U}{U}{U} you may reveal this card from your opening hand. If you do, at the beginning of the first upkeep, each opponent (seven)
  • Crosstown Courier{1}{U} - whenever Crosstown Courier deals combat damage to a player, that player (that many cards)
  • Doorkeeper{1}{U} - {2}{U}, {T}: target player (X), where X is the number of creatures with defender you control.
  • Dreamborn Muse{2}{U}{U} at the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player (X), where X is the number of cards in his or her hand.
  • Drowner Initiate{U} whenever a player casts a blue spell, you may pay {1}. If you do, target player (two)
  • Drowner of Secrets{2}{U} tap an untapped Merfolk you control: target player (one)
  • Duskmantle Guildmage{U}{B} - {2}{U}{B}: target player (two)
  • Enigma Eidolon{3}{U} - {U}, sacrifice Enigma Eidolon: target player (three)
  • Geralf's Mindcrusher{4}{U}{U} when Geralf's Mindcrusher enters the battlefield, target player (five) - Undying
  • Geth, Lord of the Vault{4}{B}{B} - {X}{B}: put target artifact or creature card with converted mana cost X from an opponent's graveyard onto the battlefield under your control tapped. Then that player (X).
  • Halimar Excavator{1}{U} whenever Halimar Excavator or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, target player (X), where X is the number of Allies you control.
  • Hedron Crab{U} Landfall - Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, target player (three)
  • Ink Dissolver{1}{U} Kinship - at the beginning of your upkeep, you may look at the top card of your library. If it shares a creature type with Ink Dissolver, you may reveal it. If you do, each opponent (three).
  • Lich Lord of Unx{1}{U}{B} - {U}{U}{B}{B}: target player loses X life and (X), where X is the number of Zombies you control.
  • Merfolk Mesmerist{1}{U} - {U}, {T}: target player (two)
  • Merrow Witsniper{U} when Merrow Witsniper enters the battlefield, target player (one)
  • Mindeye Drake{4}{U} when Mindeye Drake dies, target player (five)
  • Mindshrieker{1}{U} - {2}: target player (one); Mindshrieker gets +X/+X until end of turn, where X is that card's converted mana cost.
  • Nemesis of Reason{3}{U}{B} whenever Nemesis of Reason attacks, defending player (ten)
  • Raven Guild Master{1}{U}{U} Whenever Raven Guild Master deals combat damage to a player, that player exiles the top ten cards of his or her library.
  • Reef Pirates{1}{U}{U} whenever Reef Pirates deals damage to an opponent, that player (one)
  • Riddlekeeper{2}{U} whenever a creature attacks you or a planeswalker you control, that creature's controller (two)
  • Rotcrown Ghoul{4}{U} when Rotcrown Ghoul dies, target player (five)
  • Sage's Row Denizen{2}{U} whenever another blue creature enters the battlefield under your control, target player (two)
  • Scalpelexis{4}{U} Whenever Scalpelexis deals combat damage to a player, that player exiles the top four cards of his or her library. If two or more of those cards have the same name, repeat this process.
  • Screeching Silcaw{1}{U} Metalcraft - Whenever Screeching Silcaw deals combat damage to a player, if you control three or more artifacts, that player (four)
  • Screeching Sliver{U} all Slivers have "{T}: target player (one)"
  • Selhoff Occultist{2}{U} whenever Selhoff Occultist or another creature dies, target player (one)
  • Sewer Nemesis{3}{B} as Sewer Nemesis enters the battlefield, choose a player. Whenever the chosen player casts a spell, that player (one)
  • Shriekgeist{1}{U} whenever Shriekgeist deals combat damage to a player, that player (two)
  • Soratami Mindsweeper{3}{U} - {2}, return a land you control to its owner's hand: target player (two)
  • Stern Mentor{3}{U} - Soulbond - paired with another creature, each of those creatures has "{T}: target player (two)"
  • Szadek, Lord of Secrets{3}{U}{U}{B}{B} If Szadek, Lord of Secrets would deal combat damage to a player, instead put that many +1/+1 counters on Szadek and that player (that many)
  • Vedalken Entrancer{3}{U} - {U}, {T}: target player (two)

Planeswalkers which cause mill[edit | edit source]

  • Jace Beleren{1}{U}{U} -10: target player (twenty)
  • Jace, Memory Adept{3}{U}{U} +1: Draw a card. Target player (one); 0: target player (ten)
  • Jace, Telepath Unbound{1}{U} −9: You get an emblem with "Whenever you cast a spell, target opponent (five)"
  • Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver{1}{U}{B} +2: Exile the top three cards of target opponent's library; −10: Exile all cards from all opponents' hands and graveyards.

Enchantments[edit | edit source]

  • Chronic Flooding{1}{U} enchant land - whenever enchanted land becomes tapped, its controller (three)
  • Curse of the Bloody Tome{2}{U} enchant player - at the beginning of enchanted player's upkeep, that player (two)
  • Evanescent Intellect{U} enchant creature - {1}{U},{T}: Target player (three)
  • Infernal Genesis{4}{B}{B} at the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player (one). Then that player puts X 1/1 black Minion creature tokens onto the battlefield, where X is that card's converted mana cost.
  • Memory Erosion{1}{U}{U} whenever an opponent casts a spell, that player (two)
  • Jace's Erasure{1}{U} whenever you draw a card, you may have target player (one)

Artifacts which cause mill[edit | edit source]

  • Altar of Dementia{2} - Sacrifice a creature: target player (creature's power)
  • Altar of the Brood — Whenever another permanent enters the battlefield under your control, each opponent (one)
  • Codex Shredder{1} - {T}: target player (one)
  • Decimator Web{4} - {4}, {T}: target opponent loses 2 life, gets a poison counter, then (six)
  • Ghoulcaller's Bell{1} - {T}: each player (one)
  • Grindclock{2} - {T}: put a charge counter on Grindclock. {T}: Target player (X), where X is the number of charge counters on Grindclock.
  • Grindstone{1} - {3},{T}: Target player (two). If both cards share a color, repeat this process.
  • Grinding Station{2} - {T}, sacrifice an artifact: target player (three)
  • Hair-Strung Koto{6} tap an untapped creature you control: target player (one)
  • Keening Stone{6} - {5}, {T}: target player (X), where X is the number of cards in that player's graveyard.
  • Mesmeric Orb{2} whenever a permanent becomes untapped, that permanent's controller (one)
  • Millstone{2} - {2}, {T}: target player (two)
  • Sands of Delirium{3} - {X}, {T}: target player (X)
  • Shriekhorn{1} Shriekhorn enters the battlefield with three charge counters on it. {T}, remove a charge counter from Shriekhorn: target player (two)
  • Sword of Body and Mind{3} Equipment - whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you put a 2/2 green Wolf creature token onto the battlefield and that player (ten)
  • Tower of Murmurs{4} - {8}, {T}: target player (eight)
  • Whetstone{3} - {3}: each player (two)
  • Whetwheel{4} - {X}{X}, {T}: target player (X) - Morph {3}
  • Worry Beads{3} at the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player (one)

Lands which cause mill[edit | edit source]

Grind[edit | edit source]

Grind is a variation of milling, which put cards from an opponent's library into his or her graveyard until n land cards was put there.[5][6]

List of grind spells[edit | edit source]

Creatures

Notes[edit | edit source]

In the above list; (number) means puts the top (number) card(s) of his or her library into his or her graveyard.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater. (January 11, 2010.) "Milling, About", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Tom LaPille. (January 15, 2010.) "Milled Potpourri", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Michael Yichao. (August 19, 2015.) "Mill Through the Ages", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Ryan Archer, August 2013 "The Best Mill Deck In Magic History" , MTGinfosource.com
  5. Mark Gottlieb. (December 31, 2012.) "Gatecrash Diaries", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater. (January 7, 2013.) "Gatecrashing the Party, Part 2", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.