Budget Standard Mono-White Mill (Only £60/$75 for paper or £40/$49 tix online!) – Tales from the Fringe, by Jesse Hall
Let the concept soak in a little bit. It’s a white deck unlike any I’ve personally ever put together. It’s a mill deck unlike any other I’ve put together. I’ve been fascinated with mill decks ever since the original Ravnica, when Szadek, Lord of Secrets and Glimpse the Unthinkable were the major players (at least in my deck). Since then, there have been some major tools in the milling toolbox, but this one is truly unique, and it utilise everyone’s favourite Standard cat.
Felidar Guardian is being hyped because it has the potential to double up or even go arbitrarily large for Enters-the-battlefield triggers. While this deck does care about ETB, we really love one creature’s Leaves-the-battlefield trigger: Thought-Knot Seer. Felidar Guardian makes this cute, fuzzy ‘drazi purr.
The setup is pretty janky, but this is what this series is all about. What we need for a mill win is a Panharmonicon, two Felidar Guardians and a Thought-Knot Seer. A Felidar Guardian enters the battlefield and places two flicker abilities on the stack, targeting the Thought-Knot Seer and the other Guardian. TKS flickers, placing a draw trigger beneath two triggers exiling a card from your opponent’s hand, then the second guardian flickers beginning the entire process over again. If your opponent can’t interact with it before their hand is gone, it’s almost a sure win, though there is a chance that your opponent could draw into an answer for before you can completely mill them out.
Let’s take a closer look at Thought-Knot Mill:
3 Declaration in Stone
3 Eerie Interlude
3 Spatial Contortion
A large chunk of the deck is dedicated to protecting this fragile combo, and your life. Acrobatic Maneuver and Eldrazi Displacer are both instant-speed panic buttons that can save one of your combo pieces from being destroyed, while Collective Effort and Pressure Point can stall threats on your opponent’s side of the board. Authority of the Consuls is here as a 3-of, to buy time against aggro decks, and to neutralize the Crazy Cat Lady combo.
White’s biggest disadvantage is it can’t draw a lot of cards. There isn’t a lot we can do about that, other than utilize some cantrips like Pressure Point, and bring in 4 Thraben Inspectors. With all the flicker options we have here, there aren’t often a shortage of clues.
The land base is pretty simple. Because of our eight Eldrazi, we need lands that produce colorless mana. Shrine of the Forsaken Gods can provide 2 colorless mana late game (should the game last that long) and Warped Landscape can dig for a Plains if we have all the colourless mana we need. The entire mana base just over a dollar.
There are some other card interactions to note. Panharmonicon doubles triggers on your permanents even if the creature or artifact that entered the battlefield wasn’t yours. This is relevant for Authority of the Consuls. You can use Eldrazi Displacer to flicker something an opponent controls, and have it enter tapped and gain two life. Finally, Pious Evangel can help take us out of reach of most decks in Standard, provided we have two Felidar Guardians. Flicker them an arbitrarily large number of times and we have an arbitrarily large amount of life.
For sideboard tech, we have some interesting decisions going on. Declaration in Stone remains to be one of the best answers in white for tokens. We’re trying to avoid complete board sweepers because our strategy relies so heavily on certain creatures. To avoid the sweep when it comes, we have Eerie Interlude. And for spot removal, Spatial Contortion can do the job for most creatures and vehicles we’ll be facing, while Fragmentize can neutralize most vehicles that are seeing play.
For being a mill deck that features no blue or black, I feel that this does a pretty good job. It is certainly an interesting way to use Felidar Guardian and even if the Mill plan should fall through, Thought-Knot Seer is a big enough creature that it should be able to keep us going.
This deck totals up to just over £60 GBP/$75 USD for paper and £40 GBP/$49 USD tix online.
Community Question: Whats your best list for a budget mill deck?
Thanks for reading,