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Grind Their Mind - Alec Collins (2/28/2013)

Smell that? (Inhales sharply). Ahhh, I love the smell of new sets in the morning. The best things about new sets, in my opinion, are the awesome old decks and quirky strategies that are resurrected with the new cards and mechanics. My brewing buddies and I spend hours digging through all the new cards and pairing up with old strategies we could never quite make work. Most of the time, things don't really pan out. However, once in a blue moon, a deck comes together to make some magic happen (see what I did there? I've got all the jokes). Such was the case last week when my good friend Kevin and I were looking for a rogue deck to take to FNM. I had settled on a BUG Tempo brew, but Kevin was stumped. He wanted to play something controlling, but with a win condition that nobody would really have an answer for. I suggested some OmniThagFire lists and even the UWR Door Control deck from my last article, but neither of these really interested him. As I usually do, I turned to the Bind
Bind
BindSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
182
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Counter target activated ability. (Mana abilities can't be countered.)Draw a card.
er Spirit
Spirit
SpiritSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
s to give us a good idea. I flipped to my favorite color, black, and landed on my Dimir page. I had played a really sweet Dimir deck to great success at prerelease that rode on the backs of two cards in particular. Both of which I quickly acquired a full play set of each, thinking I could do something really sweet with them later on.

I glanced over to Kevin, “How do you feel about mill decks?”

“Never played one,” he replied.

I fanned out the eight cards, plus a few more choice cards, on the table in front of him. He smiled, somewhat wickedly, “I like it.”

For those of you who don't know, or who play real Magic and have never tried to do it, milling works by simply removing all the cards from your opponent's library so that he cannot draw any cards. If he or she can't then you win the game. This is obviously much easier said than done which is why milling someone isn't a very popular win condition. However, every once in a while, there are some very powerful mill cards printed that make the strategy viable. I feel that Gatecrash has given us those weapons and my buddy and I set out to prove it. We did some hefty brewing and testing with a few different mill strategies. Right away, we discovered that an aggressive mill strategy, one that involves few to no creatures and spells that do nothing but mill, would never work in this format. The other decks in Standard are simply way too fast to go up against them without some way to slow them down. We settled on a list that had a powerful mill plan coupled with creatures that would get scary big and board sweepers to slow down the aggressive creature decks.

Introducing Esper Grind!


Creatures:
4 Jace's Phantasm
Jace's Phantasm
Jace's PhantasmSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Illusion
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Johann Bodin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying Jace's Phantasm gets +4/+4 as long as an opponent has ten or more cards in his or her graveyard.

2 Duskmantle Guildmage
Duskmantle Guildmage
Duskmantle GuildmageSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
158
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
{1}{U}{B}: Whenever a card is put into an opponent's graveyard from anywhere this turn, that player loses 1 life. {2}{U}{B}: Target player puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.

3 Consuming Aberration
Consuming Aberration
Consuming AberrationSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Consuming Aberration's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in your opponents' graveyards. Whenever you cast a spell, each opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals a land card, then puts those cards into his or her graveyard.


Spells:
3 Syncopate
Syncopate
SyncopateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays X. If that spell is countered this way, remove it from the game instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.

4 Chronic Flooding
Chronic Flooding
Chronic FloodingSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
32
Artist:
Scott Chou
Text:
Enchant land Whenever enchanted land becomes tapped, its controller puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.

2 Inaction Injunction
Inaction Injunction
Inaction InjunctionSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Text:
Detain target creature an opponent controls. (Until your next turn, that creature can't attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated.) Draw a card.

4 Mind Grind
Mind Grind
Mind GrindSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
178
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
Each opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals X land cards, then puts all cards revealed this way into his or her graveyard. X can't be 0.

4 Thought Scour
Thought Scour
Thought ScourSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
52
Artist:
David Rapoza
Text:
Target player puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard. Draw a card.

2 Psychic Strike
Psychic Strike
Psychic StrikeSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
189
Artist:
Mathias Kollros
Text:
Counter target spell. Its controller puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.

4 Supreme Verdict
Supreme Verdict
Supreme VerdictSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
201
Artist:
Sam Burley
Text:
Supreme Verdict can't be countered. Destroy all creatures.

2 Terminus
Terminus
TerminusSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
38
Artist:
James Paick
Text:
Put all creatures on the bottom of their owners' libraries. Miracle {W} (You may cast this card for its miracle cost when you draw it if it's the first card you drew this turn.)


Planeswalkers:
2 Jace, Memory Adept
Jace, Memory Adept
Jace, Memory AdeptSet: Magic 2012
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Jace
Rarity:
M
Number:
58
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
+1: Draw a card. Target player puts the top card of his or her library into his or her graveyard. 0: Target player puts the top ten cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard. -7: Any number of target players each draw twenty cards.


Lands:
2 Drowned Catacomb
Drowned Catacomb
Drowned CatacombSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
224
Artist:
Dave Kendall
Text:
Drowned Catacomb enters the battlefield tapped unless you control an Island or a Swamp. {T}: Add {U} or {B} to your mana pool.

4 Glacial Fortress
Glacial Fortress
Glacial FortressSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Franz Vohwinkel
Text:
Glacial Fortress enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Plains or an Island.{T}: Add {W} or {U} to your mana pool.

4 Hallowed Fountain
Hallowed Fountain
Hallowed FountainSet: Dissension
Color:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
174
Artist:
Rob Alexander

6 Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.

2 Nephalia Drownyard
Nephalia Drownyard
Nephalia DrownyardSet: Innistrad
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
245
Artist:
Cliff Childs
Text:
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool. {1}{U}{B}, {T}: Target player puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.

1 Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.

1 Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.

4 Watery Grave
Watery Grave
Watery GraveSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Sub Type:
Island Swamp
Rarity:
R
Number:
286
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
(T: Add U or B to your mana pool.) As Watery Grave comes into play, you may pay 2 life. If you don’t, Watery Grave comes into play tapped instead.



In this article, we will take a look at the deck, I'll explain the thought process behind it and why I think it is viable in the new standard, and how it did on the field of battle. So let's get to it. First I want to explain some of the card choices we made here. As far as spells go, most of them are ways to control the board while we get our mill engine online. Syncopate
Syncopate
SyncopateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays X. If that spell is countered this way, remove it from the game instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.
and the new hard counter Psychic Strike
Psychic Strike
Psychic StrikeSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
189
Artist:
Mathias Kollros
Text:
Counter target spell. Its controller puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
are our suite of counter spells. Psychic Strike
Psychic Strike
Psychic StrikeSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
189
Artist:
Mathias Kollros
Text:
Counter target spell. Its controller puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
is pretty great new counter spell for this deck. It is basically a Cancel
Cancel
CancelSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counter target spell.
that also mills the caster for two. In most decks, Dissipate
Dissipate
DissipateSet: Mirage
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Counter target spell. Remove that spell card from the game.
would be strictly better, but we want cards in graveyard to make our creatures (which we will get to in a minute) bigger. Psychic Strike
Psychic Strike
Psychic StrikeSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
189
Artist:
Mathias Kollros
Text:
Counter target spell. Its controller puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
does this and then some which is why it makes the cut here.

For card draw, we have Inaction Injunction
Inaction Injunction
Inaction InjunctionSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Text:
Detain target creature an opponent controls. (Until your next turn, that creature can't attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated.) Draw a card.
and Thought Scour
Thought Scour
Thought ScourSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
52
Artist:
David Rapoza
Text:
Target player puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard. Draw a card.
. Anyone who has read some of my previous articles knows how much I like the card Inaction Injunction
Inaction Injunction
Inaction InjunctionSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Text:
Detain target creature an opponent controls. (Until your next turn, that creature can't attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated.) Draw a card.
. Detaining a big threat for a turn and drawing a card in the process is really all you need to find the perfect answer to what is on the board. Thought Scour
Thought Scour
Thought ScourSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
52
Artist:
David Rapoza
Text:
Target player puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard. Draw a card.
is a great card draw engine for this deck because it lets you put just that many more cards into your opponent's graveyard while drawing a card. This slot used to be held by Think Twice
Think Twice
Think TwiceSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
86
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
Draw a card. Flashback 2U (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
, but we found that the one mana extra simply didn't make it any better and in fact would get it stuck in your hand sometimes.

The big reason why we went with Esper for the deck is for the board sweepers. Board sweepers are critical for us because the mill strategy is slow and grindy. You have to be able to keep creatures clear of the board so you can fully develop and execute your strategy. Supreme Verdict
Supreme Verdict
Supreme VerdictSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
201
Artist:
Sam Burley
Text:
Supreme Verdict can't be countered. Destroy all creatures.
is obviously the premier sweeper of the format. At four mana it is very easily cast before the fast aggro decks can run you over and it sends cards to the graveyard which is very important for your creatures. However, everyone is expecting Supreme Verdict
Supreme Verdict
Supreme VerdictSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
201
Artist:
Sam Burley
Text:
Supreme Verdict can't be countered. Destroy all creatures.
in your deck if you are playing Esper. Also indestructibility is a big thing, especially in Boros, these days that that renders Supreme Verdict
Supreme Verdict
Supreme VerdictSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
201
Artist:
Sam Burley
Text:
Supreme Verdict can't be countered. Destroy all creatures.
basically useless. This is why we have back up in the form of Terminus
Terminus
TerminusSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
38
Artist:
James Paick
Text:
Put all creatures on the bottom of their owners' libraries. Miracle {W} (You may cast this card for its miracle cost when you draw it if it's the first card you drew this turn.)
. It gets rid of pesky indestructible guys and comes out of nowhere with its miracle. However, it doesn't put the cards in the graveyard which is why it should be used only in extreme emergencies when you need a miracle (all the jokes).

Now to the mill cards of the deck, Chronic Flooding
Chronic Flooding
Chronic FloodingSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
32
Artist:
Scott Chou
Text:
Enchant land Whenever enchanted land becomes tapped, its controller puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
and Mind Grind
Mind Grind
Mind GrindSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
178
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
Each opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals X land cards, then puts all cards revealed this way into his or her graveyard. X can't be 0.
. Chronic Flooding
Chronic Flooding
Chronic FloodingSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
32
Artist:
Scott Chou
Text:
Enchant land Whenever enchanted land becomes tapped, its controller puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
is a land aura that I feel was terribly over looked in Return to Ravnica. Normally, things that mess with land are considered to be subpar. However, I feel that Chronic Flooding
Chronic Flooding
Chronic FloodingSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
32
Artist:
Scott Chou
Text:
Enchant land Whenever enchanted land becomes tapped, its controller puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
is perfect for this deck in this standard environment. Many of the decks in this format are aggro and midrange with low land counts. We are talking like 18-24 lands. With so few lands, making two or three of their lands mill them for three every time they tap it for mana can be back breaking. They can't simply use other lands because they don't have lands to tap. It is a great way to force them to choose between advancing their own board state and advancing your ultimate strategy. But now we come to the real power house mill card of the deck; Mind Grind
Mind Grind
Mind GrindSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
178
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
Each opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals X land cards, then puts all cards revealed this way into his or her graveyard. X can't be 0.
. Mind Grind
Mind Grind
Mind GrindSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
178
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
Each opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals X land cards, then puts all cards revealed this way into his or her graveyard. X can't be 0.
is a super powerful card. It allows the player to calculate when they can win, not by the amount of cards they see, but by the amount of lands. By taking into account that many times these decks are running 18-24 lands, you can know exactly when your Mind Grind
Mind Grind
Mind GrindSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
178
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
Each opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals X land cards, then puts all cards revealed this way into his or her graveyard. X can't be 0.
will be lethal. For example, say your opponent has 6 lands on the table and you find 7 in the yard then you have to cast it for at least 8 to make it most likely lethal. It is a super efficient and powerful card to finish the game.

The creature base is very straightforward and lethal. Jace's Phantasm
Jace's Phantasm
Jace's PhantasmSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Illusion
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Johann Bodin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying Jace's Phantasm gets +4/+4 as long as an opponent has ten or more cards in his or her graveyard.
is a powerful ally for the mill deck. I mean, who doesn't want to cast dragons for one mana? However, this is definitely not a guy you want to cast on turn one or two. He is very vulnerable till you get ten cards in your opponent's graveyard. I like to drop him on turn five or six after you do your first couple of board sweeps. Once he gets big, he is extremely hard to deal with, especially for the red aggro decks. Duskmantle Guildmage
Duskmantle Guildmage
Duskmantle GuildmageSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
158
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
{1}{U}{B}: Whenever a card is put into an opponent's graveyard from anywhere this turn, that player loses 1 life. {2}{U}{B}: Target player puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
is a very efficient creature. He lets you use all of your mana effectively on every turn and actually sets up a pretty grisly combo with Jace, Memory Adapt. Activating this guys damage ability and then activating Jace lets you deal an instant 10 damage. If you combine that with a Mind Grind
Mind Grind
Mind GrindSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
178
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
Each opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals X land cards, then puts all cards revealed this way into his or her graveyard. X can't be 0.
, you can deal a very quick 20 damage. This brings us to my favorite card in this deck - Consuming Aberration
Consuming Aberration
Consuming AberrationSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Consuming Aberration's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in your opponents' graveyards. Whenever you cast a spell, each opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals a land card, then puts those cards into his or her graveyard.
. Every time this guy hits the field he is going to be huge. If you cast a Thought Scour
Thought Scour
Thought ScourSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
52
Artist:
David Rapoza
Text:
Target player puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard. Draw a card.
on turn one, a Chronic Flooding
Chronic Flooding
Chronic FloodingSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
32
Artist:
Scott Chou
Text:
Enchant land Whenever enchanted land becomes tapped, its controller puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
on turn 2, and a Mind Grind
Mind Grind
Mind GrindSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
178
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
Each opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals X land cards, then puts all cards revealed this way into his or her graveyard. X can't be 0.
on turn 4, Consuming Aberration
Consuming Aberration
Consuming AberrationSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Consuming Aberration's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in your opponents' graveyards. Whenever you cast a spell, each opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals a land card, then puts those cards into his or her graveyard.
will be at least a 7/7 when he hits the field. And that is if you only hit 2 cards off of Mind Grind
Mind Grind
Mind GrindSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
178
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
Each opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals X land cards, then puts all cards revealed this way into his or her graveyard. X can't be 0.
! A 7/7 for 5 is pretty freaking amazing. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Consuming Aberration
Consuming Aberration
Consuming AberrationSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Consuming Aberration's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in your opponents' graveyards. Whenever you cast a spell, each opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals a land card, then puts those cards into his or her graveyard.
basically has a Mind Grind
Mind Grind
Mind GrindSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
178
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
Each opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals X land cards, then puts all cards revealed this way into his or her graveyard. X can't be 0.
for one attached to him for each spell you cast! Considering that most of your spells have pretty low mana costs, you can pull off two or three of these each turn. That is a gross amount of mill that just makes this monster even bigger! I love it.

Lastly, Jace and Nephalia Drownyard
Nephalia Drownyard
Nephalia DrownyardSet: Innistrad
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
245
Artist:
Cliff Childs
Text:
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool. {1}{U}{B}, {T}: Target player puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
are must includes in any mill deck. Jace delivers the most mill bang for your buck while Drownyard lets you use all of your mana to the fullest every turn.

Sideboard wise, I always feel you should rebuild the sideboard weekly based on what you expect to find in your local Meta. We figured we would hit a lot of aggro and midrange so we built it like so:


3 Blind Obedience
Blind Obedience
Blind ObedienceSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
6
Artist:
Seb McKinnon
Text:
Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {(w/b)}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.) Artifacts and creatures your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped.

1 Pithing Needle
Pithing Needle
Pithing NeedleSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
Colorless
Rarity:
R

1 Witchbane Orb
Witchbane Orb
Witchbane OrbSet: Innistrad
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
236
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
When Witchbane Orb enters the battlefield, destroy all Curses attached to you. You have hexproof. (You can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control, including Aura spells.)

4 Lingering Souls
Lingering Souls
Lingering SoulsSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
12
Artist:
Bud Cook
Text:
Put two 1/1 white Spirit creature tokens with flying onto the battlefield. Flashback {1}{B} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

1 Merciless Eviction
Merciless Eviction
Merciless EvictionSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
6
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
177
Artist:
Richard Wright
Text:
Choose one — Exile all artifacts; or exile all creatures; or exile all enchantments; or exile all planeswalkers.

1 Elixir of Immortality
Elixir of Immortality
Elixir of ImmortalitySet: Magic 2011
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
206
Artist:
Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Text:
{2}, {T}: You gain 5 life. Shuffle Elixir of Immortality and your graveyard into your library.

2 Essence Scatter
Essence Scatter
Essence ScatterSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Jon Foster
Text:
Counter target creature spell.

2 Oblivion Ring
Oblivion Ring
Oblivion RingSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
34
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
When Oblivion Ring comes into play, remove another target nonland permanent from the game. When Oblivion Ring leaves play, return the removed card to play under its owner's control.



So that is the deck. But the real test would be on the field of battle. We packed up and headed out to FNM.


Round 1 vs. Boros Aggro
Game 1: My opponent started super strong with a beautiful curve of Cackler into Lightning Mauler
Lightning Mauler
Lightning MaulerSet: Avacyn Restored
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Berserker
Rarity:
U
Number:
144
Artist:
Dave Kendall
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Soulbond (You may pair this creature with another unpaired creature when either enters the battlefield. They remain paired for as long as you control both of them.) As long as Lightning Mauler is paired with another creature, both creatures have haste.
into Boros Reckoner
Boros Reckoner
Boros ReckonerSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
15
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minotaur Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
215
Artist:
Howard Lyon
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever Boros Reckoner is dealt damage, it deals that much damage to target creature or player. {(r/w)}: Boros Reckoner gains first strike until end of turn.
into Hellrider
Hellrider
HellriderSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Devil
Rarity:
R
Number:
93
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Haste Whenever a creature you control attacks, Hellrider deals 1 damage to defending player.
. Good news for me was I was able to land two Chronic Flooding
Chronic Flooding
Chronic FloodingSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
32
Artist:
Scott Chou
Text:
Enchant land Whenever enchanted land becomes tapped, its controller puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
and then sweep his board turn 4 and 5. I ground him down to 5 cards in library before he drew the burn to finish me off.

Game 2: He went to 5 cards and despite an explosive start; he couldn't rebuild then board after I Verdicted on turn 4. I dropped a 9/9 Consuming Aberration
Consuming Aberration
Consuming AberrationSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Consuming Aberration's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in your opponents' graveyards. Whenever you cast a spell, each opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals a land card, then puts those cards into his or her graveyard.
on turn 6 and two swings later it was over.

Game 3: Stuck Blind Obedience
Blind Obedience
Blind ObedienceSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
6
Artist:
Seb McKinnon
Text:
Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {(w/b)}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.) Artifacts and creatures your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped.
on turn 2 and he just had no way to get rid of it. With his haste shut off, I clogged the board with Lingering Souls
Lingering Souls
Lingering SoulsSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
12
Artist:
Bud Cook
Text:
Put two 1/1 white Spirit creature tokens with flying onto the battlefield. Flashback {1}{B} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
and Phantasms and milled him out on turn 9.

1-0


Round 2 vs. Jund
Jund
JundSet: Planechase 2012 Edition
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Plane
Sub Type:
Alara
Rarity:
C
Number:
20
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
Whenever a player casts a black, red, or green creature spell, it gains devour 5. (As the creature enters the battlefield, its controller may sacrifice any number of creatures. The creature enters the battlefield with five times that many +1/+1 counters on it.) Whenever you roll chaos, put two 1/1 red Goblin creature tokens onto the battlefield.
Midrange

Game 1: He went down to 4 cards and did a quick scoop. Felt bad for that one

Game 2: I opened perfectly and was able to combo out with Jace and Duskmantle Guildmage
Duskmantle Guildmage
Duskmantle GuildmageSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
158
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
{1}{U}{B}: Whenever a card is put into an opponent's graveyard from anywhere this turn, that player loses 1 life. {2}{U}{B}: Target player puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
. He had mana troubles again and was pretty mad about it. Things happen I guess

2-0


Round 3 vs. Bant
Bant
BantSet: Planechase
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Plane
Sub Type:
Alara
Rarity:
C
Number:
4
Artist:
Michael Komarck
Text:
All creatures have exalted. (Whenever a creature attacks alone, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn for each instance of exalted among permanents its controller controls.) Whenever you roll {C}, put a divinity counter on target green, white, or blue creature. That creature is indestructible as long as it has a divinity counter on it.
Hex
Hex
HexSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
89
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Destroy six target creatures.
proof

Game 1: I completely underestimated how fast this deck could be. He opened on Invisible Stalker
Invisible Stalker
Invisible StalkerSet: Innistrad
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Rogue
Rarity:
U
Number:
60
Artist:
Bud Cook
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Hexproof (This creature can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.) Invisible Stalker is unblockable.
into Rancor
Rancor
RancorSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
110
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Enchanted creature gains +2/+0 and trample.When Rancor is put into a graveyard from play, return Rancor to owner's hand.
, Rancor
Rancor
RancorSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
110
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Enchanted creature gains +2/+0 and trample.When Rancor is put into a graveyard from play, return Rancor to owner's hand.
, and Spectral Flight
Spectral Flight
Spectral FlightSet: Innistrad
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
79
Artist:
Johann Bodin
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has flying.
. I couldn't buy a sweeper and went down hard.

Game 2: Same old song and dance. I held him until I milled 3/4ths of his deck, but then he stuck a Geist of Saint Traft
Geist of Saint Traft
Geist of Saint TraftSet: Innistrad
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit Cleric
Rarity:
M
Number:
213
Artist:
Igor Kieryluk
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Hexproof (This creature can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.) Whenever Geist of Saint Traft attacks, put a 4/4 white Angel creature token with flying onto the battlefield tapped and attacking. Exile that token at end of combat.
that I couldn't answer.

2-1


Round 4 vs. Boros Aggro
Our opponent decided to concede to us as his tie breakers were very bad and ours were good so he didn't want to hurt our chances of prizing out.

3-1


We came out with some packs and I was very, very, very happy with how the deck turned out. The only change I would consider making would be to move the Lingering Souls
Lingering Souls
Lingering SoulsSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
12
Artist:
Bud Cook
Text:
Put two 1/1 white Spirit creature tokens with flying onto the battlefield. Flashback {1}{B} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
to the main deck. I sided them in almost every round. They just made a really awesome road block for all the aggro decks.

So in conclusion, I really feel like mill could be a usable strategy in this format. As long as you can slow down the aggro decks for a couple of turns, your creatures and spells immediately start to take over the game. If they don't deal with your huge creatures you will win through normal damage. If they can't deal with your spells you will mill them out. Either way, it's a win. That's it for this week everyone! Be sure to follow me on twitter @axlxexc to find out how the decks are playing.

Keep brewing out there!


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