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Magic Has Debased to This – Milling Madness - Patrick 'The Debaser' Breeden (1/29/2008)

There are plenty of ways to kill opponents in Standard right now. There's dropping dragons on their heads through Dragonstorm
Dragonstorm
DragonstormSet: Scourge
Cost:
9
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
90
Text:
Search your library for a Dragon card and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.
Storm
, quick beats with elves or Tarmogoyf
Tarmogoyf
TarmogoyfSet: Future Sight
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Lhurgoyf
Rarity:
R
Number:
153
Artist:
Justin Murray
Power:
*
Toughness:
1+*
Text:
Tarmogoyf's power is equal to the number of card types among cards in all graveyards and its toughness is equal to that number plus 1. (The card types are artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land, planeswalker, sorcery, and tribal.)
, a slow-roasted death by playing multiple copies of Ignite Memories
Ignite Memories
Ignite MemoriesSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
164
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Text:
Target player reveals a card at random from his or her hand. Ignite Memories deals damage to that player equal to that card's converted mana cost. Storm (When you play this spell, copy it for each spell played before it this turn. You may choose new targets for the copies.)
, and there is also decking through merfolk and other decking variants. Hmm…decking, you say? Doesn't that sound interesting? Sure, dealing twenty damage gets the job done if that's all that's desired, but why not win a game in style? Put down the fashion mags, and burn all of those expensive wardrobes, we're going to look into the fashionable method of decking.

The History of Decking

I have admitted several times before that I began playing Magic when Darksteel was brand new (I'm talking about before the 'clamp was banned), so I have missed a lot of tournament scenes. However, I am aware that the history of the game can fondly recall the method of decking as a feasible and enjoyable win condition.

Has anyone watched the 2000 Worlds between Jon Finkel and Bob Maher
Bob Maher
Bob MaherSet: Promotional Other
Rarity:
P
Text:
Magic Pro Tour Player Card
? Now that was a great match! I mention the 2000 Worlds finals because the legendary Jon Finkel came prepared with a fine-tuned deck that could win one of two ways. This deck could easily smash a face in if left unchecked, but it also came prepared with Crumbling Sanctuary
Crumbling Sanctuary
Crumbling SanctuarySet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
292
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
For each 1 damage that would be dealt to a player, that player removes the top card of his or her library from the game instead.
in case he ran into a great deal of resistance. Even if his effort to kill by damage was halted after nineteen points of damage, Jon's opponent was still down nineteen cards.

Tinker
Tinker
TinkerSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
45
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
At the time you play Tinker, sacrifice an artifact.Search your library for an artifact card and put that artifact into play. Shuffle your library afterward.

Jon Finkel – 2000 Worlds

Lands
4 Crystal Vein
Crystal Vein
Crystal VeinSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
322
Artist:
Pat Morrissey
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.tap, Sacrifice Crystal Vein: Add two colorless mana to your mana pool.

4 Rishadan Port
Rishadan Port
Rishadan PortSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
324
Artist:
Jerry Tiritilli
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.1, T: Tap target land.

4 Saprazzan Skerry
Saprazzan Skerry
Saprazzan SkerrySet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
328
Artist:
Pat Morrissey
Text:
Saprazzan Skerry comes into play tapped with two depletion counters on it.tap, Remove a depletion counter from Saprazzan Skerry: Add two blue mana to your mana pool. If there are no depletion counters on Saprazzan Skerry, sacrifice it.

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


Creatures
4 Masticore
Masticore
MasticoreSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may choose and discard a card from your hand. If you don't, sacrifice Masticore.2: Masticore deals 1 damage to target creature.2: Regenerate Masticore.

4 Metalworker
Metalworker
MetalworkerSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
135
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
T: Reveal any number of artifact cards in your hand. Add two colorless mana to your mana pool for each card revealed this way.

1 Phyrexian Colossus
Phyrexian Colossus
Phyrexian ColossusSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
7
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
305
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
8
Toughness:
8
Text:
Phyrexian Colossus does not untap during your untap phase.Pay 8 life: Untap Phyrexian Colossus.Phyrexian Colossus cannot be blocked by fewer than three creatures.


Sorceries
4 Tinker
Tinker
TinkerSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
45
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
At the time you play Tinker, sacrifice an artifact.Search your library for an artifact card and put that artifact into play. Shuffle your library afterward.


Instants
4 Brainstorm
Brainstorm
BrainstormSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Draw three cards. Then, put any two cards from your hand on top of your library in any order.


Artifacts
1 Crumbling Sanctuary
Crumbling Sanctuary
Crumbling SanctuarySet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
292
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
For each 1 damage that would be dealt to a player, that player removes the top card of his or her library from the game instead.

4 Grim Monolith
Grim Monolith
Grim MonolithSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
126
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Grim Monolith does not untap during your untap phase.T: Add three colorless mana to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source.4: Untap Grim Monolith.

1 Mishra's Helix
Mishra's Helix
Mishra's HelixSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
302
Artist:
Berry
Text:
X, T: Tap X lands.

4 Phyrexian Processor
Phyrexian Processor
Phyrexian ProcessorSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
306
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
When Phyrexian Processor comes into play, pay any amount of life.4, T: Put a Minion token into play. Treat this token as a black creature with power and toughness each equal to the amount of life paid at the time Phyrexian Processor came into play.

4 Tangle
Tangle
TangleSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
213
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn.Attacking creatures don't untap during their controllers' next untap steps.
IFdpcmU=
4 Thran Dynamo
Thran Dynamo
Thran DynamoSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
T: Add three colorless mana to your mana pool.

4 Voltaic Key
Voltaic Key
Voltaic KeySet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
314
Artist:
Henry G. Higgenbotham
Text:
1, T: Untap target artifact.


Jon's deck was obviously a well-designed Tinker
Tinker
TinkerSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
45
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
At the time you play Tinker, sacrifice an artifact.Search your library for an artifact card and put that artifact into play. Shuffle your library afterward.
deck that used Rishadan Port
Rishadan Port
Rishadan PortSet: Mercadian Masques
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
324
Artist:
Jerry Tiritilli
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.1, T: Tap target land.
and Mishra's Helix
Mishra's Helix
Mishra's HelixSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
302
Artist:
Berry
Text:
X, T: Tap X lands.
to hold the opposition down and swing in the Masticore
Masticore
MasticoreSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may choose and discard a card from your hand. If you don't, sacrifice Masticore.2: Masticore deals 1 damage to target creature.2: Regenerate Masticore.
/Phyrexian Colossus
Phyrexian Colossus
Phyrexian ColossusSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
7
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
305
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
8
Toughness:
8
Text:
Phyrexian Colossus does not untap during your untap phase.Pay 8 life: Untap Phyrexian Colossus.Phyrexian Colossus cannot be blocked by fewer than three creatures.
beats. Metalworker
Metalworker
MetalworkerSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
135
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
T: Reveal any number of artifact cards in your hand. Add two colorless mana to your mana pool for each card revealed this way.
teamed with Voltaic Key
Voltaic Key
Voltaic KeySet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
314
Artist:
Henry G. Higgenbotham
Text:
1, T: Untap target artifact.
produced plenty of mana to activate the creature factory known as Phyrexian Processor
Phyrexian Processor
Phyrexian ProcessorSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
306
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
When Phyrexian Processor comes into play, pay any amount of life.4, T: Put a Minion token into play. Treat this token as a black creature with power and toughness each equal to the amount of life paid at the time Phyrexian Processor came into play.
. The deck looked fast, consistent, and just all around awesome.

But what if an opponent was somehow able to set himself back to twenty life repeatedly? Jon wasn't going to have any of that garbage, so he threw in a little gem called Crumbling Sanctuary
Crumbling Sanctuary
Crumbling SanctuarySet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
292
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
For each 1 damage that would be dealt to a player, that player removes the top card of his or her library from the game instead.
that would force his opponents to deck one card per damage taken. Jon was now set to either beat his opponents to death or force them to run out of cards in the process. This was actually a very useful strategy in the finals against Bob Maher
Bob Maher
Bob MaherSet: Promotional Other
Rarity:
P
Text:
Magic Pro Tour Player Card
, and play-by-play commentator Randy Buehler made sure to remind everyone that the game would end if Maher failed to draw a card due to an empty library.

Another deck that dominated the tables not too many years ago in the Extended format was none other than Desire. This deck desperately tried to play multiple spells in order to get a decent storm count up and finally slap down a Mind's Desire
Mind's Desire
Mind's DesireSet: Scourge
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
41
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Shuffle your library. Remove the top card of your library from the game. Until the end of turn, you may play this card without paying its mana cost. Storm (When you play this spell, copy it for each spell played before this turn)
for about ten copies or so. It would then get ten cards from the top of its library(with a mandatory shuffle between each card) that it could play for free. Chances are that one of the ten cards would be yet another Mind's Desire
Mind's Desire
Mind's DesireSet: Scourge
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
41
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Shuffle your library. Remove the top card of your library from the game. Until the end of turn, you may play this card without paying its mana cost. Storm (When you play this spell, copy it for each spell played before this turn)
. This cycle would continue until a fair storm count was created, and the player would Cunning Wish
Cunning Wish
Cunning WishSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
37
Artist:
Jim Nelson

Text:
Choose an instant you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Cunning Wish from the game.
for the Brain Freeze
Brain Freeze
Brain FreezeSet: Scourge
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
29
Text:
Target player puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
Storm
in the sideboard. The player would sometimes play more than one Brain Freeze
Brain Freeze
Brain FreezeSet: Scourge
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
29
Text:
Target player puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
Storm
at the end of storming to ensure that the opponent was completely decked.

Of course, there was another variant of this deck in the legacy format known as Tide. It was given this name due to the deck's abuse of the instant High Tide
High Tide
High TideSet: Fallen Empires
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
35
Artist:
Drew Tucker
Text:
Until end of turn, all islands produce an additional U when tapped for mana.
, and the fact that Mind's Desire
Mind's Desire
Mind's DesireSet: Scourge
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
41
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Shuffle your library. Remove the top card of your library from the game. Until the end of turn, you may play this card without paying its mana cost. Storm (When you play this spell, copy it for each spell played before this turn)
is banned in legacy. This deck performed more or less the same ritual of building up an impressive storm count via cards such as Reset
Reset
ResetSet: Legends
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Nicola Leonard
Text:
All your lands untap. Reset can only be played on an opponent's turn after his or her upkeep phase.
and finally dropping a ridiculously large Brain Freeze
Brain Freeze
Brain FreezeSet: Scourge
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
29
Text:
Target player puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
Storm
. Many Legacy players can agree that Tide is more consistent than Desire due to the fact that it has Force of Will
Force of Will
Force of WillSet: Alliances
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
You may pay 1 life and remove a blue card in your hand from the game instead of paying Force of Will's casting cost. Effects that prevent or redirect damage cannot be used to counter this loss of life. Counter target spell.
to back it up against any blue hate that may see play. It is also considered harder to play, but easier to win with due to the fact that it can go off at instant speed. Yes, that means that players can go off with Tide and deck someone of their entire library before the opposition even gets a chance to draw a card. However, this deck normally sees a turn two or three win and rarely ever sees a first turn stormfest.

Isn't It ´´Milling?´´

Milling is another word for decking someone. Both words mean performing the same action, but the phrase ´´milling´´ came from the card Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
. This tricky little artifact made its Magic debut in the Antiquities set and has seen its fair share of action in casual milling decks.

I really shouldn't say that Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
is exclusively used in casual decks. My former roommate did go 2/3 with a white/blue milling deck in a Legacy PTQ once. I was just as shocked as everyone reading this, trust me.

Attempting to Bring It Back

After a few failed attempts at sneaking in mill possibilities that nobody in their right mind would play (I'm looking at you, Thought Dissector
Thought Dissector
Thought DissectorSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
X, T: Target opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until an artifact card or X cards are revealed, whichever comes first. If an artifact card is revealed this way, put it into play under your control and sacrifice Thought Dissector. Put the rest of the revealed cards into that player's graveyard.
), Wizards wanted to bring milling back as a viable win condition. They mapped out a way of creating a fun and fair way to mill in the Standard format and players saw the fruit of their labors in the Ravnica block.

The resurrection of milling was eventually built around the Dimir guild and was given various sorceries and creatures to assist in its goal. Players had the chance to play Glimpse the Unthinkable
Glimpse the Unthinkable
Glimpse the UnthinkableSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
208
Artist:
Brandon Kitkouski
Text:
Target player puts the top ten cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
and copy it with a Twincast
Twincast
TwincastSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
Blue
Rarity:
R
, netting twenty of their opponents' cards with just two of their own and four mana. The new Ninth Edition also introduced Traumatize
Traumatize
TraumatizeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target player puts the top half of his or her library, rounded down, into his or her graveyard.
to the mix. Add in, Circu, Dimir Lobotomist
Circu, Dimir Lobotomist
Circu, Dimir LobotomistSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
196
Artist:
Cyril Van Der Haegen
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever you play a blue spell, remove the top card of target library from the game. Whenever you play a black spell, remove the top card of target library from the game. Your opponents can’t play nonland cards with the same name as a card removed from the game with Circu.
and Dimir Cutpurse
Dimir Cutpurse
Dimir CutpurseSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
201
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever Dimir Cutpurse deals combat damage to a player, that player discards a card and you draw a card.
for hand control, and the idea seemed great on paper.

Unfortunately, the Dimir guild was underpowered for the most part and couldn't dare to hold up against its much faster counterparts Boros and Selesnya. It was wrecked continuously by the other more superior guilds until the release of Ravnica block's second set, Guildpact. Izzet, Orhzov, and Gruul stepped in to wreck it even worse, and everyone declared decking dead. It was set as one of the lowest of all guilds when the Simic, Azorious, and Rakdos were introduced through the release of Dissension.

Most people felt that the Dimir was dead on arrival since its only chance to be played were in Limited and Standard formats. There would be no block format for Ravnica that spring, and the R&D Future Future league should have seen how horribly underpowered it was in Standard. The people who saw Ghost Husk coming a mile away couldn't see that they were creating an underpowered guild?

In all fairness, Wizards did create an alternate way of milling that they never took credit for. The idea never even showed up in their Future Future league testing that Aaron Forsythe later revealed to the public. Of course, the deck involved blue, but it also teamed blue with its old counterpart: white.

White/Blue Milling
Andrew Burns – Kamigawa/Ravnica Standard

Lands - 22
4 Adarkar Wastes
Adarkar Wastes
Adarkar WastesSet: Fifth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Gary Leach
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Add W or U to your mana pool. Adarkar Wastes deals 1 damage to you.

4 Hallow
Hallow
HallowSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
4
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Text:
Prevent all damage target spell would deal this turn. You gain life equal to the damage prevented this way.
ZWQgRm91bnRhaW4=
2 Tendo, Ice Bridge
8 Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.

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


Sorceries - 11
3 Traumatize
Traumatize
TraumatizeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target player puts the top half of his or her library, rounded down, into his or her graveyard.

4 Holy Day
Holy Day
Holy DaySet: Legends
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Justin Hampton
Text:
Creatures attack and block as normal, but none deal any damage. All attacking creatures are still tapped. Play any time before attack damage is assigned.

4 Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.


Instants - 19
4 Remand
Remand
RemandSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
63
Artist:
Mark A. Nelson
Text:
Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, put it into its owner’s hand instead of into that player's graveyard. Draw a card.

4 Mana Leak
Mana Leak
Mana LeakSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 3.

4 Hinder
Hinder
HinderSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
65
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Text:
Counter target spell. If it's countered this way, put that card on the top or bottom of its owner's library instead of that player's graveyard.

4 Dampen Thought
Dampen Thought
Dampen ThoughtSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Text:
Target player puts the top four cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard. Splice onto Arcane 1U (As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)

3 Reach Through Mists
Reach Through Mists
Reach Through MistsSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
81
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Draw a card.


Artifacts - 8
4 Howling Mine
Howling Mine
Howling MineSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Each player must draw one extra card during the draw phase of each of his or her turns.

4 Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.




*Please note that the decklist above is not the original list. I doctored it up just a bit for Andy.

Certainly this deck never rose to see any tournament success, but it certainly didn't lie down and die like the Dimir. I remember playing against this deck and hating how damned good it was. I tried to convince myself that it wasn't as good as it seemed to be until Andrew was able to take it into a Legacy tournament and walk out with a 2/3 record.

The Debased Revival

The arrival of Tenth Edition certainly got my creative juices flowing with its impressive display of excellent cards to use. Tenth brought in countless possibilities, and I was glad to be given my chance to create something new and interesting.

Something that stuck in my mind for quite a while was the revival of the Muses, simply because I was angry about the loss of Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian ArenaSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
47
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
. While venting my rage at someone's Graveborn Muse
Graveborn Muse
Graveborn MuseSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw X cards and you lose X life,
where X is the number of Zombies you control.
one day, I slowly turned my attention to the other three that were new to the core set scene. I looked up from the binder I was sifting through and smiled a silly smile to a few buddies. ´´Wouldn't it be funny to deck people with Dreamborn Muse
Dreamborn Muse
Dreamborn MuseSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
36
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player puts the top X cards from his or her library into his or her graveyard, where X is the number of cards in his or her hand.
?´´ I scoffed.

My silly remark later became my personal goal. I traded for a playset of Howling Mine
Howling Mine
Howling MineSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Each player must draw one extra card during the draw phase of each of his or her turns.
while gaining three Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
from a friend. I was lucky enough to already own a set of Hallow
Hallow
HallowSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
4
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Text:
Prevent all damage target spell would deal this turn. You gain life equal to the damage prevented this way.
ZWQgRm91bnRhaW4= and three Adarkar Wastes
Adarkar Wastes
Adarkar WastesSet: Fifth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Gary Leach
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Add W or U to your mana pool. Adarkar Wastes deals 1 damage to you.
. I ordered a set of Traumatize
Traumatize
TraumatizeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target player puts the top half of his or her library, rounded down, into his or her graveyard.
and traded for a set of Dreamborn Muse
Dreamborn Muse
Dreamborn MuseSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
36
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player puts the top X cards from his or her library into his or her graveyard, where X is the number of cards in his or her hand.
– all within two weeks.

Put the Merfolk down, kids. We're going to deck people in a different manner.

Decking.dec 1.0
The Debaser – Ravnica/Time Spiral
Time Spiral
Time SpiralSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
103
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Remove Time Spiral from the game. Each player shuffles his or her graveyard and hand into his or her library, then draws seven cards. You untap up to six lands.
Standard

Lands - 22
4 Hallow
Hallow
HallowSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
4
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Text:
Prevent all damage target spell would deal this turn. You gain life equal to the damage prevented this way.
ZWQgRm91bnRhaW4=
3 Adarkar Wastes
Adarkar Wastes
Adarkar WastesSet: Fifth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Gary Leach
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Add W or U to your mana pool. Adarkar Wastes deals 1 damage to you.

3 Faerie Conclave
Faerie Conclave
Faerie ConclaveSet: Urza's Legacy
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Artist:
Val Mayerik
Text:
Faerie Conclave comes into play tapped.T: Add one blue mana to your mana pool.1U: Faerie Conclave becomes a 2/1 blue creature with flying until end of turn. This creature still counts as a land.
s
1 Calciform Pools
Calciform Pools
Calciform PoolsSet: Time Spiral
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
270
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. 1, T: Put a storage counter on Calciform Pools. 1, Remove X storage counters from Calciform Pools: Add X mana in any combination of W and/or U to your mana pool.

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

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


Creatures – 7
4 Dreamborn Muse
Dreamborn Muse
Dreamborn MuseSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
36
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player puts the top X cards from his or her library into his or her graveyard, where X is the number of cards in his or her hand.

3 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
Teferi, Mage of ZhalfirSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
83
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory & Jeremy Jarvis
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flash (You may play this spell any time you could play an instant.) Creature cards you own that aren't in play have flash. Each opponent can play spells only any time he or she could play a sorcery.


Sorceries – 6
3 Traumatize
Traumatize
TraumatizeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target player puts the top half of his or her library, rounded down, into his or her graveyard.

3 Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.


Instants – 15
4 Remand
Remand
RemandSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
63
Artist:
Mark A. Nelson
Text:
Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, put it into its owner’s hand instead of into that player's graveyard. Draw a card.

4 Rune Snag
Rune Snag
Rune SnagSet: Coldsnap
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
46
Artist:
Dave Dorman
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays 2 plus an additional 2 for each card named Rune Snag in each graveyard.

3 Cancel
Cancel
CancelSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counter target spell.

2 Delay
Delay
DelaySet: Future Sight
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Counter target spell. If the spell is countered this way, remove it from the game with three time counters on it instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard. If it doesn't have suspend, it gains suspend. (At the beginning of its owner's upkeep, remove a counter from that card. When the last is removed, the player plays it without paying its mana cost. If it's a creature, it has haste.)

2 Evacuation
Evacuation
EvacuationSet: Stronghold
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
30
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Return all creatures to owners' hands.


Enchantments – 3
3 Rule of Law
Rule of Law
Rule of LawSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
19
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Each player can't play more than one spell each turn.


Artifacts – 7
4 Howling Mine
Howling Mine
Howling MineSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Each player must draw one extra card during the draw phase of each of his or her turns.

3 Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.


Sideboard
3 Teferi's Moat
Teferi's Moat
Teferi's MoatSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
279
Artist:
rk post
Text:
As Teferi's Moat comes into play, choose a color.Creatures of the chosen color without flying can't attack you.

4 Condemn
Condemn
CondemnSet: Dissension
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
8
Artist:
Daren Bader
Text:
Put target attacking creature on the bottom of its owner's library. Its controller gains life equal to its toughness.

3 Venser, Shaper Savant
Venser, Shaper Savant
Venser, Shaper SavantSet: Future Sight
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
46
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flash (You may play this spell any time you could play an instant.)
When Venser, Shaper Savant comes into play, return target spell or permanent to its owner's hand.

3 Icy Manipulator
Icy Manipulator
Icy ManipulatorSet: Ice Age
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
1, T: Tap target artifact, creature, or land.

2 Delay
Delay
DelaySet: Future Sight
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Counter target spell. If the spell is countered this way, remove it from the game with three time counters on it instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard. If it doesn't have suspend, it gains suspend. (At the beginning of its owner's upkeep, remove a counter from that card. When the last is removed, the player plays it without paying its mana cost. If it's a creature, it has haste.)


I was all in all surprised at just how powerful this deck was after a few rounds of casual testing. I didn't lose a single game. There were certainly some tougher games against aggro decks, but I found that a Rule of Law
Rule of Law
Rule of LawSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
19
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Each player can't play more than one spell each turn.
and Evacuation
Evacuation
EvacuationSet: Stronghold
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
30
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Return all creatures to owners' hands.
meant that I could normally deny opponents of creatures for the rest of the game. Teferi was also in the deck to prevent any suspending, flash, or damage spells at the end of my turn.

However, the deck certainly wasn't flawless. I learned that dropping a Rule of Law
Rule of Law
Rule of LawSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
19
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Each player can't play more than one spell each turn.
at the wrong time could easily mean that I was open for a free burn spell at the end of my turn that I couldn't counter. I also wasn't exactly thrilled about having to tap out to play Traumatize
Traumatize
TraumatizeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target player puts the top half of his or her library, rounded down, into his or her graveyard.
, again leaving myself completely open for a possible onslaught.

I wanted to plug up some of the holes that I was seeing in the deck. I was hoping that Lorwyn would bring something to the table to cure my woes, but I never expected what was to come.

Ruled Out
The Debaser – Time Spiral
Time Spiral
Time SpiralSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
103
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Remove Time Spiral from the game. Each player shuffles his or her graveyard and hand into his or her library, then draws seven cards. You untap up to six lands.
/Lorwyn Standard

Lands - 23
4 Wanderwine Hub
Wanderwine Hub
Wanderwine HubSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
0
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
280
Artist:
Warren Mahy
Text:
As Wanderwine Hub comes into play, you may reveal a Merfolk card from your hand. If you don't, Wanderwine Hub comes into play tapped. T: Add W or U to your mana pool.

3 Adarkar Wastes
Adarkar Wastes
Adarkar WastesSet: Fifth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Gary Leach
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Add W or U to your mana pool. Adarkar Wastes deals 1 damage to you.

2 Faerie Conclave
Faerie Conclave
Faerie ConclaveSet: Urza's Legacy
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Artist:
Val Mayerik
Text:
Faerie Conclave comes into play tapped.T: Add one blue mana to your mana pool.1U: Faerie Conclave becomes a 2/1 blue creature with flying until end of turn. This creature still counts as a land.
s
1 Calciform Pools
Calciform Pools
Calciform PoolsSet: Time Spiral
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
270
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. 1, T: Put a storage counter on Calciform Pools. 1, Remove X storage counters from Calciform Pools: Add X mana in any combination of W and/or U to your mana pool.

1 Vivid Meadow
Vivid Meadow
Vivid MeadowSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
0
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
279
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Vivid Meadow comes into play tapped with two charge counters on it. T: Add W to your mana pool. T, Remove a charge counter from Vivid Meadow: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

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

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


Creatures – 6
3 Venser, Shaper Savant
Venser, Shaper Savant
Venser, Shaper SavantSet: Future Sight
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
46
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flash (You may play this spell any time you could play an instant.)
When Venser, Shaper Savant comes into play, return target spell or permanent to its owner's hand.

3 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
Teferi, Mage of ZhalfirSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
83
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory & Jeremy Jarvis
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flash (You may play this spell any time you could play an instant.) Creature cards you own that aren't in play have flash. Each opponent can play spells only any time he or she could play a sorcery.


Sorceries – 3
3 Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.


Instants – 14
4 Rune Snag
Rune Snag
Rune SnagSet: Coldsnap
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
46
Artist:
Dave Dorman
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays 2 plus an additional 2 for each card named Rune Snag in each graveyard.

3 Cancel
Cancel
CancelSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counter target spell.

2 Broken Ambitions
Broken Ambitions
Broken AmbitionsSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
54
Artist:
Franz Vohwinkel
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays x. Clash with an opponent. If you win, that spell's controller puts the top four cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard. (Each clashing player reveals the top card of his or her library, then puts that card on the top or bottom. A player wins if his or her card had a higher converted mana cost.)

2 Delay
Delay
DelaySet: Future Sight
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Counter target spell. If the spell is countered this way, remove it from the game with three time counters on it instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard. If it doesn't have suspend, it gains suspend. (At the beginning of its owner's upkeep, remove a counter from that card. When the last is removed, the player plays it without paying its mana cost. If it's a creature, it has haste.)

2 Time Stop
Time Stop
Time StopSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
97
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
End the turn. (Remove all spells and abilities on the stack from the game, including this card. The player whose turn it is discards down to his or her maximum hand size. Damage wears off, and “this turn” and “until end of turn” effects end.)

1 Evacuation
Evacuation
EvacuationSet: Stronghold
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
30
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Return all creatures to owners' hands.


Enchantments – 7
4 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.

3 Rule of Law
Rule of Law
Rule of LawSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
19
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Each player can't play more than one spell each turn.


Artifacts – 4
4 Howling Mine
Howling Mine
Howling MineSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Each player must draw one extra card during the draw phase of each of his or her turns.


Planeswalkers - 3
3 Jace Beleren
Jace Beleren
Jace BelerenSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Jace
Rarity:
R
Number:
71
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
+2: Each player draws a card. -1: Target player draws a card. -10: Target player puts the top twenty cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.


Sideboard
3 Teferi's Moat
Teferi's Moat
Teferi's MoatSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
279
Artist:
rk post
Text:
As Teferi's Moat comes into play, choose a color.Creatures of the chosen color without flying can't attack you.

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

3 Aven Riftwatcher
Aven Riftwatcher
Aven RiftwatcherSet: Planar Chaos
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Rebel Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
1
Artist:
C
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Vanishing 3 (This permanent comes into play with three time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter from it. When the last is removed, sacrifice it.) When Aven Riftwatcher comes into play or leaves play, you gain 2 life.

3 Condemn
Condemn
CondemnSet: Dissension
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
8
Artist:
Daren Bader
Text:
Put target attacking creature on the bottom of its owner's library. Its controller gains life equal to its toughness.

2 Delay
Delay
DelaySet: Future Sight
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Counter target spell. If the spell is countered this way, remove it from the game with three time counters on it instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard. If it doesn't have suspend, it gains suspend. (At the beginning of its owner's upkeep, remove a counter from that card. When the last is removed, the player plays it without paying its mana cost. If it's a creature, it has haste.)

1 Evacuation
Evacuation
EvacuationSet: Stronghold
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
30
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Return all creatures to owners' hands.


This new build certainly took a different route. It is able sit around and waste time all day long now, and that's what I like in a good control deck!

The objective of this deck is to drop the Rule of Law
Rule of Law
Rule of LawSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
19
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Each player can't play more than one spell each turn.
, clear the board in one way or another, and relax as Jace builds up for the big mill. Of course, they will also be drawing like mad due to the Howling Mine
Howling Mine
Howling MineSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Each player must draw one extra card during the draw phase of each of his or her turns.
s and Jace's first ability. It will be easy to ensure that there will be only one spell to counter per turn thanks to Teferi and Rule of Law
Rule of Law
Rule of LawSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
19
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Each player can't play more than one spell each turn.
teaming together to lock them down to one spell per turn on their turn only.

If the eleven counter spells in the main build aren't enough to delay the action, then certainly Venser and Time Stop
Time Stop
Time StopSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
97
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
End the turn. (Remove all spells and abilities on the stack from the game, including this card. The player whose turn it is discards down to his or her maximum hand size. Damage wears off, and “this turn” and “until end of turn” effects end.)
will suffice. This build has just enough counters to stop the early threats so the player can drop the Rule of Law
Rule of Law
Rule of LawSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
19
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Each player can't play more than one spell each turn.
and completely lock the game down. Since there will be multiple draws per turn, chances are that at least one counter will be drawn. Counter, bounce, or stop spells for about three or four turns in a row, and the opposition will usually admit that they're beaten and scoop.

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.
is in the build to deal with the biggest threat anyone piloting this deck would be facing: Planeswalkers. If a 'walker hits the board, then all bets are off. This deck has no way of dealing with a resolved 'walker other than bouncing it with Venser – and that's a waste of a good Venser in my opinion. Granted not all 'walkers are to be feared. If someone plays a Chandra or Ajani, then it's possible to save the O-Ring for bigger issues. The same could even be said for Liliana for the most part. However, a resolved Garruk needs to be dealt with immediately. Play the O-Ring without a doubt in mind.

The star of the deck is certainly Jace Beleren
Jace Beleren
Jace BelerenSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Jace
Rarity:
R
Number:
71
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
+2: Each player draws a card. -1: Target player draws a card. -10: Target player puts the top twenty cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
with his amazing decking ability. Not only will he assist in the decking processing by causing opponents to deck, but chances are that the opponent will assign combat damage to Jace instead of the player's dome. Why? Nobody wants to be forced to deck twenty cards without seeing some mana be paid. Jace is strictly better than Traumatize
Traumatize
TraumatizeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target player puts the top half of his or her library, rounded down, into his or her graveyard.
for just that reason: massive decking can occur without spending five mana during the turn.

What could this deck use to improve itself? Nimbus Maze
Nimbus Maze
Nimbus MazeSet: Future Sight
Cost:
0
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
178
Artist:
Jason Chan
Text:
T Add 1 to your mana pool.
T Add W to your mana pool. Play this ability only if you control an Island.
T Add U to your mana pool. Play this ability only if you control a Plains.
is the first thing that comes to mind. There are a lot of lands coming into play tapped in this build, and I believe that accepting colorless now versus running another ´´comes into play tapped´´ land could make the difference in games. Another land I could consider as a replacement for Wanderwine Hub
Wanderwine Hub
Wanderwine HubSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
0
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
280
Artist:
Warren Mahy
Text:
As Wanderwine Hub comes into play, you may reveal a Merfolk card from your hand. If you don't, Wanderwine Hub comes into play tapped. T: Add W or U to your mana pool.
would be Gemstone Mine
Gemstone Mine
Gemstone MineSet: Weatherlight
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Brom
Text:
When Gemstone Mine comes into play, put three mining counters on it.tap, Remove a mining counter from Gemstone Mine: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. If there are no mining counters on Gemstone Mine, bury it.
. While it does sac off after the removal of its three charge counters, the Mine comes into play untapped and prepared to produce whatever color I may need.

Would Cryptic Command
Cryptic Command
Cryptic CommandSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
56
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
Choose two - Counter target spell; or return target permanent to its owner's hand; or tap all creatures your opponents control; or draw a card.
also be wonderful in this build? Absolutely! The blue command is able to perform two different actions that the deck needs in order to survive: countering and bouncing. If that's what I'm trying to do in the long run, then why not play a card that does both of these actions for four mana? The best reason I can give is that I don't own any Cryptic Command
Cryptic Command
Cryptic CommandSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
56
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
Choose two - Counter target spell; or return target permanent to its owner's hand; or tap all creatures your opponents control; or draw a card.
s. I try not to produce any decklists that contain cards that I don't own simply because I can't viably test these ideas for the readers. The Command is also insanely unsplashable for the most part. Chances are I'm going to have one hell of a time casting something that cost 1UUU in the early game. We're not playing in Ravnica anymore, folks.

I was mostly confident with this new build of Ruled Out, I was a little uncertain about the sideboard, but I was overall satisfied. I decided that the only way to ensure that the deck was worthy of tournament play was to test it against some hard to beat decks.

Testing Round 1 – Black/Green Disrupt
Disrupt
DisruptSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Counter target instant, interrupt, or sorcery spell unless its caster pays an additional 1.Draw a card.
ion/Aggro

This deck was something that my buddy Ian built to pilot to a healthy second place at a local tournament. I did have a slight bit of advantage in this matchup because I knew what I was up against. I did let him borrow the Tarmogoyf
Tarmogoyf
TarmogoyfSet: Future Sight
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Lhurgoyf
Rarity:
R
Number:
153
Artist:
Justin Murray
Power:
*
Toughness:
1+*
Text:
Tarmogoyf's power is equal to the number of card types among cards in all graveyards and its toughness is equal to that number plus 1. (The card types are artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land, planeswalker, sorcery, and tribal.)
s and Damnation
Damnation
DamnationSet: Planar Chaos
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
r
Number:
85
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.
s after all.

Game 1

I win the roll and begin the game. I am able to counter a few threats, but a Goyf is able to hit the table. Lucky for me, there are already some Howling Mine
Howling Mine
Howling MineSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Each player must draw one extra card during the draw phase of each of his or her turns.
s on the table, and I'm able to follow up the Goyf resolution with a Jace Beleren
Jace Beleren
Jace BelerenSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Jace
Rarity:
R
Number:
71
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
+2: Each player draws a card. -1: Target player draws a card. -10: Target player puts the top twenty cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
. Ian felt the need to swing at Jace for two turns rather than me, and I was eventually able to drop a Rule on my turn then Evacuation
Evacuation
EvacuationSet: Stronghold
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
30
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Return all creatures to owners' hands.
on his turn after he played his spell. The rest of the game was complete counter lock.

Game 2

Ian chooses to play and fires off with Gilt-Leaf Palace revealing Llanowar Elves
Llanowar Elves
Llanowar ElvesSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elves
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.
then playing the Elves. I drop a Hub and pass. He drops a land, plays Troll Ascetic
Troll Ascetic
Troll AsceticSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Troll Shaman
Rarity:
R
Number:
135
Artist:
Puddnhead
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Troll Ascetic can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control. 1G: Regenerate Troll Ascetic.
, and passes. I drop another pitiful land and pass. I don't want to bore everyone with play-by-play details, but let's just say that he was able to bait my Cancel
Cancel
CancelSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counter target spell.
with a Goyf just to play another all on his fourth turn. I scoop.

Game 3

I have no choice but to side in my Teferi's Moat
Teferi's Moat
Teferi's MoatSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
279
Artist:
rk post
Text:
As Teferi's Moat comes into play, choose a color.Creatures of the chosen color without flying can't attack you.
. I start the game off with a Hub and draw into a Wrath on my second turn. Ian fills the board up with Goyf, Elf, and Stromgald Crusader
Stromgald Crusader
Stromgald CrusaderSet: Coldsnap
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Knight
Rarity:
U
Number:
71
Artist:
Volkan Baga
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Protection from white. B: Stromgald Crusader gains flying until end of turn. BB: Stromgald Crusader get +1/+0 until end of turn.
s. I manage to Wrath them away, but he Profane Command
Profane Command
Profane CommandSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
135
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
Choose two - Target player loses X life; or return target creature card with converted mana cost X or less from your graveyard to play; or target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn; or up to X target creatures gain fear until end of turn.
s the Goyf back into play next turn. I drop down Teferi's Moat
Teferi's Moat
Teferi's MoatSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
279
Artist:
rk post
Text:
As Teferi's Moat comes into play, choose a color.Creatures of the chosen color without flying can't attack you.
naming green to keep Goyf and Treetop Village
Treetop Village
Treetop VillageSet: Urza's Legacy
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
143
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Treetop Village comes into play tapped.T: Add one green mana to your mana pool.1G: Treetop Village becomes a 3/3 green creature with trample until end of turn. This creature still counts as a land.
s off of me, and Ian concedes shortly after.

Great! So far, so good. I'm standing one and zero with the new deck, but it's time to turn the heat up just a bit.

Testing Round 2 – Red/Green GoyfBurn

Again, it is Ian piloting one of my decks. This delicious deck is packing Incinerate
Incinerate
IncinerateSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Incinerate deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Creatures damaged by Incinerate cannot regenerate this turn.
, Tarfire
Tarfire
TarfireSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Tribal Instant
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
194
Artist:
Omar Rayyan
Text:
Tarfire deals 2 damage to target creature or player. 0
, Goyf, Seige-Gang Commander, and Greater Gargadon
Greater Gargadon
Greater GargadonSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
10
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
161
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Power:
9
Toughness:
7
Text:
Suspend 10-R Sacrifice an artifact, creature, or land: Remove a time counter from Greater Gargadon. Play this ability only if Greater Gargadon is suspended.
along with Garruk as the Planeswalker. Needless to say, I have to keep the Goyf off the board in order to stand any type of chance.

Game 1

I get horrendously landscrewed at two land and take a fine plethora of burn and beats. I die horribly.

Game 2

I bring in Condemn
Condemn
CondemnSet: Dissension
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
8
Artist:
Daren Bader
Text:
Put target attacking creature on the bottom of its owner's library. Its controller gains life equal to its toughness.
and Teferi's Moat
Teferi's Moat
Teferi's MoatSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
279
Artist:
rk post
Text:
As Teferi's Moat comes into play, choose a color.Creatures of the chosen color without flying can't attack you.
for this one. I bring out 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.
and two Broken Ambitions
Broken Ambitions
Broken AmbitionsSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
54
Artist:
Franz Vohwinkel
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays x. Clash with an opponent. If you win, that spell's controller puts the top four cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard. (Each clashing player reveals the top card of his or her library, then puts that card on the top or bottom. A player wins if his or her card had a higher converted mana cost.)
along with One Venser to make the cards fit. This game looks like I'm going to suffer the same burning fate as the last game until I'm able to get the Rule down. I have to take some hefty pain, but I eventually get the chance to snap a suspended Rift Bolt
Rift Bolt
Rift BoltSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
176
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Rift Bolt deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Suspend 1-R (Rather than play this card from your hand, you may pay R and remove it from the game with a time counter on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter. When you remove the last, play it without paying its mana cost.)
back into his hand with a Venser. I am able to ride the rest of the game through counters.

Game 3

I don't make any changes to my sideboarding, and Ian gets the opportunity to go first. He comes off fast with a forest, Llanowar
Llanowar
LlanowarSet: Planechase
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Plane
Sub Type:
Dominaria
Rarity:
C
Number:
22
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
All creatures have "{T}: Add {G}{G} to your mana pool." Whenever you roll {C}, untap all creatures you control.
. I play my own land just to watch him drop a Treetop then tap the Elf and forest to play a Goyf (Spell Snare
Spell Snare
Spell SnareSet: Dissension
Color:
Blue
Rarity:
U
Number:
33
Artist:
Hideaki Takamura
, I miss you). I am pretty horrified to watch him play a Tarfire
Tarfire
TarfireSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Tribal Instant
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
194
Artist:
Omar Rayyan
Text:
Tarfire deals 2 damage to target creature or player. 0
with his topdecked Karplusan Forest
Karplusan Forest
Karplusan ForestSet: Fifth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Add R or G to your mana pool. Karplusan Forest deals 1 damage to you.
and tap the Elf and forest to animate Treetop, then swing house. This deck proves far too fast for me, and I die off.

Death by fire isn't exactly pleasant. However, this match loss taught me that I need to be able to take some type of stance against fast burn and not just fast creatures. My overall score is now tied. Let's move on.

Testing Round 3 – Mono White Kithkin

Kithkin is a tribe that I haven't examined closely enough. I felt that my lack of Kithkin knowledge may end up forcing me to lose this game, but I just remind myself to read every single card and don't move hastily.

Game 1

The roll is mine. I'm able to quickly establish my board and hold a Delay
Delay
DelaySet: Future Sight
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Counter target spell. If the spell is countered this way, remove it from the game with three time counters on it instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard. If it doesn't have suspend, it gains suspend. (At the beginning of its owner's upkeep, remove a counter from that card. When the last is removed, the player plays it without paying its mana cost. If it's a creature, it has haste.)
in hand for his second turn. He tries to drop a Cenn's Heir
Cenn's Heir
Cenn's HeirSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kithkin Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
8
Artist:
Steven Belledin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Cenn's Heir attacks, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn for each other attacking Kithkin.
, and I Delay
Delay
DelaySet: Future Sight
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Counter target spell. If the spell is countered this way, remove it from the game with three time counters on it instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard. If it doesn't have suspend, it gains suspend. (At the beginning of its owner's upkeep, remove a counter from that card. When the last is removed, the player plays it without paying its mana cost. If it's a creature, it has haste.)
the hell out of it.

I just wanted to mention that Cenn's Heir
Cenn's Heir
Cenn's HeirSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kithkin Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
8
Artist:
Steven Belledin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Cenn's Heir attacks, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn for each other attacking Kithkin.
is like a toned down Goblin Piledriver
Goblin Piledriver
Goblin PiledriverSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
R
Number:
205
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from blue. Whenever Goblin Piledriver attacks, it gets +2/+0 until end of turn for each. other attacking Goblin.
for Kithkins. Still don't care about them?

I'm able to counter a few more, but they just become overwhelming. I beg for my Wrath to show up as Ajani shows up to pump them all, but my salvation never comes. I'm beaten to death by annoying, little men.

Game 2

Siding in Teferi's Moat
Teferi's Moat
Teferi's MoatSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
279
Artist:
rk post
Text:
As Teferi's Moat comes into play, choose a color.Creatures of the chosen color without flying can't attack you.
is a must. I'm able to keep the little jerks off of my back long enough to drop the Moat
Moat
MoatSet: Legends
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff A. Menges
Text:
Non-flying creatures cannot attack.
down and force the opposition to scoop.

Game 3

Ian is able to fire off with quick, nasty Kithkin again, but I kept a hand with Wrath! Ha! The Kithkin have their fun with my face, but they're all blown to pieces by turn four. My counter is baited by a Kithkin that he didn't care about so Ajani could hit the board. He follows up the next turn with another onslaught of Kithkin and begins to use Ajani's second ability to pump them all. Why on the turn that they have summoning sickness? I have no idea.

I found out why next turn when he drops a couple of pumping Kithkin and throws more Ajani influence on them. I am able to play Evacuation
Evacuation
EvacuationSet: Stronghold
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
30
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Return all creatures to owners' hands.
, and he plays a few more of them. I play 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.
on Ajani during my turn, then follow up with a Rule of Law
Rule of Law
Rule of LawSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
19
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Each player can't play more than one spell each turn.
. Ian is able to get anther round of swings into my face and drops another 2/2 that's going to hurt really bad next turn. I thank my Howling Mine
Howling Mine
Howling MineSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Each player must draw one extra card during the draw phase of each of his or her turns.
s for helping me draw into a Wrath and a Cancel
Cancel
CancelSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counter target spell.
.

I wrath away the little buggers, and he attempts to play one on his turn. I Cancel
Cancel
CancelSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counter target spell.
it, and he decides that it's time to scoop up and move on.

So what have we learned through these three test rounds? We have learned that fast, early game burn will be the death of us. Any deck that plans to play heavy burn or play a Siege-Gang Commander is major threat to Ruled Out. It may be a good idea to bring in Aven Riftwatcher
Aven Riftwatcher
Aven RiftwatcherSet: Planar Chaos
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Rebel Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
1
Artist:
C
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Vanishing 3 (This permanent comes into play with three time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter from it. When the last is removed, sacrifice it.) When Aven Riftwatcher comes into play or leaves play, you gain 2 life.
against decks like this, but chances are that won't matter either. This will be the hardest matchup to play.

Another lesson that has been taught here is that the life total doesn't matter until it's nearly gone. Do not worry about the sixteen damage that is flying across the board, take it and prepare the lockdown. Small creatures on the board aren't a concern. Let them resolve. Large creatures or creatures that can't be targeted should definitely be countered. But all in all, the first priority of this deck should be preparing the lockdown.

Have I in some way revived the art of milling in the Standard format? I don't believe so. There has to be someone out there who has thought of this as well. If they haven't, then I suppose that I'll claim my prize as a creative deckbuilder.

I Need You!

I hope that the readers have enjoyed my history of decking and some of my own ideas of how it can be played today. I am well aware that I came nowhere near covering the entire history of decking, but chances are several of you reading this were playing before I even thought of shuffling my fist deck.

Which leads me to my next plea: Have you ever played a decking/milling deck in a Standard format? If so, when did you play? What did it do? I'm seriously curious! Join the Cardshark forums and let me know. If you don't want to join the forums, then simply email me at digitaldebaser@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading. Until next time, this is the Debaser telling you to dare to be crazy.


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