I was playing some holiday Monday afternoon magic at my LGS and out of 4 games, my brewed UG Energy Mill using Fraying Sanity and Fleet Swallower successfully milled out my opponent once. Although the combo is sweet, it’s extremely hard to pull off because you need to stay alive, set-up your combo pieces, and hope the opponent does not have answers. I was using a GPG engine as well to hasten the Fleet getting into the board and swinging but it didn’t make the combo any easier to pull off.
The main problems I faced was aggressive decks like Ramunap Red. Before I can get Fraying Sanity into the battlefield, I’ll be at 10 life with zero board presence. My build utilized energy creatures like Longtusk Cubs, Rogue Refiners and Bristling Hydra to stall and use Minister of Inquiries to mill the opponent with the accumulated energy.
If I play this way, I get to win through combat just like any other energy decks and not by milling – which was the total opposite of what I wanted to achieve. So I analyzed what went wrong, what went right, and how to rebuild the deck to achieve the win condition that I wanted.
Ramunap Red and other fast aggressive decks like Mono-Black and Red Black is a pain to fight against. The best way to stall is with creatures with lifelink so I shifted from Green to White instead.
Sacred Cat and Sunscourged Champion does a great job at keeping your life total high. Along with their ability to come back and do double duty, it helps us hold on during attrition wars as well.
To help us get some card advantage, I chose to play Champion of Wits and Strategic Planning. Champion is often a chump blocker but he can come back as a 4/4 while netting you some solid card draw. Strategic Planning was preferred over Chart a Course because I wanted more cards in the graveyard because if you haven’t noticed yet – all our creatures have embalm or eternalize.
What ties the deck together is actually an artifact we normally discard or leave behind when we crack it from a pack – Embalmer’s Tools. Together with Fraying Insanity, every creature we bring back thanks to Eternalize and Embalm helps us mill the opponent out a few cards at a time. However if we do get Fraying Sanity out, then we’re seriously carving chunks out of our opponent’s deck. What’s great to point out that Embalmer’s Tools also helps us eternalize or embalm our creatures for less mana.
Also to note, if you have 2 Fraying Sanity out on the battlefield, they independently check the number of cards that hit the graveyard from anywhere. It means that if you tap a zombie to mill the opponent for 1 card – Fraying Sanity #1 sees 1 card and mills another 1, while Fraying Sanity #2 would then see 2 cards hit the bin and mills 2 additional cards for a total of 4 cards per zombie tapped.
So here’s my UW Mill deck showcasing Fraying Sanity and Embalm creatures!
4 Sacred Cat
4 Anointer Priest
4 Champion of Wits
4 Sunscourge Champion
4 Fraying Sanity
4 Embalmer’s Tools
4 Strategic Planning
4 Anointed Procession
2 Settle the Wreckage
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Ipnu Rivulet
2 Field of Ruin
2 Authority of the Consult
1 Spell Pierce
3 Gideon’s Intervention
3 Forsake the Worldly
2 Angel of Sanctions
Fumigate is in the deck against decks that get big faster than our ability to set-up. Since all our creatures can come back, we don’t care so much about losing creatures. The extra life gain is also important.
Against control, we side in Negate and Spell Pierce to counter whatever they might play against us. Things like planeswalkers, Ixalan’s Binding, Cast Out, Glimmer of Genius, Settle the Wreckage and whatnots are popular targets.
To help us more against aggressive decks, we have Authority of the Consuls to stop haste creatures on their tracks.
I chose FoW over Fragmentize because it’s instant speed, and exiles the artifact/enchantment regardless of its cost. This can hit Gearhulks, Enchantment-flip-Lands, Vehicles, Scrapheap Scroungers or opposing GPGs which is great. The ability to cycle if we draw it and we don’t need it is also helpful.
Gideon’s Intervention is there for Approach, The Scarab God, Hazoret and other things we really can’t interact with.
I truly think this deck may use some more tweaking but I like how it’s performing in Cockatrice – can’t wait to bring it to the FNM tables.