So Ramunap Red is gone.
Standard lost its free shock in the form of Ramunap Ruins and many RR players are trying to salvage the shell and find ways to put more reach into their decks. Together with the loss of Rampaging Ferocidon, RR players have more reasons to slap in more Chandra, possible go big with Glorybringers to get the job done.
Looking at the other functional deserts in Amonket, I am very intrigued with Ipnu Rivulet because milling the opponent is not really a common archetype in Standard especially with so many aggro decks lying around. Though I did have some success with a mill deck I played a couple of months back which top 8’ed a PPTQ locally, it was fun to watch your opponents get milled to death and surprisingly it was an enjoyable experience for my opponents as well after losing to a very unconventional win condition.
The centerpiece of a mill deck in standard must play Fraying Sanity. Having one copy out gives enough pressure but having multiple copies out is usually game for our opponent. Essentially each card that hits the graveyard will mill an equal amount for each copy. If stacked, each copy would count the most recent number of cards milled and topples an equal amount of cards. A simple equation would be:
- 1 Fraying Sanity(A): 1 card goes to the graveyard, FS mills 1.
- 2 Fraying Sanity(A)(B): 1 card goes to the graveyard, FS(A) mills 1, FS(B) mills 2.
- 3 Fraying Sanity (A)(B)(C): 1 card goes to the graveyard, FS(A) mills 1, FS(B) mills 2, FS(C) mills 4
- 4 Fraying Sanity (A)(B)(C)(D): 1 card goes to the graveyard, FS(A) mills 1, FS(B) mills 2, FS(C) mills 4, FS(D) mills 8.
1 card isn’t much even with all four copies of Fraying Sanity out but if 2-3 cards hit the yard in that turn, you are looking at 2-2-4-8-16 or 3-3-6-12-24 cards. You can say “well that escalated quickly” many times over in a single game.
Navigator’s Ruin is an awesome mill engine because it hits deep and triggers for free as long as you attack with something that turn. Fortunately we have plenty of cheap unblockable creatures that are not afraid to go to the red zone every turn without risk of dying. The strategy here is not to play multiple copies and just keep 1-2 copies in play in case they hit the other one at least you can still attack the following turn.
To protect us from early aggression, we need white to keep us above water. We can use Baffling End and Cast Out to take down early to mid-game threats with ease. Essence Scatter and Censor also help us keep our opponent from playing his early creatures preventing him from building his board presence early on.
For some resilience we will try to squeeze a pseudo-cycling package which provides good support and thanks to Abandoned Sacophagus, we can reuse them again later.
Panic buttons are a must have for funky decks and white gives us Fumigate which also helps Fraying Sanity hit deeper with so many creatures hitting the graveyard.
So here’s my budget friendly UW Mill deck:
3 Mist-Cloaked Herald
4 Slither Blade
4 Fraying Sanity
4 Navigator’s Ruin
3 Cast Out
3 Baffling End
2 Abandoned Sarcophagus
4 Compelling Argument
3 Essence Scatters
4 Glacial Fortress
2 Scavenger Grounds
4 Ipnu Rivulet
4 Dunes of the Dead
2 Shefet Dunes
2 Essence Scatter
4 Authority of the Consul
2 Sunscourge Champion
The typical line of plays here is to set up for the first few turns. T1 Slither Blade/Mist Cloaked Herald is the ideal opening followed by mana up on T2 for an Essence Scatter. T3 you play either Ruin or Sanity. T4 depending on what you played last turn can be a simple attack to trigger Ruin or cast Argument to mill the opponent for 10 cards. T5 you can either sweep the board or cycle stuff to get to better cards and hopefully drop a Navigator’s Ruin and start milling your opponent with your evasive creatures for 8 cards a turn. Technically with 50 cards in your opponent’s library, 8 cards a turn is essentially a 5 turn clock on its own.
With 12 deserts in the main to fire of Ipnu Rivulet as consistent as you can, it should make short work of your opponents Library given he doesn’t put cards into his own library himself.
Sideboard is just to put more answers into the deck depending on your opponent.
Essence Scatters and Sunscourge Champion come in against very aggressive decks together with the 4th copy of Fumigate. Authority can also be sided in against Ramunap Red or Mono Black Aggro.
Negate is great against heavy control decks like Approach, or against Planeswalkers and discarders.
Fragmentize is a cheap way to combat Vehicles, Anointed Procession, Drake Haven, Search for Azcanta and many more.
We have a playset of Authority of the Consul in the sideboard against Ramunap Red, Mono-black Aggro, GW energy or Constrictor Decks. It should help hold the fort down while you draw into a Fumigate to reset the board.
That’s it for now – I’m getting quite busy at work so the articles and deck techs are coming in later than usual. Rest assured I’m still brewing within the limited spare time that I have. I hope you guys still subcribe and visit the site time to time, leave a comment, hit the Like button, or shoot me a deck request to help me find some inspiration!
Till then, ciao!