More than the card that today’s article suggests, I am taking some time rebuilding many things I have left unattended due to the preparations I made for the Nationals. Alas, things have caught up to me so I need to lay low on the card slinging and focus on my home renovation, wedding preparation, and tons of backlog at work. Less FNMs from now on and maybe 1 or 2 PPTQ before the year ends and I get to play in the Gold Rush.
Most control players love going through their turn with lands untapped, and play their nasty spells during their opponent’s turn. With the introduction of Planeswalkers, many successful control shells have zero creatures and win behind tick ups and tick downs. Because of this, Magic has printed cards that target precisely Planeswalkers like Vraska’s Contemp and Never//Return.
Enchantments on the other hand are not so easy to remove. Unlike Planeswalker-removal, it usually can hit creatures but Enchantment hate is so narrow people exclusively put the hate cards in their sideboards. This mean in game 1, your enchantments are safe except from Thrashing Brontodon.
Patient Rebuilding is pretty powerful and I’m not just talking about the limited format. Milling your opponent by 3 cards means that with a 53-card library, minus 5 drawn cards for the first 5 turns, that’s 48 cards left. Divide that by 4, that’s 3 milled cards plus your opponent’s draw for the turn, that’s an easy 12 turn clock. Accompanying that with Psychic Corrosion, that’s 6 cards a turn which reduces it to an 8 turn clock. This is again, just 1 copy of each enchantment on the battlefield.
Remember this card? Fraying Sanity doubles the amount of cards milled at the end of turn. This means Patient Rebuilding now mills 6. Psychic Corrosion mills 4 per card you draw. I built a standard mill deck that used board sweepers as a way to cushion the incoming damage and just win through decking. I still think this is the best principle behind a successful mill strategy.
The important thing to remember about Patient Rebuilding is that the mill effect happens during your upkeep, therefore you get more triggers the more turns you get. How convenient that we have Nexus of Fate printed in standard. I know it costs a lot of mana but that’s the price you got to pay for an ‘instant’ extra turn that you can keep on drawing over and over again. How?
Search for Azcanta is great at digging all 4 copies of Nexus of Fate allowing you to go ‘infinite turns’ if you have 10 mana, 3 to dig for Nexus and 7 to cast it. You also don’t have to worry scrying the Nexus into your graveyard since it’s going to shuffle itself back anyway.
Like I said earlier, board sweepers is the glue that keeps this kind of archetype together. It buys you time to set-up your combo and removes the pressure of drawing your cards in time. Together with spot removal like Seal Away and Blink for an Eye, you can push the decision towards your opponent if they want to commit less and get one-for-one or commit more and get blown out.
The sideboard plan is essentially trimming the weight of the mainboard against aggressive decks and mirror control decks.
Against control, we will surely lose the counter war that’s why we’re siding out our Nexus and some Patient Rebuilding for Millstones and Negate. On the play and landing a turn 2 Millstone before the opponent has mana for Disallow or Negate is key at winning the mill race. You can begin to turtle behind the Millstone and mill them 2 cards a turn and hold he mana up for Negating their Teferi or Approach. Another cool thing about Millstone is that you can play around their Approach and mill it in response to them drawing it.
Against aggressive decks where Fumigate isn’t fast enough, we side in Shield Mare and the 4th copy of Settle to punish them early to mid game until we get our mill cards set-up and unli-turns rolling.
Crook of Condemnation is there while the Scarab God is still on the lose. We don’t want it bringing everything we milled back to life do we?
The sideboard plan is very flexible at this point which depends on the meta will shift in the remaining days of Kaladesh and Amonkhet. Definitely Ravnica’s 3rd coming will bring new toys and will allow new color combinations to emerge. I hope they print new things that help us mill and really push this archetype to the top tables.
Enjoy the new standard showdown season featuring M19 showdown packs!