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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Nov 11 2013 3:10am
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This article would not be possible but for two things.  The first being my son and nephew were over for the weekend, and there were playing Disney Infinity.  The game is unreal, they love it, and it give me a little bit of selfish time to myself, in which to look over twitter, watch some magic coverage or maybe get a game or two in.  The second thing is a tweet from former PureMTGO writer JustSin.  While he may have found his way to another site, I harbor no ill will towards him for that, and will always welcome him back to PureMTGO with open arms.  The tweet was right up my alley. 

I love mill. Just about as much as I love Merfolk in Modern, or TurboFog, or Reanimator in any format that will support it.  Millstone was one of my favorite cards ever printed, and many of my friends know my love of cards like Dampen Thought, Curse of the Bloody Tome and Tome Scour in limited play.  As a reply to that tweet, I sent the following: 

Thankfully it did not come to kitten punching as another pauper follower E. Hustle turned me to the decks creator, and his twitter account:

PaulDenton_mtg of course was the pilot of the UB Mill deck that had my heart all a flutter.  Well the deck broke out on the first, there was thankfully an article about it on the 3rd, which meant my wait for the list was not too long.  In fact if you want to check it out, Paul's look at the UB Mill deck can be found here

I devoured the article, and quickly picked up the cards that I needed for it.  Sure Serrated Arrows were expensive, and Diabolic Edict were pretty much it never dawned on me that I spent as much on a Pauper deck as I would a Standard deck until I checked out at mtgotraders.com.  Magic, while fun, can be a bank breaking hobby!  I played a view games, devoted a stream (Language may not be safe for work.  Also that is about two hours worth of me playing the deck!)  to the deck before I got sick, and was pretty pleased with how it played out.  It was a slow methodical control deck, which punished bad play, and greatly rewarded good play.  In other words, this deck should be played by anyone but me! 

The stream taught me a lot about the deck, it's a fairly fun deck to play, if you are in to 30 turn grindfests, which is something I happen to love.  Curse of the Bloody Tome is a win condition that catches a lot of Pauper players off guard.  They expect creature fights for the most part, and when you play this, you have the four in the board, and not really much of anything else.  Let's take a look at the decklist! 

The biggest gripe I have about this deck is the low low low land count.  21 land is a number that I am not really comfortable with, and as we are a control deck it's really important that we hit each turns land drop.  Of course, we have the Ponders and Preordains to help fix out mana, but sometimes the deck just does not get there.  I want a 23 lands in here badly.  Even at 23 I do not think the deck could really support Oona's Grace, so I would want to cut that for another land.  Probably another Island, so that way it will be easier to cast cheap Spire Golems post board.  The Echoing Decays kinda bother me, but I'm not sure what I would want to run in their place.  It's a shame that Ultimate Price is an uncommon.  Doom Blade is not good enough, you know, the whole mono black control thing.  Maybe a bounce spell?   The creator of the deck goes more in depth about the Echoing Decay choice in the article, and it makes a ton of sense, I just feel the card underperforms a lot!  It's not exactly great against Affinity, but it does shine against Squadron Hawk decks.  I want to tinker with the deck so badly, but I think it's great already.  All I have against it are just some minor gripes! 

I'm assuming that you've watched the two hours of video I already recorded with the deck in action.  Oh.  You didn't?  That's okay, two hours is a lot of time to devote to a magic article, so while you know you have the option of the stream, (you can watch the stream, I linked it already!) you also have the option of watching the deck in action right here on PureMTGO.com!  I'm gonna stop with the words, and just let this beautiful deck speak over the next nine matches! 

Match one

Match two

Match three

Match four

Match five

Match six

Match seven

Match eight

Match nine


Final Results
I am going to include the results of a Daily Event that I played with this deck.  I did not record the daily, because I was not thinking that fair ahead and I played Affinity three times.  In fact the only match I wish I had recorded in this was Affinity, but I'm pretty sure it is in the stream.  By the way, check out the stream link for even more awesome footage of this deck in action! 

Affinity  1-2
Burn 1-0
GW Slivers 0-1
Mono Black Control 2-0
UB Control 1-0
Stompy 0-1
Mono Blue Control 1-0
Delver 0-2
Eye Candy 0-1

Matches Played:  13
Matches Won: 6
Matches Lost: 7

Ok, looking at those results, I think I did what the deck was supposed to do.  I ate other control decks up!  The fast aggro decks of the format, Slivers, Delver, Stompy ate me up!  Eye Candy I think was an outlier.  Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results that we put up here.  Normally a deck with a losing record would be tossed aside, but I see a ton of potential in the deck, and if a few changes can be made between the board and then main then maybe Delver will be so hard to beat (I never felt like I was in contention in either game.) I was pretty unhappy with Echoing Decay in just about every match I played, so it may be a candidate for cutting.  I kinda feel like Serrated Arrows could be in the main, it's not terrible against White Weenie, it's not terrible against delver, shrinking creatures and out right killing Cloud of Faeries and Spellstutter Sprite, so that may be a thing to test.  I think the Stompy matchup may be a lost cause.  Way too many threats, and we do not have enough ways to deal with multiple threats a turn.  If only Barter in Blood were a common!  Maybe Doom Blade could make it's way in here somehow.  Sure it is dead against Mono Black, but it is nice to have a piece of targeted removal.  Gosh, the more I think about it, the more I want to take out the two Decays, add two Arrows, and replace the arrows in the board with two Doom Blades.  Might be on to something there!  Oona's Grace also got boarded out a lot, it seemed to be too slow. 

In fact just on theory alone, let's take a look at the deck I would take in to battle in my next Daily Event:

Change Log:

Main Deck -1 Oona's Grace -2 Echoing Decay +1 Doom Blade +2 Serrated Arrows
Sideboard -2 Serrated Arrows -1 Prohibit +1 Shrivel +2 Doom Blade 

Sideboarding Guideline:

Do not take these as gospel, it's what I did because it seemed to make the most sense, and I may be wrong, I may be right, but sideboarding is hard.  It's not practiced enough, and most of this stuff is in theory only. 

In:  2 Doom Blade, 1 Crypt Incursion, 2 Hydroblast
Out:  3 Prohibit, 2 Serrated Arrows

Prohibit is a very situational counterspell, and I cannot tell you how many times it sat in my hand while my opponent cast a Thoughtcast or Myr Enforcer.  Doom Blade gives us some outs against Atog and helps control the board to make the edict effects a bit more effective.  Hydroblast and Crypt Incursions are failsafes for Fling

Mono Black Control
In:  Crypt Incursion
Out:  Doom Blade

You have to draw incredibly poorly for this to even be a close match up.  You could make a case to take out the Arrows for a few Spire Golems, but it's up to you. 

In 2 Doom Blade, 2 Shrivel
Out 4 Deprive

You cannot afford to be missing land drops against this deck, you need to hit every one of them for potential counter battles and for Daze protection. 

White Weenie:
In Serrated Arrows, 2 Doom Blade, 4 Spire Golem 1 Crypt Incursion 2 Shrivel
Out 4 Deprive, 2 Curse of the Bloody Tome, 4 Exclude

You want to one for one them as long as you can, stabilize the board and start slamming down golems.  The curse game plan of winning is a bit too slow, and you're trading proactive counter magic for reactive removal. 

Same as White Weenie. 

Same reasons. 

That is about all I can think of right now.  If I missed a matchup that you want me to cover let me know in the comments section!  Next time on Accumulated Knowledge we're gonna be going over a pretty unique Pauper deck.  Huge thanks to Paul_Dentonmtg for the awesome, enjoyable deck and thanks for watching and reading along! 




mana improvements? by Doomhed at Mon, 11/11/2013 - 11:14
Doomhed's picture

Why not swap the dimir guildgates for the dimir bouncelands? each one adds 1.5 of a land to your deck. 21 lands with 4 of those would feel like 23 lands.

That is an idea worth by JXClaytor at Mon, 11/11/2013 - 14:18
JXClaytor's picture

That is an idea worth testing. Thank you!

Edit: Though sometimes it really is nice to have UU or UB on turn two, I can see this being useful with proper resource management

Repeal / Repulse by Cweaver at Tue, 11/12/2013 - 03:02
Cweaver's picture

You mentioned bounce spells to replace Echoing Decay, I'd suggest Repeal or Repulse. They don't leave you down a card and even let you cycle through your deck faster, bounce a flipped Delver for U mana, etc. Also nutso with Excludes in the deck to bounce a dude and Exclude it on the way back down. Memory Lapse is a decent option for your deck too with the mill theme, which means for cantrips you can actually run Thought Scours as well. Lets you leave up counter mana, then cantrip EOT which is very nice for permission decks.

Furthermore, you can ponder and find like 1 card you need but the other 2 are junk, then draw the good card and Thought Scour the other two. I've been toying with these ideas in my own tempo decks and I think they might just be better in dedicated control decks rather than tempo decks.

I like the idea behind by JXClaytor at Tue, 11/12/2013 - 08:26
JXClaytor's picture

I like the idea behind Echoing Decay, it just came up to be useful very rarely. I like the idea of bounce, especially the good bounce in the format, and it's worth testing in the 3 cards that I am not sure of slot (The two arrows and doom blade) spot.