// floating card image

Saturday, July 14, 2018

A Style for Each – Mill

August 31, 2012 by  
Filed under FAQ, In-Depth FAQ

Sub Themes

The Rolling Stone of Destiny

Hi there fellow EDH-ers. For a fast recap of the last article, we talked about the Sub Theme Stax or Prison which is along the same line as Sub Theme Land-D, is one of the most annoying unpopular Sub Theme. At achieving the Sub Theme main goal, you test out everyone patience. Various kinds of ways are used to lock down opponents, with you being the one who initialized the lock, well-prepared and spared from it. The effectiveness of the Sub Theme is also its weakness. EDH is played with poli4ics. Anyone who is deemed too dangerous and annoying to everyone will always be aim first, like a last boss character, and to be fought by everyone. For today article we shall look at a Sub Theme which focuses on killing your opponents by attacking the library, named Mill, instead of hacking at the Life point.



Before we begin, let us give you a little back history of the namesake of this Sub Theme. Milling is named so due to Millstone. Being the first Artifact to attack libraries, subsequent cards which do the same thing will all group as milling. With the increased numbers of cards thereafter, milling had become a viable theme, winning tournaments sometimes and all. The main game plan for this Sub Theme as mentioned is to attack the libraries of your opponents, making them unable to draw from their libraries and thus losing the game due to that. While easily achieved in normal variant, where you only have to deal with decks with only 60 cards, it is a total different ball game in EDH. Normal ways used in normal variant is not as effective here in EDH, as you only mill a few cards. The true power of this Sub Theme is that you are working to set up a combo which would instantly mill one or two opponents one short rather than a few cards each time. So to speak, Sub Theme Mill is like a combo which you packed into your decks to kill when you draw it. Since combos in EDH are usually deadly and big, life points is usually not taken into consideration as you work towards achieving your combo. Tables could be turned in an instance once you had achieved your combo, sometimes taking out all opponents at the same time. Some combos for example are as follows:-


Although with the above said, milling is not just restricted to combo. It could also be employ as a form of disruption, especially against Tutors which put the searched card on the top of the library instead of directly into the hand. The benefits of milling is largely due to the fact that except for basic Lands, other cards are restricted to only one per deck, you could actually mill away your opponent’s cards which is effectively of getting rid of it. Even with recursion in his or her deck, this would serve the purpose of wasting one recursion from his deck.

Victory is very Near indeed. If you bother to look deep enough….



As with all combo-based Sub Theme, your game plan is spoiled the moment you do not set up your combo or worse, your combo is disrupted. Due to the cards restriction in EDH, losing one piece of a combo could mean that combo is gone too. So depending on solely one combo to kill for mill deck is not advisable. Tutors are also good choice to include ensuring your combo pieces could be assemble. Nothing beats the frustration of having combo piece A and C only to be missing piece B. Worse still, losing the game without even seeing piece B. It is hard enough to try to draw into your combo in normal variant, EDH is not any easier either with the 99 cards to draw from. Discard or disruption is the bane of all combos; your combo is also vulnerable to your opponents’ discard or disruption. To counteract that, some form of recursions could be added into the deck to retrieve those combo pieces if needed, although any recursions are nice addition to any decks. And last but least, the new win con of Laboratory Maniac actually serves as the most ultimate but random foil against this whole Sub Theme. With this card present, your win con became your opponent’s win con.

“Opps I can’t draw anymore…..I Win You Lose~!!!”



Generals of Choice:

Ambassador Laquatus: – Mill Commander who you could use those extra mana to start milling your opponents before your big combo comes up. Include Artifacts (Grim Monolith; Mana Crypt; Mana Vault; Sol Ring; Thran Dynamo) and Lands (Ancient Tomb; City of Traitors; Scorched Ruins; Temple of the False God; Urza’s Mine; Urza’s Power Plant; Urza’s Towerwhich could produce more than one mana to speeds up the process.


Oona, Queen of the Fae: – General which mill, and at the same time if you are lucky enough, provides you with an army to beatdown your opponent as well. Comes with high power (5/5) with Flying as well to beatdown opponent too if mill did not work out. Color Identity provides good control with disruption as well.


Geth, Lord of the Vault: – Another Commander with high stats (5/5) and evasion (Intimidate)to beatdown opponents if mill does not work out. Mill is dependent on opponent’s graveyard though, as number of cards mill is depending on the cc of the Artifact or Creature card you are stealing from your opponent’s graveyard. Mill cannot work when your opponents have no Artifacts or Creatures in the graveyard.



Today Sub Theme, Mill, is one of those Sub Themes which you could include into your deck if your deck Color Identity allows. It is generally very difficult to be running it on its own. The benefits of running it is that you could win usually with the combo one shot ignoring the Life points. Other than that, it could be use to disrupt your opponents too, Milling away their spells before they could even draw it. Setting up of the combo is the difficult part of the Sub Theme. As with most combo win, once the combo is not set up, you cannot win. Opponent’s disruption also spoils your game plan by taking away one piece of the combo. Tutors and recursion is good addition to your decks if you want your Sub Theme to work. With that we come to close for this article. Do come back next article for yet another Sub Themes.


This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.



9 Responses to “A Style for Each – Mill”
  1. Wonderful site. Plenty of useful info here.
    I’m sending it to several buddies ans additionally sharing in
    delicious. And obviously, thank you to your sweat!

  2. Josy says:

    Sealed Fate puts cards back on the TOP of the library, NOT the bottom. The later is what is necessary for the combo to effectively mill an opponent. Unless you know something I don’t.

    • Edward says:

      Thank you Josh. You are right on that. Error is rectified. Thank you for pointing that out and reading through the article.

      Cheers 😀

      • Josy says:

        It’s Josy, but thats ok. Haha. My pleasure. I appreciate your work. I have been referencing this site continually as I build my first EDH deck. Your articles have been valuable beyond measure. Thank YOU (:


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. […] lower the number of cards in the library, it is still a long way to kill in EDH. As mentioned in our article about Milling, EDH mill decks win by a combo usually milling the whole library at once, thus an instant win. […]

  2. […] of this power over time. Ashiok is of Dimir colors and plays very well into the guild main theme of milling. He is rather powerful for his low cc in that he can comes out very early and starts his milling […]

  3. […] but require exile of Creature cards from your graveyard or self mill. Geralf is actually more of a Mill style Commander with the bonus of creating a big Zombie while milling your opponents. He is much more […]

  4. […] up the milling process. Combining Phenax with Dimir’s milling power can also give you an EDH mill and recur deck, an ago old tactic commonly used for milling during the early days of MtG. There are […]