Unpacking Pioneer - Mono Blue Mill
Mill has been a crowd favorite for a very long time. The purpose of mill decks is to force your opponent to put cards from their library into their graveyard (what is known as "milling") until they have no cards left in library. If a player goes to draw a card with no cards left in their library, they lose the game. There have been a lot of great mill cards printed the last few years, we're going to explore a lot of them today as we build Mono Blue Mill. Let's start with the creatures!
Throne of Eldraine brought with it a lot of great mill cards and we're going to be utilizing two of them. Merfolk Secretkeeper will let us mill our opponent four cards before becoming a 0/4 creature for us. Overwhelmed Apprentice will mill our opponent two, but more importantly let's us scry two setting up our next few turns. Minister of Inquiries comes to our deck from Kaladesh where energy was king. Basically, over the course of a few turns, Minister of Inquiries will help us mill our opponent six cards. This card pairs especially well with something later in our deck because we can choose when to mill with Minister. Our deck will also feature two planeswalkers:
Ashiok, Dream Render is fantastic in our deck. The card provides main deck graveyard hate while also milling up twenty cards from our opponent's deck! The added bonus of Ashiok, Dream Render is that while this card is on the battlefield, cards like Fabled Passage won't work since they can't search their library...VALUE! Jace, Wielder of Mysteries is one of the few card draw effects in our deck while also milling our opponent. The planeswalkers are just a side angle of the deck, the real core of the deck is in its instants and sorceries.
Tome Scour and Mind Sculpt are both just straight up mill effects. They mill a lot of cards for not a lot of mana. Compelling Argument is helpful in our deck because we can cycle it away and look to draw the more important cards in our deck. Startled Awake is one of those more important cards. For four mana, we can mill our opponent thirteen cards. But we have ways of getting the card back to our hand thanks to it's flip ability. These four cards become much more powerful when paired with the real mill engine of our deck:
Fraying Sanity is a mill powerhouse. And what's better than playing four copies of it? Playing eight copies with a Mirrormade! So let's go through what an ideal game looks like with this deck. Turns one and two we want to play out our creatures so we don't take a lot of damage early. Turn three we play Fraying Sanity and turn four we play a second copy of it (whether Fraying Sanity itself or Mirrormade). So here's what a potential turn five looks like. We untap and cast Startled Awake, our opponent mills thirteen cards. We have a single mana left and cast Tome Scour and our opponent mills another five cards. We go to our end step and the first copy of Fraying Sanity triggers - our opponent milled eighteen cards over the course of the turn so they will now mill another eighteen. The second copy of Fraying Sanity now triggers and sees that our opponent actually milled 36 cards this turn, so they mill another 36. 72 cards in our opponent's graveyard in one turn!
Sidenote: This deck really feels and plays like a combo deck. There is not much card draw in it which is definitely an area to explore. Dimir (the combination of blue and black) is probably a more competitive deck, but I often feel like Dimir mill is really more of a control deck with a subtheme of mill. I wanted a full blown mill deck for this build.
Let's take a look at the sideboard:
Unsummon, Entrancing Melody and Whelming Wave will help us deal with those pesky creature decks; both the tall and go-wide versions. Negate and Disdainful Stroke give us some access to counter magic while extra copies of Ashiok, Dream Render will help insure we have ourselves protected against graveyard strategies.
Our Unpacking Pioneer version of Mono Blue Mill checks in at an amazing $54.30! This deck, for the price, will provide a ton of fun (and a lot of groans from your opponent) and there's so much room for tweaking and testing in this list. If you want a solid base to improve on for Pioneer, I don't think you have to look much further!