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Much Abrew: Miraculous Mill (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week during our Instant Deck Techs, it was the crazy Miraculous Mill deck for Modern that came out on top. As a result, we're heading back to Modern today to give mill another shot. If you've been following the series for a while, you'll know that last time we played a mill deck (Mono-Blue Mill), it was one of the all-time worst decks in Much Abrew history, so today's Miraculous Mill deck is looking to redeem the archetype! Oh yeah, a quick warning: I recorded this episode the morning after getting home (at 3 am) from Grand Prix Vegas, so if I'm a little loopy, it's a combination of a really long and fun week in Vegas and jet lag. Anyway, can the addition of red cards and some miracles make mill competitive in Modern? Let's get to the videos and find out; then, we'll have some thoughts on the deck.

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Much Abrew: Miraculous Mill (Modern)


  • As for the record, we ended up going 2-3, which obviously isn't a great finish but is way, way better than the last time we played mill, where I'm pretty sure we didn't win a single game.
  • Before delving into the rest of the deck, it's worth mentioning that the deck is pretty clearly designed to be budget friendly, so I avoided making any expensive upgrades. Cards like Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Surgical Extraction would be amazing in Miraculous Mill but would also turn the $150 budget deck into a $1,000 deck.
  • The good news about Miraculous Mill is that when things go well, the deck can actually be pretty powerful. We saw that against Tron, where we were somehow able to race our opponent's massive amount of mana by milling away their library. On the other hand, the deck can be pretty clunky, since we don't really have any way to get our miracles back into our deck, so we have some games where we are stuck with a bunch of overcosted cards that are really hard for our deck to cast. 
  • The primary plan of the deck—to play Jace's Erasure and then wheel a bunch with Jace's Archivist and Reforge the Soul—is powerful but also fragile and somewhat slow. Most of our wins came by wheeling a bunch and then finishing off the opponent with Archive Trap or Jace, Memory Adept to mill the last handful of cards from our opponent's deck, but we also lost some games because we ended up refilling our opponent's hand with Reforge the Soul, giving them the action they needed to kill us. 
  • While there are a ton of expensive upgrades that would make the deck better (like Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Surgical Extraction), the one card we were missing most was Field of Ruin, which is fairly budget friendly. The value of Field of Ruin in our deck is that, apart from killing a Tron land or creatureland, it forces our opponent to shuffle their library (since the "search for a basic land" ability is not a "may" ability), which then allows us to cast our Archive Traps for free. While most Modern decks have fetch lands to support our Archive Traps, some do not, which we learned when we had a three-Archive Trap opener only to realize we were playing against Affinity, which never shuffles their library. 
  • Devastation Tide is high variance. It was great in some games (our Affinity opponent actually scooped in annoyance after multiple copies), but it was pretty much just a Fog in other games. Modern decks are pretty efficient, so most can replay their hand quickly, which minimizes the power of mass bounce. While making our opponent pick up their entire board and then forcing them to discard their hand with Reforge the Soul or Jace's Archivist is fun on paper, it rarely happens in actual games.
  • Jace's Archivist is one of the best cards in our deck, and we often win the game if we actually get to untap with it. Unfortunately, it's also the only creature in our main deck, which means that our opponent almost always has some sort of removal to kill the first copy before we actually get to Windfall
  • As far as upgrades, let's start with budget-friendly options for improving the deck. First, as we talked about a minute ago, four copies of Field of Ruin is a must. Forcing the opponent to shuffle their library is too important, and even though we managed to beat Tron with literally zero cards that are good against Tron, having a way to destroy a land or two couldn't hurt. Second, Boomerang is probably better than Vapor Snag. Since we can't kill our opponent with damage, making our opponent lose a life isn't really an upside in our deck, and having a bounce spell that can also hit lands and other non-creature permanents would be great with Jace's Archivist and Reforge the Soul. Finally, if you have the budget or copies around, Remand is much better than Mana Leak, since it works with the wheel plan and also keeps our hand full for Jace's Archivist
  • Less budget-friendly options include Jace, the Mind Sculptor (the bounce works with our wheel plan, and the Brainstorm ability is very powerful with our miracles, since we can put them from our hand on top of our deck), Surgical Extraction (gives a lot of free wins against combo decks, since we can mill over a Tron land or Scapeshift and exile all the copies; plus, it does make our opponent's library slightly smaller, so it is sort of a bad mill spell as well), better mana (even if you don't want to spend the money on fetch lands and shock lands, having some more duals like Spirebluff Canal would go a long way toward making the deck more consistent), and Blood Moon (the mana base can easily support it, and it's a great way to slow down the game for a few turns while we are looking to mill the opponent out). 
  • All in all, Miraculous Mill was certainly a lot better than Mono-Blue Mill, winning not only some games but some matches as well. This being said, the deck is definitely more of a budget-friendly, fun, semi-competitive deck than a deck that will win a tournament. It's really cool when it works, and it does work more often than you'd think, but it's simply not consistent enough to win five (or 15) rounds in a row to take down a tournament. While the upgrades we talked about would make the deck better, I think that even if you build the $1,000 version of Miraculous Mill, it would still fall into the semi-competitive category, so rather than splurging on Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Scalding Tarn, sticking with the cheaper upgrades of Field of Ruin, Boomerang (over Vapor Snag), and maybe Remand (over Mana Leak) is probably the way to go.
  • So, should you play Miraculous Mill in Modern? The answer is that it depends on your goals. If you're looking to compete at a tournament level, definitely not. The deck is simply too inconsistent and fragile to win a big tournament. On the other hand, it's a pretty reasonable option if you like mill and are looking for a casual or semi-competitive deck that's fairly budget friendly, since Miraculous Mill is fun to play and one of the more unique ideas for winning by decking the opponent!


Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, commenting on, and subscribing to Instant Deck Tech videos! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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