The Izzet Mill
Izzet Mill is Real
At the end of the last defined week, the New Capenna Championship was very interesting to follow, especially in the Standard portion, which had a series of decks that deserve to be highlighted.
In the top8 we have Esper Control and Jund, which are the most well-known decks and were on the radar of those who play regularly, but Jeskai Hinata and Jeskai Storm were good surprises, not because they were new decks, but because they returned to doing good results, putting Goldspan Dragon in focus again, a letter that was missing in this sea of midranges.
To close the top8, we still had the unprecedented Grixis Vampires and Naya Midrange, new strategies that guaranteed a good result, in addition to the fact that Grixis, in the hands of CFB players, had a beautiful winrate and is now one of the most played decks in the format . In other words, a nice top8 for a big tournament.
But the deck I wanted to talk about today wasn’t in the top8, despite having made it 6-1 in the Standard portion of the Championship, at the hands of Italian Luca Magni, the Izzet Mill.
Mill is one of Magic’s most hated strategies and at the same time one that has the most fanatical lovers. For years UB Mill was just a weird deck in Moodern, until it got enough power level to win big events. And for a long time Mill was far from the Standard’s spotlight. In either case, the card that changes this is Tasha’s Hideous Laughter. The format can have Ruin Crab, Maddening Cacophony, or . any other mill card, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter is the real important card. And the awareness of that is what makes all the difference.
Tasha’s Hideous Laughter is the best card possible to win using mill. Okay, we’re in agreement. So instead of me making more mill cards for support, why don’t I just try doing Tasha’s Hideous Laughter over and over again? With that idea the deck uses Galvanic Iteration and Invoke Calamity, betting that Tasha’s Hideous Laughter done three times is lethal. You know what also plays well with these cards? Big Score and Unexpected Windfall. And since we’re on Izzet, why not use Expressive Iteration and removals? Okay, this list is assembled, which was based on the list used by Shota Yasooka a few Championships ago and which is very good for the current meta.
Izzet Mill has an advantage against midrange decks because it has time to set up the game, speeding it up a lot and then making multiple copies of Tasha’s Hideous Laughter. And Esper and Jund are the two most popular strategies in the format right now. The G1 normally against these decks is combo against the wall, as they have rare interactions with our plan. In G2, where they side in discards and counters, it’s time for our side to shine, allowing a transformation, we can give up mill and bad removals to use Lier, Disciple of the Drowned, Smoldering Egg, Hullbreacker Horror and Fable of the Mirror Breaker. Transforming the deck plan has not been common in Standard and having access to this is a huge advantage that few decks have. Of course, several cards there are useful against other games as well, Smoldering Egg, for example, is very good against aggros, but against midranges, the main strategy of the format, we have a different line that wins games.
The bad news for mill players is that Izzet decks with Goldspan are popular again and they are a tricky match. As much as Jeskai Storm is not a deck that interacts as much, it can combo easily on top of our game, so we need to speed up and try to combo first. In addition to that Izzet Control lists can play again and these are very complicated to play against, depending a lot on Galvanic Iteration to do its part.
The good news is that these decks aren’t usually that popular outside of the Championship, so I expect more Esper and Jund GGtoor M:TG Arena Duel #13 (FREE!) this weekend than URx decks. In other words, an environment that helps Izzet Mill to be a great choice. And this text is about that, sitting down and giving the deck a chance, even if it’s playing against, because Izzet Mill is real and can win a lot of games in Standard.
Until the next event!