Tuesday Deck Tech: Pacifist Mill!

See the latest tournament oriented submission below.

“Mill” decks aim to win the game by forcing the opponent to run out of cards. When evaluating the impact of Mill decks at Gen Con, the archetype was categorized with three distinct flavors:

 Some mill strategies attempt to hit your deck directly (such as Black Lanterns), while others will make you draw cards with effects like Hawkman and Birds of a Feather. A third pillar, “stall,” focuses on refilling its own deck/defensive position as your deck dwindles solely through the Prep Step.

In the evolving metagame, a revised approach to this characterization could focus on the same tactics commonly seen in dedicated Mill:

  • Actively depleting the opponent’s deck (with discards or forced draw effects)
  • Preventing the opponent from dealing damage/winning (while they are choked out)
  • Regenerating cards to increase deck size and outlast the opponent

Modern mill decks often combine two or three of these elements, leading to a cohesive strategy that is resilient against narrow counters. Various midrange decks are also capable of winning through attrition (such as a Bat Family build that includes Oracle), but dedicated Mill strategies are more prevalent – and sure to be seen in the upcoming circuit series! Today’s submission from MXOLT II champion Ben S. is an example of the passive approach taken to the absolute extreme, with only three Battle Cards included in the deck! This zany brew has yielded strong results to date, about which Ben writes:

“The thing I like about this deck is the counters to it aren’t as obvious as just shuffling cards back into your deck, people will have to work hard to figure out how to counter it…”

Characters:

Events:

Battle Cards:

With the majority of its decisions taking place during the Planning Step, this deck has a consistent (and transparent) strategy. First, it aims to repeatedly clear your board with the Character combination of Green Arrow and Firestorm (backed by Rise from the Ashes). If too many threats are in play, the Event duo of Evil Parade and Unexpected Turnaround can wipe things clean. From there, more stall effects like Tension and Paralysis are complemented by Mill staples like Birds of a Feather, Bane, and Hawkman.

When trying to counter Mill decks in general, look for attack based strategies that can apply fast and/or consistent pressure. Cards that refill the deck can always buy more time against Mill, and effects that allow you to play extra Characters can help recover from mass removal. Against passive builds like the above, you can also prioritize direct VP gain effects, hand control effects, or protective Characters (like Batman – Prepared and Constantine). However, even when equipped with the right tech, you’ll face a multifaceted puzzle to work through – be sure to have variety in your utility cards for maximum impact!

Other cards to consider for today’s build:

  • Rebirth (can act as a powered up Rise from the Ashes in late game scenarios)
  • Hawkgirl (some anti-synergy, but could seal the match against next level opponents)
  • Poison Ivy (competes with the Blue Beetle role)

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