Mill

From MTG Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Mill
Keyword Action
Introduced Antiquities (mechanic)
Core Set 2021 (keyword)
Last Used Evergreen
Reminder Text Mill N cards (Put the top N cards from the library into your/their graveyard.)
Statistics 277 cards
{U} 45.8% {B} 18.8% {R} 2.2% {G} 6.1% {U/B} 8.3% {B/G} 3.2% {M} 1.8% {artifact symbol} 11.9% {land symbol} 1.8%
Scryfall Search
oracle:"Mill"

Mill is a keyword action used in Magic to describe the action of a player taking cards from the top of their library and putting them into their graveyard. For a player to mill N cards, they put the top N cards from their library into their graveyard. The term alludes to the card Millstone, which was first printed in Antiquities and was the first card to feature this mechanic.

History[edit | edit source]

From the beginning, the "milling" mechanic was written out in full as, "Target player puts the top N cards of their library into their graveyard,"[1] but ever since the original Millstone, players were using "mill" as an informal term. As it was so frequently used on cards, R&D wanted to create an official keyword for this mechanic, as actions with keywords have an increased chance of being used in designs.[2] During the development of Shadows over Innistrad, there was a point in which milling played a significant role in the design of the set, and the term “forget” was used for a while during its design.[3]

Ultimately, the word "mill" was chosen both in reference to the original card and because it was already so popular as an informal term. The keyword was first introduced as a keyword action on the Mystery Booster test card Truth or Dare (To mill, put the top card of that library into its owner's graveyard), and was officially introduced on legal cards with Core Set 2021.[4] It was featured soon after as one of the many themes in Jumpstart.

With the release of Core Set 2021, all cards with a milling effect received an Oracle update to use the "mill" keyword. This was not applied to effects that instruct players to look at a card from the top of a library and then possibly move it to a graveyard.[5]

Even before it got its keyword, milling was and still is essentially an evergreen mechanic, though never formally stated as such, as it appears in almost every set.

Description[edit | edit source]

Milling is a strategy some decks use which takes advantage of the decking rule.[6][7][8][9] Emptying the opponent's library is one way to ensure a victory, though note that they do not lose until they actually have to draw a card.

There are two basic types of mill decks: the control deck that looks to take over the game through killing the opponent's creatures and countering their spells, then milling the opponent to win the game once they have run out of resources; and a combo deck that plays primarily mill cards and looks to mill the opponent out as soon as possible.

Cards that cause a player to mill have most often been found in blue (primary) or black (secondary), especially in the Dimir guild of the Ravnica blocks, though most of the earliest milling cards were artifacts. Flavor-wise, milling is often portrayed as mental attacks, memory loss, insanity or drowning.

Related terms[edit | edit source]

"Self-mill" is the informal term of using mill on yourself in order to fill up your own graveyard or dig through your library.

"Grind" is a variation of milling, which puts cards from a player's library into their graveyard until a specified number of land cards are put there.

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (November 20, 2020—Commander Legends)

  • 104.3c If a player is required to draw more cards than are left in their library, they draw the remaining cards and then lose the game the next time a player would receive priority. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704.)

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • If a player is instructed to mill more cards than they have in their library, they put all of the cards in their library into their graveyard. On the other hand, if a player is given a choice to mill more cards than they have in their library, they can't choose to do so.
  • Once a player's library is empty, that player doesn't lose the game until they try to draw a card and can't.

List of mill instants and sorceries[edit | edit source]

Instants[edit | edit source]

  • Archive Trap {3}{U}{U} — target opponent (thirteen) - Trap
  • Bond of Insight {3}{U} — each player (4), return up to two instants and/or sorceries from your graveyard to your hand and exiles itself.
  • Brain Freeze {1}{U} — target player (three) - Storm
  • Broken Ambitions {X}{U} — counter target spell unless its controller pays {X}. Clash with an opponent. If you win, that spell's controller (four)
  • Countermand {2}{U}{U} — counter target spell. Its controller (four)
  • Dampen Thought {1}{U} — target player (four) - Splice onto Arcane {1}{U}
  • Didn't Say Please {1}{U}{U} — counter target spell. Its controller (three)
  • Dimir Charm {U}{B} — look at the top three cards of target player's library, then put one back and mill the rest - tri-modal spell
  • Dream Twist {U} — target player (three) - Flashback {1}{U}
  • Glacial Grasp {2}{U} — target creature's controller (two)
  • Grisly Spectacle {2}{B}{B} — destroy target nonartifact creature. Its controller mills a number of cards equal to that creature's power.
  • Induce Paranoia {2}{U}{U} — counter target spell. If {B} was spent to cast Induce Paranoia, that spell's controller (X), where X is the spell's converted mana cost.
  • Lammastide Weave {1}{G} — name a card, then target player (one). If that card is the named card, you gain life equal to its converted mana cost.
  • Predict {1}{U} — choose a card name, then target player (one). If that card has the chosen name, drawn two cards
  • Psychic Spiral {4}{U} — shuffle all cards from your graveyard into your library, then target player (that many cards)
  • Psychic Strike {1}{U}{B} — counter target spell. Its controller (two)
  • Ray of Erasure {U} — target player (one) - Slowtrip
  • Thought Collapse {1}{U}{U} — counter target spell. Its controller (three)
  • Thought Scour {U} — target player (two) - Cantrip
  • Very Cryptic Command {1}{U}{U}{U} — Target player (X) where X is the total of two dice rolls - quad-modal spell
  • Vision Charm {U} — target player (four) - tri-modal spell
  • Winds of Rebuke {1}{U} — Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand. Each player (two).

Sorceries[edit | edit source]

Creatures which cause mill[edit | edit source]

  • Ambassador Laquatus {1}{U}{U}{3}: target player (three)
  • Anowon, the Ruin Thief {2}{U}{B} — For each point of combat damage dealt to a player by a Rogue you control, that player (one).
  • Belltower Sphinx {4}{U} — Whenever a source deals damage to Belltower Sphinx, that source's controller puts that many cards from the top of their library into their graveyard.
  • Bruvac the Grandiloquent {2}{U} — If an opponent would mill one or more cards, they mill twice that many cards instead.
  • Carrion Grub {3}{B} — enters the battlefield, its controller (four)
  • Cathartic Adept {U}{T}: target player (one)
  • Chancellor of the Spires {4}{U}{U}{U} — you may reveal this card from your opening hand. If you do, at the beginning of the first upkeep, each opponent (seven)
  • Cloudhoof Kirin {3}{U}{U} — whenever you play a Spirit or Arcane spell, target player (X), where X is that spell's converted mana cost
  • Crosstown Courier {1}{U} — whenever Crosstown Courier deals combat damage to a player, that player (that many cards)
  • Doorkeeper {1}{U}{2}{U}, {T}: target player (X), where X is the number of creatures with defender you control.
  • Diligent Excavator {1}{U} — whenever you cast a historic spell, target player (two)
  • Dreamborn Muse {2}{U}{U} — at the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player (X), where X is the number of cards in their hand.
  • Drowner Initiate {U} — whenever a player casts a blue spell, you may pay {1}. If you do, target player (two)
  • Drowner of Secrets {2}{U} — tap an untapped Merfolk you control: target player (one)
  • Duskmantle Guildmage {U}{B}{2}{U}{B}: target player (two)
  • Enigma Eidolon {3}{U}{U}, sacrifice Enigma Eidolon: target player (three)
  • Excavation Mole {2}{G} — enters the battlefield, its controller (three)
  • Extractor Demon {4}{B}{B} — when another creature leaves the battlefield, target player (two)
  • Eyeblight Cullers {4}{B} — when Eyeblight Cullers dies, its' controller. (three).
  • Eye Collector {B} — whenever Eye Collector deals combat damage, each player (one)
  • Flint Golem {4} — whenever Flint Golem is blocked, defending player (three)
  • Geralf's Mindcrusher {4}{U}{U} — when Geralf's Mindcrusher enters the battlefield, target player (five) - Undying
  • Geth, Lord of the Vault {4}{B}{B}{X}{B}: put target artifact or creature card with converted mana cost X from an opponent's graveyard onto the battlefield under your control tapped. Then that player (X).
  • Gyruda, Doom of Depths {4}{U/B}{U/B} — enters the battlefield, each player (four)
  • Halimar Excavator {1}{U} — whenever Halimar Excavator or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, target player (X), where X is the number of Allies you control.
  • Hedron Crab {U}Landfall - Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, target player (three).
  • Homarid Explorer {3}{U} — - enters the battlefield, target player (four).
  • Iceberg Cancrix {1}{U} — whenever another snow permanent enters the battlefield under your control, target player (2)
  • Ink Dissolver {1}{U}Kinship - at the beginning of your upkeep, you may look at the top card of your library. If it shares a creature type with Ink Dissolver, you may reveal it. If you do, each opponent (three).
  • Jace's Mindseeker {4}{U}{U} — enters the battlefield, target opponent (five).
  • Lich Lord of Unx {1}{U}{B}{U}{U}{B}{B}: target player loses X life and (X), where X is the number of Zombies you control.
  • Manic Scribe {1}{U} — enters the battlefield, each opponent (three). Delirium - each opponent's upkeep, that player (three)
  • Merfolk Mesmerist {1}{U}{U}, {T}: target player (two)
  • Merfolk Windrobber {U} — whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, that player (one)
  • Merrow Witsniper {U} — when Merrow Witsniper enters the battlefield, target player (one)
  • Millikin {2}{T}, Add {C}.
  • Mindeye Drake {4}{U} — when Mindeye Drake dies, target player (five)
  • Mindscour Dragon {4}{U}{U} — whenever Mindscour Dragon deals combat damage, target player (four)
  • Mindshrieker {1}{U}{2}: target player (one); Mindshrieker gets +X/+X until end of turn, where X is that card's converted mana cost.
  • Mindwrack Harpy {3}{B} — beginning of combat, each player (three)
  • Minister of Inquiries {U}{T}, Pay {E}: target player (three)
  • Necromaster Dragon {3}{U}{B} — whenever Necromaster Dragon deals combat damage, pay {2}. Each opponent (two)
  • Nemesis of Reason {3}{U}{B} — whenever Nemesis of Reason attacks, defending player (ten)
  • Nimana Skydancer {2}{B} — enters the battlefield, target opponent (two)
  • Numbing Jellyfish {3}{B} — Target player (X), where X equal result of a die roll
  • Nyx Weaver {1}{B}{G} — at the beginning of your upkeep, you (two)
  • Overwhelmed Apprentice {U} — enters the battlefield, each opponent (two)
  • Persistent Petitioners {1}{U} — tap four untapped Advisors you control: target player (twelve); {1}, {T} target player (1).
  • Phenax, God of Deception {3}{U}{B} — creatures you control have "{T}: target player (X), where X equals this creature's toughness."
  • Raven Guild Master {1}{U}{U} — Whenever Raven Guild Master deals combat damage to a player, that player exiles the top ten cards of their library.
  • Reef Pirates {1}{U}{U} — whenever Reef Pirates deals damage to an opponent, that player (one)
  • Relic Golem {3}{2},{T}: target player (two)
  • Returned Centaur {3}{B} — enters the battlefield, target player (four)
  • Returned Reveler {1}{B} — dies, each player (three)
  • Riddlekeeper {2}{U} — whenever a creature attacks you or a planeswalker you control, that creature's controller (two)
  • Rotcrown Ghoul {4}{U} — when Rotcrown Ghoul dies, target player (five)
  • Ruin Crab {U}Landfall - Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, each opponent (three).
  • Sage of Mysteries {U}Constellation - target player (two)
  • Sage's Row Denizen {2}{U} — whenever another blue creature enters the battlefield under your control, target player (two)
  • Scalpelexis {4}{U} — Whenever Scalpelexis deals combat damage to a player, that player exiles the top four cards of their library. If two or more of those cards have the same name, repeat this process.
  • Screeching Silcaw {1}{U}Metalcraft - Whenever Screeching Silcaw deals combat damage to a player, if you control three or more artifacts, that player (four)
  • Screeching Sliver {U} — all Slivers have "{T}: target player (one)"
  • Seer of the Last Tomorrow {2}{U}{U}, {T}, Discard a card: target player (three)
  • Selhoff Occultist {2}{U} — whenever Selhoff Occultist or another creature dies, target player (one)
  • Sewer Nemesis {3}{B} — as Sewer Nemesis enters the battlefield, choose a player. Whenever the chosen player casts a spell, that player (one)
  • Shadow Stinger {2}{B} — whenever Shadow Stinger deals combat damage to a player, that player (three)
  • Shriekgeist {1}{U} — whenever Shriekgeist deals combat damage to a player, that player (two)
  • Sibsig Host {4}{B} — enters the battlefield, each player (three)
  • Siren of the Silent Song {1}{U}{B}Inspired - each opponent (one)
  • Skull Prophet {B}{G}{T}, you (two)
  • Soaring Thought-Thief {U}{B} — whenever one or more Rogues you control attack, each opponent (two)
  • Soratami Mindsweeper {3}{U}{2}, return a land you control to its owner's hand: target player (two)
  • Sphinx Mindbreaker {5}{U}{U} — enters the battlefield, each opponent (ten).
  • Stern Mentor {3}{U}Soulbond - paired with another creature, each of those creatures has "{T}: target player (two)"
  • Stitcher Geralf {3}{U}{U}{2}{U}, {T}: Each player (three)
  • Syr Conrad, the Grim {3}{B}{B}{1}{B}: each player (one)
  • Szadek, Lord of Secrets {3}{U}{U}{B}{B} — If Szadek, Lord of Secrets would deal combat damage to a player, instead put that many +1/+1 counters on Szadek and that player (that many)
  • Tainted Monkey {1}{B}{T}: target player (one)
  • Thassa's Devourer {4}{U}Constellation - target player (two)
  • Thieves' Guild Enforcer {B} — whenever Thieves' Guild Enforcer or another Rogue enters the battlefield under your control, each opponent (two)
  • Towering-Wave Mystic {1}{U} — whenever Towering-Wave Mystic deals combat damage to a player, target player (equal to damage dealt)
  • Undead Alchemist {3}{U} — If a Zombie you control would deal combat damage to a player, instead (X) where X is the damage that would have been dealt
  • Vantress Gargoyle {1}{U}{T}: each player (one)
  • Vedalken Entrancer {3}{U}{U}, {T}: target player (two)
  • Wall of Lost Thoughts {1}{U} — enters the battlefield, target player (four)
  • Zulaport Duelist {U} — enters the battlefield, up to one target creature gets -2/-0 until end of turn. Its controller (two)

Planeswalkers which cause mill[edit | edit source]

Enchantments[edit | edit source]

  • The Binding of the Titans {1}{G}I each player (three).
  • Chronic Flooding {1}{U} — enchant land; whenever enchanted land becomes tapped, its controller (three)
  • Court of Cunning {1}{U}{U} — At beginning of your upkeep, any number of target players (two). If you are the monarch, instead each of those players (ten).
  • Curse of the Bloody Tome {2}{U} — enchant player; at the beginning of enchanted player's upkeep, that player (two)
  • Death's Oasis {W}{B}{G} — whenever a nontoken creature you control dies, you (two)
  • Drowned Secrets {1}{U} — whenever you cast a blue spell, target player (two).
  • Evanescent Intellect {U} — enchant creature; {1}{U},{T}: Target player (three)
  • Fleeting Memories {2}{U} — whenever you sacrifice a Clue: target player (three)
  • Fraying Sanity {2}{U} — enchant player; at the beginning of each end step, (X), where X is the number of cards put into that graveyard from anywhere this turn.
  • Infernal Genesis {4}{B}{B} — at the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player (one). Then that player puts X 1/1 black Minion creature tokens onto the battlefield, where X is that card's converted mana cost.
  • Jace's Erasure {1}{U} — whenever you draw a card, you may have target player (one)
  • Memory Erosion {1}{U}{U} — whenever an opponent casts a spell, that player (two)
  • Navigator's Ruin {2}{U}Raid - at beginning of your end step, target opponent (four)
  • Patient Rebuilding {3}{U}{U} — at the beginning of your upkeep, target opponent (three)
  • Psychic Corrosion {2}{U} — whenever you draw a card, each opponent (two).
  • Sphinx's Tutelage {2}{U} — whenever you draw a card, target opponent (two). If they're both nonland cards that share a color, repeat this process.
  • Teferi's Tutelage {2}{U} — whenever you draw a card, target opponent (two).
  • Vessel of Paramnesia {1}{U}{U}, sacrifice Vessel of Paramnesia: target player (three)

Artifacts which cause mill[edit | edit source]

  • Altar of Dementia {2} — Sacrifice a creature: target player (creature's power)
  • Altar of the Brood {1} — Whenever another permanent enters the battlefield under your control, each opponent (one)
  • Cellar Door {2}{3}, {T}: target player (one) ((from bottom of library))
  • Codex Shredder {1}{T}: target player (one)
  • Decimator Web {4}{4}, {T}: target opponent loses 2 life, gets a poison counter, then (six)
  • Embalmer's Tools {2} — tap an untapped Zombie you control: target player (one)
  • Folio of Fancies {1}{U}{T}: each opponent (number of cards in their hand)
  • Ghoulcaller's Bell {1}{T}: each player (one)
  • Grindclock {2}{T}: put a charge counter on Grindclock. {T}: Target player (X), where X is the number of charge counters on Grindclock.
  • Grinding Station {2}{T}, sacrifice an artifact: target player (three)
  • Grindstone {1}{3},{T}: Target player (two). If both cards share a color, repeat this process.
  • Hair-Strung Koto {6} — tap an untapped creature you control: target player (one)
  • Keening Stone {6}{5}, {T}: target player (X), where X is the number of cards in that player's graveyard.
  • Mesmeric Orb {2} — whenever a permanent becomes untapped, that permanent's controller (one)
  • Millstone {2}{2}, {T}: target player (two)
  • Mindcrank {2} — whenever an opponent loses life (X), where X is amount of life lost
  • Sands of Delirium {3}{X}, {T}: target player (X)
  • Shriekhorn {1} — Shriekhorn enters the battlefield with three charge counters on it. {T}, remove a charge counter from Shriekhorn: target player (two)
  • Screaming Shield {1} — Equipment; equip {3}; equipped creature gets +0/+3 and has {2}, {T}: target player (3).
  • Sword of Body and Mind {3}Equipment - whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you put a 2/2 green Wolf creature token onto the battlefield and that player (ten)
  • Tower of Murmurs {4}{8}, {T}: target player (eight)
  • Whetstone {3}{3}: each player (two)
  • Whetwheel {4}{X}{X}, {T}: target player (X) - Morph {3}
  • Worry Beads {3} — at the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player (one)

Lands which cause mill[edit | edit source]

Grind[edit | edit source]

Grind is a variation of milling, which put cards from either an opponent's or target player's library into their graveyard until n land cards were put there.[10][11] It was originally designed as the Dimir mechanic for Gatecrash.[12] The mechanic was preserved without the keyword in several cards.[13]

List of grind spells[edit | edit source]

Creatures[edit | edit source]

Equipment[edit | edit source]

  • Trepanation Blade {3} — Equip {2} - Whenever equipped creature attacks, defending player, reveals a land card; The creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn for each card revealed.

Sorceries[edit | edit source]

Artifacts[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater (June 5, 2017). "Mechanical Color Pie 2017". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (June 29, 2020). "Odds & Ends: Core Set 2021". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (May 28, 2018). "Hi mark i believe in the past youve mentioned...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  4. Eli Shiffrin (June 20, 2020). "Core Set 2021 and Jumpstart Release Notes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Eli Shiffrin (June 23, 2020). "M21 Oracle Changes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater (January 11, 2010). "Milling, About". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Tom LaPille (January 15, 2010). "Milled Potpourri". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Michael Yichao (August 19, 2015). "Mill Through the Ages". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Gavin Verhey (February 16, 2017). "The Miserable Mill". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Mark Gottlieb (December 31, 2012). "Gatecrash Diaries". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Mark Rosewater (January 7, 2013). "Gatecrashing the Party, Part 2". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Mark Rosewater (March 27, 2016). "Can you share anything about Cipher?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  13. Mark Rosewater (May 23, 2015). "Do you have any trivia on Consuming Aberration?". Blogatog. Tumblr.