This week in Magic: UR Mill


Welcome to another week of “This week in Magic.” Today we’re going to talk about a really surprising deck, UR Mill. Believe it or not, this deck actually won GP San Diego last week and there is a good chance a lot of people will be playing it at their FNMs. We’re going to break down the deck and see what made it so successful and what the possible downsides are.


First, let’s take a look at the decklist.


UR Mill by Michael Majors
1st place – GP San Diego


4 Treasure Cruise
4 Anger of the Gods
4 Tormenting Voice
4 Magmatic Insight
2 Whelming Wave
2 Send to Sleep
2 Roast
1 Dig Through Time
4 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
4 Sphinx’s Tutelage
1 Monastery Siege
1 Alhammerret’s Archive


5 Mountain
4 Shivan Reef
4 Swiftwater Cliffs
4 Radiant Fountain
4 Island
4 Temple of Epiphany
1 Flooded Strand
1 Bloodstained Mire


1 Whelming Wave
4 Negate
3 Annul
4 Firey Impulse
1 Disperse
1 Encase in Ice
1 Seismic Rupture


At first glance, one could ask themselves, “How does this thing win?” After watching it several times, this deck seem to just win out of no where. One of the key spells in this deck has to be the four copies of Anger of the Gods. Without this spell, the deck would never survive the early onslaught of decks like Mono Red, Elves, Abzan Aggro, and UR Thopters.


For those who are too big to be killed by Anger of the Gods, we have spells like Send to Sleep and Roast. Players just need to buy themselves enough time to set themselves up. Once the engine is up and running, it’s very hard to overcome it. Now what makes it so hard to overcome?


The reason why the deck is hard to beat when the engine is running is due to it’s cheap and very efficient draw spells. We’re talking cheap and efficient enough to be able to skip the fog portion of the deck. Although, some would argue that the Anger of the Gods are all the fog that the deck needs. Imagine this very realistic scenario: Turn one play a mountain and cast Magmatic Insight. You draw two cards for two cards. On Turn two, you play Tormenting Voice. That’s another two for two. On turn three, with one more draw spell, you can start delving with a Treasure Cruise. Its situations like this that makes getting to your one and only Alhammerret’s Archive all too easily. However, it’s not even necessary. During the finals of the GP, Michael Majors was able to mill his opponent out on turn five.


The question is, now, how do we beat this deck? I’m sure the last thing you want is to be beat by a mill deck. You’re friends would never let you hear the end of it. It’s almost like getting beat by one Royal Assassin. The weird thing about these kind of decks is that it’s worst problem is itself. If you saw Majors’ face at the end of the GP, he was as stunned as anyone else in that room. Even when Marshall Sutcliffe asked him if he would recommend the deck for others to play, Majors hesitated when answering. Of course he said yes. He did just win a GP with it.


Other than hoping the deck implodes upon itself, other ways to beat is it just pure aggression. Remember, the only real creature removal in the deck are the Anger of the Gods. Your opponent can still lose to good ol’ burn spells. Hand disruption is also killer. If you nit pick at his hand and take away those draw spells, he just ends up playing a really bad Blue and Red deck (although some would say it’s already bad because they fear losing to it).


In the post game interview, Majors said it himself that his only real win condition are the Sphinx’s Tutelage. Otherwise it becomes a terrible and slow grind.


Finally, and I’m sure you’ve been waiting for this. There is a little card in the deck known as Jace. When he was first spoiled, the first thing people did was compare him to his predecessor. That was the absolute wrong thing to do and always will be for future version of Jace. The Mindsculptor was a mistake, and one that Wizards has admitted. Thus far, this version of Jace has proven to be the real deal. Don’t be surprised if he starts showing up in modern soon enough.


Having spoken to several other players, Jace does not look powerful at all. However, he always seems to do exactly what you need at exactly the right time. In this UR Mill deck, his ability to flashback those very cheap and efficient draw spells in the later game is ridiculous. If you ever see Jace come out on turn two, my suggestion (no matter what deck your opponent is playing) is to remove it as fast as you can. It will only lead to future problems for yourself.


Until next time.


About the author

Simeon is now the Community Manager for Battleground Games & Hobbies. If you have any questions or inquiries, then you can reach him at He is also an avid gamer who loves to play board games and video games. He graduated college with a degree in Political Science, and now serves the public by writing about games. You can check that out here. Don’t forget to “like” him on Facebook as well. It’ll update you on all of his newest content. Best of all, you can follow Simeon on Twitter (@SimeonCortezano) for some real time hilarity. Thanks for reading!



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