fraying mill: Generation 3:

by wickeddarkman on 17 July 2017

Main Deck (60 cards)

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Deck Description

Still perfecxting the mana, but if you use the above you won't get that much trouble.

As usually the deck was built by using evolution and lots of goldfishing.

The design has lost ghoulcaller's bell and dream twist and is running fraying sanity, the hottest 3-cost millingcard since mill started as a concept. Fraying does demand that you use some permanent milling Cards, but the previous design was heading that way anyways.

Next stage is to find a Group of testdecks to test against.

Possible testdecks:

affinity (speed and bloodmoon)
eldra-tron (speed and chalice of the void) (This mill has many 1-cost)
grixis control (lots of removal, wants stuff in graveyard, counterspells)
reanimator (want's Cards in the graveyard)

Do you think I need to add another testdeck ?
just write me a reply.

For details on the evolutionary methods, ask or read the link:

Deck Tags

  • Mill
  • Modern
  • serious
  • Grixis

Deck at a Glance

Social Stats


This deck has been viewed 542 times.

Mana Curve

Mana Symbol Occurrence


Deck Format


NOTE: Set by owner when deck was made.

Card Legality

  • Not Legal in Standard
  • Legal in Modern
  • Legal in Vintage
  • Legal in Legacy

Deck discussion for fraying mill: Generation 3:

While I've never played with any of them, I've never been a fan of the Chancellor cycle. Sure, they're awesome in your starting hand, but that's the problem I'm seeing, "IF". Additionally, once in hand, unless they fuel some discard effect like Collective Brutality, or can be cheated in with things like Through the Breach, they're just dead cards in hand.

Ok, now that my rant is over, I'd like to ask a question. What's your thoughts on cantrips like Visions of Beyond and Thought Scour in a deck like this? Drawing into more mill for {U} seems useful, especially after putting something on top with Noxious Revival.

Posted 17 July 2017 at 12:49


The average mill done by chancellors is somewhere around 4.5 for the three I included.
The IF is not really relevant once you play the game by the statistics.

And using "entering" from breaking//entering on it is my only way around leyline of sanctity, and this is the sole reason for why the deck will be using red mana... (need to discard it though, so 2 collective brutality in sb might be nice)
The best games I've ever had in magic is when I've revealed a chancellor and then played surgical during the beginning of their first upkeep

Forgot 1 detail on the decklist.

cut 1 memory sluice and added 1 archive trap.

I've basically always felt that cantrips robs you of a turn as well as some mana, so I dislike them a lot for that, and always try other ways to avoid running out of steam (like shelldock isle). I also once tested the Esper variant of mill with snapcaster and visions of beyond as well as ghostquarters, paths and trapmakers snare. I also ran some evolution on it as well, and it agreed on cutting the cantrips, so I never ran that deck for a long run, since I wanted to test out cantrips.

The closest I've ever come to cantrips is when I coupled chancellor of the spires with faithless looting, but after a much longer run evolution simply cut out both, turning into my grixis aggro-deck. At the highest millpoint it only ran 1 faithless looting, but at that point I usually got to get chancellors into play by hardcast, by shelldock or by breaking//entering

Posted 18 July 2017 at 11:45


Chancellor into Surgical is as bad as Trap after they crack a fetch. That's evil :D

I'm just sad Surgical Extraction is at its current price tag. I have my own set, but I wanted to get a few for a friend. Maybe as a Christmas present :?

Posted 18 July 2017 at 12:03


Make sure he uses it in mill :D
Mills the only deck where you don't have to memorize all the important Cards to hit, you just look at the grave and learn from game to game. Without mill you will need a mental list of each thing to target with extraction.
(That's one reason why I burned Down my tourney-brain)

Posted 18 July 2017 at 15:05


It's definitely for his Mill deck. I plan on getting him a set of Archive Trap too (he currently doesn't have any). The choice on how many to use is his.

Memorising the opponent's stuff is one reason why I avoid playing anything that cares for specific cards :p

Posted 18 July 2017 at 16:04


The newest series has a "dumb" pithing needle costing 2. When you play it you look at their hand, then name a Card.

In some ways this is a probe that counters 1 Card, because you get to see their hand.

Posted 19 July 2017 at 11:15


Saw that. Not sure if the probe effect is worth the extra mana, but it's nice to have a cheaper ($) option to the Needle.

Posted 19 July 2017 at 11:19


If you play with surgical extraction the info might be worth it.
I think it will end up in lantern!

Posted 19 July 2017 at 11:25


The mana is almost done, but it will take a lot of time to get the last results.
But, I have made an estimate of how it will turn out eventually, and there shouldn't be any large deviation from the mana from now on. (I have fixed it in the displayed deck)

I think it's solid enough to be used by your friend as well if he wants to use it. I recommend that he uses 9 fetchlands if he plays with crabs and isn't afraid of lifeloss...

Posted 24 July 2017 at 11:11


I think the fetches + Crab is great, but the life loss is dependent on the meta. Will show him your list, but the decision will be his.

Posted 24 July 2017 at 11:26


I've tested against the worst matchup first :D
Sun & Moon is pretty tough to beat with it's single emrakul in it. Few decks run emrakul, but sun&moon also plays bloodmoon and chalice of the void with apes to play it at turn 1. After sideboard it also has 3 leyline of sanctity, so in many ways if you can take on that deck with mill, you only need to solve aggro afterwards.

My initial thought was surgical extraction, but chalice of the void cancels that. Extirpate Dodges both chalice and the leyline. If sanctity hits the table, the only major answer is chancellor, and it can be hardcast. Sun and moon has a good handfull of answers against it, but those might be picked away with extirpate as well. Searching for stuff to place a chancellor in the grave to "enter" it speeds up the time it takes to beatdown the opponent, so that's something I've been doing. It's likely to be a drawspell with a cost of 2-3. A number of 2cc's could also be turned into mesmeric orbs, and I remember having 1 in the last designs featuring it. It's a great Card against leyline, and would also be an alternative way of getting the chancellor into the grave. With so many permanents in this deck it should resurface a lot faster than in previous designs. faithless looting was opted out because of chalice.

Posted 26 July 2017 at 11:35


Mesmeric Orb + Fraying Sanity should be good against them. Mesmeric Orb doesn't target, which is awesome against Leyline. Fraying only targets once (when you initially cast it), which depends on when the Leyline comes down, but luckily it's cheaper to cast than Leyline, making it only weak against a "free" Leyline.

Maybe a few odd cost things to exile Tentacruel. In addition to Surgical Extraction and Extirpate (which both get hozed by chalice on 1), you also have access to Infinite Obliteration; Memoricide; Praetor's Grasp (you can cast it); Sadistic Sacrament (will almost never be kicked); and Slaughter Games (requires red, so Moon is actually good).

Ratchet Bomb could be worth considering for these types of matchups. 3 counters gets rid of Moon. 4 gets rid of Leyline.

Posted 26 July 2017 at 12:08


All the exilers short of extirpate and surgical are "target players graveyard" so they get stumped by leyline.
surgical was locked by chalice.

Ratchet bomb is a nice idea though, as the opponent doesn't always manage to chalice 2.

I'm working against sun&moon with all of it's might because beating it will open up against any decks using any of the same Cards.

As allway's I'm working the paperstrip magic at the same time.
chalice and leyline does not always get into play early, so sometimes I get to see the 1cc enter play, and during it all I get to mark each Cards usefullnes against sun&moon. I will do the same with the other testdecks and this should give me enough numbers about what to cut.

Posted 26 July 2017 at 14:23


Project will be delayed for a while :(
Need to focus on some tasks at home.

Posted 03 August 2017 at 11:49


Back on track!
Still testing against sun&moon, and although the deck is usually capeable of locking Down the mill, it's a slow deck itself, so mill can defeat it if enough spells slip through.

I have been thinking about several Cards that might be usefull in fighting this deck:

A single Æther vial may slip through more often than an array of other 1cost spells. Æther vial may also be a fun way to speed up the deck, and it may even produce a chancellor after 7 turns of putting counters on it.

Cavern of souls may be a weak way to get a few milling creatures into play, but it could be a neccessary Price to pay.

So far extirpate is the prime card-pick because it simply bypasses leyline and chalice and removes some keycards, especially emrakul. I have had some very potent games with surgical extraction, so playing a slower uncounterable version shouldn't be too difficult.

Posted 11 August 2017 at 12:06


Had to Work!

The last concept I was thinking of against sun&moon was the clasic:
Echoing truth, set adrift and then new "bounce a permanent + mill 2"
All three have their uses, and demands.

winds of rebuke and Echoing can be locked Down by chalice, set adrift demands that you selfmill.
Only echoing truth can handle multiple leylines.

All three can be used to save some of your own stuff as well

Posted 11 August 2017 at 16:54


So far the test against sun&moon has marked some Cards as "needs to be cut away"

Whats left of the deck was 3 glimpse, 3 minister, 3 break/enter, 1 mind funeral, 3 chancellor, 1 hedron.

Some Cards were still undecided:
2 fraying, 1 hedron, 1 breaking/entering, 1 mind funeral.

Everything else was marked as "cut away".

When I'm done with testing against sun&moon I'll test against another test deck to see what that deck will do to this design. In the end all averages against testdecks will decide what get's cut (and how much will be cut)

If sun&moon alone decided what's to be cut, I'd be better of to just dump the deck :D

Posted 15 August 2017 at 12:00


I went to a larger tournament with this, for two days...

The data I brought home with me was very interresting.

The high amount of creature decks at large tournaments Means that any milldeck mainly needs to deal with creatures.
The best strategy was to play some pyroclasms and damnations with memento and crypt incursion as lifegainers.

mesmeric orb and fraying sanity was the best Cards at milling away their decks.

This Means that I will be changing my usual mill-focus in order to deal 100% with creatures...

Building a new version with mass removal, mesmeric and fraying will be my NeXT goal...

Posted 25 September 2017 at 16:07


Fraying Sanity when killing their dudes, and Mesmeric Orb when they play stuff and attack with their dudes feels like a strong combination for punishing the opponent for doing what normally happens in a game. The only problem I see is finding the correct amount of once off milling cards. We already know which ones are best, so it's just a matter of quantities.

Posted 26 September 2017 at 15:12


It's actually simple enough :D

25 lands, 3 of them boseiju, who shelters all,

Then you pick the heavy duty mill...
4 archive traps
4 the shadow thingy milling 13 for 2uu
4 mind funeral
4 glimpse the unthinkable

then fraying and orb does the rest.

around 3 anger of the gods and 3 damnation, maybe 1-2 pyroclasm.

4 memento, 1-2 crypt incursion.

Sideboard against combo and control will be easy.

I am however researching my archives on espermill because ixalan has given us 2 cards that just boost that deck.
I might go with espermill at 08-10-2017, using the most powerfull of godika's designs...

I will use this design:

but replace damnation with settle the wreckage, and ghostquarters will be replaced by field of ruin...

Posted 30 September 2017 at 09:14


Idea vs Tentacruel: Lazav, Dimir Mastermind. It doesn't get rid if the tentacle monster, but gives you a way to win "using their creature". Definitely a sideboard only idea.


Posted 16 October 2017 at 06:50


I don't know about that :D

I did go to a tournament with the gain life & sweep critters mill, and won 3 out of 7 games.
I lost to affinity, burn and two wgx-vizier decks.

The concept is very powerfull in itself, and I made lots of mistakes as usual, so the deck is something that could definitelly be built upon :D

Posted 16 October 2017 at 11:39