Mill or not mill? [Discussion]

Good morning!
Today there was, again, some talk about mill-deckson Discord and Aquablad’s stream.
With the current card-pool mill-decks don’t exist, there are too few cards to make it work.

First I want to point out that there is a difference between MILL-decks and FATIGUE-decks. I will use Hearthstone as a reference because i dont know the MTG terms. Mill decks (Mill-rogue/druid in HS) aim to actively remove cards from your opponents library. Whereas Fatigue decks just remove everything your opponent plays and heal (Control Warrior/other in HS).

I am one of many players who enjoy playing some style of Mill-decks in other games and I would like to have that option in Faeria too.

There are some common arguments about milldecks:

Fun to play

Not Interactive
Boring to play against
Takes too long

I want to talk about the Negative ones because the positives are self-explanatory.

  • Not Interactive
    This is pretty true in other games. But Faeria is a very special game and there might be a way to make it feel less like your playing against the clock (altough playing against Vicious and Wishes and Apex is also a bit like playing against the clock so I dont think its too important)

  • Boring to play against
    Even though the same can be said about Yellow Rush, Red Rush, Wishes, Red Control, Apex, Dream, Yellow Control or any other deck (this is after all a matter of personal oppinion), I think it has a risk of being extra true for mill-decks – if the mill-cards are good enough and becomes too consistent. In the games I have played, mill wasn’t (to my knowledge atleast) considered very strong - almost all decklists (netdecking) are named things like “Fun milldeck with X&Y card!”.

  • Takes too long
    This doesnt have to be the case. A mill deck in Hearthstone or MTG wins just as fast as many other decks. For this to work there has to be real mill cards though, like “12F: Opponent draws 9 cards”: “1F: Opponent draws 4 cards.”, "6F: 1/2 Creature that gains +1+1 for each card the opponent draws (while on the board). “Structure: Each time a player draws a card, heal opponent by 1”, stuff like that. Millrogue in HS is a fast deck. Some mill versions in MTG are also very quick (turn 5-6 kill).

Designing mill-cards for Faeria might be tricky and need a lot of testing, cant let it be too strong or Faeria turns into solitaire, but good enough to make for some fun decks or counter heavy controldecks.

This is not likely to be implemented, and if it is it will probably not be in the next 6 months, but lets discuss :smiley:

What do you think? Would it be fun?

I would believe that any counter deck is boring to play against. Because it feels like they are just winning because their decks strength is your decks weakness. I love mill decks, I think that they are interactive and it takes a lot of thought on when it is good to mill.

I would believe that rush players would love to face against mill decks so that they can +1f instead of draw. Also milldecks could have stuff such as:
Give each player two campfires, this allows you to remove the next draw if your opponent is saving a lot of cards while it is still pretty fair. Or perhaps a card like auroras dream but it draws until both players have 9 cards, then you can use story tellers to mill the enemy. Even a card like - remove two random cards from each players deck.

I think the most problematic thing is that milling is like removal, if you mill two big creatures it is like using two last nightmares.

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I enjoy playing mill decks, so I’d like it to be a viable strategy. It doesn’t need to be a competitive archetype, I’d enjoy playing it just for fun.

I don’t mind playing against mill, as long as they can’t discard cards so fast that you don’t have time to counter it. If they would usually win matches about as fast as the current burn decks, that would be okay.

Cards that cause a lot of card draw and add cards to the opponent’s hand would probably fit the best in Faeria. Directly discarding cards might be too annoying, since Faeria doesn’t have graveyard mechanics. A mechanic that allows you to play discarded cards could be added to make it easier to counter milling.

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What is unfun about mill deck is when combo decks exist and luck decide you burn one of the key combo pieces, winning you the game. That’s unfun and pure luck. Another thing I hate about milling is often the lack of interaction between the two players. Events that would mill your opponent just creates a new race where both player are playing different sports. Speaking of race, the third thing I hate about milling decks is the fact if they ever become popular, the meta shifts once again to a more aggro/rush disease every other card games are becoming. It would be a shame for Faeria with such board complexity and all to become just another aggro rush cancer where everyone race for orb damage.

So regarding mill decks, what I would like to see is SELF MILLING while keeping the interaction between players intact.

In MTG, cards like Laboratory Maniac will win you the game if you draw a card while your library is empty. Supported by self milling cards like Chronic Flooding, this becomes a fun and viable strategy. The key to make sure this stay fun and interactive is to make it possible for your opponent to interact with your self milling cards in a way where he can delay or negate the self milling. In other words, self milling events, gift and last word effects are absolutly out of the question because they are almost unavoidable and they mill a fixed amount.

So how to make self milling fun? By : Making a creature with combat : discard X card from your library to allow your opponent to remove it with an event, transform it or try to kill it in one attack to weaken the self mill. A creature that mill a card everytime you play an event forcing your opponent out of a defensive standstill. A building with a production that adds hp to the building and an active that sacrifice the building to mill cards equal to its hp and your opponent would be able to try and kill that building before it grows too big or before you can activate it. Etc. The key is to allow your opponent to choose between delaying your self mill or pushing his own win condition.

As for the winning condition of the self mill deck, I imagine a monster that would reflect self fatigue damage to your opponent. A possible fun strategy could then be to mill yourself while holding card draw. When your library is depleted, you drop the monster and then play the card draw to mill yourself even more damaging your opponent in the process. Now this is tricky, since if your opponent pressured you into using some card draw to dig for answers, you might lack the card draw at the end of the game to OTK your opponent and you might have to wait and take some fatigue damage turns !! So, it’s just like a burn deck, but with the additionnal condition your library must be depleted before you can burn your opponent and the burn will probably be an OTK.

Self milling would also require a way to dig through your library while also discarding cards from your hand so you dont burn the cards you need for your combo finisher. Cards like Faithless looting from MTG would be perfect. You waste a card in order to discard 2 cards and draw 2 cards­. That way you dont burn your “creature finisher” and if your library is empty, it counts toward more fatigue damage reflected on your opponent.

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Completely on board with mil decks also I feel in response to WeAreTheNorth’s argument about ruining combos, is more its job as it is the biggest counter to those decks as is rush against apex. Also are you saying you’d rather see cards like Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker than traumatise?


That’s exactly what I’m saying.

Cards like Traumatise just enforce the “race” I dont like doing, especialy since one race to mill while the other race to damage. Hence my comment about the two players playing “different sports”.

Cards like Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker let your opponent choose between pushing his own winning condition or killing your creature hoping to slow down in your winning condition.

The second is interactive and fun. The first is not.

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I was used to play mill deck in MTG. But there is a difference between MTG and hearthstone/faeria, in MTG when you can’t draw, you lose immediately(deck counts 60 cards). In rules book it’s a win condition. So you don’t mind how much HP your adversary have.

In faeria, when adversary can’t draw, he’s losing some HP, so he can survive a lot of turns with card as 3-wishes. So he’ll lose due to lack of HP and not from not drawing directly.

To be a real deck archetype, I think that using the same rule as MTG is mandatory.

“Takes too long” is an argument that I heard in tournament, games are time limited (60 minutes in BO3). So if a mill deck win the first game, he can stall the second one too the end of 60 minutes. But I think that’s not a problem in faeria format.

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I wouldn’t mind Mill decks if done right, but saying that they were fast in MtG is just not true.

The only fast Mill decks have been those that use that winning condition as a combo and that doesn’t make it a Mill deck, but a combo deck with Mill as the win condition.

Regarding combo decks getting hurt. Well, playing against combo isn’t more interesting or even more interactive, so what’s the deal? Combo vs Mill is like Aggro vs Control. If your deck relies on a single card or combo only, it’s just a fragile deck, but nothing else. Also, milling your card is as lucky as getting your combo pieces at the right time.

@ Self Milling
Something I thought of immediately, too, even though not that way exactly. I’m not sure if Faeria needs a graveyard based deck, but for sure it would be nice to have limited access to your cards in the graveyard (what’s it called in Faeria, though?).

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Regarding combo vs milling, that statement is not true. In a 30 or 60 cards deck, combo can be lucky and draw their combo pieces really quickly in a game. In a milling or self milling deck, you know you have to mill ALL your library before you can pull off your combo. In other words, you can’t be lucky and get the pieces faster. You will always need to mill your 30-60 cards and if you devote half your deck to milling cards, RNG wont decide how fast you mill. In fact, the speed of self milling might not vary that much from game to game.

Regarding graveyard, self milling has nothing to do with graveyard access. It’s all about drawing as many cards as you can while dumping cards you dont need or wont use from your hand / library. Once you have no cards left in your library, that’s when you starting burning your opponent with fatigue damage you would reflect back to him.

That’s why I suggested cards like Faithless Looting. You can add many “tech card” to counter various decks in the meta and if you dont need them in the course of the game, you dump them.

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Please read my last post again, I said that there’s no difference in “me milling YOUR combo cards” vs “you drawing your combo cards”. Whatever happens first will win that player the game (if a deck is build that bad way).

I also don’t understand your 2nd half of your post. Again, I never said self milling = graveyard, even though I don’t see what else you are going to do, once you milled yourself.

Also, what’s up with that fatigue stuff? Why should your opponent get damage when you mill yourself? That should need a card in play which would be very weak unless it’s indestructible… even then, sounds very weak.

I think the point is that when you are out of cards you play your “OTK” creature with your combo pieces which draws cards for you and do the fatigue damage to your opponent. As I understood the self-milling deck sounds like a deck where you are always sure that your combo is at the bottom of your deck.
I’ve never played MTG, but that is what I got from his text. It sounds cool though! :slight_smile:

Or what Icicyice said. And yes, it’s like playing a combo deck where your combo pieces are always at the bottom of your deck, but you can reach that point faster since cards that lets you draw and discard usually allow you to dig deeper into your deck since you dont get as much card advantage from them. In MTG, Faithless looting cost only 1 after all.

From Reddit:

mjack33 1 point 4 days ago
Mill and discard are especially “unfun” to play against because they prevent you from being able to play some of your cards. … Ever. Not being able to play that one answer in your deck because you haven’t drawn it yet is one thing. Not being able to play it ever because it got milled or discarded feels a different way entirely, and not in a good way. Yes, it is VERY fun for the person who enjoys playing the deck, but it’s miserable for a lot of opponents.
And yes, while it’s healthy for everything to have a counter, I don’t think mill is a particularly healthy one. In any other situation, there is at least a chance that you can fight back if you get a god draw or something. In mill, once they’ve milled a couple key cards some decks are just done and there’s no way to fight against it. With such a small deck size that’s actually a lot more likely to happen too.

mjack33 1 point 4 days ago
Also mill is not strong in Hearthstone because it gets hard countered by rush and that deck is very strong. The same thing would have to happen here and I don’t really see that happening right now.
^ My response is basically my opinion based on times when I’ve had to play in MTG environments with very strong mill decks. It’s very miserable to play against if it works and feels like your opponent is playing Solitaire. Just above land destruction and turbofog in amounts of fun the opponent has. If it doesn’t work well… well then we are asking them to add something specifically so that it will be in the game and not work outside of “rare unfun rng” being the reason you won. That just basically makes the opponent feel bad too.


Anonymus1921xD 1 point 3 hours ago
I think faeria would be a good place to introduce “healthy” mill decks. The main thing is that in every single game mill effects are mostly unconditional. What I mean by that is if we look at a card like coldlight oracle from hearthstone we can immediatly see that there is no real counterplay. You just play that card and something happens.
In faeria we have the option to bind these effects to far more complex and interactive conditions. Instead of having something like an event that draws both players cards we could bind it to production effects, so that the other player has a bit of breathing room and calculate for the upcoming draw.
Another option would be to have a creature like shaytan vampire, but instead of sapping life it would draw your opponent cards. This would punish rush player harder than control matchups, because they tend to have more creatures next to each other, but would also allow the opponent to play around it if he identified your deck as a mill deck.