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As I mentioned in my piece on Sultai Poision, the 25 point starting life total in Tiny Leaders makes alternate win conditions attractive. In particular, a 49 card library makes milling sound like a very viable win condition. Fetchlands are popular, drawing cards is always popular, and if your opponent keeps a seven card hand then you're only looking at getting rid of 42 cards!
42 is still, obviously, higher than 25, but the cards that mill compare much more favorably in this ratio than they do when you compare 53 to 20. Ambassador Laquatus is the leader that you could select if you wanted something in your command zone that actively contributed to your plan, but considering that Glimpse the Unthinkable, a veritable two-mana Lava Axe, is only available in blue/black that seems to be where the smart money is at. Unless we want a third color (we probably don't), Sygg, River Cutthroat is our only option.
Ultimately, the best deck is going to focus on efficiently milling with a few options as milling-mana-sinks. Glimpse the Unthinkable is great, Nephalia Drownyard is great, Sands of Delerium is slow. Here's where I landed on a list:
Having 25 life gives us a good amount of time to do nothing, but we do need to play a few cards that stop us from dying. Dimir Charm plays pretty well in Tiny Leaders, as it kills a very high percentage of the creatures. Countering a sorcery is reasonable value for two, and now and again you can use it to mill in your mill deck.
The card that probably looks most out of place here is Lotus Petal. In general, I think that Lotus Petal is awesome in a lot of Tiny Leaders decks. While you'll want more than three lands fairly often, it won't often matter that you have a ton of mana on a given turn. Lotus Petal allows you to do something like power out Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver a turn early, and is also a free way to power up Brain Freeze.
Some might consider not playing Duskmantle Guildmage and Mindcrank as a glaring omission, but I really dislike their inclusion. You already don't play many targets for removal, and Mindcrank doesn't really do anything in this deck on its own. Having a combo win is nice, but it's difficult to justify playing a combo with weak pieces in a deck that otherwise spends a lot of time casting cards that count as functional mulligans until you actually win the game.
6 thoughts on “Tiny Tuesday: Milling with Sygg”
Interesting deck… 🙂
Psychic Strike and Pilfered Plans look like cards that have decent functionality (Cancel and Divination), with some Mill tacked on.
Man this looks like a HOOT. Couple thoughts:
-Memory Sluice seems really weak since you will almost never Conspire it.
-Oboro + Hedron Crab seems like awesome tech
Sluice is definitely on the weak side. It is worth noting that Sygg is always available, even if you only have three other creatures. Costing one also plays well with Brain Freeze. It’s a great rate if you conspire it, but it’s definitely on the chopping block if there’s something else you’d rather include.
Wow! A friend an me just began talking a week ago of a milling tiny leader deck, just looking at Glimpse the Unthinkable in his trade binder… but obviously we missed a lot of your tech even after a short common reflexion.
As our tiny leader play is basically friendlies, I will include & suggest some spicy & cheaper alternatives: Vision Charm, Jace’s Phantasm, and Recall and Mind Twist (unless they are banned, which I don’t recall right now).
I guess Millstone would be too slow?
Thanks for this great column!
I have almost received all the missing cards I ordered. Can’t wait to play it. For now, I have some budget suggestions/alternatives: Undiscovered Paradise Oboro; Recall Snapcaster; Vision Charm somewhere mainboard… and some food for thought: Chronic Flooding, Bösium Strip,…
Thanks again for the column and the list!
I built a very similar deck this last January. Its pretty fun. My differences were that I wanted to keep it pretty cheap, so I left out Glimpse the Unthinkable and Creeping Tar pit, and went with less efficient lands in general (no fetches). I also went with a lot more creatures to help handle the tiny aggressive decks. Some really good ones for the milling strategy are Riddlekeeper, Jace’s Archivist, Ambassador Laquatus. I also like the inclusion of Jace’s Phantasm. Millstone is a great card as well when played at the right time. All in all it is a really fun deck to play and packs a huge punch.