MTG mill cards might not be the top choice for competitive Magic: The Gathering players, but they’re a popular (and at times powerful) part of the Magic ecosystem. The alternative win conditions and off-the-chain combos the cards present make MTG mill decks fun to explore in a range of different formats.
If you want to learn about mill and the best cards tied to the mechanic, keep on reading. Before we dig deep into our graveyards, though, here are a few other handy guides for Magic fans. The MTG 2023 release schedule can keep you up-to-date with all Wizards’ upcoming MTG sets, and digital players should check out the best MTG Arena codes and MTG Arena decks around right now.
These are the best MTG mill cards:
- Archive Trap
- Bruvac the Grandiloquent
- Consuming Aberration
- Glimpse the Unthinkable
- Persistent Petitioners
- Ruin Crab / Hedron Crab
What does MTG mill mean?
In Magic, the term ‘mill’ refers to the act of taking cards from the top of your library and placing them in your graveyard. The mechanic is named after Millstone, the card that first introduced the act of milling.
Milling became so popular that it’s now common to see entire decks built around the keyword. Many force their opponents to mill their decks, hoping to bin some of their best cards – or force the player to lose the game by running out of cards to draw. Others mill themselves in order to trigger abilities that rely on cards being in your graveyard.
Of all the MTG colors, blue has the most mill cards, and its best cards pair well with a control deck. However, other colors can get in on the action too. You won’t see much milling going on in white MTG decks, but black, green, and occasionally red see a mill card or two.
If you’re a Modern player, Archive Trap is one of the top mill cards to pick up. Yes, it’s a pretty pricey instant, but you can cast the card for free if your opponent searches their library this turn. And then you smack them with a mill of 13 cards – that’s over 20% of their deck immediately sent to the graveyard.
Bruvac the Grandiloquent
Bruvac the Grandiloquent is here to make all of your other mill cards even better. If you don’t mind playing mono blue, it’s one of the best MTG Commanders for any mill-dedicated decks, granting mill cards the extra power they need to take on Commander’s chunky decks.
Consuming Aberration is an excellent Commander card for mill, as it’s strongest when played against multiple opponents. Any time you cast a spell, Consuming Aberration forces each opponent to mill until they reveal a land card.
As well as consistent milling, Consuming Aberration has another trick up its sleeve. It’s a creature whose toughness and power equal the number of cards in your opponent’s graveyards. If you can keep it alive for long enough and mill enough cards, Consuming Aberration becomes beefy enough to wipe the floor with other players.
Glimpse the Unthinkable
Glimpse the Unthinkable is the mill card that gives you major bang for your buck. For two mana, you can force an opponent to mill ten precious cards (or at least burn an MTG counter spell to prevent this). It’s a classic and well-loved mill card, but its focus on just a single target does make it feel puny in a multi-player MTG format like Commander.
Play one Persistent Petitioners, and you’ve got a cheap, small creature to help keep you alive and mill a few of your opponent’s cards while you get the mill factory started. Play four Persistent Petitioners, and suddenly your opponent needs to mill twelve cards. It’s Archive Trap with extra steps, sure, but it’s satisfying and surprisingly powerful once the card goes off.
Ruin Crab / Hedron Crab
Ruin Crab and Hedron Crab fill practically the same role in a mill deck. These one-mana creatures force their target to mill three cards any time a land enters the battlefield under your control.
For Hedron crab, the target is a single player – but Ruin crab targets each opposing player. One is the clear choice for Commander, but in one-on-one formats, either is a cheap but cheerful addition to your perfect mill deck.