Arena Standard - Drowned Apprentice Mill

36 22
11 23 2 24
Main 60 cards (26 distinct)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (23)
Creature (11)
Planeswalker (2)
Land (24)
Side 15 cards (14 distinct)

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This deck has a 67% winrate so far after 36 games in Ranked Bo1 MTG: Arena. The MVP and namesake cards are Drown in the Loch, Overwhelmed Apprentice, and of course, Drowned Secrets.

{{Drown in the Loch}} {{Overwhelmed Apprentice}} {{Drowned Secrets}}

The usual gameplan is war of attrition them out with a control strategy while getting value off of Drowned Secrets. However, with the right opener its possible to mill opponents in about 7 turns. If they can't pressure us enough we've got very good chances of winning.

As you will find out if you give the deck a try, you do want to see at least one mill tool in your opening hand, (Drowned Secrets/Apprentice/Secretkeeper), especially if you've got any Drown in the Loch's. Apart from the obvious advantage of getting going quicker, even seeing two cards is information about your opponents deck, which can be invaluable in decision making for the first couple of turns.

If you've got some solid control tools and stable mana then you can usually get away with waiting for the mill tools though, these situations are where [[Quench]] is at its best. We can often get away with keeping two lander's if we have an [[Overwhelmed Apprentice]] but I would hesitate if I don't have that scry or a [[Thought Erasure]] to look deeper early. On the play we can be quite aggresive about playing Drowned Secrets turn 2 but it's sometimes worth waiting for a better opening on the draw, especially against control decks where we might want to counter something.

With a few changes, including many in the sideboard, I think this deck can be Bo3 viable. I have had issues in mill decks that rely too heavily on Drowned Secrets if they all get blown up or Unmoored Ego'd but we do have the tools to completely mill should that happen here. Noxious Grasps in the sideboard to kill [[Shifting Ceratops]] and [[Teferi, Time Raveler]] would be very important and those two cards kill this deck fastest. [[Chandra, Awakened Inferno]] is often a problem if we can't find an answer or finish milling them quick enough. Maindeck changes for Bo3 are probably the Gargolye and Fae of Wishes for two [[Brazen Borrower]]

A couple of cards I would like to talk about individually:

[[The Magic Mirror]]: This is about the most powerful standalone draw engine in Standard right now, so much so that [[Fae of Wishes]] and a [[Clear the Mind]] in the Sideboard are necessary. We could put [[Jace, Wielder of Mysteries]] in but I've found that he's too slow and often too heavy on blue sources. Plus having Fae of Wishes gives us a lot more verstility should we need it.

Our Draw; [[Chemister's Insight]] and [[Into the Story]]: I used to run Drawn from Dreams which was great for getting the Drowned Secrets going quickly but Instant speed draw allowing us to hold counters open does have a big impact. Additionally, I'm running one of each because we can't always get Into the Story running at 4 mana by turn 4 and having dead cards as a control deck can really hurt us.

[[Bond of Insight]]: This is a two-of because you don't really want to be casting it before turn 6. However it's a great mill tool and getting back two of your most needed cards is very often a lifesaver.

[[Drowned Secrets]]: We are only running three in the maindeck for two reasons. Firstly, drawing multiples is great, but if you have a hand full of them and nothing to manage your opponent's board you'll die very quickly. We have a strong enough control game that staying alive and making some incidental progress milling them until we draw one to accelerate is perfectly fine if we don't have the enchantment in our opening hand. Secondy, for some mad people that maindeck Unmoored Ego, we don't get blown out by it as Fae of Wishes can get us the last one if we need it.

[[Vantress Gargoyle]]: Very interchangeable with [[God-Eternal Kefnet]], the job of having a flier here is to be a solid blocker, beat down planeswalkers (which this deck doesn't deal with particularly well unless we countered them), and provide some additional value. The Gargoyle leans more on the beat down planeswalkers side while Kefnet gives better value and blocking ability. The Gargoyle is obviously at home in this deck but I'm not totally sold on it yet. We are generally taking a backseat approach and not caring about the opponent's life total. There are different decks that take a more aggressive strategy with finishers like [[Lochmere Serpent]] but that's not what this deck is about. Lastly, if you really wanted the fourth Drowned Secrets, this would be the cut.

[[Tyrant's Scorn]]: Good in any aggro matchup but as we've seen it being played in other decks, it can be good against control to protect any creatures you might care about or accelerate mill; returning a [[Merfolk Secretkeeper]] and re-playing both sides mills 10 cards for 4 mana with a Drowned Secrets out.


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Did you consider the black Finale or maybe mass manip? Also, when would you play revenge of ravens, over for example ritual of soot?
Great writeup! Featuring this on the frontpage.
Last Updated: 08 Oct 2019
Created: 05 Oct 2019
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