That's right, a mill deck with Hour of Promise. I just can't seem to get away from Hour of Promise, I absolutely adore that card. I honestly like it more than I ever liked Primeval Titan. It's a ramp spell that gets you any two lands you want and then lets you gain life from chump blocking with the zombies or deals damage via chipping away at your opponent's life total. It subtly has two more modes thanks to the zombies it creates. Hour of Promise is an amazing card and it's slowly but surely picking up more steam as time goes on. Don't worry though, this article isn't just all about Hour of Promise. I also have a Mono-White Approach of the Second Sun deck that is awesome, and a crazy Mono-Blue deck for Modern that features four Torrential Gearhulks AND four Cryptic Commands . . . Yea, and it even went undefeated online in a competitive league, so it's got some results behind it. If you are looking for some new and exciting decks, you've come to the right place!
First up, let's go ahead and look at this Hour of Promise Mill deck.
Fraying Promise -- Rivals Standard | Ali Aintrazi
- Creatures (2)
- 2 Shefet Monitor
- Artifacts (3)
- 3 Thaumatic Compass
- Lands (27)
- 2 Forest
- 2 Island
- 2 Plains
- 1 Arch of Orazca
- 1 Hostile Desert
- 1 Irrigated Farmland
- 1 Shefet Dunes
- 2 Scavenger Grounds
- 3 Hashep Oasis
- 4 Ipnu Rivulet
- 4 Scattered Groves
- 4 Sunpetal Grove
Isn't it a beauty? It's basically a counter to all the Hour of Promise decks that are popping up. It's so simple too, you just mill them out. No need for Approach of the Second Suns either, the mill plan is legit and happens a lot. You will surprisingly mill more than you think just by playing Fraying Sanity. As the game naturally progress's, Fraying Sanity will slowly mill them out. When your opponent casts a sorcery or instant, they will mill a card. Cracking an Evolving Wilds or sacrificing any utility land will trigger Fraying Sanity. Any card, from anywhere. Fumigate is another solid way to mill your opponent. On top of all that, they stack! So, when you are ready to mill your opponent, just a few activations of Ipnu Rivulet will take care of their entire deck. Let's look at how much exactly you will mill with just one activation of Ipnu Rivulet and the number of Fraying Sanities you control.
- 1 Fraying Sanity: 8 cards
- 2 Fraying Sanity: 16 cards
- 3 Fraying Sanity: 32 cards
- 4 Fraying Sanity: 64 cards
Again, that is just off one activation of Ipnu Rivulet, and keep in mind we are playing the full playset of Ipnu Rivulets so you can mill even more in a given turn. We also have ways to tutor them up with our name sake card, Hour of Promise. Unlike the other deserts with activations like Ifnir Deadlands, Shefet Dunes, Hashep Oasis, and the banned Ramunap Ruins. Ipnu Rivulet is restricted to being sorcery speed. You can activate it at instant speed. This allows you to hold up mana for spells and then choose if you want to activate Ipnu Rivulet or not at their end step. It's also solid at stopping Approach of the Second Sun. Just keep track of where their Approach is, and you can mill it. If you have a Fraying Sanity in play, you don't even have to worry about counting since you'll mill eight cards.
You will win some games through damage. It is easy thanks to Hashep Oasis. Hashep Oasis lets you punch in for ten damage when you get your two zombies from Hour of Promise. Hashep Oasis can also team up with Hostile Desert to kill your opponent or a planeswalker.
What if I never see a Fraying Sanity?
Even if you never see a Fraying Sanity you can still mill your opponent out with Ipnu Rivulets. You don't need a Fraying Sanity in play to do so, it just speeds up the clock a lot. Don't be afraid to activate Ipnu Rivulet with no Fraying Sanity in play if you've stabilized, you have plenty of deserts to mill them out.
I've had plenty of opponents bring in Lost Legacy against me games two and three and cast it naming Approach of the Second Sun. I have even had a match where my opponent named Approach of the Second Sun games two and three because I made him believe I sideboarded them out in Game 2 to play around Lost Legacy when I just don't play any in the seventy-five.
I've had a lot of fun milling people out with this deck, it's crazy the things you can do in Standard with Hour of Promise. The card is great!
Mono-White Approach -- Rivals Standard | Bishop989
- Instants (1)
- 1 Settle the Wreckage
- Enchantments (15)
- 1 Authority of the Consuls
- 2 Thopter Arrest
- 4 Baffling End
- 4 Cast Out
- 4 Ixalan's Binding
Pretty wild if you ask me. Bishop989 took this deck into a competitive league and came out unscathed. The deck does have some mana acceleration aspect to it the form of Orazca Relic but overall it just buys time with all its removal. This deck has ten Oblivion Ring effects and four Baffling End on top of that. Everything is getting exiled!
It's so crazy to see this deck and know that it does in fact of a lot of ways to generate card advantage. Equal to or more so than other Approach of the Second Sun decks. Orazca Relic, Treasure Map, Arch of Orazca and three The Immortal Suns provide a ton of ways to draw cards. Even decks that play Abrade tend to Abrade the first artifact they see since you don't play any creatures. Orazca Relic and Treasure Map are prime targets for Abrade.When it's time to cast The Immortal Sun, it tends to go untouched because they have already Abraded a different artifact.
It's too bad this deck can't really utilize the Glorious Anthem ability from The Immortal Sun, you know? But wait! Order now and you can have a fabulous transformational sideboard! Your opponent is going to board out most if not all their removal. This leaves them wide open for the plan of bringing in a whopping fourteen creatures for Game 2. If there's a Game 3, make sure to sideboard again to leave your opponent guessing. Are you going to be on the creature plan again? Or will you board them all out for Game 3? You decide!
The last list I want to look at today is a Modern one. Traditionally when you think of a Mono-Blue deck in Modern it's either Mono-Blue Tron or some sort of Blue Moon deck. Well . . . Rec-tk had other plans for Mono-Blue in modern.
You're my Boy Blue -- Modern | REC-TK
- Artifacts (1)
- 1 Batterskull
I'm not sure Rec-tk got the memo, he's just playing a Standard deck in Modern.
- Twenty-four lands? Check
- No fetchlands? Check
- Fourteen basic lands? Check
- A full playset of Snapcaster Mage, Torrential Gearhulk, and Cryptic Command? Triple Check
If Rec-tk is playing the full playset though, then it must mean that Magic Online has small creatures like Birds of Paradise and Noble Hierarch everywhere since the +2/-1 mode is the most impactful mode of them all.
This deck obviously worked, so it was very well built for what Rec-tk was expecting to face. It's crazy and awesome how you can literally build a deck for a metagame and do well. It speaks volumes about Magic and rewards the person that can adapt and make a deck to attack a format. I'm sure Rec-tk won games because of what he built his deck to do, while winning others because the opponent had no idea what was going on. I wish I could see a game where he cast four Torrential Gearhulks without bouncing any back to his hand. The look on the opponent's face must've been priceless.
What can I say? Kudos Rec-tk on your masterpiece. It truly is a work of art. I may have to give this deck a try, it's cheap as far as Blue decks go in Magic.
Well ladies and gentlemen, that's all I have for you this weekend. Have a great weekend and keep on fighting the good fight. Keep making those sweet, sweet brews.
As always thanks for reading,
Follow me @AliEldrazi