Innistrad: Crimson Vow has just recently hit Magic Online and Arena. There will be a lot to explore, including upgrades to existing archetypes, and plenty of new tribal decks to try out. However, I want to delve into some other cool synergies built into Crimson Vow, and one card in particular which has caught my eye for today’s Standard Self Mill deck.
I like Old Rutstein as both a midrange value creature, and as an enabler for graveyard synergies. He comes down and makes a token immediately, and then makes an additional token every turn, all while filling your graveyard to (hopefully) support a number of other powerful cards.
Under most circumstances, Treasures will be better than Insects, which will be better than Blood tokens, although as the game goes on, you’ll probably be happiest with a mix of all three. This means that for best results, you’ll want to minimize your number of noncreature, nonland cards. Double-faced land-spells are also a little bit tricky, since only the front side will register when they get milled to your graveyard. This makes me less interested in Agadeem’s Awakening and Hagra Mauling than I might otherwise have been. Double-faced land-spells also don’t play well with Mulch, which will certainly be a key graveyard enabler.
What are the major payoffs for filling the graveyard? Perhaps the biggest are Crawling Infestation, Deathbonnet Sprout, Old Stickfingers and Reclusive Taxidermist.
Crawling Infestation is both payoff and enabler, and should reliably trigger for an Insect every turn in a Golgari self-mill deck. Reclusive Taxidermist, Deathbonnet Sprout and Old Stickfingers are all solid creatures that become way above rate once you’ve milled a handful of creatures into your graveyard. I particularly like that Taxidermist comes down early, helps you set up, and then becomes a 4/4 beater in the midgame.
Cemetery Prowler, Cemetery Desecrator, Bramble Wurm and Wrenn and Seven give the archetype some meat, while all playing well with the graveyard in their own ways.
Here’s my first try at a deck list:
Standard Golgari Self Mill by Reid Duke
I think Golgari Self-Mill will be able to consistently put a lot of power and toughness onto the battlefield, and can be made to have a strong matchup against other creature decks.
If I’m playing Best-of-Three, I’ll be looking to Soul Shatter in the sideboard to help out against Goldspan Dragon and Iymrith, Desert Doom. Alrund’s Epiphany is always going to be good against any deck without permission spells, but I still think it’s important to explore what all of the color combinations can offer in Crimson Vow Standard.