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CardName: Mill Cost: Type: Pow/Tgh: / Rules Text: mill 1 cards (Put the top one cards of their library into their graveyard.) Flavour Text: Set/Rarity: Conversation None

Mill
 
 
mill 1 cards (Put the top one cards of their library into their graveyard.)
Updated on 9 Jun 2020 by amuseum

History: [-]

2020-06-08 03:54:02: amuseum created and commented on the card Mill

Finally after 26 years, 'mill' is now officially a keyword action starting in Core 2021.

The template is "mill N cards". In English, N is spelled out (one, two, three, etc.)

Ex. mill four cards

­Carrion Grub

Time to mass update all your cards!

I'll probably eventually pick it up, but I'm more than happy with bury. I don't believe they couldn't have picked "erode" or something and converted mill the same way.

That said just having the keyword action is good.

Huh. Keyword makes sense, but I thought they'd hold out for a flavour that was transparent to new player. Erode sounds good. I guess "mill" grinding cards away is a reasonable flavour?

Mill has no flavor, but every other option is confusing with discard

"Grind" would be better, as a verb. But even so, not particularly memorable. So yeah, I'm surprised they gave in.

And yet are still holding out about "and then shuffle".

What about "and then shuffle?"

I think it's cool that a player term "ascended," but it's not as flavorful add "grind" or "erode" or "forget."

It's about time. In my opinion, no word would have been flavorful and catch, at least words that were free.

"Forget" sounds like discard. "Grind" and "erode" don't make sense for removing things from either a library or from your long-term memory, and are only proposed because they're loose synonyms for mill (in the English sense)

I also wondered about a term for "put into the graveyard" from any zone. "Erode target hand" "erode target library" etc. But I guess milling here is saving words by not specifying library. So we have a pair "discard" and "mill" meaning almost the same thing.

Or, I remember teaching new players they'd be confused that discard WASN'T from play. I'm not sure if that can be improved.

This has me thinking [like a silly goose], but what if instead of "draw a card" we used "card up." Just imagine Overflowing Insight reading "Target player cards up seven times."

This came from discard being intuitive.

"I don't believe they couldn't have picked "erode" or something and converted mill the same way."

They introduced "Commander" as a formal rules term ten years ago, and there are still significant amount of people calling it "EDH". There is NO WAY IN HELL NO WAY NO HOW they would've gone with a term they weren't absolutely 200% certain people would have immediately switched to, and there may be complaining, but no other words could've possible do that at this point.

"and there may be complaining, but no other words could've possible do that at this point."

I agree that people would almost certainly not have switched what they call the mechanic, but that doesn't mean the actual mechanic couldn't have a different name. I mean, slang is slang, they're not bound by it.

However, I think the fact that they went with mill, anyway, was a good choice. Some people would probably have been upset by having two different names for the same thing, even though only one is official.

Honestly, the only reason I would ever suggest making mill a keyword action is to potentially save space on cards, giving them some more design space, by giving them more room to place an additional ability, perhaps.

Hmmm... would it have made any sense for them to just allow you to 'discard from the top of your library'? Similar to how old cards said 'discard from play' instead of 'destroy'?

It's probably a bad idea, but I'm sure it was an option they considered (though probably didn't think about it for long)

I'm still waiting to see how they phrase it in the future on cards with different rules text than the ones we've seen, thus far. I mean, there's definitely quite a few variations of reminder text for milling, just grammatically speaking (same action being performed by different people, for example).

I guess there might just be two, actually... the difference between "your" and "their"...

No, if they went with "discard from library," that causes a lot of functionally changes to cards that interact with discarding

I think the only two templating options are "[Players] mills X" (for any targeted or opponent mill effect) and "Mill X" (for things that only mill you). I think the latter should be "you mill X," but they still have the option to word it that way if they need to for clarity. It's like how life gain is usually "Gain X life," but occasionally is "You gain X life" if they need clarity

ETA: Wait, every life gain card uses the latter template. Why doesn't self-mill always say "You mill X"??

"Honestly, the only reason I would ever suggest making mill a keyword action is to potentially save space on cards, giving them some more design space, by giving them more room to place an additional ability, perhaps."

I can think of multiple other design-related reasons.
-You can now interact with mill a lot more easily and actively than before because the rules text is so much shorter and (more importantly) easier to parse.
-You can refer to milling in a reminder text (reach was keyworded because of that).
-A shorter templates means you can afford to use it more aggressively at common, especially as a secondary effect. Currently mills tends to be the primary effects on commons (Especially blue ones) that feature it because of its "weight" (e.g.). A one-word form means it has the potential to see usage levels closer to scry.
-If you can use it a lot more/in reminder text, you can potentially (although unlikely) use it to create a new or formal U/B keyword. (I'm still in favor of shrinking being used instead of milling for that last point, but it's worth keeping in mind)

A simple effect like "Whenever a player mills a card or cards, CARD_NAME can't be blocked this turn." Would have been far wordy in the past. This trigger has been used only once I can find at a glance (Devourer of Memory; type-specific variants have also been used, but very rarely); the equivalent of "if a player milled this turn" has never been used as far as I can tell.

Really (and not just from design wonks like us, but from the entire player base) the question was never "What word instead of mill?" and always "Why not mill?"

I suspect it was also "Oh for goodness sakes; blue desperately needs a keyword. Have a keyword. Expect to see creatures that mill if they hit you."

Blue didn't need a keyword. UR (and to a lesser extent UB) need a creature keyword ability, for which mill doesn't count because a) it goes on spells, and b) it's a keyword action, not a keyword ability

''No, if they went with "discard from library," that causes a lot of functionally changes to cards that interact with discarding''

For sure. I was saying it was definitely a bad idea, but thought it would be funny to bring up :).

I dunno why there is a difference in the templates, they might have overlooked it, or maybe they really want to cut (1) word, for some reason.


@Circeus Oh good point(s), i hadn't though of those :)

"Really (and not just from design wonks like us, but from the entire player base) the question was never "What word instead of mill?" and always "Why not mill?""

I agree for sure. I'm super excited to see what kind of stuff they come up with in the future, now that it's a keyword!


"Oh for goodness sakes; blue desperately needs a keyword. Have a keyword. Expect to see creatures that mill if they hit you."

lol :) If only it were that easy!


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