With the introduction of Hearthstone's Goblins vs Gnomes expansion, I've read comments that a 'Mill Deck' strategy may become viable. What does that mean? Is it a term from Magic the Gathering? Examples of that style of deck and strategies for playing with/against it please.
For the origin of the term, @StrixVaria explained it perfectly :
In MtG, a "Mill" deck (named for Millstone) is when your goal is to win via emptying your opponent's library rather than bringing him to 0 life. I don't know Hearthstone well enough to answer for that game, however.
In Hearthstone the Mill strategy has two main objectives :
- Make players draw cards as fast as possible, with the opponent drawing more so that he will die to Fatigue first (each time you "draw" a card when your library is empty you lose X+1 HP, starting at X = 0)
- Burn cards to your opponent (as in Hearthstone the hand is limited to 10 cards, every card going into the hand after this point will directly be destroyed)
The decks revolve around neutral cards such as :
- Coldlight Oracle, the main card, which makes both player draw 2 cards
- Youthfull Brewmaster, to bounce back you Oracle into your hand to play it again and again
There are only two viable classes for Mill decks at the moment because they have key cards working in the same direction. They are Rogue (Vanish/sap to destroy his board when his hand is full, Shadowstep to play oracle again) and Druid (Naturalize make him draw two cards and grove tender is a mini oracle). Rogue is more viable than Druid though.
Those are two examples of decklists (there are a lot of variants with the same core cards) :
Now a lot of people think that this can become viable (I would love that, this is my favorite playstyle) thanks to the new GvG cards working in this direction, which are :
- Goblin Sapper, gives pressure with a small cast 6/4
- Clockwork Giant, 2 mana giant after you filled his hand
- Antique Healbot, huge heal of 8 AND a creature to keep some board presence
To counter those decks there are two main rules and a specific playstyle depending on the class :
- Don't DRAW, limit as much as possible all the drawing power of your deck, don't help him in his task
- Empty your hand, play enough cards to prevent the burning mechanism (5 or less is often enough, it protects you from double oracle and the draw at your turn) but don't play a board that can get instantly wyped or you'll have trouble keeping pressure on him
- against Rogue only : avoid creating tokens, totems, recruits or the Vanish will instantly fill you hand and the following oracles will be devastating (example on turn 10: oracle, preparation, vanish, oracle, shadowstep, oracle)
- against Druid only : Play a lot of 3+ Health creatures to resist swipe/starfall rather than big creatures that will just get Naturalized for 1 mana and make you draw