Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Theros EDH Set Review, Part 2: Blue

I'll let you in on a secret: I may hate on Blue from time to time as the "jerk" color of Magic. But I am a Blue mage at heart. Yeah, I'm one of those guys. I don't necessarily find it fun to sit behind a wall of countermagic and do nothing but disallow my opponents doing things... but I do love to play Control, in general, more than any other archetype.

Very cool card, but sadly not EDH material. Although, he could act as a pseudo-Enchantress in an Aura-heavy Voltron-Enchantress deck that includes Blue - every time you cast a Rancor, targeting this guy, you draw a card. Combine with Faith Healer or Auratog for a nice little draw engine.
Oh, hell yeah. Definitely digging this God. Scry 1 every upkeep is pretty dang good folks - obviously not as good as just drawing a card, but still... really good. Super-cheap Rogue's Passage effect is also pretty darn compelling. This is the one God of the Cycle I'd probably play in decks that have very little change of ever achieving 5 Devotion, because she's good enough as just an Enchantment. She goes in way more decks than just Edric, but I can't think of a deck more perfect to slot her into.
This may not break the color pie, but it sure as hell pushed the boundaries of what Blue can and should be able to do. This card almost feels like cheating - it's just flat out better than some White or Black board-sweepers. The Exile part is what pushes this into ridiculous territory. That all said, this is obviously one of the most universally EDH-worthy cards in this set. There is no way this card isn't getting tons of play.
I already mention Edric once, and like Thassa herself, this is playable in a decks that aren't Edric decks - but that was still the very first thing I thought of when I saw this spoiled. Overall, U/G seemed to make out very, very well in this set, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Anyway, this is definitely good in any U/x deck that has lots of attackers.

Protip: Combine with Aetherize for the lolz. 
Very cool card, I can't wait to play around with, but not the best EDH card, I'm afraid. Seems good on paper, but in EDH it's too fragile and low-impact and won't often have any real presence on the battlefield.
I normally wouldn't bother with such jank, but I see this having potential in Edric. I really like how this card's abilities combine with Edric's to provide evasion and filtering to really power up Edric's card drawing capabilities. That's probably still a flimsy use for it, but I think it at least bears mentioning.
Nope. If you want to hate out the Blue mage while hypocritically playing Blue yourself, you can do better than this.
Barf. I'd rather play Cryptic Annelid that this, by several orders of magnitude, and the Annelid hasn't made it into any of my decks in years. I get that this is pushed just about as hard as it could be pushed for Limited purposes, but c'mon... 
That's really weird wording. I mean, I totally get the purpose behind it, and it does have some potentially cool applications, but there are less-restrictive spell-copiers out there, so this really doesn't have a lot to recommend it. It's new and cool and has some interesting multiplayer implications, though so it is not likely to be completely overlooked in this format.
Interesting, I guess, but not really my cup o' tea. Seems to narrow, generally speaking, for EDH - creatures are often the most relevant type of spell, but even when that's not the case, I'd just rather have a flat-out Counterspell or similar card.

You probably thought I'd recommend THIS for Edric, too, right? Nah, it'd be weaksauce even there.
Surprise! Here's a counterspell I actually like! Most folk will point to Hinder/Spell Crumple as being the better picks here, but while I agree that those cards are certainly the more powerful option, I happen to think General-tucking is a dick move and I don't endorse such behavior. Thus, I like this a good deal more, because it isn't nearly as unfun.
Outside of an Ula's Temple type deck with a "giant sea monster" theme, this just seems weak. It is a 5/5 for five in Blue, which doesn't often get such efficient beaters, and many opponents will have Islands quite often... still, it just seems mediocre at best.
This is such an oddball card, but I kinda like it. I don't think I will ever actually play it in anything, which is a shame, but ultimately this just feels too mediocre. Guess I'm spoiled by Consecrated Sphinx. Oh well.
I'd play this as an Instant, maybe. Definitely if it were an Instant and had Scry 2 instead. But, as-is I can't see where 6 mana wouldn't just be too steep a cost for such a potentially minor effect.
Heroic enabler for Limited. Not much more to tell.
 Phew, that Monstrosity cost is rough. Beyond that, though, this isn't exactly terrible. It is a 6/6 for six, with no drawback - something Blue doesn't get all the time. And the tap-down part of the Monstrosity effect is cool. This is probably pretty good in metagames where stuff like Hundred-Handed One is playable, but it's not ready for prime time just yet.
I don't like Clones with awkward hoops to jump through, when stuff like Phyrexian Metamorph and Phantasmal Image exist. Just seems like too much effort for not enough reward.

And now, we wrap up our look at the Blue cards of Theros with my Top 5 picks:

5. Prognostic Sphinx
4. Dissolve
3. Bident of Thassa
2. Thasa, God of the Sea
1. Curse of the Swine

Honestly the top 3 are the only ones I'm likely to ever put into any deck. Dissolve seems really solid, but I just don't play countermagic. And the Sphinx makes the cut on cool factor alone.


  1. Elite Arcanist imprinted with Triton Tactics + something like Rofellos = million mana for your Genesis Wave, Eldrazi duo, etc.