A Limited Review: Blue in M13

by Ronald Be

After quite a bit of bugging Ronny to continue with his Limited Review series, we struck oil!

Archaeomancer

Scrivener + Anarchist = Archaeomancer. BUT!!!  This guy can pull just about anything from your graveyard and he’s better when combined in a red or black deck, since that’s where you find most of the instant and sorcery removals.

Arctic Aven

A 2/1 flyer for 2U is slightly under the curve but if you control a plains, this becomes a semi-bomb. It becomes nearly impossible for your opponent to race you early game if he doesn’t have an answer to this. Pick this very highly when in White, else treat this as a fragile Wind Drake.

Augur of Bolas

Let’s look at his stats, a 1/3 body for 1U is not too shabby, it gets the defensive job done. The Augur will fit the deck with evasion creatures or decks that need to stall the game for other purposes (i.e. Milling), it will also go in the deck with lots of instants and sorceries. Remember that for card of that type in a 40-card deck, you add a 7.5% chance to draw a card.

Battle of Wits

There are a few problems with this deck. If you go the one Battle of Wits and all lands route, you can simply lose by not having 200 cards in your deck when you play Battle of Wits. You could chug all the card in your draft or sealed and add the rest as lands. What’s happening here, is that you’re going to reduce the card quality of your deck simply to add one alternative win condition that might not even work. And lastly, it’s a pain to shuffle.

Clone

You can’t have a more versatile creature. If your opponent has the best creature, you get it. If you have the best creature, you get it twice. If no one has any creature on board, you get a dead Clone.

Courtly Provocateur

Since Blue has a lot of defensive creature, you can have your opponent’s creatures run into your guys. This combos well with Green because they have the fattest creatures in the game.

Divination

Card advantage staple, this will fit most decks.

Downpour

This has two functions, it can either Fog for a turn or let you strike. In my opinion, this works better in an aggressive deck that needs to get the last points of damage in than an overcosted fog.

Encrust

Don’t forget that this can target artifacts as well. It’s an okay removal for blue, you do have to take a hit before Encrusting a creature though.

Essence Scatter

Since in Limited the main way to win is through creature, Essence Scatter fits the bill to stop that.

Faerie Invaders

Faerie Invaders does what Blue wants to the most. You get to stay untapped during your opponents turn, so you can counterspell. It’s also a removal if your opponent attacks you with a mid-sized creature. And lastly, this is a 3/3 with evasion that pressures well.

Fog Bank

Very good blocker, it deals with everything except Trample.

Harbor Serpent

Side this in against other Blue decks.

Hydrosurge

Awful combat trick

Index

It seems like Indexing is worse than Pondering. There are two problems with this card, first of all, it doesn’t replace itself and second, the cards that are on the top 5 will stay there unless you have a shuffle effect, which is rarer in Limited than in Constructed.

Master of the Pearl Trident

This is most likely not worth running unless you’re playing against islands and you have lots of Merfolks (which there are only 4 of in this Core Set).

Negate

This is a debatable card to include in your main deck. Most of the decks have some form of noncreature spells.

Scroll Thief

Ophidian Strikes Back! It’s really hard to get a hit in because most of the time your opponent will have a 2 toughness guy. It works well with Tricks of the Trade.

Jace’s Phantasm

Unless you have a mill deck, I would avoid playing this.

Jace, Memory Adept

I want to focus on one thing with this card:

YOU DON’T HAVE TO FORCE A MILL DECK IF YOU OPEN THIS CARD.

This card can win by itself by using its second ability.

Kraken Hatchling

It blocks pretty well from the early game to the mid game. If you have Exalted creatures or Auras, don’t forget that this can also attack.

Merfolk of the Pearl Trident

Very mediocre creature, even if you have the Master. Don’t play this.

Mind Sculpt

I like the support of the mill deck in M13, you have Archaeomancer and Vedalken Entrancer, which are both great on their own.

Omniscience

No.

Redirect

I would keep this in the sideboard and put it in against removal heavy decks.

Rewind

Personally, I don’t really like leaving 4 mana up for a counterspell but it does work well with other instant speed spells or mana activated abilities.

Spelltwine

Unless you see some instant or sorceries in your opponent’s deck that you’d like to copy and that you play an okay number of them, I would recommend against playing with this.

Sleep

You can play very slowly like me, which causes your opponent to fall asleep or if you’re less fortunate, just consider this as a sorcery speed Downpour but with the upside that you can attack two turns in a row and that it does not need to target creatures if your opponent controls Hexproof guys.

     

Sphinx of Uthuun
Stormtide Leviathan

They both do the same thing, they’re finishers for Blue. I prefer Sphinx of Uthuun since he’s easier to cast and offers card advantage but Stormtide Leviathan can make it so that some decks (mostly Green and Red) can’t win anymore.

Switcheroo

(Editor’s note: I am not sure on Ron’s official rating on this, so i’ll just go ahead)

This care is cute. So cute in fact that we have a playmat of it.

Other than that, it’s another Control Magic, Mind Control. It can definetely be bad if your opponent can destroy/bounce the target you are trying to give them. This will cause the Switcheroo to ‘fizzle’ as both targets still need to be on the battlefield and the exchange needs to actually take place for the card to properly resolve.

Talrand, Sky Summoner

In a draft, if you manage to get this early, you can easily build around it and mix it with colors that are good with it, like black or red. I would suggest having at least 5 instant or sorceries.

Talrand’s Invocation

This is blue’s answer to Lingering Souls and you only need to play the best color of Magic to cast it! You have Archaeomancer to recast it. Your opponent better invoke a higher being to draw his way out of the Drakes.

Tricks of the Trade

Auras are getting better and better, they really want to get you to play these think of cards. so this combos well with the only Hexproof creature in the set, Primal Huntbeast. You also have the blue ring but you’ll need to keep your mana up to give it Hexproof. Other than that, it’s good with Lifelink.

Unsummon

I’m certain that Delver decks changed the way people perceive bounce spells, for the best of course. You can use this to have your opponent recast creature, save some points of damage, save your own creatures and to use for combat tricks. This is probably the cheapest and fastest way to get rid of a Rancor while it is being cast.

Vedalken Entrancer

It seems that a lot of people are excited to see this reprinted, because it’s a Horned Turtle with an alternate win condition slapped on it.

Void Stalker

Notice that this creature’s power is higher than its toughness which is a rare thing for blue ground creatures. Of course, the most important part of it is its ability. This is probably the closest thing blue can get for permanent removal.

Watercourser

Might this be a mini-Morphling?

Somewhat. It gives you a few options during combat. It can act as a mana sink if you don’t have to do anything for a turn. It’s also a good combination with Exalted since you can pump it for an extra mana if needed.

Welkin Tern

This flyer fits in most decks but finds its home more in either a U/W flyers deck or an aggresive deck.

Wind Drake

It has the base stats for a 3 mana flyer. I would always play it.

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