What to Expect: The Impact of M13 on the Metagame – Blue
I like blue, and I think that blue got some decent cards for M13. A lot of them like Index and Essence Scatter won’t see much play until rotation in October, but overall I think blue will continue to be strong for mages running control. The focus for blue in M13 is disruption and milling cards into players’ graveyards, and nothing screams disruption like Stormtide Leviathan. He would totally screw over your opponent and keep them from casting anything the rest of the game. The big problem with him is getting him into play since he costs 8 mana. If anybody can think of a good way to play with that card let me know! I doubt he’ll see any standard play, but it would be fun if he did.
Well, let’s start with blue before it gets too late. 2 more colors to post and only a day to do it!
I definitely think Augur of Bolas will see some play, especially after the rotation. 2 mana for a 1/3 creature and an Impulse is pretty good in this format. I think he could see play in some control decks, most likely a UW Venser deck or a Planeswalker control deck. And just like with green, somebody also might be crazy enough to make a Merfolk deck now that Talrand and a new Lord have been printed.
Just plain nasty. 2 mana to mill 7 cards. One of the win conditions for previous UB control decks was milling their opponent with 4 Nephalia Drownyards and maybe a Jace or two, but with this card you can quickly make your opponent’s deck disappear. Of course this combos great with Jace’s Phantasm, and at 2 mana it wouldn’t be too hard to flash this back with a Snapcaster Mage on turn 4. My opinion is that if control sees more play that you’ll see 4 of this card in decks, either in the sideboard or main. It will totally disrupt Ponder and also hurt Birthing Pod and GR decks. Of course this would be a horrible card to use against Frites, but that’s why you’d have Ground Seal or a Tormod’s Crypt!
This card will see a lot of play in control decks like Esper Control and UB control where your opponents graveyard fills up quickly with countered spells and dead monsters. It will be right along side cards like Mind Sculpt, Sands of Delirium, and Jace, Memory Adept.
More ammunition for UB control. Counter something then have that 4 mana available to use another Mana Leak or Doomblade on the same turn. I’d definitely use this over Cancel in any different control deck, but I’m not sure if I’d take out my Dissipate for this. It has good synergy with UW decks that run Restoration Angels as well. Counter a spell on Turn 4 then cast your Restoration at the end of their turn, blinking your Stonehorn Dignitary or Blade Splicer. Solar Flare might use this as well.
Not as good as Ponder since you can’t shuffle in bad cards or draw, but being able to look 2 turns further ahead can be useful in decks based around miracles. I could see somebody putting 1-2 of these cards in a UW or UWR Miracle deck to set up a Temporal Mastery, Entreat the Angels, and Bonfire of the Damned to make quick work of their opponent. UB control might find it useful as well in order to spread out the mana on the upcoming turns so they aren’t mana flooded. With a full playset of Think Twice in UB control, not being able to draw from a Ponder wouldn’t hurt too much.
Ok, so I don’t know if you’ll agree with me on this, but I think this card would be pretty affective against Pod decks that are setting up their ramp. When they lay down their Turn 3 card (a Borderland Ranger I believe) you can shuffle it back in their library and slow down their ramping. This card could be useful in any deck where you want to remove their mana creatures to slow down their acceleration, take out a giant creature that just came into the battlefield because of a Unburial Rites (Frites), or to get around a creature that doesn’t like being touched (Phyrexian Obliterator). Void Stalker will have some applications, but he’ll probably be stuck in a sideboard as a one off. He could also be used to save your favorite creature from a Doomblade or Incinerate.
You probably won’t see Clone in standard play until Phyrexian Metamorph and Phantasmal Image rotate in the fall, but he might fit in alright with the UB Heartless Summoning crowd since he’ll still cost only 1 blue mana to cast with 2 Heartless Summonings in play. He’s less versatile than the Metamorph, and costs more than the Image, so don’t count on seeing too much of him any time soon.
Best blue creature hands down. Two decks I see him making a HUGE impact in are UW/Esper Control and UB control. Imagine him in UB control. Whenever you Doomblade, Mana Leak, Negate, Ponder, or Think Twice, you’d get a 2/2 flyer. If you’ve played against a UB control deck before, you KNOW how many instants it uses. Most of the time UB players will have a Consecrated Sphinx and a Grave Titan, but I think this guy is much better to have than a Titan because he’s cheaper and you can put his Token creatures into play at any time, not only when you have to attack. To a lesser extent he’d be good in Esper control decks. Getting an extra 2/2 Token when you cast a counterspell, a Lingering Souls, or an Entreat the Angels is a nice bonus.
(EDIT: Thanks to Shaun for pointing out my Talrand mistake. Fixed now!)
With Talrand I’ll end my post on blue. Like I said above, I think you’ll see a lot more M13 blue cards after rotation, and if more people switch back to control decks. If there are any other cards you think should have been included in the list please leave a comment with your suggestion and I’ll look into adding it into the post. Friday Night Magic is in about a day and half, so I’ll do my best to post up white and black before then.
By the way, if you’d like to share how you’re using your M13 cards in your decks I’d love to hear about it! Just leave me a comment below one of my articles. Thanks for reading!