How To Play And Build Blue Deck Guide

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For better or worse, blue in Magic: The Gathering has a reputation as a thinking player’s color. Blue is often celebrated as superior to other colors due to its propensity for control-based strategies and access to counterspells.



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However, these very same attributes can also be blue’s downfall. After all, control decks are the hardest to play in Magic, and counterspells don’t really move the game state in your favor. Blue is probably the most nuanced color in the entire Magic color cake, and players who know how to take advantage of its myriad effects are usually one step ahead of the competition.

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Blue’s philosophy

jace beleren in the magic collection divides the image of him into three different periods

From a narrative perspective, it’s blue deals primarily with gathering knowledge as a means of attaining dominion over the universe. Blue believes that no destination is predetermined and that anyone can take a path in the direction of their choice if they are willing to think about things logically.

Some blue mechanics show this philosophy with effects like card draw, counterspells, and copy effects.

Blue also appreciates deception and long deception, taking the time to outwit an opponent while lulling them into a false sense of security. The truth is like this the longer the game lasts, the more likely blue will prevail.

A wise man is never in a hurry to get somewhere quickly. Instead, he settles for the game until he finds the right opening to take full control. Speaking of which, control is Blue’s ultimate motive, as he wants to take over the game by every measurable measure before finally delivering the killing blow.

More often than not, players of other colors would rather concede than see a blue player slowly march towards victory, as it can easily feel like blue is simply showing off at some point.

Primary mechanics

Crab on the beach
Ruin Crab by Simon Dominic

As mentioned earlier, blue’s primary mechanics include card draw, counterspells, and copy effects. It is also home to the vast majority of other abilities detailed in the table below.

A mechanic

Description

Counterspell

Counters a spell while it’s still cast, preventing it from being played and sending it directly to the graveyard.

Draw it

Blue is home to the best draw spells in the game, many of which are instant and sorcery.

Rebound

Returns permanents from the battlefield to the player’s hand.

Mill

Place cards from the player’s library into their graveyard. A player who goes to draw a card and has no library left loses the game immediately.

Copy

Copies another permanent on the battlefield.

Shrink

Reduces a creature’s Strength and Toughness by -X/-X.

Cannot be blocked

Disable creature blocking.

“Unable to open”

Prevents creatures from disconnecting during player upkeep.

Permanent theft

Steals an opponent’s permanent and puts it under your control.

Flash

A creature keyword that lets you play a creature with instant speed.

Flying

A creature keyword that allows the creature to be blocked only by other creatures with flying.

Hexproof

A creature keyword that prevents the creature from being targeted by counterspells.

Additional plants

Effects that allow you to take another turn after the end of the current turn.

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Key creature types

The sphinx in the temple vs. the human drowning merfolk

Each color is home to a distinctive creature type and an iconic creature type. The characteristic creature type is the most common of all color rarities. Meanwhile, the iconic creature type is the one that best represents the color’s underlying philosophy.

Iconic Creature: The Sphinx

In mythological fantasy, sphinxes are creatures with the body of a lion, the head of a human, and feathery wings. They are known for their great cunning and boundless intellect, as well as their role as guardians of ancient secrets and powerful artifacts.

Sacred card of the Sphinx Art

In Magic, mana sphinxes are intensely flying creatures with respectable strength and toughness. They’re not the biggest flying creatures in Magic, but they’re pretty close. They also often have a unique ability that allows them to draw cards, cast counterspells, and more.

Characteristic Creature: Merfolk

Merfolk are half-human, half-fish creatures that live in great civilizations beneath the waves of the sea. Some merpeople have fish tails, while others have bipedal legs like most other humanoids. Merfolk often differ in appearance depending on which planes they come from.

Vodalian Hexcatcher Dmitry Burmak - MTG DomU art

Merfolk are well known in Magic as one of the most popular creature decks in Modern for a long time. While they have been less popular in recent years, the printing of Vodalian Hexcatcher has seen the deck rear its head once again in the modern metagame. Merfolk are best known for being difficult to block.

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Advantages

A Sea Centipede coils around an underwater tower in Magic: The Gathering.
Caetus, Sea Tyrant of Segovia by Edgar Sanchez

Blue’s strengths come from its core mechanics: card draw, counterspells, game stopping, and evasive creatures.

Draw cards

It stands to reason that you are much more likely to win if you play more cards than your opponent. However, the problem presented here is making sure you stay alive long enough to play the extra cards you draw.

Spending mana to swap a multi-card card is a great thing if you have the life points to survive losing tempo when you add nothing to your battlefield. If you lose the game before you get a chance to use the extra cards you drew, then drawing the extra cards didn’t really do anything.

Magic the Gathering Best Legacy Draw Spells Brainstorm

The best card draw spells are often instant because you can play them when you know your opponent won’t be able to affect your life pool. Additionally, you can hold them alongside the other greatest power of blue: counterspells.

Counterarms

Some players believe that counterspells are the best cards in the game because they can technically answer any card your opponent plays. While this is true, you can’t actually win a game of Magic with just counterspells. They add nothing to your board and put no pressure on your opponent’s life total.

Counterhands are best when used on the opponent’s biggest and worst cards. They’re also great because they give you a mana advantage, spending two mana on an Essence Scatter that negates your opponent’s four mana Sheoldred, Apocalypse puts you at a mana advantage.

Essence Scatter Card and Background

Still, the best opponents know how to make your counterspells awkward. At the end of the day, counterspells rely on your opponent casting the spell in the first place. The greatest Magic players can and will use this knowledge against you.

Postponing the game

Whether it’s playing creatures with high toughness, knocking permanents into your opponent’s hand, or preventing your opponent’s creatures from breaking away, blue is the best color in Magic for stopping the game. This is a huge advantage, as blue is also the best color in Magic to win the late game.

However, it is often difficult to know when to shift gears from stopping the play and defending to attacking and finishing the game. Blue decks that have the most control usually don’t have to worry about this issue, but most decks in modern Magic don’t have that much control.

Aether Gust MTG card

The importance of this topic is explained in great detail in the timeless article known as “Who’s the Beatdown” by Mike Flores. Any Magic player can benefit from reading this article, so check it out if you want to become a better player.

Dodge creatures

Sphinx of the Clear Sky

Unblockable, flash, and flying are keywords you’ll often see on blue creatures. You can use these keywords in tandem with other blue perks to launch an attack that will be very difficult for your opponent to counter. Blue rarely has the biggest creatures on the battlefield, but it does have the sneakiest.

Weaknesses

Referee Squad Steven Belledin

Blue is extremely susceptible to strategies that are particularly aggressive. Additionally, blue has next to no removal in its card pool, making big creatures an inevitable problem that you can just procrastinate on and never really tackle.

Aggressiveness

Any deck that wants to wrap and unload their entire hand onto the battlefield by turn five or six is ​​going to give you a very difficult time. As mentioned earlier, blue manages to break into the late game where it can use its superior card draw to bury opponents in value.

MTG: Dever of Secrets/Insectile Aberration card

Especially aggressive decks will never let you get to this stage of the game, rendering all your card draw spells and high mana cards completely useless. Any meta that is home to a lot of fast creatures, burn spells, or generally faster matchups will be a hostile environment for blue.

Absence of removal

Given that blue has little in the way of true removal, even creature-heavy stacks are likely to cause problems for blue players. Fortunately, skilled blue players can use low mana, evasive creatures, knockback spells, and counterspells to overcome the need for removal.

mtg red elemental strike and blue elemental strike

Decks that use this combination of cards to achieve wins belong to an archetype known as tempo. While blue is primarily known for its reputation as the ultimate control color, players can still find success with blue in metas where control fails by building tempo decks instead, such as the Mono Blue Tempo deck that exists in Standard.

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