Dominaria’s Many Gifts To Blue Mages

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It’s a good day to be a blue mage.

Hell, it’s a good era to be a blue mage.

Hasn’t it been a pretty good life to be a blue mage?

That’s what I’m saying!

And it’s not just the overabundance of cheap, quality counterspells, nor
the excess of card draw options.

So, you’re saying it’s the Torrential Gearhulks?

Oh… um, that wasn’t what I meant, but they certainly don’t hurt.

Search for Azcanta? The Scarab God?

See! Now, we’re starting to get to the real heart of things: there are just
so many good blue options, and Dominaria isn’t exactly short on
compelling blue options, either. And it’s not just the level 1 stuff like
Tempest Djinn.

Isn’t this card amazing? Like, I get that it asks you to play basic Islands
instead of Memorial to Genius, Zhalfirin Void, Ipnu Rivulet, Field of Ruin,
or another color, or whatever.

It rewards you for being all-in, but it’s not like it’s an absolute
essential pure devotion. You’ve still got to support triple blue on three,
so you wouldn’t want to play many, but it wouldn’t be completely out of the
question to play a few if you were really getting your money’s worth.

For instance, while every Island does potentially speed up the following
deck’s clock, a Memorial to Genius would give some options, too.

Tempest Djinn’s floor is a Serendib Efreet without a drawback, at least in
this deck.

However, that’s only the beginning. By the time it attacks, it’s hitting
like an Air Elemental attacking two turns ahead of schedule. The following
turn, it’s likely hitting for five, and if you hit at least one more land
drop in the next two turns, we’re talking about a four-turn clock on its

That makes it akin to a flying Doran, the Siege Tower or a flying Woolly
Thoctar, which is a helluva thing for a blue deck to get.

As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also all the times you draw it later in
the game. We’re talking about being able to rip 7/4 fliers off the top that
even happen to be so cheap that you can effortlessly protect them with

Into the Roil was dope, and Torrential Gearhulk doesn’t hurt its case.
Besides, when you’ve got such a fast, aggressive dimension, like the one
Tempest Djinn affords you, a little tempo can go a long way. Besides, we
may be playing mono-blue, but we’re still interested in battlefield
interaction if we can get it at a passable rate.

Two mana is basically always a really inflection point for interaction, but
there are a couple specific cards that really add to this.

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria looks excellent to me. There’s no greater
competition than with blue cards that cost five or more, but I’m fairly
certain that Terferi gets there.

Jace, Unraveler of Secrets did alright for himself (oh, Jace, how far
you’ve fallen…), and Teferi is substantially stronger.

+1: Draw a card. At the beginning of the next end step, untap two

While Jace starts with an extra loyalty and basically gets to Opt, rather
than draw a card, Teferi gives us two mana! Two mana?! That’s like… well,
that’s amazing!

Remember this old chestnut? That top ability was great! Yes, Teferi doesn’t
give it to us until the end of the turn, but that works perfect with

Besides, he also draws a card!

And, you never know…

Okay, what about the -3?

-3: Put target nonland permanent into its owner’s library third from
the top.

That’s basically the same ability as Jace, except it puts it into their
deck instead of their hand. That’s a full extra card, plus one less threat
to deal with next turn. That’s also to say nothing of the possibility of
milling ’em, or some other nonsense.

Okay, so both of Teferi’s first two abilities are better than Jace’s first
two abilities. What about his ultimate?

He could literally have no ultimate and he’d be better.

Yeah, but what about his ultimate?!

-8: You get an emblem with “Whenever you draw a card, exile target
permanent an opponent controls.”

Jace’s ultimate is okay, but Teferi has him beat here, too. Teferi’s
ultimate actually has a profound effect on the game, whether you’re ahead
or behind. This card seems fantastic.

Where to start?

Yeah, “Float, Teferi untap, Pull”… I see you…

There’s a lot to like about U/W. I like Essence Scatter and Negate better
than Syncopate, at least out the gate, as they combo better with Teferi’s
untap ability. I could easily see going the other way, though. I just think
Censor still seems better, though (in a Teferi deck).

Seal Away costing two would already be a big deal, just because of how good
of a removal spell it is for two in a color that doesn’t get many good
two-mana removal spells. Alongside Teferi, however, it provides a clean
layer of protection the turn you drop Teferi, which is particularly nice
against Glorybringer or Hazoret the Fervent.

Baneslayer Angel 2.0 is no joke, but there’s still the question of what mix
of removal opponents play. Transforming into a mix of Regal Caracal and
Lyra really forks your opponents that will be anticipating transformation.
They may have solid answers for one or the other, but how many pieces of
interaction are good against both?

Of course, it’s not like every removal spell in the world kills Lyra but
can’t hit your Planeswalkers.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with maindecking a couple Lyras or a
full playset; and if we did want to do something along those lines, maybe
we’d start with something along the lines of:

Why no Karn?

Karn looks good to me, too, but I guess I’m not nearly as wildly hot on him
as most, it would seem. Drawing cards is nice, but he’s not exactly the
greatest at protecting himself, and U/W has plenty of outright filthy card
draw options.

The printing of Sulfur Falls and Clifftop Retreat really changes the
manabase dynamics. Why “wedge” control decks were already possible, their
manabases just got so much better (and that’s to say nothing of
Teferi untapping a land searched up from Evolving Wilds, or some such

While Jeskai’s mana got better, we didn’t really gain all that much in the
way of red cards we’d be in the market for. It’d be a different story if we
dabbled in any of the Wizards’ stuff, but if we’re a purer control deck, I
guess we get Shivan Fire.

Shivan Fire is plenty solid, even if this Burst Lightning doesn’t go
upstairs. That said, it’s been a while since red was short on cheap burn
that does two or three.

Being able to go to the face isn’t always that important for a control
deck, but it’s nice being able to hit Planeswalkers. Besides, I could
imagine some control decks that would need to be able to stay more
proactive. For instance:

“What is this madness?” you might be saying. Well, why not? I mean, think
about it. It’s not hard to draw an extra card a turn from this thing
without even needing to invest mana. There are plenty of spells that let
you adjust the top card of your deck, so seeing a land on top isn’t game
over (or turn over). What’s more, you can get multiple extra cards per
turn, and the extra advantages start to quickly snowball, and hard. If
everything else fails, you can even exile the top card of your deck to get
extra looks at something you can play.

I don’t know if we need to be this dedicated to keeping the top of our deck
playable (and fresh), but I like starting testing new engines pushing them
a bit.

Fresh topdecks gone wild!

I know it doesn’t go upstairs in the base case, and it’s ultra expensive to
kick, plus it’s not even an instant; however, this card seems solid to me.
It’ll kind of depend on how much we need to be able to deal five, but if
Lyra Dawnbringer really takes off, this card is going to be gold. Besides,
having one in our deck makes it easier to burn someone all the way out,
sending ten upstairs.

I’m not there yet, but I could imagine it.

There are so many directions we can take U/R, though. For instance, I’m not
even sold on control, or the aggressive creature decks we’ve talked about
in previous weeks. What about The Antiquities War?

We get an artifact impulse on the way in, and then another on the following
turn? We could do worse.

Artifacts you control become artifact creatures with base power and
toughness 5/5 until end of turn.”

Dear lord.

Okay, so you’re saying The Antiquities War starts out as a (basically)
indestructible Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas, and then after your next turn
pulls off OG Tezzeret’s ultimate?

Planeswalker ultimates are pretty intense when your opponent can’t even
hold it off with attacks (or Vraska’s Contempt).

Somewhere, Michael Flores is dancing in the streets…

Because sometimes you want to trade your Bog Imps for Squires

Good card, great source of lots of 5/5s.

Icy Manipulator’s back and playable?


This is not a drill!

Repeat, this is not a drill!

This is a drill.

Getting back to big daddy, Teferi, what about some kind of superfriends

Karn and Teferi really add to the potential power of Oath of Ajani, and
besides, Oath of Teferi at least deserves an audition.

Using your planeswalkers twice in a turn? It doesn’t take many turns of
that to completely take over a game.

Okay, I’ve gotta admit, that’s just super sweet.

There’s a lot of potential here, but my God, does this deck look slow. It’s
hard to defend yourself early without black or red. Are we supposed to be
playing some two-cost mana creatures? I could even imagine looking at
Llanowar Elves, but we’d have to rethink the manabase, looking at something
with a few more ways to turn 1 it.

It’s kind of interesting, the difference of Llanowar Elves in U/G or B/G,
compared to R/G or G/W. It’s also interesting, considering the difference
of playing Llanowar Elves in Sultai, compared to any of the other
three-color combinations.

Makes me wonder what we might do with a manabase fueled by this setup?

Sultai Energy could definitely get into turn 2 Jadelight Rangers, and
Champion of Wits works well with Llanowar Elves (both helping get to six to
eternalize and being a way to convert Llanowar Elves into more impactful
cards later).

It’s not quite Oath of Nissa, but it’s still got spots. Here, it’s just so
nice to be able to smooth out our mana without Attune with Aether being
legal. Then we can usually get a quality threat out of it later (sort of
Traverse the Ulvenwald-esque).

What does the future hold for Standard?

God, it feels good to be a blue mage!

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