Odyssey Limited Drafting With Torment: Is Blue Any Good?

The blue in is somewhere between half and half. It’s not as good as the blue in Odyssey, that’s for sure… But it’s not exactly ‘s white, either. The creatures are all right, with , , and all being favourites of mine. There isn’t much in the way of solid counterspells and bounce, with all…

The blue in Torment is somewhere between half and half. It’s not as good as the blue in Odyssey, that’s for sure… But it’s not exactly Torment‘s white, either. The creatures are all right, with Aquamoeba, Skywing Aven, and Hydromorph Gull all being favourites of mine. There isn’t much in the way of solid counterspells and bounce, with all of such cards being rather expensive. The card-drawing, though, is excellent.

I just really wish the rares were a bit better. Still, either way blue combos with green even better than in straight Odyssey.

Cephalid Aristocrat

Say it with me, boys and girls: Putting cards in the graveyard in Odyssey block is not a drawback. Oh no, I’m getting closer to threshold and putting flashback cards in my graveyard!

However, the raw amount of cards can be a bit freaky. It’s one thing to have easy access to threshold – for example, tap a Nantuko Disciple or Hallowed Healer to force a few cards into your graveyard and get early threshold – but it’s another when your opponent card target it with repeated effects. In one game, an opponent played a Master Apothecary and several clerics. Wanna bet at how fast I’ll be decked with that much targetting available?

Final Verdict: I kind of wish it did something else. It’s not horrible, but it’s nothing special. Blue fat is kinda rare though.


This is sort of like the blue Wild Mongrel. It lacks most of the redeeming qualities of the best common in Odyssey, but being close to a Wild Mongrel is nothing to sneer at. It’s a fair priced two-drop and its ability can be useful in a pinch.

The less useful abilities of mister mongrel are applied here. It’s easier to block, since you know it’ll die if your opponent does the switch, but that doesn’t make it bad. It can also block early bears and threaten to kill them, or score early damage for blue.

Final Verdict: It’s playable, if not downright good, but not great.

Hydromorph Guardian

As a Gray Ogre in blue, it’s nothing to sneer at. Its ability is interesting, although it lacks what I really would have prefefred: The phrase”…targets one or more creatures you control or you,” which would make it a proper bodyguard, wouldn’t it?

It’s a good creature, frustrating targeted removal and making your blue fliers that much more difficult to deal with. Not a high pick, but worthwhile to have one or two in the deck.

Final verdict: All removal becomes an Edict. And who plays an Edict when all they’re going to kill is a Gray Ogre? Just remember to keep mana open.

Skywing Aven

When the spoiler first came out, we believed this was a 2/2. It’s not, but the end result is still one of the most annoying creatures since Blinking Spirit. And it’s a common.

Skywing Aven manages to be very, very annoying. Barring an opposing large flier or certain low-toughness creature kills, the Skywing will end up being a huge thorn in your opponent’s side. It trades land in your hand for opposing fliers than block it, and it’s very hard to remove through spells. It becomes especially annoying with certain madness cards.

Final Verdict: An eerily high-pick flier. Try it, it’s really annoying.

Cephalid Snitch

It’s a sideboard card for black/blue to use against decks with a lot of protection from black. Yeah. Maybe you’ll remove pro-black from Mystic Enforcer and then kill it with a Ghastly Demise; nothing like the good ol’ two-for-one.

Final Verdict: I’d rather side in Alter Reality and switch the protection during combat to force a kill – but I guess this is a common, so use what you can manage.

Churning Eddy

It’s not instant bounce, which is the first sign it’s a bad card. But it also targets and bounces a land, which can be an important effect in some cases.

Final Verdict: Not exactly much of a trick, but a pretty good tempo card and a good way to remove evasion blockers or punish a mana-screwed opponent.

Coral Net

Well, it’s inexpensive and hits most white/green creatures – but how useful is it really? I’ve only seen it played a few times, and in those cases my opponent didn’t remove my creature, he just forced me to discard junk cards while I beat him down with the creature it was enchanted with.

Final verdict: Much like Recoil, the key to really using this card is to hit when his hand is empty. Unlike Recoil, I wouldn’t play with this card.

Obssessive Search

Take every discard effect in Odyssey, Torment and Judgement, then make them free. In fact, make them better than free; make them contribute a card towards threshold and then make them free. It sounds pretty good, and, well… I really find that the Search is.

If you have no discard effects, it’s a cheap cycling card. Akin to Peek, but useful in other ways as well. If you do have discard effects, well … The more the better. Last Rites where you not only reach card parity, but gain card advantage? Consider this; four mana, two Searches, and Rites of Spring. Discard both and any land in your hand, pushing you to or past threshold in a heart-beat. Then draw two cards and search out two or more lands. I’ve done it in draft and it’s scary to an opponent to watch you jump to threshold on turn 3. (I had a Werebear out.)

Final Verdict: Powerful if you can find the applications. Cycling if you can’t.

Ghostly Wings

This is a strange card. +1/+1 and upgrade to flier can be a troubling thing for your opponent to deal with, turning say, a Werebear or Cartographer into a really serious problem in the early game. However, you can discard a card to bounce the creature back to your hand; this is where the applications get a little odd.

The card does not say "target only a creature you control.” You can, if need be, use the wings to bounce a creature owned by your opponent. Only once and at card disadvantage – but I mean, at least you can. You can also use it alongside, say, an Auramancer to create a five-mana, difficult to kill, 3/3 Skywing Aven wannabe.

Final Verdict: Not exactly game breaking, but hey, 4/4 Cephalid Artistocrats sometimes win games, I hear. It’s just a rumour, though.


There are a fair number of powerful three-casting cost flashback spells in Ody/Tor limited: Call of the Herd, Chainer’s Edict, Morgue Theft, Embolden, so on. Liquify is overpriced for its ability – but when it lets you remove a flashback spell, it’s not all that bad. It is nice to have a little countermagic, be it to counter removal spells or bombs. Liquify can’t nail the nastiest bombs, but it can hit a few.

Final Verdict: Syncopate is generally better, but sometimes you can’t find a Syncopate. This will do when you can’t.

Deep Analysis

Two cards for one, then two more cards for three life if you need it. The mana cost is a bit high for non-instant card drawing, but any white/blue deck worth it’s salt can make use of more cards in hand. Usually the cards you draw will prevent three or more life, be they damage preventors, blockers, kill cards or whatever.

Final verdict: It’s common. There are better card draws in the set in blue, but they’re not common. Not a high pick, but card drawing never hurt anyone.

Cephalid Illusionist

Well, it’s 1/1 for two mana. That’s a bad sign, but wait! It has the ability to produce a fog bank out of any of your blockers. Nifty. And if it fog banks itself, it puts cards in your graveyard.

It’s not that it’s a bad card, but that’s a lot of mana to keep handy. You can use it as a combat trick to both protect your creatures from sudden damage/boosts in power, or use it to fend off larger creatures. But at three mana a pop, it loses the ease of use you’d want from a normal trick creatures.

Final Verdict: Might see usage in blue/green decks that need to reach threshold and have poor air defence. A low pick, though, since few will take it.

Cephalid Sage

Like Cephalid Colisuem, this card seems like it would be good for getting you to threshold, while requiring threshold before becoming functional. A paradox and all that rot. However, unlike the Colisuem, the Sage is card advantage. In fact, it’s rather good card advantage. For one card, you get to draw three cards, discard your two worst, and then keep a 2/3 creature on the board (Regal Unicorny goodness).

Final verdict: It’s not the best of the threshold cippers, but it’s useful enough. I wouldn’t high-pick it, but it slots into blue Limited decks well.

Balshan Collaborator

I’ve seen this card before. Back in the day, we called it Dungeon Shade, it was black, and I never actually played Tempest limited so I really have no idea what I’m talking about.

I was like, fifteen – leave me alone!

It’s a flying shade; an absolute offensive wrecking ball. Either they deal with it, or it maims them in a few turns. Just remember not to tap all your mana, since losing shades to stuff like Crippling Fatigue isn’t very funny. And you don’t feel very smart afterwards.

Final Verdict: My only question is why this is an uncommon, while Nantuko Shade is a rare? They should both be uncommon. Durrrrr. Yeah, thanks guys; can’t come up with decent chase rares, so just promote the chase uncommons.

Hydromorph Gull

Kind of weird. I mean, with the Hydromorph Guardian, you’d expect to use it to protect a better creature. The Gull is generally the sort of creature you’d want to be protecting, but I suppose I’d give it up to keep something like Aboshan alive. Or you could use it to counter a Shower, Second Thoughts, or whatever.

Final Verdict: Fair sized flier with a useful ability. You do the math.


Oh, wow. Why is this uncommon? Probably for the same reason Fact or Fiction is uncommon. While Breakthrough isn’t quite a Fact or Fiction, it does have some advantages, and it works in much the same way. It gives you a lot of cards, and played well it let’s you fill up your graveyard in the march towards threshold.

For example, say you reach the sixth turn. You have six mana available and three cards in hand: A creature you want, a land, and a creature that won’t be of much use. You tap six mana, which lets you keep five cards in hand, then draw four and discard down to five. At worst, you draw junk, but if you draw junk you can just discard that junk instead of the pre-existing cards in hand.

The card has a lot of things in common with Laquatus’ Creativity, but it doesn’t have the drawback that if you topdeck it off an empty hand, it doesn’t do anything, and isn’t card disadvantage, like, ever.

Final Verdict: It says draw four cards. Was that ever bad? Mana intensive, but very powerful card drawing. Very, very good in blue/green. Spare a turn to draw some cards, hit threshold, then next turn lay down the threshold beasties you just drew.

Circular Logic

I’m not a huge fan of this card. Three mana for a counter-spell which only works well in the late game? Pfft. But, like I said earlier on, counter-magic is counter-magic. Unlike other madness cards, the main use of madness here is to reduce its casting cost through free-discards.

Final Verdict: It’s countermagic. Pairs extremely well with Cephalid Looter; but then again, what madness card doesn’t?


It’s blue and it lets you draw cards, and lots of them… At the slight price that you have to discard before-hand. Cephalid Looter/Broker are generally better cards, but they suffer from being creatures.

Really, it’s closer to Think Tank with a mana cost and the ability to combo with madness. It’s a good card and I’m not saying otherwise… But it’s not all that amazing either.

Final Verdict: It’s good. Always playable, but mana intensive unlike the other cards I mentioned. However, unlike them you can pitch it at your general leisure to scoop up another card, or in response to it being tagged for removal.

Stupefying Touch

It’s a standard cantrip. The ability is a sideboard type, turning Hallowed Healers into Eager Cadets, Chainflingers into Gray Ogres, and Wild Mongrels into Grizzly Bears. Getting the idea yet?

Final Verdict: Where be the Mongrel up in this piece?

Llawan, Cephalid Empress

Like the Cephalid Sage, the empress is a 2/3 for four mana before threshold. After threshold, she’s the same thing.

I’m witty.

The Empress is pretty good against other blue decks – well, obviously. She’s still pretty fragile – but I mean, it’s a permenent Wash Out against other blue decks! That must be good.

Final Verdict: Yeah hurray. I wouldn’t really want to get this in my Torment pack. I wouldn’t mind like, eighth picking it, but I’m not exactly impressed. Can I have a Balshan Collaborator instead? Thanks.

Ambassador Laquatus

I think I’ll name him Semi-Automatic Millstone. The Ambassador is either useless for milling your opponent or really useful, since they get decked in two or three turns. Which is also known as a late-game path to victory – and those are the easiest to find kind. I mean, Irrie Angel does the same thing, and she doesn’t give my opponent threshold.

I keep using him to mill myself. I think I’m doing something the designers didn’t intend. Threshold! Flashback! Yeah, maindeckable in green/blue or black/blue if you’ve got the thresholders/flashback spells.

Final Verdict: Well, you’re never hurting to have another 1/3 creature in blue. Decent.

Possessed Aven

It’s a big blue flier. Big fliers are often referred to as”bombs” or”very good” or whatever. If you’re playing black/blue, it can nuke other blue creatures rather than attacking, which is good when your opponent isn’t going to die to your 4/4 flier. Take that, Cephalid Snitch! Take that, Phantom Whelp!

It’s probably the best of the possessed creatures, although I’m personally partial to the Barbarian. I rather like first strike. However, it’s not really good as a possessed creature; usually I can find better ways to kill blue creatures in blue/black than tapping a 4/4 beatstick.

Final Verdict: It’s fairly likely to be a first pick – or at very worst, a high pick.

Alter Reality

I was wondering when we’d get one of these with flashback. We’ve got Sleight of Mind, Whim of Volrath, Crystal spray, Mind Bend, and Balduvian Shaman. They managed to use it with culmative upkeep, so why not flashback?

Alter Reality is a combat trick that works with protection creatures/enchantments to either make them better, if it’s your creature, or worse, if it’s an opposing creature. Make the Mystic Enforcer targettable by black removal, make Strength of Lunacy protection from green, and so on. That’s not a bad use.

It really shines when you combine it with possessed creatures, allowing you to swap to a good colour target – and if you really need to, do it again.

Final Verdict: If you have a lot of colour-based spells, it’s pretty good.

Cephalid Vandal

I can’t see this as being a good card to lay down. It can give you early threshold, but it also runs the risk of killing you outright. How often do you want to get killed by your own cards?

Final Verdict: Bad.

Retraced Image

See, this is more like what a rare should be. Just be all like, Zombify the first Hypnox into play, then Retraced Image the second one in your hand into play. There. Three rare, one uncommon combo beat-down. Which involves having two 8/8 fliers in play.

Because Zombifying the first one wasn’t like to be game. Oh no.

Final Verdict: I’d laugh if someone pulled it off, but that’s not all that likely. This isn’t really a limited card. And guys, it’s not a blue Llanowar Elf. Seriously. You’re dumb.


Purely sideboard, this is something you’d want to play against a guy playing Breakthroughs. Like really, really badly. I draw four cards and you discard two? Damn, sounds like a deal to me.

Final Verdict: Like I said, it’s sideboard against decks that have a lot of card drawing spells. There aren’t a lot of those out there, though.

Turbulent Dreams

Disappointing. I could see it being used, but it’s unwieldly for its effect and not even an instant. Bounce effects are nice, but are there all that great when they’re mass card disadvantage?

Final Verdict: Someone may win a game with this card one day; however, perhaps they might have won that game by just playing the cards in their hand.

False Memories

A more interesting card than when you first look at it, the Memories needs a few things before it actually becomes useful, but it can be very useful indeed. First, keep in mind that eight cards have been placed in your graveyard: Seven from the Memories and the Memories itself. So at very, very worst you can play it to an empty graveyard, get threshold for a turn and then pick the best card in your graveyard and keep it around.

It’s better as instant threshold, which can be quite the combat trick. Werebear and Seton’s Scout and attack, get blocked by a 2/2 and 3/3, then you lay Memories and they kick some butt.

It’s even better when you have a fair-sized graveyard and some nice flashback cards in your library. Trade them for the lands you discarded and earn some card advantage.

Final Verdict: It requires certain elements, which means it won’t see much play in Limited. These rares are just great.