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By: Adam_the_Mentat, THE WOTC TOOK MY BABY AWAY
Oct 01 2015 11:00am
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CJB: Monoblue Commander



Hiya everyone!

I'm back with some new, crazy brews. All of them are monoblue!

While I'm rocking the introduction, let's get something out of the way. Monoblue is hard to rock answers in. Yes there are counterspells. Yes, there is tons of bounce. But, honestly, if don't have the wherewithal to counter something when it is cast, or the resources to bounce and counter it later, well, then, you may be screwed. Blue doesn't hose things once they are solidly in play very easily.

So I'm going to do something different today. I'm going to saunter over to the Wayne estate and put on the trusty ol' Bat-belt early, so we can discuss how blue deals with issues.

Without further ado, the Batman Utility Belt for Blue-- everything ya need to carry.


If you are familiar with my work, you know I use this analogy often. Batman seemingly always has the answer to problems. Some of them are pretty, some of them aren't on par with what he normally does. The cards I discuss in my articles that fall under Batman's Utility Belt can be summed up, the most concisely, thusly:

Batman's Utility Belt-- the utility cards you need to include that don't fit thematically, but still need to be in the deck for it to not suck competitively, as casual as Commander is.

So before we begin, let's talk about something I touched upon in the intro.

These are, as I said, Blue's primary way of dealing with problems. Stop them from the get go, temporarily remove them, or bounce them then stop them. How many of these cards you choose to put into your deck is really up to you, and I won't really be covering them except to say that, for bounce, everyone who plays blue-- even as part of a multicolor Commander deck-- should have Cyclonic Rift in their deck. Hands down. For counterspells, especially since we are talking monoblue, my three favorites are plain ol' can't-be-beat Counterspell; the "hey we're still friends, relaaaaax guy," casual fun of Arcane Denial; and the It's-way-cheaper-to-buy-cards-online Mana Drain.

While we are at it, another very useful, very blue way of stopping threats is gaining control of things. While these don't need to be in every deck, and Gilded Drake or Control Magic -type snagging can be very useful, I expressly suggest everyone who packs blue also puts in a Bribery, and, to a lesser extent, Acquire. People pack a lot of good stuff to steal, from Consecrated Sphinxes to Duplicants to Oblivion Stones, these cards always pay off (unless a dang ol' Homeward Path is in play). Other cards you may consider, and that I often put in are Carry Away and Steal Enchantment. Theros loaded the Commander fields with Keranos, God of Stormses and Courser of Kruphixes (Why do I pick everything that ends in 'x' to pluralize?) and Steal Enchantment, still, to me, is like the Spanish Inquisition.

Anyway, let's talk about some tried and true utility cards for blue.

Scour from Existence
Caged Sun

Let's start out by talking about Scour from Existence. It's going to be a Commander staple, and all the colors love it. Monoblue will really benefit from it.

Brittle Effigy is a must-have to stop creatures. Duplicant is too, and so is its younger brother Phyrexian Ingester. Unstable Obelisk helps mana fix to an extent, and can hose something pesky late-game. 

If you have mana to burn, I suggest Spine of Ish Sah alongside Phyrexia's Core, or Argentum Armor if you can cast it and have creatures it can equip. It's pricey, but useful.

Steel Hellkite is sometimes useful to throw into a deck, because it can hit and rid you of pesky nonsense.

I always like to include the colorless triumvirate of Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, Karn Liberated, and All is Dust. If I have to skip one, I skip the Dust, but always include the other two.

The other ways Blue can help with removal are Curse of the Swine, Pongify, Rapid Hybridization, Psionic Blast, Spin into Myth, Proteus Staff, Polymorph, Void Stalker, Reality Shift, and things like (Aether Spouts). They also have Prodigal Sorcerer and his ilk for pingy death. Don't forget Perilous Vault or Oblivion Stone.

Blue also needs a lot of help with mana fixing. First off, if you play blue properly and draw extra card, Terrain Generator ain't half bad. Artifacts like Gauntlet of Power and Caged Sun do wonders to double your mana, while there are plenty of colorless land-searchers out there. Anything from Wanderer's Twig, Wayfarer's Bauble, Sword of the Animist to Burnished Hart and Solemn Simulacrum. There's also Sol Ring, etc.

Blue has a smattering of its own land-fixing. Things like Dreamscape Artist or Merfolk Wayfinder to obscure things like Terraformer, Realmwright, Benthic Explorers, Apprentice Wizard and stuff that can untap lands-- like the upcoming Retreat, or like Fatestitcher and his brethren.

Also, always remember your land-destruction lands-- they always come in handy. Tectonic Edge, Ghost Quarter, Encroaching Wastes, Strip Mine, Dust Bowl and Wasteland (for you rich folks). Mouth of Ronom can help drop a creature if you rock all Snow-covered lands, and, in terms of lands, your deck should be sporting Myriad Landscape. F'reals.


Creatures 
Cephalid Constable 
Diviner Spirit 
Master of Predicaments 
Raven Guild Master 
Riptide Entrancer 
Soul Seizer 
Jeskai Infiltrator 
1 Jhessian Thief
Sturmgeist 
Sharding Sphinx 
Thalakos Deceiver 
Chasm Skulker 
Mistblade Shinobi 
Solemn Simulacrum 
Wurmcoil Engine 
Rootwater Thief 
Scroll Thief 
Mindshrieker 
Duplicant 
Tandem Lookout 
Sphinx Ambassador 
Stealer of Secrets 
Thassa's Emissary 
Thada Adel, Acquisitor 
Phyrexian Ingester 
Living Lore 
Lu Xun, Scholar General 

 

Other Spells 
Cyclonic Rift 
Mana Crypt 
Argentum Armor 
Mask of Memory 
Quietus Spike 
1 Sigil of Sleep
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 
1 Umezawa's Jitte
Sword of Fire and Ice 
Sword of Light and Shadow
1 Arm with Æther
Spin into Myth 
Ponder 
Bribery 
Stolen Identity 
Bident of Thassa 
Coastal Piracy 
Curiosity 
Gauntlet of Power 
Corrupted Conscience 
Karn Liberated 
Unstable Obelisk 
Caged Sun 
Preordain 
Serum Visions 
Brainstorm 
Sol Ring 
Curse of the Swine 
Pongify 
Rapid Hybridization 
Loxodon Warhammer 
Explorer's Scope 
1 Sword of the Animist
Jace, the Mind Sculptor 
Psionic Blast 

Lands 
Maze of Ith 
Mishra's Workshop 
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx 
Buried Ruin 
Academy Ruins 
Halimar Depths 
Soldevi Excavations 
Ancient Tomb 
Evolving Wilds 
Ghost Quarter 
Terramorphic Expanse 
Thawing Glaciers 
Tolaria West 
Lonely Sandbar 
Strip Mine 
Encroaching Wastes 
Coral Atoll 
Thespian's Stage 
Vesuva 
Remote Isle 
14 Snow-Covered Island
Tectonic Edge 
Reliquary Tower 
Myriad Landscape 


So the basic premise of Thassa is this: Make things unblockable for profitable gains.  To this end, the creatures included in this deck all benefit from getting through for combat damage unopposed. Thassa just needs 1U and anything in your deck gets the ol' unblockable treatment. Since Thassa is Indestructible, she's harder than most to hose. So, let's check out the cards that want to be unblockablitized.

Diviner Spirit, Scroll Thief, Jhessian Thief, Sturmgeist, Tandem Lookout, Stealer of Secrets, Thassa's Emissary, Lu Xun, Scholar General: All of these guys net you a card or two for smacking your opponent. Using Coastal Piracy, Bident of Thassa, and Curiosity snags you cards from anyone, but on these guys it's double card draw. With all the card drawing, Chasm Skulker becomes huge, which is a huge problem because it too can become unblockable thanks to Thassa. If it dies, we have a whole board of Squids your opponent has to contend with. 

Riptide Entrancer, Soul Seizer, Thalakos Deceiver,Thada Adel, Acquisitor: These guys all steal stuff if they get through unblocked.

Cephalid ConstableMistblade Shinobi: These guys bounce threats if they hit. Sigil of Sleep also helps with this angle. So does Arm with Aether.

A mini-milling theme, Raven Guild Master, Rootwater Thief, and Mindshrieker are also creatures who love to be unblocked. If you wanted, you could load this deck with other creatures who mill when they hit, and make this a dedicated theme, but I chose not to.

Master of Predicaments & Sphinx Ambassador: Both Sphinxes (sphinges) help you with weird trickery. The Master may get you some free card playing, and the Ambassador may get you some of your opponent's stuff. Sharding Sphinx gets you Thopter tokens, which, when you make them unblockable, gets you more Thopters. Sphinx begets thopter begets thopter begets thopter. Boosh: 09:30.  

Jeskai Infiltrator. Not sold on this one. Weird Manifest stuff. Hasn't panned out. Gonna replace it with Windrider Patrol from upcoming BFZ.

Living Lore: We've got Ponder and its ilk, Bribery, Arm with Aether, etc. Great inclusion for fun blue follies.

Wurmcoil Engine. Yes I'll take some unblockable lifelink, tyvm.

For all the other stuff--

We've got a lot of equipment, and all of it benefits from unblocked creatures. We've got the two original Mirrodin swords, the infamous Jitte, Mask of Memory, Utility Belt staples Argentum Armor, Explorer's Scope & Sword of the Animist, and two really cool ones: Loxodon Warhammer for more lifegain, and Quietus Spike, because damn, man, that's awful and hilarious.

For Deck sifting, we've got Ponder, Preordain, Brainstorm and Serum Visions alongside Jace, the Mind Sculptor who is useful in so many ways.

Lastly, we've got Stolen Identity which is awesome with its Cipher, and Corrupted Conscience, which, in a fit of madness, you can enchant on a creature you already control to do some Infect-to-death.

All the other stuff in this deck fits squarely into Batman's belt, or, is a land.


Check out everything I got going on in this shot. I Bribery'ed my opponent's Clever Impersonator to copy my opponent's Aura Shards. I have out 10 Islands thanks to an early game Sword of the Animist. My Thassa was Spin into Mythed by my opponent, but I overran them with flying critters in the end.

Check out all those glorious triggers!!!!

This one's just here for bragging rights. I'm ultimating Ugin, ya'll!

Just an epic battlefield layout. Drink it in.


Creatures
Jalira, Master Polymorphist
Treasure Mage 
Trinket Mage 
Myr Welder 
Narcomoeba 
Skaab Ruinator 
Undead Alchemist 
Chasm Skulker 
Havengul Runebinder 
Duplicant 
Barrin, Master Wizard 
Wall of Kelp 
Dakra Mystic 
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth 
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre 
Thassa, God of the Sea
1 Whirler Rogue
Solemn Simulacrum
Misthollow Griffin  
Living Lore 
Reef Worm 

Other Spells:
Serum Visions 
Impulse 
Preordain 
Ponder 
Brainstorm 
Bamboozle
Pongify 
Rapid Hybridization 
Personal Tutor 
1 Day's Undoing

 

Other Spells 
Mana Crypt 
Sol Ring 
Codex Shredder 
Salvaging Station 
Wayfarer's Bauble 
Crucible of Worlds 
Elixir of Immortality 
Profane Memento 
Feldon's Cane 
Illusionist's Bracers 
Rings of Brighthearth 
Spelltwine 
Deep Analysis 
Bribery 
Back from the Brink 
Tezzeret the Seeker 
1 Kederekt Leviathan
Spin into Myth 
All Is Dust 
Curse of the Swine 
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 
Karn Liberated 
Psionic Blast 
Staff of Nin 
Coercive Portal 
Jace, the Mind Sculptor 
Sensei's Divining Top 
Lotus Bloom 
Brittle Effigy 
Pedantic Learning 
Time Reversal 

Lands 
Maze of Ith 
Mystifying Maze 
Haunted Fengraf 
Encroaching Wastes 
Ghost Quarter 
Strip Mine 
Vesuva 
Thespian's Stage 
Mouth of Ronom 
Mishra's Workshop 
Evolving Wilds 
Thawing Glaciers 
Ancient Tomb 
Buried Ruin 
Academy Ruins 
Tectonic Edge 
Myriad Landscape 
20  Snow-Covered Island 


Stitcher Geralf is all about, well, stitching up some weird zombies. Big ol' weird blue zombies.

The tough part about this guy being monoblue is that a self-milling stratagem wants to generally point a Johnny into a recursion angle, but Blue doesn't have recursion. Not much of it. I can rely on Timetwister like effects, which I have relied upon heavily (I wish I still had a Timetwister, but it got sold with a few other pricey, yet-only-used-in-2-or-3-decks favorites in a culling for bill funds). For this purpose, I used Time Reversal, Day's Undoing, Personal Tutor (to find these and, of course, other needed stuff), Feldon's Cane (Old School Represent, son), and Elixir of Immortality.

Academy Ruins, Living Lore, Buried Ruin, Spelltwine, Pedantic Learning, Back from the Brink, Spellweaver Volute, Codex Shredder and Crucible of Worlds make use of the self-milling. Dakra Mystic helps you see if your Geralf is worthwhile or not. 

Salvaging Station is very important. We have a lot of one drop noncreature Artifacts. It can recur a CMC-less/suspend Lotus as well. It can single-handedly help you empty your deck of basics with Wayfarer's Bauble. It can snag back an Elixir or Cane if you milled them by accident. Treasure Mage can snag it, or Duplicant or Staff of Nin while Trinket Mage scoops out your CMC 1-or-less artifacts. Both are ten fodder for Jalira or Barrin.

Jalira or Barrin can sacrifice a thopter token from the Whirler, (which the Whirler also helps do unblockable) or Reef Worm or a Kelp token to go off. Or a lame blue zombie, like some 1/1.

Kozilek and Ulamog can be milled, do their Feldon thang, and help make a giant zombie.

There's other blue zombie-makers, there's (Serums Vision)esque deck sifting, and there's Illusionist's Bracers and Rings of Brighthearth.

The deck relies heavily on Geralf, and is quite happy to see the purported tuck rule update in November. 

Deep Analysis is perfect for the deck. If you mill it, you can just cast it for its flashback. Also, Narcomoeba. Also, Unearth Kederekt Leviathan.

Misthollow Griffin is the MVP. Totally can be brought back after being exiled by Geralf, and it works wonders with Back from the Brink.


Time Spiral, Timetwister, Scroll Rack, Snapcaster Mage. I wish I had 'em in my collection, for inclusion in this deck. I wish it were easier to cast (Chancellor of Spires) & Diluvian Primordial, and that I had room for Body Double, Argivian Restoration and Call to Mind and its ilk.  


Check out this screenshot! It shows me rocking some Rings alongside Geralf, which nets me two big ol' weird blue zombies each turn.

Here we see me rocking the Salvaging Station combo! I have six islands because I've been Wayfarer's Bauble-ing and recurring it with the Station.

...And finally, check out that 20/20 zombie! That's because I exiled my own Kozilek and a big ol' beasty from my opponent. 


Thanks for joining me again. Did I miss anything you would've included? Specifically, anything else I should include in a Monoblue Commander Mage's Batman-belt?

Lemme know in the comments below, or maybe shoot me a message in Twitter: @CmdrJohnnyBoosh.

1 Comments

Rites of Replication. Hands by Paul Leicht at Thu, 10/01/2015 - 12:11
Paul Leicht's picture

Rites of Replication. Hands down the funniest way to win against broken nonsense you can't find another way to stop. (Reaper King? Sure I'll take 5 of those...oh and kill yours with one of the 25 triggers.), Capsize is not underpowered in mono blue...Whispers of the Muse is another buyback card that keeps giving if you have a very controlling position. It helps fuel Forbid for example which is also an amazing blue "nope!"