And the List Goes On – An EDH Staples Walkthrough, Blue Ed.

-An EDH Staples walkthrough by Blaine Johnson.

Welcome back fellow Magicians to another installment of my EDH Staples. Last time I broke down which cards defined the White side of the Magic Pie Chart. White mostly consists of simple spot removal and large finishers. Today we will be going over a far more abstract color of choice. Unlike the brute nature of White, the Blue side of The Gathering tends to lean far more into the complex intricacies of the game. When it comes to EDH a Blue Mage often finds himself in a position where he/she must first subtly control the game before being able to completely take it over. His resources come from the countless manipulating countermagic that have been designed throughout Magic’s rich history. These are either used for protection, or in extreme scenarios, they act as a final say in forcing their issue. Then the noble Blue Mage uses massive card draw and extra turns to gain an advantage against his opponent. Finally some mono-blue designers end games with intense degenerate combos that swiftly kill entire tables or a single poor lonely opponent.

  • Here is my EDH breakdown for the color of the Thinker.


Pact of Negation and Force of Will:

For EDH as a whole, card disadvantage spells like Force of Will are generally bad but if your deck consists of some form of degenerate combo or a task you really want to go uninterrupted then these two spells are large factors in carrying out your mission. Situations do arise where both of these counterspells can’t hold their ground and they’re not always for everyone unlike this next set of counter magic.

Mana Drain, Remand, Cryptic Command, and Dismiss:

All of these have one theme in common and that’s that they all provide two benefits. Either they draw you a card, net you a hefty amount of mana, or provide you with another service. Understandably, not all of these will make the cut in every EDH deck, such as Mana Drain, but there is still a rather large list of solid available counter magic. Here are a couple of good alternatives: Counterspell, or Dissipate. Dissipate is one that I would still highly recommend because of its exile clause.

High Tide, Time Spiral, Palinchron, and Tidespout Tyrant:

Here we have your backbone cards for degenerate blue combos. With the help of cards like High Tide, Extraplanar Lens, and Gauntlet of Power, you can either generate a lot of mana or go infinite with Palinchron. The Tidespout Tyrant only needs the help of some cheap artifact accelerants to keep replaying one another and making infinite colorless, or colored mana. Once you have accomplished this goal you will easily be able to win with any card or combination of cards you’d like. Some suggestions are Brain Freeze, or Stroke of Genius. Sometimes it’s even your General itself that wins the game afterwards, like Memnarch taking everyone’s permanents, or Oona, Queen of the Fae milling the table or your lone opponent.

Mystical Tutor and Merchant Scroll:

These tutor friends are both very simple in EDH decks, find the card you need for the given time. Merchant Scroll is rather narrow sometimes and I’ve seen myself cutting it from lists but if the deck can support the card it is well worth having.

Gilded Drake, Hinder, Spin into Myth, Desertion:

This is the blue segment for General hate cards. Spin into Myth and Gilded Drake both have the benefit of dealing with a General once it has already hit the field and Hinder and Desertion leave it up to some very good timing to hit their target on the way down. The wonderful thing about all of these spells is that they all still hold their own even if they’re not targeting a General. Getting the chance to Desertion someone’s fatty can send a game in your favor, fast.

Rhystic Study, Stroke of Genius, and Fact or Fiction:

These cards are all insane card draw effects. Casting either of the instants at the end of your opponent’s turn puts you in such a great situations on your following turn. Rhystic Study on the other hand is an endurance card. Mostly likely to show how long your opponents can endure playing with it out before they get up from their chairs and attack you. If nothing else this card slows everyone else at the table down.

Bribery and Knowledge Exploitation:

Now here we have some really fun cards. “O, you’re playing with an Ulamog in your deck? Don’t mind if I do.” Also, “was that a Time Stretch we had to sit through last game? Well, now it’s my turn.” Not every deck can support or wants to play with these cards but the ones that do, get to have the real fun. Cards like Bribery do promote poor game play between friends but my only suggestion would be to design your creature base with nothing that you can’t beat if it’s on the other side of the arena.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Tezzeret the Seeker:

Understandably Jace is rather expensive but the benefit of EDH is that it only takes one copy to have an EDH playset. This card is just unreal in every single format. I don’t really want to get into the full explanation on this one but if you’re unsure about it just wait till you’re facing a copy, one on one. Tezzeret is a rather important tool for most blue based decks because they rely so heavily on the artifacts in the deck. He gives you so much utility in searching for important cards, too generating mana to play a big important spell. Also, little known fact, he in and of himself is a win condition.

Clone and Body Double:

There is nothing too special about this pair, just that they are so simple in their interactions, that they become extremely effective. Both can match forces with an opponent, or possibly kill a General. Body Double is by far one of my personal favorites because it works so well with Reveillark and Myojins, such as Myojin of Night’s Reach.

Walk the Aeons and Time Stretch:

These are my two choices for Time Warp effects. Walk the Aeons is rarely bought back but you might as well pay one more to at least have the option. Then we have Time Stretch, go ahead and ask your friends how many times they have lost after resolving this spell. Obliviously the card is rather expensive to cast but most decks can accommodate for it with huge amount of mana ramp or Generals like Jhoira of the Ghitu.

  • Thank you for reading today’s edition of my EDH Staples. Well be checking out the cards that make up the Machine Head side of Magic next time.

Comments and Questions can be directed to myself at [email protected] , or just find me in the forums.

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