Blue is the best support color in Magic, providing decks with card draw, protection, combo pieces, and finishers. On its own, however, blue struggles to apply the same pressure multi-colored decks do. In this article, I’ll approach a number of methods you can use to make your mono blue Commander deck competitive.
Because Commander is such a versatile format, I won’t talk about specific deck themes or strategies. However, there are three things that every EDH deck needs to be successful:
- a good mana base
- strong utility cards
- game finishers
Let’s dive into some of your best options for each one.
When deciding how to build a mono blue Commander deck, you have to pay attention to your mana base. Being in only one color means it never hurts to include several colorless mana rocks, like:
However, blue is mainly going to ensure it “curves out” through card advantage. This section will describe some of the best options to make sure you draw as much as you need.
Blue is all about drawing cards. So much so that even its lands allow you to either draw or set up draws.
Halimar Depths lets you sort the top of your library to set up the optimal draw order, while Mystic Sanctuary lets you return an instant or sorcery to the top of your library. Castle Vantress is an easy and repeatable way to scry, meaning you should rarely be drawing cards you don’t want to.
Sometimes, you just need to draw a few cards. Maybe you’re looking for a land or trying to get at that card you scried to the top. Opt is the perhaps the fastest method: for one mana, you scry 1 and draw 1 at instant speed. That’s the definition of “quick draw”.
Other great options are:
- Fact or Fiction
- Treasure Cruise
- Dig Through Time
- Drawn from Dreams
Many of these give you some selection, either by scrying or drawing several cards and choosing which to put back. This is a great way to sift through your library for what you need.
Occasionally drawing one or four isn’t enough. Sometimes you have a lot of mana to spend and you need to look for combo pieces, finishers, or you just want to draw out your library for a Laboratory Maniac or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries win.
The best ways to do so are:
Consistent card draw is arguably one of the most powerful, though. Thankfully mono blue Commander has a lot of options. Rhystic Study and Mystic Remora allow you to draw cards when your opponents cast spells.
Being able to draw lots of cards is great, but you need to deal with your opponents, too. Here are some good mono blue utility options.
Propaganda is a great prison effect, keeping your opponents from attacking you. Dissipation Field is similar, but also forces your opponents to re-cast or discard their creatures (and is a hard counter for tokens).
Skyline Cascade is one of blue’s many tap effects, and is effectively free to play in mono-blue. Kira, Great Glass-Spinner and similar effects protect your creatures from targeted removal, basically acting like free counterspells.
Speaking of counterspells, that’s what blue is best known for. In mono blue you’re going to be wanting run a good suite of these, because you’re going to depend upon them to get rid of the majority of your opponents’ threats before they even hit the battlefield.
However, we’re going to focus on the counters that give you some added bonus for efficiency. Some let you draw cards:
Some counterspells let you counter abilities as well:
There are also a number of counters that let you counter a smaller variety of spells for only 1 mana:
Blue has lots of efficient (but temporary) boardwipes that return nonland permanents or just creatures to their owners’ hands:
Crush of Tentacles and Kederekt Leviathan do the same, but leave you with a big creature on your side of the battlefield. Inundate and Whelming Wave have the chance of being one-sided boardwipes, which is always a very powerful effect.
Imprisoned in the Moon is blue’s best piece of single-target removal, effectively deleting your opponents’ big creatures and commanders, even getting around commander tax and recursion.
Obviously blue has more than enough options to disrupt your opponents, but even Jace himself runs out of counterspells eventually. This section will go over ways to win out the game.
Blue is really good at taking other players’ cards. Roil Elemental is a great example of this, allowing you to steal a creature each turn you play an island.
Blatant Thievery lets you take something from everyone, while some spells let you take things before they enter the battlefield:
Finally, Agent of Treachery lets you steal something and acts as a payoff for stolen permanents.
Blue isn’t especially known for its big creatures, but there are a few tools you can use to get the damage in – because these options are flying, your opponents will have hard time blocking them.
The following options are some of your best options for providing card advantage while also dealing damage:
Once you have a few of these meanies on the battlefield – or if your opponents have a similarly threatening creature – copy it with Clever Impersonator or Spark Double to make another, or a kicked Rite of Replication to make six more.
You can also take advantage of blue’s plethora of instants and sorceries to swarm the board using cards like:
- Murmuring Mystic
- Talrand, Sky Summoner
- Docent of Perfection
- Metallurgic Summonings
- Rise from the Tides
- Shark Typhoon
Then, turn all those smaller tokens into 5/5s with Day of the Dragons, and deal enough damage to kill all your opponents in a single turn.
Big Noncreature Spells
You can always win with creatures, but mono blue Commander is often all about spells – so how do you win with them? Eye of the Storm and Swarm Intelligence are nasty ways to snowball all your instants and sorceries, though you have to be quick with the former – the effect is symmetrical.
Sublime Epiphany and Cryptic Command are powerful and versatile cards that let you shut down your opponents’ plays and beef up your own. Quicken lets you do some of these plans on your opponents’ turns, making it much harder to deal with.
If you’re not interested in maintaining friends, you can give yourself extra turns with cards like:
Blue is very heavy on the protection and counters to your opponents’ plan, so your early game tends to be all about keeping them in check and controlling the board state. Once you have your mana and draws set up you can turn the tide – so to speak – in your favour.
I hope this article gave you some inspiration on how to build mono blue Commander deck , how to beef up your mono blue mana base, utility cards, and game finishers.
If you’re looking for further reading about Commander, you might like some of the following articles:
- Best Deck Box for Commander
- How to Build Mono Green Commander Deck
- Is White Really That Bad in Commander?
- Top 10 Free Spells for Commander
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Until next time, may you draw as many counterspells as you need, and never more.