Limited Concepts – M19 Set Review: Blue

Alright here we go with my favorite color, BLUE! Blue looks to be pretty aggressive in this format and also has some spells matter synergies so lets get into it. Starting with my grading scale:

My rating scale goes from A+ to F
A: True bombs that can win you the game or extremely good removal
B: Very solid playables, good removal
C: Filler, easily replaced
D: Cards I’d rather not have in my deck
F: Unplayable

 

Aether Tunnel

C+
Being only 2 CMC is very nice but only giving +1/+0 is a little disappointing. This is has the power to just end games if used properly though. If you wait and use this in the late game then you could suddenly just attack for 5 and win the game. There also may be some Christian Calcano deck in the format and this is probably in it. Probably one of the better auras you could pick up in the set.

Anticipate

C+
Good filtering to help you find a land early or action late at only 2 mana. I’ll always be happy with one in my deck.

Aven Wind Mage

C+
Decent flying beater for a good rate with an upside for a spells matter deck. But even still just getting a random buff here and there for casting a spell is just pure upside.

Aviation Pioneer

C+
I like this being a card that can create two bodies and with any sort of bounce or recursion this gets better to get multiple tokens out of the card. Giving you a ground and flying blocker could be huge in bridging you to the late game and any artifact synergies make this even better.

Bone to Ash

C
This remains to be seen if it’s any good. My first inclination is that it’s a bad card with counter spells not being my favorite in limited but if this format is anything like Dominaria then this could be a good card that allows you to counter a big threat from your opponent and replace the card in your hand. I am giving this an even grade for now and expect it to be bad but I definitely would keep my eye on this card.

Cancel

C-
I imagine you don’t need to play counter spells in this format and I prefer not to in limited. Put on in your sideboard and call it good.

Departed Deckhand

B
This is a solid 2 drop that is aggressively slanted and can attack past most blockers and in the late game if you top deck it then there is still some potential for it to be good making another creature unblockable and staying back to block.

Disperse

C+
This isn’t unsummon but with a bunch of enchantments in the format this can bounce a creature and get rid of a buff or free your own creature. Not to mention a bunch of other value plays.

Divination

B
I like card draw and the format looks like Divination is playable. I’ll always pick up at least one just prefer some instant speed card draw.

Dwindle

B
Here we have our common removal spell for blue and I’m pretty happy with it. It’s a little different from something like Deep Freeze where if your opponent ever blocks then the creature just dies. This can shut down some elder dragons trying to kill you and does so pretty effectively at only three mana.

Essence Scatter

C
I am not really actively searching these out but one isn’t terrible and I like it better than a Cancel. 2 mana to answer just about any creature is always good you just have to get the creature before it comes down but at 2 mana you can reliably hold this up especially in an aggressive blue deck you can really win on tempo with essence scatter.

Exclusion Mage

B
This effect is something I love added to a creature and has more applications than just gaining tempo. You can kill a token, remove an aura, remove a buff. This card is versatile and only 3 mana where last format we had journeymage at 4 or 5. This is also a format full of 2/2s so the body isn’t terrible either.

Frilled Sea Serpent

C
If you need a finisher this can fill that role otherwise I won’t be looking to play this too often. 7 mana to make this thing unblockable is just asking to get blown out by a removal spell and getting through 4 damage isn’t necessarily a ton what’s funny is this is actually a decent blocker with more toughness than power. Although throw an aura on this and you may have a better chance of just having lethal.

Gearsmith Prodigy

C
This is no slither blade but for the aggressive blue deck this will slot right in. You don’t even need artifacts to play it in your aggressive decks just curving this into 2 drop, 3 drop, 4 drop is just going to be difficult for your opponents to deal with not to mention this hold auras and equipment nicely.

Ghostform

C-
This card has a high ceiling in that it just wins you the game but a very low floor of doing just about nothing. This again is gonna slot into the aggressive blue decks and look to win quickly. There it will do a great job of making that big creature your opponent played on turn 5 to stabilize into a piece of cardboard as you attack on for the final points of damage.

Horizon Scholar

B
Cloudreader Sphinx is back! Okay not exactly but this is still a great card. The Sphinx was quite a bit better being only 5CMC vs 6 though you do get an extra point of toughness for your troubles. The difference between having 5 mana and 6 mana can be a couple turns so idk if I would be looking to play a ton of these but at 6 mana scry 2 is almost as good as draw a card since you are more likely to find action with your scry.

Mirror Image

C-
This card will vary depending on your deck. Clone effects are usually pretty good especially when you can copy your opponent’s creatures. This card can only copy your creatures so don’t make that mistake. Only copying creatures you control makes me a lot less interested in it because it takes a little more to make this good and if you have no creatures on the board then this is just a blank card.

Omenspeaker

B
Solid 2 drop that I will play multiple of. This is just a great card that can block early and smooth out your draw. Not to mention it can hold auras and equipment quite nicely if that’s something your deck is looking to do. Ship 2 lands to the bottom for more action in your low to the ground aggressive deck or help you to hit your land drops in a slower more controlling deck.

Psychic Corrosion

D
Build around: C
This is definitely a build around card and while mill is typically not a very viable archetype in Limited if you pick up a couple of these then and some card draw you could get some people. Being able to play this on turn 3 means you can get it down early and then just reap the value from it all game. What I don’t like is the prospect of top decking this. Even still in a control mirror this could be a finisher that just says hey you are gonna run out of cards real soon if you don’t do something.

Salvager of Secrets

C-
I’m sort of reserving judgement on this card but at the moment I’m not too high on it but if you have some good spells to get back then I’d be more interested. Being 5 mana for a 2/2 is pretty slow and this could just rot in your hand. If I have a couple removal spells then this gets more interesting but just because I have a divination doesn’t mean I’m interested in this card.

Scholar of Stars

B-
Requires a small amount of setup for a pretty decent payoff. Anything that says draw a card I’m always going to take a second look at. 4 mana 3/2 is not terrible in this format although it may trade down with some creatures which is why drawing that card is so great and important since even if it does trade off this does replace itself with another card just need to have some artifacts laying around which doesn’t seem to difficult.

Sift

B
The first time I ever saw this card I thought it was rather unimpressive and man was I wrong. This is sold card draw and filtering in one. Not to mention you could draw all action and then discard a land that was in your hand. The discard can be made into upside with reanimation effects and other graveyard shenanigans so keep that in mind when drafting this card.

Skilled Animator

B-
This requires you to have an artifact on the field but again doesn’t seem to hard to do if you are in blue and can turn a thopter into a 5/5 flyer that suddenly is smashing your opponent. Not to mention the floor being a 1/3 is not the worst you could ask for.

Sleep

B+
Here we have an extremely powerful effect though not the best when you are behind it can buy you some time to stabilize. Otherwise when you are ahead his just finishes the game and breaks parity wide open. Even while developing this can help to put you very far ahead.

Snapping Drake

C+
A classic card that has been good in the past and is good here too. Doesn’t have any special value attached to it just a good creature for a decent rate.

Surge Mare

B-
Here we have the blue creature from the horse cycle and I rather like this one. Being double blue is definitely a real cost and will make this a lot less likely to cast on turn 2 but if you do or even in the first four turns this is a nice wall that can slow down your opponent and when the coast is clear can start smashing in for damage while looting you cards.

Switcheroo

B-
I like this card a lot and will create a lot of feel bads for your opponent and sometimes you. Being able to exchange your worst creature with your opponent’s best creature is going to be great and while sometimes this may not do anything relevant that usually means you are already ahead.

Tolarian Scholar

C
This will trade and block most of the creatures in the format. There are not Wizards synergies here but this is a solid playable.

Totally Lost

C
I have never been that high on this card but I could see situations where it could be good. It just doesn’t permanently deal with a threat and for 5 mana isn’t the best tempo play either. I hope to get to play with this a little more and get a better understanding of the card.

Uncomfortable Chill

C
There are a lot of 2 power creatures in this set and I’m going to go out on a limb and say this card may actually be pretty good in this set. Now you will want to have some creatures on the field to really make it good but if you give -2 to a bunch of 2 power creatures that are attacking into you then set up some blocks to just wipe their board and draw a card.

Wall of Mist

C
As far as 2 drops go this is a decent one in decks looking to go long or even just fly over your opponents. I am not excited about putting it in my deck but could see a situation where I have this and a bunch of flyers slowly chipping away at my opponent.

 

White

Black

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