The state of Blue vs Blue


  • Administrators

    (cross-post with Facebook)

    What are the key cards now in Blue vs Blue? Are there any key threats? Do you need to outdraw your opponent, and if you do, what is the best way to do that? What are the top-tier disruption spells or counters? Do any removal spells give you an advantage over your opponent?

    Ignore other matchups, and don't worry about the cards you name being able to fit in the same deck as each other.


  • Administrators

    For clarity, I'm looking for the top tier, best-in-category stuff here.

    Obviously lots of cards are designed specifically for blue mirrors (like Gainsay), but I'm looking for the mirror-centric cards where, if you have it and your opponent has a different mirror-centric card, you expect to win / end up ahead most of the time.



  • Library of Alexandria is the obvious one. The next best would be Gitaxian Probe.



  • Might need some kind of definition of what "Blue" constitutes, but in my experience,

    • Key Threats: Monastery Mentor, Jace the Mind Sculptor, Tinker, Tendrils
    • Outdrawing the Opponent (non-restricted):
      U: JtMS, Paradoxical Outcome, Thoughtcast, Standstill, Remora, Snapcaster Mage, Baby Jace
      UBx: Painful Truths, Dark Confidant, Notion Thief
      UGx: Sylvan Library, Leovold
    • Top Tier Disruption: Pyroblast, Flusterstorm, Mental Misstep
    • Creature Removal Spells: Karakas (free), Supreme Verdict (uncounterable), Snuff Out (free)
    • Artifact Removal Spells: Wear/Tear (2-for-1), Ancient Grudge (2-for-1)


  • In my albeit very limited games I've played, the main Card that seems to matter most is Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Mana Drain has gotten a huge upswing, as has Pyroblast.

    Cards where, in the blue-on-blue mirror, if they have a different card, I expect to win?
    When I have Oath of Druids. The format seems like it's soft to this card right now.



    1. In U vs U, you need to outdraw your opponent, because barring a few threats, most can be answered in some form or another.

    2. Card Draw: From experience, a key card in mentor vs mentor has been sylvan library, but it can apply to any other slow/controlling U vs. U match-ups. JVP can be plowed and pyroblasted, but sylvan library can only be answered with FOW mainboard.

    3. Answer: Pyroblast is an obv removal spell for the mirror, but abrupt decay also seems pretty great as a removal spell. It deals with the most common win conditions: mentor, JVP, dack, leovold, vault/key, oath. With gush now gone, it's a better answer to mentor than before.

    4: Threat: Mentor is still a great threat, non-blue 4 cc planeswalkers like Nahiri also seem well positioned. Leovold is great since it stops card draw and gets you a 2 for 1 almost all the time. Mishra factory is also secretly very very good. It threatens planeswalkers, and gets in for dmg when there's a mana drain staring contest.



  • I feel like I might be cheating on my answer because even though this card is blue people don't play it in blue-draw decks:

    True-Name Nemesis

    I agree with a lot of the above statements, but I feel people have forgot about this card. 4-Gush Mentor made me stop playing Merfolk for awhile and play White Eldrazi. A quick Mentor into chaining Gushes got out of hand. Now that things may slowed down by a half turn, TNN and other Merfolk may have a chance again.

    Other blue cards not mentioned yet are Mystic Remora and Misdirection. (Which really just means out drawing your blue opponent.)



  • I'm feeling like I post too much and too long, so I'll try to keep this short.

    In terms of wins, I think just power cards like Library and Ancestral and then whoever gets off the turn 2-3 Dig, Cruise, Jace, Mentor.

    Secondarily, I find that the decks that use Dack or Sylvan Library or Baby Jace to better effect, can win the less broken games more often and I actually think that's where one build or another is proven to be superior, since almost everyone runs 1 or the restricted cards. I also think the Joe Brennan style Mystical Tutor into Balance can be a very strong play situationally.

    I don't think this is what you mean for the thread, but I've been reexploring Mana Drain since the restrictions, and rediscovering that it's still bad. I suspect that actually the main reason that it's still bad is the restriction of Brainstorm, and the lack of quality blue instants to play on the end of the opponent's turn. I'd say that, more than any other factor, including the taxing effects, makes tempo-blue still better than Wiessman-blue. But I don't really think that comparison was what you were angling for here.



  • Why do ppl keep mentioning Painful Truths but no one is mentioning nights whisper? It cant be derpstepped or pyroblasted, and if it gets flustered or fow'd it still seems to be a win in most situations. I been testing 4 Nights Whisper in lieu of Gush/Git probe in my esper mentor, and it has been amazing. Maybe I should of said nothing and kept my tech to myself ;)


  • TMD Supporter

    @Serracollector said in The state of Blue vs Blue:

    Why do ppl keep mentioning Painful Truths but no one is mentioning nights whisper? It cant be derpstepped or pyroblasted, and if it gets flustered or fow'd it still seems to be a win in most situations. I been testing 4 Nights Whisper in lieu of Gush/Git probe in my esper mentor, and it has been amazing. Maybe I should of said nothing and kept my tech to myself ;)

    I guess Night's Whisper is more reliable than Painful Truths, but I think the upside of drawing three is important. This is especially true since you're running fewer blue cards (I'm one of those that HATES to run less than 22 blue spells, and I usually want 25+).



  • @Serracollector said in The state of Blue vs Blue:

    Why do ppl keep mentioning Painful Truths but no one is mentioning nights whisper? It cant be derpstepped or pyroblasted, and if it gets flustered or fow'd it still seems to be a win in most situations. I been testing 4 Nights Whisper in lieu of Gush/Git probe in my esper mentor, and it has been amazing. Maybe I should of said nothing and kept my tech to myself ;)

    You're not the only one trying out Night's Whisper! I've been messing around with it as well. I don't like Painful Truths much at all.

    On topic, I've liked Supreme Verdict a lot. Assuming you're playing all the tutors, you have easy access to it and it's a great trump when you're behind on board. It also happens to be blue.

    Tinker is another obvious card which fell out of favour a bit earlier, I think it's worth messing around with.



  • I am biased as someone who is exclusively playing bug but I feel I can't loose to blue if I stick a leovold.



  • @mtgGreg So your deck with 5 colorless lands, with only 3 moxes and lotus as excelleration, wants to land a 3 color guy in a format with Mana Drains, Pyroblasts, and Swords to Plowshares? Fine.



  • And resolve a Deathrite Shaman in a format with 4 Misteps and 4 Plows. Hmm.



  • @Brass-Man Well, if you want to play blue for some reason, you should probably have Tinker and maybe some cards that care about your artifacts like Thoughtcast or Reverse Engineer. Mishra's Workshop is still one of (the best?) cards you can play in the format; so I don't see why you wouldn't be playing it outside of some janky combo deck. It's the most consistent, best deck, has always been, and always will be.



  • @MSolymossy You're more of a theory guy than a data guy huh?

    "You're deck... ... want's to land a 3 color guy in a format with (fill in a card)"
    You chose Mana Drain. Ok. You are not wrong I guess. Mana Drain is present in the format. In fact I can tell you about how present it is. On mtgtop8, 11% of top 8 decks run it. They contain 2.3 copies per deck. Meaning that when you sit down to play against an unknown opponent, you have about a 4% chance of facing a Drain in the top 12 cards of your opponent's deck.

    Sure pyroblast counters Leovold. It also kills it on the board, which is at best a 2 for 1, as is Swords. And wouldn't the same problem of resolving a Deathrite through all those Missteps be felt by anyone casting those Swords?

    I've never played with Leovold. Maybe he sucks. But it seems like @mtgGreg has, and he seems to think that resolving one is pretty good. As does Rodrigo Togores I gather, and Javier Rodriguez Pozo, who finished 3/4 out of 152 players in February. He also ran Deathrite. I haven't really played BUG in years. Have you played this archetype? What is your experience with it? What do you think it's win rate is against other archetypes?

    You aren't wrong, but this is the problem with pure theory crafting. We tend to just imagine good or bad situations based on how we feel about the decks.



  • @Topical_Island Results are data. Take a look at the last dozen times BUG has done well, and you'll see my name at least once, because I 4-0ed a daily with it back in 4 gush meta. The card Leovold is extremely hard to cast. It's a fact.



  • @MSolymossy I'm beginning to suspect that when I ask you questions, you think I'm making some sort of ad hominum attack. I'm really not. I actually just want to know what you think about how the deck plays. I get that 3 color cards are more difficult to cast than 2 or 1. But what are you saying? that you 4-0ed with a Leovold deck without casting it? I assume you cast it. Was it worth it? Does the damage it does to the opponent's strategy outweigh the difficulty?



  • IMO I would stack Flusterstorms and Missteps, and use cavern if possible is I wanted to win the mirror.

    The problem I foresee with trying to out draw my opponent is that I don't know how far I would have to go right now. I feel like vintage is looking for a new draw engine and no one really knows what that looks like. What that is, and what to add to that to make an improved version of it is probably the better question right now.



  • I played the deck. Trying to resolve Leovold is a task. You're always behind unless you resolve it, and the format is much more aggressive to the deck than it was before; there's even more Mentor than before, and 4x Plowshares are manditory.

    I see no reason to write a big post explaining it, because the results will show that we're in a two deck format (as they so far have)


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to The Mana Drain was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.