Friday, 26 October 2012

Top 10 Blue Cards

Blue, the undisputed colour of power in magic with the most depth, high power cards and banned cards. Blue has about 30 cards that are all better than most of the cards in each other colours top 10 list and the quality doesn't really dry up beyond this. Blue has most of the direct card draw, all the good counter magic, most of the good card quality spells and is usually first in line to get interesting and different new spells. Blue is even starting to get some impressive looking creatures which all ends up making blue a very strong colour in cube for all types of deck. In many ways this is the most harsh list as so many worthy spells that would be high on other lists don't make the cut and all of them are of comparable power and playability to the last few cards on my list. These worthy cards include Actual Counterspell, Upheaval, Vendilion Clique, Remand, Consecrated Sphinx, Arcane Denial, Fact or Fiction, Trinket Mage, Frantic Search, Force Spike, Tezzeret, the Seeker, Spell Pierce, Grand Architect and so on and so on. Here at least are the cards that do make my top 10:
Snapcaster Mage

13. Brainstorm
12. Treachery
11. Timetwister
10. Tinker
9.   Opposition
8.   Cryptic Command
7.   Jace, the Mind Sculptor
6.   Time Spiral
5.   (Mana Drain)
4.   Force of Will
3.   Snapcaster Mage
2.   (Ancestral Recall)
1.   (Time Walk)

Time WalkMany think Ancestral Recall is the best blue card but I'm all about Time Walk which is better tempo, more abusable and scales better as the game goes on. Recall however is also really rather good and comes a comfortable close second. Snapcaster is the ever impressing new kid on the list, it is too good in other formats but in cube it is even better suited to abuse. I rate Force of Will very highly as it is the ultimate counterspell, when you need to stop a spell Force is the most reliable. Mana Drain is more powerful but this is in areas that are not countering spells at which it is only as good as Actual Counterspell. Mana Drain is banned because it is really swingy and random while being stupidly powerful. Force is fairer despite being the better counterspell in a purist sense hence not getting the ban. Time Spiral is one of the best combo cards and many other things as well. It is the best of the symmetrical draw seven effects as it effectively gives you first use on the cards with all your mana free.

Force of Will
Original Jace is still one of the highest power all round planeswalkers and does a lot of good work in all manner of blue decks. The fact that it sees so much play as a four mana sorcery speed card in blue is testament to its power. Cryptic Command is the other all rounder blue four drop that does almost everything you need it to in any situation. Jace is more awkward to use but will win games while Cryptic tends to swing games in your favour enabling you to win with something else. Opposition and Tinker are both cards that you build your deck around due to their incredible power. Opposition is far easier to throw into a deck as it is more common to have creatures than it is artifacts. Timetwister is the safe draw seven spell and the only one of the original power nine I have not banned. As symmetrical cards go it is hard to really abuse Timetwister and so it tends to help your opponent out rather a lot too. It does have some advantages over Spiral in that you can reuse it or cast it before you have 6 mana but the fact that in even situations it helps your opponent more than you makes it far fairer.

A theme in this list is cards that offer tempo which is unsurprising as lack of tempo is one of blues weaknesses. Creature kill is another area blue struggles with and so Treachery is a supremely good card for the blue mage. Brainstorm is my final card to make the list, it is subtle and often hard to appreciate the effect it has on a game but is has lots of synergy with many different cards and mechanics and is one of only a few cards that offers the ability to put cards into your library. It sees loads of play in all kinds of deck and is just a lovely little spell. As you can see, blue not only has a great wealth of the most powerful cards in magic but it also has great diversity among its best cards. There are cards to build around, a variety of answers cards, card advantage spell, enablers, finishers and even removal. Given the vast scope of the cards combined with their consistently high power level I have rather failed to justify why each falls where it does on the list...

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