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Dominaria Standard Set Review: Blue

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We’re back with more cards from Dominaria! Today we’ll be doing the color you adore, or the one you love to hate. I feel like there’s no in-between for Blue. Let’s not dilly dally, we got a lot to cover, but first, my review process.

I will not be going over cards that I believe will not see play in Standard. For example, cards like Time of Ice and Gideon's Reproach will be omitted since they are just Limited cards and saying, “This is just a Limited card” repeatedly gets old rather fast. Don’t worry though, I will be covering all the rare and mythic cards in the set. So, if you like a certain rare or mythic, it will be mentioned in the review.

Keep in mind I’m rating all these cards for Standard playability. I will mention Modern applications if I believe the card has some.

Each card will be listed by color, then alphabetically by name.

Each card will given a rating of 1-5. If a card would receive a 0, meaning it will see no play in that format ever, it's rating is left off the list.

RATING Explanation Standard Examples

0 Will never see play in this format (0 ratings are not listed).

1 Unlikely to see play. (Dubious Challenge)

2 Could see fringe play, or occasional sideboard card. (Authority of the Consuls)

3 Commonly played, staple in a single deck, or frequent play in several decks. (Harnessed Lightning, Cast Down)

4 Format staples. Sees play in multiple decks, one of the best cards in the format. (Heart of Kiran, Abrade, Seal Away)

5 Format warping. If you’re in these colors, you play that card. (The Scarab God, Chandra, Torch of Defiance

On with the show!

The Antiquities War
3 — Glacially slow to set up but at least it does give you time to find artifacts to attack with for a ton of damage. The problem with that is your opponent will see it happening and will have time to prepare for it. It's like a power struggle between two players. Will you assemble your artifacts and kill your opponent, or will your opponent stop you? Very fitting name for such a card. Great in Metalwork Colossus decks.
Arcane Flight
2 — I know, why is this on here? It's because Spectral Flight has seen tier one play in tournaments. Granted this was with the Hexproofed Geist of Saint Traft and efficient beater Delver of Secrets. We do have a creature with Hexproof that would love some evasion, Shanna, Sisay's Legacy. The only problem is that it requires you to play three colors. Is that worth it? Probably not, but I'd keep an eye on Arcane Flight and creatures with Hexproof just in case. Who knows, maybe we'll see a flying Hazoret attacking for six on camera one day. As if! Only when cats fly.
Blink of an Eye
3Into the Roil is back and this time they won't see it coming. You'll return that nonland permanent before they can even blink . . .  Joking eye side, this card is great for aggressive, midrange, and control decks. The versatility is what makes it so good, keep an eye out for this card in Standard.
Deep Freeze
2 — This card reminds me of Imprisoned in the Moon. That card didn't see play and I don't expect this to see much either, but it does have a chance. That chance is when you're playing a deck that can't play Cast Out or Vraska's Contempt, so maybe something like ug Ramp or Mono-Blue. Those decks need to stop The Scarab God too.
Diligent Excavator
2 — I only put this card here because of God-Pharaoh's Gift. That deck really wants to mill itself, and Diligent Excavator is an effective way to do it. You'll just need to change a respectable number of cards. You'll want legendary creatures and, of course, Mox Amber.
Divination
2Secrets of the Golden City sees fringe play. I don't have much hope for Divination. Even though it is easier to cast, that's the only thing it has going for it. Divination has seen play in past Standard formats, so I wouldn't completely rule it out, even if it's not well positioned at this moment.
In Bolas's Clutches
2 – A legendary Confiscate. In Bolas's Clutches is an excellent way to gain control of your opponent's best card and potentially turn on your Legendary Sorceries. I could see this in sideboards of midrange decks as a singleton. That or as a target for Mastermind's Acquisition.
Karn's Temporal Sundering
2 — This card provides a ton of tempo but it's so much harder to cast than Time Warp. Not only does it cost more, and you need to control a legendary creature or planeswalker, but it also exiles itself. Can I please just have Time Warp back Wizards? Taking extra turns is powerful with planeswalkers, so we might see it there or alongside decks that can copy spells, like Primal Wellspring decks.
Merfolk Trickster
2.5 — This gives Merfolk a way to deal with Gods and can be a surprise removal spell when you flash it in. Especially if you already control Merfolk Mistbinder. It also works in a pinch to get around Earthshaker Khenra and Ahn-Crop Crasher's can't block ability. It’s a wizard to boot, so don’t forget it as an option for your wizard deck.
The Mirari Conjecture
2 — I love this card, but I'm biased. I do however like it more than Swarm Intelligence because it does do something when you play it. Swarm Intelligence does nothing when you first play it and costs more. The Mirari Conjecture gains you card advantage while threatening to do busted things when it gains the third lore counter.
Naban, Dean of Iteration
2Panharmonicon creature for wizards! We don't have quite enough wizards with enter the battlefield abilities, but you could pair it up with Arcane Adaptation for some shenanigans. How very wizardly of you.
Naru Meha, Master Wizard
2.5 — So much mana. You must have a spell on the stack for Naru Meha to target. You can do some infinite combos with Naru Meha and Saheeli's Artistry. This would allow you to copy Naru Meha as many times as you want while also getting an infinite number of a different creatures or artifacts. That's neat and all, but it's 10 mana! I do hope someone somewhere does this though. I'd love to watch that game. It’s also a wizard lord at the very least, so we could see it in wizard tribal.
Opt
3 — Solid in Standard and played in a variety of Blue decks. Card already exists in Standard, so not much to say about this one.
Precognition Field
2Future Sight this is not, but holy Kruphix if it isn't still sweet. Precognition Field is a card advantage engine that allows you to filter away lands for more spells. You'll want to consider this card in Blue decks with very few creatures, like control or even ugx Ramp. I think there's a missed opportunity by not making this a legendary enchantment in a set that cares about legendary permanents. Oh well, still a sweet card!
Sage of Lat-Nam
2 — Sacrifice treasure tokens to draw cards? This also works with artifact tokens from something like Hidden Stockpile or Whirler Virtuoso. Is it time to dust off Esper tokens? You could also play this creature an artifact deck like Metalwork Colossus. Sacrificing Prophetic Prisms sounds reasonable to me.
Syncopate
3 — It's back, baby! This time with best art ever! Blue mages rejoice at finally getting a counterspell that's very good in Standard. It also exiles the card you counter. This is relevant for hindering The Scarab God and Torrential Gearhulk along with many other cards that car about the graveyard.
Tempest Djinn
2 — Strong card, but I doubt it will be enough to play Mono-Blue in Standard.
Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive
2 — Instead of playing a bunch of 1-power creatures so they can be unblockable, I'd recommend just playing the ones that are. I’m talking about Slither Blade, River Sneak, and Mist-Cloaked Herald.
Unwind
2 — I'm torn about this card. It's worse in counter wars than Negate, but being able to Unwind your opponent's Chandra, Torch of Defiance and then untapping three lands so you can cast Glimmer of Genius is very appealing. This card is strongest in decks that have a ton of ways to deal with creatures already, like Approach of the Second Sun or just traditional control decks. Negate is safer, but Unwind can lead to some explosive turns and tempo plays.
Vodalian Arcanist
2 — I'm not going to discount a Blue creature that mana ramps you, even if it is just for instants or sorceries. Now you can maybe trigger Naru Meha, Master Wizard by having two Vodalian Arcanists on the battlefield alongside Baral, Chief of Compliance. THE DREAM! Kind of . . .  Not really . . .  It's still cool, right?
Wizard's Retort
2Wizard's Retort is a great reason to try Wizard tribal. Counterspell is one heck of a Magic card.
Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp
3 — Speaking of Wizards, one that you can play for 4 mana that's a 5/6 flier is one I'd be willing to play. Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp is a magnificent way to utilize Mox Amber without controlling a legendary permanent.

Top 5 Blue cards

I left off Opt on purpose since we all know it’s good and already sees play in Standard. You guys are here to see which new cards are going to be good and I don’t want to disappoint! Control mages got some excellent tools here and we also got some great artifact love. Another color that got a slam dunk as far as playable cards in Standard.

I’ll see you all tomorrow as we go over the Black cards in Dominiria!

Until then,

Ali Aintrazi

Follow me @AliEldrazi

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