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Zendikar Rising Standard Set Review: Blue

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Check out the other entries here!

White | Black and Gold | Red and Artifacts | Green and Lands

Yesterday we went over the White cards from Zendikar Rising and we had quite a few good ones. Today we will be going over the Blue cards, but before we begin, let us go over my grading scale.

I will not be going over cards that I believe will not see play in Standard and I will not be going over the Commander cards that will not see Standard play. For example, cards like Paired Tactician and Emeria Captain will be omitted since they are just Limited cards and saying, "This is just a Limited card" repeatedly gets old rather fast. Do not worry though, I will be covering all the rare and mythic cards in the actual Zendikar Rising 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 be given a rating of 1-5. If a card would receive a 0, meaning it will see no play in that format ever, its 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. (Pursued Whale)

2 - Could see fringe play, or occasional sideboard card. (Squad Commander)

3 - Commonly played, staple in a single deck, or frequent play in several decks. (Angel of Destiny, Skyclave Apparition, Terror of the Peaks)

4 - Format staples. Sees play in multiple decks, one of the best cards in the format. (Emeria's Call, Teferi, Master of Time, Fabled Passage)

5 - Format warping. If you are in these colors, you play that card or keep that card in mind when building decks. (Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon)

Now that we have that out of the way, let's begin!

Anticognition
Anticognition - 2.5 - The front half of this card is weak but if you can reliably turn it into a Counterspell that Scrys 2? Woo wee, now we are cookin'! Should definitely be played in Rogue tribal.
Charix, the Raging Isle
Charix, the Raging Isle - 1.5 - HOLY CRAB, BATMAN! This creature has the highest toughness of any other creature. While I would love to explore Zendikar with Charix, I do not want this crab in my deck. It does not really do anything unless your goal is to meme.
Confounding Conundrum
Confounding Conundrum - 3.5 - If your deck produces Blue mana, you will be playing this card in the Sideboard or even main deck depending on how the metagame shapes up. Play it in your Uro decks to counter other Uro decks.
Coralhelm Chronicler
Coralhelm Chronicler - 2.5 - This card is only as good as the kicker spells that are legal in Standard. I don't think we have enough to make this Merfolk viable.
Deliberate
Deliberate - 3 - Overall worse than Omen of the Sea but it is better for decks that care about Instant and Sorceries or just want to get cards into their graveyard quickly.
Inscription of Insight
Inscription of Insight - 2 - Very niche card that really needed to be an instant in order to see competitive play in Standard.
Jace, Mirror Mage
Jace, Mirror Mage - 3 - Jace does not protect himself or affect the battlefield in any way. Card is fine but nothing crazy. I prefer this over things like Teferi, Time Raveler.
Lullmage's Domination
Lullmage's Domination - 2 - Seems like a fine card in the Sideboard for Rogue decks. 3 mana to steal an Uro if they have eight cards in their graveyard. Only problem is that Uro has Escape making it harder to reduce these cards cost against Uro decks.
Maddening Cacophony
Maddening Cacophony - 2.5 - If the format continues being slow ramp decks, then I can see a mill deck working out. Even then though, it would only be fringe playable. Mill is just Blue being a bad burn deck.
Master of Winds
Master of Winds - 2 - I feel like this is just a worse Storm Entity and that already sees little to no play. 4 mana is the world of Omnath, Locus of Creation.
Merfolk Windrobber
Merfolk Windrobber - 3 - Evasive flyer that is not a dead draw in the late game since you can just cycle it for one Blue. Card seems good in a rogue deck or alongside Staggering Insight type cards.
Nimble Trapfinder
Nimble Trapfinder - 2 - 2 mana 2/1 that you need to play a creature every turn for it to connect. Then you need a full party before you can start drawing any cards. No thanks, I will pass on this one.
Ruin Crab
Ruin Crab - 2.5 - Not being able to mill yourself is an excessively big drawback from Hedron Crab. It takes a lot for mill to be a good strategy in Standard, which makes this Crab only fringe playable.
Sea Gate Stormcaller
Sea Gate Stormcaller - 3.5 - Sea Gate Stormcaller is no Snapcaster Mage but it does not have to be. It is still a great card in tempo decks or something like ur Prowess. It is also just solid on its own. The kicker ability is just icing on the cake.
Thieving Skydiver
Thieving Skydiver - 2.5 - Important to note that Thieving Skydiver steals any artifact, it does not have to be an equipment. This card will be more important if future sets have more artifacts. It does steal Witch's Oven which is nice.
Zulaport Duelist
Zulaport Duelist - 2.5 - Combat trick, Mill 2, with flash, on a body is pretty great except for it doesn't have flying, and that is huge. Without Flying I do not really want to play this card as it's a terrible draw later in the game.

Beyeen Veil
Beyeen Veil - 2.5 - A "Fog" against go wide strategies or a land when your opponent is not going wide. I like this card for Blue decks not running White or Red.
Glasspool Mimic
Glasspool Mimic - 3.5 - 3 mana clone is already a big draw to this card. The fact that it can just be a land when you do not have anything worthwhile to copy is absolutely amazing. Can also be played in a Collected Company deck, giving you more hits but also land drops.
Jwari Disruption
Jwari Disruption - 3 - Not as good as Censor but still good enough to see play in Standard. Early disruption is great for tempo and control decks.
Sea Gate Restoration
Sea Gate Restoration - 3.5 - I really like this card in ugx ramp decks, as they are the ones that can abuse it the most. We lost Hydroid Krasis and this does not take up a spell slot. Sea Gate Restoration and Gadwick, the Wizened will be the new ways to drastically refill your hand.
Silundi Vision
Silundi Vision - 3 - Instant makes this card a lot more appealing, I'm a fan of Peer through Depths Island.
Umara Wizard
Umara Wizard - 2 - Both side of this card are just way too weak to compete in Standard. I'd just play better double-faced cards.

Top 5 Blue Cards

  1. Sea Gate Restoration
  2. Glasspool Mimic
  3. Sea Gate Stormcaller
  4. Jwari Disruption
  5. Jace, Mirror Mage

We are still getting a lot of the spell lands in the top five and for good reason. Being able to have a card as a spell or a land is extremely valuable and versatile. The none flip cards, Glasspool Mimic and Jace, Mirror Mage I expect to see play, they just need to find a home first. They don't fit into almost everything like the flip lands do!

Tomorrow we will be going over the Black & Multicolored cards, make sure to tune in!

As always, thanks for reading,

Ali Aintrazi

Follow me @AliEldrazi

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