Ominous Seas is a card I've wanted to build around since it was spoiled back in April of 2020. It wasn't until I found Induced Amnesia and the potential they had together that I was confident enough to throw a list together. I hope you like drawing cards, because you'll be doing it so much you'll actually have to worry about the hand size rule. It's time to release the kraken!
Mono Blue Ominous Seas | Casual | James Heslip
- Artifacts (2)
- 2 Claws of Gix
Cost: $20 at the time of publication
The namesake of the deck is Ominous Seas, an enchantment that requires its owner to be drawing massive amounts of cards in order to be relevant. Luckily, we have ways to accomplish this, which we will discuss later. While it works wonders in multiples, the hope is that with even just one of these in play, we can start spewing 8/8 Kraken tokens with threatening regularity. The option to cycle the card is nice, though it will almost never be better than just playing the Kraken spawner and building up foreshadow counters.
Oneirophage is our other win condition. Admittedly, this was supposed to be Chasm Skulker, but a playset of the Squid Horror costs as much as the rest of the deck combined. So, we're settling for his Squid Illusion cousin for now. With the crazy amounts of drawing we're going to be doing, Oneirophage will grow very large very quickly. In my play-testing, games in which he was allowed to stay in play for more than a couple turns ended with him simply killing players in one swing, thanks to his more than twenty power.
With our win conditions out of the way, it's time to talk about our draw engine. In this vein, the three most important cards are Hatching Plans, Perilous Research, and Induced Amnesia. Hatching Plans nets us three cards at the cost of two mana if we can find a way to sacrifice it. This is where Research comes into play. It nets us an additional two cards while also serving as a means to sacrifice Plans. Combining the two brings us to a total of five cards for four mana. Bring Induced Amnesia into the mix, and your board will quickly have many more tentacles than it did before. Losing the cards we initially drew won't matter for long, as we'll simply sacrifice Amnesia down the road to get them all back!
Much of the rest of the deck functions as alternatives to this engine. Ordeal of Thassa is best placed on Oneirophage. If the Squid happens to already have a few counters on it, Ordeal can be triggered in the same turn, netting you some speedy card draw, which means even more +1/+1 counters. Ordeal can be placed on any creature, though, and thanks to how it's worded, you don't need to sacrifice it to its own ability in order to draw your cards. Just enchant whatever you see, then Perilous Research it away for four more cards!
Abjure acts as an additional sacrifice outlet which can also protect our Oneirophage or Ominous Seas from removal. With Hatching Plans or Ordeal of Thassa in play, you'll be countering spells and drawing cards at the same time!
Though it's likely the worst card in the deck, I found Claws of Gix to be required, as there just weren't any other viable options when it came to sacrifice outlets, and we needed it for consistency. The life gain is practically useless, but having a permanent and repeatable means of tributing enchantments is helpful.
Whirlpool Rider is basically a lower-costed Induced Amnesia that can attack or block, as well as serve as tribute fodder for Abjure and Research. This unassuming merfolk will do wonders when it comes to adding counters to your win conditions, and chain drawing them off of each other is hilarious.
Finally, Reality Acid is included to add a bit more interaction to the deck. With so many ways for us to sacrifice the enchantment, you can think of it as a Blue Vindicate. Destroy whatever threat has you on the ropes, or disrupt your opponent's strategies in other ways. You can even use it to blow up lands, potentially locking the enemy out of specific colors of mana!
Playing the Deck
Sequencing is important if you want to get the most out of your draws and win conditions. Depending on the board state, it is almost always best to play your Squid or Kraken-spawning enchantment as soon as they are available. Basically, you don't want to be drawing cards unless doing so actually benefits you. Otherwise, you're doing a whole lot while actually doing nothing in particular.
When your engine is online, and you're drawing cards left and right, Reliquary Tower becomes important. This is especially true when sacrificing Induced Amnesia becomes a real option. Without Tower, you'll end up discarding cards to the hand size rule that you would otherwise be able to use on your next turn. Because of this, any turn that you are planning on drawing lots of cards but don't have Tower in play is a turn that you should hold back on your land drop. Being able to draw into Tower and play it that turn could save you the headache of deciding what cards to keep in your end phase.
Perilous Research is an instant, and Claws of Gix can be activated at instant speed. Use such things to your advantage. Perform combat tricks and make spells fizzle by sacrificing creatures or auras at opportune moments. This helps you get the most out of your spells.
- Chasm Skulker
- Nadir Kraken
- Lorescale Coatl
- Jace's Projection
- Toothy, Imaginary Friend
- Burlfist Oak
- Psychosis Crawler
- Diviner's Wand
- Body of Knowledge
- Read the Runes
- Accumulated Knowledge
- Magus of the Bazaar
- Whirlpool Warrior
- Day's Undoing
- Kefnet the Mindful
Chasm Skulker is far and above the most important option here. It is strictly better than Oneirophage in most ways (it doesn't fly) and if it weren't for its $5 price tag, we would be playing it already. Not only does it have a lower mana value than the Squid Illusion, but it's also fine sacrifice fodder, as it replaces itself with little squid babies when it dies. If you already own a play set, or don't mind paying the extra $20 to upgrade the deck, then replace Oneirophage without hesitation.
Nadir Kraken, Jace's Projection, and Toothy are all additional alternatives. The Kraken is a neat halfway point to Chasm Skulker, but it is a mana-intensive card, and I don't think it would be worth all the effort. Toothy looks promising, as tributing him to Research or Abjure nets you even more cards and counters, should you need to do so.
Read the Runes, Brainstorm, Breakthrough, and Accumulated Knowledge are cheap spells that can draw you lots of cards. They don't quite fit with the general theme of the list, but they were worth mentioning. If you can afford fetch lands, Brainstorm in particular is worth taking another look at.
Whirlpool Warrior is just a more expensive Whirlpool Rider, but the effect is so powerful here, that it was worth pointing out. Body of Knowledge is a win condition, draw power, and hand size helper all in one, but at five mana, he's a little difficult to get into play. Additional copies of Reliquary Tower might be best instead. In fact, similarly to Chasm Skulker, if their price tag wasn't as high as it is, I would be playing a full play set of the tower in the original list.