The Might of the Tides: Best Blue MTG Cards for Your Deck

Brian Cooper  By Brian Cooper | Updated on January 9, 2024

BLUE, the color of intellect and manipulation, offers MTG players the tools to outthink and outmaneuver opponents. Outside of Black, it’s the color that most will say is the most popular amongst players.

This mystical and cerebral hue (wow, sounds powerful, right?! 🙂 is synonymous with control, card advantage, and bending the rules of the game to the player’s will.

MTG’s rich history brims with Blue Spells that have changed the course of the game. And in this post, we’ll explore the best blue MTG cards that should be on every player’s radar, whether you’re building your first deck or seeking to dominate a tournament.

The Role of Blue in MTG’s Color Pie

The color pie in MTG represents the game’s deep mechanics and fantasy-driven world. Blue’s slice of the pie is all about knowledge and control. The cards are a true reflection of the color’s elemental nature of water, flowing and adaptability.

Mastery over card draw, counter magic, and cerebral strategies identifies blue’s dominance in the game. Control and manipulation are at it’s core and if you’re a control freak, it’s the color you’ll most enjoy playing.

There are three really important aspects to a blue deck that I want to highlight:

AspectDescription
KnowledgeBlue mages value information, card draw reflects this tenet.
ControlCounter spells and bounce spells allow players to control the board.
AdaptabilityCards like TWISTED IMAGE showcase blue's ability to adapt to any situation.

Blue’s Control Supremacy

Control decks revolve around denying opponents their plays while building towards victory, and blue is the emblem of control in MTG.

It can be a very frustrating deck to play against and sometimes you feel like everything you do during a game is countered. Blue decks (and even combo decks with Blue cards) are fun to play but are very annoying and at times irritating to play against.

Blue’s arsenal of control options makes it a.persistent threat in every MTG format. Each card weaves a fabric of frustration for your opponents, ensuring they can never feel safe executing their plan.

Knowing that Blue is so popular, below are some of the best blue cards that we have found that you can have in your MTG decks. 

The Best Blue MTG Cards for Every Situation

The Best Blue Counter Spells

Counter spells are the heart of blue’s control game. These spells provide the satisfaction of saying “no” just when an opponent thinks they’ve made a game-winning play.

Spell NameDescription
Force of WillFree counter play at the cost of life and a card.
DazeAn early game pseudo-free counter.
NegateA targeted shield against non-creature threats.

Utilizing these spells effectively requires foresight and the ability to anticipate your opponent’s strategy, a hallmark of a skilled blue player.

Force of Will MTG

Mastering the Card Draw with Blue

Beyond controlling the board, blue excels in filling the player’s hand with options and opportunities. The capacity for card draw in blue is unmatched, and these spells are integral in maintaining the flow of resources necessary to sustain control throughout the match.

Card NameFunction
Ancestral RecallThe pinnacle of card draw with a draw three effect.
BrainstormA classic way to dig for answers and manipulate the library.
PonderProvides both card draw and library manipulation.

With blue, each card drawn feels like a step toward an inevitable win, a testament to the color’s strategic depth.

Ancestral Recall MTG

Iconic Blue Creatures Across Formats

Blue’s creatures may not always boast raw strength, but they make up for it with unmatched utility and synergy. These creatures reinforce blue’s themes, offering more than just combat potential—they become cogs in a well-oiled machine of card advantage and control.

CreatureUnique Ability
Snapcaster MageGrants spells a second life from the graveyard.
True-Name NemesisProvides unrivaled protection and steady damage.
Vendilion CliqueDisrupts the opponent's hand while establishing a board presence.

Integrating these creatures into a blue deck enhances the deck’s overall performance, turning what might look like an ordinary battlefield into a landscape where every creature serves multiple purposes.

Snapcaster Mage MTG

Game-Changing Blue Instants and Sorceries

The true power of blue often shows in the form of instants and sorceries that can swing games in your favor at a moment’s notice. Between bouncing entire boards with a well-timed “Cyclonic Rift” or stealing an opponent’s threat with “Control Magic,” these spells define pivotal moments in any match.

ImpactCard ExampleOutcome
HighCyclonic RiftClears the board in your favor.
MediumTime WarpProvides an extra turn—often a path to victory.
LowGitaxian ProbeOffers information and card draw for little cost.

Strategic deployment of these spells often means the difference between victory and defeat, showcasing blue’s dynamic and impactful nature in the game.

Cyclonic Rift MTG

The Influence of Blue Planeswalkers

Planeswalkers are emblematic of MTG’s high-fantasy storytelling, and blue’s planeswalkers are no exception.

From the mind-molding powers of “Jace, the Mind Sculptor” to the time-bending “Teferi, Hero of Dominaria,” these characters bring a level of advantage that can govern the pace and outcome of the game.

PlaneswalkerSignature Ability
Jace, the Mind SculptorBrainstorm" effect and board control.
Teferi, Hero of DominariaCard draw and untapping lands.
Narset, Parter of VeilsLimiting opponent's draw and finding key spells.

These characters are not just powerful allies; they embody the strategic essence of blue, providing incremental advantages that accumulate to overwhelming effect.

Jace the Mind Sculptor MTG

Blue’s Impact on MTG Tournaments

Blue’s prevalence in MTG tournaments is a testimony to its enduring strength across various formats. Cards like “Force of Will” and “Snapcaster Mage” are not just staples, they shape the competitive landscape.

Whether it’s in Legacy, Modern, or Standard, blue’s influence is omnipresent.

FormatBlue CardImpact
LegacyBrainstormCore enabler of many strategies
ModernCryptic CommandVersatile control and board manipulation
StandardCounterspellMaintains tempo and control

Through its adaptability and strength, blue consistently proves to be a linchpin in many top-tier competitive decks. And when it comes to MTG tournaments, there have been many instances where blue decks done extremely well in tournament play. Here are a few more recent major tournaments where blue decks took out most if not all of the competition:

  1. 2023 Pro Tour Phyrexia: Gabriel Nassif’s deck Izzet Creativity came in 8th place out of 218 decks in this tournament. This blue/green/red deck utilized Shark Typhoon, Impulse and Spell Pierce along with a host of powerful red spells to win the tourney.
  2. 2019 Mythic Championship VII: Ben Stark finished in the top 20 with a blue-white control deck Azorius Control. This deck focused on controlling the game and was anchored by Planeswalker Teferi, Time Raveler along with 22 other blue and white spells. 
  3. 2020 Grand Open Qualifier Copenhagen: Piotr GĹ‚ogowski came in 26th out of 408 decks with a Izzet Murktide combo deck. This red/blue deck used Counterspell, Consider and Murktide Regent to beat out hundreds of other decks.
  4. Magic World Championship XXVII Magic Arena: Stanislav Cifka finished 12th with a blue-red “Izzet Epiphany” deck. This powerful deck utilized over 35 red and blue spells to control the game.
  5. 2022 Pizza Box Open (Standard): Tian Fa Mun won the entire tournament with a blue-red “Izzet Control” deck. This deck combined over 30 blue and red spells to control the game and included only one single blue creature, the Hullbreaker Horror.

Brainstorm MTG

Building a Powerful Blue Mana Base

To harness the full potential of blue cards, a stable mana base is crucial. Islands are the backbone, but utility lands such as “Mystic Sanctuary” and dual lands like “Flooded Strand” provide both the necessary resources and strategic depth.

Mana Base ElementDescription
IslandsThe primary source of blue mana.
Dual LandsOffer flexibility with additional color access.
Utility LandsProvide strategic advantages beyond mana.

Incorporating a balanced mana base allows you to cast blue spells consistently and on schedule, keeping you ahead of the competition.

Island MTG

Mana Efficiency: The Blue Mage’s Edge

Blue spells exemplify mana efficiency—achieving maximum effect with minimum investment. Spells like “Spell Pierce” and “Mana Leak” disrupt opponents at a low cost, showcasing blue’s ability to operate effectively on limited resources.

CardMana CostEffectiveness
Spell Pierce{U}High ROI on investment
Mana Leak{1U}Versatile and potent in early to mid-game
Swan Song{U}Specific yet powerful effect for one blue mana

Optimizing your plays to use mana efficiently is a skill that every blue mage should aspire to master, allowing for multi-layered strategies in complex gameplay situations.

Spell Pierce MTG

Incorporating Blue into Various Deck Archetypes

Whether you are piloting a dedicated blue control deck or weaving blue cards into a multicolor strategy, the versatility of blue allows it to complement a wide range of archetypes.

ArchetypeBlue's RoleExample Cards
ControlMain strategy enablerForce of Will, Teferi, Time Raveler
ComboFacilitates finding and protecting combosSerum Visions, Pact of Negation
MidrangeAdds flexibility and resilienceMulldrifter, Mystical Dispute

Understanding how to integrate blue’s strengths into your deck enhances your tactical options and elevates your game to new heights.

Teferi, Time Raveler MTG

Blue’s Deck Synergy and Combos

Synergy and combo potential are areas where blue truly shines. The color’s interactivity with itself and with other colors leads to powerful and sometimes game-ending combinations.

Combo PiecesResult
High Tide + PalinchronInfinite mana generation
Show and Tell + OmniscienceImmediate casting of spells without cost
Mind Over Matter + Azami, Lady of ScrollsDraw entire library

Crafting and executing synergies and combos require a deeper understanding of not only your own deck but also the metagame you’re playing in. Players who can navigate these complex interactions can use blue’s intricacies to their full advantage.

Looking at Blue Cards as an Investment

From a collector’s perspective, blue cards have consistently proven to be valuable investments. Iconic cards like “Ancestral Recall” and “Time Walk” are not only powerful in-game but also carry historical and financial significance.

CardRarityEstimated Value
Ancestral RecallPower NineExceptionally High
Jace, the Mind SculptorMythic RareHigh
Vendilion CliqueRareModerate

Understanding the market trends and the collectible nature of MTG cards can add an additional layer of enjoyment to the game for enthusiasts and investors alike.

As with all investments in Magic The Gathering cards, I prefer to target important cards in the game, vintage cards, graded cards and unopened material like booster boxes. When it comes to Blue cards, that mantra remains the same.

Your best investments when it comes to blue MTG cards will be vintage graded cards. Those are the type of investments that will have the best shot at rising prices over time and decent appreciation. 

Here are some examples of cards I would be looking to target, if the budget allowed. 

  1. Unlimited Graded Singles (1993) – If you look at the most expensive and sought after cards in the 1993 Unlimited set, 5 of the top 10 cards are BLUE! You cannot go wrong with any of these: Time Walk, Timetwister, Mox Sapphire, Ancestral Recall, and Volcanic Island. All are primo Magic cards and are considered some of the best OG Magic cards in the game.
  2. Revised Graded Singles (1994) – I still think there’s a massive opportunity to buy graded Revised singles super cheap these days. I’m talking Copy Artifact, any of the Dual Lands that include blue mana, Vesuvan Doppleganger and Braingeyser to name a few. Prices are super depressed these days so picking up a few of these and adding to your collection is never a bad thing. Stick with HIGH grades like 9’s and 10’s only.
  3. Graded Gilded Drake (Urza’s Saga) – a flying 3/3 crazy Blue MTG card from an awesome set. Graded versions are highly sought after and you can’t go wrong with this card in your collection.
  4. Tolarian Academy (Urza’s Saga) – an absolute can’t-go-wrong card. I love this card and think it will gradually over time increase in value. It should be one of the cornerstone cards of any MTG collection.
  5. Time Spiral (Urza’s Saga) – Seeing a theme here? Urza’s Saga is loaded with great cards so any of these Blue cards are worth having. Time Spiral has been reprinted so getting the OG original in a high grade is the way to go. 

Vendilion Clique MTG

Key Takeaways

PointDescription
Legacy of BlueBlue cards have been central to MTG since the beginning, offering control and strategy.
Top Control CardsCards like "Counterspell" define blue's ability to dictate the pace of the game.
Card Draw EnginesBrainstorm" and "Ancestral Recall" are among the powerful draw cards in blue's arsenal.
Iconic Blue CreaturesCreatures such as "Snapcaster Mage" have become staples in competitive play.
Blue Spells that Swing GamesInstant spells like "Cyclonic Rift" can completely turn the tides of a match.
Blue's Elite PlaneswalkersPlaneswalkers like "Jace, the Mind Sculptor" bring unparalleled value.
Mana Efficiency MasteryBlue spells often offer high impact for low mana costs.
Blue in Competitive PlayBlue is a mainstay in competitive formats for its consistency and power.
Deck Building TipsTips on how to effectively weave blue cards into a winning combination.
Investment PerspectiveSome blue cards are highly sought after as collectible investments.

Counterspell Revised MTG

Wrap Up

We’ve journeyed through the powerful tides of blue covering just about every aspect you could think of. We’ve explored the best blue MTG cards that offer control, intellectual engagement, and the ability to dictate the game’s pace.

By incorporating these cards into your decks, you not only up the ante on your gameplay experience but also connect with a crucial aspect of MTG’s identity.

Whether you’re countering a crucial spell or executing a complex combo of cards, blue cards can be the key to an absolute fun way to play Magic, whether you’re a novice or seasoned pro.

That being said, let’s shuffle up, draw, and dive into the BLUE, where the depths of strategy await!

Enjoy the game, and don’t forget to keep collecting and investing in MTG and other TCGs! See you soon.

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Brian Cooper has been a part of the trading card scene since the 1980s and is the driving force behind MAGIC CARD INVESTOR. His mission is to help bring back the fun and nostalgia of collecting Magic: The Gathering cards and other Trading Card games to everyone young and old.