With Pre-Release events beginning today for Magic 2012, I’m going to run down the Blue cards in the set. Clearly, the Illusion archetype is now quite playable and the new Jace has every talking (most people hate him) as well as the return of Ponder.
Aether Adept – A fantastic card for a common. Bouncing creatures is far more important in Limited than Constructed, but a 2/2 creature with an Unsummon effect is certainly pretty good for 3 mana, especially as a common. A welcome start to the blue cards, and they only get better from here…
Alluring Siren – Target creature attacks you if able? This is absolutely good, perhaps only in Limited, but very much so, deserving of an uncommon slot. This can screw up opposing strategies so badly. It’s a reprint from M10 and M11, which I’m glad they continue to print.
Amphin Cutthroat – A 2/4 vanilla. Worst blue card in the set. But thankfully, only a common, so we can’t complain too much.
Aven Fleetwing – A 2/2 flyer with Hexproof. Pretty underwhelming.
Azure Mage – Paying 4 to draw a card simply isn’t good on such a fragile creature. People will play it in Limited as a blue creature, but it’s a weak uncommon. The Mage cycle really isn’t too great.
Belltower Sphinx – A pretty good card back in the days of Ravnica, and it’s really good in limited. A 2/5 flyer is very difficult to get past, and one that when its dealt damage mills an opponent’s cards equal to that damage is even better. Solid card.
Cancel – Counter target spell. Simple enuogh
Chasm Drake – Giving a creature flying is never too bad, but this is a pretty weak card.
Coral Merfolk – Your standard 2/1 Merfolk vanilla. Mediocre, but playable in Limited
Divination – Draw two cards for three mana, only one of which need to be blue. Solid card advantage.
Djinn of Wishes – Not really a fan of this card. It’s good if you have an expensive card that you know you’ll play off the top of your deck, but it’s just too awkward. There are certainly some Commander applications to this card, but otherwise it’s pretty useless.
Flashfreeze – Great side board card vs red or green decks.
Flight – Give something flying. It’s good in limited if your opponent doesn’t have flyers.
Frost Breath – Pretty much Frost Titan’s ability times two in an instant. It’s such a good common.
Frost Titan – The king of Blue/White control. Read my review here.
Harbor Serpent – It’s a bomb with Islandwalk, but five or more islands need to be on the battlefield. The good news is that includes all players, so it’s a sideboard option for Limited.
Ice Cage – It’s basically Arrest, except when the creature is targeted by a spell or ability, Ice Cage is destroyed. Still playable in Limited.
Jace, Memory Adept – A win condition in Limited, and very good in graveyard-based decks. Also makes mill playable. Read my review here.
Jace’s Archivist – This guy will draw you lots of cards, and as I’ve mentioned before, ridiculous with Jace’s Erasure. It’s one of the best rares in the set, and a solid draw engine.
Jace’s Erasure – A card that was overlooked in M11. It wasn’t good before, but its decent now.
Levitation – Gives all of your creatures flying. Not great, but if you have some serious land-based bombs, then this can work for you.
Lord of the Unreal – The Lord of Illusions. Fantastic card that makes Illusions extremely dangerous.
Mana Leak – The best permission spell ever. Classic.
Master Thief - There are certainly artifacts you’d want to steal. But it’s only good as long as Master Thief stays on the board. It’s kind of not that good, but it’s usable in Limited.
Merfolk Looter – Great for dropping a dead card for a new card. Cycling is always nice.
Merfolk Mesmerist – Another mill card. Paying 1 blue and tapping to mill 2 cards isn’t really that great, but a 1/2 chumpblocker is certainly welcome in Limited, and milling 2 means a lot more with the usual 40 card decks of Limited.
Mind Control – Steal your opponent’s bomb. Good card.
Mind Unbound – Combined with Jace’s Erasure, this card can easily deck out your opponent. Just be sure to not mill yourself.
Negate – Nothing wrong with a card that counters any non-creature spell.
Phantasmal Bear – A 2/2 for 1 mana is just always good. Its Illusion drawback makes it fragile, but with Lord of the Unreal, it’s a 3/3 with Hexproof!
Phantasmal Dragon – A 5/5 flyer for 4 mana that forces your opponent to use something on it. Such a bomb, and with Lord of the Unreal, actually very playable.
Phantasmal Image – The new clone, and it’s cheap. So great. It’s also Hexproof with Lord of the Unreal. And yes, it can copy Lord of the Unreal, too. Such a sweet card. Pick up your play set now.
Ponder – A lot of people say Preordain is still better, but I honestly think setting up your draws for potentially three turns is a much greater advantage. You can also shuffle the deck, which is an underrated effect. Great card.
Redirect – Choose new targets for a spell. This isn’t really that great, but it is a nice tricky card in Limited to make a removal or pump spell backfire on someone.
Skywinder Drake – Can only block creatures with flying? What’s the point. Waste of a common slot.
Sphinx of Uthuun – People are already calling it “Fact or Fiction” Sphinx. Considering that its enter the battlefield ability IS Fact or Fiction, that sort of makes sense. Your opponent better choose to make the piles correctly, or it can win you, or lose you, the game. It’s a 5/6 flyer on top of that, so very solid.
Time Reversal – This was the last of the mythic rares spoiled, and it’s not good as a mythic, even less so than it was in M11. It reads: “Each player shuffles his or her hand and graveyard into his or her library, then draws seven cards. Exile Time Reversal.” It’s got use in Commander, but it’s not really that great a card in general.
Turn to Frog – One of the best new cards in Magic 2012. It’s an amazing combat trick. It also has epic flavor text: “Ribbit!”
Unsummon – Great card to deal with creatures with auras on them. Otherwise, it’s not really all that great.
Visions of Beyond – A card that goes from a simple can-trip cycler into an Ancestral Recall if a graveyard has twenty or more cards in it? Not too great in Limited, but fantastic in the right deck.
Blue is absolutely fantastic in Limited. From what it’s lost, it’s gained a lot, including the Sphinx and some great mill cards. It also gained the great combat trick Turn to Frog, something that Blue hasn’t really had in a while.