In my previous Magic: The Gathering article, I did an Ikoria Draft guide review of all the white cards for Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. Today, we’ll be going over all the blue cards!
As always, before I get into my rating for each card, here’s a brief overview of my rating system.
- 1 – Bad card or only useful in the sideboard
- 2 – Passable, but not something I would pick early or often
- 3 – A solid card I’m happy to pick most of the time
- 4 – Very strong cards that provide a lot of value on their own
- 5 – Cards that will almost always win the game if your opponents can’t deal with them
Now that we know how I’ll be rating each card, let’s get straight into the ratings.
Aegis Turtle – 1.5
Aegis Turtle isn’t something I’d pick up early in a draft, but it isn’t a bad addition in some decks. It’s a great early blocker for slower blue decks and gives you a target to mutate later in the game. I think this card could’ve been a lot better if the design team just gave it Cycling.
Anticipate – 2
Normally I like Anticipate, but I feel that this card becomes slightly worse when the set is filled with Cycling cards. Anticipate is a fine addition, but can be easily cut for other cards.
Archipelagore – 2.5
This card can be a decent finisher in some blue decks, but it is a little too slow. With that said, Archipelagore is scary if you can mutate two or more times.
Avian Oddity – 2.5
A four mana 2/4 flyer is not the greatest, but I like the flexibility on this card. Having the option to Cycle this card and leave a flying counter for your strongest creature is nice.
Boon of the Wishgiver – 2.5
Drawing four cards for six mana is a fair price for you to get an edge over your opponent when you are both top decking. Normally, this card can be a little clunky, but that isn’t a problem when you can just cycle it away for 1-mana.
Capture Sphere – 2.5
Good common removal at instant speed. It’s also nice that Flash is a supported archetype in this set.
Convolute – 2
This card has never been exciting and still isn’t. Does its job, and not a bad addition in slower decks.
Crystacean – 1
A 1/6 body with Flash is a decent blocker, but there are much better things you could be doing with 4-mana.
Dreamtail Heron – 3.5
I really like this card. Just purely off stats, a five mana 3/4 flyer is already decent for a creature. Playing this for its Mutate cost of 4 mana is nice since you’ll get to draw a card off it.
Escape Protocol – 2
I have a hard time rating Escape Protocol. It hasn’t performed very well throughout the games I’ve played since there aren’t a lot of good enter-the-battlefield triggers. There is something interesting to note about Escape Protocol, however – if you blink a pile of Mutated creatures, they will all come back separated. Done at the right time, this can create some crazy plays.
Essence Scatter – 3
Essence Scatter has always been a good cheap Cancel. This card can find a place in any blue deck.
Facet Reader – 2.5
Loot effects are always welcome. I think most blue decks will be always happy to include one copy of Facet Reader.
Frost Lynx – 3
Frost Lynx is a sold card. It can be used both offensively and defensively and has a little more value than normal in a set revolving around Mutate.
Frostveil Ambush – 2
With Frostveil Ambush, you’ll need to have a way to finish off your opponent, or else it won’t do much for you in the long run. Having this card Cycle for 1 is nice and makes it playable in most blue decks.
Glimmerbell – 3
Glimmerbell is great in this set. It’s a fantastic creature to Mutate onto and provides a lot of utility through untapping itself. Glimmerbell gets around cards like Snare Tactician and Capture Sphere.
Gust of Wind – 2 // 2.5
This card is just okay for 4-mana. However, if you have flyers in play so that you’re able to cast it for two mana consistently, then I think Gust of Wind becomes good.
Hampering Snare – 2
You wouldn’t be playing this card if it didn’t have Cycling. This card doesn’t really do you much most of the time but can be good against go-wide decks.
Keep Safe – 2
It’s nice that this card replaces itself once you cast it, however, I don’t see it being very impactful most of the time. I would only consider this card if I have a deck full of Mutate creatures and my opponent is packing a large amount of removal spells.
Mystic Subdual – 2.5
It’s nice that this card removes all abilities and has Flash. It does a good job of dealing with some creatures.
Mythos of Illuna – 4
It’s great that this card copies any permanent. This allows you to copy important enchantments in the format, like Pacifism. Having the best card on the board is a great ability, and makes this card first-pickable.
Neutralize – 3
Cancel with upside is always good. When that upside is Cycling, that makes this card very good. Solid addition in blue decks.
Of One Mind – 2.5
In any limited environment, having a copy of Divination has always been good. You won’t always be able to cast it for 1 mana, but it’s not impossible in this set.
Ominous Seas – 2 // 2.5
Ominous Seas is a nice build-around card since an 8/8 can easily finish off games. However, I wouldn’t be playing this card unless I have ways to Cycle or consistently draw cards to build up counters. This card gets worse later in the game, but the fact that it has cycling gets around that.
Phase Dolphin – 2
Phase Dolphin is not an impressive creature. You’ll most likely only get 1 swing out of this card.
Pollywog Symbiote – 3
A solid pick for Mutate-based decks. Even if you only have a few mutate cards, Pollywog Symbiote can still be a great addition and a serviceable early game blocker.
Pouncing Shoreshark – 3
Pouncing Shoreshark is a great tempo creature. The fact that it has Flash makes it a very interesting creature for combat. At worst, he just comes in a surprise 4/3 creature. At best, he can Flash Mutate onto an existing weaker creature, and bounce your opponents’ biggest threat. That seems like a sweet deal to me.
Reconnasiance Mission – 2.5
If you have early creature presence, Reconnasiance Mission can take over games. However, Enchantments like this normally become a horrible draw when you’re behind. Oh wait, this card has Cycling. Nevermind!
Sea-Dasher Octopus – 3
This card is great. It provides a source of card draw and has a very cheap Mutate cost. Having Flash as an ability opens up a lot of flexibility for the Octopus, and makes it a great pick early on in drafts.
Shark Typhoon – 4.5
Solid first pick. At worst, you can Cycle this card away at any time and get a flying Shark. So if you top deck this card on turn 6 and have no use for it, Cycling it away gives you a 4/4 flyer and a new card. On the other hand, if you have enough spell, Shark Typhoon is just going to overwhelm your opponent.
Startling Development – 2
A filler card. There are many situations where Startling Development won’t do much. With that said, it does provide a decent amount of options in addition to having Cycle.
Thieving Otter – 2.5
A 3-mana 2/2 that draws you a card is very nice. The one problem with this card it that you need to deal damage directly to your opponent. However, with all the Mutate cards in this set, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Thieving Otter getting in for a lot of value. Dreamtail Heron combos with the otter very nicely.
Voracious Greatshark – 4
A solid 2-for-1 card. With a Mutate based set, it’s not hard to counter a creature spell. On top of that, a 5/4 body is pretty good.
Wingfold Pteron – 2
A decent card that can help you close out the game. I think it’d be choosing flying most of the time, but there are occasions where Hexproof becomes the better option.
Wingspan Mentor – 3.5
This card is really good. It’s not hard to find creatures with flying in this set, so giving them all +1/+1 counters is an extremely strong ability. Wingspan Mentor can be a good first pick.
That concludes my review of all the blue cards in Ikoria. Blue seems to have a lot of different options they can use in this set. Next up in the color wheel is black!
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