Welcome back to another Zendikar Rising draft guide for Magic: The Gathering! Last time, I went over all the cards for white. Today, we will be looking at all the blue cards.
Before I get into my rating for each card, here’s a brief overview of my Zendikar Rising Draft Guide 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 – Powerful 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.
Zendikar Rising Draft Guide – Blue
Anticognition – 3
Although I wouldn’t pick up more than two copies of this card, I think Anticognition is a great counterspell. The planeswalker portion won’t really help you, but this card is great at making some good tempo plays. Plus, with mill being a supported archetype this set, Anticognition stays relevant in the late-game.
Bubble Snare – 4
Wow, Bubble Snare is nuts. Flexibility is always awesome, and the fact that you can use this card for only 1-mana is insane.
Cascade Seer – 2.5
At worst, you get a 4-mana 3/3 and scry 1. That isn’t bad at all, making Cascade Seer a solid inclusion in almost any blue deck.
Charix, the Raging Isle – 4
This leviathan crab is a joke. 17 toughness is incredibly hard to deal with and demands your opponent to have a removal spell. The only downside to Charix is that he needs you to constantly sink mana into him to be a threat. However, that shouldn’t be a problem since the whole point of Charix is to stall your opponent until you can get to the late game anyways.
Chilling Trap – 1.5
For most blue decks, this card is going to get cut. The effect does little to help you progress to the board, and requires you to have several Wizards in your deck to replace itself.
Cleric of Chill Depths – 2.5
Cleric of Chill Depths is a good defender. A 1/3 statline is fairly weak, but the card does help you buy time against aggro decks. Plus, it helps fill in the cleric slot in your party.
Concerted Defense – 1.5
Concerted Defense is too conditional to be good. As a rule of thumb, any non-creature counterspell should almost always remain in the sideboard.
Confounding Conundrum – 0
Unfortunately, Confounding Conundrum doesn’t do anything in limited. But hey, at least this card is good in commander!
Coralhelm Chronicler – 3
If you have a few kicker cards in your deck, Coralhelm Chronicler can be pretty awesome. However, if you don’t hit a kicker card, then Coralhelm Chronicler becomes very average. Having a copy of this card in your deck is nice, but I would never prioritize picking it early.
Cunning Geysermage – 2.5
I know I hate on 3-mana 3/2’s a lot, but the upside on this card is real. Of course, 6-mana is a pretty heavy price to pay just to bounce a creature, but it’s a very relevant effect that can make or break games. Cunning Geysermage isn’t a game-winning card, but a solid common Wizard that can be put into any blue deck.
Deliberate – 1.5
In most limited formats, people tend to avoid picking Anticipate because the card doesn’t help you win the game. Deliberate has a very similar effect to Anticipate, so I anticipate that it will be a very weak pick for most draft decks.
Expedition Diviner – 3
I’m always happy to include a 4-mana 3/2 flyer in my deck, and potentially drawing a card off Expedition Diviner is very nice.
Field Research – 3
Field Research is just a better Divination, and Divination has always been a good spell in limited formats. Seems like all the classic limited cards are receiving upgrades nowadays.
Glacial Grasp – 2
Glacia Grasp is weird. It does so many things, but none of them really compliment one another. Despite this, it’s still a solid filler card, since it can buy you a turn and replace itself.
Inscription of Insight – 4
I really like the flexibility of this card. It’s a solid spell for 4-mana, and a soft bomb when you pay the kicker cost.
Into the Roil – 2.5
A great combat trick that can replace itself. Remember that you can always return one of your own permanents back to your hand to protect them from removal spells.
Jace, Mirror Mage – 5
Jace by himself won’t win you the game, but he will get you there fast. The ability to constantly filter through your deck and perfectly craft the hand you want is very strong in limited.
Living Tempest – 2.5
There are two concerns I have with Living Tempest. First, this card doesn’t help you assemble your party. Second, several other flyers can compete with this card – like Shepard of Heroes, for example. I want to like Living Tempest, but I have a feeling that it might under-perform in Zendikar Rising limited. However, the stats on the card aren’t bad, making it a decent filler.
Lullmage’s Domination – 4
Stealing a creature from your opponent is nuts! It’s basically a 2-for-1 since you remove their best creature and create a threat of your own. The ability to reduce the cost on this card is a nice cherry on top, but you don’t need to be in a mill deck to include Lullmage’s Domination.
Maddening Cacophony – 2
It’s nice that Maddening Cacophony can enable your “8+ cards in graveyard” cards, however, you really only want this card if you’re building a mill deck. If that’s the case, this is a good card to start thinning your opponent’s deck with. Otherwise it’s very mediocre.
Master of Winds – 4
A strong card that does a great job at blocking and attacking your opponent. Although it is very fragile as a 4/1, if your opponent doesn’t have any way to deal with flyers, Maser of Winds can be your win condition.
Merfolk Falconer – 4
I like Merfolk Falconer just as much as Master of Winds. It has amazing stats for 5-mana, and greatly increases the value of all your kicked spells. Put this card into your blue decks whenever you can.
Merfolk Windrobber – 2.5
I think Merfolk Windrobber will provide a good amount of value for 1-mana. Early on, this rogue will get in some chip damage and put some cards into your opponent’s library. Later in the game, if you don’t need it anymore, you can always replace it with another card.
Negate – 1
A classic sideboard card.
Nimble Trapfinder – 3
It’s not always easy to build up a full party, but when you do, the upside on this card is real. However, just being able to attack your opponent 1-2 times for free is a good amount of value for 2 mana. I’m always a fan of evasive attackers, making Nimble Trapfinder a solid pick for blue decks.
Risen Riptide – 2
A decent filler card that will slow down your opponent’s attacks.
Roost of Drakes – 3
Blue has a lot of common kicker spells, making Roost of Drakes an amazing payoff. I wouldn’t ever cast this card for 1-mana, unless I had a really good curve of kicker cards.
Ruin Crab – 3
Ruin Crab is an amazing mill-enabler that also serves as an amazing blocker. Even if you play it a little later in the game, you should get at least 2-3 triggers off this card.
Sea Gate Stormcaller – 3
Sea Gate Stormcaller’s effect is a little bit too limited for limited, so I can’t call it a bomb. However, getting 2 triggers off any spell you cast is a nice upside that most Magic players will want. Plus, this card fulfills the rogue slot in parties.
Seafloor Stalker – 3.5
I actually think Seafloor Stalker is deceptively good. Unblockable creatures are incredibly valuable in limited and are legitimate win conditions. Plus, the fact that you can use its ability more than once makes it scale very well into the late game.
Shell Shield – 1.5
Shell Shield protects your creature but doesn’t help it win combat. Zendikar Rising seems to be a very creature-based Magic: The Gathering set, which makes me think that Shell Shield will under-perform.
Skyclave Plunder – 2.5
At worst, you’re drawing 3 cards off this card, which is a pretty decent rate. Most of the time, you’ll get to look at 2-3 more cards, which turns this card from okay to great.
Skyclave Squid – 2
I really don’t like cards that aren’t able to fulfill the party requirement, unless they have a worthwhile ability. Skyclave Squid is an okay filler if you need an extra 2-mana creature.
Sure-Footed Infiltrator – 2
I think this card is too expensive to be worthwhile. Plus, it requires you to tap down another one of your creatures to be unblockable, which leaves you open to attacks. The fact that you can draw a card is nice, but nothing to be too excited about.
Tazeem Roilmage – 3
A solid common creature with a great upside.
Thieving Skydiver – 4
The fact that this card is a 2-mana 2/1 flyer is amazing. I don’t think the second ability will come up too often, but if you can steal an artifact, then Thieving Skydiver is just a blowout.
Windrider Wizard – 3
Wind Drake with an upside? I love it.
Zulaport Duelist – 2
A decent filler card that can actually provide a lot of value. I wouldn’t prioritize drafting this card, but wouldn’t be sad if I picked one up.
Beyeen Veil – 2
The ability itself is weak, but the flexibility of coming down as land is nice.
Glasspool Mimic – 4
This card is cheap, turns into your best creature, fulfills the rogue slot, and can come down as a land if you need it to. What’s not to love?
Jwari Disruption – 2.5
A weak counterspell, but the fact that it can come down as land when you need it to makes it a solid pickup.
Sea Gate Restoration – 2.5
This effect is fairly weak considering the mana cost required to cast it. But again, since it can just come down as land, it’s able to slot into any blue deck.
Silundi Vision – 2.5
If you have a spell that you need to find, Silundi Vision will find it.
Umara Wizard – 3
All the previous modal cards are actually weak if they weren’t able to come down as land. However, Umara Wizard is actually quite strong by itself, and fills up the wizard slot in parties.
My biggest surprise with blue was the lack of mill support. Besides Ruin Crab, every other mill effect was very weak, making me wary about the archetype as a whole. However, blue seems to have very flexible options and can go down several different paths. I think this color is going to be really good at slowing down the game, and has the necessary tools to stop any form of aggression.