Mono-Blue Deck Fix
by Wally West

     Alright, here we go, my first deck to tune up.  Bonnie Arko sent me a mono blue deck that uses flying creatures to do some early damage until its high casting cost creatures hit the board, and it uses instants and enchant creature spells to control the tempo to make sure he lasts until that time.  Here is the deck he sent me:

3 Air Elemental
4 Vodalian Serpent
4 Dream Thrush
4 Faerie Squadron

1 Tidings
1 Abduction
1 Control Magic
1 Opportunity
2 Inspiration
3 Counterspell
3 Repulse
2 Opt
1 Ray of Command
2 Brainstorm
4 Unsummon

1 Saprazzan Skerry
1 Svylunite Temple
1 Remote Isle
21 Island

Now, I was told that there are three commonly used decks in his area.  The first is an aggressive black-red deck based on the power of Rath cycle black creatures along with some of the more popular red creatures with haste to a lot of damage very quickly.  The second is a green-white deck based on elves such as priest of titania to boost mana and then start dropping really big green creatures, while using enlightened tutor and some very powerful enchantments and artifacts to make it very versatile and difficult to beat.  The third is a relatively new deck which utilizes many of the domain cards in invasion to their fullest potential by playing multiple land types.
         The first thing I want to do with this deck is round out some of the numbers.  There are some cards that simply beg to be played in most blue decks, and I want to make sure we have 4 of them in this deck.  I think counterspell and ray of command are these types of cards when you're facing lots of creatures or high casting cost spells.  Ray of command really shines in a creature environment, because after you're attacked, you can ray a creature and block with it, thus taking care of two of their creatures for just one card.  Another card that begs to be in the deck is fact or fiction, as well as washout.  There is a lot of deck manipulation, and search cards in the deck, but by and large, fact or fiction will be the better card, because: a) its only 4 mana, b) you almost always get three cards or more from it, and c) it lets you see more cards for the mana.  Also, when you're running repulse and unsummon, you'll find that washout tends to do a lot more, and can often change the game in your favor.  Another card I think I'm going to add to this deck is exclude, since it will just about always be useful, and it nets you a card to boot.  So lets see what that brings us to:  the creatures.  I think I want to keep the vodalian serpent, the air elemental, and the dream thrush, but I would like to add rishadan airship as a nice cheap 3 caster that does as much damage as faerie squadron (its 3/1 flying, only blocks flyers), and cloud sprite as a nice cheap 1-caster that is 1/1 flying and can't block non flyers.  I chose these creatures because they fit what I call a "mana curve."  This means that their mana costs are varied so that you can play spells throughout the game, and it doesn't hurt you if your opponent kills your land or you don't hit 4 or 5 mana. Also, with  the right draw, you can just about lay a creature every turn of the game and play your deck aggressively to beat them rather than controlling the game.  So here is what we've got:

4 Cloud Sprite
4 Dream thrush
4 Rishadan Airship
4 Air Elemental
4 Vodalian Serpent
4 Counterspell
4 Exclude
4 Washout
3 Fact or Fiction
4 Ray of command

I'll have the land look like this:
4 Remote Isle
22 Island
I don't want any of the land to go away unless I tell it to, but remote isles are useful in that they don't slow you down much but are good because you can cycle them in the late game when you don't need any more land.
So, this looks good to me, but if you have any problems with people killing land or drawing the right amount of mana or if your spells seem like they cost too much, you might want to bring your curve down by replacing washout with undo to help that problem.  Well, hope this helped, and good luck!


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