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The Possibilities of Blue Green in OBC
by Andrew Stokinger

I keep trying to write an article on the possibilities of green blue in OBC but I keep running into this problem where the format changes, and people start playing with new cards and stop playing with others. Here is a run through of the available strategies employed and a somewhat dated view of the meta game involving these cards.  Keep in mind I’m only focusing on Green/Blue with no splash color. The mana is too inconsistent to play more than 2 colors in OBC.

The Flashback Engine:

Quiet Speculation
Roar of the Wurm
Deep Analysis

To a lesser extent:

Catalyst Stone
Grizzly Fate
Krosan Reclamation
Moment's Peace
Acorn Harvest 
Ray of Revelation

There is real power in using Quiet Speculation, which is very evident if you get three Roar of the Wurm.  It’s the equivalent of getting 3 Hunted Wumpus with no drawback and putting them in your hand.  The thing to realize is that it doesn’t look as insane when you cast any other spell that is listed above.  Catalyst stone is more hate for your opponent’s flashback than there to help you cast your spells. There is power to be abused, but not a lot of it.  Grizzly Fate has made a large rise in popularity lately, but is much easier to just hard cast.

The Madness Engine:

To be able to discard:

Wild Mongrel
Cephalid Looter
Careful Study 

Madness Spells:

Basking Rootwalla
Arrogant Wurm
Circular Logic

Madness while using mongrel or Aquameoba to pitch the spells is just cost reduction, while using looter, Careful Study or Compulsion gains card advantage. There is definitely power here, but there are only 3 spells that you really want to madness, and Basking Rootwalla is sometimes better being cast on turn one, than pitched to a creature later for no card advantage.  Don’t forget that Roar of the Wurm or any flashback card can work like madness at sorcery speed.   Roars and Grizzly Fate work perfectly well in a deck with Wild Mongrel and Careful study.



Wonder and Genesis are not really Madness or flashback, but I consider Wonder the equivalent of Madness 0: You must have an Island in play, all of your creatures are unblockable, and Genesis to be a flashback spell that never gets removed.   Wonder is essential to most Green/Blue decks, and I find it to be a very deciding factor in the mirror, while Genesis on the whole is too slow.


Nimble Mongoose
Grizzly Fate
Centaur Garden
Cephalid Coliseum

Threshold Achievers:

Mental Note
Careful Study

Quiet Speculation

With all of the other abilities in this set rotating around the graveyard, getting 7 cards in there is not a problem.  Remember, since this is a graveyard-oriented set there are plenty of things to do with cards after they are put in the grave

The Other Stuff:

Aether Burst

These are the only decent removal spells Green/Blue decks have at their disposal.  Upheaval works best with Werebear to speed it up, and Aether Burst must be played in 4’s, however obvious that is.

Deep Analysis

These two spells are the most used forms of card drawing, not counting ones that require a discard. Standstill requires a different build to increase your chances of being in a winning position when it’s cast. Usually people play only 1 or 2 Deep Analysis because the real advantage from it comes from flashback, and losing three life can only be done without losing a few times a game consistently.

Living wish
Phantom Centuar
Sylvan Safekeeper

Nantuko tracer
Nullmage Advocate

Living Wish slows the deck down but leaves open the possibility to have a lot more answer “main deck”.  However the format is very well defined as consisting of very few decks, so a standard deck and sideboard may work better.

Squirrel’s Nest

There are very few playable enchantments nowadays, but these two cards fit the bill for dealing with decks with the mass destruction common in most black decks.  Squirrel’s Nest has the problem of that a Rancid Earth can destroy it, where Bearscape can’t feasibly be destroyed by black.  If you play nest, make sure you are running 4 copies of a counterspell, preferably envelop and you will be fine. Bearscape on the other hand can run out of fuel to make more bears and should be used sparingly since having more than one in play is useless.  Therefor you only need 2 Bearscapes as opposed to 3 to 4 Squirrel’s Nest and 4 Envelop.

Circular Logic
Rites of Refusal

These are the counterspells that have been played in tournament winning decks.  I personally believe that rites is terrible, but here is the important reason.  Many people that build in Rites count on it as a discard outlet to be able to pitch Wonder or rootwalla if they don’t draw a Mongrel or Careful Study.  The problem is that you don’t discard the cards until resolution of the spell.  If you really need to pitch a wonder, and they counter your Rites, you cannot get the wonder into the grave.  I won a match once because of this.   Envelop is you best option, since most of the problem cards are sorceries and Circular Logic requires enough situations to be in place that it should be built into the style of deck (madness version of U/G).

Let’s look at some tournament winning lists.


2002 Worlds (OBC) 6-0: U/G Threshold - Dave Humpherys

3 Centaur Garden
1 Cephalid Coliseum
8 Forest
10 Island

4 Basking Rootwalla
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Werebear
4 Wild Mongrel
4 Wonder

4 Aether Burst
4 Careful Study
4 Mental Note
2 Roar of the Wurm
4 Standstill


1 Bearscape
4 Envelop
1 Forest
2 Krosan Reclamation
3 Phantom Centaur
3 Squirrel Nest
1 Upheaval

This is a threshold version that is very tempo oriented.   Note that in the sideboard he plays Squirrel’s nest and Envelop to beat black. The forest also gets brought in with the Nests so that you have enough green to support them.  Krosan Reclamation is key to the mirror match where most of the time you will be battling over Wonder superiority.

2002 Worlds (OBC) 6-0: Quiet Speculation - Dario Minieri

10 Forest
11 Island

4 Aquamoeba
4 Arrogant Wurm
4 Basking Rootwalla
4 Wild Mongrel
3 Wonder

1 Acorn Harvest
4 Aether Burst
4 Careful Study
4 Circular Logic
1 Deep Analysis
1 Krosan Reclamation
2 Quiet Speculation
3 Roar of the Wurm


2 Bearscape
2 Cephalid Looter
1 Deep Analysis
4 Envelop
3 Phantom Centaur
3 Stupefying Touch

This deck is the style of deck I played at worlds. It is a madness-based deck with a small number of Quiet speculations and cards to get.   It wraps together the power of turn 3 Arrogant Wurm, the hard counter of Circular Logic and the card advantage of Quiet Speculation.   This deck also goes through a transformation when playing against black, bringing in Bearscape, Envelop, Touch, and possibly Centaur.   The Cephalid Looters are for the mirror match.

After reading this I hope that you are more informed about building your own OBC green blue deck. 

Good Luck!

If you liked this article please go vote for me for the Magic Invitational on www.sideboard.com. Every vote counts, and you can override your vote if you’ve already voted.

Andrew Stokinger
Team Academy.com





Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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