Mono Blue Tempo Historic Deck Guide: Beat the Best on a Budget

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Hello everyone! I’ve heard a lot of people are struggling to get into Historic, especially if they haven’t been playing Arena for very long, but fear not! You don’t need to use all of your wildcards to get together a competitive deck to play in Historic, even if you’re Mythic! Today, we’re going to talk about Monoblue Tempo. Monoblue Tempo has a simple, but powerful game plan. Play an early creature, load it up with card draw effects, and counter every relevant spell the opponent has. This deck works amazingly well against the slower decks in Historic as your spells are much cheaper than your opponents, but it can struggle against decks that are extremely fast. With that, I don’t really recommend playing this deck in Best of One as there are a lot of fast, linear decks there compared to Best of Three which can have a more diverse set of matchups.

Why Monoblue now? Many decks are going bigger to help deal with Sultai and are cutting small creature removal like Fatal Push and Shock from their decks. With those cards less represented, Monoblue can find it’s spot to thrive. Without further ado, let’s look at a list.

Historic Monoblue

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Creature (18)
4
Brazen Borrower
4
Pteramander
2
Sea-Dasher Octopus
4
Siren Stormtamer
4
Spectral Sailor
Instant (14)
2
Aether Gust
2
Essence Capture
4
Lofty Denial
4
Lookout's Dispersal
2
Spell Pierce
Enchantment (8)
4
Curiosity
4
Curious Obsession
Land (20)
20
Island
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
1
Aether Gust
2
Dive Down
2
Essence Capture
1
Grafdigger's Cage
3
Mystical Dispute
2
Spell Pierce
1
Negate
2
Cerulean Drake
1
Whirlwind Denial

Nothing about this list is particularly standout, but it is constructed to limit how many wildcards are needed to complete it. There are a lot of cards you could potentially play in this deck like Tempest Djinn, Entrancing Melody, Tale’s End, but those are old rares that you may not be able to afford nor are they usable in most other decks (besides Tales End). With this list, there are only 3 Rares, two of them Standard legal and one being a great sideboard card in Historic, and 4 Mythics in Brazen Borrower, a great Standard legal card. If you want to nix the Grafdigger’s Cage, you certainly don’t need it and you can even skip out on the Sea-Dasher Octopus as well if you are really strapped for cards. Brazen Borrower is pretty necessary as you do need a way to bounce Shark Typhoon tokens otherwise you will autolose to it most of the time. Without further ado, let’s talk about card choices.

CARD CHOICES

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4 Pteramander

Scary Terry is one of you mana 1 drop Flying creatures to carry your Curiosity effects. Although this is the worst one in the early game, this scales way better in the late game compared to the other one drops as the Mutate cost is a real threat the opponent will have to be cognizant of.

4 Siren Stormtamer

Another part of the 1 drop crew, Stormtamer wears a lot of different hats in this deck. It’s a Pirate for Lookout’s Dispersal, a 1 drop for Curiosity, and can also protect your other creatures with it’s activated ability. Try to constantly keep one mana open when you have Stormtamer out to protect your other creatures or yourself from spells that will target you like Thoughtseize.

4 Spectral Sailor

The last of the one drops. Has a relevant activated ability, you can cast it on your opponent’s end step, and carries Curiosity well.

4 Brazen Borrower

As I said before, this is primarily a Shark token killer, but obviously bouncing an opponent’s permanent then having a 3/1 to play later is a great effect in a deck looking to tempo the opponent out.

2 Sea-Dasher Octopus

One of your many Curiosity effects, but this one has it’s own body attached to it! This is one of the hardest cards to play with as whether you should Mutate or play it out can be really difficult to sum up. The best advice I can give with playing this is that you want to play out the body against decks that won’t be able to block it easily, otherwise you want to try to mutate it onto one of your creatures in their end step. Something to keep in mind with mutating this is that you don’t always want to put this over the creature you’re mutating onto if you need the Pirate creature type for Lookout’s Dispersal. 

2 Spell Pierce

One of the most effective interactive spells in the format. Feeling secure with just 1 mana open is a really nice scenario to be in and can force your opponent to either play in really awkward ways or just risk losing to this. This isn’t ideal against decks like Goblins, but the upsides really outweigh the downsides for me. 

2 Aether Gust

Similar to Spell Pierce, this is a powerful situational card, but nearly every relevant deck in Historic has Green or Red in it right now. Tempo is the name of the game and a Memory Lapse for spells and permanents is really powerful.

2 Essence Capture

A strictly better Essence Scatter that will buff one of your little goons.

4 Lofty Denial

Considering nearly every creature in the deck has Flying, this will generally be a better Mana Leak in most situations. At worst, this will function as a Censor which is not great but still does something.

4 Lookout’s Dispersal

This will generally be a worse form of Lofty Denial as the deck only plays 8 Pirates compared to 16 Fliers, but the upside is that Dispersal will always tax a spell for 4 even if it costs 3 mana.

4 Curiosity

Slap it on a goon, draw some cards.

4 Curious Obsession

Slap it on a goon, draw some cards.

20 Island

SIDEBOARD

2 Dive Down

When you are facing a deck you know will have a lot of interaction for you, a 1 mana answer to it is the most efficient answer you can get.

1 Grafdigger’s Cage

Good at stopping Uro, Collected Company, Muxus, and graveyard shenanigans. 

2 Spell Pierce

If you need to pierce more spells.

1 Aether Gust

If you need to gust more aether.

2 Essence Capture

If you need to capture more essence.

1 Negate

If you need to negate more…uh, this bit doesn’t work here. This is good when you need a hard answer to more non-creature spells.

2 Cerulean Drake

Use this against Red decks and is really good at carrying Curiosity effects.

3 Mystical Dispute

There aren’t too many Blue decks, but this card is the best against them and you have enough room to tech against more niche strategies.

1 Whirlwind Denial

Although a bit expensive for the deck, this is the best answer to Shark Typhoon and Hydroid Krasis.

MATCHUPS AND SIDEBOARDING

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SULTAI

INOUT
+2 Dive Down-2 Aether Gust
+2 Spell Pierce-2 Essence Capture
+1 Negate-2 Lookout’s Dispersal
+1 Whirlwind Denial

This boarding is really simple as you want to cut your more situational counterspells to better ones against Sultai. They are pretty clunky so you can tempo them out pretty easily in most games especially since they have been cutting earlier removal spells for more fat.

GOBLINS

INOUT
+1 Grafdigger’s Cage-4 Brazen Borrower
+1 Aether Gust-2 Spell Pierce
+2 Essence Capture
+2 Cerulean Drake

This boarding is also really easy as Brazen Borrower and Spell Pierce are both bad against Goblins while everything you are boarding in is really good against them. You need to not let them resolve any relevant Goblins when possible and try not to get run over by their fair game plan. Thankfully their grindy elements aren’t as effective against this deck compared to other interactive decks as you are constantly refueling your hand.

SACRIFICE

INOUT
+2 Dive Down-4 Brazen Borrower
+1 Grafdigger’s Cage-2 Spell Pierce
+2 Essence Scatter-1 Aether Gust
+2 Cerulean Drake

This is a pretty general board plan as Sacrifice lists can differ, but this should work in most scenarios. This matchup can be challenging as they play a lot of cheap spells and a lot of strong removal in Claim the Firstborn, Mayhem Devil, and Priest of Forgotten Gods, but if they ever have a slower or clunkier draw, you can easily capitalize on it.

PARADOX ENGINE COMBO

INOUT
+1 Grafdigger’s Cage-4 Brazen Borrower
+2 Spell Pierce-1 Sea-Dasher Octopus
+1 Negate-2 Aether Gust
+3 Mystical Dispute

I’m not saying this matchup is good per se, I’m just saying your opponent would save themselves a lot of time if they just scooped the match.

Thank you for reading! If you like my content and want to see more of it, you can check me out on Twitch! Have a great day!

DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is a streamer and high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8, has 3-0d 3 professional draft pods, and loves writing and teaching!

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