Mono Blue Tempo Theorycraft – Throne of Eldraine Standard
Today we will be reviewing the blue Throne of Eldraine cards and their applications in a potential Mono Blue deck. Throne of Eldraine’s focus on single colors could potentially have each of the five mono colors become a viable archetype – but can blue survive rotation?
Mono Blue Tempo was was a strong deck archetype in Standard, before the appearance of Teferi, Time Raveler and Shifting Ceratops made it into a second tier deck at best and those cards will still be here after rotation. We think it is probably in the most precarious spot among all the colors. Let’s find out!
Mono Blue Tempo Cards that are Leaving
Mono Blue Tempo was really only possible in Standard due to the power of Curious Obsession as a card draw engine as well as a small power boost to your small flying creatures, and Tempest Djinn as a powerful finisher. Siren Stormtamer is also a key card that allowed you to protect said creatures, which made games very tricky for opponents.
Other cards that will be rotating out are Spell Pierce, Merfolk Trickster, and Dive Down. They all have had their own strengths, and will be missed in the deck. Without Curious Obsession though, it might be less important to protect your own creatures.
Mono Blue Tempo Cards that are Staying
Opt is being reprinted in Throne of Eldraine, and the two Flash pirates from Core Set 2020 are decent cards. These creatures also spawned a popular deck archetype – Simic Flash – in conjunction with Nightpack Ambusher and a bunch of counterspells make it a frustrating game to play against. The new Mono Blue, if there is to be one, will most likely need to include these two creatures in its shell.
Pteramander is also still here, and can be just as good as Tempest Djinn as a finisher, with the caveat we play more instants and sorcery spells.
Mono Blue Tempo Cards that are Coming
Each color gets its own cycle of Lords and Lands, and blue is no exception of course! Unfortunately, they do not help the cause of the deck too much.
- Gadwick, the Wizened: Too expensive for this deck for what it does and cannot be a replacement for Tempest Djinn. Could be okay as a one-of to tap down creatures.
- Castle Vantress: Basically a free addition to the deck, but we’re not sure how Scry will help the win games with this sort of deck.
- Mystic Sanctuary: We probably don’t want too many copies of this card in the deck, but we can recur cards like Opt for just playing a land. This could be important especially we don’t have Curious Obsession.
- Hypnotic Sprite: We think this card can be just good enough, though just as a creature on its own is pretty underwhelming and a 3 mana counterspell is not where we want to be a lot of the times.
- Brazen Borrower: One of the best cards in the set – this card is flexible, disruptive and has an aggressive body. It is exactly the type of card Mono Blue Tempo is looking for.
- Vantress Gargoyle: 2 mana 5/4 flyer is nothing to scoff at, but we would have to find ways to reliably turn on this card! It does die to Lava Coil, though. At worst, it can act as a late game finisher.
There are other cards worth mentioning as well:
- Emry, Lurker of the Loch: Clearly not a part of this kind of deck, but there are a few artifact related cards in this set (not including Food tokens).
- Fae of Wishes: Another strong card but unfortunately belongs in another type of deck.
- Mystical Dispute: Strong sideboard card, especially for Teferi, Time Raveler.
- Overwhelmed Apprentice: This card can fuel Vantress Gargoyle and also Scry 2 at the same time, and leaving a 1/2 body. Solid card.
- So Tiny: Nice sideboard option against big creature decks.
- Witching Well: Decent card for a more controlling shell. Does not work too well with Brineborn Cutthroat, however.
Here are our two decks for this series; first one is a generic build and the second one is built around Vantress Gargoyle.
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This deck relies on Vantress Gargoyle as your win condition, and uses the two one-drops to fuel your opponent’s graveyard. It is more creature heavy with less counterspells, looking to overwhelm your opponent with flying creatures. There is enough disruption in here to be able to do that.
4 Overwhelmed Apprentice (ELD) 60 4 Merfolk Secretkeeper (ELD) 53 4 Spectral Sailor (M20) 76 4 Brineborn Cutthroat (M20) 50 4 Vantress Gargoyle (ELD) 71 4 Hypnotic Sprite (ELD) 49 4 Brazen Borrower (ELD) 39 2 Unsummon (M20) 78 2 Sinister Sabotage (GRN) 54 4 Opt (ELD) 59 4 Quench (RNA) 48 17 Island (XLN) 265 2 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242 1 Mystic Sanctuary (ELD) 247 4 Cerulean Drake (M20) 53 4 Essence Capture (RNA) 37 3 Negate (RIX) 44 2 Mystical Dispute (ELD) 58 2 Aether Gust (M20) 42
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Loss of Curious Obsession is huge, but we can more than make up for that with tricks up our sleeves – playing more as a flash deck, always holding mana up for counterspells where possible and protecting your creatures while they chip away at your opponent. Pteramander is your biggest threat. Cavalier of Gales is a flex spot, we can remove them and 2 Islands to add more disruption spells.
4 Pteramander (RNA) 47 4 Spectral Sailor (M20) 76 4 Brineborn Cutthroat (M20) 50 4 Hypnotic Sprite (ELD) 49 4 Brazen Borrower (ELD) 39 2 Unsummon (M20) 78 2 Negate (RIX) 44 4 Sinister Sabotage (GRN) 54 4 Opt (ELD) 59 4 Quench (RNA) 48 2 Essence Capture (RNA) 37 2 Cavalier of Gales (M20) 52 19 Island (XLN) 265 2 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242 1 Mystic Sanctuary (ELD) 247 4 Cerulean Drake (M20) 53 2 Essence Capture (RNA) 37 2 Mystical Dispute (ELD) 58 1 Negate (RIX) 44 3 Aether Gust (M20) 42 1 Disdainful Stroke (GRN) 37 1 Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer (M20) 68 1 Narset, Parter of Veils (WAR) 61
Mono Blue Tempo gets a few nice additions in Throne of Eldraine Standard, but much further testing is required to see if the loss of Curious Obsession will make the deck archetype competitive. Branching out to Simic Flash or Dimir will most likely be a better option, which we will write about soon!