Blue is widely considered to be one of the most unfair and powerful colors in Magic. Blue has access to multitudes of card draw, counter spells, and game-ending creatures. In order to correctly channel the power blue has to offer in the Commander format, we need a general that is valuable and gives us a competitive edge. There are a couple commanders to consider, some of which are:
These generals are arguably the most powerful in Blue and have the most potential to be built around. For the purpose of channeling the power level of Blue, I have chosen Azami, Lady of Scrolls as my commander. Azami has a sweet ability that allows us to tap an untapped wizard we control to draw a card. Not only does Azami allow us a constant flow of extra cards, but she tends to be very resilient once on the battlefield due to said card advantage. We also want to build a deck that is capable of achieving the “auto-pilot” effect in EDH, where you become so far ahead that the entire table has to cut you down to size. The great thing about Azami is that she allows us to reach auto-pilot a couple turns after she is played! Let’s look at how I structured the deck in order to maximize success!
So there is the main-deck. The idea of the deck is to lock our opponent(s) out of the game with card-draw and counterspell, then land a huge tempo swing like Omniscience or Blightsteel Colossus. Cards like High Tide and Turnabout can help us land huge win cons like these on turn 4 or 5. In the acceleration package we see cards like Sol Ring and Expedition Map that help us get to cast our wizards and planeswalkers ahead of the curve. In terms of removal, we have varying forms, the most notable of which is Karn. Karn, Liberated is in the deck because he basically deals with everything imaginable. In terms of powerful cards we have Jace. Jace shows up in three forms, and all three are insanely powerful. Jace the Mind Sculptor is a fantastic way to just end the game, especially if you have backup counter spells. Jace Beleren lets us draw tons of extra cards. Jace, Architect of Thought has an amazing ultimate ability that allows us to beat someone with their own wincon.
So our wizards draw cards with Azami in play, but what else do they do? Let’s look at the highlight wizards of the deck. Lighthouse Chronologist can be extremely unfair if he levels all the way up, allowing us to Time Walk after every turn. Once we start taking extra turns, we can accelerate way past the rest of our opponents. Memnarch tends to be a very large beating because he can just take our opponent’s creatures. Teferi allows us to not worry about our opponent’s instants during our turn, effectively protecting us from counter spells. Arcanis draws us three cards as opposed to one when we tap him, and he can be brought back to our hand in the event of an untimely wrath. Hisoka, Minamo Sensei allows us to have a pseudo-Counterbalance if we so desire to discard cards, which we will have a lot of. Kaho, Minamo Historian allows us to grab counterspells and card draw effects out of our library and cast them for free. This effect tends to be really good if we can grab Preordain, Ponder, or Brainstorm. Talrand, Sky Summoner brings us 2/2 flying drakes every time we cast an instant or sorcery. This can add to our board-state or just make a bunch of chump blockers. Last, but not least, we have Ertai, Wizard Adept, which allows us to COUNTER spells for 2UU. If there was ever an unfair blue card made, it would have to be Ertai. He allows us to represent Cryptic Command for the rest of the game by leaving four mana available.
Let’s talk about some of the more powerful instants and sorceries in the deck. First of all, we have to talk about Enter the Infinite. Enter the Infinite allows us to draw our whole deck. Once we have our whole deck in our hand, we can cast Omniscience and play our entire deck for free, or cast Laboratory Maniac and Brainstorm to win. Enter the Infinite is a great piece of the power in our deck. We also are playing cards like Cryptic Command, Hinder, High Tide, Turnabout, and Brain Freeze. If we can work ourselves up to a storm count of 30 with Omniscience, we can mill our opponent out of the game by casting Brain Freeze. Some more fun things to do with the deck are to exploit cards like Stroke of Genius with a large mana pool. We can also use cards like Bribery to steal our opponent’s spells (like combo pieces or land destruction).
I have not included any extremely unfair cards like Time Warp or Time Walk. These cards just simply take the fun out of a multiplayer EDH game. You are more likely to have fun playing cards like Bribery over Time Walk effects in multiplayer. If you are competing in a tournament, however, those cards would be acceptable and would push Azami over the edge into the tier one seat she deserves.
Well, this is my blue deck. I like playing Azami because she has a lot of options, and tends to be extremely competitive, and force player interaction (stupid control decks!). If you like the color blue and love drawing a bunch of cards, play this deck! It is a great way to get into competitive commander strategies. This article was meant to showcase Azami in a competitive multiplayer form. If you are playing more 1v1 commander, then perhaps this article is not for you. I play commander in all settings, so my decks tend to be geared towards multiplayer. Remember to get all your singles at your local game store. You can’t play Magic: The Gathering at Walmart!
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