Magic: the Gathering Dragon’s Maze Casual & Commander Review: Blue, Simic & Azorius

The second part of our Dragon’s Maze review looks at the color Blue and two guilds: Simic and Azorious! These blue aligned guilds show off just how versatile the color of manipulation can get when paired up. But even mono-color players will want to take a look at some of the offerings.

Dragon’s Maze Casual & Commander Reviews
White, Orzhov & Selesnya | Blue, Simic & Azorius

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review
Orzhov Syndicate | House of Dimir | Simic Combine | Gruul Clans | Boros Legion
White | Black | Blue | Green | Red | Other

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Ætherling

The new Morphling feels a touch out of place to me for one reason:  where are my white and black lings? We’ve gotten Torching and Thornling! But Ætherling is an interesting take on the Morphling design. The bigger body is nice, and the self-flickering is very powerful. While not a ground breaking card, it certainly is worth considering if you run the original depending on the speed of your playgroup. The only real concern about him is the casting cost. While he costs 6 on paper, he really costs 7 or more since you’ll want to protect him too.

Hidden Strings

Dimir’s new Cipher spell is close to what people wanted. While I had been hoping the Dragon’s Maze would combine abilities across guilds – like Cipher Detain, this is still close. A different take on Hands of Binding, the ability to untap another permanent makes it so the attacking creature has vigilance or can be used to barter deals with unlikely allies at the table in times of need. A solid little cipher spell, it’s what I had been hoping the ability would do.

Maze Glider

I love the Maze creatures! They aren’t terribly impressive, but the idea of a color based lord granting abilities makes me interesting in seeing how they will play out. Maze Glider giving all multicolor creatures you control flying is a nice bonus, but still probably won’t take the place of something like Wonder in most decks.

Mindstatic

Six is a lot of mana… but four mana is even more for a conditional counterspell. It is nice and splashable at least.

Murmuring Phantasm

Oh Drift of Phantasms, how you have fallen! This doesn’t even have flying!

Opal Lake Gatekeepers

A 2/4 for 4 isn’t exciting, a 2/4 for 4 that draws you a card is nice, but of the Gatekeepers, this one is on the boring side. I’d still probably prefer it over Merchant of Secrets.

Runner’s Bane

In my experience with multiplayer decks, the creatures with power 3 or less are the ones you worry the least about.

Trait Doctoring

I was so close to loving this card at almost an irrational level.  So incredibly close, but then I noticed a pesky line of text “until end of turn.” How are my Homarids supposed to rule beneath the waves now? I am deeply sorry if you open this.

Uncovered Clues

A cross between Divination and Impulse in a twisted way, I find this card far too interesting. Grabbing up to two Instants and/or Sorceries is a neat little ability. While I’m not thrilled about the other cards going onto the bottom of the library, this feels like the kind of utility common that will be played for years to come every now and then.

Wind Drake

That looks way bigger than a 2/2.

Simic Combine

Beetleform Mage

I generally dislike any card with Rootwalla abilities (except for Basking Rootwalla), while a Human Insect Wizard is neat, blue kind of did that already.

Bred for the Hunt

This would be an amazing Rakdos card! Giving green and blue an additional, and combat driven, way of drawing cards is something I can get behind. While not overly powerful, the ability is just begging for some abuse thanks to all of the possible counter games available in the game now.

Krasis Incubation

What do you get when you combine green and blue? A white card obvious! This Arrest variant is flavorful, combotastic and downright useful! If all Magic cards were this interesting, I would have to build even more decks. This might be my favorite card in the set from a flavor standpoint too.

Plasm Capture

Speaking of reprints, it looks like if Mana Drain were printed today it would now cost GGUU. I love that it can turn the mana into combination of colors, making this much more interesting in multicolor decks. While cumbersome to cast, late game this counterspell will stop one of your opponent’s best bombs – and possible give you two of your own to cast.

Progenitor Mimic

Clone and copying is a dangerous ability and good lord do I want to drop this copying a Mirror-Sigil Sergeant. But more importantly, I love how abusive this card is towards the Titans, which have ruled the six-drop spot for far too long.

Species Gorger

This plays very well with any Evolve creature, and even better with powerful entering the battlefield triggers. And being a giant Frog doesn’t hurt.

Vorel of the Hull Clade

Cross species stuff is strange. But Merfolk being crossed with unlikely creatures isn’t unheard of in Magic. Vorel is the definition of a build around Commander. His cost is low, along with his toughness, but he’s unlikely to die to anything other than targeted and mass removal. His ability though is fascinating.

Gilder Bairn is one of my all-time favorite cards, but it is so difficult to use thanks to the insanely cumbersome activation cost. But Vorel’s simple GU, T: ability is very unique. While not being able to touch Planeswalkers is annoying, being able to add one of each counter on is just begging to be abused with some older cards from back when counters were much weirder.

Oh who am I kidding – I’m going to use him with Homarids.

Give & Take

Give is a decent pump spell, especially in a format that values +1/+1 counters so highly. It’s relatively cheap, but the lack of surprise hurts it more than I would like. Take is a unique drawing spell that in certain decks (I’m thinking of you Experiment Kraj and Prime Speaker Zegana), it will be absurdly powerful. Then when you fuse them together, you get a solid draw spell.

Simic Cluestone

Green is the color that has the least use for cluestones. It’s okay and for Commander, it isn’t completely useless if you’re Green-Blue to begin with.

Simic Guildgate

I love the guildgates and love the enemy pairing ones even more. Being able to build non-traditional decks is a lot of fun and having mana bases be more accessible for everyone is a good thing. Now keep printing those shocklands!

Azorius Senate

Ascended Lawmage

I can already tell I hate this card. Evasion and hexproof make her a perfect target for Cipher spells, but the simple fact is she will rule the skies midgame as she flies from victim to victim.

Council of the Absolute

I love when Wizards makes cards that are strictly not for Commander. As a mythic, I am not impressed by this. At my table, even when not playing singleton formats, we can easily go a game or two without any two people playing the same spell. This is a mythic that just doesn’t do enough – unless you’re playing it just to reduce the cost of the spell for some weird America-Dragonstorm deck.

Deputy of Acquittals

The newest Whitemane Lion isn’t anything special, and the fact that it can’t bounce itself hurts it some in the combo department. But if you’re going the multicolor route, it is still a decent common that can easily find a home.

Jelenn Sphinx

This is… weird. It’s big and boosts attack but doesn’t do much by itself. The combination of evasion and pumping is interesting, but this sphinx is just odd.

Lavinia of the Tenth

This makes me sad that Magic dropped the Bureaucrats creature type. Lavinia is mean. Protection from Red defends her against many pieces of removal, but her detain trigger is devastating! It hits all opponents, not just one, effectively giving you a free turn. Add in some flickering, like Conjurer’s Closet, and you’re shutting down the table until something big hits.

Render Silent

If Counterspell plus Silence is what you deem fun, I don’t think I want to play against you. Then again, if combo decks are running rampant, this shuts them down cold.

Restore the Peace

This is the weird kind of card I love in multiplayer formats. Being able to bounce two armies after a combat you weren’t even involved in is a great way to gain the upper hand.

Protect & Serve

Protect is an odd enhancement. +2/+4 isn’t exactly common, but should be enough of an oddity for an opponent not to know what they’re walking into. Serve is equally odd, but in a different way. Combined, you’ve got quite possibly the weirdest pump spell I’ve seen in a long, long time.

Azorious Cluestone

There isn’t much else to say about these stones already. They’re okay, but not great. You could do worse and you could do better.

Azorious Guildgate

I love the art on this, but allied guild gates just aren’t as exciting.

Beck & Call

Beck is amazing. Glimpse of Nature is absurdly good already, so making it cost GU isn’t that much of a stretch. It’s crazy card draw, what more could you want?

Oh, that’s right – there’s a second half too! Call gives you a decent little army in a pinch, but the real power comes from fusing these together. Beck & Call gives you four creatures and four cards for 8 mana – and possibly more. But to be honest, I will probably play this just as Beck.

Dragon’s Maze Casual & Commander Reviews
White, Orzhov & Selesnya | Blue, Simic & Azorius

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review
Orzhov Syndicate | House of Dimir | Simic Combine | Gruul Clans | Boros Legion
White | Black | Blue | Green | Red | Other

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands