Rhystic Study | Illustration by Riot Games
Blue has long been hailed as Magic’s strongest color. Its instants and sorceries drive this; they give blue the best permission spells and card draw. Even if you struggle to remove creatures, who cares when you can counter them and outdraw your opponents by fifteen cards?
Today, I’m looking at some of blue’s best enchantments!
What Are Blue Enchantments in MTG?
Necroduality | Illustration by Billy Christian
Blue enchantments in MTG are cards with the enchantment type that have blue in their casting cost. I’m focusing on mono-blue enchantments, though plenty of multicolored enchantments include blue.
Blue enchantments embody many of blue’s core traits. They’re often tricky, giving the blue player advantages that other decks struggle to play around. There’s plenty of card draw, though also a few unique effects that lend themselves to winning the game. Blue also has more than a few stax pieces in its enchantment suite.
#35. Sphinx’s Tutelage + Teferi’s Tutelage
Sphinx's Tutelage and Teferi's Tutelage are practically the same card: one of the best win conditions for controlling Turbo-fog strategies. These pair incredibly well with blue’s many card draw effects like Dictate of Kruphix, Brainstorm, or The One Ring to win by milling your opponents out and forcing them to draw from an empty library. The various Howling Mine effects greatly enhance this, forcing your opponents to draw more cards while you get extra mills.
Necroduality is specific but does a lot of work if you’re willing to play almost all zombies in your deck. Getting free copies of your best spells like Fallen Shinobi, Overcharged Amalgam, or Possessed Skaab just for playing them is incredible mana value for four mana. This card also pairs well with changelings and Arcane Adaptation.
#33. Omen of the Sea
Omen of the Sea is a sneakily strong card. An instant-speed Preordain is a fairly strong effect, but this enchantment pulls a lot of extra weight. Since this is an ETB, cards like Yarok, the Desecrated or Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines get you double the value. It’s a great permanent to flicker with effects like Yorion, Sky Nomad and Displacer Kitten. It takes a little work to get the maximum value from this card, but it’s well worth it.
#32. Inexorable Tide
Inexorable Tide is incredibly slow as a 5-mana enchantment that doesn’t do anything on its own, but you can get some serious value from this card if your deck cares about proliferation. Azorius and Simic are great color combinations to go in on +1/+1 counter synergies, but this can pull some weight in mono-blue decks. It pairs best with planeswalkers, letting you get to the ultimate of cards like Jace, the Mind Sculptor while controlling the board.
#31. Witness Protection
Blue often struggles to remove resolved permanents, though it has a few outs. Witness Protection is an unassuming aura that shuts down a problematic creature, stripping that Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite or Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger of all relevant abilities. Your opponents often chump with the 1/1 left behind, so it’s not a perfect answer to recursive threats or commanders, but it’s a great way to buy a little time.
#30. Wizard Class
In a color dedicated to drawing cards, a payoff is great. Wizard Class is another slow one since you need to get to the third level to be happy with it, but it’s a strong win condition for a deck dedicated to drawing multiple cards a turn. It’s relatively easy to get four or more counters a turn with this card, and blue has some incredible creatures to stack high, like Blighted Agent and Invisible Stalker.
#29. Retreat to Coralhelm
Retreat to Coralhelm’s claim to fame is its utility as a combo piece. Paired with cards like Sakura-Tribe Scout and a Karoo land, typically Simic Growth Chamber, it’s easy to establish infinite loops that win on the spot. It’s a little underwhelming outside of those combo situations, but the scry helps you dig to your win condition, and the untap does a passable Lotus Cobra impression if you have a mana dork in play.
#28. Teferi’s Ageless Insight
Teferi's Ageless Insight is the perfect card for any players who want to cast a Brainstorm to draw six cards. This is a great utility piece alongside cards that care about your drawing cards, like Teferi's Tutelage or Wizard Class. It doesn’t go into every deck; you need a way to exploit this for extra card draw. But it’s often the best draw engine in decks that exploit it, and helps tear through your deck to win with Laboratory Maniac.
#27. Leyline of Anticipation
Blue plays best at instant speed thanks to premium countermagic and brilliant card draw. Some of the toughest decisions a blue mage needs to make are whether they should tap out and grow their board or hold up countermagic. Leyline of Anticipation removes this choice in the best way. This kind of effect is incredibly strong to start the game with, and 4 mana isn’t a bad price to pay later in the game in exchange for never having to tap out on your turn again.
#26. Fraying Sanity
Fraying Sanity gives mill decks the reach they need to win the game. If you look at milling in terms of dealing damage, you need to deal 50 or so damage to your opponent if you account for their opening seven and a few draw steps. Doubling your mill makes mill spells that much more effective, and it’s especially necessary in Commander, where the deck size and opponent count jump dramatically. It’s also a great combo finisher with cards like Fraying Sanity that mill half your opponents’ library.
#25. Arcane Laboratory
Telling people no is blue’s whole deal, and Arcane Laboratory shuts them down before their turn has started. Rule of Law is a powerful controlling piece in any deck and pairs well with blue’s permission and high density of instants. Your opponents only getting one spell prevents them from baiting your countermagic with weaker cards and gives you the final say in whether their spell resolves. Focusing on instants lets you play multiple spells a turn cycle while sorcery-speed decks get ground to a halt.
#24. Mind’s Dilation
Mind's Dilation is a personal favorite Commander card. It’s certainly expensive but pays dividends with a little time. Everybody’s throwing massive spells around in EDH, so you’ll recoup your mana and then some within a turn or two. I especially enjoy pairing this with cards that let you manipulate the top of your opponent’s deck, with Memory Lapse and Noxious Revival being two great examples of this effect.
#23. Kindred Discovery
Kindred Discovery is a must-have for blue typal decks interested in a bit of card draw. Which is really any deck. Merfolk is the most prominent creature type that could use this in mono-blue, but adding other colors gives you options like elves, faeries, soldiers, or even goblins.
#22. Dissipation Field
Dissipation Field is a great preventative measure to stop your opponents from attacking you or sending damage your way via cards like Orcish Bowmasters or Niv-Mizzet, Parun, unless they want to keep casting the spells. The Field’s biggest weakness is that you need to be damaged first, and some opponents can turn this against you by bouncing their Aether Channeler or Wood Elves for extra ETB value. But it’s a fine defensive measure that buys a few turns, even if it can’t save you when super far behind.
#21. Confounding Conundrum
Confounding Conundrum lets blue deal with those pesky green players, casting Rampant Growth and Explosive Vegetation to try and ramp without consequence. It’s a great early play since it punishes players running fetch lands, making curving out awkward. It gets less effective later in the game, but it’s never truly a dead draw since it replaces itself pretty cheaply.
If you can’t destroy opposing creatures, you might as well punish people for playing them. Overburden spells a death sentence for tokens players or players trying to abuse ETB with flicker effects. Even against less creature-dedicated decks, this forces your opponents to step carefully lest they lose their mana base. A deck using Overburden should look towards win conditions that are as creature-light as possible, such as an infinitely large Walking Ballista or something like Approach of the Second Sun.
#19. Reconnaissance Mission // Coastal Piracy
Cycling makes Reconnaissance Mission strictly better than Coastal Piracy, but any deck running one is happy to have the other. These are two of the more assertive blue enchantments, demanding to be played alongside creatures. Blue has plenty of creatures that get along well with this effect; it excels at making Thopter tokens that easily fly past blockers and has a bunch of cards like Triton Shorestalker and Slither Blade that can’t get blocked at all.
We’re looking at some of the best enchantments blue offers, many of which any blue deck would be happy to run. So why not play any of them with Mirrormade? This effect is simple and powerful. Getting a copy of the best artifact or enchantment in play puts you far ahead if you own it or are on par with the player who played the best enchantment. You’ll want your own effects to copy with this card so it’s never dead, but you can get lots of value by copying opposing cards like Smothering Tithe or Bolas's Citadel that your colors or deck might not support.
#17. Dream Halls
Who pays mana for spells these days? Dream Halls lets you pitch cards to pay for spells. This card plays well in mono-blue, with enough card draw to offset the card disadvantage while not worrying about having mismatching colors in hand. Dream Halls could be equally exciting in an all-multicolor deck. The biggest downside is that your opponents get to cast spells for free the same way, but that’s what Counterspell and Lavinia, Azorius Renegade was printed for.
#16. Imprisoned in the Moon
Imprisoned in the Moon gives blue one of its few ways to really remove a permanent, turning that pesky Gaea's Cradle or Chandra, Flamecaller into a Wastes. This is especially powerful as removal for opposing commanders. A permanent becoming a different permanent doesn’t make it change zones, so your opponent can’t put their commander in the command zone after it’s enchanted with this. They must remove the land or the enchantment or lose access to their marque card forever.
#15. Training Grounds
Training Grounds is an easy card to break. Even if you’re attempting to use it fairly, this is a steep discount to give powerful activated abilities, like those of Kenrith, the Returned King or Memnarch. If you aren’t inclined to be fair, it’s easy to whip up some form of infinite combo alongside a few other pieces, like Mox Opal and Drafna, Founder of Lat-Nam for infinite storm ahead of a Brain Freeze.
#14. Energy Flux
Commander players underrate the value of going for artifact en masse, preferring targeted removal like Nature's Claim. Energy Flux is a great card to go for all artifacts. This prevents opponents from building up Treasure tokens or mana rocks, which is especially powerful in the face of greedy mana bases skimping on lands in favor of Signets and the like. It can also be a potent sideboard card for Eternal formats trying to deal with decks that dump a bunch of artifacts in play in a turn or two.
Once the boogieman of Legacy, Counterbalance isn’t nearly as strong without Sensei's Divining Top to repeatedly manipulate the top of your library to counter your opponents’ spells for a single mana. That said, plenty of other cards can abuse this ability, like Tutors that put cards on top of your library or Brainstorm. The value of countering just one or two spells for free is well worth the mana investment.
Propaganda is one of blue’s best defensive enchantments. It puts a huge roadblock in front of any player trying to go wide. It provides excellent protection against anything with a combo that results in infinite hasty creatures but sneakily helps you win the game in Commander. If an opponent has creatures they want to attack with, but don’t want to pay the 2, they’re likely to go for one of your opponents instead of not attacking; buying you time while redirecting damage at your opponent is a pretty good deal for 3 mana.
#11. Freed from the Real
There’s an argument that Freed from the Real is secretly a blue-green card since Simic utilizes it the best, but it’s still a powerful spell enchantment. This aura goes infinite with anything that can tap for a blue mana plus an additional mana, like Sanctum Weaver or Gyre Engineer. It can also effectively shut down an opponent’s creature for a single blue mana each turn, which is enough for threats you can’t let attack, like Eldrazi with annihilator or Titans.
#10. Intruder Alarm
Ah, here’s blue’s kitchen sink. As in, this goes infinite with pretty much everything, including your faucet. Want to counter every spell your opponents play? Run Lullmage's Familiar. Looking to bury your opponents beneath hasty creatures? Toss a Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, and anything with power into play. Want infinite mana? You just need a Shrieking Drake or Whitemane Lion and enough mana-producing creatures to tap for their cost plus one. It’s also a staple for Sliver decks to get up to nonsense with Sliver Queen and friends.
#9. Mana Vortex
An early Mana Vortex is game-defining. You can break this symmetrical effect by coming to the table prepared with cards like Crucible of Worlds to get lands from your graveyard, or you can use something like Teferi's Realm to protect your lands. It helps that blue is one of the best colors for utilizing some of the broken artifact mana in the game. Who cares if you don’t have lands when you have Mana Crypt and Gilded Lotus in play?
#8. Mystic Remora
Don’t feed the fish. Mystic Remora is a great Commander card because your opponents either feed the fish or won’t. If they cast spells into your Remora, you’ll get cards in return. If they want to wait until the cumulative upkeep is too much for you to keep spending mana, you’ll likely set them behind by at least two turns. Maybe more, because they keep their mana rocks and draw spells in hand.
#7. Search for Azcanta // Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin
Is Search for Azcanta slow? Yes. Is it great value? So much. You get incredible control over your draw step, plus a lot of graveyard value. For many decks, milling a card and drawing is similar to drawing two cards. Once you flip this, you’ll have some honest ramp in blue and a powerful card draw spell. It’s a repeatable Narset, Parter of Veils activation that lets you dig towards answers or win conditions. It rarely wins solo, but it’s a solid role-player.
#6. Shark Typhoon
Shark Typhoon is one of the best-designed cards to be printed in the past three or four years. It’s an all-star in Cube and Commander, providing a bit of early velocity and a great late-game play. The Typhoon is also great in Pioneer, where it’s an integral win condition for Azorius () control lists playing no creatures so they can have Kaheera, the Orphanguard as a companion.
Let’s never pay for a spell again, shall we? Omniscience is the best way to cheat on mana costs, as many a Legacy Show and Tell player can attest. It’s easy to win the turn you put this in play, likely unfairly. Omniscience isn’t quite as good as infinite mana, since you can’t win by casting something like an infinitely large Walking Ballista, but throw in some big draw spells like Sea Gate Restoration or Enter the Infinite and nobody can tell the difference.
#4. Dress Down
An integral part of blue’s status as the best color comes from its ability to tell players no. It normally does this via the stack, but Dress Down lets you shut off any shenanigans your opponents try to do on board. This effect mitigates cards like Show and Tell or Allosaurus Rider that allow your opponents to get creatures around your countermagic or to shut down a combo while your opponent is in the middle of going off, forcing them to waste a bunch of time and resources for a win they were never getting. All of this would render this card completely playable, but replacing itself tips this over the top as a fantastic spell that’s never truly dead.
#3. Mind Over Matter
If you’ve ever wanted to go infinite, Mind Over Matter is your best friend. This lets you draw your deck with anything that taps to draw you a card. A few options include Azami, Lady of Scrolls, The One Ring, Temple Bell, and the classic Arcanis the Omnipotent. Once you have your entire library in your hand, it’s easy to win with Thassa's Oracle or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries. Mind Over Matter’s strength comes from this versatility; it’s a part of so many two-card combos it’s hard to not go infinite with it.
#2. Rhystic Study
“Do you pay the one,” haunts my dreams and waking hours. Rhystic Study is the best blue enchantment to run in your Commander decks. Forcing your opponents to choose between paying a tax or giving you cards constantly puts them against a rough choice they’ll get wrong some of the time. If you never draw a card, your opponents pay far more than three mana to advance their game plan. If they never pay, you’ll quickly teach them why you don’t let the blue player get an extra ten cards for free.
#1. Back to Basics
Many decks struggle to beat a turn three Back to Basics. There’s a reason it’s among the saltiest cards in Commander, and it sees so much Legacy play. Unlike similar effects like Blood Moon that at least let your opponents spend mana, Back to Basics shuts everything but the mono-blue player down, hard. Running this in Commander is a great way to lose a few friends, make enemies, and teach your opponents that a two-color mana base should have more than six basic lands.
Best Blue Enchantment Payoffs
As a color focused on instants and sorceries, blue doesn’t have tons of built-in enchantment payoffs. Its best payoffs are cards like Mirrormade, Estrid's Invocation, and Copy Enchantment that give you duplicates of the best enchantments in play. Instead, blue prefers to build around a few choice enchantments.
For example, blue can build a powerful stax shell around some of these enchantments. Back to Basics, Overburden, Arcane Laboratory, Rhystic Study, and Propaganda sets the stage for an incredibly controlling deck utilizing enchantments to help control the game, backed by that classic blue countermagic and card draw.
You could also lean into a combo shell revolving around Mind Over Matter and Intruder Alarm, likely dipping into white and or green for support. In both cases, you’ll build a shell around the specific blue enchantments you want to break as opposed to a more general enchantress shell you might find in Selesnya. Figuring out which effects you want to maximize and discovering the support is your best bet when building around blue enchantments.
Propaganda | Illustration by Clint Cearley
Blue may be defined by the iconic and powerful instants and sorceries at its disposal, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for powerful permanents in your blue decks. Enchantments are particularly useful since they’re so hard to remove.
Blue enchantments generally want you to build around them, but there are plenty of great value enchantments and even some that just win the game. Whether you’re playing fair, combo, or stax, blue’s enchantments have a bit of something for everybody.
What are your favorite blue enchantments? Do you enjoy Rhystic Study in Commander? Let me know in the comments or on the Draftsim !
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