Last updated on February 13, 2023
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage | Illustration by Lius Lasahido
Debuting in Lorwyn, planeswalkers have become a staple of Magic design. With several new planeswalkers coming out with each set, we’ve had planeswalkers of various power levels. From cards that dominated their respective Standard formats to cards that have been banned in nearly every competitive format to the occasional full dud. Planeswalkers aren’t going anywhere, so with each new set we get new additions to the pantheon of powerful planeswalkers that alter the fabric of Magic.
There are more than 250 unique planeswalkers. Given the massive quantity of planeswalkers, it’s time to break down one color at a time. Today I’ll be looking at the best blue planeswalkers in Magic’s history. Expect plenty of card draw, tempo-based minuses, and Jace. Lots and lots of Jace.
Ready? Let’s get into it!
What Are Blue Planeswalkers in MTG?
Narset, Parter of Veils | Illustration by Magali Villeneuve
While this might seem straightforward we’re only looking at cards with the “planeswalker” card type. This excludes cards like Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy and Nicol Bolas, the Ravager that transform to become planeswalkers but are creatures in all zones until transforming. I’m also going to only count planeswalkers from traditional sets as opposed to Un-sets since those cards don’t operate on the same axis as traditional set planeswalkers.
A lot of these planeswalkers drew the ire of opponents every time they resolved, and the few that saw bans across formats warped the metagame around their presence. While the context for these planeswalkers’ power level is relative to when they were printed, many have remained at the top of the overall planeswalker ratings even today.
Narset, Parter of Veils
If you’ve played Magic at all since War of the Spark, you know Narset, Parter of Veils. One of the most ubiquitous cards in Standard and eternal formats, Narset remains one of the most powerful planeswalkers thanks to its static ability. Turning off card draw for opponents can hamstring specific decks like Izzet Phoenix in Pioneer. It also dominates blue mirrors in eternal formats where Brainstorm is an endless staple.
We’ve also seen decks leverage this static and pair it with cards like Echo of Eons or Day’s Undoing to instantly lock out opponents. Add the fact that Parter of Veils can dig you to specific answers like Supreme Verdict and it’s easy to see why this is a perennial staple across all formats in Magic.
Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
A growing Pioneer staple, Jace, Wielder of Mysteries does a great Thassa’s Oracle impression for Izzet Phoenix. The value generated by Wielder of Mysteries can help take over a midgame over time, especially for decks that leverage the graveyard.
The static alternate win condition also allows decks that churn through their library a way to win outside of combat. In a format where Pieces of the Puzzle is a 4-of, having a way to win when you deck yourself is a real boon for Pioneer Phoenix.
Ashiok, Dream Render
A perennial sideboard card in any format where dredge, Primeval Titan strategies, or fetch lands are commonplace, Ashiok, Dream Render doubles as graveyard hate, stops searching of the library from opponent-controlled abilities, and can fill your graveyard quickly. Even managing to create an alternate win condition of milling out opponents with multiple copies, Dream Render is a multi-format staple and shows the power level of relevant static abilities on difficult to interact with permanents.
Oko, Thief of Crowns
The abs of legend, Oko, Thief of Crowns is the best planeswalker ever printed. Full stop.
Banned in Standard, Pioneer, Modern, Historic, and Legacy, Oko, Thief of Crowns wins the game by itself, is nearly impossible to kill, gains you tons of life, and invalidates your opponents’ creatures or artifacts. So rarely do we see a card that so universally dominates wherever it goes like Thief of Crowns.
Throne of Eldraine managed to break a lot of things, but among those powerful cards, Oko sits alone atop the mountain as the (pardon the pun) crowning blemish of the set.
Saheeli, Sublime Artificer
A sideboard card in previous Standard and Pioneer spell-heavy decks, Saheeli, Sublime Artificer can generate an army by itself, protecting your life total and its loyalty count. While its minus ability can lead to neat situations like coping a Crackling Drake out of Izzet Phoenix for surprise lethal, the benefit is mostly generating plenty of 1/1 Servos that also count to help power out improvise cards.
Teferi, Master of Time
One of the weaker Teferi planeswalkers in most Constructed formats, Teferi, Master of Time excels in Commander where you can activate loyalty abilities once per turn on any player’s turn and at instant speed. It takes less than two full turn cycles to threaten an ultimate of taking two extra turns after the current turn at a 4-player table.
While maybe underwhelming in the context of the other recent Teferi planeswalkers, Master of Time is easily the most snowballing Teferi in EDH.
Teferi, Time Raveler
When players think of Teferi, Time Raveler, they think of dynamic gameplay. Locking players out of interaction is a powerful effect compounded by decks’ ability to leverage Time Raveler as a means of protection for combo cards.
This Teferi leads to situations where players just can’t functionally play the game where it’s legal and led to a ban in Pioneer and an ever-present status in 4-color Money Pile in Modern along with plenty of other decks. This planeswalker remains one of the more contentious walkers from War of the Spark and a prime example of why the static abilities on planeswalkers can be overwhelming when imbalanced.
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Before the days of Oko, Thief of Crowns, the best planeswalker of all time was Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Banned in Standard and Modern, the Mind Sculptor was the first planeswalker to have four abilities. As you might imagine that made the card’s flexibility immense.
A singular win condition that paired with shuffle effects to rapidly filter through unwanted cards, this planeswalker still sees regular play in Legacy. While Modern has moved on to a degree since its unbanning with the printing of the Modern Horizons sets, Jace, the Mind Sculptor has left its mark on Magic history unlike nearly any other planeswalker.
Tezzeret the Seeker
This Shards of Alara planeswalker introduced the artifact-obsessed character who recurred throughout several later sets. Tezzeret the Seeker remains a Cube staple today and saw plenty of play throughout its lifespan in Magic. Generating mana advantages through its plus ability paired with mana rocks, fetching artifacts from your deck, and threating to ultimate the turn after entering play, the Seeker quickly proved its worth in artifact centric decks.
While newer versions of Tezzeret have supplanted this one in most decks today, the original gave players the ability to tutor specific answers and lock out your opponents, like Ensnaring Bridge or Pithing Needle.
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
A card so powerful it can enable you to cut all your other win conditions, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria has long since been the control finisher of choice for Azorius () decks. One of the hardest cards to answer since you get to immediately untap two lands, few cards produce quite the same ire from opponents than a Hero of Dominaria that goes unanswered for even a single turn. We haven’t seen such a dominating singular card from control decks that does it all quite like this Teferi since Jace, the Mind Sculptor.
Venser, the Sojourner
One of the best repeatable blink effect in EDH, Venser, the Sojourner can repeatedly generate value from your enter- or exit-the-battlefield creatures or permanents. The Sojourner has an aggressive mode in the minus that gives all creatures unblockable until end of turn. This can lead to surprise lethal attacks or sneaking through creatures that trigger abilities when going unblocked or damaging a player.
I’ve loved Venser ever since a friend banned it from their cube thanks to me looping the plus ability with Restoration Angel and Thragtusk.
Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God
The ultimate villain of War of the Spark, Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God not only has powerful abilities but can also use any loyalty abilities of other planeswalkers on the battlefield. The combination of The Elderspell with Dragon-God could steal games where you leveraged the best abilities on board before closing out the game in a set with so many powerful planeswalkers.
Now a periodic sight in Pioneer Grixis Control, this planeswalker still has the power to see play, especially with new Triomes entering Pioneer.
Tamiyo, Collector of Tales
Tamiyo, Collector of Tales has one of the more balanced static abilities, disallowing your opponents from causing you to discard or sacrifice permanents. Collector of Tales helped to power up combo decks like Nexus of Fate and Wilderness Reclamation, especially in formats where hand-disruption is prevalent.
Fueling self-mill with periodic card draw and the ability to Regrow a card from your graveyard, Tamiyo is one of the more balanced rare planeswalkers from the planeswalker set.
Tamiyo, Field Researcher
Tamiyo, Field Researcher is one of my favorite value cards of all time. Field Researcher used to power up Bant () Collected Company decks by giving card advantage every time your creatures dealt damage along with tapping down nonland permanents to clear the path for your offense.
In a format where Emrakul, the Promised End existed, being able to lock down the big Eldrazi could lead to sneaking through lethal the turn after being mind controlled.
The greatest thief in the Multiverse, Dack Fayden is a Vintage staple that’s able to loot for important interaction, fill the graveyard, and steal powerful artifacts like Moxen, Bolas’s Citadel, or Blightsteel Colossus. While not found too much outside of Vintage and EDH, the power to steal opponents’ artifacts can often swing the game. And the artifact is yours permanently and isn’t tied to Dack Fayden staying around unlike like most effects like this.
Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh
The big baddie of Amonkhet, Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh is another four ability planeswalker that can immediately take over the game. Each of the abilities on this Bolas are backbreaking even if it’s expensive.
I’ve played this card to a second place Magic Online PTQ finish in Grixis () Control in Standard. Like cards like Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, you’re very likely to win the game if Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh goes unchecked even for a turn.
Ashiok, Nightmare Muse
Ashiok, Nightmare Muse saw plenty of play as a 5-drop planeswalker to replace the rotated Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. This powerful planeswalker even sees fringe play in Pioneer whenever Grixis Control decks make their way back to playability once every few months.
And I’d suspect a resurgence in Nightmare Muse’s play in Pioneer with Streets of New Capenna adding in more powerful Grixis cards.
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
The original Tamiyo, Tamiyo, the Moon Sage helped control decks lock down aggressive creatures and then cash out for several cards. You could often get the Moon Sage to ultimate and recur each card you cast in control mirrors. Once you have your opponent locked under infinite Mana Leaks it’s hard for them to get footing back in the game.
Saheeli Rai was the face of Kaladesh and led to bans in Standard and Pioneer. When paired with Felidar Guardian you have yourself a Splinter Twin situation where you can theoretically create infinite cats to kill any number of opponents. While this combo remains legal in Modern, a planeswalker that helped dominate Standard and the first few weeks of Pioneer’s Wild West life before leading to bans in both is more than qualified to make this list.
Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of Thought caused the groaning of Mono Red players all over the world during Return to Ravnica Standard. Eventually transitioning to having a place in Modern prior to the Jace, the Mind Sculptor unban, it now seems like Architect of Thought is now only consistently played in EDH or Cube.
While some Fires of Invention planeswalker decks in Pioneer have played this planeswalker, the printing of The Wandering Emperor diminished even that possibility of Jace seeing more play.
Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
The original Ashiok acted as a mirror-breaker in control matchups. The repeated exiling of cards by Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver paired with her high loyalty made it difficult to get it off the board before claiming a handful of cards and potentially a creature or two.
A powerful effect that doesn’t get nearly enough love now, this was one of the original powerful 3-mana planeswalkers that we now take for granted.
Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
A powerful tool in Standard and Modern, Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas continues the Tezzeret subtheme of pairing well with artifacts. Agent of Bolas sets up to threaten lethal with the very quickly achieved ultimate by aggressively looking at the top of the deck for artifacts and then transforming your spare artifacts into massive threats.
While the downfall of decks like Lantern Control in Modern have left this Tezzeret without a current home, but the power level of this card demand consideration whenever artifacts strategies reemerge.
Aminatou, the Fateshifter
Aminatou, the Fateshifter is a 3-mana planeswalker that can act as your commander. This paradigm shift in design saw a previously unexplored space expand with noncreatures acting as Commanders.
While Aminatou’s power level is solid, it only sees play in EDH since it never was able to break into the echelon of Commander cards that affected formats like Legacy and Vintage.
Estrid, the Masked
The Bant planeswalker commander, Estrid, the Masked acts like Aminatou in potentially being your commander. While this planeswalker adds a mana to the overall cost compared to Aminatou, the power level moves up quite a bit.
Estrid can be quite the powerful addition in a Voltron-style EDH deck that suits up hard-to-answer creatures with enchantments, if not as the commander of these Bant Pants style decks.
Jace, the Living Guildpact | Illustration by Chase Stone
The legacy of blue planeswalkers in Magic started with card advantage in Jace Beleren and has evolved into nearly unbeatable threats like Jace, the Mind Sculptor. The variety of quality among blue planeswalkers leads to myriad planeswalkers seeing play across various formats and will continue to carve out a place in the various metagames of Magic.
Let me know what your favorite blue planeswalker is in the comments down below. Are there are any blue planeswalkers you’d like to see reprinted into Pioneer? Let us know over in the official Draftsim Discord.
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