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Rare Earths: I'm Blue (Abodee, aboda)
By Russell Sherman
I'm Blue (Abodee, Aboda) [Editor's Note: I don't think the song goes like that... ]

I'm teaching my sister how to play magic. Now, if anyone's ever tried to teach someone else, the first thing you need to know is don't teach someone who is not a good reader. They need to be able to tell what a card can do in order to use it properly. Well, my sister is not a good reader, and also tends to jump to conclusions, without looking at the whole card. So, when I taught her, I slowed her down as much as possible, and had her play fairly simple decks, to get the hang of the basic mechanics.
I started her on green stompy. She got the hang of it pretty easily, and, though she still misplays quite often, has no real problems above and beyond those suffered by others that I know (there's this guy named Slicků. but that's another story). Once She got the hang of green stompy, I moved her onto red. SRB and sligh variants only. No problem there, she had a little trouble choosing what to kill, but I've adjusted her to that. After sligh, I put her on probationary white weenie. She mastered that easily, calling it "Reverse-red". In the sense that red is quick creatures and destroying the other guy's, and white is quick creatures, and keeping them alive. Then black.
My sister is a natural at pestilence, and can run discard. She still has problems with destroying the right creatures, though. So, finally, I set her on blue. And she can't play it. Blue speed, blue unblockable, blue lock, counterspell, you name it, she can't use it at all. She just can't seem to get the hang of the color. And I, a player who considers himself to be very versatile, color-wise, realized that about half my decks are blue or have blue in them. And my sister couldn't play them. In my quest for a playable blue deck for her, I ran across many styles, and many decks for each.
My brother, Adam, favors blue control, and is good at it. Thran Golems with Diplomatic Immunity, Stinging Barriers with Charisma, you know the drill. She can't play it. She doesn't have my problem (an active anti-topdeck), nor does she not understand the principle, she just consistently makes bad choices. Counterspelling my goblin bombardment, not my sneak attack. Things like that. And taking over my Skyshroud Behemoth, or attempting to confiscate Blastoderm.
My blue decks are, almost without exception, lock decks. My sister has played lock decks before: I have a black lock deck that she uses uncannily. But she just keeps making the mistakes. Not paying for stasis. Tapping out in a winter orb deck. Not counterspelling cards like Mind Slash, or hymn to tourach. She can't play lock decks at all. Blue unblockable, she has two problems with. She has the worst luck with the decks for that, plus she never attacks, forgetting that her creatures cannot be blocked.
So, what is left for my sister? I found her able to play one "blue" deck efficiently: my Colossus/tinker deck that has blue in there for the sole purpose of tinker. She can play that. That's it. Or is it?
I have about 20 decks. That's an awful lot, and I have about 10 more that are what I call dehydrated decks. Decks with all the mana taken out of them. This phrase was never truer than it was when I dehydrated my merfolk deck. That was the one style I'd forgotten. In the two weeks I had spent teaching my sister blue, I had forgotten fish.
Now, I have no doubt in my mind that my sister would not be able to play a normal fish deck. Fortunately for her, my deck was far from normal. Type 0, and almost green in style, this deck earned my award for the best aggressive blue deck I've ever built (I don't count the Colossus/tinker deck. it's not really blue). I handed her the cards, explained the one combo in the entire deck (Lord of Atlantis & Tidal Warrior), and played against her. She beat me, two out of three.
My sister cannot play blue. She cannot see mana manipulation, nor can she counterspell well, but I'll be damned if she doesn't know how to apply a beatdown with any deck you give her. And this was the deck I gave her:

"Gone Fishin'"
4 Lord of Atlantis
4 Tidal Warriors
4 Rootwater Mystic
4 River Merfolk
4 Manta Riders
4 Coral Merfolk
2 Rootwater thief
2 Seahunter
2 Seasinger
4 Rootwater Diver

4 Sunken City
2 Coat of Arms

20 Islands

Read More Articles by Russell Sherman!

 - Wednesday (July 18. 2018)
 - Thursday (May 17, 2018)
 - Tuesday (Aprl. 24, 2018
 - Monday (Apr. 16, 2018)
 - Friday (Apr. 6, 2018)
 - Wednesday (Apr. 4, 2018)
 - Monday (Apr. 2, 2018)
 - Friday (Mar. 23, 2018)
 - Thursday (Feb. 15, 2018)
 - Thursday (Jan 25, 2018)

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