There Is No Blue
David Zadok Stroud
Where do we go from here? As almost all of the M:tG community is beginning to realize, we are entering a new stage of Magic, one heralded not by the overpowered combos of the Artifact Cycle or the sheer speed and efficiency of Rath, but by the strategic, overwhelming number of choices offered up by Invasion. A lot of people have been discussing how to transfer Masques block decks into 6th, under the assumption that the post-Invasion metagame would support such decks. Well, the spoiler has struck, and I’ve got news for all those people.
Sorry, but Rising Waters and Rebels ain’t gonna cut it.
Oh, for a few weeks, they might do something. But in the long term, we’re looking at a complete rewrite of Magic theory as a whole. Why do I say this? Because, for the first time in the history of Magic, there is no Blue.
Seriously. There is no Blue. There will be no Blue. And no, I don’t have some strange insider information from the DCI implying that Islands will be banned or errataed, in fact the same statement applies to all the colors.
There is no Blue.
There is no Green.
There is no Black.
There is no White.
There is no Red.
For the time in which Invasion remains legal, I don’t believe saying ‘Blue vs. Red’ is an option to describe matchups anymore. It just doesn’t work. Because there is no Blue. Instead, we face an era of Magic which will probably be better described as ‘Synergy vs. Beatdown.’ No colors, because there are no colors. That’s what Invasion has done; blurred the lines between the colors to near-invisibility. Post-Invasion, there will be almost no mono-color decks left in existence. They just won’t be viable.
Too… Many… Options!
Imagine this: Three weeks from today, you’re building a deck. You have the base of the deck all mapped out, with Rhystic Lightning, Urza’s Rage, Shock, Seal of Fire, and some other spells made to turn your opponent into a small smoldering corpse. Now, you just need to add some creatures. Now, what do you put in? Hint: It’s no longer limited to your Red box.
Chances are, you have a few Black weenies that would fit the deck very nicely! Derelor makes for a nice finisher, with some more creature removal to clear it’s path, perhaps? A Vampiric Tutor or three? Maybe toss in a couple of regenerating blockers? Or a couple of regenerating attackers, say, River Boa? What about Blastoderm? Do you find room for Birds of Paradise and splash in still another color? Add a few flyers in Black, and then put Giant Growth and Wild Might in as finishers?
Suddenly, you aren’t playing Burn anymore. You’re playing a R/G/b deck with many, many more options available to you. And ya’ know what? That deck’s gonna be better than the straight burn deck. Because it has those options. Out of burn? Derelor can still win you the game. Wanna Kicker an Urza’s Rage? Can do, with the mana provided by Green. Being fried by a Rebel deck? Suddenly, the number of solutions and threats available to you multiply by three. Your sideboard has color hosers for every color in the game, it’s no longer only able to hose opposing colors.
Yikes. Obviously, some of those choices are easier to make than others, but the truth of the matter is, decks no longer can afford to go mono-color, not with the great cards available in other colors. Once you have the option of playing Birds of Paradise and Quirion Elves to support a third or fourth color, why not do it? The problem is, when you do, what do you add? When someone wanted to build a burn deck in Urza’s block, they had all their red cards to sort through. Suddenly, we have three to five times as many cards to sift through, just to build a viable aggressive deck! Sheesh!
So, how do we deal?
Well, we could just walk into games like we always have, armed with mono-color decks ready to kick butt, and get our heads handed to us by the people who have fully grasped the options available in the new environment.
Or we can reshape our entire view of Magic. There is no Blue. Deck types are no longer limited by such artificial barriers as color. You can play anything, in any deck, at any time. The boundaries are being rewritten, and the rules must be rewritten with them. Time to start asking yourself; do you splash red for Shock, or White for Wrath?
And next time your opponent plays a Forest, you can’t assume anything.
Because there is no Blue.
--Zadok001, aka Greater Good fanatic (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“We have more sprouts than they have hands.”