Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Blue Art in Magic
Blue is a complex Magic color, filled with both tranquil focus and raging waters, inner solitude and invasive disruption. As the faction most related to knowledge, it bears several abstract, thought-provoking spells, in addition to some impressive landscapes.
We could talk about how blue's arguably the best commander color, but today we'll focus on its aesthetics—here are 30 beautiful blue spells to brighten your day and help you meditate!
30. Dream Fracture
This colorful lightshow represents one of blue's infamous counterspells. Fracture's an interesting one, countering any spell and giving both you and its caster a bonus draw, softening the blow for both parties.
29. Archetype of Imagination
Set: Born of the Gods
This powerful wizard is surprisingly weak for his cost at 3/2, but he counts as an enchantment, comboing in constellation decks. More than that, he gives your creatures flying and takes it away from opposing ones, meaning you're unblockable by everything that doesn't have reach, which is rare outside green.
Set: Fifth Edition
Showcasing the struggle between land and sea, Lifetap works great against green decks, giving you one life whenever an opposing forest is tapped. Contrary to its text, this works with all opponents (not just one), and it doesn't matter if the forest is basic or not.
27. Search for Azcanta/Azcanta, Sunken Ruin
The merfolk tribe blends blue waters with green forestry for luscious landscapes. And Aczanta's a great card, first letting you see and possibly mill your deck's top card at your upkeep, then (with seven cards in graveyard) transforming into a land that can find non-creatures from your deck's top four cards.
26. Decision Paralysis
With its emphasis on mental mastery, blue provides several geometric, puzzle-like pieces like this, a picture that could come from M.C. Escher himself. The card's not amazing, instantly tapping two creatures and preventing their next untap, but at least the art impresses.
25. Time Elemental
Set: Fifth Edition
This ethereal creature is almost useless in battle, weak at 0/2 and sacrificing himself while draining you of five life if he attacks or blocks. But his effect can lockdown opponents, spending four to bounce a non-enchanted permanent back to hand.
Notably, this includes lands, and if you control the blue enchantment Training Grounds, you can lessen the activation cost to just two mana!
24. Mana Vortex
Set: Masters Edition
Even with its typhoon, something about Vortex's starry night and dark waters generates calm. That said, the card can be brutal; it makes you sacrifice a land on entry, then has each player sac one at the start of their turns. This can cripple opposing decks, just be sure you have enough lands to maintain your game plan.
23. Sea Kings' Blessing
Guided by a Poseidon-like figure, this ship makes safe passage across a beautiful sunrise setting. The effect is pretty weird, making any number of creatures blue for the turn, but it can be useful if you have protection from blue or other color tricks.
22. Lunar Mystic
Set: Avacyn Restored
Astrology fans will love this lunar spell, and it's a worthwhile inclusion in counterspel decks. Though his stats are weak at 2/2, Mystic lets you pay one whenever you cast an instant to draw a card.
21. Guardian of Solitude
Set: Champions of Kamigawa
Both mystical and natural, this artwork will grab almost anyone's eye. To bad the card is lame, granting a creature temporary flying whenever you cast a spirit or arcane spell, but it's still a unique visual.
20. String of Disappearances
Set: Modern Horizons
This trippy art belongs to an interesting spell with numerous applications. First, you instantly bounce any creature back to hand, then its controller can pay two blue to copy it. So, you can either bounce an opposing creature (unless they use blue, they won't be able to duplicate the effect), or save yours from a removal, which you can replicate if you have extra mana in reserve.
Set: Modern Horizons
Another versatile spell, Everdreams draws one for two at instant speed, replacing itself in hand when you need something else. But you can instead splice it onto your instant or sorcery by paying an extra three mana and revealing it in hand, making it surprisingly effective in the late game.
By the way, Everdream is basically an upgraded version of Evermind, a similar spell that can't be cast regularly and could only be sliced onto arcane cards.
18. Pale Moon
Calming moonlight dominates this spell, which devastates multi-color decks by making non-basic lands tap for colorless mana that turn. Cool effect, I just wish it had a cantrip ability to replace itself in hand.
17. Quiet Contemplation
Set: Khans of Tarkir
This spell depicts Narset, one of my favorite characters in lore. It's an interesting enchantment, letting you pay one whenever you cast a non-creature to freeze an enemy, tapping it and preventing it from untapping for a turn.
16. Walk the Aeons
Set: Time Spiral
Skeletons and a giant pendulum provide an insightful glimpse into the inevitability of time, and the spell is just as exciting. You take an extra turn, and if you sacrifice three islands, you can buyback Aeons, placing it into your instead of graveyard. In longer commander games, this can mean victory by (if you have the lands to sac) giving multiple back-to-back turns.
15. Sanctum of Calm Waters
Set: Core Set 2021
Shrines like this work best with other shrines, which come in all colors, so you're probably only gonna use Sanctum in rainbow builds. Still, it's a nice look into the calmer side of blue, letting you draw cards equal to your shrines at the start of your combat, then discard a card.
Despite being an underwhelming creature, I love the rain-covered field and twisting elemental seen here. And are those black lotuses I spy?
13. Of One Mind
Depicting the bond between humans and their companions, One Mind draws twice, and its cost is reduced by two if you control both a human and non-human creature. Try it in partner decks where you know you'll have access to both throughout the match; it's a staple in my Thrasiod/Kydele green-blue deck, and available for just one dollar!
12. Energy Vortex
Vortex isn't a great card, making opponents spend mana to avoid damage, but there's an ethereal quality about its classic art, almost reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
11. Boreal Elemental
Set: Core Set 2020
With the deer and snow, this spell reminds me of Christmas Eve. Too bad it's nothing great, just a fairly weak creature with flying. He does makes targeting more expensive for opponents, if only his stats made him a big enough threat for it to matter.
10. Spectral Deluge
Set: Kaldheim Commander
This colorful removal is pretty competitive for mono-blue, bouncing all opposing creatures with toughness less than the number of islands you control back to hand. Plus, you can foretell it for two mana on your turn to cast it on a future round for just three, half its base price!
Set: Commander 2013
Depicting the spoils of nature, this art could be for a green spell. It's an interesting group-hug effect, letting all players draw X cards. If you get infinite mana, you can effectively mill everyone's deck entirely, causing them to lose when they can't draw.
8. Karn's Temporal Sundering
Karn is a golem created by Urza, an important figure in older sets. This scene depicts some of the turmoil throughout Karn's life, but also some of the triumph. It's equally fantastic in combat; casting it requires a legendary creature or planeswalker, but lets you bounce a non-land and take an extra turn.
7. Aminatou's Augury
Set: Mystery Booster
Butterflies and children are sure to bring a smile to anyone, but despite the gentle artwork, Augury unleashes a powerful albeit expensive effect. You exile your deck's top eight cards, can put a land from them onto the field, then freely cast a card of each card type from them for the rest of the turn.
This works best in decks with numerous card types, increasing your odds of getting multiple spells.
6. Celestial Messenger
Set: Core Set 2020
Epitomizing the freedom and grace of the skies, this is an average card with a stunning aesthetic. Flash lets you cast it at instant speed, it has flying, and its poor 3/2 stats become decent 4/3 if you control a Mu Yanling planeswalker, so it's playable in some builds.
5. Back to Basics
Set: Ultimate Masters
Earlier we saw how Pale Moon hinders non-basic lands, but to really decimate them, try this deceptively peaceful enchantment. It prevents non-basic lands (including yours) from untapping. So use it in a deck with basic islands and watch as non-basic foes lose access to their mana, likely scooping if they don't have a removal.
4. Game Plan
Ah, yes, this piece clearly represents…some mental stadium? Well, the two lights meeting is symbolic of its assist effect, which lets another player spend up to five mana to help you cast it (making it great for alliances in multiplayer).
No matter who pays for it, Plan shuffles everyone's graveyard and hand into their deck, then draws seven cards, a nice hand-replenisher and anti-mill tactic.
3. Echo of Eons
Set: Modern Horizons
Just like Game Plan, this celestial spell shuffles everyone's hand and graveyard into their deck, then draws seven cards. No assists this time, but its flashback lets you recast it into exile from your graveyard for just three mana!
2. Time Reversal
Set: Magic 2012
Empowering and mystical, this spell illuminates the wonders of mastering time. It's basically the same as Echo of Eons, just without flashback and slightly cheaper, resetting everyone's graveyard and hand back to seven new cards.
Set: Core Set 2019
Ten mana's a big ask, but once you become omniscient, you can cast spells from your hand without paying their mana cost! Get this out, and you've likely won, especially if your spells draw into new ones and continuously replenish.
Winning With Blue in Magic
Of all Magic colors, blue is the best at control, gradually gaining a lead through long-term strategies. This mean it's less aggressive, and it's creatures tend to be weaker, so you might pair it with white for lifegain, green for defensive bodies, or black for creature removal.
No matter how you cultivate your build, blue provides a powerful and majestic flavor to any deck. but for now, vote for your favorite art and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2021 Jeremy Gill