One of my favorite Standard decks to play over the past couple years was Jeskai Black. I loved how the deck could set up a nice early game, possessed a late-game that could go over the top of anyone, and had enough incremental advantage to really feel like you were burying your opponents. While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, this is what I love to be doing in Magic.
Any blue deck with an element of control is going to feature what I’m now referring to as blue’s Big 3. Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy comes down early, filters your hand, can flip with ease, shuts down a creature, and flashes back spells for value. The ultimate is also a game-winner, so Jace does it all. We’ve never been able to combine Jace with Torrential Gearhulk and Dig Through Time, thanks to Dig’s banning in both Modern and Legacy. It’s powerful enough that all 3 see some Vintage play, however.
Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise are completely busted, as we all know. Dig is the premier spell in all of these control decks as you’ll rarely need the extra lands, and it can be flashed back by the biggest, baddest boy on the block. Torrential Gearhulk is only held back in Standard by a lack of truly excellent instants to return. Dig Through Time is one of the most powerful instants of all time, so that’s not an issue in Frontier.
Soulfire Grand Master is another great card for playing the early and late game. Lifelink is really nice, so you can turn all of your damage spells into incremental life gain. This is one of the best mana sinks in Magic, so getting to the midgame is sure to reward you greatly, since you can continually bring spells back to your hand.
Monastery Mentor is completely dominating the Vintage scene. In a deck full of cheap spells and ways to cast those spells repeatedly, this is an MVP. You also have plenty of ways to bring these back for more, so you don’t need to play many copies
Kolaghan’s Command is an easy 2-for-1. It will gain life with Soulfire, get flashed back by Jace or Gearhulk, bring back any dead creature, make an opponent discard spells, or kill artifacts. A Shatter effect is quite powerful in a format with Ensoul Artifacts and Torrential Gearhulks!
It’ll be interesting to see how the mana can be reworked with the release of Aether Revolt and Fatal Push. Fiery Impulse is definitely nice with Soulfire Grand Master, but Push is just too powerful not to see play. Lightning Strike and Crackling Doom are some nice ways to kill creatures, push through damage, and make Soulfire do some work.
With Painful Truths to reload and Radiant Flames to keep the board under control, you have plenty of rewards for playing three or more colors of mana. Jeskai Black is another awesome Frontier deck that can take lots of advantage of blue’s Big 3!