Mono-Blue Devotion with Dragons of Tarkir

Mono-Blue Aggro is getting a real shot in the arm with the release of the next set, Dragons of Tarkir. The aggressive devotion strategy will see some serious upgrades at the 1-, 2-, AND 3-drop creature slots.

It seems like Wizards may be intentionally pushing the mono-blue strategy for one last run before Theros rotates out. I suspect with these new printings that Mono-Blue may move back to a popular tier deck, and the question is how and what that deck is going to look like.

First, let’s look at the new cards: Gudul Lurker, Stratus Dancer, and Shorecrasher Elemental.

Gudul Lurker is a strict upgrade to the solid Triton Shorestalker. An unblockable creature for 1 mana is what the deck needs to start pushing through attackers from start to finish.

While this card’s megamorph ability may not come up too often, it will come up and it’s a nice option to have. 4 mana for a 2/2 unblockable is not a great rate, but if you have the extra mana, why not? The more options the better.

Stratus Dancer may not receive the Master of Waves Elemental buff that Vaporkin gets, but otherwise this is another strict upgrade.

Finally, a 2-mana 2-power flyer with no drawback! It even has upside with a nice megamorph ability.

Like Gudul Lurker, this won’t come up all the time, but when it does it will be an absolute beating. Countering an instant or sorcery spell gives you a potential answer to sweepers in the main deck and to get an evasive 3/2 body out of the deal is amazing.

Finally we have Shorecrasher Elemental, an uber-pushed UUU 3-drop mythic that is clearly meant to play with Master of Waves. I mean, it’s even an Elemental.

The devotion is amazing, and the 3/3 body is a good rate to start. The smattering of mana sink abilities gives this card amazing flexibility. This thing is a beating and will singlehandedly bring Mono-Blue aggro back to form.

The main question with Shorecrasher Elemental is whether you can play it alongside Darksteel Citadel + Ensoul Artifact.

Ensoul Artifact has been a major draw to the aggressive blue strategy recently, but the reliance on Darksteel Citadel could leave Shorecrasher Elementals stranded in hand.

History suggests this may not be a problem as Mono-Blue Devotion decks once ran 4 UUU Nightveil Specters alongside 4x Mutavaults and 1x Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx.

The question is: power or consistency?

I expect this decision to be the major deckbuilding divergence as we may see successful Mono-Blue Devotion strategies splinter in two directions.

Here’s what Mono-Blue Devotion could look like without the Ensoul Artifact package for more consistent UUU mana:

Mono-Blue Devotion

This list is going to be a good starting point for consistent mana. You still run 2 Nykthos, and with all the megamorph, bestow, and creature abilities this deck will make great use of excess mana.

But here’s a list of what Mono-Blue Devotion could look like with the Ensoul Artifact package greedily packed in as well.

Mono-Blue Ensoul

The Springleaf Drum + Ornithopter combo gives you the potential for broken fast starts and super powers Military Intelligence.

Military Intelligence is the type of card that some of you have to play just because. I mean who doesn’t like drawing cards? The steady stream of cards it offers can help you run away in the early game or give you some precious extra devotion in the late game.

This deck is definitely a less consistent version but it has greater potential for explosiveness and power. While I see the strengths of both strategies I personally am likely to start with a build like this one, just by preference.

Mono-Blue Devotion with Dragons of Tarkir

No matter how you look at it, it’s obvious that Mono-Blue Devotion is getting a serious power push with Gudul Lurker, Stratus Dancer, and Shorecrasher Elemental.

Which version do you prefer? How are you excited to build Mono-Blue Devotion? Still have your Master of Waves for one more push in Standard?

Mono-Blue Aggro Players, what do you think?

4 thoughts on “Mono-Blue Devotion with <i>Dragons of Tarkir</i>”

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