Master of Waves is an absurd Magic card. It got off to a hot start by immediately winning the Pro Tour and tearing up the Grand Prix circuit.
This guy’s stock has fallen recently. Mono-Blue Mages haven’t received any new toys in months, and some fear that there will be no new toys in the fall set, Khans.
We probably can’t—but who cares? Frostburn Weird and Nightveil Specter aren’t very exciting to begin with. These cards were only played because of their mana symbols—and because of Master of Waves.
Master of Waves has been making the most mediocre of beaters look amazing because his damage output is ridiculous. It is truly a kill-or-be-killed card.
Master of Waves in Modern
Somehow Master of Waves has become a rogue, semi-budget option for Modern, and today I’m diving in.
First of all, Master of Waves is hard to kill in Modern. Untouchable by Inquisition of Kozilek, Lightning Bolt, Abrupt Decay, Electrolyze, and Lightning Helix. There are ways to kill him, but many players aren’t packing them.
Secondly, the Modern card pool offers MUCH deeper and better options for cheap blue permanents on curve. We don’t have to play maindeck Tidebinder Mage in Modern. We have a large card pool.
There are tons of options for Master of Waves decks. So let’s get to it.
This is the final list of the blue devotion deck as I last played it. The basic game plan is to ramp with Nykthos, Borderposts, and blue permanents that screw with the opponent’s mana. Finish by Nykthos’ing into Omniscience, chain Myojins to pick up the deck.
Master of Waves offers a unique angle here, doing extremely heavy lifting as a card that stabilizes the board and offers wins out of nowhere with Leyline of Anticipation.
If you’re into a combo, show-off play style, this deck could be the right one for you. It’s a big, Timmy-style finish that might not win the PTQ, but might cost less than ONE Misty Rainforest.
Modern Vial Wizards
Some of you remember the Greg Hatch-style Modern Vial Wizards deck that I obsessed over for months. This deck started out as a Sky Hussar deck, but in recent days has become more of a Master of Waves deck.
Grand Architect plus Master of Waves is an absurd wombo combo. Extra devotion for extra Elementals that stick around even if Master of Waves dies.
This combination allows our army of embarrassingly tiny blue people to take over even the beefiest of boards. All thanks to Master of Waves.
Master of Waves Merfolk
I am interested in playing Master of Waves in my Merfolk decks in Modern. I know a lot of Merfolk players are skeptical because it costs 4-mana in a land-light deck.
After all, most blue Merfolk decks pack very little disruption and race with big unblockable fish. Games just don’t necessarily last to Master of Waves.
Sure. I think Master of Waves is worth building around though. I’m interested in starting with 4 Master of Waves in my Merfolk deck and building from there.
To make it work, we need more control than traditional Merfolk decks to extend the game to 4 mana. We can cut the mediocre 1-drop creatures and play a slower game meant to be taken over by Master of Waves.
We know that Master of Waves plays well with Blood Moon from the Blue Moon deck. We also know that Blood Moon and Merfolk play well with Spreading Seas. We can push that even further with Sea’s Claim.
In the same vein as Jacob and Alexander’s Boil Merfolk deck, here is an extremely hateful Blood Moon Merfolk deck.
I know I cut a lot of sacred cows with this Merfolk deck but I think the Merfolk community needs to try some new things to push the archetype. The deck has had some mediocre results, never well enough to break into the top of a premier Modern event, and we might need to really shake up the archetype to get it here.
Blue/Green Combo with Master of Waves
All right ready for a head scratcher of a combo deck?
Untap. All right now we need to deal with those Spirit blockers, but we can do it with what we have in play. Realistically there’s only a couple thousand of them and we only need to establish a ratio of mana-to-Spirits, which we can now do. Make the mana to tap all their Spirits and get in there!
A masterpiece! Or something.
Worth noting here is that you could always play something like Laboratory Maniac to finish, but I’m never a fan of strict victory cards.
Master of Waves Budget/Competitive Modern?
These are some of the options for Master of Waves in Modern. There are tons of options. And a lot of them have the potential to be really budget.
As many options as there are for Master of Waves right now, I suspect there will be more and more options as Wizards prints new cards. They have a history of liking blue, and I heard that once again blue is going to be in the next set.