Monoblue Tempo - LegendVD
Today’s Historic Budget doesn’t require any rares or mythics, just seven common and 28 uncommon wildcards. The combination of cheap flying creatures backed up by card draw Auras and efficient counterspells makes for a deadly strategy. This approach can exploit the absence of many flying creatures in the format and shines against decks that aren’t packing efficient removal. The reason to play these flying creatures over unblockable creatures like Slither Blade or Mist-Cloaked Herald is because of their synergy with the counterspells in the deck.
This Mono Blue Tempo deck wants to start with an evasive one drop on turn one. Between Spectral Sailor, Siren Stormtamer and Pteramander, the deck has twelve of these. If the coast is clear, these can be followed up with Curious Obsession or Curiosity to get the cards flowing. Faerie Vandal is another flash creature that also synergizes with all these card draw effects.
Once one of these threats is established, we can disrupt the opponent with our efficient counterspells. Lofty Denial has no shortage of flying creatures to turn it into a better Mana Leak and Lookout’s Dispersal has eight Pirates to discount its cost. Dive Down, Unsummon and Opt help protect your threats, yourself and dig deeper for what you need. These are also more cheap instants to fuel the adapt ability on Pteramander, while providing additional utility.
This tempo strategy doesn’t play very well if it falls behind though, as Unsummon is the only way to bounce a creature once it’s in play. However, it does a good job of staying ahead once it establishes a card-drawing creature which can draw into more counterspells. This strategy can be weak to low curve aggro decks but can be very punishing against anything trying to resolve slightly more expensive (basically three or more mana) spells.
There are many viable sideboard options for this deck. Most of them will be additional counterspells that are better suited for specific matchups. Spell Pierce is great against decks that are heavy on noncreature interaction. It was left out of the main deck due to the prevalence of the all-creature Goblin decks. Essence Capture on the other hand is great when you mostly expect to counter creature spells. Mystical Dispute will be the most efficient answer to blue cards while Ceremonious Rejection can come in against artifact decks. Aether Gust can also be a unique solution to otherwise uncounterable cards like Shifting Ceratops and can sometimes be used retroactively to good effect.
Cerulean Drake is your best card when facing red decks, which can otherwise be difficult matchups. Additional bounce spells like Unsummon or Stern Dismissal can also be important when facing must-counter two drops like Kor Spiritdancer, especially when on the draw. Grafdigger’s Cage is also worth considering as one of the more efficient sideboard staples in the format. Lastly, I also want to point out Tale’s End as one of the few answers to Blast Zone, which is otherwise very difficult to interact with.
There are a few different variations of this archetype that all of their strengths and weaknesses. One such variation adds Merfolk Trickster as a powerful flash creature that can give the deck more creature interaction. Once you add Merfolk Trickster, it also becomes more appealing to swap out some of the previous counterspells with Wizard’s Retort, which remains very effective in the late game.
Tempest Djinn is a powerful finisher that rewards you for playing Islands and can help diversify your threats. Otherwise, you can consider a few copies of Castle Vantress for its card filtering in the late game if you’re not using Tempest Djinn in the 75. Brazen Borrower is another natural fit in this strategy, offering both a bounce spell and a flash threat in one card. You can even find the first copy in the starter deck named “Spellpower.” Sea-Dasher Octopus offers a similar effect to Curious Obsession and the first copy can also be found in one of the starter decks, this one titled “Mutation Station.”