Blue Staples

January 29, 2015

By Dodo Bird Commander writer Ryan Zeitz


Hey there Commander players, Rhyno here charging at you with my top 3 blue staple cards. By staples I’m talkin’ about those cards that you should shuffle up in every blue deck regardless of what type of deck it is. But I won’t drown you in any more boring frontmatter, let’s bounce!

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#3 – Cyclonic Rift













This one-sided board wiper is often an egregious offense in a well-developed Commander game where board states have really advanced and there are a lot of permanents on the battlefield. It feels unfair that blue gets the best board wipe in Commander, the color that already dominates the draw, copy, and counterspell departments!

Cyclonic Rift is such a versatile card too. It’s not just a mass cleanse that can get token-based armies and aggressive monsters off your case, it’s a nice win condition card too! It essentially gives you a turn where you can freely swing into your opponents–and that effect can often be a game-ender. Cyclonic Rift is both an “answer” and a “question”–it answers all problematic opposing permanents, and it questions your opponents as to whether they can deal with your own alpha strike without having creatures on the battlefield to block.


#2 – Rite of Replication













Avenger of Zendikar. Bogarden Hellkite. Precursor Golem. All insane ways to make this insane card go off the deep end. While not flexible like other copiers such as Phyrexian Metamorph or Clever Impersonator, Rite’s power level trumps these and all other copy effects in Commander because of the sheer jaw-dropping, game-ending punch it delivers.

To go in for seconds on mass copy madness, be sure to sleeve up Eternal Witness, Diluvian Primordial, Mnemonic Wall, or Archaeomancer. You can even add some Biovisionary spice to the mix if you’re in the market for a straight-forward kill-condition.


#1 – Clever Impersonator












A fresh release out of Khans of Tarkir, this cunning copier has pushed the boundaries to the max as far as duplication effects go. For the first time ever on a blue copy card, you can copy a wide array of permanents, from a Mana Reflection, to an Avacyn, Angel of Hope, to a Sword of Feast and Famine. The possibilities are endless with this beast of a card, extending it’s range even to planeswalkers, a permanent type that has recently become much more prevalent in Commander due to the 5 new general-legal ‘walkers, who are often cast several times throughout the game.

With Clever Impersonator, you’ve got the ability to get extra mileage out of him, as with other blue copy creatures like Clone, Phyrexian Metamorph, and Quicksilver Gargantuan. You can blink him with cards like Ghostway or Brago, King Eternal; you can bounce him with cards like Crystal Shard, Erratic Portal, or Evacuation; or you can return him to play with cards like Karmic Guide, Dread Return, Reveillark, or Debtor’s Knell.

Those are my picks for the top 3 blue staple cards. What do you think? Am I off my rocker? Which blue staple cards do you never leave home without?


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