Magic: The Gathering Ikoria Top Ten Limited Picks for Blue

Greetings, Magic: The Gathering players! As you may have heard by now, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths has been released on Magic: The Gathering: Arena, and with it, player-versus-player drafts! So, naturally, we here at Bleeding Cool have compiled a whole bunch of  Top Ten lists for the best cards in Ikoria Limited, color by color. We've already gone over white, and today we will be discussing blue!

Ikoria header
Wizards of the Coast's promotional art for Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, their newest set.

#10. Frost Lynx

Are you facing down an opponent who has a glut of vigilance creatures at their disposal? Do you need to tap down a huge beastly creature in short order? Well, one of the best creatures capable of doing the job is Frost Lynx, a reprint originally from Core Set 2015.

10 - Frost Lynx mtg card
Frost Lynx, a reprinted card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, Magic: The Gathering's newest set.

The card showcases in its ability to tap down a creature for not one, but two of your turns. That's very strong and can get any of your creatures into the fray for an alpha strike under the best of circumstances.

#9. Of One Mind

If you've decided that the Human-versus-monster debate is overrated for the sake of your Ikoria Limited pool and have gone into blue, Of One Mind is a great card to assist you in your draw power. A three-mana draw-two is okay, but a one-mana one is spectacular. Just look at Winged Words! That card is very similar in that one only needs a creature with flying to make it work in the same way, and it has worked spectacularly in Limited as well. This card is even better if you have the conditions fulfilled.

09 - Of One Mind mtg card
Of One Mind, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, Magic: The Gathering's newest set.

#8. Wingspan Mentor

In my article on great white cards for Ikoria Limited, we gushed over how excellent flying counters were when we discussed Spontaneous Flight. Well, blue has the propagation of this counter in spades, speaking with Limited in mind. Wingspan Mentor not only doles out a flying counter but also manages to strengthen creatures that have them. That's quite strong. When we talk about the importance of evasion, not only is that important for the sake of being evasive, but also for the sake of stopping evasive maneuvers. This card coming from out of nowhere is partly why.

08 - Wingspan Mentor mtg card
Wingspan Mentor, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, Magic: The Gathering's newest set.

#7. Ominous Seas

We originally had Ominous Seas a little bit lower in the ranks, but we were pretty strongly convinced as a final forethought to put it higher. Now it's in seventh place, and here is why: This card is never – never – a dead card. In the early game, it can be used to either set up a win condition or, in worse situations, dig for a necessary land, and in the late game, it can be pitched for a bit of card draw to get something you know you need. That's some powerful utility for a card, even considering one of its main utilities is just cycling.

07 - Ominous Seas mtg card
Ominous Seas, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, Magic: The Gathering's newest set.

#6. Dreamtail Heron

Mutate creatures with built-in evasion are super-powerful because of the potential they have to be mutated upon or under an infinitely-more frightening creature. Dreamtail Heron is not just one of those kinds of creatures, but additionally, when it mutates, you get to draw a card. It's very powerful in this way, especially given that its mutate trigger is potentially repeatable.

06 - Dreamtail Heron mtg card
The Showcase variant of Dreamtail Heron, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, Magic: The Gathering's newest set.

#5. Phase Dolphin

We love creatures that will allow for a strict evasion ability, even if it is only temporary. By that, we aren't talking about flying or trample effects, but rather straightforward unblockable attacks. Phase Dolphin can be blocked, sure, but it lets a creature get in for some non-zero amount of damage as one sees fit. That certainly isn't anything, especially if a more formidable creature mutates atop it or, goodness forbid, one picks two of them from the card pool!

05 - Phase Dolphin mtg card
Phase Dolphin, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, Magic: The Gathering's newest set.

#4. Archipelagore

We discussed the importance of tapping creatures down as a form of temporary removal when we discussed Frost Lynx. Archipelagore does what Frost Lynx does, but way better! As long as a player has an adequate way to keep mutating upon an Archipelagore, some creatures will never be able to untap normally. Plus, who doesn't love a monstrous Leviathan creature?

04 - Archipelagore mtg card
The Showcase variant of Archipelagore, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, Magic: The Gathering's newest set.

#3. Pouncing Shoreshark

Some folks might rank Pouncing Shoreshark much higher than we do here at Bleeding Cool. This can be respected – but while it's a repeatable, strong piece of removal, it doesn't merit a first place in the rankings strictly because bounce effects don't lend themselves well towards opposing creatures with enter-the-battlefield effects, of which there are always a lot in every set. To be frank, though, the repeatability is decent, and that's why it's still in third place for us.

03 - Pouncing Shoreshark mtg card
The Showcase variant for Pouncing Shoreshark, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, Magic: The Gathering's newest set.

#2. Mystic Subdual

Mystic Subdual ranks higher than the other generally-more potent removal in the Limited pool for the simple reason that it shuts down all abilities on its target. That means it won't mutate, it won't be able to do anything but have an enters-the-battlefield effect or maybe make use of counters. The creature can still attack or block, but by all means, it won't be nearly as potent at that either, due to the power debuff from this card. This is some high-class removal, especially considering that it has Flash on top of everything else!

02 - Mystic Subdual mtg card
Mystic Subdual, a new card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, Magic: The Gathering's newest set.

#1. Capture Sphere

If you want a creature to be relatively unable to do anything at all, Capture Sphere is one of the best ways to go about that. As it stands, tapping down a creature for two of your turns is strong, but tapping down a creature for effectively the entire game? That's a gamechanger. Like Mystic Subdual, this card has Flash meaning it's a worthwhile combat trick in addition to everything else. When you're reaching for blue cards initially, this is a card you'll want to be on the lookout for. Plus, at common, you'll likely have little trouble at all getting ahold of these in Draft.

01 - Capture Sphere mtg card
Capture Sphere, a reprinted card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, Magic: The Gathering's newest set.

What do you think? Is our list a bit off? Are there common or uncommon blue cards that you wished to see on here but didn't? Let us know.

About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.

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