Mono-Blue Tempo: Lightning Round!

Welcome everyone! Last night, back to back English National Champion and all around lovely person Autumn Burchett won Mythic Championship I with their Mono-Blue tempo deck. It’s a strong and fun deck, so you might want to put it together yourself soon, and even if you don’t, you’ll probably be playing against it a lot for the next few months. Either way, let’s take a quick look at some of the odd interactions it has!

Pteramander! Pteramander has a (potentially) cheap Adapt ability. As we covered before, Adapt only really works once, since it won’t put counters on the creature if it already has some- but that doesn’t mean you CAN’T activate it multiple times. So, say your opponent throws a Scorchmark at your Pteramander in response to your Adapt activation- you can activate the Adapt ability again in response to make sure it grows before the damage is dealt. The second (well, first) Adapt will see that the ‘mander already has counters, and won’t put any more on, but that’s a small price to pay for survival.

Curious Obsession! Taking control of a creature with Curious Obsession attached does not change the controller of Curious Obsession itself- it remains attached, but is still controlled by whoever you stole the creature from. The creature still has the drawing-cards trigger, so that’s fun! But Curious Obsession is going to be checking if your opponent attacked with anything on their turns- and if so, they’ll sacrifice THEIR Aura on YOUR creature, and your drawing days are over.

Essence Capture! Essence Capture has either one or two targets, and you choose what they are on casting- that is, the spell to be countered, and the creature to put a counter on. If you copy it (say, with Expansion) and get to choose new targets, you’re still locked into whatever setup the original was; if the original was just countering a spell and not buffing a creature, your copy won’t even have the option to target a creature either. The flipside of that is that even if Essence Capture ends up not countering the spell (maybe because your opponent countered their own spell to try to goozle you, or it was never counterable in the first place and you were just using it for the +1/+1 counter), your creature still gets bigger because the spell has one legal target, and the +1/+1 counter is not an “if you do” clause of the spell being countered. Likewise, if your opponent kills your targeted creature in response to Essence Capture, it’ll still counter their originally targeted spell!

Entrancing Melody! This is more a reminder about Riot, honestly, but if you steal a creature with Riot that was chosen to enter with Haste instead of a counter, the granted haste wasn’t just for the turn it came down; the creature has haste, period. That means you can attack with it and use its tap abilities the turn you gain control of it instead of having to wait a turn!

Finally, Merfolk Trickster is the last really tricky card in the deck, and we could probably write a whole article on it- so we will! Make sure to check back later in the week for it! Until then, best of luck to all of you, whether it be with 20 islands and some evasive creatures, or against them, or in a totally unrelated matchup. Good luck, and have fun!

Today’s Rules Tip was written by Alistair Crook

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