I did try it. And I enjoyed it a lot: Although my beloved Izzet list is the stronger deck, I played an (almost) mono blue control deck last Saturday at the Westfalen Masters #7. “Almost” because I still ran two red cards, Blood Moon and Price of Progress. Funnily enough, that didn’t even pay off and I’m seriously thinking about switching to full mono blue some time just because the deck is so much fun to play (for me as a pilot, that is). In case you don’t get the referenece, “Seinfeld” is an American sitcom. Within the series, they create the pitch for a “show about nothing”. Just like that, Mono Blue Control (MUC) is a deck about nothing: While Izzet can kill you surprisingly fast (for a control deck), a Highlander deck with roughly 25 counterspells, 10+ cantrips, 8+ card advantage spells, some lands and only very few win conditions takes its time. You don’t lose, but you also don’t win until the very lategame.
Naturally, fast creature based aggro is what you absolutely do not want to face when playing MUC. Especially when it comes with a lot of annoying disruption and hatebears. So Game one goes like this: He’s on the play, dropping a 2/1 T1 and a 3-power-critter turn T2. In his T3 when I’m finally ready to counter something with two blue mana open, he drops Rishadan Port and—what a lot of people don’t do consequently enough—uses it every following turn, keeping me so short on mana that I eventually die. Game two went in my favour pretty fast: I counter his T1 critter (Force Spike OP) and drop a T3 Vedalken Shackles that slowly takes over the game when finally Torrential Gearhulk hits the table, flashbacking a Dig Through Time (discarded with Careful Study before) for maximum value. Leif concedes.
Game three was very close and could have gone either way. MVP for Leif is his T1 Aether Vial which makes sure his Dryad Militant resolves which then exiles pretty much everything I play in this game so my Delve spells + Cryptic Serpent become unplayable over the course of the whole game. He also vials in a Leonin Arbiter in response to my Fetchland activation (it was my second land drop) and at this point I was seriously considering giving up since I was so behind both on board and mana. I didn’t, though, and a combination of True-Name Nemesis and Spellskite (that also blanks his Ajani, Caller of he Pride) stall the board. Unfortunately, his Mother of Runes still made sure I take another two or three damage each turn, so I’m finally forced to almost tap out, leaving only one of my three counterspells in hand active. That’s when he uses his last two cards (Honor the Pure which I had to neutralize) and resolves Elspeth, Knight-Errant that finally overwhelms me.
When mono white aggro already scares the shit out of you as a Seinfeld player, G(w) Elves is your absolute nightmare. Game one I’m on the draw which pretty much says it all. When I have my two Islands up in his T3, he already dropped his whole hand on the board, I’m dead quickly after that. Game two is a little better since I’m on the play obviously. But I can only counter one Elf per turn so when he draws a Gaea’s Cradle from the top of his library T4, the game is over: His last card in hand is a Dragonlord Dromoka. Oh god. GG.
I have played this guy some years ago during a Berlin Metagame Masters tournament when I still played Esper. Since I knew he’s playing his pet deck Scapeshift, I kept a hand (on the play) with Back to Basics in it. Game one is the fastest of the whole tournament: I Spell Pierce his T1 cantrip, Memory Lapse his T2 drop and play Back to Basics, followed by Curious Homunculus that flips the turn after. He concedes. Game two takes longer, but is decided T3 when he resolves a True-Name Nemesis after letting me discard my Counterspell. Since I have only two possible outs and he adds more pressure to the board, I lose.
Game three I keep a Blood Moon in Hand on the play. I Force of Will his T1 discard spell, counter his T2 drop and play Bloodmoon in my T3, leaving him with only three mountains on the battlefield. I was pretty sure that I’d won that game by going all-in for the Blood Moon, but he draws a basic Island the next turn and a basic Forest the turn after that from the top of his deck. This way he can play all his ramp spells to get even more basics into play so my Blood Moon play doesn’t pay off. I’m behind on cards and get overwhelmed.
In case you’re wondering why I would continue to play at that point: I had a blast jamming the deck although I lost every match so far. Elves is probably unbeatable, but the other match-ups were close so it’s not like I felt any frustration. Fun fact: With Big Red as my opponent in this round, I played three (almost) mono-coloured decks while playing one myself. Games one and two played out pretty simlarly, even though he had some issues with his coloured mana game two, so I’ll wrap them up both quickly: Big Red drops a single bomb each turn from T2/3 while I can usually counter one spell per turn starting T2. So what happens is that he never resolves anything of relevance until my card draw kicks in while he is in topdeck mode. After the games, we have enough time to visit the nearby supermarket for some refreshing drinks and a good talk.
He seems to run every possible “target player discards two cards” spell ever printed. So while my handsize slowly takes hit after hit, I have an Impulse left that finds me Back to Basics which is surprisingly effective against his two-colour deck: He’s stuck on two swamps after I drop it, his Karaks and several white-black dual lands stay tapped for the rest of the game when a Cryptic Serpent finally kills him. Game two is a war of attrition. He has the edge since he’s running all the new CMC3 planeswalkers in his colours. Then the game-ending combo happens: His Ashiok, Dream Render exiles my whole graveyard while his Kaya, Orzhov Usurper ticks up to ultimate that kills me. Game three I win pretty clearly: Spell Pierce and Spell Snare save me from his early hand attack, I get my card advantage going and he resolves literally nothing for three turns, when finally a curious Homunculus gets the job done for me.
First of all, big props to the organizer Simon. Also to everyone coming because I really think 20 people from more than five separate local communities shows a lot of commitment to the format. Speaking about the deck, as mentioned, I simply loved playing it. MVPs for me were Spellskite, Careful Study, Sapphire Medallion and Dismiss. I got a lot to finetune, though, and need to collect more experience. Depending on how the next tournaments go, I might even play it at the next Continental Cup as I do think it has its upsides. Overall, Izzet is probably the stronger choice right now, although I think that people start running more basics since they are tired of rolling over to non-basic hate.