$20 Budget Mono-Blue Scrying - BathroomBrews

Benjamin Levin • June 8, 2023

Eligeth, Crossroads Augur | Illustrated by Yigit Koroglu
Siani, Eye of the Storm | Illustrated by Heonhwa Choe

Hello, everyone! Welcome to BathroomBrews, the budget deck tech series proving Magic isn't pay-to-win. Each deck will have a budget of $50, excluding the cost of the commander. In this week's article, I'm going to show off the power of mono-blue, and not with Urza, Lord High Artificer or Orvar, the All-Form, but with a pair of budget Partners that soar through the air, beating face and drawing more cards than you'll know what to do with.

The Partner pair of Siani, Eye of the Storm and Eligeth, Crossroads Augur is one of the more popular mono-blue commanders, with over 1,000 decks on EDHREC, and for good reason. People, myself included, love to draw cards, and on a budget, these commanders are some of the best in the business. My original inspiration for this deck came from the idea of building a $0.99 paper EDH deck. If you want to check out that video, I'll have a link to it at the end of the article.

But what if I took the shell of the deck and increased the budget? While I could have made a ten-dollar version of the deck, I thought $20 would give me more wiggle room for removal, countermagic, and win conditions. This is a mono-blue deck without Laboratory Maniac or Thassa's Oracle, so I had to include unique ways to win.

Aerial Assault

A key element to this flying duo is flying creatures. Thankfully, blue has access to a wide variety of flying Birds, Sphinxes, Spirits, Pirates, and Squids. A few of the best in this list are Faerie Seer, Augury Owl, and Djinni Windseer. With your commanders out, most of these creatures become a better Mulldrifter.

A theme I wanted to lean into was Sphinx tribal. There are numerous Sphinxes in Magic that synergize with both of the commanders and are inexpensive, from the alt win-condition of Atemsis, All-Seeing to a potential draw three every turn thanks to Prognostic Sphinx. You also have ramp with Defiler of Dreams and Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign. And finally Sphinx of Foresight and Serum Sovereign, with the former becoming a Phyrexian Arena and the latter becoming a pseudo-Ancestral Recall with Eligeth out.

Drawing Payoffs

In the last few years, Wizards has released cards that trigger when you draw your second card each turn. From the new Zimone and Dina from March of the Machine to Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse from the original Dominara. Sadly, I couldn't quite fit Alandra, Sky Dreamer due to budget, but I am running the next best three in Faerie Vandal, Minn, Wily Illusionist, and Ethereal Investigator.

Similarly to the cards above, I had to include cards that give benefits whenever you draw cards. There is the great Oneirophage who will also trigger Siani since it has flying. Then Chasm Skulker and Ominous Seas will give us extra bodies to help close out games. I wanted to include Toothy, Imaginary Friend, but it's too expensive on this tight of a budget. If you have one or want to pick one up, I'd highly recommend it.

From Landlubbers to Aviators

Sadly, some of the creatures are stuck on the ground, which won't benefit Siani when you attack, so I'm going to give some of those landlubbers wings and send them flying. Think of Icarus without the whole "falling from the sky because of the sun" part, or those old commercials about a certain drink giving you wings. In this case, Wonder will actually give you wings; well, it'll give your creatures wings, technically, letting us take all of the Squid, Kraken, or Illusion tokens you generate and send them soaring into your opponents' faces. Kitesail Skirmisher will pick up an attacking creature and take it on a little trip through the sky. You'll want to stack the triggers so Kitesail gives a creature flying before Siani's ability resolves so you get one extra scry. And finally, Ghost-Lit Drifter is a great mana sink for the late game, even if you can only get a few creatures in the air.

Noncreature Scrying

I didn't want the only way to scry to be from creatures entering the battlefield or attacking. After all, being in blue gives you access to Preordain and Serum Visions, which become budget Ancestral Recalls with Eligeth out. But far and away the best sorcery is Ugin's Insight. This was one of my favorite cards when I played Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign, and it's one of my favorite cards in this deck. More often than not, you're able to draw nine cards from a singular cast, letting you refill your hand or find the answer you so desperately need.

And to round out the deck, I included a few ways to get repeatable scries throughout the game. Seer's Lantern both allows you to scry and is a mana rock, while Crystal Ball should draw you a ton of cards throughout the course of the game. My favorite card of the bunch is Netherese Puzzle-Ward. This weird enchantment from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms has the ability to draw you five cards in a single turn. This in conjunction with Sphinx of the Second Sun will give you more cards than you know what to do with.

Hashtag Winning

One of the things I wanted to avoid when building this deck was using the stereotypical blue win conditions, such as Thassa's Oracle, Laboratory Maniac, or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries. Everyone has seen these cards before and they get stale after the first or second time. You could argue the same could be said for Psychosis Crawler, which is in my list, but you do need ways to win aside from turning creatures sideways. Crawler tends to be the primary win condition or a way to soften people up for you to finish with an army of flying creatures. There is also the mill option with Sphinx's Tutelage, which is not only great flavor but what I'd consider the second win condition.

I wanted to include some unique win conditions in my list either for flavor or because I'm not sure where else I'd want to include these. I already mentioned Atemsis, All-Seeing, but I also included Triskaidekaphile. Winning with this card can be tricky since the creature does need to stay around for a full turn cycle, but if you can cast some instant-speed card draw right before your turn, you can snag the win seemingly out of nowhere. Be careful of your timing: if you don't have thirteen cards at the beginning of your upkeep the ability won't trigger, so you have to draw those cards before your turn.

Deck List

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This has been another installment of BathroomBrews; make sure to check out my YouTube channel, BathroomBrewsMTG, for weekly MTG content and the accompanying video. Also, make sure to check out my Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/BathroomBrewsMTG if you want to take your support further.

This has been Ben, from BathroomBrewsMTG, and remember, always wash your hands.

Ben has been playing Magic since 2012 and started creating Magic the Gathering content in October of 2022 on YouTube under the name BathroomBrewsMTG (YouTube.com/@BRBMTG). Primarily focusing on budget EDH content. When he isn't thinking or talking about MTG, he is usually playing video games, spending time with his wife or playing with his two cats. You can find him on Twitter @BathroomMTG.