Just my opinions, I may overlap with some of the above
Consider removing: (not saying you must take these out, but here are reasons to do so)
Mnemonic Wall - I'm not fond of this one, it doesn't do much once it's played
Bone to Ash - too conditional for the cost
Crippling Chill - too narrow- only disables one creature, for one turn, and only if they care about tapping
Scatter Arc - too conditional for the cost
Spell Rupture - soft counter, situational
Traumatic Visions - even if you think of it as a land tutor with a bonus counterspell mode, there's better options
Twitch - too narrow
Consider adding: (not saying you need all of them, trying to inspire you here)
Consecrated Sphinx - heard you like to draw cards and have huge flyers?
Counterspell - hard counter, does not goof around
Cyclonic Rift - one-sided boardwipe!
Rewind - hard counter more efficient than your other 4-mana counters, and reduces the period of vulnerability (tapping yourself out) that tends to follow counterspells
Reality Strobe - bounce something every 3 turns for free, not only opponents' stuff but like that Mnemonic Wall (if you keep it)
Confiscate - more flexible than Mind Control
Caged Sun - inexpensive (moneywise) mana doubler and monocolor deck enabler
Puppet Strings - if you wanted some of that tap/untap nonsense, this can do that every turn
Looking at your list I have a few suggestions for you.
Ramp is important regardless of colour. In blue you have a somewhat harder time, but not too bad. Solemn Simulacrum , Terrain Generator , and mana rocks are what you need to rely on (in addition the Burnished Hart thats already there). Also, Academy Ruins is great when paired with the Burnished Hart because you can recur it every turn to pull 2 basics out of your library. As for mana rocks, Thran Dynamo , Worn Powerstone , and Mind Stone are all great, in addition to the 2 you have.
Next, your counterspell suite is rather lacking. I know you're not interested in investing in Force of Will and similar, but there are a variety of others that are worth playing. Your current list:
Arcane Denial - Good call, keep it.
Bone to Ash - Meh. I don't think that its worth the slot. Its conditional.
Disdainful Stroke - This one is a meta call for you. If your find it commonly useful, keep it. But that will be something you'll figure out with playtesting.
Dissolve - Another good one.
Scatter Arc - Another conditional counter, not worth the slot in my opinion.
Spell Rupture - Its a soft counter. EDH is a format of big mana. Soft counters are almost never a good addition.
Traumatic Visions - Just...no. So bad.
In terms of budget, I would suggest:
Counterspell - Good ol' classic.
Spell Crumple - EDH allstar
Hinder - EDH allstar
Dissipate - A lot of decks rely on their yard, this can be very relevant.
If you ever decide to invest in some other stuff, I would suggest:
Force of Will - obviously
Cryptic Command - flexibility and efficiency.
Flusterstorm - the only soft counter worth playing in my mind, great for counter wars.
Other general mono blue good stuff you might want to consider:
Tezzeret the Seeker - combined with mana rocks or Artifact lands, its a great utility piece. It can be lots of fun with Lotus Bloom , "Land a planeswalker, put a black lotus into play".
Phyrexian Metamorph - copy anything for 3 mana. Another awesome utility card.
Rhystic Study - draw ALL the cards. Mystic Remora is another option.
Bident of Thassa - you're playing a very creature heavy deck, this is a great way to keep a full grip.
Rapid Hybridization - you're already playing Pongify , why not play both?
Curse of the Swine - mass targeted creature exile in blue? Yes please.
Reliquary Tower - keep all the cards you draw.
Hope that helps
Now then, here's my advice on the deck in question. If you want to make a detain deck, I would advise against adding green. Honestly, I'd recommend just taking out some of the larger creatures instead of splashing a third color just to ramp into them faster. We are playing in a format of intense creature removal. Putting that much mana into creatures that aren't going to end the game might give you more headaches than it's worth. I personally find that detain style decks actually work best as aggro decks, using detain and tap effects to make sure your low beaters (especially ones with high power but low toughness) can swing through freely. Basically, you need to really lower your mana curve. Keep in mind that detain effects are temporary solutions. You can't keep your foe at bay forever with them (which is one reason why detain decks never actually see competitive play), so you need to strike quickly. Cards like Isperia, Supreme Judge are primarily defensive, and thus won't really help. Once you have six mana, if things are actually managing to attack you with this kind of deck, you're kind of screwed anyways. Try to fill your six-plus mana slot with things which will quickly and efficiently end the game (if you even have anything in the deck that costly). For pure efficiency, use AEtherling . It's a control deck's finishing tool, but it's still crazy whatever deck it's in. You also need more consistency. You have one copy each of three counters, only one of which (Dissolve ) is remotely good here. You have almost no reason whatsoever to even consider Mindstatic , and Scatter Arc is just a Negate that cantrips for two more mana (not worth it). Try running more counters, as these provide more permanent solutions than detain spells. One last note: Encrust isn't standard. If this is a standard deck, as your tag suggests, it should be removed.
I'd definitely prefer Archetype of Courage to Archetype of Imagination . Unless you've really been running into problems with enemy fliers, I'm not sure Imagination's worth the high cost, while the lower-cost Courage is always valuable in a creature-based deck like this.
Since you're running blue, it may be worth sideboarding a handful of counterspells, like Spell Rupture , Scatter Arc , or Thassa's Rebuff to help you deal with control decks a bit better. Especially in a creature deck like this, Rupture can be pretty brutal. Mizzium Skin can also do wonders for keeping your creatures alive.
is a pretty solid one mana drop that can help boost your mana early and insure you can cast your control/smaller flyers early. There are other cards like Rampant Growth
that can search your library for land cards and put them on to the battlefield and others such as Explore
that can allow you to get to that 6 mana mark a couple turns early. Certain creatures are very good for mana ramp such as Birds of Paradise
but can be a little expensive to buy as they are rare. Your main creature cards are good, it just takes getting to know the kind of cards that support them well. I personally don't own any of those besides Medomai the Ageless
and the Jelenn Sphinx
, but I can tell you that many an opponent, particularly those running red/black, will try to find a way to knock them out of the sky as quickly as possible. Consider more cards like Dissolve
to protect them from removal. You could probably ignore Mindstatic
and Scatter Arc
as they are a little on the expensive side and maybe consider cards like Cloudshift
or Deadeye Navigator
to flicker your creatures if your opponent attempts a field wipe. A card that is pretty insane with flicker spells is Sunblast Angel
who is a field wipe when ever she re-enters the battlefield and is a pretty solid flyer. She goes well with cards like Frost Breath
as well and can really help turn the game in your favor. Just be careful you don't take out your own creatures as well. If you are interested in control then look no further than Supreme Verdict
as a cheap way to 'reset' the field if things spiral out of control. Anyway good luck with your deck, hope you end up with something you are happy with.
|0.02 TIX||0.02 TIX|
|Avg. draft pick||12.27|
|Avg. cube pick||5.74|
|Commander / EDH||Legal|