Why is Blue the Color of Controlling Creatures?

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Posted on Jan. 7, 2017, 1:46 a.m. by DemonDragonJ

Blue has always been the color of taking control of an opponent's creature(s), but I find myself wondering how that ability fits into blue's philosophy (especially considering that blue can already do so much else). Given that white is the color of authority and totalitarianism and that black is the color of power and domination, would it not make more sense for those colors to be the colors of controlling an opponent's creatures? How does controlling creatures make sense as a blue ability? What does everyone else say about this?

Controlling creatures tends to fall under both blue and red, for opposite reasons.

Red is not so much about gaining control, as it is about losing control - it's effects are temporary, like a creature losing its mind and swinging at its owner before figuring itself out again.

Blue, on the other hand, is the color of being prepared for anything. If you bring creatures, blue is prepared to dominate them. Blue is about having a plan, and part of the plan is making everyone go along with the plan.

White, on the other hand, usually likes to style itself as working together - forcing creatures to comply isn't its preferred style.

Meanwhile, Black doesn't care what you do - if it's not according to black's plan, they kill you. No coercion, no bargaining. Do it black's way, or die.

Green just DGAF. You bring creatures, it brings bigger ones.

January 7, 2017 3:11 a.m.

Kcin says... #3

and apparently Colorless does all of this and more (looking at you devoid creatures, Ugin, artifacts etc).

January 7, 2017 3:34 a.m.

JohnnyBaggins says... #4

Mind Magic. Blue is all about Mind Magic and the ultimate form of Mind Magic eventually is Mind Control. And as to how red fits into the theme: Red is impulse. Temporarily striking at your friends//superiors is an impulsive thing to do, but impulse never lasts - so just changing sides for a period of time is red, while a permanently lasting effect is blue.

January 7, 2017 5:06 a.m.

SaberTech says... #5

And Black does get some creature-steal effects. There's Ritual of the Machine and Enslave to play off of black's inclination to dominate. There are effects like the one on Captivating Vampire that let you "corrupt" an opponent's creature to your side. But what you'll mostly see is black using Animate Dead type effects to gain control of an opponent's dead creatures to use against them.

JohnnyBaggins "mind magic" explanation is, flavour-wise, why Blue is the primary colour for creature-steal effects.

White's emphasis on "enforcing law" ends up focusing more on rendering threats harmless, like with Pacifism, then on taking control of them.

January 7, 2017 5:35 a.m.

SaberTech says... #6

In the early days of MtG, Blue also didn't get much in terms of efficient creatures because it was supposed to put more emphasis on instants and sorceries to manage the board. Usually it tried to stall the game on the ground and then win in the air with flying creatures. Blue could bounce creatures, but aside from odd cards like Psionic Blast it couldn't kill them directly if they got past blue's counterspells. Having cards that let Blue steal opponent's creatures became an alternate solution, with Control Magic being the signature card for that effect.

As another flavour point, Blue's emphasis on gathering knowledge to advance its plans means that it is the colour that most often ends up messing with the nature of magic itself. That's the explanation for why it has access to counterspells that prevent the magic of spells from resolving. That also means that it's the colour most likely to tweak magic to its own benefit, such as taking control of the magic that summoned and controls a creature.

January 7, 2017 5:55 a.m.

MagicalHacker says... #7

Maro recently answered this exact question on Blogatog and said that white could eventually have effects like this based on converting others to one's cause.

January 7, 2017 9:58 a.m.

Ohthenoises says... #8

Oh please please please make an Age of Empires joke with a white conversion: "Woo loo loo!"

January 7, 2017 10:53 a.m.

SaberTech says... #9

@ MagicalHacker

So more cards in the style of Evangelize? I had forgotten that card existed until I read your comment.

MtG already has 3 colours with variations on creature steal effects, so aside from the occasional flavour card I don't see much reason for the mechanic to creep into white.

January 7, 2017 5:53 p.m.

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