The color blue in Magic: The Gathering symbolizes knowledge, sleight of hand, mind control, and time manipulation. Blue embraces multiple themes and strategies, including artifacts and spell-slinging. Most importantly, playing blue in Commander allows plenty of opportunities to draw cards!

Commander staples such as Counterspell, Negate, and Mana Drain showcase blue's ability to control the flow of a game. Spells such as Brainstorm and Fact or Fiction offer card advantage to stay a step ahead of opponents, while a timely Cyclonic Rift or Thassa's Oracle can result in a swift victory for blue players.

It may be hard to replicate the abilities of Mana Drain and Brainstorm, but there are plenty of other blue cards with powerful effects. Some shine in decks that align with a particular strategy, while others are excellent support options. In order of rarity, from common to mythic rare, here are 10 outstanding blue cards you should be playing in Commander.

10. Unwind

     

Of all the colors, blue contains some of the best commons available for Commander. Unwind is a three-mana instant that players may consider as a "free" counterspell. The opportunity to counter a noncreature spell and untap three lands for a follow-up play is exciting.

You may be wondering if Unwind or Negate is the better counterspell for Commander decks. Unwind is one mana more to cast, but provides a valuable benefit upon resolution. Negate is probably the better choice by default due to its mana cost. However, Unwind may offer more upside in decks full of instant-speed spells or cards with activated abilities requiring mana (e.g. Jalira, Master Polymorphist and Stitcher Geralf). Playing Unwind and Negate together in a deck is a fine choice as well.  

9. Freed From the Real

Freed From the Real      

Freed from the Real was first printed at common in Saviors of Kamigawa, and later as an uncommon in Masters 25. Its ability to tap and untap an enchanted creature for one blue mana enables multiple infinite mana combos. Instead of gushing about Freed From the Real, here's a handy list of creatures that create two-card infinite mana combos with it attached:

8. Aetherize

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When I put together a blue Commander decklist, this card usually makes it into the final 99. Aetherize returns all attacking creatures to their owners' hands for only four mana. Although blue alone cannot permanently wipe the board, Aetherize provides an adequate answer to aggressive opponents. Aetherspouts and Evacuation offer similar effects to Aetherize, but they'll cost you extra mana.

7. Crystal Shard

     

I know you must be thinking — what is an artifact doing here? Rest assured that Crystal Shard falls within the blue color identity, due to its activated ability's alternative cost. Crystal Shard returns any target creature to its owner's hand for one blue mana (or three colorless) unless its controller pays one colorless. You may use Crystal Shard to send opponents' commanders back to their hands, but it's far more effective in bouncing your creatures with triggered abilities.

     

Using Crystal Shard to bounce Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath back to your hand with the sacrifice trigger on the stack means repeatable life gain, card draw, and playing extra lands. Replaying creatures with cascade is another potent use for Crystal Shard. On its floor, Crystal Shard can serve as protection against removal spells targeting creatures you control.

6. Flux Channeler

     

War of the Spark introduced the world to uncommon Planeswalkers and Flux Channeler. For three mana, Flux Channeler enables you to proliferate each time you cast a noncreature spell. Flux Channeler's ability adds loyalty counters to Planeswalkers, particularly in Superfriends and Rowan Kenrith//Will Kenrith decks. Don't forget to throw Flux Channeler in the 99 of Mizzix of the Izmagnus for additional experience counters! Adding +1/+1 counters to creatures is entirely reasonable with Flux Channeler, especially in decks led by Atraxa, Praetors' Voice.

5. Misdirection

     

If you're looking for a blue protection spell, look no further than Misdirection. As a five-mana spell with an alternative casting cost, Misdirection changes the target of a spell with a single target. Beyond changing the target of removal spells, it can change the target of a counter spell to itself (while on the stack), as long as it is a legal target. Many players choose to cast Misdirection by exiling another blue card in their hand.   

card-showcase id= "Lier, Disciple of the Drowned || Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow || Ranar the Ever-Watchful"

Players looking to maximize Misdirection should consider running it in decks featuring commanders like Lier, Disciple of the Drowned, Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow, and Ranar the Ever-Watchful. You can play Misdirection to protect Lier, Disciple of the Drowned and then cast it again later with flashback. Misdirection protects Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow and adds life loss to its triggered ability. Ranar the Ever-Watchful gives added value when paying the alternative cost of Misdirection by making a 1/1 white Spirit token with flying.

4. Rite of Replication

     

Rite of Replication is a sorcery spell capable of making one or five token copies (by paying the kicker cost) of any target creature. Since Rite of Replication may target any opponents' creatures, you can make a copy of an opposing commander or five copies of the best non-legendary creature on the battlefield.

There are a handful of two-card combos that make Rite of Replication alluring. In Dimir decks, targeting Gray Merchant of Asphodel on your battlefield with a kicked Rite of Replication will drain each opponent for at least 60 life (12 devotion and 5 enter the battlefield triggers). Cast Radiate on Rite of Replicate (without the kicker) to make a token of every creature on the battlefield. Creating five copies of Biovisionary will win you the game at the end of your turn!

3. Mirrormade

     

Mirrormade is a three-mana enchantment that copies any artifact or enchantment on the battlefield — eessentially Copy Artifact and Copy Enchantment combined into one card. From a financial perspective, Mirrormade is significantly more affordable to obtain than Copy Artifact or Copy Enchantment.

Enchantment-centric deck strategies led by Zur the Enchanter, Tuvasa the Sunlit, Estrid, the Masked, and Lynde, Cheerful Tormentor should consider including Mirrormade. Copying Rhystic Study, Sigil of the Empty Throne, or Grasp of Fate can be scary for your opponents. Also, Mirrormade may copy Auras in a Lynde, Cheerful Tormentor deck, enabling you to duplicate a curse on an opponent.

2. Reins of Power

     

Reins of Power is a blue instant capable of changing the flow of a game in your favor. For four mana, you and a target opponent untap and exchange control of all creatures. Creatures exchanged with an opponent are granted haste, too. Reins of Power can result in an unfair exchange for your opponent if you control few or no creatures when the spell resolves.

Group Hug decks may use Reins of Power to prevent a lethal attack, as changing control of creatures will remove them from combat. Using Reins of Power with Rowan Kenrith on your battlefield is a nice combo. You get to attack with a board of borrowed creatures and then deal three damage to them using Rowan's -2 ability on yourself. For another interesting commander interaction, try casting Reins of Power with Zedruu the Greathearted's upkeep trigger on the stack.

1. Mechanized Production

     

Mechanized Production becomes more attractive each time Wizards of the Coast prints a new card with the ability to create multiple artifact tokens. Enchanting an artifact with Mechanized Production — particularly a Treasure or Clue token — starts a game-ending countdown for your opponents. You can speed things up by creating more of the same-named tokens before your next upkeep.

Eloise, Nephalia Sleuth

Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer and Admiral Beckett Brass decks occasionally play Mechanized Production as an alternative win condition. Modern Horizons 2 introduced Lonis, Cryptozoologist, who possesses the ability to create Clue tokens from investigating. Eloise, Nephalia Sleuth, from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt's Undead Unleashed Commander deck, can make a Clue token whenever another creature you control dies. 

In addition to the cards mentioned above, Mechanized Production synergizes with token-producing cards like Treasure Vault, Smothering Tithe, and Tireless Provisioner. Lastly, Innistrad: Crimson Vow's Blood token provides additional opportunities for Mechanized Production to shine.