Monoblue Devotion was one of the first big breakout decks to hit Standard along with Theros.
A popular archetype commanding multiple powerful and intuitive linear mechanics, as well as pushing tempo and damage, Monoblue Devotion's reputation began with a win at Pro Tour Theros and kind of went on from there. From Theros to Born of the Gods, Monoblue Devotion was somewhere between the boogeyman and the It Girl of Standard, packing Grand Prix Top 8 after Open Top 8 after FNM win.
And then...quite a bit less fanfare for quite some time. Monoblue Devotion traded top status with Monoblack Devotion at first; though once Born of the Gods hit, Monoblack Devotion took sole possession as the most popular archetype in Standard. Later inheritors like BG Devotion shored up black's few weaknesses with cards like Temple of Malady and Abrupt Decay, further distancing the two big decks.
But the sun hasn't quite set on Monoblue Devotion. It is still composed of powerful cards, can take advantage of Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, and glut a battlefield with token creatures. And in the hands of an adept mage, Monoblue Devotion is still capable of putting up great finishes.
Here is a version of Monoblue Devotion most recently fielded to an Open finals by NUMBER ONE Reid Duke:
This is also the version I played to inspire today's Make the Play Monday hypothetical.
This is the hand I kept:
Cyclonic Rift Master of Waves Master of Waves Tidebinder Mage Tidebinder Mage Island Island
You can argue about this keep in the dark if you wish; opponent sight unseen, I was hesitant to ship it. It's certainly not the most flexible hand, and without drawing some lands, it can't even cast two of its spells.
Given a range of possible opponents, it's quite bad against the kinds of decks that tend to field profitable interaction against Monoblue Devotion.
But on the other hand...ka-boom! This hand is a destroyer of certain kinds of beatdown, and with two land rips, the UU on each of those Tidebinder Mages is going to pay off on Master of Waves.
(That's with two land rips.)
To start, I played an Island with, ostensibly, the plan of moving ahead with Tidebinder Mage.
The opponent opened with Overgrown Tomb, paying two life, and opened up with a Thoughtseize.
He tanked for a minute before taking... Master of Waves!
What does that say about the opponent? Paying two life on turn one? He's probably got a turn two play he wants to resolve. Has he read me for Monoblue Devotion? Probably not. Not in July 2014, I don't think. But hey! 20-16 and I haven't even played a creature yet!
Who's the beatdown?
His Thoughtseize left me with an Island on the battlefield and the following in hand:
Cyclonic Rift Master of Waves Tidebinder Mage Tidebinder Mage Island
I then ripped: Cloudfin Raptor.
So it's turn two. Presumably you play the second Island. But...
→ Tidebinder Mage or Cloudfin Raptor? (or nothing, I guess)
YOU MAKE THE PLAY
This is Make the Play Monday! Submit your proposed play (here Tidebinder Mage or Cloudfin Raptor, plus any commentary you want to make) in the comments below.
On Friday, I, and a Celebrity Guest, will reveal our play(s) and discuss them as well.
We will take from the comments one reader who agreed with me, and one who agreed with the Celebrity Guest will each receive $25 gift certificates from TCGplayer.com.
Get to it!